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Old 03-17-2006, 02:52 AM   #1
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What caused my algae outbreak?

Alright, i have done 2 things to my tank recently. About 2 weeks ago, i replaced a 20w NO light (which was a temporary light for longer than i planned) with a coralife T5 fixture. The other thing i have done is remove a HOB filter about a week ago. The filter pads were filthy and when i took the unit off for a cleaning i never put it back on. In the past week or so, the algae has been growing like there is no tomorrow. Tank has been set up for 8 months or so and i have never had algae growing like this. It's to the point where i'm using my magnet scrubber on the glass almost every day, and the sand and rocks are almost totally covered. The algae is the dusty kind, which just comes right off and blows away in the current. So considering that i have never had this happen since i started my tank, which one is the culprit?

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Old 03-17-2006, 05:34 AM   #2
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Culprit? I would gues the lights change and removal of HOB. Increased light will encourage growth and you have been depending on the HOB for filtration . Without changing feeding habits following the removal of the HOB, you might have too many nutrients in your water. Add the brighter light and the algae takes off.

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Old 03-17-2006, 07:29 AM   #3
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I agree. I would cut back on the photo period for a while and test for NO3 and PO4. Both can feed algae out breaks. Some 20% water changes with RO/DI water are also in order.
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Old 03-17-2006, 12:14 PM   #4
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Hey guys similar issue. I have never really tested for P04, but now realizeI need to. Here is my post from another thread:


Just tagging on instead of starting a new thread. I too was/am battling hair algea, but I know mine was from lack on Maintenance.

Did a large PWC as well as manually removed about 90% of the visible algea. I have been focusing on nitrates which seem acceptable 0.2-0.4 right now. After doing some reading I am now checking my PO4 which is likely the culprit. Last night the tank was somewhere between 1-2. I say this because on the low end P04 test(0-1) it was defiantely over 1, but when I did the high end P04 test(1-5) it did not register. I did check my RO source and it is reading 0.

Two questions:
1. Assuming 0 PO4 is ideal what is an acceptable level before you will have a problem?
2. What is best method to remove it? Right now I am using PWC and have another planned for this weekend (30g).

I have seen products called a phosphate sponge (granular subsatste that I assume you run like carbon), but not sure if they work.

Now I see discussion about Phosban reactor. Not sure what this is or if it is required. How costly? Can someone send me a link?

So far Corals have not been affected and are even looking much better after the maintenance last weekend.



One other P04 question....If my water sourse is clean where does it come from? I just started using my own RO unit in Jan which I now know is clean, could be be left over from the old water source?

Any help will be appreciated.


Tank: 90 Gal SW Reef in the making

See my info for setup and inhabitant details:
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Old 03-17-2006, 12:38 PM   #5
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I agree, increased lighting and removal of a filter (HOB)... Hopefully things will smooth out... it will adjust to the lighting, but depending on your tank, feeding habits, fish and such, you might need to add that HOB again to remove extra debris and waste or some other type of liter... I personally prefer my HOB with my tanks. rinsing the pads in my PWC water weekly, even Biweekly.
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