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Old 09-26-2010, 06:34 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Montreal Quebec, Canada
Posts: 28
Unhappy Red Algae Outbreak/ Spine loss on Urchin

Hey all,

i just have a couple of questions concerning my tank. As of now, it has been cycling for almost a year, and i have:

30 Gallon:
20lbs LiveRock (Fiji)
-1x Colt Frag
-(1x Purple Zoanthids Frag- no longer exists, the lemon ate it)
Fish & Critters:
-1x Lemon Peel Dwarf Angelfish
-2x Damsel (Yellowtail&BlueDevil)
-1x Royal Gramma
-2x Turbo Snails
-2x Hermit Crabs
-1x ElectricBlue Hermit
-1x Cleaner Shrimp
-1x Long-spined Sea Urchin
-1x Brittle Starfish (Adult) ***

*** = HitchHikers

First, the tank was cycling perfectly, the water changes were being preformed every two weeks, and all the tests (PH, nitrate, nitrite, etc..) were all up to par. When we went to a fish store in Mtl called Aquatica, the sales rep suggested that we put a phosphate pad into our filter ( Phos-Zorb) instead of the aqua clear biomax filter insert, which cycled the tank so perfectly.. After a couple of days of having the phos-zorb in the filter, we stared noticing that the red algae in the tank was becoming more and more prominent. It now has grown on alot of the live rock and on the sand. We have not yet replaced the charcoal bag (as we arent sure of the exact date that we put it in, it cant be more than 3 months old, but we do rinse it once and a while). would anyone know why this is occurring so rapidly? why has the "red stuff" taken over my tank? we feed the fish twice a day and use either flakes, pellets, or my-sis/brine (but not too much brine) shrimp depending on the day..

Also, could this outbreak effect any of the invertebrates? i ask this because i have also noticed that the Urchin has lost alot of its spines..i am not sure if it is dying or about to be on its way out, but, it still seems to be very active and climbing the walls of the tank, etc. Can it be because the Urchin is stressed due to the conditions of the tank?

Please if anyone can offer any suggestions to help me out, it would be greatly appreciated! HELP!

also, if i wanted to get another fragment of coral (something that the lemon would not want to eat) what would you suggest? We do have T5 lighting so, we can get anything that is not too complicated..any suggestions?

please HELP!

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Old 09-26-2010, 06:48 PM   #2
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Location: Montreal Quebec, Canada
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we have had the lemon for 2 months (our new addition), it was wild caught, but none of the fish have been getting sick.

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Old 09-26-2010, 11:22 PM   #3
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Posts: 5,330
Stop feeding twice daily and start on an everyother day system. Remove the PO3 pads and replace your charcoal. cut your lights to 6 -9 hours daily and start on a PWC routine of at least once a week until your problem corrects it self. Also try to increase flow to the areas with the most red algae or cyano outbreak. It is a form of bacteria. Remember, " if it aint broken don't fix it. You were doing great until that LFS tried to sell you something you didn't need.
Happy Reefing,
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:54 PM   #4
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Location: Holley, NY
Posts: 752
If your urchin is losing its spikes, that is a sign of some serious water quality issues, namely high nitrates. That bag of charcoal should actually be replaced every 2 weeks to a month depending on what type of carbon your using. The carbon absorbs alot of junk from the water, but if you leave it in for too long, it will get full and start to leach out its contents back into your tank. I would follow Thincats advice and roll up the sleeves and get ready to dive in to the fight.
"If your wife ever asks how much something was for your tank, just tell her you got it on sale and you had to have it! She'll understand"

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algae, chi, loss, outbreak, red algae, urchin

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