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Old 05-25-2009, 06:51 AM   #1
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Tank needs recovery help

Hi all,

It's been sssooo long since I've been here and for about as long I've had almost no time to maintain my tank. Here's a summary:

3 foot, 45KG live rock, 180L (less the rock), 1200L/hr canister filter, HOB multi-skimmer (includes protein skimmig function), 2x35w fluros (white/blue), 1x 12L/hr power head, air pump (large bubbles to break surface), 2x perc clowns, 1x scopas tang, 1x orange tail damsel and a handful of corilamorphs. I can see from time to time tube worms around the place too.

I have the Eheim 3581 automatic feeder set to feed once daily. Side note: this was such a great investment!

Here's the problem... I have a major cyno problem. Generally all other algae is OK.. I am suposing due to the tang (champion). I've done probably 2x 25L salt water changes in 2yrs and never check my levels (ph, alk, sanility, and the other usuals) anymore. The lights run for 6hrs daily.

I've purchased Antired twice but couldn't bring myself to use it without doing something more "natural" beforehand.

So, what I am looking for is some feedback about how to get my tank back into shape. My general plan is to perform an initial physical removal of the red algae and proceed to perform fortnightly or even weekly 25L water changes and replace the filter media once a month. I don't particularly think my feeding is over the top.

I assume this'll be a slow process, but if I can avoid using Antired then I'd like to do that.

Any other tips or suggestions?

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Old 05-25-2009, 08:57 AM   #2
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Welcome back!
Your lights are probably old and the bulbs need to be replaced.
Of course, you know PWCs and cleaning will be the most natural way to get it cleaned up.

Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

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Old 05-25-2009, 03:38 PM   #3
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And when you do your PWC`s try to siphon out as much as possible.
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Old 05-25-2009, 03:58 PM   #4
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I would probably just while you are trying to get things back in shape cut down the feeding to every other day. This will help lower the amount of nutrients being added to the water.

If you have any test kits of your own some nitrate numbers will give us an idea of where the tank is at. I suspect that the cyano (while very unsightly) has actually been helping your case by consuming all or most of your nitrates and phosphates.

Like you already have planned water changes as often as you can will go a long way in helping get the tank back again. If you have any sponges in the canister filter i would either take them out all together or make sure you are cleaning them once a week.

Once you siphon out as much of the cyano as possible like melosu58 suggested keep an eye on the tank for the next couple days. If your cyano grows back like you never even siphoned it then we need to find out where all your nutrients are coming from. Old tanks will sometime have dead spots or places of low flow back in the rocks that will collect all kinds of nasty things that break down and contribute to you nitrate and phosphate problem.

Once we get your nitrates and phosphate under control and eliminate the source i have always found that it is very helpful to use a chemical cyano killer at this point. In my experience cyano will grow back from the smallest traces of nutrients in the system. With this in mind the chemical will help to kill all of it at once so it doens't have a chance to grow back. Others on here are not a fan of this method because to many people use this as a solution rather then finding the real source of the problems (nitrates and phosphates), which is why i can't stress enough that you need to take care of that first or the chemical really will just be a temporary fix that won't last long.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:31 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone. I really do miss being a regular here. It was one of my favorite past times.

I have to admit I was pretty disappointed that the feeder I got, given the price, didn't have the option for every other day feeding, unless I've missed something...?

Yeah I think the approach will be:

1. Clean the filter out weekly.
2. Partial water change weekly, but no longer than fortnightly.
3. Replace bulbs.
4. Physically remove the existing cyno.
5. Apply Anti-red as a last resort.

I'm not sure about the point of using the chemical based solution to clean it up because the bacteria will just come back with the next partial water changes I would have thought. Please correct me if I am wrong though.

Appreciate all your help.

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Old 05-25-2009, 05:39 PM   #6
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I might also take some photographs as some before and after comparisons.
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:47 AM   #7
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Small update... my Resun 808 died today. Actually the rubber seals around the motor demonstrated their age and I found water very slowly leaking. Unfortunately nobody nearby seems to stock spare parts for this filter and so I ended up purchasing an Eheim 2213. It's physicall much smaller, apparently can do well beyond my tank's capacity and has overall a seemingly much higher quality build and features (I love the double disconnect valves) so I'm pretty happy.

Anyways, onto the cyno after that minor side tracking.
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:21 AM   #8
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OK I finally got my act into gear and have commenced ~25% water changes weekly. I also removed a lot of the algae manually. There are some spots which just seemd to fall apart when I touched them so rather than break them up and have it spread around the tank I left it and will take the rock out of the tank to give it a manual clean in some tank water.

I'm also cleaning my filter weekly. The tank already looks a heck of a lot better. I found all these worms under the cyno that fan out now.

My question at this point is, should I start to see the cyno disapear (and if so after how long) or will it only go away with manual removal?

I have a red algae chemical but before I use that I want to be sure that I really do need to and if I do remove as much of it manually as I can. Apparently when the cyno dies it releases poision.

On the case of the source of the problem, I've noticed that if I brush the water around the surface of the rocks and even on the sand all of this muck comes up. I suspect this is probably waste material and needs prompt removal.

How do I best do that? I'm thinking of getting a small power head and spaying water around the surface of the rocks and then let the filter just pick it up. My concern with this is that most of it will just settle and I'll be no better off. I thought of trying to catch it with a net but they bits are just too small and will slip through the net.

Any suggestions here would be great.

I also have a multi-skimmer which is meant to be protein skimmer + mechanical filter and in there I have some of porus rocks meant to be great for bacteria, but the problem with them is they also catch a lot of muck so they just look like a dirty stone you pull from the creek.. I'm thinking it's probably best, since I have these in my primary filter anyways, to remove them entirely? The ones in the primary filter also suffer from the same "dirty stone" problem so I am thinking this is probably also adding to the problem so whenever I do a water change I should take the opportunity to use the old tank water to clean these off. What do you guys think?

Phew, there's a lot to answer in there so thanks heaps in advance for taking the time to help me.

The way my tank looks now made me realise I forgot just how beautiful they can look. The water even looks clearer and cleaner.

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Old 08-08-2009, 03:28 AM   #9
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Oh and by the way, my scopas tank died. I found him mashed up so I think he might have got stuck on a power head. Poor guy.

Anyways, the load on the tank is even less now. All I have is: 2x perc clowns, 1x orange tail damsel, a handful of corilamorphs and maybe 30 or so of these little things on the rock that have tenticles (the name of these always escapes me!).
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Old 08-15-2009, 06:27 AM   #10
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So folks, any suggestions? The suspense is killing me.

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