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mrg02d 10-21-2009 07:41 PM

What Gives? Algea Coming Back
Hello all,
I have been battling a long war with the brown algae. It is diatoms and cyano. I thought it was getting better, but it seems to be on the offensive today. I have followed all the steps in the 10 steps process, but no luck.

I just dont get it? My phosphates are showing zero now after I added clearmax to my canister. My nitrates are also zero. (Have been for some time).

I feed a pinch of food to my fish every other day. I only keep the lights on 7hours now. ( I have alot of coral and one crocea clam).

The only thing that I can think of is that my lights are bad. I recently added an IceCap ballast and 4 new URI VHO t5 bulbs. This gives a total of 160W over my 20g tank. The thing gets very hot since the bulbs are being driven so hard, and the fixture is a totally enclosed design with no room for cooling fans. I do blow a fan over and under the fixture to cool it. Could my bulbs be getting so hot that their color is shifting to a wavelenght that favors algae growth?

I refuse to use any chemicals to treat with, as I just dont trust them. I will be adding a mini refugium soon to help battle this problem. Any other ideas that may be slipping past me? I literally watched as my tank doubled in algea today! It just took 5 hours to cover my sand again and some rocks as well as a few corals! Its like its demon possessed?


thominil 10-21-2009 07:54 PM

Ditch the clearmax as it is better to solve the problem in the first place rather than just try to mask it. There may be phosphates and nitrates in your tank but algae is just using them up. Do a 25% pwc every other day.

By the way, anything that lowers or raises parameters or helps keep things "stable" IS a chemical.

bavass 10-21-2009 08:17 PM

I have read some where can't remember where. That one way of fighting algae is to run your lights for a few hours have them cut off for a few hours and them come back on for a few hours. Not sure if that will work have not tried it. I will look and see if I can find the story on it. Its been awhile. If so I will link it! Such a break in the light presence affects the algae's ability to photosynthesize and stunts its development and growth.

InfernoST 10-21-2009 08:35 PM

Brown algae is usually a sign of high silicate levels, have you checked them? If it's actually cyano then it would be more related to elevated nitrates and phosphate levels. I was experiencing both cyano bacteria and brown algae at the same time, what I did first was a few large water changes, increased the size of my cuc (If it's algae the cuc will eat it, if it's cyano they will usually stay away from it), blacked the tank for 4 days then started increasing my photo period gradually and added chaeto in a media bag and put it in the tank for now until I get my fuge installed so for now my photo period is only 4 hrs a day until the fuge is online.

bavass 10-21-2009 08:40 PM

Here is one small write up on it Algae Control - How to Use Light to Control Algae Growth
I can't find the one I was reading. Might have been in a book

mrg02d 10-21-2009 08:44 PM


Originally Posted by InfernoST (Post 1043562)
Brown algae is usually a sign of high silicate levels, have you checked them?

I have not checked them. Dont have a test for that. (Id have to special order one I guess).

Say there are high silicates. Where are they from and how do I remove them? I am using RO/DI water that tests 0 TDS.

Any thoughts on over heated lamps?


InfernoST 10-21-2009 08:49 PM


Originally Posted by mrg02d (Post 1043565)

Any thoughts on over heated lamps?



mrg02d 10-21-2009 08:53 PM


Originally Posted by InfernoST (Post 1043567)

As in color shifting to a color more favorable to algae growth. Getting more yellow.


InfernoST 10-21-2009 09:00 PM

If your lamps are older and no longer generating the proper spectrum and intensity it could trigger an algae bloom. The silicates on the otherhand are usually found in straight tap water and could be leached from non food rated plastic containers. How are you storing your RO/DI water? Also is your DI resin depleted?

mrg02d 10-21-2009 10:43 PM

Hmmm, my lamps are new. So maybe that isnt it. I store my water in those 5 gallon plastic jugs that are meant to hold water in. (The blue plastic ones). My DI resin should be fine, it hasnt turned colors yet. My water also tests out at 0TDS, so the filters ought to be fine unless they are some how letting silicates through. The clearmax is supposed to absorb silicates as well as phosphates, so I guess it isnt doing its job.

Im stumped!

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