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-   -   lighting and algae? (http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums/f45/lighting-and-algae-77536.html)

scenicad 06-06-2006 12:34 PM

lighting and algae?
 
I've been battling algae for a while now, red and green hair algae mostly also some other type of red algae, not sure exactly what it is.

Anyway, with focusing on getting my phosphates down, it's gotten a lot better, however, it still grows rapidly towards the back of my tank. Especially on the back wall, the PHs, pump, heater and all plactic parts and on the backs of my LR and the very top piece, but just the top side closest to the lighting.

Which makes me wonder, then, if the lighting might be a big culprit. The bulbs are only a few months old, and I didn't notice a big change(in algae) when I did replace them. I've got a NO strip light that just sits on the glass canopy (came standard with the aquarium), it has two 18,000K (40W) bulbs and it sits on the back half of the aquarium where most of the really ugly algae growth is. I have it set on the back so that I can keep the front flaps of the canopy open -I also have a low pH struggle.

Could the NO be my problem? Should I be upgrading my lighting? They are on for about 9 hours.

MT79 06-06-2006 06:37 PM

Quote:

Could the NO be my problem? Should I be upgrading my lighting?
Being 18k and fairly new I doubt it. Adding higher intensity lighting would just add more fuel for the algae until it was limited by another factor ie. the amount of PO4 or nitrate. Nuisance algae in the back of tanks is often caused by low water flow. I would try and add some more flow in the back of your tank. Pointing a power head behind the rocks should help. Also increasing the amount of flow in the tank, especially at the surface, will help w/ gas exchange and often helps resolve low PH issues.

roka64 06-06-2006 06:47 PM

Are you cycling your tank right now?

You can update "my info" button with your tank specs/equip and critters so we can see what you have.

I agree w/the PHs moving more water...it's kind of like moss doesn't grow on a rolling stone.....I am having the same problem. It is out of control on one end of my tank, My cleaning crew is working overtime. If I would have thought ahead, I would have siphoned that stuff up BEFORE adding my cleaning crew of SUPER tiny snails. I was afraid I would suck them up....Sigh...hindsight is always 20/20....

scenicad 06-06-2006 07:39 PM

My tank has been up for about a year now, and I have a yellow tang, two clowns and a six-line wrasse in a 72 gal bowfront. I've got a skimmer, two 600 maxijet PHs and a cannister filter that I just use for media when needed such as phosphate sponge.

My PO4 levels are 0-.1 mg/l, and most of the algae is growing where the most movement is, infact, I have lot of growth on the PHs and the pump itself.

Unfortunately, because my lighting is a striplight that sits on a glass canopy, I also have a hard time with the temp in my tank. In the summer, even with AC, my tank is at 82 degrees. So, to avoid temp swings, I keep it at that all year.

The fish and urchins seem to be fine, but I can't seem to keep snails alive. They are fine for a few weeks or months, but they eventually die off. Even though there seems to be plenty of food for them. I also have calcium levels on the low side.

I'm sure all of my problems contribute in some way.
It's so frustrating!

roka64 06-07-2006 12:12 PM

Quote:

I also have calcium levels on the low side.
That might be the issue if you have turbo snails, I believe they need calcium to grow. I think most inverts are very sensitive to water quality.
What kind of snails are they? How long do you acclimate them?

I had the same problem with my pH, once I replace the lighting from a canopy to an over the tank lighting system, it is now around 8.2-8.4

Quote:

Adding higher intensity lighting would just add more fuel for the algae
Agreed. I just read another post, use a turkey baster to suck up the algae. How much/often/ what do you feed your tank?
What critters do you have?
You can update your "my info" with tank size/critters/equipment, so others can look and see what you have.

scenicad 06-07-2006 01:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by roka64
Quote:

I also have calcium levels on the low side.
That might be the issue if you have turbo snails, I believe they need calcium to grow. I think most inverts are very sensitive to water quality.
What kind of snails are they? How long do you acclimate them?

I had the same problem with my pH, once I replace the lighting from a canopy to an over the tank lighting system, it is now around 8.2-8.4

Quote:

Adding higher intensity lighting would just add more fuel for the algae
Agreed. I just read another post, use a turkey baster to suck up the algae. How much/often/ what do you feed your tank?
What critters do you have?
You can update your "my info" with tank size/critters/equipment, so others can look and see what you have.

I've had all sorts of different snails, astrea, ceriths, nassarius, bumble-bees, nerites, and margarita. I've acclimated them by floating the bags and slowly adding a bit of tank water periodically over an hour or so. They seem to get through that fine, but after a few weeks or months, they slow down and just turn up with empty shells.
I do have some bad hitch hiker crabs, although I finally managed to get rid of the largest one I know of, however I keep discovering little ones hiding out in the rock.

Quote:

How much/often/ what do you feed your tank?
I try to keep the feedings down to a minimum, every other day, and I feed little bits at a time, making sure they get most of it first. I feed mostly frozen food that I rinse with filtered water first, and try to keep the flake and nori feedings down.

I do think that it's getting better, but it's difficult to get it all out when cleaning. It's like taking two steps forward, one step back everytime little pieces break off during cleaning and re-grow plant themselves elsewhere.

roka64 06-07-2006 01:47 PM

Quote:

I do have some bad hitch hiker crabs, although I finally managed to get rid of the largest one I know of, however I keep discovering little ones hiding out in the rock.
That may be the problem.

I took most of my LR out and scrubbed it in SW. I think I will try the turkey baster tonight.

scenicad 06-07-2006 02:32 PM

Yeah, I'm always looking for good ways to remove the algae completely without taking out too much water in the process. I'll try the turkey baster as well, but I'm going to also try straining the water so it can be added back into the tank.
I don't really want to pull out my LR until I know it's not just going to come right back.

MT79 06-07-2006 08:56 PM

Quote:

I've got a skimmer, two 600 maxijet PHs and a cannister filter
You are definitely on the low side when it comes to flow. Flow is one of the most important factors in a SW aquarium, and also one of the most commonly over looked. It not only leads to algae blooms and PH problems but also health problems for fish ie. fatty livers, etc. Two MJ 600's only equal 320 GPH plus whatever the canister puts out. Be aware filters rarely produce the GPH flow that they claim to. A 72 gal SW tank should have a minimum of 720-1080 total GPH water movement.
Removing as much algae as possible manually is a good idea, but obviously will not stop it from retuning.
As far as snails go, what are your nitrates, Ca, ALk, and PH?

scenicad 06-08-2006 11:11 AM

When buying PHs I guess I did figure it on the low side. This is my first set up and I was thinking that since it was only a FOWLR tank, that I wouldn't need as much flow as if I were going to have corals and such. I didn't really understand how easy it is to have problems with algae and pH and such due to water circulation. The cannister filter has definately helped the pH, but I never thought to recalculate the flow coming from my PHs. Sounds like a near future upgrade to me!

nitrates 0
Ca 350-400
ALk 3
pH 8.0-8.1
phosphates .1

MT79 06-08-2006 07:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by scenicad
that I wouldn't need as much flow as if I were going to have corals and such.

Regardless of whether you have corals, FOWLR tanks will benefit from having at least 10x per hour turnover also. LR will perform it's filtration processes more efficiently when provided w/ "good" flow. Having higher flow allows water to be pushed through the LR some what rather than around it. As mentioned it also helps drive off CO2, keeping the PH higher and more stable.
Quote:

nitrates 0
Ca 350-400
ALk 3
pH 8.0-8.1
phosphates .1
Your numbers look good.

scenicad 06-09-2006 07:39 PM

I think instead of lighting being my next upgrade, it'll definately be my PHs.
I just got a cheap desk fan and am suprised how well it worked to keep the temp down. It cooled the tank rather quickly.

I just got a new batch of snails, various kinds, so hopefully they will help me with the algae and manage to stay alive.
Between keeping the temp down, adding some liquid Ca., and keeping the nitrates at 0 (they had been between 10-20 for a long time) I'm hoping I'll have better luck with this crew.


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