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Old 02-04-2008, 06:00 PM   #1
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Recommended length of daylight cycle?

Having some hair algae problems (I know, nutrients, feeding habits, phosphate, regular PWC's, etc, don't need the lecture, I'm already there).

I've never considered the length of my daylight cycle in the mix. I've been running almost 12 hours with full MH's (2x250, 2x175 on a 180G). Running bulbs less than 6 month old bulbs, 14K's.

What's the typical daylight cycle length most people run with?

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180G All-glass with dual megaflows in a custom stand
AquaC EV-180 skimmer
250 pounds LR
160 pounds aragonite
Custom acrylic sump from GlassCages.com
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Old 02-04-2008, 06:39 PM   #2
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I only run 8 hours. Most folks like 8-10.
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Old 02-04-2008, 06:46 PM   #3
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If you are battling algae, then cutting back on the lighting is part of your defense. As Scott mentioned, most folks run daylights 8-10hrs. I run mine for 8hrs...noon to 8. You can safely cut back to 2-4hrs if you want until the algae is under control. I would cut back maybe one hour every couple of days until you are where you want it. IME, the best way to tx GHA is manual removal of the algae (even scrubbing affected LR in SW), cutting back on feedings and photo, and doing LOTS of water changes using a high quality source water that is free of PO4 and NO3. It will a few weeks to get things under control. Good luck.
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Old 02-04-2008, 06:59 PM   #4
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Thanks for the intelligent replies (was expecting "do more PWCs!" )

I was at 12 or 13 hrs a day. Never considered it until today.

Cutting back to 8.

Am doing manual removal. It's a chore, but I'm getting quite good at it Some of the hair algae though is slowly getting replaced with the brush stuff - very dense, very, very hard to remove. I'm going to pull those rocks and scrub/brush them under SW.

Feeding every other day, as sparsely as I can without putting my triggers in a bad mood (they will attack me when hungry). Using RO/DI of course, and doing bi-weekly 20% PWC's. Still investigating the source, but I'm trying to attack all possible fronts here (hence, the lighting cycle question).
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180G build thread

180G All-glass with dual megaflows in a custom stand
AquaC EV-180 skimmer
250 pounds LR
160 pounds aragonite
Custom acrylic sump from GlassCages.com
2xPCX-40 return pumps
2x250MH 14K, 2x175MH 14K - PFO lighting, 2x65W PC
No-name 36W UV
Water General 125GPH RO/DI
Filstar XP3
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:07 PM   #5
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Yep. That light was killing you IMO.

Tooth brush in one hand and siphon in the other can get a lot of it out. Better yet, have a helper do the siphoning while you scrub.

Hey! how ya like that skimmer? I have the same on my 155g reef. Love mine. Running it w/the Mag 7.

Also, the lawnmower blenny is one that'll eat that stuff, but might starve when it's gone. Others have had luck with them learning to eat prepared foods though.
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Old 02-04-2008, 09:10 PM   #6
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Have you tested your PWC water? I would test for nitrates and phosphates to make sure you are not adding it. Here is a good battle plan. OH and BTW I run mine from 9A to 9P

http://www.fantasyreef.com/database....id=11&itemid=5
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:49 AM   #7
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Man, I totally missed the algae part! What kind of salt are you using? I had problems with IO and switched to reef crystals, without any problems.
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Old 02-05-2008, 12:39 PM   #8
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How long have you been using these lights and running this cycle? It would be odd that changing your lighting cycle for an older tank would have much bearing on the root cause. IMO cutting back on the light cycle only punishes the corals. Not some theory I made up, comes from 2 very lengthy battles with H.A. I suffered through.
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:04 PM   #9
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Using RO / DI - fed from a house-wide dechlorinator/filter/softener. Phosphates are undectable in the makeup water and in the tank. Using RO/DI for top-off.

The bulbs are about 6 months old now. 14K's - XM brand, and pair of 10K's (unknown brand).

Using Reef Crystals.

Feeding sparingly (every other day, anemone's weekly). Got a big protein skimmer (EuroReef), which is going constantly.

Aeration is good. Water flow is strong (4x Koralia 4's, plus 2X PCX-40 return pumps from the sump).

Water quality seems good - (seems good) - anemone's (curlicue, 3 BTA's, and haitian condy are all doing very well). Fish are all doing well.

Regular PWC's - about 25% a shot, every 3 weeks or so.
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180G build thread

180G All-glass with dual megaflows in a custom stand
AquaC EV-180 skimmer
250 pounds LR
160 pounds aragonite
Custom acrylic sump from GlassCages.com
2xPCX-40 return pumps
2x250MH 14K, 2x175MH 14K - PFO lighting, 2x65W PC
No-name 36W UV
Water General 125GPH RO/DI
Filstar XP3
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:54 PM   #10
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25% water change on a 180g is about 45 gallons(sounds like fun) I would think weekly would be better maybe if you did 25gallons a week 15% it would equal 75gallons changed and not be as much work yet more water changed in your tank battling any impuritites that the algae may be feeding on. I also use a toothbrush for scrubbing Algae it works great I usually scrub the algae every 3days from my rocks and glass front. I am hoping when my sump arrives and I get some MacroAlgae growing it will also help to reduce the annoying algae scrubbing. Does your sump have a refugium section for Macroalgae if so what are you housing inside it(just curious)
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Old 02-12-2008, 09:55 AM   #11
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Yeah, one thing I don't have (anymore) is a fuge. I miss it - my fuge used to be covered with macro, full of all kinds of 'pods, and none in the main (this was before I moved up to a 180 from a 75).

I didn't design my sump very well - it's a custom acrylic 45G from glass-cages.com. I didn't put a place in it for a fuge, i was planning on hooking an external one up to it, but I've never quite worked out the plumbing. I think I'm going to T - off one of my 2 drain lines into a small fuge tank, then overflow that into the sump. But I'll need another acrylic tank to do it, and will have to figure out where the heck to put it.

A 45G change is easy - I had a drain pipe built into the area where the sump is in the basement - I drain straight to that (with a screen over the end of the hose so I don't suck up any little guys), then I pump 45G in from my giant rubbermaid tub. All said and done, 15 minutes is all it takes, and I usually don't spill a drop.

It takes a few days to fill from the RO/DI filter - I think i'm going to bump up the 45G change to weekly for awhile and see if that helps.

The down-side is the salt - it gets pricey after awhile.

ANOTHER problem I'm running into now is getting attacked when picking algae... in the left 1/4 end of the tank. My blue trigger - about 5, maybe 6 inches long, doesn't like me messing around that area. He's always nipped at me, but he's getting big enough to break the skin

I can reach out and shoo him away, but he comes right back. He's turning into a agressive little stinker - so I use a really big net as a guard, but that doesn't scare him either. At least I know I could catch him easily if I had to.

Oh yeah, he spits and grunts too. He's awesome. But his teeth are so sharp
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180G build thread

180G All-glass with dual megaflows in a custom stand
AquaC EV-180 skimmer
250 pounds LR
160 pounds aragonite
Custom acrylic sump from GlassCages.com
2xPCX-40 return pumps
2x250MH 14K, 2x175MH 14K - PFO lighting, 2x65W PC
No-name 36W UV
Water General 125GPH RO/DI
Filstar XP3
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:45 AM   #12
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sounds like a really fun fish to have. I am jealous you have a nice setup for sure. Have you tried the aquarium gloves to protect your hands?
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:32 AM   #13
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Gloves make it impossible to pluck algae

But yeah, going to have to get something if this guy is going to keep attacking me when I move into his area.

I spent an hour last night brushing some rock clean. I've got so much rock, and there's GHA on pretty much all of it, so it's going to take awhile, but I'm going to keep working on it every night.

I've got all 8 of my sump socks cleaned and ready to go (rather than siphon I let the overflows and my powerheads get the algae, then I replace the sump sock and clean the powerheads. There's too much to do while siphoning.

I'm making headway. I've gradually cut back on the lighting over the last week, down to about 7 hours now. I pushed the schedule back an hour while I was at it, so I can see the fish while I'm home at night from work

So far the anemone's don't seem to mind.
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180G build thread

180G All-glass with dual megaflows in a custom stand
AquaC EV-180 skimmer
250 pounds LR
160 pounds aragonite
Custom acrylic sump from GlassCages.com
2xPCX-40 return pumps
2x250MH 14K, 2x175MH 14K - PFO lighting, 2x65W PC
No-name 36W UV
Water General 125GPH RO/DI
Filstar XP3
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:53 PM   #14
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Have you tried some Mexican turbo snails?

They do wonders on HA.
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Old 02-16-2008, 05:38 PM   #15
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I bought some a long time ago - after my first cycle. 5 or 6 I think. Just lost the last one a few months ago, not sure if my triggers would bother them or not - I have a bunch of astrias and even more nassarius, but none of them are even on the rocks - just on the sand or glass.

I should go look for some turbo's. Even if they end up as a snack for the triggers

Spent the entire morning scrubbing. Hands are sore and cramped up, but I have all but 3 or 4 rocks at one end cleaned up. I'm surprised at how much purple coralline was under all that algae, it's really taken off. Am I right in thinking that it's harder for GHA to get started on coralline?
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180G build thread

180G All-glass with dual megaflows in a custom stand
AquaC EV-180 skimmer
250 pounds LR
160 pounds aragonite
Custom acrylic sump from GlassCages.com
2xPCX-40 return pumps
2x250MH 14K, 2x175MH 14K - PFO lighting, 2x65W PC
No-name 36W UV
Water General 125GPH RO/DI
Filstar XP3
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