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Old 02-02-2005, 05:23 PM   #1
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Oops! What have I done?

Can anyone give me a suggestion on what to do about my algae problem? (hair algae). I have manually removed (scrubbed every inch of algae on LR), I have reduced feeding, I have reduced lighting, I have changed top-off what to Catalina Real Saltwater, I have rearranged rock set up. . . .any suggestions? PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tank is 72 gal FOWLR (about 110 lbs). Crushed coral substrate. Overflow, sump with bioballs and protein skimmer.

One problem. . .my fish selection causes me to be limited on fish or inverts that can help with the problem. In order of introduction into tank: (4) small stripped damsels, (1) dominoe damsel, (1) 3" clarkii clown, (1)4" porcupine puffer, (1) 3.5" undilated trigger and (1) small/med lunare wrasse. There is seldom nipping of fins, undilated actually hides a lot.

Once scrubbed and moved rocks around. . .stayed good for a while. But now, back with vengance.

Do I need to remove some fish (too many in tank)? Maybe could suggest a fish I could get to eat it all? Lighting food reduction more?

Please help.

Thank you
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Old 02-02-2005, 05:43 PM   #2
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Do you have any PH in your tank? If not. I think this is why you have algae problem. You will need atleast 3 PH for a 72 gal tank if not already have. Position them by pointing the direction of flow toward the front glass,sides, back if possible. HTH .
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Old 02-02-2005, 06:03 PM   #3
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I have pump and then just one PH, guess maybe will try that. . . .what GPH to get on PHs? I mean, should I be concerned with the rate since the flow is already good leaving and entering the tank?
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Old 02-02-2005, 06:15 PM   #4
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test your tank water and source water for PO4. Also check your nitrates. What is your feeding and lighting schedule?
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Old 02-02-2005, 06:27 PM   #5
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You choice of tank inhabitants might be aggravating your problem. You have some mighty messy eaters in there, particularly the porcupine puffer (which by the way will grow large enough to eat the smaller fish you have in there). Unfortunately with these large predators you can't keep snails or shrimp which would really help in eating that leftover food and other sources of nutrient overload. Try to get some macroalgae growing to compete with the hair algae. Keep at it, most people beat hair algae with time and experience.
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Old 02-02-2005, 07:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adw77380
I have pump and then just one PH, guess maybe will try that. . . .what GPH to get on PHs? I mean, should I be concerned with the rate since the flow is already good leaving and entering the tank?
Since you already have 1 PH , I recommend getting another 2x MJ 1200 PH for the rear corners of the tank. You want good flow currents in your tank to prevent the food from settling down too fast on the bottom, but not too strong that it causes a sand storm in your tank. So yes check the GPH when you buy the PH.
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Old 02-02-2005, 09:44 PM   #7
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test your tank water and source water for PO4. Also check your nitrates. What is your feeding and lighting schedule?
Your water parameters will help get to the root of the issue. Also, are you using tap water or RO? If using tap it is a likely source of your problem as well.

If your nitrates are high larger pwc and reducing the bio load would help. Also how many bio balls do you have and have you ever cleaned/rinsed them? Bio media tends to be a source of high nitrates if left unattended for long periods of time.
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Old 02-02-2005, 10:07 PM   #8
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vacume out the cc, when i had a cyano outbreak i did this three time during three partial water changes and man did I remove a crapload of gunk, the rest was removed by my skimmer
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Old 02-03-2005, 12:22 PM   #9
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Thank you everyone.

I purcahsed 2 more PH yesterday (so now 3).

Yeah, fish choice. . .I know , but they were just so cute . I also purchased a PO4 tester, it is about 0.2. Which isn't bad, right?

When I do water changes and top-offs. . .I use Catalina Real Saltwater. So, I don't use tap or RO/DI water. In some cases I use RO/DI from the LFS, but mostly the Catalina water.

Okay, bioballs. . .no I didn't know I had to check them . Actually, this is my second tank, last time I had a 55 gallon but used biowheel. . .never had a algae problem. So. . .what do I need to do with the bioballs. . . .even read that I might want to get rid of them, esp. with the LR I have. Gosh as for the amount of bioballs (got system from friend) they sit under the tray. . .probably about 10 cups full.

Lighting: one ballast is broken, so using 65 watt (2 ) 10K and (1) Actnic (whatever it is). Hours of operation 11 am - 8 pm, I had shortened it for a while.

Feeding: Bloodworms- Puffer won't eat anything else (picky) and eats it in almost one mouthful. 2 cubes of either brine shrimp or marine blend.
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Old 02-03-2005, 12:28 PM   #10
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what do you use to top your tank off daily? if you top off with saltwater you SG will go through the roof. maybe i am just misunderstanding.

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Old 02-03-2005, 12:32 PM   #11
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If you have enough LR, you can slowly start to remove the biomedia and just keep a close eye on you water parameters. With the bioload you have in your tank I am not sure I would recommend this though.

As for maintaining the bio balls remove about half of them and rinse them with SW from your next water change. Then do the 2nd half a couple weeks later. I would do this about every 3-4 months.

thoroughly vacuuming the cc will help as well if you are not already. What are your nitrates at now?

I suspect nitrates are a little high now and it will be difficult to get them to 0 without removing some of the bio load. Heavily loading our tank is common when starting out. I am in the same boat as for battling nitrates. I will be removing some bioload in the coming months.
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Old 02-03-2005, 12:36 PM   #12
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I try to keep the sump fairly full. If I do have to use water for top-off, I use the RO/DI from LFS.
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Old 02-03-2005, 12:42 PM   #13
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Maybe it is the Nitrates. . ..havent checked lately because friend borrowed testing kit and hasn't brought back , used to be at 0 though. I have about 110 lbs of LR. Tank is about 2 years old, but was moved to my care about 8 months ago.

And there I was thinking that SW wasn't bad. Never had any problems with my old 55 gal. . .maybe has to do with the type of fish now.

If these changes don't work, I will probably get rid of the damsels. . .at least the 4 small ones.

About size of puffer. . .shouldn't the fish only grow to the tank allowance, or am I retarded for thinking this? Seeing that he is always hungry. . .but really hasn't gotten bigger since I bought him.
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Old 02-03-2005, 12:44 PM   #14
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Check your nitrates asap and that will help point you in the right direction.
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Old 02-03-2005, 05:51 PM   #15
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As for additions to the tank to get rid of the algae, I continuously add hermit crabs. . .i think I have added about 40, and I think there are still about 10-15 (they are good hiders).

What about nudibrach or cucumbers? I know I can't add any other crabs. . .they will be eaten tried a light foot (eaten within 2 hours). However, I do have an anemone that have not been eaten either, actually don't even bother it.
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Old 02-03-2005, 06:13 PM   #16
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i thinkyou are feding too much
i used to feed 2times a day every day
my diatoms were outta control

i would feed every othr day
and
no more than 1 full cube
try to get one of those brine shrimp nets
put the cube in then rinse the frozen food
off till it is thawed
take a cup of tank water
add it to the cup
and using a turkey baster target feed
after a few days the fish will get accustomed to seeing the tip of the baster
and figure it is feeding time
after feeding is done they will continue to find any scraps
to munch/graze on
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Old 02-03-2005, 06:31 PM   #17
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When I do water changes and top-offs. . .I use Catalina Real Saltwater
Just be clear...when you top off, you should be using FW, not SW. Whe you do actual water changes you will want to use SW. As the water evaporates from your tank, the salt stays behind. By adding SW for top-offs you will increase your SG to a level that will "burn" your fish. They will die from this.
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Old 02-04-2005, 04:18 PM   #18
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Thank you for all your insight.

I'm going to get my testing kit back tonight and check the nitrates. Phosphates were under .3.
Mr. Puffer is just going to have to go on a diet (well no, he will resort to eating my hermit crabs). . .going to cut feeding back to 1x a day.
Installed other 2 PH, so now have 3 (now have flow from every corner).
Hopefully, this will work.

Also, how about a UV sterilizer? I found one for $50.

Thanks for the advice.
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