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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all, it's been a little while since my last post which was also regarding my algae. I put a lot of work into getting new equipment and everything and here I am 3 months later still with lots of algae... My tank is a CoralLife 29 gallon biocube. I have a FO tank (and a lot of algae) I would however like to get coral but I want to get rid of my algae first. My fish are: black and gold damsel, kupang damsel, clownfish, and bengai cardinal. I would also like to maybe get 1 or 2 more fish or even selling some and getting some other fish instead. I have 2 shrimp, 1 emerald crab, and 1 zebra hermit. My tank has been running since late December 2013. I am looking for any suggestions as to getting rid of the algae it is very discouraging and I would love to just have a beautiful tank :) . I attached some pictures of all the algae. One other thing: what do you guys think about turning off the lights for 2 days?


 

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What's your maintenance schedule and routine? How much flow do you have? How much do you feed and how often? Water source?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What's your maintenance schedule and routine? How much flow do you have? How much do you feed and how often? Water source?
Haha sorry I forgot that I meant to mention that. I do a 10L water change every week. I have nothing to increase flow but I do have the return facing up so the water on top does ripple a fair bit and has some texture. I feed every night. I use RODI water.
 

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Do you siphon your sand or blow out your rocks? This is the main detritus removal method. If you don't then both the sand and rocks are binding with available nutrients meaning when you do get your tank clean and have no available detritus floating or settling around your tank then those stored nutrients are going to be leeched back into the water column further fueling your algae until the bacteria purge the rock and sand of the excess nutrients which in a running system could take months and even into a year or more.
 

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Do you use a skimmer? With low flow waste will just sit on the rocks and in the sand and fuel your algae. You should pick up a powerhead and a skimmer if you're not using one. A skimmer isn't a necessity in that size tank but will help. As Phane said, you should also be blowing off your rocks and siphoning your sand with each water change. Just changing the water doesn't do much. I'd up your water changes to 10 gallons a week, blowing off the rocks and siphoning the sand, lessen your light schedule and your feeding until things get under control.
 

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+ to all above
skimmer would help, putting gfo in would help, feeding less would help, less light schedule would help as well as a 2-3 day lights off period
If you do that, however, have something to collect the phosphate thats released like GFO, or it will just go back into the rock and sand, fuel your next outbreak
Need to EXPORT, take a few bad pieces of rock out and scrub them clear of algae, get medieval on it!!
 

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Looks like you havent stirred up and cleaned that sand for a long time, skim off that junk with your next water change...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Do you siphon your sand or blow out your rocks? This is the main detritus removal method. If you don't then both the sand and rocks are binding with available nutrients meaning when you do get your tank clean and have no available detritus floating or settling around your tank then those stored nutrients are going to be leeched back into the water column further fueling your algae until the bacteria purge the rock and sand of the excess nutrients which in a running system could take months and even into a year or more.
I do not blow out the rocks. I am doing a WC tonight so I will make sure to do that tonight
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Do you use a skimmer? With low flow waste will just sit on the rocks and in the sand and fuel your algae. You should pick up a powerhead and a skimmer if you're not using one. A skimmer isn't a necessity in that size tank but will help. As Phane said, you should also be blowing off your rocks and siphoning your sand with each water change. Just changing the water doesn't do much. I'd up your water changes to 10 gallons a week, blowing off the rocks and siphoning the sand, lessen your light schedule and your feeding until things get under control.
No skimmer. What powerhead(s) would you recommend? I will try to up my WC but I'm not sure I will be able to for the time being
 

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Discussion Starter #10
+ to all above
skimmer would help, putting gfo in would help, feeding less would help, less light schedule would help as well as a 2-3 day lights off period
If you do that, however, have something to collect the phosphate thats released like GFO, or it will just go back into the rock and sand, fuel your next outbreak
Need to EXPORT, take a few bad pieces of rock out and scrub them clear of algae, get medieval on it!!
I have the media shelf from Intank ( http://www.shop.mediabaskets.com/Coralife-Biocube-29-Media-Basket-CL29MR.htm ) and I have Filter floss, Chemi-Pure elite, and Seachem purigen in it. Is that enough if I want to turn off lights? And as far as scrubbing the rocks... Do I just take one out while I'm doing a WC and just scrub it lol? What do i scrub it with? Do i have to be careful of anything?
 

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you could just have extremely high nutrient filled water... are you using a ro/di unit or ro/di water???

Phosphates???

turning the lights off will get rid of the algae, but it will just come back as soon as the lights come back on... got to get to the root of the issue.. which is phosphates and high nutrients/waste.
 

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You said you use RODI water - do you make it yourself or buy it? Do you have a TDS meter? Unless you make it yourself and test it you really have no idea if its 0 TDS or not. What are you feeding and how much of it each night?

That's a pretty bad algae problem and I'd be surprised if the water going in was actually pure.
 

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+1 to everything above.

But how long do you leave your lights on per day? Also, from photograph I see a large window behind your tank. Does tank get a lot of sunlight as well?
 

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Depends what kind of corals you'll eventually want as to ehich powerheads to go with. Lowest I'd go is two of the Koralia 425s.

You can try scrubbing with a toothbrush. If it's stubborn and thats not working pick up a stiffer bristled cleaning brush.

Definitely start blowing off your rocks each water change. All that waste is just soaking into them and feeding the algae.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You said you use RODI water - do you make it yourself or buy it? Do you have a TDS meter? Unless you make it yourself and test it you really have no idea if its 0 TDS or not. What are you feeding and how much of it each night?

That's a pretty bad algae problem and I'd be surprised if the water going in was actually pure.
I do buy the water... I don't make it myself. No TDS meter. But with the TDS meter don't you calibrate it with RODI water so I how could I actually use one?... I feed frozen mysis shrimp and flakes. Every other night I feed flakes AND a tiny bit of frozen food and the other days I ONLY feed frozen food.
 

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Reef Junkie
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I do buy the water... I don't make it myself. No TDS meter. But with the TDS meter don't you calibrate it with RODI water so I how could I actually use one?... I feed frozen mysis shrimp and flakes. Every other night I feed flakes AND a tiny bit of frozen food and the other days I ONLY feed frozen food.
No - you calibrate with calibration fluid. They come factory calibrated and should be checked about once a year. Calibrating with water is a no no.
 

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Oh ok thank you any TDS meters you recommend or are any fine?
The HM Digitals are very popular and reasonably priced. Mine is the HM Digital ZT-2. Didn't cost more than $20 or $30 if I recall. The calibration fluid was like $6 from BRS but it's only good for 6 months once opened.

Speaking of which - if anyone needs to calibrate theirs I can let ya have it for the cost of shipping the little bottle. It'll expire before I'll need to use it again.
 
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