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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having algae problems in my FOWLR tank and was wondering if anyone had any advice. It started with the red velvety cyanobacteria covering all of my live rock. My phosphates and nitrates were a little high so I have been treating the tank with NO3 PO4 nitrate and phosphate reducer from Red Sea for the past few weeks. I have also been doing 10% water changes and sucking the algae off the rocks each week. I have seen a huge improvement in the cyanobacteria but now I am having a large hair algae problem. The tangs and blenny just are not enough to keep up with it. I have tried cutting back on feeding and time the light are on. Water is kept around 78.

yellow tang, power blue tang, hippo tang, niger trigger, male and female blue jaw trigger, porcupine puffer, starry blenny, diamond goby
only fish that is more then 3 inches is the powder who is about 4in

125 gallon, Acan LED lighting, HOB overflow box, sump, protein skimmer, chiller, 2 korallia powerheads

Any suggestions?
 

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Shark...fish are friends
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as bruzzer asked, the first question is how old the tank is. It is very normal in the first several months of the tanks life to go through "the uglies" where you are seeing a lot of different algae/cyano/diatoms until the tank matures.

Also as bruzzer asked about water source, if you are using tap water it could be the source of your problem. Tap water can have nitrates and phosphates as well as much more dangerous stuff in it... switching to a good RO/DI water could be all it takes to cure your algae issue if you are using tap water currently...
 

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on a side note, I wouldn't recommend dosing anything to try and "fix" your problems... any problem that is... by dosing stuff to fix problems you are just putting a bandaide on the problem, its better to find what is causing the issue and fix it instead of spending money on magic cures in a bottle... all that magic does is increase the instability of the tank, and instability is your enemy... the more stable your tank is the better, so its better to take a slow approach at removing the problem than a quick attack to bandaide the problem...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
System is about 8 months old. I get all my water, salt and RO, from the LFS. More of a medium depth sand bed. I was doing about 20% water changes every two weeks before the cyanobacteria but now I have been doing 10% every week while sucking the cyano directly off the rock. I use the sand sifter to clean the sand each week.
 

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when doing water changes, are you just changing the water or are you also siphoning out detritus? just changing water will do little to control nutrients, you have to go after the detritus.

do you have any areas that trap detritus that you are not cleaning regularly? filter socks, external filters, live sumps (hobby refugium).

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
when doing water changes, are you just changing the water or are you also siphoning out detritus? just changing water will do little to control nutrients, you have to go after the detritus.

do you have any areas that trap detritus that you are not cleaning regularly? filter socks, external filters, live sumps (hobby refugium).

G~
I siphon the sand every week when I change the water. I clean out and change the sock twice a week. The sump has some rock in the fuge but there is nothing growing down there. I do try to move the rock in the sump each week to break up and move anything that may be settling on them.
 

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imo, I would remove the rock from the sump. all it is doing is trapping detritus. you probably have plenty of rock in your main tank for filtration purposes. imo, keep the sump empty except for equipment, and easy to keep clean. how deep is the sand bed? how much rock is in the display?

also, have you tested the water you are getting from the lfs? ive read stories about high ppm from lfs "ro/di" water. id really suggest looking into grabbing your own ro/di. that way you can be sure that it is getting proper maintenance and generally have better quality control. plus, itll probably save you money! that is a lot of water you are buying!

what are you feeding? how often and how much?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
imo, I would remove the rock from the sump. all it is doing is trapping detritus. you probably have plenty of rock in your main tank for filtration purposes. imo, keep the sump empty except for equipment, and easy to keep clean. how deep is the sand bed? how much rock is in the display?

also, have you tested the water you are getting from the lfs? ive read stories about high ppm from lfs "ro/di" water. id really suggest looking into grabbing your own ro/di. that way you can be sure that it is getting proper maintenance and generally have better quality control. plus, itll probably save you money! that is a lot of water you are buying!

what are you feeding? how often and how much?
Sand beed is probably around 1.5-2inches. It gets turned alot between me siphoning and the diamond goby searching for food (he is a very active goby). There is 130lbs of live rock in the display(125 gallon tank).

I have never actually tested the water that I get from the LFS but use the same water for my other tank (30 gallon nano, been running for 15 months) and I haven't had a problem with that tank.

I feed frozen krill and mysis shrimp daily and seaweed every other day for the tangs. I have cut back on the seaweed to try to get them to eat the green algae.
 

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I had the same problem, cyano followed by a long HA battle, which is still winding down. Beefing up your flow can also help take care of the cyano, or even just giving the areas with it more flow. Pick out the easiest hair algae to get every day and go scrubbing with a toothbrush when you change water, as well as siphoning your sandbed. Siphon the areas near where the algae is growing the most, as that is likely where most of the organics and detritus are.
 

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that is a lot of LR in the system. are you able to get to all of the substrate surface to remove detritus? if there are areas under the LR structure that are hard to get to, these areas will collect detritus that will decompose and provide fuel for algae.

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
that is a lot of LR in the system. are you able to get to all of the substrate surface to remove detritus? if there are areas under the LR structure that are hard to get to, these areas will collect detritus that will decompose and provide fuel for algae.

G~
Its just about a pound of live rock per gallon of water. How is that too much? I am able to siphon most of the sand with no problem. But, yes, there is some sand that I am not able to get to because it is under rocks, or back in tunnels. The diamond goby does turn the top layer but probably doesn't get all of the detritus.
 
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