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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well my tank has been set up about a month now and I need to get rid of 2 algae problems.
issue #1 The tank was purchased used and was set up when I bought it. At the time of purchase it was full of green hair algae. When I got it home I brushed each rock and cleaned each rock before I put it in the tank but it just came back like it was.

I have reduced my light timers but have a question about that... what is a good light timing schedual? I have 2 250w halides, 2 blue and 2 sun compacts all on seperate timers now. Anyone have a succecfull schedual for this set up?

I have been blowing off the rock and skimming, doing water changes with no luck. I bought a lawn mower blenny but he wont eat anything off the rocks and just waits at the front of the tank to get fed.
Is there anything that will kill hair algae completely?

Issue #2 - Red pwder type algae. I have had a red algae on my rocks sand and walls since I set the tank up. I read about phos but it has and is at 0. I have also fed my fish formula 1 food in small portions once per day and remove any left over food.
I have been told to remove some of the sand from the tank and that would help. Currently there is about 2 inches of live sand in the tank that has been being syphoned twice per week.
I bought a urchin last week to help clean and he cleaned about half the sand in the first night untill he stopped, in the morning he was dead and had lost all his spines (.

Tank - 120 gallons
1 - anthius (?) male
1 - anthius female
1 - large maroon clown w/ 2 anenomes
3 - blue chromis
1 - large blue tang
maintance crew
1 - jumbo cleaner shimp
1 - 6 stiped wrassp
1 - lawn mower blenny

If anyone can send advice my way it would be helpfull, the water perameters are all good, I test daily and the LFS test my water weekly as a double check untill I get this under control.
 

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Reef Nut
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Phosphate test kits won't show the actual numbers because the phosphate is bound by the the algae. You need to cook the rock (see 'how to cook rock' in the Substrate free tank husbandry section). The rock is already full of phosphates from the prior owner and you need to get that out before you can use if effectively in your tank. If you don't it will just keep leeching phosphate and the algae will never go away. The red stuff is probably cyano, same issue, it's from the phosphates in the rock. Cooking rock is a real pain because of the amount of time it takes, but imo your only other choice is to toss it and buy new rock. (If you do, you should toss the sand too, if it was in the same tank before you got it.)
 

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IME a sea hare will eat every last piece of HA in a tank. Once it's all gone you will need to find someone, or a LFS, that will take him though, because he will starve without the algae to eat.

Your Phos only reads 0 because the algae are consuming it. If you have lots of HA, you have Phos. Do you use RO/DI water or tap water?

As for lighting...I would run the MH about 8 hours and the others in some combo for 12 hours.

Lastly, how old was this tank when you inherited it and all it's algae. Generally speaking moving a sand bed is a bad idea. Moving a tank is a perfect time to replace the sand. It sounds like maybe the sand is "full" of junk and needs replacing.

Oh, can you give us some specific numbers on params...I've seen lots of times where the LFS says it's all good, but something is out of whack...What are the last set of numbers you tested?
 

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Like mentioned above....you will have to Remove/replace the sand, and Cook the rock. If you wanted to do this while leaving the tank running you could suck ALL of the sand out and go bare bottom. Then remove 25% or so of the rock and cook it. Put that rock back in when it is cooked and pull another 25% and cook that. Do that until all the rock is cooked and clean. You will also have to be diligent still at blowing of the cooked rock when it goes back in your tank so it doesn't get full of crap again. And keep up the skimming and water changes.

Also I see you have nothing in your tank that really NEEDS MH lighting, so you could just run the PC lighting until you have everything under control. That should help alot.
 

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Yea I was just looking at that (need for MH)...the nems will need high light, otherwise it appears to only be fish and a few CUC inverts. Do you know what kind of nems you have?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The tank is about 9 months old now and yes the sand came with it. I will try and get a picture of it posted. The hair algae is on about half the rock (maybe less) and is about 1/8 inch up to 1/4 inch is a couple places.
I would hate to have to "cook" all the rock even though there is not much in the tank. The issue I would have is most are fairly large pieces and would have to do one at a time and one peice I dont think would fit, its larger than a turkey !
Does cooking take of all the nice coraline algea (spelling)?

As far as the MH I do have a few mushrooms and planing on only adding more rock and corals from this point, no more fish.
 

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When you cook LR it comes out pretty much white...but in a tank with good params it will come back quick...I just set up my 125 with rock and sand from an established tank and the back glass is already 1/2 covered with coraline in just 5 weeks.
 

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Oh...when you say nine months, is that 9 months old since you got it, or 9 months since is was first set up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Tank is 9 months old, I have had it for about 4 weeks now. I got a pink urchin in the tank now and he is moving across the rock and not leaving anything behind. I am planning on about 100+ of rock so maybe when I do that I can cook the one I have.

Thinking of removing the sand, people have told me that sand is bad? I have about 3 inches in 120 gallon. any thoughts on this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have a question after reading the Cooking threads... so cooking is not done in the oven but why isnt it? In my industry we use high temps to eleminate bacteria and living organisism. If nothing is alive in the rock when you done anyways the why not? I know there must be a reason so Im curious to find out.
 

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I have a question after reading the Cooking threads... so cooking is not done in the oven but why isnt it? In my industry we use high temps to eleminate bacteria and living organisism. If nothing is alive in the rock when you done anyways the why not? I know there must be a reason so Im curious to find out.
the term cooking is misleading.
It is a term used to describe the removal of phosphate, most organic, and inorganic life from rocks. Leaving the rock pest, and algae free and with a small amount of benefitual bacteria. when this rock is added to the tank it wont cause a large nitrite or ammonia spike
If you put it in the oven and Bake it (wonder how it would smell), besides pissing of your wife, It will kill everything including benefitual bacteria in the rock. If you put it in your tank afterward it will create a large ammonia and/or nitrite spike that could kill everything in your tank. expecially since you only have big pieces of rock i wouldnt do it. Cooking is a slow process will take MONTHS. This is a hobby of patients

YOU NEED A CLEAN UP CREW ASAP

If all you have is one turbo snail you need to get that first.
many snails
hermit crabs if you like
I have 10 turbos' 20 nirite 20 limpets 20 Nassarius Snail 20 Stocky Cerith Snail and 8 or so Trochus Snail in my 110 gallon
Then I have 10 blue hermits and 5 scarlet reef hermits
And the bad thing is that I think I need MORE!!!!

You still have a pretty young tank so it is normal for them to go threw cycles of algae.
I had a patch of har algae in my tank about 3 inches long at one point. (before I knew better)

I am surprised your tang doesnt eat the hair.
I would recomend adding another tang but if the one you have is large then it is probably very territorial and will fight any other tang.
When I had a problem I bought a yellow tang and my hair algae was gone in 3 days.
BUT YOU FIRST STEP NEEDS TO BE CLEAN UP CREW
 

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I have a question after reading the Cooking threads... so cooking is not done in the oven but why isnt it? In my industry we use high temps to eleminate bacteria and living organisism. If nothing is alive in the rock when you done anyways the why not? I know there must be a reason so Im curious to find out.
WHy would you spend all of that money on live rock only to kill everything off in an oven or autoclave?
 

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Reef Nut
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You need to get the phosphates out of the rock that have saturated it. It will eventually seep out, but that is the reason it takes so long. If you are buying new rock you don't wan to add it to the existing rock because it will start soaking up the phosphates, too. Either 'cook' or more accurately, 'purge' the rock you have 50% at a time (so you never have the old rock and the good rock together) or add new rock and take out all of the opold rock to cook at one time. Most people just cook it in large rubbermaid containers or garbage cans.
 

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Telly said this is a hobby of 'patients', and (maybe?) meant 'patience', but patients might actually be more correct! Everybody who is spending time and $ enough on this hobbby to be sitting at their computers talking about algae and rock cooking probably should be patients somewhere - lol!
 

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YOU NEED A CLEAN UP CREW ASAP

If all you have is one turbo snail you need to get that first.
many snails
hermit crabs if you like
I have 10 turbos' 20 nirite 20 limpets 20 Nassarius Snail 20 Stocky Cerith Snail and 8 or so Trochus Snail in my 110 gallon
Then I have 10 blue hermits and 5 scarlet reef hermits
And the bad thing is that I think I need MORE!!!!

You still have a pretty young tank so it is normal for them to go threw cycles of algae.
I had a patch of har algae in my tank about 3 inches long at one point. (before I knew better)

I am surprised your tang doesnt eat the hair.
I would recomend adding another tang but if the one you have is large then it is probably very territorial and will fight any other tang.
When I had a problem I bought a yellow tang and my hair algae was gone in 3 days.
BUT YOU FIRST STEP NEEDS TO BE CLEAN UP CREW
:agree:

I'd get some Nasarius Snails to clean up the sand (about 50-100)
some small hermits to take care of the rocks (50-100)
some cerith snails to take care of the rest (50-100)

this "crew" will need to be replaced every 1-2 years
 
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