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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I have a 100gl fish only with almost 200lbs of live rock, about 3" of crushed substrate, 4x96w PC lighting and a 33gl sump system with a biotower wetdry filled with live rock rubble, a TF1000 skimmer and another 20lbs or so "wall" of live rock rubble prior to the return pump chamber.

The tank is home to a 4" yellow tang, a 4" starry trigger, a 12" snowflake eel, a 4" clarkii, a 3" orchid dottyback, a 4" lunaire wrasse, a medium sized sebae anemone and 3 small damsels.

I feed once every 2-3 days a mixture of frozen squid, brine, freeze dried krill, silversides and a sheet of seaweed stuff here and there. I do 10+% water changes every week and I am STILL battling nitrates in the 50PPM range consistently and have nasty algae problems. Green hair algae EVERYWHERE and the red slime outbreak is getting bad too.

What else can I do to help with the nitrate issues and the algae? Do I need to start growing algae in my sump or something? I don't want to starve the fish by cutting down feedings even more.
 

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How do you prepare your frozen, do you rinse in RO before feeding ? Food is most likely to majority of the phosphate issues. Are you using RO and/or DI water ? No mention of it in your post. This can contribute but usually not a significant portion unless your using tap.

With as much rock as you have in the show tank, I question the need for the rock in the bio tower especially if it is being exposed to air.

When you do your water change, do you also siphon the substrate ? Getting rid of the detritus before it is broken down is a plus.

Throwing some macro in the sump with a daylight is probably one of the easiest/cheapest things you can do and see what happens. I was quite suprised on my little nano how big of a difference that made on the little tank ( no skimmer ).

Any detectable phosphates is not going to help. Maco algae will help deplete. I'd avoid phosphate reactors and media untill all other options are exhausted.

Keeping PH up, ALK and CA up is also going to help by encouraging coraline algae to out compete the others. If your not currently supplementing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
RO/DI water is all I use. I take a cup of the tank water and melt the frozen cubes in it and then use a turkey baster to feed the fish so, no I don't rinse, I'll start doing that. I'll also take all of the live rock out of the sump and biotower and see if that makes a difference. When I do a water change, I stir up all of the algae and try to sipon as much as I can and I siphon all of the substrate I can get to but the entire back of the tank is inaccessible so I'm sure there is some nasty crud back there... not sure what to do about that? Yeah, I had a few snails in the tank but they didn't last long with the trigger.
 

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For the areas you can't reach with a siphon hose. Stir it up by using a Turkey baster and blow/move the sand around in the back areas. I always see a nice cloud of nasty brown water puff up from the back when I do that.

Sounds like growing macro algae in addition to your current practices ( including removing the rock in the sump ) is going to be your best bet. You can leave just a little rock for the macro to attach too. There are plenty of threads on using cheap daylight pc bulbs to grow it. Can make the maco compartment from eggcrate and window screening to help contain it.
 

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grab the n:vision bulbs from home depot. I don't recall the color of the package. Blue possibly, but the color rating is printed on the back. I have 3 of the 6500K's on my fuge and my macro grows like mad. I toss out a 5 gallon bucket of macro every 3 months or so. 2 bulbs are on 24/7 and the third alternates with my tank lights.
 

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It's been up for about 2 months or so but the bio load was low until maybe a month ago.
I would suspect your recent increase in the bio-load is responsible for the algae/bacteria breakout. As others have mentioned, the tank is likely still cycling. With proper water management (RO/DI water changes, efficient skimming, proper feeding techniques, etc.) your worrisome condition should, sooner or later, become a thing of the past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
raising the water flow permanently solved my issues with it .


I only have 2 MJ1200's in there right now for flow plus the overflow/return system. Maybe I need some MJmods for them? ;)

My nitrates have been slowly coming down now and are in a more managable 10-20PPM range. The tank inhabitants are messy eaters so I doubt I will ever have 0PPM Nitrates but if I can get it under 10, I'll be happy.

I left a pile of rubble in the biotower to cut down on the noise. When I removed all of the material, the water was falling about 8" and making a racket. The red slime appears to be gone for the most part but every exposed surface of every rock is covered in green hair. Grrr... DIE! DIE! DIE!
 

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i support the use of a fuge. helps produce pods as well.

increase flow in the display tank should also help.

crushed substrate could be an issue as well, i use crushed coral now and will be useing sand in the next setup. i also have bad hair algae.
 

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I only have 2 MJ1200's in there right now for flow plus the overflow/return system.
I had 4 mj 1200's on my 90 and had patches of cyano . when i built the first two DYI modded MJ's and put them on it was all gone in 2 days and i never saw it again. Kinda interesting to see instant positive results from the higher flow. Don't necessarily need modded MJ's there are lots of high flow pumps available : )
 

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I had a similiar situation a few years back.

I boosted the efficiency of the TF1000 by adding an airpump to the air intake...this produced lots more bubbles and boosted skimming a ton.

Secondly, I started using rowaphos.

Thirdly, I installed a remote deep sand bed.

Lastly, I picked up an ORP meter and watched over a 2 month period the value rise from 178 to 400.

At the same time the hair algae vanished.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok, the battle wages on and I am just about at wits end. This weekend I was fed up. I took all 200lbs of the live rock out, did a thorough siphon of the substrate and a 40% water change. I scrubbed each and every rock clean of algae and redid all my rock work. I attached an air pump to the TF1000 to boost skimming, removed all rock from the sump except for the rubble in the wet dry which cuts down on the splash noise far too much to be removed. I added 2 more layers of filter pad and carbon to the waterpath through the sump. I also added 2 more MJ1200's for a total of 4 now in the show tank. I mounted a single flourescent bulb above the sump so I can attempt to grow some chaeto or something down there.

I am going to continue manually removing algae colonies as they pop up but if this doesn't take care of the issue, I'm not sure what else I can do at this point.

Frustrating!
 

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I would say let it cycle and keep the calcium up. That will minize the phosphate and promote coralline growth which will out -compete with the HA ver time. Also leave the LR In the tank. I would also consider a larger skimmer if can budget it, otherwise keep up with the water changes.
 

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Oh if ypou are running a wet dry dont yuse bio-balls!! That could be the reason for the high nitrates. THe aerobic respiration of the bacteria on the ball will tun ammonia inot nitrate and the nitrate will biuld up.
 
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