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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been battling green algea in my 40 gal reef since I set it up 9 months ago. The red slime went away, and I am left with green algea covering everything, it took over my polyps and my bubble coral which haven't opened up in over a month. I had a fluval filter and an over the side skimmer at first. I am detecting no phosphates or nitrates, and my LFS suggested I remove the fluval and the substrate and increase the air and water flow through the skimmer which I did.(haven't got all the substrate yet) I also took all the live rock out and gently removed the algea in a tub of tank water. The tank looked great for a week, and I am back to a big fat hairy green mess. The only happy creatures are my green brain and 2 cleaner shrimp. Any suggestions besides opening the back door and tossing it? Also, how do I know when to give up on the bubble and polyp? Maybe they're dead and feeding the algea?
 

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if your stuff is dying it feeds the algae. I would vote for a cleanup crew to eat the algae.
 

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Good morning pi sees,

Are you using RO/DI water?

What and how much are you feeding?

Bioload?

What type of substrate?

Maintenance routine?

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I use RO water, 30% changes / month, I haven't got the algea problem under control long enough to put fish in so there are 2 cleaner shrimp only. Had a dozen snails, but they couldn't keep up and eventually died off. The substrate is crushed coral which I am removing over time. I keep the salinity a little high, 1.027, and I switched from Red Sea to Tropic Marin salt. I am adding B-Ionic to keep calc at about 400. I have a 90 gal fish only that I use the same water and salt in (lower salinity 1.021), and that tank is fine. I'm thinking of switching salt brands, and removing the bubble and polyp assuming they are dead and feeding the algea. My LFS didn't believe there were no phosphates or nitrates until I brought them a sample. Thoughts?
 

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You mentioned using RO water,,,in addition to checking to make sure you RO is producing good water(old membrane/filters),,using a DI filter on the end of your RO will likely help. There are some units out there that just attach after the RO output,,
I would get your RO water tested,most water filter type companies will test your water(I think legally they have to for free)just take in a RO sample, tell them it's tap water ,:rolleyes: ;) , and they will probably try really hard to point out something wrong with your water , to try to sell you something,,,,
at least you might find out the true quality of your water,,,

Ditto on feeding, slow down for now,,,,

Also, remove anything you think might be feeding the algae,and crudding out the water params....

Keep on the water changes ,,and stick with one brand of salt,,,,

Good luck, keep us posted,,,,
 

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pi

Unfortunately you have to have phosphates in order to be having this problem. The algae is just eating it up before it's testable in the water.

I would do one of two things.

Since you don't have corals to worry about. I would remove the rocks, clean them again. Remove the gravel, it's probably full from the detritus that came from the rocks. Then "cook" the rocks. Which is keeping the rocks in the dark and let bacteria clean them up. And either go barebottom, or establish a DSB - depending of what you have planned for the tank.

OR - I would put in a ton of astreas and let them harvest the algae for you. Astreas eat like cows. They will mow the hair down fairly fast but - like cows - they don't digest their food very well. Put in about 3 ceriths to each astrea. Ceriths will eat the astrea poop and convert it into something the skimmer can take out.

About 50 astreas and 150 ceriths should do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the input. 3 questions: 1- When "cooking the rocks, do you mean leave them in the tank and cover the tank with the lights off, or do you mean leaving them outside the tank in a damp plastic container or something? Also how long do you "cook" them? 2: If I put in the astrea and ceriths, what happens to them when the algea is gone? 3: How do I know if the bubble and polyp are dead, should I just assume they are after not opening for a month and yank 'em? Thanks again!
 

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pi

1. You want them in water, aerated, in the dark - so the clean up process becomes bacterial driven - not algae driven. Bacteria will produce detritus that you can remove. Light will produce algae like you have now.

2. I think people have been misled as to how much food these critters really need. As they clean the tank they will either become less active, or more efficient at eating what they do find.
 

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Ditto what spanky said. I don't think phosphates make it into the water column, bacteria capture them very quickly. I've got a couple of tanks that share water between them and algae and esp cyno blooms only happen in the tank with a death or overfeed.
If the corals are dead you will be able to see the ribs of the skelton or some flesh hanging lose.
What kind of skimate are you getting? If the skimmers not doing its job the other stuff isn't going to help.
Either way don't give up. Sometimes ya just have to wait it out and let the tank stablize.
 
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