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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long Post warning... 馃槀 Bear with me..I'm trying to put it all out there馃憤

Heya everyone.
Sad but true, I have been dealing with this algae problem for 3 years , had a lot going on in life as previously mentioned.
Here's where I'm at, in looking for opinions and advice.
Where I live my tap water registers @ 305 ppm.
So I've added better water filters, now the best I can get is approx 3ppm. For the last year That's as good as it's going to get here for me.
Even with that hair algae was (rampant) uncontrollable.
Deeply into everything...

If one more fish person ever tells me to " scrub rocks with a toothbrush" for I think I may lose my mind.. lol
Utterly impossible it was like a bed of velvet a quarter inch thick at the base covering everything every nook every cranny.

So..I added Two 6oz bags of Phosgard..but still didn't really curb the problem.
SO I resorted to a product called "Fritz Algea Clean Out " recommend by a aquarium service.
It has worked wonders and 90% is now gone..with alot of thick dead or dying, remaining thickly on rocks along w weekly scrubbing with very stiff brass brushes + proper maintenance it appears to be becoming exposed raw Rock again..

My phosphates we're reading acceptable in tests..
Note* ALL my live rock is 20-25 years old's been continuously in the aquarium. Knowing that this could be the phosphate problem,
I removed about 40% of the rocks and am doing a dark tank hearing process on those for the last month.... I will scrub and clean them and then put them back in when ready.
Even after the chemical treatment in one week I have noticed a fine blanket of green hair algae starting to sprout up...

SO....Here's my plan I scored a much needed nice sump (see pic) for $125 bucks from aquarium store!! It's 40" w, 22" deep and 14" tall & multiple big chambers
Furniture Table Tableware Wood Rectangle

On advice, I'm going to do a Algae refugium.. I've never done one.

So with the following you folks think it will combat or stop the main tank from rapid growth...

I basically have No corals @ this time.
Only 1 fish, my Flame Hawk

1.) 120 GAL main tank.
2.) 35 gal sump.
3.) Refugium
4.) Phosgard
5.) Bubble Magnus skimmer.
6.) Cleaning crew hermits / snails.
Standard filter sock.

I can't win the algae battle the way I've been I'm asking you all if you think, this looks as if it has prospects. The aquarium store is promoting the refugium as "the way".
I just want my tank back, so I can bring it back to it's former glory....
Lemme know waddaya think

8,949 Posts
Could work never tried it. In principle it seems sound.
Did you try or consider carbon dosing? It is s good way to get nutrients down and if you continue it after the algae is gone it will deal with the nutrients leaching from the rock.

20,524 Posts
I know 'This battle', and I came out the other side......It can be won.
I had a 210 gallon 'softies' tank, and after about a year, it looked like a Turf Farm......thickest, full GHA you'd ever want to see......or NOT SEE!

Did the 'scrubbing n pulling' thing, but at a certain point you go way past THAT working. At my wits end....not really, it's only a hobby, but to keep a tank going I tried 'CARBON DOSING'......a game changer!

WARNING......take no short cuts, and follow this methodically.....and won't happen 'over night' but will do the trick.

Water Cloud Underwater Plant Landscape

Grass Terrestrial plant Underwater Marine biology Water

Plant Landscape Grass Coral Underwater

Food Ingredient Finger Natural material Cuisine

Yeah, it was UGLY!

I came out the 'other side'.....
Water Blue Pet supply Organism Fish supply

Water Plant Natural environment Underwater Organism

Water Vertebrate Blue Green Organism

Water Blue Light Pet supply Fluid

'Full tank shots' were pretty much impossible due to the size of the room, and the size of my tank.....but this isn't no 'trick photography'....I ain't that smart. ;)

The carbon dosing process, and I used the 40 proof vodka, Fleischmann's vodka to be precise, nice n cheap......may take MONTHS to achieve your goal, but you will. It's a SLOW n STEADY approach, and you won't even realize it in the beginning......just keep doing your part, tank maintenance, glass cleaning......never hurt to pull out clumps while you're there anyway, but not necessary. And before you even know it, it will happen......GHA dies off......suck it out during your weekly maintenance, go about enjoying your tank.

Keep meticulous records, and go back and short cuts. You will eventually get to the point where you just do 'maintenance dosing', and at that point 'automation' is a huge benefit.....a syringe gets old after a while and a dosing pump becomes a no brainer.
I continued dosing for over 4 years as a part of my reef keeping.....I'm a lazy reefer, and water changes were scarce with me.....not regular, and certainly not OFTEN. A 210 gallon tank would take a lot.......a larger tank is a good candidate for dosing just for THAT reason.

Your Nitrate and Phosphate levels will remain VERY LOW, and it's good to try and NOT HIT ZERO with your NO3, that can open a whole new can of worms. I maintained <5 >0ppm for for the life of my tank after being over 80ppm and steadily climbing.

If you see your numbers creeping back up out of 'forgetting' to keep up with your maintenance, it's only a matter of increasing your dosage again till your back on will work for you.

Keep this LINK will find you go to it a lot over the years. Either for your own benefit or to help others.

The best of luck to you,


I changed directions with my reefing journey this past winter and have switched to a 'Fragging' set up, so have not been dosing.......IF I EVER NEED TO AGAIN I won't hesitate for a second.
Purple Gas Pet supply Electric blue Event


20,524 Posts
Wish you all the best, and PLEASE keep us in the loop if you need anything......we're picture crazy round here as well.....just saying. 馃榿
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