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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went on vacation for a week and when I got home my biocube 29 was filled with red slime. It was awful. It covered probably 80% of my rock and substrate. I had long strands of it - probably 4 - 5 inches long that spanned from my rock to the intake. This is a relatively new tank - set up 5/7/12. It currently has an emerald crab and a zoa frag. I treated it with chemiclean and turned off my skimmer. After 48 hours I did a 20% water change. When I did the water change I tried to scrub it off my rocks. ( not easy because it's hard to see when it's out of water and I couldn't scrub the largest rock because my emerald crab was hiding in it ) My nitrates are a little high 5.0 - 10. I have had trouble with the nitrates hovering just above "0" since the tank cycled.. I've removed all the bioballs in chamber 2 and replaced them with dry rock.
I get the feeling I have somehow really messed things up and I'm not too sure how to fix it.


I filled the tank with distilled water initially. (My LFS advised TAP WATER! I've gotten a lot of other poor advise from them since) I now use only RO/DI water and have been since 5/14/12.

it has:
12.5 lbs LR covered with coralline algae
10 lbs dry LR ( removed my bioballs and put about 5 lbs of this into the 2nd chamber)
biocube protein skimmer
425 gph circulation pump

* could the dry rock be the problem? The LFS told me to wash it off and put it in my tank. I scrubbed it and rinsed, and rinsed again and again. When I put it in it clouded my tank water for a couple hours.

<O:p</O:p
1 - emerald crab
1 - zoa frag

<O:p</O:p
I had a coral banded shrimp and 4 hermit crabs but one day the tank got to 85 degrees and they didn't make it... I removed everything immediately.
<O:p</O:p
I have only had my nitrates to 0 for a couple days. I am not feeding my crab but depending on him to eat the algea in my tank for food. I have done a ton of water changes - changing up to 80% at one time.
<O:p</O:p
my temp is now kept at 80 degrees. I'll get a chiller as soon as I can afford one. I felt the RO/DI unit was more important. I don't mind the tank sitting empty till I figure all this out.
<O:p</O:p
ammonia = 0
nitrite = 0
nitrate = 5.0 - 10
phosphate = 0
calcium = 460 mg/L
**PH= 8.00
<O:p>
</O:p>
<O:p</O:p
Does anyone have any suggestions that will help me on my way to having a tank that I can enjoy?
 

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It sounds like your not doing to bad.

What type of lights do you have?

Keep the skimmer running it will help remove "stuff". If it was me I would do about 20% water change while trying to get as much out as you can. then keep the lights off for a few days then do a 30% water change. I would also get another power head in there to up the flow.

Stay away from big water changes. They cause really big swings in your water chemistry. The most I would try to do at one time is maybe 40% and even that seems high to me. Everything about this hobby takes lots of time. It took me 6 months to cycle my tank and about 6 months after that till my tank was really stable.

I'm by no means an expert at this. I have only been reefing for about 1.5 years now. There are so many ppl on here that will help and have more and better info then me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I turned off the skimmer for 24 hours as directed in the chemiclean directions.

The stock biocube bulbs:
lunar blue moon glow LED lamps (2)
actinic 03 blue compact florescent lamp
10,000 daylight compact floresent
 

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Personally I would grab several turbo snails (3-4 minimum) they really helped me get rid of my algae issues. (They're pretty cheap about $3 /ea.) I wouldn't consider any more corals for another 4 months or so.

All to often people jump the gun on stocking new tanks. I did the same thing and lost several fish, been through some corals that didn't make it because the tank wasn't as ready as I was. My best advice is to tug on the (digital) ear of some of the seasoned vets in this forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice. Anyone idea why I can't get my nitrates to stay at zero when there's really nothing in the tank?
 

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I believe it will fluctuate until its completely cycled and then you risk going through small cycles when you add more rock, livestock, etc. I just added some rock in my 55 and my nitrates shot up to 10 ppm. My 29 gal jumped higher to 40 ppm when I added new rock but then again I'm not running a sump on the 29g. (just HOB filter). It'll settle and return to normal with consistent water changes and dosing. If you're just 2 months in and have the stats / levels that you posted earlier then you're doing fine. Just keep it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I put about 4 - 5 lbs of rock into chamber 2 and removed the bioballs.

Do you know if this is a good or bad idea?

Do I need to clean it out when I do my water changes?

I watched my tank cycle with just LR before I put my emerald crab and coral shrimp in it.
 

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I don't clean my fuge too often because its hard to use the hose cleaning tool. However I try to do it when I can with the fish net. I recently cleaned debris out of my third baffle to put my new skimmer in. I posted pics in my album, their kinda old but still a decent representation of what I have. I've heard of other people cleaning their sump / fuge as well. Also, I just started my 'pod population in my fuge so I probably won't be doing as much cleaning of it.
 

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Personally I would grab several turbo snails (3-4 minimum) they really helped me get rid of my algae issues. (They're pretty cheap about $3 /ea.) I wouldn't consider any more corals for another 4 months or so.

All to often people jump the gun on stocking new tanks. I did the same thing and lost several fish, been through some corals that didn't make it because the tank wasn't as ready as I was. My best advice is to tug on the (digital) ear of some of the seasoned vets in this forum.

I wouldn't get turbos for a 29g, they can get massive, once you have the algae under control they'd starve to death, heck even one turbo in a tank that big might starve to death if it's kept low nutrient without some sort of supplemental food to eat.
 

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Granted but if he has an algae issue they can get it under control then he can give all but one back to the LFS. I have a one turbo in my 29 and he's thriving. It's what I've found that worked really well.

That's just my opinion...
 

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The tank probably won't need more than 2 or three to take care of the algae problem quickly or 1 for a little longer period of time but I've tried various algae eating / terminating solutions and the turbos worked in my small tank. In my bigger (55g) tank I have 2 turbos and a LM Blenny and that works to keep any outbreaks under control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I will go get 1 turbo snail tomorrow - I've heard of them starving. Since I used the chemiclean no new red algea has appearred. I do have what looks like 1/4" high moss (???) I've had green hair algae and it doesn't look like that. I used the chemiclean Monday and did the water change Wednesday as directed. Today is Saturday and it looks pretty good ( minus the moss). Feeling a little more confident now. I appreciate the feed back. Any idea what the green moss is?
 

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Only thing I can think of is the green hair algae. I use chemi-pure elite in both of my tanks they last about 4 months. It says 4-6 months but for a reef style setup I don't go more than 4.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I believe I can and it sounds like great stuff. Will pick it up when I pick up my turbo snail. Will my snail have anything to eat then?
 

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I don't see why not... Chemi-pure is a filter bag that you put in your sump or filter as part of your filtration system. Chemi-clean is put in the tank to help get rid of algae. I haven't used chemi-clean but I have used another "red slime" reducer before with no issues.
 

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That's good to hear. I keep at least 1 in all my (2) tanks... I even have one in my fuge. I couldn't really tell the effect they were having at first then one day my large red (algae covered) rock wasn't red anymore...
 
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