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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Okay from well over 13 years my wife used phosphate bags in the filter socks. Our tank rivaled within readon virtually most any soft Coral tank in most stores.
She always said, KISS "keep it simple stupid" & "we don't need all the industry pushed tech" , We can do it for far less $ "..Well like any aquarium hobbyist we all experience pitfalls but, she was mostly always right.

So this week I thought I would be "smart" and improve upon what she always did & I ordered sponges,fittings, a pump and hooked up a used Phosban 550 filter I got from a friend. ( Whom got rid of it) 1st clue!
1st:the pump
2nd: Two more hoses in very limited space.
3rd: Just try to get the damned sponges, filter disks on straight...all while trying to keep the stupid vertical tube from popping out of the lower fitting.
NO THANKS! It's now out in the yard awaiting the F-ing trash bin..Frustrated us a understatement!
Screw that thing!


Are there any easier reactors out there? With less crude fitting parts?
Is a canister filter a decent option?
Or do I just go back to what's always delivered darned good results..and w fine media bags dropped into the water flow filter socks.
I was just trying to improve the darned thing, not deal with a device that totals over 15 pcs to function.. after fiddling...

Since she passed, I've struggled w the tank, for the last 3 years, it's just a shadow of it's former self...I'd like to regain the good results.
I know it requires alot of work & TIME.
A reef tank, is a luxury that's for sure....:rolleyes:

Lemme know, I'd like to keep it cheap & simple as
Green Purple Water Pet supply Underwater

This was the tank 12 years as follows
1.) Just a sump &1 filterbag.
2.) 1 bag of Chemipure, bi-mon.
3.) 1 bag of Phoszorb, bi-mon.
4.) Monthly 25% waterchange w basic Rev Osm H2o
5.) Where things get different is the daily cleaning she could devote a half hour a day or more to the tank where I cannot...

Any hints, appreciated..time savers ,schedules,rules to live

Thanks in advance

8,887 Posts
A protein skimmer should help.
Going back to worked before is definitely worth considering.
I assume you are testing the water for phosphates regularly. It may bethat you need to change the chemicals more frequently.

19,979 Posts
Dave good to hear from Ya, and glad to hear you're still reefing.

I am soooo behind the 'KISS' movement myself, and as a fellow 'softies' keepers THAT'S what works for me.

Or do I just go back to what's always delivered darned good results..and w fine media bags dropped into the water flow filter socks.
I like this worked for your system....something you were comfortable with......and no extra plugs, fittings, or moving parts.

What are your major 'problems or battle' you're now facing?

10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Green hair algae....

Here is what I have been doing....wrong
0.) FYI ...I lost all my fish & almost all corals the 1st month I moved 3.5 years ago.
It was a combination of a difficult move not being able to properly set up a tank for 2 weeks , and poor water quality where I moved very high minerals very high phosphates TS meter I believe was in the 600s. For tap water. Now it reads 3-6 on average after filtering. I'm still not sure exactly what happened? But it took out 90% everything in the tank. Still baffled and saddened at what happened.

1.) I use a reverse osmosis water.
2.) I have a decent protein skimmer.
Two fine micron filter bags.
20 gal a month water change on a 120 cube.
ONLY surviving fish, gas been my Mr. or Mrs Flame Hawk..My buddy's been w me 9-10 years now.
Without a phosphate reading that was alarming the local stores said it's perfectly fine water quality.
I have not been using any chemicals.... I had a massive algae bloom due to the poor water quality and getting my filters in the purification system working correctly which has receded immensely however we think there was just so much algae at one point that the tank just can't get rid of it all.

One thing to note is I have probably 125 lb of live rock? All this live rock is 20+ years old..yep that's correct. 20+ years this basic tank has been running the same rock🤪

So as of this week Ive put in half a pint of Phosguard in the filter sock, in a zip media bag.
And I have added four circulation power heads I have not had the power heads in since I moved.
I may add some phos free carbon? But I've never used it before.... Perhaps I'll do it intermittently?.

I'm going to run with this recipe let's say for the next 4 or 5 weeks and see if we can strip the green algae out of this tank.
I also have an older 36-in overhead LED fixture has like 40 bulbs in it..
I it's not the best light fixture in the world as we bought it about 10 years ago.... Something green......... From Canada if I recall.
I will buy a new modern one if I can get this tank back to where she was.

So now I have
circulation in the tank.
Protein skimmer
Monthly 30 gallon Water changes w Instant ocean reef crystals.

I'm thinking about adding a basic snail crab cleaning crew start small maybe with 25?

Open suggestions and guidance.

19,979 Posts

BIG YES to adding a nice size CUC including some algae eating fish like Yellow Tangs, and Lawnmower Blennies, and even a Sea Hare.

BEST ADVICE I ever read, and had stopped me from throwing in the towel at the beginning of my journey.
And the take a way that will forever stick with me is, 'DON'T PANIC', and 'IT'S A WAR YOU CAN WIN'.

Plant Landscape Grass Coral Underwater

My first year, and YES......I was panicked! My 210 gal. full of GHA, getting worse by the seemed.

Food Finger Ingredient Cuisine Rectangle

Stuff I'd yank out EVERY DAY!

That thread of FutureDoc's was the turning point in the hobby for me.......Most 'advice seemed academic, and a little shame on you for getting algae in your tanks' for me. THIS never made me feel like a failure, and that this is normal.....and WE CAN DO THIS!

Now with this frame of mind set in my brain, and following it by manually removing and scrubbing, and not getting frustrated, I also looked into and began my CARBON DOSING REGIME.
("I am notorious for breaking computers, and loosing all my starred threads, and I really have to dig for past references....")

I followed it to the 'T', never rushed it, never second guessed it.....followed it EXACTLY. It took time, but before I knew it algae was dieing off, nutrient levels went down, and I was able to control at what level I wanted them to be at. I stayed with this for 7 years.....longer than anyone I could confirm had done.
****A lot of information will tell you HOW TO DO THIS.....but there's NONE out there about 'WHAT DO I DO NOW'. Now that your system is at , and staying happy and running smooth. I just stayed with my 'maintenance dose' that I achieved, and kept rolling along.

In the beginning I did this 'manually' for the first couple years....a syringe, and a shot glass and my trusty bottle of 80 proof Smirnoff's vodka. Then I eventually forced myself into the 21st century, as I am a confirmed dinosaur, and got a dosing pump.....truly out of sight out of mind! (y)

I am the laziest, least intelligent reefer you'll ever meet, and I have been algae free for 7+years. I intentionally keep my system at >than 0, and <than 5ppm NO3......because I've found when keeping it at ZERO there was another can of worms that could be opened.

Since this past January I took down my 210 display tank, and moved into a FRAG operation down in my cellar. My Wife needed some extra room in our home, so the cellar is perfect for me now. THAT'S a whole new ball game.

I have my dosing pump all set up, but haven't had to use it with this new set up.....but if I ever do, I shan't hesitate.
I don't recommend carbon dosing to everyone......most are looking for 'quick fixes'. But those that have been around for the long term and have fought this battle before, I do mention it as a valuable tool.
All the best,

Super Moderator
Fry Daddy! Multiple tanks, reef, seahorse
28,551 Posts
We have all been down this road at some point. A healthy tank grow algae, it can be managed. I remember when in my early days I was excited over it that a aptasia before we knew the harm aptasia was to other things in the tank.
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