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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for suggestions ladies and gentleman...

I am just getting into the saltwater game and am new to the hobby. have a 125 gallon reef tank. I continue to have this red slime algae and it is getting worse and worse. I have just recently bought some new chemical media filter pads for my wet dry in order to help curb the problem. I have a protein skimmer, and to be honest i probably dont empty it like i i should, which i don't know if that would help cause in increase in phosphates or not. And from what I have heard, it is the Phosphate levels of 2.5ppm that is the problem. I have also recently bought some phosphate remover. I am only running my day lights about 5 hours a day for the last few months. All of my water is ran through an RO/DI filter, and fed through a drip system. I can't seem to get rid of it it and it is starting to get worse? Am I heading in the right direction guys or am i way off base here? What would you sugest I do?

Appreciate the feedback!
 

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Cyano bacteria likes nitrates and phosphates so an elevated level of either can cause it to spread. If you know you have 2.5ppm of phosphates I would go with that being the problem.

The question is then where are the phosphates coming from? Often it's from the type of food or from overfeeding. Can you tell us a little about that?

Also, how many fish do you have in the tank and what kind of substrate do you have?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First off, thanks for the reponse Chad, really appreciate the help. I don't think it can be from over feeding because I only have one mandarin goby in there and I do not feed him. He eats of of the live rock naturally. He is the only fish in the tank for now. My substrate is live sand and is about 1 - 1 1/2" thick. I also wanted to mention that I have an external canister filter that isn't currently hooked up, would it help if maybe I hooked it up and put some carbon media in there? I haven't heard too much about people using canister filters in a reef tank.... any ideas??

Thanks!
 

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Okay, so we can rule out overstocking and overfeeding!

How old are your RO/DI filters? Do you think perhaps they need replaced?

I don't recommend the canister filter. They tend to hold detritus (even in the hoses) and return nitrates and phosphates to the tank. I used to run one, a nice Fluval, I kept reading they caused problems so I removed it and sure enough the tank was so much better after.

How often do you do water changes?

How old is the tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
As a matter of fact my RO/DI filters are towards the end of their life, I already ordered some new ones and are waiting for them to get here. What kind of replacement schedule would you follow with them filters? When should i be replacing my filters in my wet dry also? The tank is 125 gallons, with approximately 500lb of rock (that is a guesstimate, i bought most of my rock here and there through craigslist) and it is roughly a year. I do water changes monthly, and to be honest with as much as I travel there are times it goes on longer than that. Would you recommend I do bi-weekly 20% water changes?
 

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I replace mine every six months.

That is a ton of rock...or...a quarter of a ton...but you get my meaning. Because rock displaces water you have displaced a great deal and have much less water than you suspect. Personal opinion is you should have around 200 pounds in there.

Do you have or can you get your hands on a TDS meter to test the water that comes out of your RO/DI unit? That's a great way to know if the filters need changed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, it's probably right around 150 then. I was just taking a wild guess. I know they say 2lbs per gallon, or so i hear. And in my tank the rock only runs about 3/4 of the length of the tank and about 3/4 of the height. So, I am sure I am well under the 200 lbs.

1. How often should I change the filters in my wet/dry?
2. How often should I be doing water changes?

Do you think this will take care of the algae on it's own? Or, woud you recommend a chemical application?

Thanks for the help guys!
 

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Okay. Too much rock can be a problem just like not enough.

1. Daily to every other day.
2. If I understood your post right you just have one fish...? If that's the case then not often at all.

If the water your are putting in the tank has TDS (total dissolved solids) they may be the source of your phosphates.

I think once you get your new filters that a good 25% water change would be a good idea. Change the filters in the wet/dry and see what that does.

One more thing comes to mind...flow. If the tank in general or even just certain areas of the tank aren't getting enough flow then cyanobacteria will build up in those locations. It might be nothing more than changing the direction of a powerhead or adding another one to the tank.
 
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