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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Algae in my tank has gone berzerk!

It used to be contained by the army of snails, but the army of crabs ate them. So I got a new army of snails who don't seem to be the hungry type.

It's green, it's red. It's everywhere. Help?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Lights run for about 14 hours, an hour on each end is actinics.

I use a RODI filter for my water.

Readings I don' tknow off the top of my head, but I'll check,
 

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you may even try going back to 10hrs for a few weeks if it will not stress your corals... the short photoperiod should help cut the growth enough for your snails to catch up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
how often do you siphon out detritus? are you able to siphon out detritus behind all of your aquascaping? how much skimmate are you getting out of skimmer in a day?

G~

I can't always get all of it behind the aquascaping, but I siphon all out I can get every week or so, sometimes every other week. My skimmer usually picks up about a half cup a day, wet skimming...
 

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the age of the bulbs is not important. if there is phosphates in the water column it really does not matter what the spectrum is you will get algae. going to a higher K bulb just masks the problem and will ultimately slow the growth of your corals.

how old is the sand bed? what size is the tank? i remove about a gallon of skimmate a day on my 125g system. that should give you a good idea compared to the size of your system. do you have a wet/dry, or canister filter on the tank? how often are they cleaned? do you have a sump/refuge? when was the last time that was siphoned clean?

you have a phosphate problem and we need to figure out where it is coming from. in most cases phosphate problems are inexpensive to fix, just time consuming. no reason to spend money in this hobby unless you really want to.

G~
 

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try fanning your rocks really well then doing the water change while the water colum is filled with dentris then clean any filter sponge , i would definetly reduce your lights say 8hours white 10 actinics, yeah turn up your skimmer and use activated carbon(which should be replaced about every 2 months 3 max.) even dont turn your lights on for 2 days ,(just simulating a hevy cloud cover on the reef) your corals shold be able to handle it. use phophate removers and employ good algae eaters , even if possible get a refugium happening . the 24h light on the refugium will use excess nutrients . remember to change your bulbs bout every 10 months . watch overfeeding or overstocking also keep you kh at 180 to 200ppm. and calcium round 400 to 450. try different snails (that eat algae .)ie trochius and stroms and turbo's. you might wanna get the book on algae by julian sprung. maybe you need to understand algae and its requirements.
 

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the old phosphate issue, man that sucks, you gotta figure out a way to get those phosphates out,


Hard way is to get that skimmer working really well, blow off rocks with powerhead, syphon out detritus and algae regularly, Try to limit the foods you put in with alot of phosphates, San Francisco Brand stuff is the only one I've found that the only ingreidient is the actual meal itself, So if you get bloodworms the only ingredient is bloodworms, same with Shrimp.

what kind of lights do you have, what kind of skimmer? how big is the tank?



Geoff that is alot of skimmate a day, got any pics of your skimmer/container in action, I just wanna see how dark it is and how you have it setup in your sump.
 

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the main reason why you want to change bulbs is that they loose their brightness over time. if you wait to long to change out the bulbs then you run the risk of bleaching your corals with the new brighter bulbs causing oxygen overload in the tissue.

it is true that most bulbs shift to a lower K over time. this lower K is better for photosynthesis. the corals also benefit from this lower K, if the PAR remains high enough. the reason people say not changing your bulbs causes algae is because corals have other ways to get food besides directly through photosynthesis. they have other symbionts living inside of them that can convert nutrients to food for the coral, so a coral can live under a higher K than a true photosynthetic organism (say algae). going to a higher K bulb is a band aid for your algae problem, if the algae problem is minor. over time this masking will lead to an all out phosphate tank crash.

if phosphates are kept in check in the system then you will not have an algae problem regardless of the K bulb you are using.

there is more to this, but that is the gist. i have not gotten into the whole phosphate burning by using super powerful lights and DSB's. needless to say, if the phosphates are kept in check then you can keep any bulbs you want, and the less wattage you would need.

here is a pic of my sump are. not very good, i will try and update things soon. you can see the skimmer and the top of the 2ltr waste container that collects the skimmate. i empty the container twice a day when the skimmer is running properly. the skimmate is a light tea coloured liquid. you can easily see through it but it does have decent yellow/brown colour to it.



G~
 

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awesome, not to open up a can of worms but what do you mean by burning phosphates? I've been battling phosphates myself and my cleaning regiment is really good, best i can figure is phosphates leaching from the rocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Sand bed is as old as the tank: one year. My lights are just at the 12 month mark. If the skimmer is running properly, I do about a half cup to a full cup a day in my 75 gallon. It's usually a murky but not opaque green.

There is no refuge, as my tank is (I'll wait for the people fainting to recover) an all-in-one system (it's an octagon, about 30" tall), with three sectioned off chambers in the back. The first is overflow, the second houses the skimmer and the third is where the water is pushed back into the tank via a powerhead. I don't have a filter. Would adding a filter help?

I've cut my photo period a few hours so we'll see if that helps. I know I need to change my lighting.

I really don't overfeed the little suckers, but I'm sure that just having the food in the water adds enough phosphates. Although I have to admit, I would love to kill my serpent stars so I don't have to feed them anymore. At least they've stopped terrorizing the rest of the fish.
 

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do not add any filter media to the system. that would only make your problems worse. are you siphoning out detritus during water changes? is there any detritus in the all in one system in the back?

where is the algae mainly growing? is it where the sand meets the LR? if so then it is an indicator that the sand bed is used up and should be replaced.

G~
 

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awesome, not to open up a can of worms but what do you mean by burning phosphates? I've been battling phosphates myself and my cleaning regiment is really good, best i can figure is phosphates leaching from the rocks.
phosphates will get pushed from the LR by bacterial turgor. this is what occurs when people "cook" their LR. the problem is that this phosphates laden bacterial flock falls to the bottom of the tank where it will be absorbed by the sand. once the sand has more phosphates then the LR the phosphates will be wicked up into the LR. the process will keep going and going until the LR is full and you have algae everywhere. :(

burning off of the phosphates deals with the corals themselves. the reason why people have such powerful lights on their tanks is to keep the zoax in the coral tissue in check. the higher the phosphate levels the more zoax (which are brown) i the coral tissue. hence the reason why corals turn brown. by adding more light the zoax are limited because there can only be a limited amount of them in the coral tissue before oxygen poisoning occurs. the less zoax the more pronounced the other symbionts in the coral tissue. read pretty colours. :D

so, you are not burning off the phosphates, but burning off the zoax which are caused by the elevated phosphate levels.

the only way to get rid of phosphates from LR is to "cook" it. there is no way to remove phosphates from sand. gravity gets in the way. ;)

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
phosphates will get pushed from the LR by bacterial turgor. this is what occurs when people "cook" their LR. the problem is that this phosphates laden bacterial flock falls to the bottom of the tank where it will be absorbed by the sand. once the sand has more phosphates then the LR the phosphates will be wicked up into the LR. the process will keep going and going until the LR is full and you have algae everywhere. :(

burning off of the phosphates deals with the corals themselves. the reason why people have such powerful lights on their tanks is to keep the zoax in the coral tissue in check. the higher the phosphate levels the more zoax (which are brown) i the coral tissue. hence the reason why corals turn brown. by adding more light the zoax are limited because there can only be a limited amount of them in the coral tissue before oxygen poisoning occurs. the less zoax the more pronounced the other symbionts in the coral tissue. read pretty colours. :D

so, you are not burning off the phosphates, but burning off the zoax which are caused by the elevated phosphate levels.

the only way to get rid of phosphates from LR is to "cook" it. there is no way to remove phosphates from sand. gravity gets in the way. ;)

G~
algae mainly grows on the acryllic and the top layer of live rock. I siphon more detruis out these days, but wasn't for a while.
 

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keep up the siphoning, run the skimmer wet, and keep the feedings under control. you will start to win the battle. it may take a month or so, but you will start to see an improvement in the quantity of algae, going down of course. :D

G~
 
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