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jmatt12845
01/20/2011, 10:37 AM
Hello friends,
I have an 8 year old tank and have been able to handle most problems-but I seem to have met my match.
I am unsure if this is the correct forum-so please direct me if this is uncorrect. I am having a significant-if not overwhelming-algae problem. I am assuming it is algae-but I am not even sure I am identifying it correctly. Whatever it is-I have been battling it for months and I need help. This "algae" seems to originate as small hair-like projections from my rock-almost plant-like-(1-5 mm) in length. It then starts to accumulate reddish slime/algae from these projections and collect small air-bubbles. This covers everything-the rocks-sticks to corals-really seems to like to stick to the surface and sides of the top of my tank. It sticks to my glass as well. I clean the glass off, I clean the rocks off, the reddish slime goes away-but the small hair-like projections stick to my rock. I use a toothbrush-scrubbing the rocks-but am unable to fully remove this ubiquitous stuff. I have tried:\
The heavy manual cleaning of rocks/etc.
Algaefix (API)
Stop Hair algae (chem-marin)
Marine S.A.T.

I have a 75 gallon tank. I run a coralife protein skimmer in conjuction with a cascade canister filter (adapted with a small surface extractor). I was using an additional on-the-back filter as well, but it seemed to just collect more algae..so I took that off last week.
I use Aquatic life lights (LF2-48)
I added phos-lock to the canister filter 1-2 months ago.
Current stats today :
Temperature-74
Ph-7.8
Ammonia-0
Nitrate-0-0.25
KH-5
Calcium-400
Phos-0.1
Specific gravity-1.024
Added buffer today (Kent Marine-superbuffer-dKH) and balance blocks (HBH)
(pH is normally 8-8.3) as regular maintenance when the values run low.
Please Please offer any thoughts, ideas, or any additional information that I may provide. I have been battling this for months and I am beginning to lose my energy for the hobby.
thanks in advance,
Jason

geoSquid
01/20/2011, 10:50 AM
Assuming its not just green hair algae....does it look like this?
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-01/sl/images/image017.jpg
If so, its Neomeris sp.
The red very much sounds like cyano, especially with the bubbles you described.

NaH2Ofreak
01/20/2011, 11:03 AM
Get your alkalinity back up and I bet the algae goes away. Should be up around 8 or 9dKH.

Dennis

jmatt12845
01/20/2011, 11:03 AM
Does not look like that green pic (that looks like something I would want-lol)
I think it may be cyanobacteria (slime algae), although I cannot rule out diatoms or the dinoflagelates. Whichever one it is-I am struggling to why I cannot get rid of it-despite much much effort.

reefsurfing
01/20/2011, 11:16 AM
Get your alk to 8-9 for a FOWLR
for SPS I like my tanks closer to the 11-13 range

What kind of flow do you have in the tank? Lighting?

I would try feeding a little less and adding some flow to the tank. By feeding less you should be adding less phos, starving the algae, adding flow ****es off most algaes which most often prefer low flow environments.

I had the same problem previously and following these simple steps fixed it for me.

Mackie
01/20/2011, 11:19 AM
If it looks like bubbly brown snot it may be dinoflagellates

i beat them a few years ago - progress was discussed in this thread:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=731943

The pics of the dinos at the 1st of my thread are no longer there but if you search there are lots of pics in the forums.

Grant W
01/20/2011, 11:32 AM
Let me start off by saying I too have an older tank, about 7 1/2 years old and with this amount of age we have issues with built up nitrates and phos. Having said this I am first amazed that this hasn't happened sooner using a canister filter so well done on that point. Looking at you params though I would say your alk is quite low, should be at least 7-8, salinity should be at 1.025 or so and you need to test your magnesium, It sounds like it may be bryopsis and elevating the mag to the 1500 range will knock this down and if you have a sand bed it should be slowly changed, like 10-15% at a time, as a huge amount of waste will build up over time just be careful when you start removal that the nasties released during the removal process are sucked out as you go. One more thing the tank is too cold it should be in the 78 range. GL and pm me if you need to discuss further Grant

jbird69
01/20/2011, 12:14 PM
Like others have said, your dkh is too low. Your temp should be higher but is unlikely the cause. Your magnesium should be kept stable at or above 1300, this will keep your dkh and ca stable. With that said, since youve been doing this a long time, you probably already know that.

-Do you run a DSB?
- How old are your lights?
-How do you consistantly control PO4?
-Do you run carbon? (have you experimented with carbon dosing)
-are you doing water changes?
-have you tried light starvation?
-Do you clean your canister frequently? (They are bacteria traps)

Anytime I have an un-ID'd problem I start with a series of liberal water changes. In conjunction with some light starvation, you should be able to get a handle on it.

jpsnaps
01/20/2011, 12:42 PM
Type in "bryopsis" in google images... does the hair-like algae look like that?

headless
01/20/2011, 12:47 PM
Get alkalinity up and check your magnesium...I don't see it listed...a low level will really create a problem...I had massive Mg deficiencies...fixed them along with some other factors and all is good now!

gldnegle76
01/20/2011, 01:29 PM
Get your alkalinity back up and I bet the algae goes away. Should be up around 8 or 9dKH.

Dennis

I've heard this same thing from my lfs. I have a coating of brown/green diatom looking algae on the front of my sand bed. All of my parameters looked normal except low alk. It was 6.7dkh. I'm slowly using b-ionic to raise the alk to between 8-9 dkh. Tanks been set up for several years.

Excuse the question, but how does low alk allow for this type of algae growth when other parameters are normal?

jmatt12845
01/21/2011, 09:49 AM
Heh, was my exact thought. Have been raising the alkalinity up slowly but now sure how it contributes. Will correct and see how it goes. Frustrating but awesome having so many folks give advice.
Thanks so much.

Sk8r
01/21/2011, 10:05 AM
And you might combine that effort with turning off the lights for 3 days once a month: cyano has to have light. It'll go fast, and your skimmer will suck up the dieoff.

shifty51008
01/21/2011, 10:10 AM
the po4 of .1 is also on the high side. I would try to lower that.

GulfofChuck
01/21/2011, 10:29 AM
What is your source of H2O?

headless
01/22/2011, 12:16 PM
I've heard this same thing from my lfs. I have a coating of brown/green diatom looking algae on the front of my sand bed. All of my parameters looked normal except low alk. It was 6.7dkh. I'm slowly using b-ionic to raise the alk to between 8-9 dkh. Tanks been set up for several years.

Excuse the question, but how does low alk allow for this type of algae growth when other parameters are normal?

This is tough...let's just keep it simple and say that anything acidic is going to be a problem...it's the same in our bodies...those with RA, cancer, and other disease states tend to be more acidic. There are 6000+ studies on metabolic acidity and its deleterious effects.

In our tanks, it's no different. Sea water is the closest liquid to our blood. We really want to be alkaline, so too, does our tank. It prevents a lot of problems...life as is found in our tanks does not do well with an acidic environment...period...

NaH2Ofreak
01/22/2011, 02:31 PM
Hmmm...I'm not sure I would go that far. Who says that algae is a problem in the first place. We are the ones that have a problem with it and give it the title as bad. I think in the grand scheme of things, algae is pretty neutral. After all, we absolutely need it for our tanks to even survive (zoanthelle).

Dennis

headless
01/22/2011, 04:01 PM
Hmmm...I'm not sure I would go that far. Who says that algae is a problem in the first place. We are the ones that have a problem with it and give it the title as bad. I think in the grand scheme of things, algae is pretty neutral. After all, we absolutely need it for our tanks to even survive (zoanthelle).

Dennis

Algae itself is not a problem, but a sick tank is...excessive anything is usually not desirable.

johnnyb05
01/22/2011, 04:35 PM
you should be useing some iron media for phosphate control. keep changing it out 2-4 weeks until phoshate is zero. a reverse flow reactor works well for this. a canister filter is not the best, you need to clean all mech. filters often and i see you said you put some phos stuff in your canister 1-2 months ago. thats not good. its like cleaning a sponge in an overflow once a month or two. i clean my sponge every two days or so.