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Reefing Newbie
09/07/2011, 03:24 PM
So after looking at long term algae control in my tank and figuring out some things in another thread I am posed with a couple of options. The first option was to check the TDS in my water source(r/o from the lfs) and do more frequent larger water changes. I currently do once weekly 10% water changes. The second option is to tear down the tank and cook the live rock because it may have tons of phosphates that it is leaching. The leaching phosphates are feeding the thick GHA, diatoms, and what appears to be red bubble algae(no conformation on that). My tank is also growing lots of dino which would mean lights out for three days. Instead of waiting for up to six monthes for the live rock to cook and see no noticeable phosphates I was thinking of ordering 150lbs or so of dry rock and seed it with 40lbs or so of actual live rock from the lfs. I am not the best at waiting on things, especially this addiction. My tank needs to sit fishless for 8 weeks any way because two damsels that came with the tank got ick so the cycle would take around that much time after the tear down. My other option is to just wait it out and see what happens. Just keep in mind that I am looking at the long term on this tank. I don't really want huge green hair algae out breaks every few months. More tank info can be found on this (http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2066782) thread.

dzfish17
09/07/2011, 05:02 PM
Option #3 would be to install a UV sterilizer for algae control. Im using one on my tank and after 7 months I still dont have any nuisance algae. I started my tank with tap water too. After you get control of the algae problem you can just unplug it and use it whenever you want.

Reefing Newbie
09/07/2011, 05:08 PM
I don't know if I will be able to add any more electrical equipment. I am on the verge of my max and don't want to add any more. I do appretiate the input a lot especially being you are the only one so far. Before deciding I want to see what other people say, and why they would vote so. I did forget to mention red turf algae in both threads. The stuff is still on one rock, but a large rock with zoas attatched... I think I learned my lesson on purchasing tanks off of CL. Only buy the tank and stand and equipment. No rock, sand, or live stock as it is a pain.

Psirex
09/07/2011, 06:09 PM
1 & 3

jimmyj7090
09/07/2011, 06:17 PM
NO on option #3, UV sterilization will do nothing for the algaes mentioned. UV is good for the free floating green algae (green water), but not much else.

Option #1, can't hurt.
Option #2, start by trying to rule in or out that the rock is leaching phosphate. Try taking some of the rock, rinsing it well in saltwater, then putting it in a bucket of fresh saltwater with a heater and powerhead. Test that water after a few days and see if the Phosphate level has gone up.

Reefing Newbie
09/07/2011, 06:49 PM
I know for a fact that the previous owner used tap water to set up then to top off. Most of the water changes were with tap as well with a few using r/o. Where his tank was set up was in the city containing the U.S's third dirtiest water supply. I am not sure, but doesn't the live rock absorb some of the water it is in?

jimmyj7090
09/07/2011, 07:08 PM
Phosphate will attach to the surfaces of LR, but you don't know that's actually your problem unless you test it somehow.

"cooking" the rock for however many weeks won't do much for possible phosphate leaching. The rock would need the outer surface dissolved to remove the phosphate that might be bound to the rock's surfaces.

There could be a lot of factors driving your algae problem.

What do you have for nutrient export in your system at this point?
Does detritis accumulate anywhere? (if so, how often is it removed?)
How much and what do you feed?
What do you have for livestock?
Substrate?

Dyzio545
09/07/2011, 07:13 PM
I mean honestly...If people have the extra time and money, then by all means please do restart. But there are ways to defeat GHA if you have a strategy to it. Options like: GFO, Phosphate E, checking water source, doing water changes, lawnmower blennies, etc.

Personally when I ad GHA and nothing worked for me, I dosed vodka and till this day there is not a single strand of GHA. (CAUTION: YOU MUST be very carefully and do lots of reading and dosing the correct regiment or else you will have bigger problems than algae)

jimmyj7090
09/07/2011, 07:22 PM
OP is looking to create a plan of attack.

I agree that carbon dosing (vodka or other sources) can be an effective way to reduce nutrients, but let's go one step at a time. IMO basic nutrient managment strategies should come first, and carbon dosing saved for later :)

Reefing Newbie
09/07/2011, 07:31 PM
Phosphate will attach to the surfaces of LR, but you don't know that's actually your problem unless you test it somehow.

"cooking" the rock for however many weeks won't do much for possible phosphate leaching. The rock would need the outer surface dissolved to remove the phosphate that might be bound to the rock's surfaces.

There could be a lot of factors driving your algae problem.

What do you have for nutrient export in your system at this point?
Does detritis accumulate anywhere? (if so, how often is it removed?)
How much and what do you feed?
What do you have for livestock?
Substrate?

I have a poly reactor running GFO and a fuge with chaeto. I have not noticed any detritus build up in the tank at all. I feed 6 mysis shrimp between two bleached BTAs(came with the tank), 3 mysis to the two peppermint shrimp, and 2 mysis to the three stripe damsel. I feed this every three days, while adding phytomax for the pods and feather dusters in the tank(half of what is stated in the directions). All that is in the tank right now for fish is the three stripe damsel. There was a clown and a sergeant major in the tank but the algae has gotten worse since their removal.

Reefing Newbie
09/07/2011, 07:35 PM
Ohh yeah forgot to mention, I am not ready for carbon dosing. I don't want to ruin the tank, as I don't quite understand carbon dosing yet. Still want to read more about it before trying I out.

Reefing Newbie
09/07/2011, 09:40 PM
bump...

joseperezred
09/08/2011, 12:40 AM
I kinda had the same problem not too long ago and the way I defeated my algea problem was I started by removing the rock that was most infected by algea I bought a algea cleaning crew that consisted of sea hare, turbo snails I also put in 2 different types of sea urchins and a kole tang all though the tang did the leastof all but now is the one that keeps the algea on check it'll grow on the return and on the power heads but once the kole tang gets a hold of it it's all gone over night. Once my algea problem was fixed I returned the sea hare and sea urchin back to my lfs. Maybe this can help! Good luck as it can be a pain in the butt.

reefgeezer
09/08/2011, 08:50 AM
If you want a plan of attack here's a suggestion.

Use and maintain a good skimmer or ATS.
Use a filter sock 24/7 changed often (every other day or so).
Make sure you have enough good porous live (or dead) rock.
Use GFO and change it often if phosphates are detectable.

Increase the flow in the fuge without increasing the flow through the fuge
Light the fuge 24/7 with strong lighting
Harvest algae from DT where possible without disturbing too much.
Harvest algae growth in fuge aggressively. The algae in the fuge should not be dense. It's the growth and harvesting that removes nutrients.

Use a Turkey Baster or Power Head to blow detritus from rocks 2X per week.
Stir or vacuum sand if possible when doing water changes.
Keep sump clean.
10% weekly water changes should be enough.
Ensure top off and mix water is 0 TDS.
Use a reasonable clean-up crew for your system

Test nitrates and phosphates weekly with good kits (Salifert or ELOS). While I don't use one, a phosphate meter might be better. IMO, nitrates less than 2 ppm and phosphates less than .03 ppm would be a good goal.

Some have suggested dripping Lanthium (sp?) Chloride into the filter sock to precipitate the phosphate out of solution. I haven't tried it but others are reporting good results. Maybe someone else will chime in.

Most of all you must be confident that you methods will work, stick with them, and be patient. Nothing good happens fast in a reef tank.

aecasasus
09/08/2011, 02:53 PM
1&3 in conjunction....eventually, should clear up! Add as well, manual removal and clean-up!

Lynnmw1208
09/08/2011, 02:58 PM
I said to let it run it's course, but using GFO in a reactor will definitely speed up this process :) that is what I did with all the phosphates leeching from my dry rock. cleared up in about 2 weeks.

MagicReefer
09/08/2011, 03:16 PM
Had the same issue once. Went thru everything and even started over when all the above didnt work. It ended up that my light was bad (which made since, cuz after I changed them it stopped). Either I was sold a used bulb (which I doubt) or it was defective. When lights degrade over time, which they do (and why bulb changes are so important) they burn more in the red spectrum (which Algae LOVE). The problem is that you cant see it and would not think anything is wrong with the bulb.

All I am saying is, when everything else fails......try changing your bulbs!

Reefing Newbie
09/08/2011, 03:22 PM
I do have a question being that I am running GFO, how do you know that it is working and if it is, how well it is? I have been running a reactor with GFO that came with the set up since it was moved, and the algae had gotten much worse since then. I do have a fuge with chaeto, soon will just be two small balls of chaeto from reefcleaners, also getting the CUC that had been murdered by some crown conchs. To give prospective, the red bubble algae(not sure if it is) was originally one small cluster on one rock. Now the original cluster is larger, and there are quite a few more smaller clusters. Hair algae was in some larger clumps over several rocks and on frags when set up. It is now completely covering a larger rock, and densly covering other larger rocks. I do have two turbo snails, 5 nassarius, and 1 cerninth snails(only ones who made it from the crown conch attacks). Just the other day, red turf algae was only covering one small rock and is now showing up and growing on the complete opposite side of the tank. I know this is about nutrient control, but there is something else that is releasing more nutrients than what is being taken out via the reactor and chaeto. The fuge is lit 24/7 and I do have a filter sock, just clean it once a week. Wish one of you could fly out here and critique the tank lol.

reefgeezer
09/08/2011, 03:59 PM
GFO can become exhausted quite quickly. If phosphates are high you will need to change it like weekly (or when phosphates start to rise or stop dropping) until the phosphates drop. Also, check out the Lanthium (again sp?) Chloride threads in the Reef Chemistry Forum.

Reefing Newbie
09/08/2011, 05:41 PM
I won't be able to get a phosphate reading in my tank until there is no algae. I have tested phosphates once weekly as part of testing and never got any thing on the readings. I know that the algae is currently using the phosphates before it is detectable in the water.

reefgeezer
09/08/2011, 05:58 PM
I won't be able to get a phosphate reading in my tank until there is no algae. I have tested phosphates once weekly as part of testing and never got any thing on the readings. I know that the algae is currently using the phosphates before it is detectable in the water.

You could be correct according to the amount of algae in the system. In that case, I'd change the GFO weekly until I saw some improvement.

Reefing Newbie
09/08/2011, 07:34 PM
It of curiosity, would I be able to test water that has been removed from the tank for a day or two and get a phosphate reading?

reefgeezer
09/09/2011, 11:14 AM
It of curiosity, would I be able to test water that has been removed from the tank for a day or two and get a phosphate reading?

No, the phosphate is bound in the algae. It is in the water for only a very short period of time before it is soon consumed by the algae. It will not show up in any test until the algae releases it. Phosphate is released back into the water when the algae is consumed or dies.

You could add some of the algae to a bowl full of tank water and let it die. You should then be able to find phosphate in the water.

Reefing Newbie
09/09/2011, 04:56 PM
So today all of my reefcleaners stuff came today, except two balls of chaeto. They will be sending the chaeto on Monday which is great! Anyway, as for the CUC I got 100 dwarf cerinths, 38 florida cerinths, 50 nassarius vibex, 19 large nerites, and 10 small to medium nerites. Being it is reef cleaners, you have to add to the numbers, but that is what I placed an order for with the two balls of chaeto for my fuge. I decided, that I am going to probably just get a fresh start on the tank, it just seems like it may save me tons of trouble later on which was argued in my other thread. Refilling the GFO once a week seems like it'll run just under the cost of getting new rock. I will add some of the live rock I have to my QT upgrade(12 gallon is not big enough for any tangs for 4 weeks). This method has a couple of advantages, one being that if I upgrade in the future, I won't need to buy more rock as I will have around 400lbs of it or I could just sell the rock after cooking it and bringing it back to life. I do just want to know what I could do with all of those snails while the tank is torn down and cycling again? I was told put them in a lidded bucket with a couple pieces of LR, but I don't think that will work for 6 weeks.

Reefing Newbie
09/09/2011, 11:13 PM
bump... Not sure if this will influence any suggestions or not, but my whole tank smells like oysters and other little bits of sea food. I haven't fed oysters to the tank(previous owner did as well as table shrimp, which his old sailfin tang choked on). Not sure if the odor has anything to do with it, but I know freshwater tanks aren't suppose to have any odor at all.