View Full Version : Help Algae Problem

01/01/2014, 08:30 PM
I have been dealing with this algae problem for a while now. I have a 90 gal reef tank all my reading are good other then phosphate is a little high .25ppm.
I am using a RO/DI system, I have been changing about 20gal every two weeks is that enough? I am using Red sea Coral pro.
I also have GFO reactor which I change every two weeks,
I used Rowaphos but that didn't help so I tried Bulf reef high Capacity GFO but that doesn't seem to be helping.
I am also vodka dosing using 3ml maintance dose daily.
I have been using Red Sea Coral pro salt know for a year and just recently some one told me that the salt has way to much minerals and that's why I am getting algae growth.
I understand that my Phosphate level is a little high however should I switch salts to IO reef crystals?
Please help?

01/01/2014, 09:51 PM
Your PO4 is a lot high. Need to lower that quite a bit. Check the RO for PO4. If your DI resin is spent, you are adding PO4 with each water change. You need a kit that can measure PO4 in fresh water. The Elos kit does both.

01/01/2014, 10:01 PM
I don't know about the salt . If it has alot of iron it would help the algae but I don't know if that salt is much different than th others. It may be.
.25ppm PO4 is high enough to be a big part of the problem by itself,though . Most green algae is phosphate limitied at <.03ppm and will thrive at .25ppm. More gfo changed more frequently can reduce it. Alternatively, more organic carbon dosing( vodka in your case) will help if there is any nitrogen around to go with the phosphate. What are your NO3 levels,btw?

FWIW, I've been dosing vodka and vinegar for over 5 years at about twice the daily dose you use ;each tank is differnt though. With heavy feeding and no gfo or other PO4 removers ;PO4 hovers around .02ppm to .04ppm with NO3 around 0.2ppm. ther is almost no nuisance algae.

Often a good cleaning and removal of detritus buildups and old substrate can help too.

01/01/2014, 11:40 PM
I agree that the phosphate level is high. I'd probably change the GFO more frequently to see how much that might help, but it can get pricey. More vodka might help, too, although sometimes it causes bacterial blooms.

01/02/2014, 07:13 PM
Thanks for the reply guys.
My NO3 reading is 0 to 5ppm. TMZ do you recommend I add Vinegar to my system if so what dose. I am adding 3ml of vodka daily. Will vinegar hurt my calurpa in my refugium and my shrimp?

01/03/2014, 08:28 AM
I 'd probably up the organic carbon dose by by 1ml of vodka or add 8ml of vinegar to the daily dose and see if that made a diiference .The vinegar needs to go in slowly during the day if you choose that option.
For the 90 gallon, I wouldn't go much higher than a total of 6ml vodka and or an equivalent mix of vodka and vinegar. EAch 1ml of 80proof vodka(40% ethanol ) equals 8ml of white vinegar ( 5% acetic acid).
If you get any excessive bacterial growth ,reduce the organic carbon dose.

GFO is a more straight forward way to lower the PO4 only .

The caulerpa won't grow as much if you drop the PO4 . It will probably stuggle at less than .05ppm PO4,my chaetomorpha did.
The extra vodka or vinegar won't effect the shrimp.

01/03/2014, 09:33 PM
Thanks for the post TMZ
Today I did add an extra ml of vodka. I checked my nitrates and it was at 10ppm.
Is ok to dose vodka and Vinegar together, I assume it is but should I start dosing 8ml of vinegar daily or should I work up to 8 mls gradually?
can you recommend a good dose pump?
How would I know that I am getting an excessive bacterial growth?

01/03/2014, 10:00 PM
It's ok to mix them . I dose them separately though.
I don't have dosng pump in mind that I would recommend.
The 8 ml of vinegar equals only one of vodka. Since you have already upped the vodka I'd hold off on the vinegar for a week or so to seeh ow the 4 ml vodka works for you.
Excessive bacteria growth will be visilbe as stringy snotty material or clouding.