View Full Version : Critique my setup please

02/07/2015, 01:02 PM
Hi all- Ive had a 75 gal reef tank going for about 5 months now.

it has a built in overflow, and sump. I will post pictures of it in a few mins.

I also run an emperor 400 with carbon on the back of my tank. I do not run a protein skimmer.

Ive been having issues with algae growing on my sand. It only grows right under my lights. it grows into large patches within 2-3 days. I have the chineese LED lights 165w. i only turn the lights on the lowest possible strength everyday. They run for about 10 hours a day.

Could a phosphate filter help reduce the algae? I do water changes every 2 weeks of about 5-10 gals.

Some of the algae is covering the rocks now.

Any suggestions on how to get rid of this? I have a good amount of flow going through the tank (400gph powerhead, 1400gph powerhead, as well as 700gph return pump)

Open to all suggestions, as long as you dont scold me (I know how some of you get on here- relax!)

Thanks guys!

02/07/2015, 01:10 PM
also, my sump doesnt have any lights in it. i was thinking some chaeto would be good- can you grow a bit in the back of a display tank? any ideas? pics of sump and tank coming soon.

Also would like any suggestions on what to change in my sump. In the pic you can see the water comes down, the first tray has bio balls that the water drains through, then it goes to a main compartment, there is a sponge that is used as an additional filter before the water hits the area in the main return pump area.

02/07/2015, 01:12 PM

02/07/2015, 01:20 PM
Heya mate, the reason algea is growing is becouse you are having nitrate and phosphate values that are too high. Try and test and fix these values and your algae problem should go away. Also why arn't you using a skimmer? It is very beneficial.

02/07/2015, 01:31 PM
thanks. nitrate isnt testing out to be high. I might buy a phosphate filter? I havent been using a skimmer because i heard if you have enough flow to your rocks and with the emperor in addition, you dont have to have a skimmer.

02/07/2015, 02:01 PM
The pic is kinda dark, but it sort of looks like Cyanobacteria, is it slippery? If it's drier it could be diatoms. This is a good website to id the problem and has good ways to fix it: http://www.reefcleaners.org/nuisance-algae-id-guide
When you change the water do you blow off the rocks and clean the sand, or just take some water out and put new stuff in?

Your flows not really that high, it might help to point a power head right at the trouble spot if it's cyano.

02/07/2015, 02:24 PM
thanks, it seems kinda slippery feeling. I ususally stir the sand up every few days.

I guess i could blast it, but everytime i do that, it leaves holes and the powerhead moves all the sand so the bottom of the tank is exposed.

02/07/2015, 03:03 PM
Nah, just make sure there's a breeze over it.

Also make sure your only feeding what the fish can eat in a few minutes. Underfeeding is not a good solution, but over feeding makes it a lot worse.

Wet skimming and flow seem to help cyano a lot. The thing about vac'ing the dirt out of the sand, and using a skimmer, is they get the crud out all the way out of the system before it gets stuck in the filter pads and stuff to rot there and make the water dirty. Sometimes if the dirty water has soaked into the sand over a few months the cyano can just sit on top of it and eat the nutrients before they get into the water, so the filters don't get a chance to work on it. Then your stuck pulling it off to get that phos and trates and stuff out of the system for good. It's really common to see a bloom of cyano a few months in. Some say it's part of the tanks natural development during the first year, and if you ride it out your tank is healthier in the long run cause your tank balanced out to where it can keep the nutrients where they should be (like you got the right flow, feeding and cleaning is on track etc.). Some just want it gone, and use pesticides. Totes up to you.
Good luck!

02/07/2015, 03:42 PM
You might up your water changes and see if that reduces nutrients. You could try adding a phosphate remover and see if that helps too.

02/07/2015, 03:49 PM
thanks, think i will try phosphate filter, and protein skimmer? any thoughts on the chaeto algae and critiques to my sump set up? Thanks guys!

02/07/2015, 04:31 PM
you are on the right track... microalgea is a help

02/07/2015, 04:38 PM
can you keep macroalgae in the sump without a light??

02/08/2015, 02:08 PM

02/08/2015, 02:19 PM
No. It needs light. A cheap grow light from lowes or HD will work perfect tho!


02/08/2015, 02:20 PM
I have never heard of people using macroalgae without a light. You don't need much. A 6500 CFL bulb and a clip on light fixture does the trick.