Algae advice failed me so far....

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by PhilOos, 8 Jan 2012.

  1. PhilOos

    PhilOos

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    Hi guys,

    I have a 700 liter tank running for about one and a quarter years now. I relocated about 3 months ago, but ever since I struggled to keep algae blooms under control.
    I've tried the usual advice; minimal light time, reduced feeding intervals and quantity, introduced more clean-up-crew members (snails, hermits, tangs), replaced the T5 tubes, got my water tested at the local pet shop (N's and P's are relative high), alkalinity a little bit low. I've performed a few water changes and tried to clean my rocks and gravel every day for a week, I also build an algae scrubber (had two harvests so far)...I've installed a new return pump which has a 3x higher pumping capacity. I've noted a tiny reduction of algae, but the cyno covered all my gravel. I siphon my gravel with every water change.

    I test my water every other day for N's and P's but it remains sort of constantly high.

    I'm fed up with the problem. The advice that I got so far is either watered down or very specific to certain aspect of it, or it costed me a lot of money.


    So now for more questions:
    a) How do I determine whether the flow induced by the power heads in the display tank, is enough?
    b) Should I aim the power heads directly at the live rock, or more to the open spaces around it?
    c) I've read an article in the "Reef Keeping" magazine; in there the guy say that one should hardly every siphon the gravel. Should I stop?
    d) What haven't I considered yet?

    I must try to sort this problem out soon, because I can't look at my tank any more and consider stopping it due to the escalating expenses.

    My tank setup:


    [​IMG]

    Location of Pumps:


    [​IMG]
     
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  3. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Wow that seems like alot of flow.
    Why dont you tell us whats in the sump and in the overflow with regards to filtration ie skimmer, also fill us in on maintenace and a pic or 2 wont hurt either!
    also can you give us the water parameter.
     
  4. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I know your frustrations, ive been battling hair algae for a while now. Algae doesnt go away overnight, so sometimes patience is needed.
    How high are your nitrates adn phosphtaes? Finding the source of the high n and p will help in reducing the algae.
    Siphoning the gravel isnt a great idea as is disturbs the bacteria/life in it. What substrate do you have?
    When you moved three months ago, did you move the DSB or start a new one?
     
  5. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    First we need to know is: What algae have you got? Treatment is highly varied depending on the type of algae you have.
     
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  6. Marine1

    Marine1

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    I'm in the same boat, my problems is red slime algae. Done everything you have and still no joy. I'm am also getting fed up.
     
  7. PhilOos

    PhilOos Thread Starter

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    The parameters before x-mas.
    Ph 8.0
    Alk - 6.1
    Calcium 490
    Magnesium 1470
    Nitrate 10
    Phosphate 0.03
    Salinity 1.029

    I've reduced the salinity to 1.024, added Kalkwasser water and some Seachem stuff for the alkalinity. The Nitrates remains around 10 and the phosphates at 0.03 to 0.05. I will take a water sample to the local pet shop this week.

    I don't know the rating of my skimmer, but it looks like a 3000 to 4000 l/hr pump installed on it...the impeller has pins on it. I also have a 15-20cm deep sand bed, which I kept submerged during the move.
    The substrate is a mixture of crushed shells and beach sand.

    I removed the bio-balls from the overflow chamber when I installed the algae scrubber.

    Some pics of the problem:



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
  8. PhilOos

    PhilOos Thread Starter

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    Some brown algae as well. The bubbles all over came from the main power heads...I opened the air suction lines this morning.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Annoying

    Annoying

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    Remember that most of the time a scrubber will only show a difference in params and algae in two months, how long has your's been running? Also could we get a pic of it?
     
  10. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Your substrate looks very coarse, if so, it might be one of the causes as it will trap detritus and in turn cause high nitrates. But nitrates of 10 are not so bad.
     
  11. erratiC

    erratiC

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    Do you top up with tap water or RO? If RO, what's the TDS of the water you're getting from it?
     
  12. magman

    magman

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    To me it mainly looks like cyno, which I think is more of a longer term cycle, cyno is more a bacteria bloom than an actual algea break out.

    I would say for cyno maybe dose a bacteria strain like stability to out compete it,

    also skimming, try and skim as much as you can, even if you have to empty the cup twice a day, what skimmer have you got on the system?
     
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  13. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Yep, Cayno
    I'm in the same boat. Never had cayno problems, but about the last 3 months I do have. especially on my substrate. Started when I replaced the old playsand in my displays with aragonite. Doing 10% water changes now every weekend, and started to look better. Also started with dosing (about 1 week now), but with vinegar instead of Vodka. So far the main display does look better. Also restarted my Ozone today. Also added Carbon reactor last weekend. Cleaned out all my powerheads in a drum with vinegar as well today. Must see the increase in flow in the tank. You cannot believe the coraline algae and other stuff on and in the pump, how much they affect the pump flow rate.

    I still have to see the affects, but cayno is not a quick fix. and do not use Red slime or other chemical method to kill cayno. You do not want to kill the one organism that makes up about all the life in your system. Your skimmer will now be able to handle that waste.

    When last did you re-seed the DSB?

    Where in Centurion do you stay?
     
  14. johannes rall

    johannes rall

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    I also have that problem and was told to use the red slime stuff but when they told me it going to let my skimmer foam like a beer I had second thoughts
     
  15. magman

    magman

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    I don't think it is a good idea dosing vodka/vinegar etc when you have a cyno outbreak, as all you doing is feeding the cyno which is bacterial,

    you want to add another bacteria source to dominate over the cynao, and then feed the new dominant strain vodka.
     
  16. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Yes, I did read up on the dosing. while having Cayno. You have to be real slow. Giving the bacteria you want time to catch up with the cayno, instead of cayno running away. As stated, my cayno is looking better, from just the water changes. All the other changes are all only applied during the last week. My PO4 is at 1.5 and No3 at 40. Reseeded my DSB last weekend, (looking good).

    Dosing must be done carefully. Only 01ml Vodka per 100L total volume. I assume the same apples to Vinegar, could not get the rate. And adding Prodibio tomorrow night. Tank run without skimmer for the day, so rather postpone to later.
     
  17. PhilOos

    PhilOos Thread Starter

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    Substrate:
    I considered changing my substrate to argonite, but due to the large footprint of my tank and the cost of argonite per bag...I don't think that the bank will loan me money for sand. What else can I use that will also give a white-ish appearance?

    Substrate close up when I just started my tank:


    [​IMG]


    Top-Up Water:
    I use RO water for top-up, as I bought a RO filter at the pet shop which is connected to a tap. I have no idea what the TDS of the source is...is it like the dissolved organic nitrate etc. and how do I measure it?

    Deep Sand Bed:
    I use argonite for the deep sand bed but I haven't seeded the bed before. What I did was placing some live rock on the bed for about 3 months, I moved most pieces back to the display tank, but kept a couple of small ones on it. The are thousends of pods running around on the bed...it looks like the sand is alive...I also see small tunnels going into the sand. Oh and I've noted that there are two small hitch hiker crabs between the rocks on the bed (a red hairy one with white spots all over and a black hairy one with white spots all over).
    I also noted that the color of the sand is quite darker near the surface of the sand bed.
    Is it necessary for me to seed me sand bed, and if so...how?

    At the moment the surface of the bed is also covered with cyno..


    [​IMG]


    Scrubber
    The scrubber is running for three weeks now...but it still needs some work. I still have to install 4 more 3000K T8's and build proper reflectors...

    The scrubber after I cleaned it this morning


    [​IMG]
     
  18. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Seed and re-seed.
    In a closed environment there are loads of different type of organisms in the sand in the beginning. Then they start to go to war against each other, killing and eradicating others. So over time, you do loose the diversity. You need fresh young blood, to come in and upset the balance. Take on the oppressors, reducing their stranglehold. Until the new blood becomes the oppressors.

    So yes, you need to introduce other organisms to your DSB periodically. Get another reefer whose system is disease free, and just get one cup of sand. All you need. I did not re-seed my DSB for a year, and only done it last weekend. Already looking better. Less cayno in my DSB.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jan 2012
  19. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    And you are too effective when you clean the screen, must leave traces of algae on it. Else it needs to re-grow from scratch.
     
  20. herkie

    herkie R.I.P.

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    Riaan is right, my scrubber only really started producing kick ass growth after 3 weeks. After the first half hearted cleaning I now have to clean every 5 days.

    I also think your lighting is totally to weak to grow decent algae. I have 6 x 20w t4 tubes on a 2400 cm2 area.

    These are the tubes on one side of the scrubber area,
    [​IMG]
     
  21. herkie

    herkie R.I.P.

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    you will notice a huge algae growth reduction once your scrubber start working. I believe an ATS is the cheapest and easiest way to get rid of algae. Byt vas-good times are coming as soon as your scrubber is tuned and running properly.
     
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