Algae bloom in established tanks

Discussion in 'Nuisance Algae' started by Papitto, 10 May 2016.

  1. Papitto

    Papitto

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    Hi guys/gals,

    We recently experienced a series of "power outages" in the last 4 weeks. #cabletheftkillsreefs
    the longest one was approx. 15 hours. My battery back up only lasted 8 hours on my DC pump.

    As a result, i lost a cleaner shrimp, nass. snail, turbo snail. I did not remove the remains of the snails, as i have experienced that sometimes they just like to chill for days, then you see them somewhere else in the tank after a couple of days.

    For the last 3 days I have been monitoring my tank because I have lots of brown/diatoms on my sand & parts of rock, little amounts of hair algae as well in isolated spots.
    What I know everyone saying is diatoms = silicates, so I added 2 bags of ATI GAC.
    What I know everyone saying is GHA = P04+N03. I have been running NP pellets for almost a year and I run Rowaphos + a bag of Seachem Seagel ALWAYS. I still have a DSB in my sump as well. Chaeto (that hasn't been doing well for a while now. I tested P04 @ 0.03.

    My husbandry is strict (hehehe). I do a monthly 70L WC and my system volume is 520L(including LR). Turkey baster for the LR and siphon directly into large filter sock before the WC. I leave the debris to be siphoned into the filter sock in my sump for about an hour, with wavemakers on full flow.
    Clean skimmer every 2-4 days, as its a Skimz SM121 and pulling out black waste ever since I have plumbed my pellet reactor outlet to the skimmer inlet.

    I did not test for a mini cycle(i.e. Nh4; No2; No3), the test kits expired last month. I am considering removing the DSB and chaeto and just having LR rubble and my pellet reactor.

    I'm just so undecided on how to remove this and how to solve the algae bloom.
    Any help will be appreciated.
     
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  3. BarryRoux

    BarryRoux

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    I would like to follow I have the same problem without the power outages
     
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  4. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Hi

    Diatoms do indicate possible silicates, GAC, granular activated carbon, wont remove them, you need a GFO which you are running, RowaPhos, how old is it? how is it run?

    PO4 will affect both diatoms and GHA and even at 0.03ppm. The problem with power outages is they open the window for instability which then allows these pests to creep in.

    a mini-cycle can start it, here is my explanation
    Firstly, you have to realise, that algae lives in two stages. algae spores and common algae. Think butterfly. Caterpillar and after a butterfly.

    The fundamental difference: each have different nutrient requirements. Caterpillar eats leaves butterflies not. In algae its similar, algae spores eat ammonia (NH4) and algae eats nitrate (NO3) and phosphate (PO4).

    Thats the simple version, i would manually remove both with your weekly water changes. I run my one tank at 0.1ppm PO4 and NO3 at 10ppm and have no issues.
     
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  5. EFJ

    EFJ MASA Contributor

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    I would keep the Cheato. The liverock rubble do have a tendency of becoming nitrate factories if not cleaned every so often. Add a low flow power head where the liverock is, this way prevents dead pockets from forming. I have liverock in my sump and it is a big issue. Busy re-planning and relocating the sump. Want to raise the rock off the floor so that I have a flow running underneath the rock so sweeping away anything that settles.
     
  6. Papitto

    Papitto Thread Starter

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    I run it in a reactor i built. I change it every 6 weeks. Just changed it out 2 days ago.

    The diatom is all over my sand. The GHA is a small short patch. Do you mean I must fix this problem with water changes? I know you run Nitra-guard cubes for your nitrates, but what do you use for Phosphate export?

    Can I remove my DSB?
     
  7. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    can you post a pic? there is a diff between dinoflagellates and diatoms
    you can remove then by siphoning during water changes, the cubes remove both nitrates and phos, i do run the phospha-gaurd cubes as well.

    The substrate is also a source of food for them, calcium phosphate can be a cause.

    sure you can, what will you use for nutrient export? You will also have to add more biological filtration as DSB's aid in nitrification too.
     
  8. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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  9. Papitto

    Papitto Thread Starter

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    I am inclined to believe it is either my DSB or my DT sandbed. Do you think it is advisable to remove all the LR and siphon my aragonite sandbed in my DT? When i do a WC, I siphon small sections deeply and a lot of muck is pulled out.
     
  10. madmatt

    madmatt

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    Someone can give more info.but if you remove your DSP do it very VERY carefully.
    If you drain the water level in your sump so that the DSP chamber is below the baffle,then so that don't allow the mixed DSP water into the other chambers and into your tank.
     
  11. EFJ

    EFJ MASA Contributor

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    How long have you had your DSB? For a DSB to be effective it needs to be have a surface area 80% of the display tank (@dallasg info, thanks).
     
  12. Papitto

    Papitto Thread Starter

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    I have had it about 14 months. Its only 20x40x15
     
  13. EFJ

    EFJ MASA Contributor

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    It shouldn't have such a huge impact when removing it. Just switch off your return pump when you remove the DSB.
     
  14. EFJ

    EFJ MASA Contributor

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    Also if you can siphon the water out of the sump afterwards and replace with fresh water, that way you reduce the impact of any nasty's entering the tank.
     
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  15. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    I would siphon sections, max 25% at a time, remember bacteria colonise all parts and removing or disturbing too much can have adverse affects.

    If you plan to remove the DSB start dosing bacteria a week before to build up reserves and feed a little more so fish generate more waste to sustain the new bacteria, then remove the DSB without mixing that water with the tank water as mentioned by @madmatt , then carry on dosing bacteria for 10 or so days after to help replace the removed DSB.

    what will you use for nutrient export as most methods require 2 weeks to kick in or more
     
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  16. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    More likely cause of issues are you pellet reactor, not the DSB.
    Pellet reactors takes up to 6 weeks to work, where a DSB takes up to 3 months.

    Pellet reactor is supposed to be aerobic and anaerobic. But you got a 1000L/h plus pump pushing in fresh oxygen loaded water into it constantly. So to become anaerobic, that means they must be very efficient in the first part of the nitrogen cycle and all the promoters of pellet reactors are smiling. So there are enough time left for the anaerobic bacteria to do their stuff before exiting the reactor.

    What happens if the power goes out for 10 minutes, never mind your 7 hours plus. Everything inside that reactor should be dead. A DSB can maybe still survive. As the anaerobic bacteria there are not really dependent on water flow but more dependent on diffusion. Especially if the water depth above the sand is deep, a DSB stand a better change of surviving an hour power outage than a 1L container / pellet reactor body. Even a DSB with 50% dead bacteria will not blow that all into your water column once the power is restored like a pellet reactor would do. And the DSB will reset itself much faster than anticipated. 50% is one sell divide to be at full strength again.

    Not really sure what to do, if pellet reactor was offline for an hour or more. Replace the pellets before restarting, or restart with the dead pellets inside? Or remove reactor and run it in separate container for a day to rinse out the dead bacteria?

    I will not take out the DSB, at least not within the next 6 weeks until the pellet reactor is back on full strength.
    I will ensure that the pellet reactor is on emergency power.
     
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  17. Papitto

    Papitto Thread Starter

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    Thanks @RiaanP - So what I did was rinse the Biopellets for 24 hours in a bucket, with 0.5ml Special blend and limewood airstone on pump. removed 50% of the pellets thereafter and topped up with new.
    I have been doing DT sandbed siphon slowly with my WC's(2 so far), which I will continue doing for June, until the sandbed cleaning has been covered. Its a schlep because of having to move LR temporarily, but at least I can plan a more flow conducive aquascape now.
    I have been using Special blend and Prime throughout this process. Wet skimming. I have run out of Salifert No3 test kit. Will be testing other parameters today.

    Here's my question - I want to start dosing VGV into my system once I have my No3 + Po4 at decent levels. I have been doing LOTS of reading, but mainly about the actual biological TOC breakdown of carbon producers/consumers in natural sea water. e.g. Advanced Aquarists
    http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2008/8/aafeature3/
    Testing Part II:
    http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2008/9/aafeature2/

    I understand the vast majority based on my reads online, the good the bad and the ugly. What are your thoughts on this dosing methodology?
     
  18. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    For me, I want a system that can be maintained by a tank sitter. My job did change and I no longer travel around that much as before. So yes, my own requirements did change a bit now compared to 2 years ago. When I set up the system, I wanted the tanksitter to only feed the fish, and to check the RO drum once a week. I got only softies in my system so yes my requirements are slightly different. Softies do like a bit of "dirty" water. I rely on water changes whenever I can do them.

    Whatever you do, ensure that you will be able to maintain that husbandry routine every day. And when you are away on business or pleasure, that your tank sitter will be able to continue that routine exactly like you.

    Couple of years ago, I did try the vinegar dosing. It works. Issue was to keep up with that routine daily.
     
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  19. Papitto

    Papitto Thread Starter

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    So, I still have this brown stuff my sand. At 16:00 today, I siphoned it off my sand into a filter sock, and by 18:00 it has come back a bit.
    I'm leaning towards Dino or am I wrong?
     
  20. Trigger1

    Trigger1

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    algae scrubber?
     
  21. groban

    groban

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    I also think that it might be your pellet reactor
     
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