Algae control

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by AdrianB, 27 Jan 2014.

  1. AdrianB

    AdrianB

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    Hi everyone, I’m hoping someone can assist.
    I have a new reef system setup in my house. The tank is 2500 / 700 / 700 and is setup as the main feature in the house.
    It has been running for about 3 months now and I’m continuing to get excessive algae growth on the rocks.
    The house get a lot of light but the tank itself gets no direct sunlight.
    The phosphate level are low. I need to try find a way to manage the excessive growth on the rock.
    Any suggestions?

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  3. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Welcome to MASA!
    What filtration are you running?
     
  4. AdrianB

    AdrianB Thread Starter

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    Filtration System

    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply.
    There is a 5 chamber sump. See attached images

    Includes a Protein skimmer, DSB, and UV light

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    DSCN2044.jpg
     
  5. Charl_Stanhope

    Charl_Stanhope

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    looks like you have a lot of detritus that has settled under those bio balls and ceramic rings. If they are not rinsed regularly they act as nutrient bombs. I would look at adding chemical filtration to your setup (like bio cubes or a phosphate and Nitrate remover) and then slowly removing the cubes. Also when you rinse them, do so in water from your tank so you dont kill all of the bacteria on them. How deep is the sand bed in your sump ? What do you use for flow in your tank ?

    I love your tank. its massive and looks awesome. SO much potential. And Welcome to MASA.
     
  6. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

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    Agree with getting orca bio cubes.
     
  7. tyronvs

    tyronvs

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    what size is your sump
     
  8. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Agree with @Charl_Stanhope. Ceramic rings & bio balls have a reputation for trapping detritus in your system (If not maintained correctly), & being the cause of excessive nitrates (a good algae food).

    Adding Orca Biocubes will assist in lowering your nitrates. As soon as your nitrates starts getting lower, you can systematically remove the ceramic rings & bioballs until there is nothing left.

    As for the algae in the tank. A sea hare would help in managing the algae. (They are little algae eating monsters... Will clean your tank of algae in a week or 2...)

    Another thing could be that the rocks have high levels of absorbed phosphate levels. Best cure for that is to simply continue using phosphate removers like phosguard until your phosphates are depleted from the rocks.

    Where did you get the rocks from?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  9. AdrianB

    AdrianB Thread Starter

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    Thank Charl,

    I do a full set of tests this evening and post the results a bit later.
    The sand is about 30 to 40 mm

    There is an uplift pump in the last chamber that pushes though the UV filter then up into the tank. There is also a jebao wave make in the tank to create additional circulation.
     
  10. AdrianB

    AdrianB Thread Starter

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    Bio cubes is not something I'm familiar with. Where do I get them in cape Town, what quantity and where in the sump would I add them.

    Visser, elaborate on the Sea Hare, what is it and where would I get one?

    Excuse all the newbie questions. I have been out of tank keeping for about 20 years and all the technology has changed dramatically. I'm trying to play catch-up.
     
  11. AdrianB

    AdrianB Thread Starter

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    sump is 2000 / 500.
    Water level sits at about 350.
     
  12. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Sand bed is too shallow to be effective. How about using that section to grow macro algae (which would help with nutrient export thus helping clear your tank of hair algae).
    Id definitely remove the bioballs and ceramic rings
     
  13. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Looks like diatoms not detritus. I set up many tanks with filter setups like that. And use bio ball and ceramic rings on my personal tanks. As well as a good method of denitration. The ability of that type of filtration is that ammonia and nitrate is quickly removed from the water column.

    I would just add filter mat on top of the ceramic noodles so that the water can't bypass the mat. And add a good method of nitrate reduction. Bio cubes could be an option.
     
  14. Visser

    Visser MASA Contributor

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    Bio-cubes is probably THE most effective (& cost effective) nitrate removal product on the market. You can order it from Jungle aquatics online (They ship to CT for free.)

    You will need about 2ml of cubes per liter of aquarium water... (Expensive initial cost, but cheapest long term)
    ORCA TITANIUM Bio-Cubes 1000ml - R1,275.00 : Jungle Aquatics, Petshop Superstore and Retail Outlet

    As for the sea hare. You can order them from most marine pet stores. You can try perky pets, Reef aquatics etc.
    Although they are classified as Expert only reef keepers... They are actually very easy. I've kept one in my old nano for more than a year, & then passed it on to a fellow reefer when my algae started to get under control.
    Saltwater Aquarium Invertebrates for Marine Reef Aquariums: Sea Hare Sea Slug
     
    Last edited: 27 Jan 2014
  15. MistaOrange

    MistaOrange

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    There's a non sponsor that always gets sea hares they in Montague Gardens...
     
  16. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Your sump is setup wrong.

    Without spending loads of money on any products, just swap a few things around.
    First, the skimmer, then you can use those bio balls and ceramic rings. Currently you trap detritus in the balls and rings before it van get to the skimmer to be removes. Just switching those 2 chambers around will already improve a few things. But you need to switch your return pump off while doing that move. And when all the rings and balls are out, siphon that chamber clean. If skimmer does not fit you can remove the second from left panel.

    Secondly, your DSB is by far too small. Depth should be 150mm for playsand, or any substrate with the same particle size. You can also change your current skimmer chamber into another DSB. Increase the old DSB slowly, each week by adding 10mm sand on top of the old sand until you reach 150mm. The new DSB section does not matter, you can add all of the sand at once. If there are currently settlement on the old DSB, siphon that off first before adding the first layer of sand.
     
  17. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Or you can use the old skimmer chamber as a refugium, but I will rather use the are above the sand as refugium. The water level looks deep enough to be able to do it.

    What is the width of the sump front to back? And what is the rating on your return pump?
     
  18. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    last question

    Do you actually have any herbivorous fish in your tank. Looks like 2 small regals, not sure. Plus any other algae eating snails?
     
  19. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    do not just remove all those bioballs and ceramic rings either in one go. Although they trap detritus, they are still doing some filtration, and in your tank, I reckon a big percentage of your filtration currently depends on the bio-balls and ceramic rings. Can remove 20% per week. Maybe even longer, as you DSB matures and if you go Orca Cubes, the cubes matures.

    On that size system, with display of about 1250L, I'm not sure how much Orca cubes you do need. But for me, and my wallet, sand is a lot cheaper. Especially on that size.

    OK, if you want now a full on SPS system, yea then go for ORCA cubes or chemicals that will bring phosphates down to almost zero. But on a fish only system, looks like yours are only fish, then some phosphates does not matter really. Even for softies like zoa and leathers some phosphates are actually good for them.
     
  20. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    That skimmer is an external skimmer and can stand anywhere. It does not have to stand in a sump.The outflow is the important thing. IMO no need to change where the skimmer is positioned.
     
  21. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Yes, the skimmer can stand anywhere, being essentially an external skimmer.
    But i would like to place the pickup / intake of the skimmer before the detritus trapping bio-balls and ceramic rings. If the skimmer can manually remove some crap before it gets trap, then why not?
     
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