Algae solutions:

Discussion in 'Nuisance Algae' started by trad, 2 Jun 2009.

  1. trad

    trad Fish, thats the word!

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    I think most people under estimate the comment on their page when some body says they must be introducing phos into there system? So if you have any algae in your tank that you've been battleing with then have a read over what I did to my tank. It may help or it may not, I am definately not the most experienced here but after recent success I would like to help over aquarium owners.

    IF YOU HAVE ANY ALGAE GROWTH YOU HAVE PHOS

    I have recently done a major overhaul of my system in order to eliminate the algae in my tank and want to have here exactly what i did in order to get a tank that is algae free. Through the entire period i had algae my phosphate test kits shown almost untraceable phos. So therefore algae in the tank must be used up by the algae and you get a incorrect reading of algae in the tank. In other words if you can see algae you have a problem.

    1. Replaced the LR was my first suspect.
    This may not be a problem for everyone but the LR I purchased was not cured properly and even after a year there was still stuff falling off and this was poluting the gravel very quickly. So if you didn't cure you're LR properly I suggest you start over, and cure your LR .
    2. Removed Gravel and went Bare Bottom.
    gravel seems like a hassel to me and having to remove it monthly like some of the guys on reefkeeping.com do seems like a hek on a lot of work. In order to clean it properly you would need to move all the LR and vacuum all the gravel at least monthly. So i got rid of it, it may also be a good way to check if you have other phos introduction cause if you can't see any LR or gravel detris then you probably will have little phos. If you like gravel keep it to a min 5mm layer.
    3. Replaced the cartridges on the RO machine and bought a TDS meter.
    OR buy the TDS meter and test first TDS should be zero dont just assume. Also dont assume that your LFS RO is 100% test it with a TDS you may be shocked.
    4. Stopped feeding frozen foods.
    pellets and flakes are much cleaner and the are less hassel, if you want to feed frozen foods make sure you rinse the food with RO water. Still don't over feed.
    5. Changed Salt brands.
    You get what you pay for, so you can buy cheap and not know whats in it or buy a premium brand and be sure your water is top quality. If you have problems just try spend a bit more for a month or two. If your tank looks better then it will be worth the extra cash. I now use TM pro-reef and mix it with my own RO water.
    6. Bought a Phos reactor and rowaphos.
    I read a very interesting article "dont waste money on rowaphos", its on the D&D website. If you add the required dosage on the first use it may only lower your phos, but not lower it enough to stop algae growth. Also if youre not introducing Phos then the rowa phos in the reactor will lasy much longer. So you may need to overdose initially and then you may not need as much in the future. My algae stopped growing after about 2 weeks of use.
    7. added Carbon
    just made the water clearer, but make sure you use a good quality active carbon.
    8. Changed T5 globes.
    I had very old t5 tubes and there was a slight improvement once i changed the tubes i cant say that it would top macro algae but i had a slight blown and green growth like short hair algae. make sure you use proper marine globes, they are designed for aquariums.

    I hope this will help some people its my opinion and I definately don't consider myself a Guru. Still need to learn a lot.​
     
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  3. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    Nice work, lets hope others add their experiences to this.
     
  4. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Even the best quality carbon will give off some phosphate, and some of the cheaper stuff actually gives off a lot of phosphate.

    Only recommended for a dedicated "SPS-type" aquarium with very high water movement and very good skimmers, else one could end up having a nitrate problem :whistling:

    Totally agree on points 3, 4, 5 and 6 :thumbup:

    Hennie
     
  5. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Awesome info, many thanks Trad!

    Hennie - many thanks for your contribution.

    Anyone else have anything to add?

    Here's my addition:

    -------------------------------------------

    Phosphate is a byproduct of when detritus (old food, fish poo, rotting plant material, rotting flesh, etc) breaks down / is broken down, to it's lower and lowest organic building blocks. This usually occurs by the bacteria "eating away" at the organic compounds, leading to the nutrient cycle.

    Phosphate, is then released, in different forms (in different stages of the nutrient cycle process), as a byproduct of the organic compounds, being broken down to it's lower chemical compounds (inorganic).

    I have found many times that detritus accumulates within live rock, over the years, due to the water currents, (or lack thereof).

    When the reefer purchases these live rock pieces, from either fellow reefers, or from a LFS, the reefer usually HAVE NO inclination on whether these pieces of rock, have detritus within them.

    Any comments on this?
     
  6. crispin

    crispin

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    nice post trad, nice to see your experiences being put into knowledge.
     
  7. riyadhessa

    riyadhessa

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    Trad very good information
     
  8. riyadhessa

    riyadhessa

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    Learning every day something new thanks Jacquesb
     
  9. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Cool Riyad! Glad that you could learn something from my rantings.....
     
  10. ml

    ml

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    Sorry for the hichicking
    I heard that it is way better if you keep it natural and don't add any camicals to ones tank. I am listening to what you are saying but I am so confuse here right now it not even funny.

    Morne
     
    Last edited: 2 Jun 2009
  11. aslam

    aslam

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    Hello Trad,what phosphate reactor did you purchase.
     
  12. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Morne - No - one SHOULD add SeaChem PhospGuard (or some other phosphate remover) to your sump.....

    This is NOT adding chemicals to the tank, but adding CHEMICAL FILTRATION to the tank.

    There is a huge difference.

    Chemicals, is usually a fluid, or a powder that is added to the tank.
    Chemical filtration, is like Granular Activated Carbon, or SeaChem PhosGuard.
    It definitely has it's place in the tank. Ie. GAC (Granular activated carbon, "polishes" the tank's water - remove's that "yellow look" of the tank's water - SeaChem PhosGuard, removes phosphates over a period of time, in the tank's water)......
     
  13. martin

    martin Reef Adict

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    One tends to set your circulation pumps for the "right" flow and then leave them. I suggest altering the direction of flow every nown an then - you'll be amazed at the detries that gets blown from hiding places. I have a pump (1200lph) I use by hand to every nown again blow every where. Try it close to Zoa's and you'll c the gunk flow.
     
  14. trad

    trad Thread Starter Fish, thats the word!

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    i bought a two little fishes rx altogether cost 1380 with rowaphos and pump. Just remember what was said above the rx is not a instant solution. Need to find the sorce and get that clean.
     
  15. aslam

    aslam

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    Shot Trad.
     
  16. trad

    trad Thread Starter Fish, thats the word!

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    shot
     
  17. dogstar

    dogstar

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    Very useful information, and quite important to try in that order. I had a similar query, and wish i had this earlier.
     
  18. riyadhessa

    riyadhessa

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    trad i've got a question...okay...you said that you never bought fully cured live rock right...How do you know when the live rock you have just bought is fully cured or not?
     
  19. trad

    trad Thread Starter Fish, thats the word!

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    uncured LR smells bad really bad when you first get it. The smell may go away but this doesn't mean your LR is cooked.

    Look at the rock to see how much dead or dying stuff there is on the rock, most guy will add it straight to there tank thinking they'll save all those nice things growing on the rock, only problem is the detrius from all the stuff that has dies already.

    Take a powerhead and shoot it at your LR if its got a ton of gunk coming out then it may need a good clean and then go back into the tank.

    Cured LR looks bared and will have almost nothing growing on it execpt for a bit of coraline. You will still have worms etc that live in the rock.

    But i'm not an expert i decided to go with some artificial rocks but LR worked well for me in the past. IMO i would cook any LR that i got straight from the shop or anyones tank for about 3 weeks no light, super high flow and large waer changes strubbing the dead stuff off as often as possible.
     
  20. riyadhessa

    riyadhessa

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    trad thanks for explaining...shot
     
  21. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    I will add a scrubber as another tool to lower phosphates PO4 from the system.

    My reasoning
    If the algae wants to grow in your tank, provide them with a better place to grow. Where they can flourish under lower K rating globes.
    They will out compete the algae in the tank thereby taking over on the scrubber screen.
     
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