algae?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by adele, 21 Jun 2009.

  1. adele

    adele

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    Hallo Hennie,

    Ons het 'n tenk al vir drie jaar maar ons kennis is maar min, bitter min. Ons het die tenk 'gestabiliseer' oorgekoop. Die visse gaan goed aan maar die kleur van die klippe is nie vir my normaal nie. Donkerrooi, van wat ek opgelees het cyanobacteria as ek reg is. Hier en daar is daar helderrooi alge met borreltjies op en so 'n bruinerige groenerige een ook. Daar is ook op die een klip 'n helderblou organisme aan die groei, maar 'n troeteldierwinkel eienaar het gese dit is spons? Wat kan ons doen omtrent die alge? Ons gebruik water uit 'n osmose filtreerder vir die tenk en doen gereeld (1x elke twee maande?) 'n wateraanvulling. Die sagte korale in die tenk leef nou al vir 6 maande sowel as die vissies. Daar is vissies wat al drie jaar in die tenk is. Ek sal baie bly wees vir enige raad.

    Groete
    Adele
     
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  3. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Dagse Adele, en BAIE WELKOM hier by MASA

    Alhoewel ek ook Afrikaans is, en jou baie graag in ons moedertaal wil help, is hierdie forum egter 'n internasionale forum, met 'n hele klomp lede wat glad nie die Taal magtig is nie - ek gaan dus verder in Engels aan, sodat almal kan verstaan.

    Just to summarize for our international members, Adele has a tank which has been set up for 3 years, with fish and some soft corals. The tank is plagued by a dark red algae on the rocks, and some areas with bright red algae, and other areas with a green algae, both with bubbles in them.

    They use RO water, and do water changes every two months.

    Some fish have been in the tank for three years, and the corals for about 6 months

    She asks for advice on the above.


    OK, lets see... Adele, firstly, we will need more information on the setup:
    • what size is the tank
    • does the tank have a sump
    • do you have a protein skimmer - if so, what make & model
    • what filtration are you using
    • do you have a thick sand bed in the tank
    • are you using live rock (where did you get it from?)
    • do you test the water - if so, please give values
    • when last have you replaced the RO filter's membrane and/or pre-filters
    Without detail information it is really quite impossible to pinpoint the cause of the problem, and thus impossible to suggest a "cure". If you are not sure of a name, please just describe it in detail, there are enough really experienced members here on MASA that someone will most likely recognize what you are describing...

    If possible, also post some photos of the tank, filtration, etc. this will really help in us understanding your setup.

    Don't despair - we will soon have your tank looking great :thumbup:

    Groete,
    Hennie
     
  4. riyadhessa

    riyadhessa

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    adele baie welkom...
     
  5. AndrévN

    AndrévN

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    Welkom
     
  6. adele

    adele Thread Starter

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    Adele

    :wave2:Hi Hennie, here is the info on the tank you requested:

    1200 litre tank
    120 kg live rock - we purchased them with the stabilized tank.
    We installed the RO filter two years ago and has not replaced the membrane.
    Unfortunately we could not find any name or number on the protein skimmer, hope you can see it on the picture.

    Watertesting:
    pH - 8,6
    alkalinity - 10 degrees dKH
    Calcium 480 Ca mg/litre
    Magnesium 1300 mg/litre
    Ammonium 0,05 mg/litre

    Regards
    Adele
     
  7. adele

    adele Thread Starter

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  8. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Hi Adele,

    I've merged your last two posts to this thread, as they are answers to questions posted in this thread - hope you don't mind...

    In future, just click on the "Quote" button on the bottom right of the message to post an answer to the question in that particular message, and your answer will be added to the thread. Alternatively, you can just type a message into the "Quick Reply" space on at the bottom of any thread, and then click on the "Post Quick Reply" button just below the message space :)

    Hennie
     
  9. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    I'm taking the liberty of posting your photos here, just so that it's easyer for everyone to see - hope that's OK with you...

    [​IMG]

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  10. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Your tank looks a lot better than what I expected when I read your first post :thumbup:

    Your cyano/algae problem stems from two causes - your tank is a wee bit over crowded (not serious), and your filtration system in the sump (last photo) is wrong (serious). those "bio balls" and ceramic "noodles" you have in the first two compartments, and the very course "crushed coral2 in the third compartment, are the main cause of your problems - they trap detritus (dirt), which then goes rotten in the water, AND they only allow for aerobic filtration, breaking down the ammonia to nitrite to nitrate. they do not allow for any anaerobic filtration (which would have broken the nitrate down to inert nitrogen gas), resulting in the nitrate level increasing to a level which feeds the "pest" algae.

    I would suggest that you remove the contents one compartment at a time, starting with the course crushed coral (and removing the "plenum" former below this as well), and replace it with a fine (1mm - 2mm diameter) sand, preferably real sea sand, but a fine river sand will work just as well (or use some "Reggie's Play Sand", which you can buy from a Reggie's toy/children's shop). Wait about one month to allow this sand to cycle and mature before you remove the "noodles" in the center compartment, also replacing it with the fine sand. After another month you can remove the "balls" in the left-most compartment, but don't add anything to replace it - just keep that compartment for your skimmer.

    In the meantime, you can also buy some phosphate remover, such as Rowaphos, and run that through a canister filter or dedicated "Phosphate Reactor" to reduce your phosphate level (the other major algae food...).

    If you reduce your tank's bio load (fish) by two or three fish, implement the Deep Sand Bed in the sump, and regularly use the phosphate remover, your tank should be totally "pest" algae free within about 6 months.

    If I may suggest, you should test for nitrates and phosphates every week or so, until this problem has been solved.

    Hennie
     
  11. Achilles

    Achilles

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    I agree with reef maniac's solution but id change your water change schedule to 10-20% every month not every 2 months

    water changes are the best and cheapest way often of reducing high nutrients in the aquarium, most people hate doing them because they involve work but they are essential (in heavily stocked aquariums)as much as feeding your fish.
     
  12. adele

    adele Thread Starter

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    Algae...

    Thanks alot! I'll keep you posted, let the work begin....

    Adele:slayer:
     
  13. adele

    adele Thread Starter

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    Hennie,

    Im not blonde but sometimes have my moments!:p If I understand correct the first part of the filtration system must be only the skimmer with a layer of sand underneath, the next compartment just sand. Must we add the bioballs and coarse coral again in the other compartments after adding the sand layer or completely remove and only have empty compartments with a sand layer underneath through which the water can filter? Hubby wants to know why everything cant be done at once...? Will it be too much for the fish and corals? Thanx Hennie, enjoy your hunting trip!
     
  14. PoPe_G

    PoPe_G

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    I believe Hennie's away....but there will be plenty guys here to help.

    1st compartment: only skimmer (no sand)

    No ceramic rings or bio balls. You will slowly have to remove the Bio Balls & Ceramic Rings....Not all @ once though.

    The water should flow over the sand bed, not through it.

    If you do everything @ once the tank will go haywire and cause you more issues.....!

    Welcome to MASA! & GOOD LUCK!!!!!!
     
  15. inflames

    inflames

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    Hi Guys,

    I see a potential problem with adding a DSB here:(...with the current sump as is. It looks like the flow is from the skimmer side under, then over, then under, then over to last chamber that has return pump! Problem is that some modifications will need to be done in order to get a DSB functioning here!

    Adele what Hennie has advised you is great advise. Do it slowly as doing it all at once WILL put your system under severe pressure...as it is, its not coping (thats why the cyno and algae is there!). So do one thing each month.

    In order to add a DSB here, you need to modify that sump. I would suggest leaving the 1st compartment as is for the skimmer. Leave the Glass that divides the 2nd and 3rd compartment. The next piece of glass that seperates the 3rd and 4th compartment needs to be removed completely. You will then be left with 4 compartments instead of 5. This new (bigger) 3rd comparment made from joining the current 3rd and 4th compartments is where you will have the DSB (Deep Sand Bed). It will then have water flowing over it and not through it. It will also be bigger and work better. Try and make the dsb minimum 12 cm deep (15cm is better though) it looks like making the dsb this depth will be acheivable quiet easily from the pictures of your sump.

    Please be gentle when removing that piece of glass (the one that divides the current 3rd and 4th compartments) from the sump...could end in disaster :(if not done slowly and carefully!! maybe some of the DIY guys could advise on getting that glass out?!?!

    Once that DSB has settled for a few months you will notice the difference!:thumbup:

    Look forward to seeing the pictures!
     
  16. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Hi Adele, welcome to MASA. There is a link in my signature on how to start a marine tank - please read it, should help a lot.
    Normaly a sump has 3 compartments,

    1 = skimmer
    2 = deep sand bed of 15cm of very fine sand
    3 = return pump back to tank

    First remove the crushed coral in the compartment 2nd closest to the return pump - put fine sand in there. You can use Reggies play sand - just wash it decently until it becomes white and the water coming out of it very clear and rinse it with old tank water. Put it in that comparment. Wait 3 weeks to a month for the bacteria to transfer to the sand.

    Remove the noodles and other stuff from the compartment between the skimmer and the sand. Fill with sand. Wait another 3 weeks to a month.

    Remove the bio-balls from the skimmer compartment and leave empty. The last compartment before the return pump, you can add chaeto algae under the light. It will use up nitrates.

    The reason you have to wait inbetween is that there are bacteria in the ground/bio-balls/crushed coral that breaks down the ammonia to nitrites and then to nitrates. If you remove all at once, your tank will crash as there is no bacteria to do the job. You have to give them a chance to move over into the sand.
    The problem with bio-balls and noodles etc is they only convert ammonia to nitrites to nitrates, and that's it. Where a sand bed converts the nitrates to harmless nitrogen that escapes back to the atmosphere.

    The ideal would be to have 3 compartments in the sump to get as big a surface area for the DSB as possible, but in your case you're going to disturb too much if you remove all at once now.

    Hope this helps

    Sorry for chipping in on your forum Hennie - just thought I'd let you load some more bullets :p
     
  17. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Eish, I think you're right Inflames, I did't see that.

    In that case, just remove the crushed coral, bio-balls and noodles slowly and leave the compartments empty. The bacteria should transfer to the live rock. Just do regular water changes - 10% min per week ;)

    After the sump is empty, I think add a temp sump in there and modify this one. This is the only way. But the stuff needs to be removed slowly to give the bacteria a chance to settle in the live rock.
     
  18. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Even better, build a completely new sump as big as possible while slowly removing the balls/noodles/crushed coral etc.
    When the old sump has been running "empty" for a while, swap sumps. Here is a pic of a 3 chamber sump

    Overflow from tank is on the skimmer side and the water flow slowly over the sand to the return chamber.



    [​IMG]
     
  19. inflames

    inflames

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    Hi Tobes,

    I noticed that the sump was a bit decieving and something didn't add up! :razz:Anyway hope Adele comes right with this project! I believe that this way of setting a sump up was "the best for the day" a few years back!

    Hennie:wave2:...sorry for high jacking your thread...Hope you are enjoying the break!:yeahdude:
     
  20. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    I'm not gone yet (leaving tomorrow morning...), but THANKS to everyone for chipping in - keep it up while I'm away :thumbup:

    Adele, you've received some good advice from the guys - listen to them.

    inflames if quite correct - the water should flow OVER the sand, and not through it - THANKS for spotting that :)

    NOW I'm gone...

    Hennie
     
  21. adele

    adele Thread Starter

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    Thanx guys! I appreciate all the tips.
     
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