Algea problem

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Hendry-John, 4 Nov 2010.

  1. Hendry-John

    Hendry-John

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    Hi Hennie

    Could you please give me some advise on algea. I have a 2.1m Aquarium for about 7months running with corals and moorish idols.About 2 weeks ago I've gange my powerglo and marine glo lights to halide lights for better light for my coral and now my hole aquarium is full of brown algea. Is this normal?

    Gegards
    John Stilbaai
     
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  3. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Hi John,

    Upgrading the lights from normal fluorescents (how many did you have?) to metal halides is quite an increase in light intensity, and it is to be expected that your tank will undergo an algae bloom if the dissolved nutrients (NO3 & PO4) is even slightly above optimum. "Brown algae" would probably be diatoms, and if so, then it is not too serious, as diatoms can be skimmed out of the system. They are also pretty much self limiting, as they quickly use up the silica in the water, and then tend to slow down in growth.

    It is, however, quite difficult to make any meaningful assessment without knowing more about your setup. Please, can you provide us with as much information as possible:
    Do you use natural sea water, or artificial salt
    Do you use RO filtered fresh water to replace evaporated water
    What skimmer (if any) do you use
    What is your total bio load (number, type & size of fish, corals & other inverts)
    What filtration system do you use (if any)
    How often do you do partial water changes, and what % of the tank volume do you replace
    How much (and what) do you feed
    Do you test your water - please post all your latest test results (preferably SG, NO2, NO3, PO4, Ca, pH and alkalinity.

    With this, and whatever other info you can give, we might be able to make some recommendations.

    Hennie
     
  4. Mr_G

    Mr_G

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    also upgraded to T5's from T8's and my rocks are full of brown algea, but getting beter now, the collection cup on my skimmer is full everyday, gonna test my parameters tonight, so what must I do if the No2 and NO3 is a bit high? What prooduct can I get...?
     
  5. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    The BEST EVER product is free - it is called PATIENCE.

    Of course, one should never over-stock or over-feed one's tank, especially during the first year. Most beginner problems are caused by having too high a bio-load, and by stocking the tank too quickly.

    Hennie
     
  6. Hendry-John

    Hendry-John Thread Starter

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    Hi Hennie,

    I had 2 marine glo and 2 power glo. I have replaced them with 2x 250watt halides and 2x T5. A 200liter waterchange is done monthly with seawater.My SG is 1.025 and all ather tests good.
    My skimmer is working overtime and have to empty it every 3rd day. I use rainwater that has been tested.

    Yesterday I through in a couple of turbo snails to see how much they can eat, and if they clean the hole aquarium I'll through them back into the sea.

    All my corals look better with the halides.

    I think its the halides that let the algea grow so rapidley.

    John
     
  7. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    What is the kelvin rating of the halides?
     
  8. Hendry-John

    Hendry-John Thread Starter

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  9. Mr_G

    Mr_G

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    Tested my parameters: PH - 8.0 NO2 - 0.1mg/L NO3 - 5mg/L KH - 8 salinity - 1.025 temp - 26C so all looks good....this was tested with marlin tropic kits... So I think it is just the lights growing bacteria rapidly, think I should lift them 100mm, atm they are 30mm from the water, tank size is 800 x 500 x 500, dsb system with via aqau skimmer, bio load is not much, 4 chromis, 2 turbo snails, 2 cleaner shrimps, long tenticale anemone, some pollips, and 12kg LR lights are 2 blue 39W T5, 2 white 39W T5 10000K
     
  10. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    WOW, that's like a 500% increase in brightness... good for the long-term success of your tank, but sure to cause some algae problems during the time it takes your tank to adjust to this extra light.

    I would suggest that this could be one of the contributing causes. Rain water still "absorbs" pollutants from the air, and from the roof (or wherever you collect it from). It is probably better than tap water, but I doubt if it would be anywhere as pure as RO water. I obviously don't know what tests you have done on the water, but it should ideally have a zero TDS reading (and definately less than 5...). Someting to consider is that the nutrient levels in pristine sea water are mostly far below the detection limit of hobby-type test kits, so even if your water tests "0", it could still contain 10 to +1000 times more "pollutants" than what you would ideally want in your tank :whistling:

    Having some algae predators in the tank will help a lot :thumbup:
    I lived in Riversdal some years ago, and collected a few Alikreukels from the rock pools in Jongensfontein which worked very well while my tank water remained below 25°C. They unfortunately did not survive the higher temperatures of summer (in those days I did not have a chiller, and summer water temps regularly went up to 29°C, and even higher). With your 2 x 250W MH's I would caution that you closely watch your water temperature as well this summer - and start saving for a chiller if you don't already have one...

    Mr G, that's OK for a fish-only setup, but the NO2 should really be undetectable in a reef tank.

    Hennie
     
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