Another unbeatable GHA

Discussion in 'Nuisance Algae' started by kkoos, 11 May 2015.

  1. kkoos

    kkoos

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    Hi Guys,

    After about 5 months of struggling with GHA I decided to make a post and get some pro assistance as i am currently fed up.

    I had a 3 ft tank when the GHA started, (early Dec '14), that thank was a year old, I then decided to upgrade the tank to a 4ft. Ever since algae is just growing...

    Tank parameters:
    NO3 :0 or undetectable.
    PO4 : 0.08
    SG : 1.025
    Mg : 1320
    Ca : 430
    KH : ~9-10
    PH : 8.2
    Temp : ~25°C

    Setup :
    4Ft tank
    2x 55W T5 (one reef blue one cool white)~4 Months old.
    3Ft sump (old tank converted to sump)
    Jebao rw-8 flow pump and some Chinese 700L/h cheepie
    2x 2000L/h return pumps
    Bubble Magnus Curve 5
    Two little fishies phosban reactor 150
    2x 300W heaters
    15W UV-always on
    Total volume about 350L

    LS:
    2x Chromis
    2x Clowns
    1x Bicolour Blennie
    1x 6line wrase
    1x Manderin
    2x Anthias
    2x Demsels
    1x Tiger Goby
    2x Fire Shrimp
    2x Cleaner shrimp
    3x Urchins
    6x Hermits
    3x Snails
    lots of brittle stars and those white little ones
    Zenia
    lots of pollops
    4x Tubeworms
    3x Pin cushion mushroom
    Few mushrooms
    Few Manjano (I like them tho )
    Some Candy Coral
    Small Kenya Tree

    History to try to beat algae.
    1)Purchased Redsea Algea Pro Test kit (NO3 & PO4), used salifert before.
    2)Added RW-8 and second return pump as I read I "might" not have enough flow.
    3)Dosed NOPOX (1L) - ReadSea algae management program
    4)Added refugium containing cheato, center compartment in sump (about 500mmx 370mm by 200mm), to compete against GHA for nutrients, - 20W Red Grow LEDS
    5)Added second Heater - apparently temp swings could assist algae growth too.
    6)Added Phosban reactor, running ~200ml RowPhos - apparently best to remove PO4 and don't need any NO3 (unlike NOPOX)
    7)Removed Activated carbon, it leeched PO4, threw some in 500ml RO and tested positive.
    8)Reduced lighting period from 11hrs to 4 hrs, (after a week back to 11)
    9)Tried Black out for 3 days about 4 times.
    10)Removed auto feeder
    11)Feed once at night frozen brine(blue packet, one with omega) (poor fish starving)
    12)Added 6x Hermits, smallish
    13)Added 3x Urchins, golf ball sized
    14)Added Giant Lawnmower Blennie ( GF called it Whale), unfortunately he passed on. (post here on masa).
    15)Added BioCubes (in the beginning before algae to help nitrate removal)

    My Cheato is growing like hell.
    Plopys thats no coverd with GHA looks very good.
    Zenia grows quite quick. Went from 1 branch to about 6 in 3 months.
    Algae is growing about 10 - 15 mm a week,
    Every Sunday I clean of the algae pulling off the most,while siphoning them out through a filter sock, and the brushing the rocks.
    Skimmer is set up to wet skimming, (greenish muck)
    I stopped dosing NOPOX as I dont have any NO3 so its apparently pointless.
    I am dosing KH (Reef Foundation B) to keep at 10dKH
    Salt is Red Sea Coral Pro, doing 10% water change monthly.
    RO water TDS is 7 - Own System. and connected to ATU
    Dosing Vitamins (Vita chem I think) 5ml once a week.

    I have 2 "base rocks" brought over from 3ft tank which is completely covered in GHA all other rocks have patches of GHA so i assume PO4 leaching from the base, would have thought it would stop by now, I cant remove any rocks as they all have pollops growing on them.
    Temp drops to 24 with Loadshedding, Inverter not strong enough to run heaters.
    Running Genny over weekends with Loadshedding and heaters is on then.

    I have removed my filter sock as it kills to many pods, - should I rather keep it in?

    I listed everything as I don't know if I do something wrong or not doing anything i should.


    That is it I think, so what is next? what do I do next?
     
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  3. madmatt

    madmatt

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    I'm by no means a pro.
    Correct me if I'm wrong someone. But a TDS reading of 7 is way way to high and that's probably the cause.
     
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  4. madmatt

    madmatt

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    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  5. kkoos

    kkoos Thread Starter

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    I had a discussion with another reefer and he said 7 is high but not critical, 9 is apparently the limit?
    Correct me if i'm wrong?
     
  6. madmatt

    madmatt

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    Will have to wait for a pro.I've tagged lawrence from @Aquaria-SA to help.
    But I'm almost 100% sure 7 is to high and that's your problem.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  7. kkoos

    kkoos Thread Starter

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    hope it will be something so simple...
     
  8. zippy

    zippy

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    sounds like you're in the "zone", 5 months old... Algae will generally always be a problem. The trick is you need to be a good maintenance manager, I'm not saying at all that you are a kak one, but it comes down to husbandry and upkeep, as well as moving the algae to another place within the system that is more favorable than your display tank.

    it looks as tho you have the Issues resolved in you water column.

    what this could point to is the live rock you used was either left exposed to fairly high nutrient levels or either excessive yet low nutrient levels over a long period of time.

    Where do you find the GHA accumulating?

    If i were you:

    Clean what I can off of the rocks, dose Vodka, 2 months down the line, smile.

    Read up on the vodka dosing.
     
  9. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Rather go with flake food.

    Are you doing water changes?

    Next time, instead of brushing the rocks. Rather drain the old water from the water change into 2 tubs. Pull out some of the rocks and rather scrub it in the one tub. Then rinse in the other. Before returning it into the tank.

    Also, dipping the rocks a couple of times, swirling them around, to wash out detritus and whatever other loose bits that is inside out into the tub.
     
  10. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    What do you mean by threw in 500ml RO and tested positive?

    Not really a good idea in my opinion, you need to continue with the nopox in order to keep the Nitrates down, you just reduce the amount that you are dosing.

    Can you post some pics? Just to confirm it is GHA and not Bryopsis or something else?
     
  11. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    the carbon leached PO4
     
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  12. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    ok i would get your RO down to 0, why add more to the fuel
    PO4 can cause some of your issues
    The rock itself is leaching PO4 so the GHA will get all it needs from there.
    add a long-spine urchin, these will devour all the GHA.
    you will have to wait it out i am afraid, or remove the base rock causing the issues
     
  13. kkoos

    kkoos Thread Starter

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    Algae was there since day one in upgraded tank

    Mainly on baserock, bit on other rocks.

    Isnt this the same than dosing NOPOX?


    Yes, 10% monthly and clean substrate while at it

    yes sorry, here a link:
    ActivCarbonHPO4art

    Yes main objective now will check what is going on.

    Yes but how long will this still go on?

    I have 3 reasonable sized ones (Stomopneustes variolaris)
    they do eat the rock clean but algae grows quicker than they can eat.
    Stomopneustes variolaris - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    I have cleaned out allot of algae on Sunday and threw out about half 25L drum of cheato,(removed a third). Will take pictures tonight and then again on sunday an will post them.

    Thanx for all the tips !!
     
    Last edited: 12 May 2015
  14. kkoos

    kkoos Thread Starter

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    double post
     
    Last edited: 12 May 2015
  15. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Could you increase that to 10% weekly until your problems are sorted. Can use the old water to scrub some rocks clean.
     
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  16. Adrian B

    Adrian B

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    Hi

    I’m no guru but I got a 4 foot set up (400 litre or close to that) and had a similar nightmare that took me about 4 months to get under control. Feel your pain, after lots of google this is what I did:

    Fish & Food:
    • 1st things 1st – 11 fish even though small species is quite a lot in a 4 foot – I have 10 in my 4 foot and I reckon it should be 8 maybe 9.
    • Don’t starve your fish but be careful of over feeding – frozen once a day every second day, flake enough for them to consume in a minute or two max

    RO:
    • Make sure adding decent RO water – don’t help if you pouring fertilizer in

    Two Part Calcium Supplements, Vitamins and Amino Acids:
    • Careful of this stuff – scrutinize ingredients on 2 part Calcium/ KH supplements sometimes have Iron which makes algae grow like mad, Amino Acids, reef snow etc. will add to your algae problem if you not careful with it – I would leave it alone all together until you go a handle on the Algae

    Bio Cubes, No Pox, Phosban etc. all work but you need to be careful combining them as they can work against each other.

    • I eventually stuck with NoPox because I found you can be very precise on the dosage especially if you have it on a dosing pump
    • 1st I had a DSB – I realised that for NoPoX to work on Phosphate as well as Nitrate it needs lots of Nitrate and my DSB was starving the NoPox of Nitrate so I removed my DSB
    • NoPox then was very efficient on my Nitrate but my Phosphate stabilised at about 1 and would not move.
    • Don’t overdose the NoPox, the Nitrate will soon bottom out at Zero and your Phosphate will rise steadily as there is no Nitrate for the NoPox to work with
    • Some bright spark suggested adding some ceramic bio media to my sump as it’s apparently very efficient but also notorious as a Nitrate generating machine
    • With the added Nitrate my NoPox started working a lot better and now my Natrate is stable at about 0.02 and my Phosphate about 0.04
    • It also took about 4 months for my Phosphate to come down but that was probably because I didn’t understand the relationship with Nitrate
    • Also you can’t run any Phosban or phosphate removers or any Nitrate inhibiters while you if you going to give NoPox a try

    Lastly for NoPoX to work you need a proper skimmer I have a Curve 7 in my tank and sometimes I think I need a bigger skimmer – you mention a Curve 5- You might not have enough skimmer for the NoPoX.

    Don’t give up on siphoning and pulling off as much of the stuff as possible – it gives up eventually.

    Anyway I’m sure their guys here with much more experience and know how than me on this forum, sure with a bit of patience and good advice you will beat it.

    May the force be with you – it’s not a pleasant ride the Algae battle!
     
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  17. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    you need Diadema antillarum, long spine urchin, these are known GHA eaters

    the leaching will take as long as it takes, all depending on how much PO4 is in the rock natural, from feeding etc.

    Remember PO4 only gets into our tank from us, so the sources are RO, Food and rock
     
  18. Dexter

    Dexter

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    Nice write up Adrian......Well done. Think it will help many reefers out there
     
  19. kkoos

    kkoos Thread Starter

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    Thanx @Adrian B

    Exactly what you said with the relationship between NO3 an PO4 for nopox to work was my decision to stop using it, I read up on using it with bio-cubes and it was fine. But also the biocubes need NO3 to remove PO4 (well other way around), then I opted for the RowaPhos (GFO) method which does not require NO3, I did however finished the bottle of nopox and then only moved onto GFO, leaving a block or 3 BioCubes in the sump. Nitrates however, still hasnt moved off "0"

    One thing that bothers me through this whole process is someone once said :
    - your NO3 and PO4 levels might be low if you have excessive algae because the algae absorb them out of the water as soon as they are released into the water, this means that you keep measuring low because its already used up-
    Roughly idea what i got not word for word exactly
    how to you dose (nopox) for instance if you have allot of algae and the level of dosing according to the chart is the lowest?

    On the fish side, I thought the other day about the same thing, the thing is, they all look happy, no one is chasing no one, so maybe when they all grown up it might change but then I can use it as an excuse to go for a bigger tank again.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  20. kkoos

    kkoos Thread Starter

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    OK I will increase, cant really remove the rocks as they fit perfectly to form a "picture" and removing a rock and putting it back again exactly the same is quite impossible. i think on the living things side it also might be bothersome for them.
     
  21. carlosdeandrade

    carlosdeandrade

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    Are you sure it's GHA and not bryopsis. You can't just stop NOPOX, read the instructions and follow Red Seas recommendations. Like others have said, RO should be at or close to zero, a number of 4 is still ok. Even though you have low numbers, your algae is using the NO3 and PO4 as dissolved organic food to grow.
     
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