Large waterchange ..... mini cycle ?

Discussion in 'Water Parameters and Additives' started by Apollo, 25 Feb 2009.

  1. Apollo

    Apollo

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    Hi Guys,

    Despite my best efforts of ridding my tank of GHA , I am not winning.:(
    The algae has not subsided and appears to be getting worse on some rocks.

    This is compounded by the fact that some of the rocks have a huge amount of hidden detritus in the crevices . When blowing on these rocks , I end up getting a milky white cloud in the water column.

    So... Only option for me is to take out each of the rocks and scrub them clean of any GHA , and also give them a good wash to rid them of any hidden detritus.

    Now, I'm planning on doing this major clean up on Friday . I'll probably be changing approx 50% of the total water volume to dilute any nutrients in suspension even further. I currently run a 60 Liter nano.

    My thinking was to make up a 30-40 Liter batch of salt & RO mix to use for cleaning the rocks and also the subsequent waterchange.

    Would such a large waterchange cause a mini-cycle again ? :p
     
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  3. goodisor

    goodisor

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    I do 50% water changes usually every two days but have switch to every week.I have had no sign of any cycling,so I dont think so.50% water change should be good;)
     
  4. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Use a small powerhead with some flexible tubing on it. Then blow into the rocks with that to penetrate deeper and to blow the junk out. Easier than pumping a turkey blaster, and you got a hand free.
    The good live is not in the water column but in your LR and substrate. And as you do not have any lifestock yet, I believe even bigger water changes and more frequent will not be a problem.
     
  5. Apollo

    Apollo Thread Starter

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    Thanks Guys,

    OK. So no big issue with doing a 50% WC.

    Hopefully the clean-up on Friday will be successful in ridding my tank of the residual GHA and detritus. If not .... well then I suppose we'll have to cook the rocks :(
     
  6. Tony

    Tony

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    YOu're only going to make things worse with large water changes by introducing fresh trace elements to make it grow. You have to get to the root of the problem which are nitrates and phosphates which are probably tied into the rocks and gravel from poor husbandry and are slowly being released. CLeaning the rocks and removing the algae are one way of reducing nutrients. Phosphate sponges and nitrates sponges are another. Seachem make a good nitrate reducing sponge and most ofm the FO based sponges are good. The best but hard to get solution is Prodibio which sorted my algae in a month. Before that I battled for six months
     
  7. Apollo

    Apollo Thread Starter

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    Thanks Tony,

    My battle with the GHA has been going on for approx 2 months now.
    The tank is only 3.5 months old and initially when the GHA started raising it's head I took this as part of the tank transitioning . I have tried various methods of going without WC's , reducing photoperiod and even running without lights for a week.
    All to no avail.

    I run Chemi-pure elite (carbon & PO4 remover) together with skimmer and filter floss.
    Floss is replaced every three days and 15% WC's and vacuuming of substrate done every week without fail. Rocks are blasted every week to get the detritus into suspension and then skimmed/filtered off

    Nitrates test at 2 ppm and PO4 levels undetectably low. I even had two LFS's test the water to verify my test kits.

    My problem (I think) lies within the LR itself . The algae is locking down the PO4 and Nitrates before it has any chance to leach into the water.

    Now, my GHA problem is not as bad as some other member's setups I've seen , but I have concern that it will eventually get out of hand and smother any corals which I decide to put in. :(
     
  8. goodisor

    goodisor

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    This has not been my experience for some time now.Large water changes can only do good.However,I agree with the obvious point of finding the root cause of the nitrate and phosphate source.If you have little stock,then removing your rocks and scrubbing them is a good idea.That way you won't have to put up with loads of dying algae re-introducing nutrients.PO4 remover and all other chemical based nitrate and phosphate removers can and do help alot,but they are not the ideal.An algae scrubber,DSB,turf scrubber,etc all are good continuous,long term nitrate and phosphate reducers.And they are natural.I dont have a nano,but not too long ago I had a bunch of zoas that ended up falling into a hole and rotting.This caused a major algae bloom.Fortunately I found the source of nitrates and removed it.After that,all I did was daily 50% water changes to flush my system.Within 2 or 3 days the algae was falling away.I did not use any additives at all.Of course my corals and fish were ecstatic with the continuous fresh water.

    Anyways,I hope you win the algal battle.Do keep us updated;)
     
  9. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Apollo, GHA can be quite a mystery problem. There are gurus out there with GHA, and they have tried everything to no avail.

    Do you have any idea, how old your live rock is ?
     
  10. Apollo

    Apollo Thread Starter

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    Warr,

    No I don't really know.

    All I know is that when I bought the LR in Nov. 2008 , I was told that the rock had been cured. Perhaps I should have cured it myself for another 2 months or so , but I didn't think of it at that stage


    Now I'm curious : Would the age of the LR play a role in the appearance/dissappearance of GHA ?
     
  11. Tony

    Tony

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    Phosphates can get taken up by the substrate and rocks and poor husbandry, not using RO water for changes and top up's can cause these things to build up and eventually released back into the system giving you the problems you're having without picking up high levels of nitrates and phosphates
     
  12. Apollo

    Apollo Thread Starter

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    Tony,

    Insofar husbandry is concerned , I believe that I am very diligent and do this well.
    I have been extremely disciplined and diligent from the start of the tank in terms of cleaning , maintenance , water changes , water tests etc.

    All RO water used is tested for TDS , PO4 and Nitrates and the water & salt mix is again tested before being added to the tank.

    Insofar as I am concerned , nothing is being added to the tank containing phosphates , nitrates etc.

    My only livestock is 1 Bicolour blenny , mushrooms , GSP , Mycedium and button polyps. I don't feed at all at present , since the blenny stuffs himself with algae in the tank.

    Now the million dollar question : What else am I missing or not testing/investigating ?
     
  13. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Apollo, we still on for tonight?

    GHA is one of those things that can just happen
    Green hair algae thrive on more-red spectrum lighting, which is why it is so often a problem when our lights get old, and red shift. As lights age, they tend to shift toward the red-end of the spectrum. This means that the older the bulbs get, the more red-spectrum light they are emitting, which is hard to notice because it is such a gradual change, but the algae knows! Often times, algal overrun coincides with the last stages of a light bulb's life.

    Green hair algae use Molybdenum (MoO4) as a food source. Molybdenum commonly enters your tank in trace element additions and water changes. Molybdenum is essential to beneficial organisms such as zooxanthellae, as well as nuisance algae such as green hair and Cyanobacteria. However, molybdenum in concert with high phosphate levels and ample lighting can cause an explosion in the density of green hair algae.

    Do not overfeed. You already have a crew for clean up so that should help. Replace old lights. If you can, do not run your lights at all. This means, if you have no corals, macro-algae or other organisms that will suffer from this. Alternatively, you can run only Actinic bulbs. If you don't already have them, you might consider replacing your lights with pure Actinic bulbs. The blue-spectrum light will provide the necessary light to your desirable organisms and reduce/eliminate red-spectrum light used by the nuisance algae. Or you can reduce the photoperiod by 2/3.

    Hand prune the algae. Either pluck it or use a toothbrush to scrape it and remove it. This is critical. Algae, when killed, releases PO4 into the system, so you can create a self-perpetuating cycle if you just scrape the stuff off and leave it floating in the tank. You can also scrub rocks.

    Finally, encourage the growth of coralline algae by maintaining proper levels of calcium and alkalinity. Although green hair algae are ectophytic, it will generally not grow on coralline algae for some reason
     
  14. Apollo

    Apollo Thread Starter

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    Dallas,

    Yip. We're still on for tonight.

    Thanks for the info.

    Now , here's the strange thing . Insofar coralline algae growth is concerned it is growing at a rapid rate. Within approx 2 weeks most rocks that were bare until now have all coloured up to a shade of pink and then progress rapidly to a more purple colour.

    I have noticed that were the coralline grows , the GHA is less and does not regrow after manually plucking it.

    Aaaaargh !! This is a nightmare issue to try and resolve .:(
     
  15. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Do a search for old tank syndrome.
     
  16. goodisor

    goodisor

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    Dont stress Apollo,THIS I can guarantee you,you will get rid of the algae at the end of the day.It will be a case of:"AAaaaaaahhhhh!!!SO THATS what the problem was"...and we will all be the richer for the experience.;):)
     
  17. Apollo

    Apollo Thread Starter

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    Aaah ! Thanks Warr, never thought of that.
    I'll do some reading.
     
  18. Apollo

    Apollo Thread Starter

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    Thanks mate,

    I hope to be successful .:)
     
  19. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    some people get aptasia etc, its part of reefing :)

    i get cracked tanks :)
     
  20. Apollo

    Apollo Thread Starter

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    Too true mate !

    I'm paying the schoolfees at present , but it's all good.:lol:

    Knowledge is power and knowledge coupled with experience will make my Nano reef venture a very successful one in the long run.

    Although .... I could really do without these "little" challenges. :lol:
     
  21. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    hehe, me too, finally after 3 months i am getting water in my tanks...
    made the one i got from you in to my FOWLR tank for my bio-tope, planning for a clown trigger and moral, but might have to add corals :)
     
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