More than just nuisance algae!!!

Discussion in 'Nuisance Algae' started by Tim S, 26 Nov 2009.

  1. Tim S

    Tim S

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    Good morning there,

    I have a real problem with long strands of green algae. My tank was initially covered in a brown furry stuff, diatoms i beleive, and now this. I removed it by sucking it up but it attaches to the rock and substrate very well. It needs to be broken off to get rid of the long strands. It grow at an alarming rate, 100mm in a few days. It covers everything directly below the lights. 150 watt MH,s. I tested water params last week and the only thing off was the Nitates which was at 25. I have no stock in the tank yet and need to start stocking as it's been running for 9 weeks now. Could it be as a result of the lighting or the type of lamp im using?[​IMG][​IMG]

    Any advise please.

    Tim
     
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  3. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Tim - the most common causes of nuisance algae, are as follows:
    - too high phosphates/nitrates, in:
    = your tanks water
    = hidden inside the life rock
    = in the form of too much detritus in your tank itself...

    To get rid of this, try and do the following:
    - run a huge amount of chaetomorpha in your tank's sump, with really decent lighting
    - run enough phosphate remover chemical filtration media, either in a filter bag/sock/stocking, or in a reactor
    - "cook" the life rock (place the life rock in a container in the dark, with only a powerhead in the container and some old tank water from a water change - leave the rock in there for at least 6 weeks)

    This should get rid of your algae...

    Good luck
     
  4. crispin

    crispin

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    hi tim,
    that does indeed look bad, its so frustrating when algae gets the better of ones tank, but there are a number of things you can do to combat it.

    most essencial is to attack its food source. this can be a number of issues, but often its from people using tap water and salt mix in their tanks. this fules algae due to the unpure nature of tap water. You must use RO if you dont already.

    Algae is also fueled by over feeding, but in your case thats unlikely as you dont have anything in the tank? Just to check you arent putting dead shrimps in to feed bacteria as some people eronously believe?

    Phosphates can also have leached into the LR and be feeding the algae sources from inside, where did you get the LR from and was it wet when you got it?

    I would suggest running a phosphate medium, rowaphos is very good. Its simple to do to.

    adding on an aglgae turf scrubber would accelerate the growth of the aglae on removable screens and help use up any nutrients the algae in the tank is using. As would cheatomorph algae in the sump. Have a look through masa about some algae scrubber ideas there are some easy DIY versions. :)
     
  5. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    If you've got no livestock in the tank then I would switch the lights off for 3 to 7 days, this should stunt the growth and it should hopefully start receding.

    Did you use Natural Sea Water or salt and RO mix?
     
  6. Tim S

    Tim S Thread Starter

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    Hi all,

    Thanks for the advise chaps. OK, I use natural sea water from Two Oceans with fortnightly water changes of 100 to 150 litres. I top up with RO water from a lfs (approx 50 litres per week). In terms of the rock, I placed 40 kg of base rock and then 10 kg of live rock. I did however not boil the base rock as the pieces were far too large. If anything, this would seem to be the problem. The live rock was literally bleached clean when I purchased it from a reputable supplier. My ATS in not doing well as the algae is not growing any further after the initial 'coating' of the screen. I think the lights ar'nt strong enough. Will change this this weekend. And finally I wish I had Chaeto as I have a nice section in the sump for it, but it seems to be like hens teeth in CT.

    Asuming the base rock to be the culpret, if I leave it and treat the symtoms with chemical filtration as suggested, will the problem eventually go away without any future repercussions, or is the only real solution to start again?

    Your advise is very welcome.

    Thanks,

    Tim
     
  7. Hill

    Hill

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    If you have a ATS then you don't really need Chaeto. Sort the lighting on the ATS out first. Then do as Viper suggests and switch the light on the main display off for a week. That should kick start the ATS nicely.
     
  8. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    It may or may not be the dry rock, it's possible.

    Have you tested the RO water you are getting from your LFS? If they haven't changed their filters in a while then their RO water may not be at acceptable levels.
     
  9. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Tim - why didn't you say that you need chaeto? I have +-half-a-cubic metre worth in my filtration system in my garage.

    Just let me know how/when/where we can meet up that I can get a hand-ful to you.

    Just remember that you also require some amazing lighting too for the chaeto.....

    PS: Where in CTN are you located?
     
  10. Tim S

    Tim S Thread Starter

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    Hi Jacques,

    I stay in Durbanville but will drive anywhere to collect some cheato. PM your number and when it suits you for me to come arround (the weekend some time) to your place and I'll give you a call.

    As for the lighting in my DT, could the type of lamps not be the cause of the wild growth as the long strands even grow from the aragonite ssb directly below the lights?
     
  11. Tim S

    Tim S Thread Starter

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    In considdering to install a chemical filter which will be a canister of some sort, I have read up a bit on the various mediums one could use. They range from carbon (which I currently have in my sump), phosguard, etc. The one which attracts my attention is "Purigen" which, buy going on what various sources say, is the best product to use. In general, would this be the case as these products are quite expensive, taking into account the quantity required.
    I'd be interested to hear you comments or experiences.

    Tim
     
  12. FransSny

    FransSny

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    Hi Tim, in my opinion no need for a "special" filter. I use chemipure elite (awesome product ) and all I do is chuck the little bag in the last chamber of my sump. Works for me
     
  13. Tim S

    Tim S Thread Starter

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    Algae update...
    I did some water tests today and was puzzled to find the nitates down to an undetectable level but the PO4 has gone through the roof, so to speak. It's at the far end of the colour scale. I have Serra test kits but don't quite understand the PO4 test as the comparison chart has 3 sets of results. So looking at the end reading it could be 2mg/l, or 4 mg/l or 10mg/l Which one is correct? Can someone assist me understanding the 3 possible readings please.

    In thinking back some 3 to 4 weeks I did start with carbon in my sump. I have read on the forum that at times carbon can release PO4. This seems possible as I replaced the carbon after 2 to 3 weeks with new carbon and the agae growth seems to have changed gears also. It's too late to test the carbon for PO4 leaching as I have put the last of the bottle into the sump. I think I'll remove it and see what happens.

    I am considdering putting in a yellow tang to eat some the greenary as tangs are vegatarian. Is this a safe move as a first fish?

    What is the best chemical solution for po4, I don't know anything about the myriad of products. Can someone advise give me some guidance please?

    Thanks,
    Tim
     
  14. Tim S

    Tim S Thread Starter

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    Furthre update. The PO4 is down to minimal levels. I have also discovered that the mh lamps are 4200 k. So am looking for 12 000k lamps. Can someone advise where one can get them reasonably priced.

    Cheers
     
  15. crispin

    crispin

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    hi tim, sorry for the late reply i see this has been sitting a while with no comments on it.

    carbon can indeed release things but thats NORMALLY only after its been saturated and then slowly leaches the originally bound compounds into the water. That fact that you have new activated carbon in there means I wouldnt worry about that too much.

    as to a PO4 remover there are a number of products. I personally use Rowa phos, which i have found easy and excelent.
     
  16. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    The 3 different scales are for different tests. In second and third test you dilute the tank water with distilled water. So that you can get a more accurate test result for readings over 2.
     
  17. Tim S

    Tim S Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the info Riaan.
    I've put cheato in my sump and it's doubling in size every week. It just manages to tumble as it's touching the glass all round. The algea is still growing but a lot less and a lot slower. Hopefully it will start receeding in the near future.
     
  18. maj

    maj

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    what lights u got in ur sump for the cheato?
    kelvin,watt readings?energy savers?
     
  19. Tim S

    Tim S Thread Starter

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    Hi Maj, I am using a 50 watt low voltage (12v) halogen downlighter lamp. In three weeks the first ball the size of a soft ball (slightly bigger than tennos ball) has grown to a block 300mm x 200 x 200mm. Myne tumbles in the sump and therefore the light is spread all round the ball and not only on one face. I'm sure this makes a big diffirence.
     
  20. maj

    maj

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    oh ok,mine has been in for over a month now,hasn grown much but has collected lotsa dirt in it.
    im using the 6500k energy saversX2.my dsb in the sump has darkened alot now lately,wunder if thats normal
     
  21. Tim S

    Tim S Thread Starter

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    The downlighter shines deep into the cheato ball as well. I have not seen how the energy savers work but cannot imagine that it will penetrate nearly as much as the downlighter. I tested the water params this morning and PO4 and NO3 are zero, so indication is that it is 'largely' growing on the light.
     
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