Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

Algae And Algae And Algae And, More Algae

Discussion in 'Marine and Reef Chit Chat' started by londonwriter, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. londonwriter

    londonwriter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi All,

    My tank went a bit green when I set it up. No problem I thought, it's just cycling. Then it went greener, so I bought some more snails. Now it's REALLY green! I have algae smothering my live rock, one piece of which now looks like a grass meadow, and even the sand is being overcome by it - I'm growing mini algae christmas trees and everything!

    I bought some phosphate remover and it's sitting in the filter box of my skimmer. It has lowered the levels (from about 2.5mg to 1mg), but there's not been a noticeable difference in the amount of greenery. I also have a scum floating on top of the water. Again, not that pretty.

    My algae blennie can't believe his luck - for him, I guess it's like living in Harrod's food hall - and the snails rarely need to move, such is the abundance of food wherever they are.

    So, what do I do?! Should I get some more snails/crabs/eaters of algae? Is there another way to deal with it?

    Yours, in greenness,

    londonwriter
     
  2. l337dave

    l337dave Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    sheffield
    daft n00b question:

    did you use RO water..?


    dave.
     
  3. londonwriter

    londonwriter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes, and recently did a fairly large water change as well.
     
  4. N1z

    N1z Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    858
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sussex
    water changes can make the blooms worse, have you checked your nitrates and silicates? they are the other 2 to get rid of as they are food aswell to the algea.
     
  5. SkiFletch

    SkiFletch Professor Beaker
    Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    14,074
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    More questions that I have to ask before moving forward.

    Do you test the TDS of your RO water? If so, what is its value?
    How often do you flush the membrane?
    What brand of salt do you use?
    What do you feed and how often?
    Do you run a skimmer? If so what brand?
    Whats your turnover in the tank?
    How much LR?
    Any refugium present? If so, how is it constructed?

    Those might help shed some light on your problem for us :)
     
  6. londonwriter

    londonwriter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK, so...

    I haven't tested the TDS of the RO water so far - the unit is only a few months old, and probably produced 400litres total. Likewise with the membrane.

    Salt is Tropic Marine

    I feed frozen brine shrimp once a day and flake food once a day too. I've got it to the point where there's very little waste now, although obviously some stuff always get caught etc.

    Skimmer is a Red Sea protein deluxe

    Turnover is about 3500l p hour

    5kg of live rock

    No refugium.

    Thanks SkiFletch, I look forward to your reply!
     
  7. SkiFletch

    SkiFletch Professor Beaker
    Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    14,074
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Ok theres some telling things in there. Before I start, remember that nuisance algaes are not caused by one thing alone, its usually a number of small factors adding up to help them out with their dominance so I'll try and address some issues

    First off, my RO membrane lists that it should be flushed once a month for 30 minutes in typical use for an average aquarium (50-120gallons). Its quite possible that your RO membrane is not functioning properly and possibly allowing things it shouldnt into your water. TDS meters are very cheap and I'd reccomend getting one. Typical RO discharge is 2-3ppm of solutes when functioning properly. When the membrane requires flushing, that will jump up to 20-30ppm or higher and is a great indicator of when you need to flush it. Also if after flushing the membrane still reads 20-30ppm, its time to replace it (usually they last a few years). Also for reference, average tap water is 100-150ppm

    Salt sounds fine, doubt you're having nutrient troubles there.

    Feeding frozen food that often can definitely be a way to incur nuisance algae. Lots of frozen foods (especially the cheaper brands) contain extra phosphates and other dissolved organics that are nuisance algae fuel. Frozen foods should be filtered out before adding to your tank. I feed frozen as frequently as you do too but I drain all mine. I put the food in a shot glass, fill with RO, and let it thaw (takes a couple mins). Then I pour it over a womens nylon to filter out the water and leave the shrimp. Then I dip the nylon in the tank to release the shrimp and go wash it off in the sink.

    Skimmer is OK, and turnover is also just fine, those are probably not problem areas.

    5kg's of rock in a 180L tank however scares the bejebus out of me :crazy:. The reccomended minimum weight of LR for a tank that size is around 22-25kg of LR. That IMO is your largest problem by far... LR is nature's filter and is capable of facilitating the removal of tons of fuel for nuisance algae. While I've seen tanks run on less than the reccomended weight of LR, they usually go to some other exotic method of filtration to accomplish that feat. If you want to compete with algae longterm, you need more LR IMO.

    Last couple of questions, what is your lighting? How old are the tubes? And does the tank recieve a significant amount of direct sunlight?
     
  8. londonwriter

    londonwriter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0

    Hey Ski Fletch,

    Thanks so much for the info - very, very helpful indeed. I shall name my next fish after you or something!

    I'm using 2 T8s at the moment. I think the bulbs are alright, they came with the tank, but are bright and don't appear mottled at any point along the tubes. I have a luminaire with 4 T5s in, but they need replacing at the moment, and without trying to grow coral, I've chosen not to use them.

    The lights are on for about 14 hours a day, and while the tank does receive light, it's not direct sunlight.

    I think you're right about the live rock though - shall try and find some.

    Thanks again!
     
  9. SkiFletch

    SkiFletch Professor Beaker
    Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    14,074
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    I'd shift your light cycle down to 10 hours too. No need to have it on al the time, it only encourages the algae, creates heat, and wastes electricity :). I know plenty of reefers whom only run their lights 6-8hrs a day.
     
  10. londonwriter

    londonwriter Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK, I'll adjust the time down for the lights - hopefully that'll be a start!

    I'm thinking about buying an external filter rather than investing in 20kg of live rock, with the hope that the live rock I already have will seed onto the ocean rock in the tank. Would a filter such as the Eheim Ecco filter be a good diea? Would it do a similar job?
     
  11. SkiFletch

    SkiFletch Professor Beaker
    Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    14,074
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Nah, dont spend money on canister filters right now, spend money on LR first :)
     
  12. heirfaus

    heirfaus Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wanted to add a side note here. If your want more animals in your tank. I recomend first an urchin. I bought one for 7.50 USD and it is amazing. It doesn't cover a large area in a large amount of time, but it CLEANS up. The spotts it leaves look like beautiful new rock. Also I purchased a banded dragon goby to help turn my sand, to my surprise he LOVES grass algea. I have a decent size algea problem and between the urchin and banded dragon it is slowly disappearing.

    This pic shows 2 white spots(coraline algea) amongst a lot of algea. These 2 spots used to look like the rest before my urchin(in this picture) decided to eat dinner.

    PB200007.JPG
     

Share This Page