#1 WHAT IF I TOLD YOU... Ammonia is causing your algae problems?

Fish_Sticks

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After this, there is no turning back.

You take the blue pill - the story ends, you keep believing that nitrate and phosphate are the cause of your algae problems.

You take the red pill - I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.



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This image was created by @Fish_Sticks, ©2019, All Rights Reserved.

What if I told you...that ammonia was causing your algae problems?

Remember that parameter that nobody ever talks about? The one that you checked years ago when you first set up your tank? Well guess what. Ammonia is produced every millisecond your tank is up. Whether it is being used by the bacteria, or the algae, is an entirely different story.

Why do you have algae? It's plain and simple, don't let anyone fool you.

Your tank is dirty; maybe not chemically, but physically.

Nitrate levels around 10-20 are perfectly fine. Phosphates don't even really matter that much. Algae doesn't even really like nitrogen, what they do love, is ammonia!

For algae to use nitrogen, they must convert it into ammonia.

Algae love ammonia because it is less work for algae to consume ammonia than nitrogen.

When detritus (fish crap & uneaten food) breaks down into ammonia, the ammonia is usually taken up by the bacteria in your rock; however, because algae use ammonia very efficiently, algae can use ammonia before the bacteria have a chance. This causes some bacteria to die off and for the algae to get worse over time.

Can you see how this would create a snowball effect?

Your algae is essentially taking over your bacteria.

This gets even worse because the algae also contributes to clogging up your rock and taking up valuable surface area that bacteria need to live. Algae can overtake your bacteria when it comes to using ammonia. Think you can keep reducing your nitrates into oblivion and starving your corals in hopes your algae will magically disappear? Think again. Your tank is dirty.

But I've written an algae outbreak reaction strategy
. This method will really knock your socks off.

___________________________________________________________________

The algae control outbreak reaction strategy
as prescribed by fish_sticks.


The rules of algae management:

1. Do not make sudden changes, do not use hydrogen peroxide, do not turn off your lights and perform a tank blackout (this is not only bad for your corals, but your fish), or do anything that would be described as a fast fix. These strategies do not work long term. As soon as you stop dosing, as soon as you turn back on the lights, the algae will come back. These are foolish strategies.

2. Patience. Understand that it will take a few weeks or even a month to fix the problem. This hobby is based on the slowest changing thing in the world, the ocean. Patience is required to achieve success in the hobby.

3. Algae is not a bad thing. Sure it's ugly, but it's not going to crash your tank in a few weeks. Every single tank on the planet has algae, there is no way to get rid of it. The secret that nobody talks about is that you never get rid of algae, you control algae.

4. During this process, you should be manually removing algae from the tank when it reaches high levels or when it threatens the well being of your corals and fish.

5. Do not do too much too fast. Take things slow and focus on changing your habits. The algae will dissipate with time if you perform a responsible maintenance routine. Plus, fish love a little snack of fresh grown algae, they are probably having a ball while they watch you run around like a crazy person changing a hundred things on the tank and ruining the balance of the ecosystem.

6. This outbreak reaction strategy
assumes that you aren't running your lights for longer than 14/16 hours. Although algae likes light, it cannot survive on just light. If you have a dirty tank, you can grow algae with lights on for only a few hours a day. Fix the real problem.

7. Do not add more snails, shrimp, fish or other animals to the system to FIX your algae, initially. You should already be running a tank with these inhabitants, otherwise nicknamed the Clean Up Crew (CUC). These animals will bring your ecosystem full circle, and play an important role in turning algae back into food for bacteria.

AFTER you've addressed the detritus build up issue, consider readdressing your stock list to include more CUC members, such as snails, shrimps, gobies, and everybody's favorite fish, the lawnmower blenny.

8. Do not go overboard with detritus removal. Your existing bacteria and corals need decaying detritus to remain healthy. The focus is not to starve your algae into oblivion, but to control the algae so bacteria have a chance to repopulate and take the algae's place. Bacteria repopulation is our main objective, not total detritus removal, not 0-5 nitrates, not 0 phosphates, not low ammonia production, as those are inherently unhealthy and now finally dated practices.

Why do you have algae? It's plain and simple, don't let anyone fool you.

Your tank is dirty; maybe not chemically, but physically.

Nitrate levels around 10-20 are perfectly fine. Phosphates don't even really matter that much. Algae doesn't even really like nitrogen, what they do love, is ammonia!

For algae to use nitrogen, they must convert it into ammonia.

Algae love ammonia because it is less work for algae to consume ammonia than nitrogen.

When detritus (fish crap & uneaten food) breaks down into ammonia, the ammonia is usually taken up by the bacteria in your rock; however, because algae use ammonia very efficiently, algae can use ammonia before the bacteria have a chance. This causes some bacteria to die off and for the algae to get worse over time.

Can you see how this would create a snowball effect?

Your algae is essentially taking over your bacteria.

This gets even worse because the algae also contributes to clogging up your rock and taking up valuable surface area that bacteria need to live. Algae can overtake your bacteria when it comes to using ammonia. Think you can keep reducing your nitrates into oblivion and starving your corals in hopes your algae will magically disappear? Think again. Your tank is dirty.

So, if you remove the detritus, you solve your algae problems. Don't let anyone fool you otherwise!

Where is the detritus?

It can be in the holes and pores of your rock.

Fix: use a turkey baster to blast out only a few rocks per day, overtime your equipment (skimmer or filter socks) will collect the detritus. You also create more surface area for bacteria to live inside the rocks.

It can be in your sand bed.

Fix: Vacuum out your sand bed with a gravel vacuum. This can and should be done on a regular basis during your routine water changes, and you kill two birds with one stone; changing the water, and cleaning detritus! I like to vacuum out with my right hand, hold the end of the hose with my left, and control the flow of water in the siphon hose with my left hand fingers.

It can be in your equipment.

Fix: Clean your equipment on a regular basis, check any sponges, filter floss, pumps, wavemaker suction cups. Detritus can get lodged anywhere.

It can be in your sump.

Fix: I like to suck it up with a turkey baster. The best part about the baster is you can use it to blow water out, or suck things up.

It can be in your macroalgae (if you're growing macroalgae).

Fix: After a small 1G water change, just shake out your chaeto macroalgae in your water-change water.

Great so now I can go crazy cleaning my tank right?

Not so fast. Doing too much at one time can cause your tank to crash. Only do a fair amount of maintenance a day. Doing much more than your equipment can handle will cause your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate production to rise too much too fast. This is not so much about getting rid of the algae as much as it is improving your maintenance habits. If you fix your habits, the algae will be under control; and stay under control.

How do I avoid detritus buildup?

Well if you look around your tank, I'm sure you can find dead spots where water isn't flowing very well. See if you can find some dead spots and fix them.

If you have a powerhead pointed directly at a rock, it's gonna lodge a bunch of crud into there.

But I have friends coming over and I want my tank to look nice fast.

That's just too bad. The algae has be slowly gaining power overtime and getting stronger and stronger though weeks of work because you have detritus build up. If you think you can fix all that in one or two weeks, then you're out of luck.

But I have super duper deadly bryopsis, cotton candy algae, (insert buzzword terrible evil algae here, AHHHH NITRATES ARE AT 11 PPM IM GONNA DIE, I NEED TO USE PHOSBAN ASAP. IM NEVER GONNA FEED MY FISH AGAIN!!!! MAYBE I NEED TO RIP OUT ALL MY ROCK AND TOSS IN IN BLEACH !!!! OR JUST CHANGE MY T5 BULBS AND IT WILL GO AWAY AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!)

Calm dowwwwwn. So what. All algae does the same thing. They feed off the ammonia produced by the detritus in your aquarium. You can carefully physically remove the algae just like normal, remain calm, don't do anything too fast, don't result to stupid quick fixes, and follow the algae outbreak reaction strategy
.

Lots and lots of people are gonna tell you otherwise, but that's not their fault. They don't know any better.

This is your tank.

You've been given the algae outbreak reaction strategy
. Follow the rules. If you don't use it, your tank will only have you to blame, not random people on the forums who suggested you try a couple of foolish quick fixes in a hobby based entirely on patience; based around the slowest changing thing in the entire world, the ocean.

_______________________________________________________

It's too late to turn back, you've already taken the red pill.

Good luck...
~~~~~~~~~~~
BONUS 100 Comments summary (You should still go read the comments!)

Much was discussed, but a key focus of the discussion were different overall tank maintenance strategies.

This is an algae outbreak reaction strategy. Much different from an overall tank strategy.

Hopefully this will clear up any uncertainty that this should be a regular weekly tank routine. The last thing I want is for people to go to their tank that is performing well and suck out every last bit of detritus. I practice a hands off as much as possible approach to my overall tank strategy.

There are plenty of people who do this as a routine every month or every couple of weeks and that is fine if it works for them and helps their tank achieve balance. I believe these are mainly people who have an imbalanced bioload to filtration ratio, do not have a sump, high powered skimmer, or very much live rock to improve their bacterial filter and buffer against an algae epidemic. The ultimate goal is to have a balanced tank without having to occasionally export detritus, at least not every month. And remember, manageable amounts of algae are a good thing! Detritus is also a good thing, it is the life source for your tank!

From what has been mentioned in the discussions, it sounds like the answer lies in the hands of a balanced stock list, a good clean up crew, a good amount of healthy rock (im sure a little rock basting every now and again is a good thing ;) ), and a balanced bioload/bacteria surface ratio. If you have all these things, you have a foundation for success and shouldn't have a need to export detritus - at least not every other month.

If by some chance you have all these good things and you're facing a huge algae outbreak, the answer may be to follow the algae outbreak control strategy and wait to see how your tank reacts... Then consider necessary adjustments to your overall tank strategy, your stock list, clean up crew, and re read the steps and other threads for inspiration on what could be altered to help your tank reach balance...

~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~

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~~~~~~~~~~~

Author Profile: @Fish_Sticks

With a decade of experience keeping small ponds, arrays of juvenile wild caught freshwater species, freshwater planted aquariums, and reefs, my aim is to spark interesting and productive discussions in hopes that we each learn something new. In addition to patience, getting involved in discussions is the best way to find success with your reef!

Thank you all for reading this article and contributing to the discussions. For more interesting stuff, check out my build thread and see how I run a low cost 210 gallon reef ;Greedy;Greedy;Greedy:
BANG 4 UR BUCK [NEW] 210G - The biggest tank I could fit in my office, oh, and they deliver for $50
 
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saltyfilmfolks

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Yea. That’s what makes the ugly phase in new tanks.
And another reason you shouldn’t overstock a tank top fast.

Fwiw, ammoina is also produced directly by fish and also corals that eat food. Not just detritus.
 

DarkSky

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The rules of algae management:

1. do not make sudden changes, do not use hydrogen peroxide, do not turn off your lights and perform a tank blackout (this is not only bad for your corals, but your fish), or do anything that would be described as a fast fix. These strategies do not work long term. As soon as you stop dosing, as soon as you turn back on the lights, the algae will come back. These are foolish strategies.
I have to disagree with you here. These are proven strategies that do work, that's why they're suggested. Especially tank black outs - algae needs light in order to grow, if you remove that for a few days it allows bacteria to get a foothold and out compete algae in the future. When I was dealing with GHA, I used peroxide to kill it, manually removed as much as I could, blacked out the tank for three days while carbon dosing. This allowed ammonia converting bacteria to explode in population so when I turned my lights back on, algae wasn't able to return.

Establishing a healthy bacteria population that can manage your ammonia product to convert it to nitrates is key. I agree with a lot of what you said (especially the parts about blowing detritus off of your rock and vacuuming), but to say that the above strategies don't work is misleading. Some people need a viable path of recovery from an algae infestation and these methods help with that.
 

Mastiffsrule

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After this, there is no turning back.

You take the blue pill - the story ends, you keep believing that nitrate and phosphate are the cause of your algae problems.

You take the red pill - I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.


View attachment 983981

What if I told you... that Ammonia was causing your algae problems?
Remember that parameter that nobody ever talks about. The one that you checked years ago when you first set up your tank? Well guess what. Ammonia is produced every millisecond your tank is up. Whether it is being used by the bacteria, or the algae, is an entirely different story.

Why do you have algae? Its plain and simple, don't let anyone fool you.
Your tank is dirty; maybe not chemically, but physically.

Nitrate levels around 10-20 are perfectly fine. Phosphates dont even really matter that much. Algae doesn't even really like nitrogen, what they do love, is ammonia!

For algae to use nitrogen, they must convert it into ammonia.

Algae love ammonia because it is less work for algae to consume ammonia than nitrogen.

When detritus (fish crap uneaten food) breaks down into ammonia, the ammonia is usually taken up by the bacteria in your rock; however, because algae use ammonia very efficiently, algae can use ammonia before the bacteria have a chance. This causes some bacteria to die off and for the algae to get worse over time.

Can you see how this would create a snowball effect?

Your algae is essentially taking over your bacteria.

This gets even worse because the algae also contributes to clogging up your rock and taking up valuable surface area that bacteria need to live. Algae can overtake your bacteria when it comes to using ammonia. Think you can keep reducing your nitrates into oblivion and starving your corals in hopes your algae will magically disappear? Think again. Your tank is dirty.

But I've written an algae bible. This method will really knock your socks off.

___________________________________________________________________

The algae control bible as prescribed by fish_sticks.

The rules of algae management:

1. do not make sudden changes, do not use hydrogen peroxide, do not turn off your lights and perform a tank blackout (this is not only bad for your corals, but your fish), or do anything that would be described as a fast fix. These strategies do not work long term. As soon as you stop dosing, as soon as you turn back on the lights, the algae will come back. These are foolish strategies.

2. patience. Understand that it will take a few weeks or even a month to fix the problem. This hobby is based on the slowest changing thing in the world, the ocean. Patience is required to achieve success in the hobby.

3. algae is not a bad thing. Sure its ugly, but its not going to crash your tank in a few weeks. Every single tank on the planet has algae, there is no way to get rid of it. The secret that nobody talks about, is that you never get rid of algae, you control algae.

4. during this process, you should be manually removing algae from the tank when it reaches high levels, or when it threatens the well being of your corals and fish.

5. do not do too much too fast. Take things slow and focus on changing your habits. The algae will dissipate with time if you perform a responsible maintenance routine. Plus, fish love a little snack of fresh grown algae, they are probably having a ball while they watch you run around like a crazy person changing a hundred things on the tank and ruining the balance of the ecosystem.

6. this bible assumes that you arent running your lights for longer than 14/16 hours. Although algae likes light, it cannot survive on just light. If you have a dirty tank, you can grow algea with lights on for only a few hours a day. Fix the real problem...

7. do not add more snails, shrimp, fish or any other animals to the system to eat your algae. This is another fool's tactic. Your just creating more crap. Fix the real problem...

Why do you have algae? Its plain and simple, don't let anyone fool you.
Your tank is dirty; maybe not chemically, but physically.

Nitrate levels around 10-20 are perfectly fine. Phosphates dont even really matter that much. Algae doesn't even really like nitrogen, what they do love, is ammonia!

For algae to use nitrogen, they must convert it into ammonia.

Algae love ammonia because it is less work for algae to consume ammonia than nitrogen.

When detritus (fish crap uneaten food) breaks down into ammonia, the ammonia is usually taken up by the bacteria in your rock; however, because algae use ammonia very efficiently, algae can use ammonia before the bacteria have a chance. This causes some bacteria to die off and for the algae to get worse over time.

Can you see how this would create a snowball effect?

Your algae is essentially taking over your bacteria.

This gets even worse because the algae also contributes to clogging up your rock and taking up valuable surface area that bacteria need to live. Algae can overtake your bacteria when it comes to using ammonia. Think you can keep reducing your nitrates into oblivion and starving your corals in hopes your algae will magically disappear? Think again. Your tank is dirty.

So, if you remove the detritus, you solve your algae problems. Don't let anyone fool you otherwise!

Where is the detritus?
It can be in the holes and pores of your rock.

Fix: use a turkey baster to blast out only a few rocks per day, overtime your equipment (skimmer or filter socks) will collect the detritus. You also create more surface area for bacteria to live inside the rocks.
It can be in your sand bed.
Fix: Vacuum out your sand bed with a gravel vacuum. This can and should be done on a regular basis during your routine water changes, and you kill two birds with one stone; changing the water, and cleaning detritus! I like to vacuum out with my right hand, hold the end of the hose with my left, and control the flow of water in the siphon hose with my left hand fingers.
It can be in your equipment.
Fix: Clean your equipment on a regular basis, check any sponges, filter floss, pumps, wavemaker suction cups. Detritus can get lodged anywhere.
It can be in your sump.
Fix: I like to suck it up with a turkey baster. The best part about the baster is you can use it to blow water out, or suck things up.
It can be in your macroalgae (if you're growing macroalgae).
Fix: After a small 1G water change, just shake out your chaeto macroalgae in your water change water.

Great so now I can go crazy cleaning my tank right?
Not so fast. Doing too much at one time can cause your tank to crash. Only do a fair amount of maintenance a day. Doing too much than your equipment can handle will cause your ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate production to rise too much too fast. This is not so much about getting rid of the algae as much as it is improving your maintenance habits. If you fix your habits, the algae will be under control; and stay under control.

How do I avoid detritus buildup?
Well if you look around your tank, I'm sure you can find dead spots where water inst flowing very well. See if you can find some dead spots and fix them.

If you have a power head pointed directly at a rock, its gonna lodge a bunch of crud into there.

But I have friends coming over and I want my tank to look nice fast.
That's just too bad. The algae has be slowly gaining power overtime and getting stronger and stronger though weeks of work because you have detritus build up. If you think you can fix all that in one or two weeks, then you're out of luck.

But I have super duper deadly byopsis, cotton candy algae, (insert buzzword terrible evil algea here, AHHHH NITRATES ARE AT 11 PPM IM GONNA DIE, I NEED TO USE PHOSBAN ASAP. IM NEVER GONNA FEED MY FISH AGAIN!!!! MAYBE I NEED TO RIP OUT ALL MY ROCK AND TOSS IN IN BLEACH !!!! OR JUST CHANGE MY T5 BULBS AND IT WILL GO AWAY AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!)
Calm dowwwwwn. So what. All algae does the same thing. They feed off the ammonia produced by the detritus in your aquarium. You can carefully physically remove the algae just like normal, remain calm, dont do anything too fast, dont result to stupid quick fixes, and follow the algae bible.

Lots and lots of people are gonna tell you otherwise, but that's not their fault. They don't know any better.
This is your tank.
You've been given the algae bible. Follow the rules. If you don't use it, your tank will only have you to blame, not random people on the forums who suggested you try a couple of foolish quick fixes in a hobby based entirely on patience; based around the slowest changing thing in the entire world, the ocean.

_______________________________________________________

Its too late to turn back, you've already taken the red pill.

Good luck...

Good read. I see a lot of post where reefers have a problem and go right to more equipment or additives.

Tank cleaning is basic 101 reffing. I do agree with Darksky’s disagree ( does that make sense?) there is always an approach that may work for one but not another.

I cannot imagine anyone not agreeing clean tank/ happy tank owner. (Except for those that run dirty tanks on purpose, but that is a different method)

Hope I made sense.
 
OP
Fish_Sticks

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I have to disagree with you here. These are proven strategies that do work, that's why they're suggested. Especially tank black outs - algae needs light in order to grow, if you remove that for a few days it allows bacteria to get a foothold and out compete algae in the future. When I was dealing with GHA, I used peroxide to kill it, manually removed as much as I could, blacked out the tank for three days while carbon dosing. This allowed ammonia converting bacteria to explode in population so when I turned my lights back on, algae wasn't able to return.

Establishing a healthy bacteria population that can manage your ammonia product to convert it to nitrates is key. I agree with a lot of what you said (especially the parts about blowing detritus off of your rock and vacuuming), but to say that the above strategies don't work is misleading. Some people need a viable path of recovery from an algae infestation and these methods help with that.
do not make sudden changes. do not use anything that can be described as a fast fix.

Im sure thats one way to go about it and that those are tactics that can work for some people; however, the algae bible cannot budge on that idea of no quick changes/instant gratification as they go against the algae bible's philosophies of reef keeping, patience. If you break any of the algae bible rules, then the whole principle of patience is lost.

The issue with hydrogen peroxide and blackouts, in addition to stressing corals and fish, is that they are hotfixes. While it is true that these can kill the algae, I simply won't use them or recommend them. Patience is more important. As soon as you've done one of those strategies, you've already lost, in my book.

Patience and ideologies aside, I can't recommend these practices to anyone. Most of the people will just pour h2o2 into their tank and not do anything to physically help the bacteria. The real root of the issue is the detritus, or a high bioload as @saltyfilmfolks said. That is what I would want a new hobbyist or a clueless struggling hobbyist to focus on. And for them to understand more about algae and the role it plays in their aquarium. Algae is not an evil tank crashing maniac.

It shifts their focus greatly from them being fooled into thinking that that they can, and should, be trying to eliminate algae, into them knowing that they are to be controlling algae with good practices.

Turning the lights off is solitary confinement for the fish and starving the corals of light. The algae could care less about light.

Bacteria grow too slow to replace the algae that is burned off when using h2o2 or lights off strategies anyways. The algae will just grow back. That is why this practices of patience and the maintenance routines of algae bible will work more effectively. Long term they allow you to potentially keep more fish, and not harm anything in the process.

AND THEN, there is the whole group of people who have no idea ammonia is what is causing their algae. Its mind-blowing how common this misconception is. A new person goes onto the forums and have a bombardment of people asking them what their nitrates/phosphates are, instead of pointing at detritus, bio-load, and ammonia. This post was specifically written so that I can copy and paste the algae bible into every single algae problem question thread that comes up and have new reefers following proper practices instantly, not hotfixes.
 
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Mastiffsrule

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Any one using thing? Metaphorically and literally.

upload_2019-2-19_18-18-32.jpeg


It’s Julian’s Thing. (Pun intended) ;Yuck

I use it for a ton of things. (And another pun). It is a standard in my cleaning bucket. It gets behind and under rocks to hit spots with low flow. You would be surprised the cloud that comes out. Same as the turkey blaster but can keep your hands clean. I also use it for target feeding, filling it with Kalk to get aptasia and dose things into my sump where I can’t reach.

Really help blow out hard to get areas
 
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Lasse

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This is right in @Lasse ‘s wheelhouse.
It is maybe in my wheelhouse – but I do not agree with the conclusion of cleaning away detritus at all. IMO - it is the largest great mistake anyone can do in the long run. I agree with the fact that NH4 (ammonium ion) is the most energy effective nitrogen source for algae – and even for zooxanthella but most micro algae can convert NO3 (nitrate) into NH4 with help of enzymes outside or inside the cell. In more than 10 years I have never ever clean any of my tanks that I have had from detritus in any way. And I normally can´t see any algae at all

However, I run a small nitrification filter in order to have as low NH4 concentration as possible of different reasons. One is to not make it too easy for some algae to establish, but no algae problem is basically caused by which inorganic nitrogen species that will dominate for the moment, NH4 is produced of most of the bacteria that´s are in your aquaria – the bacteria population is mostly an ammonia producer – not consumer. It is also wrong that the algae will concur out your bacteria – it is the opposite – the larger surface and the oxygen production from the algae’s photosynthesis favour all aerobic bacteria of both from the autotrophic and the heterotrophic kingdom.

A tank that will be cleaned every day with one or another revolutionary method will be as unstable as a start up tank. It is important in the long run to let a healthy and diverse microbiological community to build up. The organic matters – that some call detritus – is the base for this microbial community.

I will say once again – in tanks and out in the wild – algae problems are caused of low grazing capacity in the system. Nothing else. I do not understand why it is so difficult to understand – most of you know what will happen with lawn that is not cut or grazed even if it low in nutrients.

Sincerely Lasse
 

saltyfilmfolks

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It is maybe in my wheelhouse – but I do not agree with the conclusion of cleaning away detritus at all. IMO - it is the largest great mistake anyone can do in the long run. I agree with the fact that NH4 (ammonium ion) is the most energy effective nitrogen source for algae – and even for zooxanthella but most micro algae can convert NO3 (nitrate) into NH4 with help of enzymes outside or inside the cell. In more than 10 years I have never ever clean any of my tanks that I have had from detritus in any way. And I normally can´t see any algae at all

However, I run a small nitrification filter in order to have as low NH4 concentration as possible of different reasons. One is to not make it too easy for some algae to establish, but no algae problem is basically caused by which inorganic nitrogen species that will dominate for the moment, NH4 is produced of most of the bacteria that´s are in your aquaria – the bacteria population is mostly an ammonia producer – not consumer. It is also wrong that the algae will concur out your bacteria – it is the opposite – the larger surface and the oxygen production from the algae’s photosynthesis favour all aerobic bacteria of both from the autotrophic and the heterotrophic kingdom.

A tank that will be cleaned every day with one or another revolutionary method will be as unstable as a start up tank. It is important in the long run to let a healthy and diverse microbiological community to build up. The organic matters – that some call detritus – is the base for this microbial community.

I will say once again – in tanks and out in the wild – algae problems are caused of low grazing capacity in the system. Nothing else. I do not understand why it is so difficult to understand – most of you know what will happen with lawn that is not cut or grazed even if it low in nutrients.

Sincerely Lasse
Same.
Save in extremes. Like the back of a young bio cube or dirty canister.

Algae control.
2670F41D-13B2-4DE3-86DC-F4E3E0F3B128.jpeg
8AAFBB51-0080-4EA1-8F6B-C5E0E291FF66.jpeg

Fwiw bryopsis has a completely different survival strategy. Doesn’t rely on dissolved nutrients as we think of them. Can also catch solid particulates and fed in them. Thus the fern like structures. Several other algaes donthe same.
Some rooting algaes share the same strategy as terrestrial plants and use organic and inorganic Po4 from the rock as well as nitrogen it can derive from deeper in the rock.

I do agree that dumping oxidizers in the tank is def not a good long term solution. Even cuc and a toothbrush can be faster in the sort term.

There are actually a few Ich meds that use this approach. Imagine what it’s doing to your Biofilter. There’s even a caution on the label.

This guy says cuc as well.
Check out the numbers.
Imagine the ammonia he’s producing.

https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/my-home-tank.296635/
 
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@Lasse What do you think about rule #7? I wouldnt suggest to a new person to add on a new cuc when its obvious their tank has too high of a bioload and during the event of an algea outbreak; however, I would tell them to focus their fish choices carefully to consist of a balanced stock, or consider replacing some fish with algea grazers, such as a lawn mower blenny, hermits, snails, stars, and other gobies, in addition to the typical less frequent grazers that they already have.

7. do not add more snails, shrimp, fish or any other animals to the system to eat your algae. This is another fool's tactic. Youre just creating more detritus.
 

saltyfilmfolks

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@Lasse What do you think about rule #7? I wouldnt suggest to a new person to add on a new cuc when its obvious their tank has too high of a bioload and during the event of an algea outbreak; however, I would tell them to focus their fish choices carefully to consist of a balanced stock, or consider replacing some fish with algea grazers, such as a lawn mower blenny, hermits, snails, stars, and other gobies, in addition to the typical less frequent grazers that they already have.

7. do not add more snails, shrimp, fish or any other animals to the system to eat your algae. This is another fool's tactic. Youre just creating more detritus.
They poop. Make Ammona or no3 and a bit of Po4.
Are we worried about nutrients or visible algae.

Two different things but are linked yes.

As the ammonia no3 and Po4 build from snail poop , so is the Biofilter and balance is attained.
My.02.
 
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flchamp89

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I don't have the reef expirence most have here. A lot of OP thoughts are widely preached in planted tanks. I think ammonia is a catalyst. I think balance and no sudden changes are the key points. I've always been a fan of heavy cuc low bioload heavy filtration and low to moderate lighting. Some people probably call that playing it safe. We all look at success differently. Algae is part of owning a glass box with water.
 

Mastiffsrule

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My 2 cents worth.. I have run tanks where I didn’t change water for 6 months and one I cleaned excessively. One was a 75 and the other a 180. Guess which one I never cleaned.

My experience, and mine only was the clean 75 did a bit better. Both were stable and in harmony but the the 75 seemed to thrive more. Coralline growth was to the point of invasive and 1 morning I came down to a glass full of pods so much I could not see in.

I think we all agree each tank has its own personality and responds differently. Why do some keep SPS in tanks with high No3 and Po4 and others chase numbers?

Again, that was my 2 cents, and when you get to know me I don’t have much to spare. Ha
 

Lasse

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@Lasse What do you think about rule #7? I wouldnt suggest to a new person to add on a new cuc when its obvious their tank has too high of a bioload and during the event of an algea outbreak; however, I would tell them to focus their fish choices carefully to consist of a balanced stock, or consider replacing some fish with algea grazers, such as a lawn mower blenny, hermits, snails, stars, and other gobies, in addition to the typical less frequent grazers that they already have.

7. do not add more snails, shrimp, fish or any other animals to the system to eat your algae. This is another fool's tactic. Youre just creating more detritus.
IMO - this is probably the most wrong advise in the whole post. Every grazer will add around 20 to 25 % of the algae into new, own biomass (they will grow). (for the book – 20 – 25 % - that’s the figure for poikilothermic organism – for us and other homothermic organisms are the corresponding figure around 10%). It means that when bacteria breakdown the organic part of the detritus – inorganic nutrients will arise – algae (and zooxanthellae) will use all of these in order to grow – the nutrients will be trapped into living biomass an a organic form (read algae) The algae will been eaten by grazers – they will return around 75% as new organic detritus, this will be broken down to inorganic nutrients by bacteria – taken up by primary producers in the tank – eaten by grazers and so on. Using grazer will bound the nutrients content in the external food you use into new living biomass sooner or later. What´s defining a load in your aquaria is not all of these internal loops (they always result in more living biomass) – instead – is it the amount and type of food you put in. However – your choice is if you want to have this biomass as algae or as different animals.

I have many more objections to your conclusions from the fact you presented - but let us first sort this important remark out.

Sincerely Lasse
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Nobody should debate anything without a work example (s) --from this thread not from another thread, make a live example here, today

The way to debate this stated algae method is to pick an invasion tank in one of the help threads out there, and model the fix right here live time. Make this thread different, there's a solid 8 threads in nuisance algae forum looking for simple gha help... get one to post here for a live rework. Second request for basic proof.
 
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