Algae growing in new tank

OCJoeR

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I posted about the new tank before and the issue I'm having with my skimmer. I'm still having the problem with the skimmer but I took some water in for testing and was told that the numbers are all good to start introducing live products into the tank. The folks at the store suggested starting with invertebrates rather than fish. I told them about the skimmer and they said it sometimes takes several weeks for the skimmer to work properly so I decided to wait another week or so before adding anything live.

I've noticed green algae growing in the display tank. There is some on the glass and some on the rock. Could this be due to the skimmer not working properly? I checked the water temp and saw that it was high so I turned off the heater (which is in the sump). The temp is now back down to where it should be. Anyone have any suggestions or should I just leave everything until the skimmer starts working properly? It's been over a month now and I'm starting to have reservations about saltwater. I'm really hoping someone here can come up with a solution. I'd hate to have to take all this apart and put a lava lamp on the shelf where the tank was.

Joe
 
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Waters

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No, has nothing to do with the skimmer and everything to do with it being a brand new tank. You will get all kinds of different nuisance algae growing before the tank finally balances out and matures. Why is the heater raising your tank temp that high? Are you using a controller or just using the dial on the heater itself? It should only heat the water to whatever temp you have it set at.
 

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No, has nothing to do with the skimmer and everything to do with it being a brand new tank. You will get all kinds of different nuisance algae growing before the tank finally balances out and matures. Why is the heater raising your tank temp that high? Are you using a controller or just using the dial on the heater itself? It should only heat the water to whatever temp you have it set at.
This
 
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OCJoeR

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Hi Waters,

I think I didn't calibrate the heater before I put it in. I went back and reread the instructions, once I could find the ones in English, and I was supposed to use a thermometer to see what the temp was and then turn the degree indicator on the heater to where it matched the temp and the light went out. I'll keep an eye on the temp and algae for a while. I just wish this skimmer would start working properly.

Joe
 

Dan_P

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I posted about the new tank before and the issue I'm having with my skimmer. I'm still having the problem with the skimmer but I took some water in for testing and was told that the numbers are all good to start introducing live products into the tank. The folks at the store suggested starting with invertebrates rather than fish. I told them about the skimmer and they said it sometimes takes several weeks for the skimmer to work properly so I decided to wait another week or so before adding anything live.

I've noticed green algae growing in the display tank. There is some on the glass and some on the rock. Could this be due to the skimmer not working properly? I checked the water temp and saw that it was high so I turned off the heater (which is in the sump). The temp is now back down to where it should be. Anyone have any suggestions or should I just leave everything until the skimmer starts working properly? It's been over a month now and I'm starting to have reservations about saltwater. I'm really hoping someone here can come up with a solution. I'd hate to have to take all this apart and put a lava lamp on the shelf where the tank was.

Joe
Hi Joe! If I had to guess, you might not have done enough homework on saltwater aquariums before taking the test :)

Anyway, you might want to buddy up with someone locally who knows all about saltwater aquariums to walk you through setting one up. Are there any reef clubs near where you live that you could join and find a mentor?

I think you will know in the next couple weeks whether to put the lava lamp back.
 

Waters

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Hi Waters,

I think I didn't calibrate the heater before I put it in. I went back and reread the instructions, once I could find the ones in English, and I was supposed to use a thermometer to see what the temp was and then turn the degree indicator on the heater to where it matched the temp and the light went out. I'll keep an eye on the temp and algae for a while. I just wish this skimmer would start working properly.

Joe
Yeah, definately get that heater dialed in....important to keep that as stable as possible. Your skimmer will start working soon enough. Since you have no livestock, there isn't anything to skim at the moment. Will take some time before you see it working properly.
 

ying yang

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If getting algae growing maybe take lfs advice of adding cuc,im guessing this was the advice on adding inverts?
Im new also like 4 months in,didnt have any noticeable ugly stage till about 2 months in and now totally taking off last 2 months with the red/ brown cyano and last few weeks green algae and just recently added to my cuc so algae in the tank is food for the cuc and just part of owning the tank imo.
I dont actually mind having this ugly stage,it basically is what it is but im quite a laid back guy but my mrs on other hand would want me cleaning the glass every few hours if she had her way lol
But my opinion if having excess algae growth on glass = clean glass with algae magnet more often.
Excess algae growth on rocks, sand etc= buy more cuc .
Try buy your cuc and fish to each have a job to help you do your job in keeping tank presentable.
My attitude at present is try keep my tank simple and natural as i can within reason as i dont personally want to start dosing chemicals left right and centre to kill algae and to do tgis and do other as may solve one issue but then cause another issue.
Any pictures of tank to see what algae growth you got?
I read first year is tank trying to stabilise with everything and everything is at war with everything trying to gain dominance until equilibrium is made.
For me im expecting tank to not look as good as i want it in first 6 months at least .aybe even a year till my experience and tank stabilises and i just roll with it and clean when needed and wc regulary and keep my hand out tank as much as possible and sit and look at all the wonderful interesting critters in saltwater as im amazed so far and loving it ^_^
Good luck
 
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OCJoeR

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If getting algae growing maybe take lfs advice of adding cuc,im guessing this was the advice on adding inverts?
Im new also like 4 months in,didnt have any noticeable ugly stage till about 2 months in and now totally taking off last 2 months with the red/ brown cyano and last few weeks green algae and just recently added to my cuc so algae in the tank is food for the cuc and just part of owning the tank imo.
I dont actually mind having this ugly stage,it basically is what it is but im quite a laid back guy but my mrs on other hand would want me cleaning the glass every few hours if she had her way lol
But my opinion if having excess algae growth on glass = clean glass with algae magnet more often.
Excess algae growth on rocks, sand etc= buy more cuc .
Try buy your cuc and fish to each have a job to help you do your job in keeping tank presentable.
My attitude at present is try keep my tank simple and natural as i can within reason as i dont personally want to start dosing chemicals left right and centre to kill algae and to do tgis and do other as may solve one issue but then cause another issue.
Any pictures of tank to see what algae growth you got?
I read first year is tank trying to stabilise with everything and everything is at war with everything trying to gain dominance until equilibrium is made.
For me im expecting tank to not look as good as i want it in first 6 months at least .aybe even a year till my experience and tank stabilises and i just roll with it and clean when needed and wc regulary and keep my hand out tank as much as possible and sit and look at all the wonderful interesting critters in saltwater as im amazed so far and loving it ^_^
Good luck
Here's what's growing in the tank.
 

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ying yang

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These pictures of my tank and i just clean front glass and right glass and leave left side and back glass alone for food for cuc.
My rocks full of diatoms i believe and sand was full also but with conchs constantly eating/walking on sand bed and nasarius snails constantly diving in and out sand they cleaning sand up and trouchus snails on glass and extra hermits.and rocks but biggest cleaners are the 2 tuxedo urchins as rocks was full of brown but nowhere near as bad now.but aslong as my parameters are in check and phosphates and nitrates not to high or even to low at 0 i read causes problems i just keep plodding on.
Latest cuc members only added 9 days ago so if in 2- 3 weeks still looking lots then i buy extra few more,top of my rocks literally clean from them and bottom and top of back glass.

Imo your growth on rocks isnt bad and would say be beneficial.
All depends if you want clean or dirty rocks.but my opinion is if it doesnt affect water/corals/fish then no problem .
2 extra photos of first time i seen one my cleaner shrimp cleaning goby which kind of cool and i get more enhoyment from watching cuc than i do fish ^_^
I started with dry rocks so was easy for me to glue then mortar the joints together and tey keep rocks raised above the sandbed, reason for this is detritus gets stuck in/under/or around rocks on sand bed and impedes flow for the corals when i get more ( only frags of zoa/paly at moment) then could have issues further down line with rotting food and poop nutrients etc so try to keep it moving best i can so flows in overflow to sump then hopefully skimmer picks it up .i only got stock skimmer that came with tank and been told its rubbish and need to upgrade but after first 1 week it now takes some gunk out system but never owned another so nothing to compare it to but gunk is dark and this 4 days worth in cup.
But point im making is get the inhabatants of tank to have a job.
My blennie all day eating.
Wrasse sleeps in sand and all day searching rocks for pests ( so if get pests in future he and will get another wrasse hopefully keep in check)
Goby/ pistol shrimp continually digging sand and turning it over keeping fresh.
Will get another blennie and foxface for algae control.
Will try coral beauty and as sand bed matures more ( hopefully 1 year mark) then some kind of sand sifting goby or if pods good enough maybe a mandarin or goby.

Just a thought on your skimmer,you say over a month now and doesnt skim nothing ?
Have you any fish/livestock in tank as if not then skimmer may have nothing to skim as the skimmer breaks down all the organics in water/ detritus/waste thats produced from your livestock/ uneaten food or just from tank.
I watched lots videos on how to use my skimmer and opened both valves fully and opened air intake slightly then every few days dialled them both other way and finally got to point where took end cap off air intake.
I read depth of skimmer in water usually 6- 9 inch water level is best.so can sit skimmer on something to raise up if needed ,make shelf out of eggcrate i did with zip ties.
But good luck and dont give up just yet,any problem can be solved and knowledge is power and internet full of knowledge ^_^
 

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OCJoeR

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Well I found a saltwater fish/coral store right near my house, not sure I can put the name in here. I've talked to the owner a few times and he was pretty helpful. It's a pretty big place and deals in strictly saltwater fish and corals. He said the same thing about the skimmer, it will take some time to run right. He suggested I try and raise it up to help stop the microbubbles, but it would eventually stop on its own.

I bought a Blue Chromis (did I spell that right?) and a Clown fish. He recommended them as sturdy fish to start the tank with. I also picked up some frozen brine shrimp for food.

A week or so later I noticed the top cup of the skimmer being pretty dirty so I took it out and cleaned it. I also took the skimmer out and put it in the sink to play around with the water level. I got it to a point where it was making small bubbles but not blowing the top off. I put it back into the sump and voila, it now makes bubbles that go just about over the cup lip. They still very small bubbles but I'll keep an eye on it. (it has all the valves fully open right now).

I asked him about the algae and he suggested snails or Blennies. I asked about hermit crabs and he said they'd help too. However, he said he uses a copper product to keep all the fish in the store healthy and that invertebrates can not be in the same tank if you use this product, which I've forgotten the name of. He suggested not having a mixed tank with fish and inverts because of this. His position was it was better to have healthy fish than corals in the same tank. As I walked around the store I noticed that he did, in fact, have tanks with just corals (with maybe a single fish) and other tanks with only fish, no corals at all.

I was hoping to have a mixed reef tank, but now I'm wondering if he's correct.

I found a brush that I'm able to use to get most of the algae off the rocks and used my tank vacuum on the algae on the sand/coral base.

Any suggestions regarding the mixed reef tank? What are the chances of the fish needing the copper treatment for disease?

Here's what it looks like so far.
 

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OCJoeR

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Well technically this is what it looks like now with the 2 new residents.
 

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Funston07

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Well technically this is what it looks like now with the 2 new residents.
Looks prettys normal for a new tank. If you dont have any coral in the tank leave the lights off, there's no need for them at this time. When you do start adding coral and then have the lights on turn your white lights down lower than what is in the picture. Algae loves white lights.
 

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A new skimmer needs to break in .
this is where the inside of the skimmer colonizes with bacteria .

it sometimes takes weeks , but with no organics producing livestock , a skimmer is not needed .
You will notice as you get more organics to be exported , the skimmer will produce darker and stinky skimmate .
smells like sewage . Just to say you were warned lol

welcome to the salty side . Rewards are not what we notice right away in a new system , but patience will prove it’s worth .

research is your best tool in this hobby .
 
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OCJoeR

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Looks prettys normal for a new tank. If you dont have any coral in the tank leave the lights off, there's no need for them at this time. When you do start adding coral and then have the lights on turn your white lights down lower than what is in the picture. Algae loves white lights.
Thanks for the info Fun. My light does have a brightness control so I'll turn that down. Prior to putting the 2 fish in the tank I had the light off. I initially had it running on the 24/7 mode where it starts with sort of an orange light in the morning around 5 and then brings it up slowly to white and then in the evening it goes to blue and then shuts off around 9:30. Then I noticed the algae and shut it off completely but the algae kept growing. The window in the den faces northeast but there are shutters that I make sure are closed before I go to bed so very little sunlight gets into the den in the morning. I just brushed the algae off most of the rocks so I'll turn down the light brightness and see how it goes.

Joe
 
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OCJoeR

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A new skimmer needs to break in .
this is where the inside of the skimmer colonizes with bacteria .

it sometimes takes weeks , but with no organics producing livestock , a skimmer is not needed .
You will notice as you get more organics to be exported , the skimmer will produce darker and stinky skimmate .
smells like sewage . Just to say you were warned lol

welcome to the salty side . Rewards are not what we notice right away in a new system , but patience will prove it’s worth .

research is your best tool in this hobby .
Hi Mckoy,

The skimmer has been up and running for about 3 months. I just put the 2 fish in last week. Initially the micro bubbles were blowing the top off the skimmer but that's calmed down. As I said it seems to be functioning properly at this point and with any luck once the fish live in there a few more weeks they will start producing material that the skimmer is built to remove.

I've been reading as much as I can on here as well as other sources. From what I've read there are no inverts that can survive any copper treatment. So I suppose the question is would I ever need to use the copper treatment? My understand is that the copper treatment is for certain diseases, ick and such. I've had fresh water fish get that but how often do salt water fish get it, and what causes it? I'd rather do everything to prevent any disease and be able to have corals than to not have corals and other inverts.

Joe
 
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Rmckoy

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Hi Mckoy,

The skimmer has been up and running for about 3 months. I just put the 2 fish in last week. Initially the micro bubbles were blowing the top off the skimmer but that's calmed down. As I said it seems to be functioning properly at this point and with any luck once the fish live in there a few more weeks they will start producing material that the skimmer is built to remove.

I've been reading as much as I can on here as well as other sources. From what I've read there are no inverts that can survive any copper treatment. So I suppose the question is would I ever need to use the copper treatment? My understand is that the copper treatment is for certain diseases, ick and such. I've had fresh water fish get that but how often do salt water fish get it, and what causes it? I'd rather do everything to prevent any disease and be able to have corals than to not have corals and other inverts.

Joe
Copper ?
I
Don’t recall mentioning in this particular post regarding skimmer or algae
 

davidcalgary29

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Thanks for the info Fun. My light does have a brightness control so I'll turn that down. Prior to putting the 2 fish in the tank I had the light off. I initially had it running on the 24/7 mode where it starts with sort of an orange light in the morning around 5 and then brings it up slowly to white and then in the evening it goes to blue and then shuts off around 9:30. Then I noticed the algae and shut it off completely but the algae kept growing. The window in the den faces northeast but there are shutters that I make sure are closed before I go to bed so very little sunlight gets into the den in the morning. I just brushed the algae off most of the rocks so I'll turn down the light brightness and see how it goes.

Joe
That's a really long photoperiod for any tank. Why not reduce it to the period in which you're actually in the room or most likely to see the fish? At the most, I'd do 0800-1700. Excessive light is only going to exacerbate your algal growth.
 
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OCJoeR

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Hi David,

There is a way to reduce the brightness of the lights but it doesn't work when the lights are in the 24/7 mode. So I think I'll follow your advice and just turn them on when I leave for work, around 0900 and shut them off after dinner. I notice a lot of fish stores just have the blue lights on. Is there any advantage to the blue light over the white? Mine also can go to red, green, orange and purple individually. And, as I said, if I just use a single color I can reduce the brightness.

Joe
 

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Hi David,

There is a way to reduce the brightness of the lights but it doesn't work when the lights are in the 24/7 mode. So I think I'll follow your advice and just turn them on when I leave for work, around 0900 and shut them off after dinner. I notice a lot of fish stores just have the blue lights on. Is there any advantage to the blue light over the white? Mine also can go to red, green, orange and purple individually. And, as I said, if I just use a single color I can reduce the brightness.

Joe
Just plug your light into a timer then. That way your able to adjust your brightness and have a set schedule for them to turn on and off.
 

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