Algae

skipcurl

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Hi -

I have a 29 Gallon Reef tank that I have been trying to run for about 1 year now. For some reason I can not win the battle with the Algae, though I think I might have beaten dinos one time over the last year. I only have two clown fish and a Dwarf Coral Beauty Anglefish. I also have some LPS and soft Corals.

My numbers are - 1.026 salinity, 78 degrees, 0 Nitrite, 0 Nitrate and 0 Ammonia. Very consistent. ATI tests show nothing out of range. I also use Vibrant 1x/week. Water Change 2-3/month. Lights on for about 8 hours and I do not overfeed. I also have a Skimmer.

Why am I losing the Algae battle and what is the hitchhiker below? Is it because of my Nitrate? Should I dose some to get to 5 PPM.

See two pictures below. Any suggestions welcomed.


InkedIMG-2566_LI.jpg
InkedIMG-2570_LI.jpg
 

Idoc

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The 2nd pictures looks like GHA.

I'd definitely be getting the nitrates up to around 5ppm...either by dosing or heavier feeding. You want to watch your phosphate numbers as well and keep that from going to zero as well. You don't want those dinos to gain a hold again.
 

BigRedReefer MT

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The second photo definitely looks like GHA to me (I recognize from a 1 year battle trying to rectify previous mistakes). It sounds like your on the right track, but it's a multi front battle. I have some other questions about your set up.
Drilled with a sump or H.O.B. filtration?
What type of lights? LED?
T5 florescent? How many bulbs, what kind.
Feeding regimen (frequency and amount)? What type of foods?

That info will give us more to work with and help us find things that can help you.
P.S. don't worry, this battle can be won.;)
 
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skipcurl

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Those are Vermetid snails in the first picture.
Ugg. I just read up on these guys. They are nasty. I think I only had a couple. Now I got hundreds. I started with Dry Rock and live sand. Did I get them from the live sand or was it a hitchhiker on one of my corals. I am going to eventually start a bigger tank once I figure this out and some other things. I keep saying that but I keep getting new challenges. Since this is a small tank, I guess I could get all the rock out and put in another small tank and slowly move my coral back over. Can I starve these guys?
 
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skipcurl

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The second photo definitely looks like GHA to me (I recognize from a 1 year battle trying to rectify previous mistakes). It sounds like your on the right track, but it's a multi front battle. I have some other questions about your set up.
Drilled with a sump or H.O.B. filtration?
What type of lights? LED?
T5 florescent? How many bulbs, what kind.
Feeding regimen (frequency and amount)? What type of foods?

That info will give us more to work with and help us find things that can help you.
P.S. don't worry, this battle can be won.;)
I have a sump. LED AI. Pellet food for now. Is there a profile page I can put all this info in....
 

BigRedReefer MT

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I have a sump. LED AI. Pellet food for now. Is there a profile page I can put all this info in....
As mentioned above a build thread is a great way to keep track of changes and results, plus we all like to see others setups.
If you reduce your white red and green spectrums intensity and duration then it helps to reduce algae growth since they use more of the red spectrum for photosynthesis. Also, pelleted food is far more nutrient dense( especially phosphate) than live foods so any uneaten portion will add to algae growth. If using socks in your sump, changing them out a few times a week will help reduce nutrient load before they can break down and add no3 and po4 to the water column.
 

BigRedReefer MT

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None of these things will be the silver bullet to your algae problems but used together they create a more holistic approach. Also mentioned above, an herbivore will help to graze it down with other cuc members. A lawnmower blenny is an idea that's appropriate for your size tank. My yellow tang, foxface, and lawnmower wouldn't touch the GHA when long, but after scrubbing it off they devoured the young small stuff. Turbo snails worked well on my set up, and small dwarf cerith snails helped get in the little nooks and crannies.
I see you've been using vibrant which I hear good things about. I would turn your skimmer off for a few hours after each dose to allow the bacteria time to colonize surfaces and begin to use no3 and po4 in their reproduction.
 

BigRedReefer MT

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The most important thing is to know it can be beat, it just takes time. Peroxide seems to work for others but I'm to afraid of the risks that come with improper dosing. Hope this info helps in your battle.
 
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skipcurl

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None of these things will be the silver bullet to your algae problems but used together they create a more holistic approach. Also mentioned above, an herbivore will help to graze it down with other cuc members. A lawnmower blenny is an idea that's appropriate for your size tank. My yellow tang, foxface, and lawnmower wouldn't touch the GHA when long, but after scrubbing it off they devoured the young small stuff. Turbo snails worked well on my set up, and small dwarf cerith snails helped get in the little nooks and crannies.
I see you've been using vibrant which I hear good things about. I would turn your skimmer off for a few hours after each dose to allow the bacteria time to colonize surfaces and begin to use no3 and po4 in their reproduction.
Thanks BigRedReefer. Now I am wondering if the reason why I have such low no3 and p04 is because of the Vibrant. Maybe all the bacteria by the product is taking everything down. Started to dose Potassium Nitrate today. I will let you know how it goes. I am starting to see everything fixes something and then breaks something. The hardest puzzle ever. I heard just take it easy and let nature take its coarse. But I like tinkering..
 

BigRedReefer MT

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The hardest thing in this hobby is waiting to see what a small change you make brings about. The second hardest thing is waiting to see and resisting the urge to change more. The third hardest is trying to fix the issues you create by changing to much to fast.
Your best bet is to pick one thing and try it for 1-2 months. If that doesn't give you what you want add another one to the mix and wait. GHA is a nightmare, but you just have to ride it out till the dawn.

Happy reefing friend, and keep up the fight.
 

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