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Dealing with Green Hair Algae and Cyanobacteria and lots of questions for my Saltwater tank.

Ibby

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I first off want to say I am new to this hobby. This is my second month of having my tank. I had bought fish from my local Petco and brought two clownfish home, within a week they had ich and I went to back to Petco and they recommended herbtana to treat it. I am starting using the right dosage every day, but a rookie mistake I made was never taking the carbon out of my filter so herbtana was not working assuming it would've worked seeing there are many medications out there.

Long story short I found out Petco were dealing with ich at the time and did not even bring it to my attention... The fish died from ich sadly, but I made sure not to slip up again. So, I raised the temperature up to 88 degrees for 4 weeks while treating with herbtana. I went to another good reviewed LFS and they treat their tanks with copper, so I ended up leaving they are with another 2 clownfish since they are the hardier fish. They have been in my tank for 10 days now and they have been looking great! I feed them twice a day w/ a small number of pellets and flakes and sometimes Mysis shrimp. I must say they do very odd thing sometimes but after reading up online clownfish do very weird things.

I provided pictures of my tank. I have a 20-gallon tank, with a tetra whisper HOB filter. I also have ceramic rings in the filter. I also have a circulation pump with my heater in there. Is that all I need to have a successful 20-gallon tank? I hear so much other stuff like canisters, refugium’s, protein skimmers, etc. I used to buy the carbon filters for the HOB filter, but I was advised to go to purigen, and it has been about 4 days, and everything seems to be fine. Here are my levels from 2 days ago,

Ammonia-0

P.H. 8.2

Nitrate-0

Nitrite-0

Phosphate-0

I've taken algae off the rock but it seems to be spreading not really too bad but I know algae will always be in the tank and I know algae is good but I don't really want to see the excess hair strings in my tank. Is there a way to kill it all? Get a CUC? Or do I need remove it myself, but wouldn't it grow back? My levels are fine when I tested just wondering how to approach green hair algae.

Also, I am dealing with cyanobacteria, in the pics it does not look bad, but it tends to disappear more at night than in morning. Another rookie mistake was putting my tank in the only room the house that gets the most sun... but I did however run out to the LFS and bought a covering and covered the back and side of tanks so no sunlight can get in the tank.

***Only reason why I had my lights on was I was taking these pictures at 2am and had the lights off. With dealing with cyano, I have had the lights off basically all day unless it is nighttime and I want to watch TV I will turn on the lights for a couple hours. I have read that light should be turned off, people have different opinions, but should I continue keeping my lights off or should I medicate?

I hope in the next couple of weeks if the clownfish look parasite free and look healthy, I want to get more fish or a CUC. Since I go the LFS that treats with copper in their tanks do I have to quarantine the fish? Am I just taking my own risk if I do not? If I need to quarantine what is sufficient? A 10 gallon with a HOB filter, an aerator, and some PVC pipes for the fish to hide or do I need to add sand. I heard turbo start 900 can cycle a tank within a week so I would get that for the QT to speed up process also buying salt water already packaged at my LFS.

I know I asked a lot of questions and to whoever read this whole thing I really do appreciate it I just really want to have success in this hobby, want to be happy at looking at my aquarium (which I already do except seeing the hair strains of the green algae and cyanobacteria and I also want my fish happy.
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Funston07

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Well that was alot of questions so I probably wont get to all of them right away lol. But we can get started on this and get it out of the unanswered thread section and more people will chime in. Okay if you have no coral leave your lights off, like all the time. The fish do not need the lights and will help with the algae issue. Your biggest problem is the ich situation. If your previous fish died of ich you should of waited much longer to put new fish in, like 75 days. Ich, velvet, brooklynella all lay dormant in your tank after contracting it. I would not add any more new fish for 3 months personally to make sure none of your new fish get it now. Cause even if you QT and put them in your DT in 2-3 weeks they will have the possibility of getting ich now.
 
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Ibby

Ibby

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Well that was alot of questions so I probably wont get to all of them right away lol. But we can get started on this and get it out of the unanswered thread section and more people will chime in. Okay if you have no coral leave your lights off, like all the time. The fish do not need the lights and will help with the algae issue. Your biggest problem is the ich situation. If your previous fish died of ich you should of waited much longer to put new fish in, like 75 days. Ich, velvet, brooklynella all lay dormant in your tank after contracting it. I would not add any more new fish for 3 months personally to make sure none of your new fish get it now. Cause even if you QT and put them in your DT in 2-3 weeks they will have the possibility of getting ich now.
Hey I appreciate the reply. Lots of people have said different things to me about dealing with Ich and especially for how long I should treat ich. I definitely will not be adding any more fish till at least another month passes by but can I add a CUC at anytime? Also do I have to QT the CUC.

I've been keeping lights off as most as I possibly can which is basically 95% of the time unless its night time and I want to watch TV in that room.

How's my filtration? A lot of people have sumps, skimmers, etc. Just want to make sure I have the neccessities for my 20 gallon.

Thanks.
 

SMSREEF

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I think raising the temp to 88 in the tank and leaving it without fish for 45 day is probably good enough to have the ich die off. However there are strains that can last longer which is why people say 75 days.

I would do two things about the algae. First, take the rocks out and give them a good scrub with a toothbrush. Do this when you do a water change so you can use the saltwater you are getting rid of to rinse the rocks. Also get a clean up crew of a few snails and maybe an emerald crab. Be aware that these can also bring ich into your aquarium if they come from a tank with fish. I quarantine mine before adding to the tank, but there are some places like algaebarn and reef cleaners that have fishless systems which I believe are less likely to bring ich to your tank.

It looks like you have a nice piece of live rock. What do you think about replacing the two pieces that have the algae issues with 2 pieces of live? Again be careful because it will need quarantined if coming from a tank with fish.
I find that algae does not grow on the good live rock with coralline on it like it does the dead rock.

The cyano I would just suction the sand when doing water changes. Its just a normal stage of a new tank. But you may want to look at another powerhead/wavemaker to increase your flow in the tank.
 
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Ibby

Ibby

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I think raising the temp to 88 in the tank and leaving it without fish for 45 day is probably good enough to have the ich die off. However there are strains that can last longer which is why people say 75 days.

I would do two things about the algae. First, take the rocks out and give them a good scrub with a toothbrush. Do this when you do a water change so you can use the saltwater you are getting rid of to rinse the rocks. Also get a clean up crew of a few snails and maybe an emerald crab. Be aware that these can also bring ich into your aquarium if they come from a tank with fish. I quarantine mine before adding to the tank, but there are some places like algaebarn and reef cleaners that have fishless systems which I believe are less likely to bring ich to your tank.

It looks like you have a nice piece of live rock. What do you think about replacing the two pieces that have the algae issues with 2 pieces of live? Again be careful because it will need quarantined if coming from a tank with fish.
I find that algae does not grow on the good live rock with coralline on it like it does the dead rock.

The cyano I would just suction the sand when doing water changes. Its just a normal stage of a new tank. But you may want to look at another powerhead/wavemaker to increase your flow in the tank.

Thank you very much for the reply. I definitely should've waited a bit longer to make sure ich was gone but fish look fine and I'm holding off on new fish for at least another month to make sure there's no ich. However, other than possibly looking at a new powerhead, is my purigen and ceramic rings doing an ideal job for my HOB, nothing more needs to be added?

The rock in the middle that looks really nice is actually dry rock, the two old rocks I had for about two months are the live rocks. So you recommend I either clean them or put in new ones after QT?
 
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SMSREEF

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Thank you very much for the reply. I definitely should've waited a bit longer to make sure ich was gone but fish look fine and I'm holding off on new fish for at least another month to make sure there's no ich. However, other than possibly looking at a new powerhead, is my purigen and ceramic rings doing an ideal job for my HOB, nothing more needs to be added?

The rock in the middle that looks really nice is actually dry rock, the two old rocks I had for about two months are the live rocks. So you recommend I either clean them or put in new ones after QT?
I used HOB for years and it worked. I still have one on my macroalgae and invert quarantine tank. One thing that I do like to add to them is a surface skimmer.
S.T. International Aquarium Surface Skimmer

That rock in the center is painted? I thought it was coralline. It looks pretty good!

Definitely keep the live rock and just brush algae off.

is your tank getting sunlight from a window? Sometimes that can cause problems.

when I said add some live, I mean like this stuff in front with coralline and feather dusters and such. But it needs light or the coralline dies. Rock like this helps bring in a lot of bacteria and small critters to help your tank have a better and more stable ecosystem.
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Ibby

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I used HOB for years and it worked. I still have one on my macroalgae and invert quarantine tank. One thing that I do like to add to them is a surface skimmer.
S.T. International Aquarium Surface Skimmer

That rock in the center is painted? I thought it was coralline. It looks pretty good!

Definitely keep the live rock and just brush algae off.

is your tank getting sunlight from a window? Sometimes that can cause problems.

when I said add some live, I mean like this stuff in front with coralline and feather dusters and such. But it needs light or the coralline dies. Rock like this helps bring in a lot of bacteria and small critters to help your tank have a better and more stable ecosystem.

A surface skimmer I see removes oils and adds more oxygen any other beneficial things? It's only $15 dollars and I can get it by tomorrow from Amazon but there isn't much left in stock. How do I connect the surface skimmer to the filter to make it work? How do I know my tetra whisper can support it?

I am not too sure lol about the rock if it was painted or not, but it was dry rock in a cardboard box under the aquariums at my LFS and I decided to buy that rock so I can get the aquascape look I kind of wanted yet my clowns never swim under in between the rocks :/

My tank is in the room with the most sunlight, it has 3 windows behind it lol. The room is called a "sun room" that was a very bad rookie mistake by me but I did cover the back and sides and don't see any sunlight in the tank anymore.

If I want to get the CUC is coralline needed? I been keeping the lights off to fight off the cyanobacteria but you said it will die if I don't have my lights on.
 

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white light usually speeds up algae growth so you mite try to find a new light, time is the biggest thing luckily you have some established rock but only helps soo much, try some snails they love keeping algae down, crabs are annoying im thinking about getting rid of mine so maybe only stick to snails, but let time run its course with the tank and go buy some more live rock it will help, as for the ich as stated above don't add anymore fish until your sure its gone
 

Funston07

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Hey I appreciate the reply. Lots of people have said different things to me about dealing with Ich and especially for how long I should treat ich. I definitely will not be adding any more fish till at least another month passes by but can I add a CUC at anytime? Also do I have to QT the CUC.

I've been keeping lights off as most as I possibly can which is basically 95% of the time unless its night time and I want to watch TV in that room.

How's my filtration? A lot of people have sumps, skimmers, etc. Just want to make sure I have the neccessities for my 20 gallon.

Thanks.
Your filtration is fine. I ran a HOB on my 65gal for awhile by itself and did good. CUC like shrimp and crabs people recommend QT until they molt one time at least but I dont. Fish disease dont affect CUC like it does fish. Your two rocks with algae you can also dip them in peroxide, it will kill the algae on them but honestly its not bad your gonna have algae until the aquarium is established.
 
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white light usually speeds up algae growth so you mite try to find a new light, time is the biggest thing luckily you have some established rock but only helps soo much, try some snails they love keeping algae down, crabs are annoying im thinking about getting rid of mine so maybe only stick to snails, but let time run its course with the tank and go buy some more live rock it will help, as for the ich as stated above don't add anymore fish until your sure its gone
luckily my white light can be dimmed and also I can change the light color to any color I have RGB lights. But what color should be used? Blue I can't see much and white makes it stand out. But I've had lights off for like a week now only maybe a couple hours a day of use. And any ideas for aquascape because I have no idea where to put the live rock. and what snails do you reccomend?
 
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Your filtration is fine. I ran a HOB on my 65gal for awhile by itself and did good. CUC like shrimp and crabs people recommend QT until they molt one time at least but I dont. Fish disease dont affect CUC like it does fish. Your two rocks with algae you can also dip them in peroxide, it will kill the algae on them but honestly its not bad your gonna have algae until the aquarium is established.
Assuming since my LFS treats with copper obviously I could QT them but it's less likely of a chance of disease then a fish you are saying? Also I've heard about dipping it in peroxide, do I rinse it after with RODI water? Also, how long till an aquarium is established?
 

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I think if it is only 2 months old, algae is normal There are a lot of ugly stages the first 6 months but everything will smooth out. But never add copper products to your tank you plan on keeping corals in
 
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@fnlyreefready Thanks for the info. I definitely will wait it out because I know you need patience in this hobby. I don't plan on adding copper and corals are not on my mind till I get all the fish I want in the tank with the CUC assuming by the end of this year. Then I'd love to add an anemone to the tank but I heard you need to QT it for a very long time.
 
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Ibby

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Go in and get you about ten turbo snails. You will see results in less then a week
Will they eventually die off when there's no algae or there will always be algae for them to eat? And if I get 10 of them in my 20 gallon would that affect how many fish I could get in the future? Also do you QT your CUC?
 
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blue is favorable, especially when you get corals that show more under blues,like 5-10 turbo snails and trouceous or however they are spelled maybe 1 or 2 of them
 

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Will they eventually die off when there's no algae or there will always be algae for them to eat? And if I get 10 of them in my 20 gallon would that affect how many fish I could get in the future? Also do you QT your CUC?
Won’t effect fish and they will eat the algae and die off
 

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How do I connect the surface skimmer to the filter to make it work? How do I know my tetra whisper can support it?
It comes with different connectors They are rubber and should work on your existing tubing fine. One of them will fit. If you need any help when it gets there let me know.
 
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It comes with different connectors They are rubber and should work on your existing tubing fine. One of them will fit. If you need any help when it gets there let me know.
Appreciate it, sure will. If I'm not having trouble with oils at my surface is it needed or should I still get it? What are the benefits of it?

Thanks.
 

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Assuming since my LFS treats with copper obviously I could QT them but it's less likely of a chance of disease then a fish you are saying? Also I've heard about dipping it in peroxide, do I rinse it after with RODI water? Also, how long till an aquarium is established?
They dont treat inverts with copper, its highly toxic to them. But yes either way its much less likely you will get a fish disease from inverts. If you dip your rocks then yeah rinse them with RODI afterwards. As far as the established term it is a grey area kinda, theres no time frame. Many things play a role in achieving an established aquarium. In general though people say 1 year on average. A good indicator is rocks covered in coraline.
 
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