Help.. low food input, great water parameters, and still algea grows. HAIR CYNO BUBBLE

Deltec

Foggy Pirate

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Help!!!!! So all my livestock has been in this tank for a couple months. I think everything has been in here since March 29th 2021. The 2 Cerith snails I believe i got a little later Maybe early June. So introducing stuff only could have happened awhile which leads me to my first observation. I want the hair algea, bubble algea and the cyno to be gone, and if its been in the tank from the introduction of the livestock its been held at bay and not have enough nutrients to grow. However its been growing more and more and my parameters are still the same. Perfect. They are listed below in OVERVEiW. Also I’m starting to feed even less. I dont feed much at all really only my clowns. I feed them once a day 6 days a week. I can attach a picture if anyone is interested in the amount but its not much and my nutrients are always in check. WHY IS THE ALGEA AND CYNO GROWING!!!!! My light is turned down to 7w out of 54w and only on for 8 hours. Under my rocks in the shadows there no algea so i thought it was the light however i put it to this setting maybe 4 months ago and its still happening. I siphon out the hair algea it comes up in mats in my sand bed. Time line looks like this, hair algea is terrible for months. Cyno for about 1-2 months and bubble algea just popped up last week. I’m getting very discouraged as I’m trying hard to feed little, keep doing my water changes and my testing look awesome…. AHHHHHHH
Also red algea on candy cane, iv scrubbed it away and its slowly come back its like wirey and stiff macro algea of some sort?


Unrelated… all corals are doing great open wide and big every day. Except the Duncan all of a sudden closed and haven’t opened for a few days.. Any ideas…


Tank Overview:





Fluval Evo 13.5 - water volume 13 gallons


Lighting - AI Prime 16HD 10am- 6pm (8 hours) intensity 7w (54w 100%)- (19%UV)(19%Violet)(19%Royal)(19%Blue)(1%Green)(1%DeepRed)(6%CoolWhite)


Pump/Flow- Stock pump (130gph), Hydor Koralia (240gph)


Filtration Chamber Setups- 1st chamber in tank media basket with filter floss, filter pad, than chemipure blue, than the rest matrix. Second chamber completely matrix. Third chamber heater, thermometer, ATO, and pump


Salt- Tropic Marin Bio Actif





Water Parameters


Tests weekly… alternate weeks between testing myself with Red Sea test kits and bringing it to a fish store that has a API digital read out. Every so often i test the same day i bring it in just to see how constant my reads are. They all seem good and close!


This tank is very constant and over the last 6 months my ammiona and NO2 have only jumped to 0.1 once right after i did a cleaning. Here is what the tank constantly runs at :


Ammiona-0 NO2-0 NO3-8 Phosphate-0 Calcium-400 Alkalinity-9 Magnesium-1300-1350 Salinity-1.025-1.026 Temp-78.5-78.8F





Dosing- Brightwell Reef Code A -B. Microbactor 7 and i just picked up Microbactor Clean I’m about to run out of microbactor 7.





Livestock- 2 black storm clown fish, 3 bubble bee snails, 2 Cerith snails, 2 blue legged hermit crabs. Also a stomella that’s huge (over and inch mayb 1.5).


Coral - Hammer, Candycane, Duncan, and a psammocora ( all corals doing well)





Pests- 3 Pineapple sponges (dont mind), spirorbid worms (dont mind), Small feather duster I believe (i like), HAIR ALGEA a lot of it i hate, bubble algea just started I’m scared and cyno which i keep siphoning out.

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Zoanthids

Biglew11

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Tank is still quite new everyone has to go through the ugly stages of algea.

Get some better test kits, nyose, red sea pro salifert, if you have the money the hanna checkers for nitrate phosphate, and now the nitrate high range.

Amonia never wants to be measurable.
Nitrites you want zero but less poisonous than ammonia.
Nitrates between 5-10 ppm is fine
Phosphates between .03-.09 ppm.

Your soft coral prefer slightly dirty water. If starved for nutrition they will do poorly.

Keeping nitrate and phosphate at zero is an invitation for dinoflagellates.

Pineapple sponges aren't generally considered a pest.
spirorbid worms also not considered pest. Both are filter feeders
 
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Foggy Pirate

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Tank is still quite new everyone has to go through the ugly stages of algea.

Get some better test kits, nyose, red sea pro salifert, if you have the money the hanna checkers for nitrate phosphate, and now the nitrate high range.

Amonia never wants to be measurable.
Nitrites you want zero but less poisonous than ammonia.
Nitrates between 5-10 ppm is fine
Phosphates between .03-.09 ppm.

Your soft coral prefer slightly dirty water. If starved for nutrition they will do poorly.

Keeping nitrate and phosphate at zero is an invitation for dinoflagellates.

Pineapple sponges aren't generally considered a pest.
spirorbid worms also not considered pest. Both are filter feeders

I ment pests as hitchhikers sry, yes I know there filter feeders that’s why I don’t mind them
 

Townes_Van_Camp

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So hair algae is starting in the sand again where I vacuumed it out. Anyone have any ideas what’s causing this??
Just my guess, it’s a really clean looking tank and you are going through the uglies. If the hair algae bothers you go get a good sized hermit and a smallish Mexican turbo snail, they will make quick work in a fluval.

When I stopped giving a dang about algae, I learned to love it as an indicator of tank health. I monitor a patch in the sand that moves around some. If I start building up on the glass to the point where I have to scrape with a razor vs magnafloat, it’s time for a water change.

Those algae scrapings double as coral food in a tank as small as yours and mine. Once your WC water is ready, turn off the return pump, scrape the glass, dose aminos, feed the fish with a heavy hand, wait 20-30 minutes then turn on the return and wait another 30 minutes or so and then do your water change.

Put short, inverts, and learn to embrace the algae. It’s your friend.
 

Dkeller_nc

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First, and most important comment - DO NOT underfeed your fish in an effort to keep algal growth down. I can't say this more strongly.

Second - fighting algae/cyanobacteria and even dinoflagellates for the first 6 months or so of first setting up a tank is completely and totally normal. And unavoidable - it used to be possible to start a tank with actual live rock and avoid this phase, but most folks start tanks these days with dry rock, and "the uglies" (referencing undesirable algal growth) is completely normal.

Finally, given your water parameters (which are OK) and the relatively small size of your tank, I'd recommend that you siphon off the top layer of sand that has the algae growing on it, then either dispose of it or clean it off of the sand with mechanical agitation under running tap water, drain it, and put it back in the tank.

You can try to reduce the cyanobacteria and undesirable algae growth by making 50% water changes to knock the dissolved nutrients back, but if you do this, recognize that to be effective, the salt water will have to have been made with RODI (not chloramine-remover treated tap water), and the temperature and specific gravity of the change water need to be carefully adjusted to match the water in the tank so you don't shock the corals.
 
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Foggy Pirate

Foggy Pirate

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ya I’m hoping its just the unavoidable algea cause my tank is 7 months old…. I do water changes 5 gallons on a 13 gallon so almost 50% and i only use RODI and mix My own salt with bio actif. That extra carbon in the salt might be affecting it too. The local fish store said they have very very few ppl using that salt like 3 ppl including me and one guy is dealing with algea same as me. Ill keep doing what I’m doing. wont starve my fish and let you know if in the next few weeks as time goes on if its seeems like I’m beating it in any way.
 

Townes_Van_Camp

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ya I’m hoping its just the unavoidable algea cause my tank is 7 months old…. I do water changes 5 gallons on a 13 gallon so almost 50% and i only use RODI and mix My own salt with bio actif. That extra carbon in the salt might be affecting it too. The local fish store said they have very very few ppl using that salt like 3 ppl including me and one guy is dealing with algea same as me. Ill keep doing what I’m doing. wont starve my fish and let you know if in the next few weeks as time goes on if its seeems like I’m beating it in any way.
ya I’m hoping its just the unavoidable algea cause my tank is 7 months old…. I do water changes 5 gallons on a 13 gallon so almost 50% and i only use RODI and mix My own salt with bio actif. That extra carbon in the salt might be affecting it too. The local fish store said they have very very few ppl using that salt like 3 ppl including me and one guy is dealing with algea same as me. Ill keep doing what I’m doing. wont starve my fish and let you know if in the next few weeks as time goes on if its seeems like I’m beating it in any way.
I was doing changes that big once upon a time in my 14 gal also. I was constantly chasing algae despite low nutrient levels. I’ve since started making 4 gallons and changing as much as I need to reduce nitrates to the 4 - 6 ppm range, as tested just before WC. That’s usually 2 to 3 gallons weekly. Colors and growth have taken off since that choice.
 

Dkeller_nc

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A note about RODI - Most of us make our own. It's very common for new tank owners to purchase RODI from the LFS and/or distilled water from the grocery store (particularly smaller tank owners). The difficulty with this is that one doesn't know for sure how well the LFS is maintaining the RODI system. Some do an exceptional job, some not so much, since it's a business expense that is nearly invisible to the customer.
 
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