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How long to see algae eradication results?

Fishnchips

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Hello!

I have a 250 g bare bottom tank that has been running for about 6 years. I have recently recommitted to tank maintenance and upgraded a lot of equipment. The result: Algae.

My nitrates were >10 and my phosphates were at about 2. I have taken the following steps:

Reduced feeding
Started carbon dosing.
Added a Chaeto refugium.
For other reasons, but at the same time I added UV (ick) and a carbon reactor.

Nitrates are now down to .75, phosphates are at .05.
I have cut the carbon dosing in half.

So the smart thing to do now is to wait, right?

Photo so you can share my pain. It's like I have hair algae with a top coating of Cyano.

Advice appreciated!


IMG_3052.jpeg
 
https://www.omegasea.net/

andrewey

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Manual removal will be the most important step. The water may have lower nutrients, but that algae contains a lot of nutrients- as it dies, it releases it into the water and the cycle continues ad nauseum. If you remove the algae, you have removed those nutrients.

A clean up crew will help, but they are simply doing the same job as above, albeit less effectively at times and more effectively in other spots. They are consuming the algae and you are relying on your other nutrient export methods to remove their waste, containing some of the nitrate/phosphate. This is more practical for areas you can't reach, but the best "bang for your buck" will always be areas you can access and manually remove/siphon out the algae in tandem with the changes you've already made to prevent rampant regrowth.

Other options include certain antifungal medications (e.g. fluconazole) or heterotrophic bacteria products (e.g. vibrant). Each have different levels of efficacy and may pose certain side effects for your other animals, which is why they aren't my first choice.
 
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Fishnchips

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Manual removal will be the most important step. The water may have lower nutrients, but that algae contains a lot of nutrients- as it dies, it releases it into the water and the cycle continues ad nauseum. If you remove the algae, you have removed those nutrients.

A clean up crew will help, but they are simply doing the same job as above, albeit less effectively at times and more effectively in other spots. They are consuming the algae and you are relying on your other nutrient export methods to remove their waste, containing some of the nitrate/phosphate. This is more practical for areas you can't reach, but the best "bang for your buck" will always be areas you can access and manually remove/siphon out the algae in tandem with the changes you've already made to prevent rampant regrowth.

Other options include certain antifungal medications (e.g. fluconazole) or heterotrophic bacteria products (e.g. vibrant). Each have different levels of efficacy and may pose certain side effects for your other animals, which is why they aren't my first choice.

Thank you!

I will add that to my plan.
 

andrewey

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Assuming your 250 has a sump, I would set up a filter sock (if you have one) and start a siphon between your DT and sump through your filter sock. Hold one end of the siphon next to your other hand while you "pluck" with the other. Once that job is done, you can also "scrub" with a toothbrush those areas and suck up what comes off the rock. You'll likely need to do this once a week or so for a few weeks or more, but in tandem with your low nutrient levels and any CUC you might add, it will absolutely destroy/put a dent in the hair algae population. As the problem might be transient, I don't like to add animals in these cases, unless you were arleady planning on adding those animals. However, if you've always been struggling and were already planning on adding stock, there are some great inverts or herbivores that might help your efforts long term.
 
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Fishnchips

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Thanks.

I have a decent cleanup crew that I recently boosted. I tried taking a toothbrush to some of the rocks and was surprised that the algae was still very strongly attached. It is very short and not coming off easily. It's "not dead yet".

I'll keep at it! I think I am seeing some improvement. Fingers crossed.

Thanks.
 
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Fishnchips

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So it has been a month since I posted and I am finally seeing the results. Like everything in reefing, things go bad fast and get better really slowly. I've been working on this for 6 weeks now.

Most of the algae is gone. I was just about to resort to chemiclean when I decided to try reducing the photo period. I shortened the day by 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. It means I don't have a lot of time with full lights, but it has really accelerated the algae reduction and the corals are still looking happy.

I tried manual removal as suggested but it didn't help much. The algae was very short and well attached. And now my rock work is a mess.

I have also been siphoning out detritus every few days and changing the filter sock and filter felt in the sump every other day. It's labor intensive but worth the results.

Planning on staying on top of it.

Thanks for all the help!
 

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