Never ending Turf

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saltydawg11

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I’ve been in a fight with turf algae for at least a year and it’s beyond frustrating. Corals (acros most notably) seem to be ok and are growing. Some better than others obviously.

Rock was set up with dry pukani and Tonga from my previous tank. Clearwater scrubber 100, reefoctopus skimmer, and UV gph set to manufacture recommendation for algae. I have NEVER gotten a PO4 reading above 0.04 and that was when my system was 1 month old. Nitrate would bounce between 2-10, but it has zeroed out since I’ve been doing weekly 10% water changes trying to syphon crud out.

I’m assuming the algae is consuming all of the PO4 making it untestable, but the algae scrubber is still pulling out full sheets of algae on the screen. Skimmer producing well.

I now have double zero nutrientand am starting to get cyano growing on top of the turf which maybe would tell me my PO4 is actually very high and my nitrates are indeed 0?

I feed 2 light serving of frozen daily and one rotation of pellets on an auto feeder mid day to keep my anthias happy or I would only feed once.

PO4: 0 (Hanna phosphate ulr)
NO3: 0 (Red Sea)

I have tried vibrant, blackout, reef flux but they did not really do much and seemed more like a bandaid. I don’t really want to try that again and stress things out.

Would carbon dosing help? Never really tried it before.

thanks for your advice!
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Sea_Shanty_Corals

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What does your clean up crew consist of (and / or any tangs?).

It might be worth testing your source water to make sure you're not introducing PO4 early in the process. I think your assessment that there is high levels of PO4 that are being absorbed quickly is correct.

You may also want to defrost your frozen in RODI and then test the phosphate on that - some frozens have really high phosphate levels.
 

Dolphins18

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The terrors that can come from carbon dosing are much worse than turf algae IMO.
I don't know if you'd be interested in putting a foxface in there, or a zebrasoma tang. They will likely eat it before the week is up lol.
 

VJM 21

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The terrors that can come from carbon dosing are much worse than turf algae IMO.
I don't know if you'd be interested in putting a foxface in there, or a zebrasoma tang. They will likely eat it before the week is up lol.
I have 3 zebrasoma tangs that won’t touch “healthy” turf algae. I don’t have a foxface, so I can’t speak to that. Once Fluconazole takes effect (2 weeks or so), the tips of the algae will turn white and things will eat it. I used Reef Flux before and it worked....only to come back about a year later. I’m one week into using it a second time now. Turf algae seems to defy logic with regard to nutrients. My numbers have been stable for about a year (phosphate around 0.04 and nitrate between 4-8).

I wish I could provide a better answer as to the cause, but I haven’t found one. As for adding cleaners, the only CUC member I haven’t tried is an urchin. Not a fan as they eat coralline algae and tend to bulldoze corals.
 
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saltydawg11

saltydawg11

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What does your clean up crew consist of (and / or any tangs?).

It might be worth testing your source water to make sure you're not introducing PO4 early in the process. I think your assessment that there is high levels of PO4 that are being absorbed quickly is correct.

You may also want to defrost your frozen in RODI and then test the phosphate on that - some frozens have really high phosphate levels.
I forgot to mention my clean up crew:
3 pincushion urchins, 2 tuxedos, about 5 large nassarius snails, a bunch of trochus snails ( maybe 150. They multiply like crazy), 2 emerald crabs, 30ish bumblebee snails, a bunch of dwarf ceriths, about 8 turbo snails I might be forgetting something

1 chocolate tangs and 1 yellow eye Kole. They seem to pick at it but the turf algae is so deeply rooted they can’t really be effective.

Even for myself when I try to manually remove it is very difficult to pull because it’s so short and rooted. I can pick at it for hours and barely accomplish anything.

Importantly too I began culturing and adding tetra and nanno phyto. I started phyto to help with diversity for competing with the turf algae
 
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saltydawg11

saltydawg11

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I have 3 zebrasoma tangs that won’t touch “healthy” turf algae. I don’t have a foxface, so I can’t speak to that. Once Fluconazole takes effect (2 weeks or so), the tips of the algae will turn white and things will eat it. I used Reef Flux before and it worked....only to come back about a year later. I’m one week into using it a second time now. Turf algae seems to defy logic with regard to nutrients. My numbers have been stable for about a year (phosphate around 0.04 and nitrate between 4-8).

I wish I could provide a better answer as to the cause, but I haven’t found one. As for adding cleaners, the only CUC member I haven’t tried is an urchin. Not a fan as they eat coralline algae and tend to bulldoze corals.
It seems urchins work very well but definitely do eat some coralline. I wouldn’t say a lot though. Right now they are very hard to come by and when you do, they are the size of a dime or smaller. Not to mention I need many right now and being $20-30 per it’s not cheap either
 
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saltydawg11

saltydawg11

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The terrors that can come from carbon dosing are much worse than turf algae IMO.
I don't know if you'd be interested in putting a foxface in there, or a zebrasoma tang. They will likely eat it before the week is up lol.
The two tangs are tag team bullies but I don’t think they’d mess with a fox face. I’d love a purple or gem tang but I’m not sure that would go over well with the crabby neighbors
 

Dolphins18

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The two tangs are tag team bullies but I don’t think they’d mess with a fox face. I’d love a purple or gem tang but I’m not sure that would go over well with the crabby neighbors
Magnificent foxes are very beautiful fish, and if you get a healthy one I doubt your tangs will mess with it. Magnificients have been known to eat algaes that other fish would never touch.
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saltydawg11

saltydawg11

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It might be worth testing your source water to make sure you're not introducing PO4 early in the process. I think your assessment that there is high levels of PO4 that are being absorbed quickly is correct.
So I just tested my mixing bin. I use TM Pro salt mixed at 35ppt and it tested at 0.05 PO4. The full RODI bin tested at 0.01.
 
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kalel454

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I’ve been in a fight with turf algae for at least a year and it’s beyond frustrating. Corals (acros most notably) seem to be ok and are growing. Some better than others obviously.

Rock was set up with dry pukani and Tonga from my previous tank. Clearwater scrubber 100, reefoctopus skimmer, and UV gph set to manufacture recommendation for algae. I have NEVER gotten a PO4 reading above 0.04 and that was when my system was 1 month old. Nitrate would bounce between 2-10, but it has zeroed out since I’ve been doing weekly 10% water changes trying to syphon crud out.

I’m assuming the algae is consuming all of the PO4 making it untestable, but the algae scrubber is still pulling out full sheets of algae on the screen. Skimmer producing well.

I now have double zero nutrientand am starting to get cyano growing on top of the turf which maybe would tell me my PO4 is actually very high and my nitrates are indeed 0?

I feed 2 light serving of frozen daily and one rotation of pellets on an auto feeder mid day to keep my anthias happy or I would only feed once.

PO4: 0 (Hanna phosphate ulr)
NO3: 0 (Red Sea)

I have tried vibrant, blackout, reef flux but they did not really do much and seemed more like a bandaid. I don’t really want to try that again and stress things out.

Would carbon dosing help? Never really tried it before.

thanks for your advice!
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same problem 4 years ago,i dosed with vodka never seen it agian.look it up.
 
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