What is wrong with my tank and how can I fix it?

Deltec

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I had a much smaller issue with hair algae and I tried three different urchins over the years and all they wanted to eat was my coraline algae. I then got a sea hare, and it wiped the algae out in a few weeks. It would probably take a bit longer for you, but something I'd consider over a pickie urchin.

Some of our friends may know of a reason that wouldn't be a good choice for your situation though.
 
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I had a much smaller issue with hair algae and I tried three different urchins over the years and all they wanted to eat was my coraline algae. I then got a sea hare, and it wiped the algae out in a few weeks. It would probably take a bit longer for you, but something I'd consider over a pickie urchin.

Some of our friends may know of a reason that wouldn't be a good choice for your situation though.
The issue with sea hares is they can have a tendency to ink if something tries to bully them like a rogue hermit or angel. If this happens, it's game over for everything in the tank. It doesn't happen super often, but the consequences are high enough I won't use them in my tank or recommend them to others.

The safer option similar to sea hares would be lettuce nudibranchs. You have to cover your powerheads like you would for an anemone and keep flow somewhat low for those though.
 

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I clean my tank every 10 days or so, make sure I get all the algae. You have to keep on top of it or else it will get out of hand. Also as a previous poster stated, your nitrates and phosphates are low becuase the algae is using it up. You can try something like NoPox to help keep it under control in the future.

Also look into an algae scrubber.
 
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VictoriaW

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I would take a gentler more holistic approach. First turn down the lights. Second manual removal and a good water change 20 to 30%. Add a whole bunch of bacteria. There are many good ones on the market. Pro bio or micro back to seven or Dr. Tim’s. If you can afford to pick more than one even better. Make small additions to your cleanup crew… Don’t go crazy. Sea urchin is a great idea if you can get a small one. Don’t expect this to be fixed overnight. Repeat the water changes as often as you can manage.… And keep adding bacteria. So long as things are steadily improving just stick with it.
 
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Chris_Noles

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If you grab a chunk of it and it slides right off the rock, you could be looking at GHA or lyngbya. If it rips or does not come off easily, it's either turf or bryopsis.

Fluconazole has very little in the way of possible side effects, so I personally would just treat it like bryopsis anyway.

You do need to get at the root of your nutrient issue anyway, but this will at least give you a month of an algae free tank to export as many nutrients as possible with manual removal and water changes.

25 is probably too small for an urchin unless you plan to sell it back to the LFS after its done its job. It could maybe be okay if you feed pretty heavily and keep the rest of your cleanup crew small.

The larger hermit varieties like zebra hermits could work here. An army of 10 plus 5 trochus would be a good start. Emerald crabs are also another option.
some slides off easily others don’t I have some reeflux also. i’ll have to check if my lfs has an urchin bc my cleanup crew is small to begin with (my snails all died and I have 2 blue hermits). I guess just treat the algae anyways with reeflux and do manual removal in the meantime?
 
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Chris_Noles

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I would take a gentler more holistic approach. First turn down the lights. Second manual removal and a good water change 20 to 30%. Add a whole bunch of bacteria. There are many good ones on the market. Pro bio or micro back to seven or Dr. Tim’s. If you can afford to pick more than one even better. Make small additions to your cleanup crew… Don’t go crazy. Sea urchin is a great idea if you can get a small one. Don’t expect this to be fixed overnight. Repeat the water changes as often as you can manage.… And keep adding bacteria. So long as things are steadily improving just stick with it.
I might do this in combo with the reeflux, I have some liquid bacteria to use in the tank.
 
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Dav2996

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I would treat with fluconozole. It's likely bryopsis and keeping low nutrients won't work and only urchins and crabs will eat it.

I would manually remove as much as possible, treat with reef flux, keep nutrients in check with water changes (add fluconozole to water change water) and up your cleanup crew. A tuxedo urchin works wonders and
Maybe an urchin can mow it down? Idk but a restart might be my only option since I cannot get this tank algae free for the good part of almost a year
I have a 20 gallon tank and your nitrates must be crazy to grow all that. I would scrub with a tooth brush your hermit crabs can’t eat it when it’s too long. I would say an inch long is too long for the hermit crab to even do anything. I would pull the rocks for a good scrub and scrub the tank daily. While dosing carbon and I would get some sand sifters in there like the naussirus snails. I would put 4 in there. It will make it harder for the algae to grow in the sand. I would add more wave makers to blow the sand to clear that up as well on the left and right side. That is what I do just for the sand. Rock you got to scrub. Also vacuum the rocks of all the detritus and green stuff out. Dying green stuff is fertilizer to grow more greens.
 

Just John

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Tons of good advice there, but I have another thing to consider. You can keep it going and fix it, which means money and a ton of patience and that depressing feeling you get every time you look at it continuing for quite some time. You could also decide to spend all of next weekend cleaning everything spotless, put it back together and, even if you might not need it, add some bottled bacteria so you don't worry about that. This time next week your tank will look beautiful. For me, just knowing that I could have a beautiful, clean tank this time next week is worth doing it. You can keep the corals wet while you clean the rock, but if you have bone cutters, you might be able to remove some of them by cutting off the section of rock they are on. I have done that. Also, buy a couple six packs and order in some Chinese food.
 
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Just John

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I forgot to mention something - If you decide to go this route, this may be helpful. Zoas primarily get badly irritated by hydrogen peroxide on the top. With large zoas like you have, when the rock is out of the water and cleaned you can use an eyedropper to repeatedly dribble hydrogen peroxide at the base between the zoas to kill off the remaining algae there. 3 minutes worth should do it. Wet the zoas with water occasionally and they will be fine. Then I have repeatedly dribbled it all over the cleaned rock to kill the remains of the algae. This will kill the bacteria too, but you would be putting in bottled bacteria anyway.
 
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I have a 20 gallon tank and your nitrates must be crazy to grow all that. I would scrub with a tooth brush your hermit crabs can’t eat it when it’s too long. I would say an inch long is too long for the hermit crab to even do anything. I would pull the rocks for a good scrub and scrub the tank daily. While dosing carbon and I would get some sand sifters in there like the naussirus snails. I would put 4 in there. It will make it harder for the algae to grow in the sand. I would add more wave makers to blow the sand to clear that up as well on the left and right side. That is what I do just for the sand. Rock you got to scrub. Also vacuum the rocks of all the detritus and green stuff out. Dying green stuff is fertilizer to grow more greens.
Gotcha, and what would I dose for carbon? Is there a place to buy naussirus snails for cheap?
 
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I forgot to mention something - If you decide to go this route, this may be helpful. Zoas primarily get badly irritated by hydrogen peroxide on the top. With large zoas like you have, when the rock is out of the water and cleaned you can use an eyedropper to repeatedly dribble hydrogen peroxide at the base between the zoas to kill off the remaining algae there. 3 minutes worth should do it. Wet the zoas with water occasionally and they will be fine. Then I have repeatedly dribbled it all over the cleaned rock to kill the remains of the algae. This will kill the bacteria too, but you would be putting in bottled bacteria anyway.
I’ve tried this before when I had dinos and scrubbed the entire tank down even the sand and whatever I have currently came back a couple of weeks later. I might try this route again but my fish like jumping out of the tank when I move stuff which is a pain. I might try the cleanup crew method and see what happens but this could be my last resort (again)
 

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I use carbon and it makes my algae turn brown and makes it easier to clean. You can buy naussirus snails online or at the local fish store. They are always under the sand for the most part so you never know if your local fish store has them without asking.
Gotcha, and what would I dose for carbon? Is there a place to buy naussirus snails for cheap?
 
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I use carbon and it makes my algae turn brown and makes it easier to clean. You can buy naussirus snails online or at the local fish store. They are always under the sand for the most part so you never know if your local fish store has them without asking.
Like just running carbon in the back chambers? I have a whole mini reactor running carbon right now.
 

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Like just running carbon in the back chambers? I have a whole mini reactor running carbon right now.
When you dose too much nopox you get white stringy stuff everywhere. I dose 20ml if my nitrates are too high. I also do not do water changes. It’s been 2 months. I do not have that kind of algae too.
 
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Dang @Chris_Noles. As a Die Hard Miami Hurricanes Fan...I was gonna joke you...but I feel your pain as a reefer myself.

What are your total CUC members?

Parameters? Etc...etc..

Your tank looks rough, and as painful as it may be, like others have suggested, it may be time for a restart

Once you start going the chemical route, you may mess things up even more.

I have a 40GB with 6 emerald Crabs, about 14 different snails of about 3 varieties, used to have a Cleaner Shrimp (no thanks Hawk Fish)

What is your filter situation?

HOB, Cannister,Sump w Protein Skimmer??
We need to know.

I over filter my Cannister...: Chemi Pure Elite, Matrix Carbon, Aquachar, Fluval Clearmax, Phosguard, Poly filterPads, Filter Floss.

Also, are you making your Saltwater with an RODI System??
 

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Dang @Chris_Noles. As a Die Hard Miami Hurricanes Fan...I was gonna joke you...but I feel your pain as a reefer myself.

What are your total CUC members?

Parameters? Etc...etc..

Your tank looks rough, and as painful as it may be, like others have suggested, it may be time for a restart

Once you start going the chemical route, you may mess things up even more.

I have a 40GB with 6 emerald Crabs, about 14 different snails of about 3 varieties, used to have a Cleaner Shrimp (no thanks Hawk Fish)

What is your filter situation?

HOB, Cannister,Sump w Protein Skimmer??
We need to know.

I over filter my Cannister...: Chemi Pure Elite, Matrix Carbon, Aquachar, Fluval Clearmax, Phosguard, Poly filterPads, Filter Floss.

Also, are you making your Saltwater with an RODI System??
I agree don’t do peroxide or lots of chemiclean it will mess stuff up :)
 
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Chris_Noles

Chris_Noles

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Dang @Chris_Noles. As a Die Hard Miami Hurricanes Fan...I was gonna joke you...but I feel your pain as a reefer myself.

What are your total CUC members?

Parameters? Etc...etc..

Your tank looks rough, and as painful as it may be, like others have suggested, it may be time for a restart

Once you start going the chemical route, you may mess things up even more.

I have a 40GB with 6 emerald Crabs, about 14 different snails of about 3 varieties, used to have a Cleaner Shrimp (no thanks Hawk Fish)

What is your filter situation?

HOB, Cannister,Sump w Protein Skimmer??
We need to know.

I over filter my Cannister...: Chemi Pure Elite, Matrix Carbon, Aquachar, Fluval Clearmax, Phosguard, Poly filterPads, Filter Floss.

Also, are you making your Saltwater with an RODI System??
Haha both my Noles and fish tank cause me pain. But I have 3 blue hermit crabs and 2 Astrea snails. I have an AIO tank running a carbon reactor, chemipure and filter floss on both sides. I get my saltwater and RODI from my LFS. Phosphates and nitrates levels are still the same as this post. Alkalinity and calcium I’ll have to check but everything else is inline.
 
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Dav2996

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Haha both my Noles and fish tank cause me pain. But I have 3 blue hermit crabs and 2 Astrea snails. I have an AIO tank running a carbon reactor, chemipure and filter floss on both sides. I get my saltwater and RODI from my LFS. Phosphates and nitrates levels are still the same as this post. Alkalinity and calcium I’ll have to check but everything else is inline.
Even LFS water can have TDS. I make my own.
 
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