Why do I have this much algae..?

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maleks.reef

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Hi everyone. I have a 9 month old 34 gal tank with 2 clowns and 1 firefish. I feed daily flake just enough for the fish and every week i feed reef roids (half the recommended amount).

PO4 = 0 & NO3 = 10

Despite all this, i have a ton of algae on my back glass (stringy algae) and i have spots of hair algae here and there, and to top it off I have a bit of sea lettuce as well. I have a HOB skimmer that works well and i have a DIY refugium in my back sump. So can someone please help me understand why I have so much algae? And how can I solve this ugly issue?

(I prefer not to use any products like vibrant)
 
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LordofCinder

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Reason for algae is very simple, too many nutrients in and not enough nutrients out. Thats all there is to it.

Your test shows low phosphate/nitrate because the algae is consuming it to grow. Flake food is really the worst, reef roids are pretty bad too. You should consider other food types which are lower in phosphate.

Basic algae fighting methods are:
Feed less
less light time
more water changes, scrub the rocks
use GFO or phosphate
increase CUC
 
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maleks.reef

maleks.reef

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Reason for algae is very simple, too many nutrients in and not enough nutrients out. Thats all there is to it.

Your test shows low phosphate/nitrate because the algae is consuming it to grow. Flake food is really the worst, reef roids are pretty bad too. You should consider other food types which are lower in phosphate.

Basic algae fighting methods are:
Feed less
less light time
more water changes, scrub the rocks
use GFO or phosphate
increase CUC
Im worried that if i use GFO, my phosphates will be TOO low and I might get cyano or dinos which is even worse than algae. I'll start feeding less and every other day rather than daily. Also, what are some suggestions for a good CUC? Rn i have 3 bumblebees, 2 trochi, 3 nassarius snails.

Also, frozen food would be cleaner right?
 
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maleks.reef

maleks.reef

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You had mentioned that you have 3 fish. And that you use Reefroids. How many corals do you have?
About 12-13, half of them are zoas the other half are cloves, 2 small mushrooms, toadstool, gsp, and kenya tree. All softies for now.
 
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maleks.reef

maleks.reef

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How has the fuge been doing?
The chaeto isn't growing like crazy but it is definitely growing slowly. I'd say this is because the fuge light is much much weaker than the display light. Rn i have my fuge on for 6 hours a day. Looks like ill have to increase it. Also, im worried that the 0 PO4 might cause me problems later on when i get LPS. So whats the best way to approach this isssue?
 

fish farmer

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The chaeto isn't growing like crazy but it is definitely growing slowly. I'd say this is because the fuge light is much much weaker than the display light. Rn i have my fuge on for 6 hours a day. Looks like ill have to increase it. Also, im worried that the 0 PO4 might cause me problems later on when i get LPS. So whats the best way to approach this isssue?
I'd increase the fuge light to nine hours and remove at much algae that you can via siphoning or pulling during water changes. Add a few more snails, turbos and trochus. Personally I don't ever feed coral foods like reef roids, whatever the fish get is what the corals get and my 29 gallon is full of softies/LPS. I feed pellets or frozen about every day. I have two clowns and a sixline wrasse.
 

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The chaeto isn't growing like crazy but it is definitely growing slowly. I'd say this is because the fuge light is much much weaker than the display light. Rn i have my fuge on for 6 hours a day. Looks like ill have to increase it. Also, im worried that the 0 PO4 might cause me problems later on when i get LPS. So whats the best way to approach this isssue?
Yeah, gotta keep in mind that nutrient export isn't a linear thing - its not like all that nitrate/phosphate in your tank all line up go to into the fuge to get soaked up by the chaeto then the return pump brings up clean water. Whats really happening is that equal amount of no3 and po4 are being exposed and absorbed by everything at the same time. So the effectiveness then boils down to a math game of how much surface area of the chaeto is exposed to water, vs the surface area of the other things that absorb it (coral and other algae). The other factor as you mentioned is the light competition between fuge and DT.

Sounds like your fuge lightis pretty week? Either increase photo period or get better light, or both. Also, manually remove as much of DT algae as possible to tilt the surface area competition in chaetos favor. Getting more CUC will help keep it down in the DT as well

As for your PO4 at 0 - do you have a more accurate reading? Maybe get a ULR tester. If its actually something like 0.02 or 0.05, then you are fine. If its actually at 0.00, then that may be an issue bc if po4 is truly deficient, it can interfere with NO3 absorption as well as cause instability that may result in dinos.

If its actually at 0, I suggest dosing neophos. Feeding more may be harder to control bc of the extra ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate it brings (the first two are algae favorites)
 
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Yeah, gotta keep in mind that nutrient export isn't a linear thing - its not like all that nitrate/phosphate in your tank all line up go to into the fuge to get soaked up by the chaeto then the return pump brings up clean water. Whats really happening is that equal amount of no3 and po4 are being exposed and absorbed by everything at the same time. So the effectiveness then boils down to a math game of how much surface area of the chaeto is exposed to water, vs the surface area of the other things that absorb it (coral and other algae). The other factor as you mentioned is the light competition between fuge and DT.

Sounds like your fuge lightis pretty week? Either increase photo period or get better light, or both. Also, manually remove as much of DT algae as possible to tilt the surface area competition in chaetos favor. Getting more CUC will help keep it down in the DT as well

As for your PO4 at 0 - do you have a more accurate reading? Maybe get a ULR tester. If its actually something like 0.02 or 0.05, then you are fine. If its actually at 0.00, then that may be an issue bc if po4 is truly deficient, it can interfere with NO3 absorption as well as cause instability that may result in dinos.

If its actually at 0, I suggest dosing neophos. Feeding more may be harder to control bc of the extra ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate it brings (the first two are algae favorites)
2 weeks ago my PO4 was definetly at 0.03, but now it is not detectable so I assumed that it is 0. I wish I can get a ULR hannah checker but I just got my salifert PO4 kit and thats all I can afford for now. Maybe if I scrub most of the algae out of the display tank and only increase the fuge light to 8 hours, that will lead to some sort of equilibrium that will lead to more PO4. I think the amount of hair algae and sea lettuce in the DT is the reason behind my 0 PO4.
 
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