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Thread: Let's Talk About ~Algae Control~

  1. #31
    Brittle Starfish
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    Quote Originally Posted by wave98
    MikeS:

    Thanks for your reply.

    . I agree with you entirely about the lights and the nutrients. I was only saying that they are less than adequate for the sps in the tank, and that the tremendous and immediate reduction of hair algae in the tank was from the crabs and snails, and not from any lack of light.
    yeah, that's what I figured you meant...just clarifying...

    Quote Originally Posted by wave98
    . My skimming is very poor but not nonexistant with my crummy "seaclone" which be replaced fairly soon, and my 450 gph in the main tank is just swirling around in the walmart tub below with an old rock and an inch of arragonite that I just happened to have left over.
    you may want to consider removing the rock and aragonite from the sump, if your LR in the main tank alone is meeting your nitrifiying needs, than this additional material is simply adding to your nitrate problem...make the sump water only...ie the "dilution solution..."


    Quote Originally Posted by wave98
    . My real interest here is in building the refugium and what substrate( or sand etc.) I should use there as well as the macroalgaes that are safest to grow and will promote "pod production" to use for food. Maybe I could throw some in the garbage every once in a while or give it away and get a bit of nutrient reduction "to boot".
    Same as above...if the LR in your main tank is adequately meeting nittrifying demands, then additional material will usually only increase the rate of nitrate production in the tank, which can fuel undesireable algae. Macroalgaes...now there's a whole new ballgame there, with its own set of pros and cons...

    .
    Quote Originally Posted by wave98
    . By the way Mike, I noticed that you are looking into substrates for your new aquarium and plenum. You are right about the anoxic zone, which is of the most benefit in a plenum system, whereas the anearobic zone is where the real nasties come from like cyanobacteria and sulfides.
    Cyano is a real survivor,( its one of the most ancient lifeforms on the planet) it's always present in your tank and it is able to survive some serious environmental extremes. I've had it in FO tanks with very shallow substrates, as well as tanks with deep substrates...it's always there, it's just waiting for some N and P to get it going... Sulfides can occur in many differnt areas as well, it all depends on what is happening biologically speaking...

    .
    Quote Originally Posted by wave98
    . You don't need that coarse of a gravel to do this however. Waterflow in the column isn't going to do it for you in the substrtate till you hit about 8mm,
    and then it's not a plenum anymore anyway. 1.7 to 3mm will do well in the 6 inches you're talking about, and with good flow in the column you won't collect hardly any detritus there either. Just add some small snails and crabs and you won't collect any detritus at the "sand-gravel" surface.
    Perhaps not...most plenum advocates recommend a 2-4mm substrate...however, after discussing it with many others, I feel a slightly more coarse substrate (3-5mm) will work just as well and provide some marked benefits...the aerobic-anoxic-anerobic zone will defiantely still be present, but the coarser substrate will facilitate greater diffusion rates into the substrate mechanically speaking via flow...ie less reliance on "critters"...snails and crabs die... After 5 years of DSB, I'm very interested in a substrate that does not rely greatly on critters for diffusion. And really, 3-5mm is not nearly as coarse as it sounds...a 5mm particle is not that much larger in diameter than a BB....

    MikeS
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  2. #32
    Brittle Starfish
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    Sorry, i havent read this last few big post, i get headaches, lol, so if this has already been mentions, opps sorry

    Isnt saying that snails dont solve your algae problem like saying, mowing your yard doesnt solve your grass problem?

    Just curious cuz good old Gary M is tryin to flame me on RC about snails over the internet and nows hes pullin rabbits out his hat
    You Know Me, Im JIDDY from Rapid City. Thats in S.Dakota, no its a state, by MN. The one with Mt.Rushmore! Hidden Content

  3. #33
    Brittle Starfish
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiddy
    Sorry, i havent read this last few big post, i get headaches, lol, so if this has already been mentions, opps sorry

    Isnt saying that snails dont solve your algae problem like saying, mowing your yard doesnt solve your grass problem?

    Just curious cuz good old Gary M is tryin to flame me on RC about snails over the internet and nows hes pullin rabbits out his hat

    Depends on what you are talking about...will snails help remove unsightly algae from the tank and make it appear better? Yes...
    Will snails help address the underlying problem that is causing the algae in the first place? No.

    Snails are simply another link in the nutrient chain. They "mow the lawn" so to speak, but they do not really significantly decrease the nutrient levels in the tank that are causing the algae in the first place...

    what's he flaming you about?

    MikeS
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  4. #34
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    The key word is "export" not 'recycle'. If you followed every snail around and cleaned it's poopie immediately, then tehy would serve as an export; otherwise they are only recycling (changing the form of the nitrAte/po4 from green to brown ). Yes, they are eating/removing the algae but their poopie, if not removed quickly, will simply disolve and feed the next generation of algae.
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  5. #35
    Great White Shark
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    For sure, when dealing with new tanks, bacterial fluctuations combined with the loaded nutrients and you've got yourself an algae party. As bacteria tries to get itself into an equilibrium, there will be die offs, which lead to the bacteria releasing its bound nutrients and the algae come in and feast on the leftovers. I think the bacteria fluxes are a big part of the algae cycles. Not enough bacteria to break down decaying organics?....algae will be there to pick up the slack. Not enough decaying organics to support the bacteria populations?.....bacteria populations then die back, and the algae are there to use up the bound nutrients. Once the tank becomes stabilized, then the algae cycles slow and eventually aren't the plague porportions that a new tank is, unless there is some type of stress event in the tank.....then you could be looking at a new cycle of algaes.

    As noted in the thread so far, phosphates are one contributor to algae growth. There have been some sources listed for phosphates early on in the thread. Let's try and list them out a bit, so we can take a look at how many big inputs of phosphate we have, and how to limit them. Reducing our phosphate inputs is one method to help control algae. What do you think are big phosphate inputs?
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  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodstock
    The key word is "export" not 'recycle'. If you followed every snail around and cleaned it's poopie immediately, then tehy would serve as an export; otherwise they are only recycling (changing the form of the nitrAte/po4 from green to brown ). Yes, they are eating/removing the algae but their poopie, if not removed quickly, will simply disolve and feed the next generation of algae.
    I also wanted to comment a bit on this. For my tank, and BB systems, exporting/nutrient removal is an important part in keeping wastes and detritus from accumulating and fouling water quality, which can lead to algae problems. That's one reason why proper flow placement is so important....keeping detritus in suspension to be used by inhabitants, and/or picked up by other filtration methods. However, recycling is also a method used by some DSB users. There isn't anything wrong really with recycling wastes, IMO, it is just a matter of understanding how it works, and what will eventually happen when the litter box is full. BB systems you are dealing with real time algae.....you screw up, the algae will show you right away. DSB, you screw up, then you might not see it for awhile.
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  7. #37
    Brittle Starfish
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    Quote Originally Posted by NaH2O
    Reducing our phosphate inputs is one method to help control algae. What do you think are big phosphate inputs?
    Well, as I'm sure it was stated above somewhere, food and water are two big ones. Food...well, you have to feed your fish (if you have them) so this one is pretty inevitable...but one can avoid overfeeding and help limit it that way.

    Water...RO/DI or other phosphate free water is a must, especially if your primary means of phosphate control is water changes.

    Salt...some salt mixes have phosphates...try to find one that doesn't....

    Aragonite sands and crushed coral substrates...these substrates are usually saturated with phosphates from run-off right out of the bag...

    MikeS
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  8. #38
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    To add to MikeS, you also need to consider LR, I'm sure it hold plenty of P!
    Ok, my question/thoughts on overfeeding.
    Fishes need a diet but how much is really too much other than them just not eating any more. I found shortly after doing wc the next few days algae breaks out, I'm guessing IO like any other salts really do add to the fuel for algae's.

  9. #39
    Great White Shark
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    Scooterman - hope you're hanging in there with the weather!!!

    The only thing I can think of with a salt that doesn't have P, would be a chemical swing of some kind resulting in a small amount of die-off.....which would fuel an algae break-out.

    Another source of P would be Calcium Reactor media. In another thread dgasmd pointed out that he runs his calcium reactor effluent through a phosphate remover. I think that's a great idea to help limit the P input to a tank.

    MikeS - you pointed out try to find a salt without P....I thought salts either contain P or N, so are you trading one for the other? But, dealing with N might be the easier choice?
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  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by NaH2O
    Scooterman - hope you're hanging in there with the weather!!!
    Missed us by a nose but those poor people in New Orleans, bad, just bad news.

  11. #41
    Brittle Starfish
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    Quote Originally Posted by NaH2O
    MikeS - you pointed out try to find a salt without P....I thought salts either contain P or N, so are you trading one for the other? But, dealing with N might be the easier choice?

    Many salts, like IO claim to be N and P free....I haven't tested mine in awhile (except for that oceanic salt "soup" I had growing a few months back)....I've got some IO going, I'll test it....

    MikeS
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  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeS
    Many salts, like IO claim to be N and P free....I haven't tested mine in awhile (except for that oceanic salt "soup" I had growing a few months back)....I've got some IO going, I'll test it....

    MikeS
    The last time I tested my IO I didn't get a reading for either, but for some reason I thought I was told that they could be bound with something else and undetectable with our test kits. Don't quote me on that, though . What are your thoughts?
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  13. #43
    Pearly

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeS

    Aragonite sands and crushed coral substrates...these substrates are usually saturated with phosphates from run-off right out of the bag...

    MikeS
    Aragonite sand is saturated with phosphate? Sand only, or aragonite in general?
    Please elaborate, this is very interesting. - - "Most" sands?

    Thanks, Wave98

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeS
    Many salts, like IO claim to be N and P free....I haven't tested mine in awhile (except for that oceanic salt "soup" I had growing a few months back)....I've got some IO going, I'll test it....

    MikeS
    OK - Here is Bingman's study he did showing nutrient content of the various salts. You can see in the chart for Nutrients that the different salts have either P or N in the mix. It would be a matter of which works best for you, but for me, choosing a salt with little to no P is best. Hopefully the bacterial populations in the tank wouldn't have any problem taking care of the N.The Composition of Several Synthetic Seawater Mixes.
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  15. #45
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    Nikki why didn't he test with all mixes at 35ppt instead of different levels?

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