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Algae, aiptasia, etc...

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bpm2000

smokin' reefer
Joined
Jul 23, 2003
Messages
42
Location
U-Dist, Seattle
My 20H has basically been overrun by algae and aiptasia, and I need a solution.

First, I can't even reach half the anemones because they are hiding in the algae, so I'll need to get rid of that first. The picture linked below pretty much sums up all the types of algae I have(sorry its pretty large)... can anyone give me some suggestions on how to get rid of them? Inverts, fish, manual removal? Has using a brush or something to just scrape it off been effective for any of you?

ALGAE

Aiptasia... I've tried Joes Juice, and it seems to work ok.. but they keep coming back, and believe me I've doused some of these guys in it only to have them back later. I'm thinking of trying a peppermint shrimp, although I know its hit n miss... any other ideas (except... lemon jiuce, kalk..) Oh, and has anyone had experience with it stinging fish?

I'll be moving the tank in late august/early sept and if nothing works I may just throw out/sell the rock and start over.. ugh.

thx much
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Well, there are several options you have. The first thing I would do is try to figure out where the excess nutrients are coming from that is fueling the algal growth. Have you tested your tank for phosphates? As far as removal goes....manual removal - if you can take the rock out, scrub it rinse it....when it is in the tank, keep blasting that rock off with a turkey baster or power head to blow the detritus that is collecting in the algae. A tooth brush will help with the scrubbing. You can also scrub it in the tank, just have a small siphon going to suck away all the nastiness that comes up. Another thing you can do is take the rock out and "cook" it in a tub. No lights, water, power head heater, water changes. Don't give up on the rock yet. I think cooking it will help if your manual removal isn't doing it. The important thing is to figure out why there is so much algae, instead of putting a band-aid on it with algae removal. Get to the source and this will help solve the main problem.
 

Curtswearing

Mantisfreak
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
2,203
Location
St. Louis, MO
bpm2000 said:
Oh, and has anyone had experience with it stinging fish?

I'll be moving the tank in late august/early sept and if nothing works I may just throw out/sell the rock and start over.. ugh.
Their sting is quite potent when considering how small they are. However, I worry more about them stinging corals. I typically recommend cleaning algae off of rock in a bucket full of tankwater after a waterchange (and rinsing with saltwater well) to prevent the fibers from migrating to other places in the tank, I understand others have done so successfully while running a siphon in the tank---it's just not something I have done.

This rock might have absorbed a lot of phosphates or there is too much phosphate-laden detritus sitting on it's surface. We need to know a number of things:

Do you regularly turkey baste your rock to remove detritus?
What do you feed (and have you tested its phosphate levels)?
Do you use RO/DI water?
What are your phosphate levels in the water column?

If it turns out that there is very little detritus on the surface of the rock, you can cook it to allow the bacteria to clean it out for you.

Here's a good article on phosphates
 

bpm2000

smokin' reefer
Joined
Jul 23, 2003
Messages
42
Location
U-Dist, Seattle
Hmm maybe I'm just not doing enough water changes? I change every 2 weeks, about 3 gallons out. Perhaps I should do this weekly?

The only livestock I have in the tank is 1 hermit crab, GSP, a small zoo rock, 2 mushrooms, 1 xenia stalk, and 1 galaxia. They all went in very slowly, months after the cycle finished as well.

Circulation... 2 powerheads and 1 AC300 HOB filter... I would assume this is enough, but maybe not? Maybe reposition?

I do run a small bag of carbon in the HOB that I just changed out.. There are little LR rubble pieces in there as well.

I'll run a water test within the next couple of days and see what I come up with.

EDIT:

Do you regularly turkey baste your rock to remove detritus?
No.

What do you feed (and have you tested its phosphate levels)?
No feeding.

Do you use RO/DI water?
RO/DI from the grocery store water machine... its the best I have access to.

What are your phosphate levels in the water column?
Will check soon.
 
Last edited:

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
It was brought to my attention that when I said:

No lights, water, power head heater, water changes
was interpreted as no lights, no water, etc. I didn't mean it that way, but meant: no lights....just water, some circulation, a heater, and water changes....

Let us know about your phosphate levels. Give the algae area a blast with a turkey baster to remove the trapped detritus.

What is your photoperiod, how many pounds of live rock, and what is your substrate?
 

bpm2000

smokin' reefer
Joined
Jul 23, 2003
Messages
42
Location
U-Dist, Seattle
photoperiod is 12/12, and I have about 4" of southdown in there (was originally supposed to be a mantis tank so I opted for a lot of substrate.. but changed direction.).
I believe there's about 25lb of LR in there.
 

BlennyBabe

Rachel
Joined
Oct 7, 2003
Messages
260
Location
Gig Harbor Wa
You could also try shortening the daylength to 8 hours or so. Good luck.
I have had great luck with pepermint shrimp. they always devour that aptasia in about 2 weeks no matter how much I have.
Do oyu ahve any fish that eat algae? I know its only a 20 and you are probably stocked fully, but an algae blenny can work wonders also.
I would second the information given above, and then use the livestock for control as a last resort.
 

bpm2000

smokin' reefer
Joined
Jul 23, 2003
Messages
42
Location
U-Dist, Seattle
No fish in there at all. I have a lot of Collonista and Stomatella snails that came as hitchhikers on the rocks but they only graze the real fine stuff, not the hairy large macros. And as far as stocking, I would imagine I'm not even close to overstocked - All I have is a couple of small coral frags in there.
 

gljjr

Active member
Joined
Dec 30, 2003
Messages
26
Location
Fall City, WA
I would find yourself a small Rabbit fish to throw in there. But since this is such a small tank realize that you will eventually have to remove it. In my experience the Lawnmower Blenny will not eat hair algae. The foxface rabbit and striated rabbit did though. If you can find some small ones I would try that. I know that Blue Sierra had a few small striated rabbits last weekend when I was there (small being about 2 1/2").
 
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