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Algae Problem

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Kris&Dad

Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2004
Messages
18
Location
Hudson, WI
My tank is 3 months old. 55gal, eheim2026, 2 powerheads, 70lbs LR, 50lbs gravel, 4x65w 2-50/50 + 2-Actinic, assort LPS, 3 pj cardinals, blue tang, black clown, 3 peppermint shrimp, banded coral shrimp, emerald crab, bubble tip anemone, 20-30 snails, 15-20 hermit crabs, serpent star. All my chemistry parameters are great. I recently have been getting a lot of algae growing. Everything has a green tinge to it. I scape the glass weekly and do 10-20% water changes every week or 2. I run my lights on a timer night/dawn/day/dusk cycle of 11/2/10/1 hours. At night there are 3 3/4w moonlights. There is no ambient light, as the tank is in the basement.
What is causing my bloom and what can I do to stop or slow it down?
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
One frustrating thing about newly set-up tanks are the algae blooms. Are you using RO/DI water? Do you have a skimmer? Also, can you list the results of your water parameter tests? What, how often, and how much are you feeding? How quickly were the fish added....spread out, or all at once? Sorry for all the questions, just trying to get a handle on where you're at. Also, do you have a phosphate test kit? If we can figure out where the majority of your nutrients are coming from, then by limiting that source of input, you will slow the growth.
 

Kris&Dad

Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2004
Messages
18
Location
Hudson, WI
I am not using RO/Di water (~400 foot deep well water), I do not have a skimmer, yet (its on its way). I feed twice a day. Morning -flake food, afternoon- mysis shrimp + blood worms or "Formula One" The fish were added about 6 weeks ago all at once. I do not have a phosphate kit.
 

dnjan

alveopora
Joined
Sep 9, 2003
Messages
1,585
Location
Seattle
You have been gradually building nutrients, and the algae will get worse before it gets better. Plus, you are adding a lot of nutrients to the tank. I have about the same fish load in twice the size tank, and I generally feed once per day for six out of 7 days in a week.

Get the skimmer as soon as possible.

How often do you siphon the gravel? I would siphon about 1/4 of the gravel at least once per week. If you aren't siphoning, you will be amazed at how much detritus has collected between the gravel pieces.

Patience and persistance.
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
If you can test the TDS of your well water, then that would help to know the quality of it. Or if you ever had it analyzed for what is in the water. As Don indicated, siphoning the gravel will be helpful to remove any left over food and waste that has collected. Giving the live rock a blast with a turkey baster or powerhead will help free some of the junk collecting on the rocks too. You will probably notice a difference once the skimmer is on, but I also wonder how much the well water is contributing, too.
 

JHReef

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
17
Location
Planet Earth, CA
You have also added quite a bit of load in a fairly short amount of time. The fish feeding and make-up water can both contribute to problems with excess nutrients. What kind of gravel are you using? Just curious. Also, you should probably test your well water as previously mentioned. In the meantime, the skimmer will help some, but you may want to do a water change and reduce the lighting period a little to slow the growth some. It also depends on the type of algae. If it is slimy, and dark green or purplish, it is possibly a type of cyanobacteria. If it's a nice bright green, that's not at all abnormal for a new tank (Yes, your tank is still very new)and will subside with time. Keep your eyes peeled for the dreaded hair algae, as it sometimes uses these opportunities to take over a tank.
 

Kris&Dad

Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2004
Messages
18
Location
Hudson, WI
What is TDS?
I realize that my tank is new, but the fish load seems average (>6 gallons/inch). All that I have read say that the fish should be fed 2x/day... I siphon the gravel (crushed coral) when I do a water change. The algae appears to the normal green, not slimy or hairy.
 

dnjan

alveopora
Joined
Sep 9, 2003
Messages
1,585
Location
Seattle
When you siphon the gravel, do you siphon all of it, or only a portion? The reason I ask is that you probably have some critters (amphipods, copepods, etc.) in the gravel which will help consume detritus, and will also become food for some of the fish. If you siphon it all at once, you will remove a lot of those critters. By siphoning 1/4 to 1/3 of the gravel at a time, you keep your critter population fairly high, but also keep the gravel from accumulating too much junk.

The feeding 2x/day is for "sterile" fish-only tanks. A reef tank will generate some of its own "fish food" (the amphipods, copepods, etc. mentioned above), and the tang may eat some of the algae as well. As I mentioned, I average out to feeding about 6 times per week. If I am out-of-town for a weekend, the tank doesn't get fed. And the fish still look fat on Monday.
 

JHReef

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
17
Location
Planet Earth, CA
TDS=Total Disolved Solids meter. Used for measuring the effectiveness of RO/DI systems or any water in general. The higher the TDS meter reading, the more likely that you have excess nutrients being added to your water. I agree w/dnjan, you may want to limit the feeding at least for a while until things stabilize some. It seems that you don't have a very large problem, heck, when I upgraded lights on my 20 that had been doing great for years from NO to PC I had a small cyano bloom and had to clean the glass daily.
 
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