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How to get rid of algae

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Beckmola24

Hawkfish
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
Messages
1,112
Location
Columbus, OH
I know I've posted before about algae problems, but now it's driving me nuts. I have what looks like caulerpa growing in my tank. It looks like little green feathers growing everywhere. I have since gotten an emrald crab (as you know I hate crabs) so I'm at my wits end with the algae. I don't overfeed, and my tank isn't overpopulated (at least I don't think so). I started running phosguard again and it seems to be making the problem worse. What could be causing the problem?? I know if you cut out phosphates then the problem will go away, but I can't seem to do it or find out what is causing it. In my 20 gallon tank I have a very small clarkii clown. he's probably 1.5" and a small bi-color blenny. I have a fire shrimp, an emrald crab, 5 astreas, 6 nassarius and 3 teeny conches. Do I have too many snails or something? I was told they aren't a problem for the bio-load. My params... the salinity is a bit high, around 1.026, nitrates,nitrites and amonia are all at zero. I run my calcium around 450. My temp stays constant around 80-82. I don't have any of the other tests so I don't know about them. Can someone give me advice? Thanks!
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Hi Becky - your specific gravity doesn't seem too high to me. Salinity of 35 has a specific gravity of 1.0255, and if you measure on a refractometer, then you subtract off a point anyway (so if your S=36 via refract., then corrected it is S=35). Anyway, do you have a refugium or have you had Caulerpa in the tank? I know that sometimes these can pop up out of, what seems like no where, and grow like crazy. Have you been blowing off the rocks regularly with a turkey baster? Have you tried using one of the iron-based phosphate removers, like Rowaphos or Phosban - I believe Phosguard is Aluminum based? Also, does the algae resemble caulerpa or more like bryopsis? Just some initial thoughts...
 

Angelscrx

Import Fish
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
1,103
Location
Ettrick, VA
Mine is red slime and I can't get rid of it either. My cualerpa never gets up to the tank from the refugium. If it is a Macro algae then you may have to take the rock out and dry it out to kill the algae. Even if you rip it out of the tank the roots can grow back.
 

mojoreef

Reef Keeper
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Messages
7,530
Location
Sumner
Sounds like you have feather calurpa. It can be a tough one to eliminate, as it is very good at fixing nutrients. I dont think emerald crabs like feather calurpa, its more of a fish type of food, and then only few eat it. Just keep up the work on keeping the nutrients down and try not to harvest the algae for a bit,when you do so it causes the calurpa to go spore. If you can harvest with out breaking the plant try that.


Mike
 

Beckmola24

Hawkfish
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
Messages
1,112
Location
Columbus, OH
I blow my rocks everyday sometimes multiple times per day, and have since added another powerhead to the tank for more movement. I have not tried rowa or phosban. I will try and pick up some this week and try very hard to beat the algae. I will try some water changes and see if that helps also. I get so aggravated by algae breakouts. What is the difference between aluminum and iron based phosphate removers?? Thanks for the help.
 

mojoreef

Reef Keeper
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Messages
7,530
Location
Sumner
Alluminium tends to be a little tough on soft corals, It also can leach into the tank and cause un needed oxidization.

Mike
 

wrightme43

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
4,355
Location
bowling green ky
Have you ever tried multiple water changes with RODI water. Maybe get a phosphate test kit and see what the level is. I don't know what eats feather calupera. I would follow Mikes and Nikkis advice. Those are just things I do that seems to keep algae in check. Steve
 

piercho

Mackerel
Joined
Jul 1, 2003
Messages
80
Location
Bremerton WA
Remove the rock from the tank, pull off what algae you can by hand, scrub the areas where you want to control the algae with a wire brush, rinse the rock briefly using old tank water or freshwater to rinse off the organic debri, and return it to the tank. You have just simulated grazing the algae and removed the nutrients that created it from the tank. Unfortunately, most macroalgae leave fragments deeply embedded in the rock that will grow again as more nutrients become available.

Small herbivores that graze macroalgae are difficult to find. The snails you have graze microalgae, and will assist to keep the scrubbed-off macroalgae at bay by grazing new growth while it is stilll "micro". If you are desperate for a small grazer, try a small Diadema urchin. It will outgrow your tank, it will devour your calcerous red algae from your rock and leave it white, but it eats most algae. Also, most of the nutrients in the algae the urchin eats will eventually get liberated as available nutrients for new algae growth. This is why I recommend manual removal.

There is a lot of assistance out there on this topic. Julian Sprung: "Algae, A problem Solver Guide", 2002, Ricordea Publishing is a decent small book to read specific to algae ientification and control in reeftanks. In a nutshell, you have to avoid adding excess nutrients to the tank, and lock nutients in the tank down (and eventually remove them) before the nuisance algae can use them. Both goals can be challenging to accomplish, especially in small tanks. But I predict that with time, manual removal and persistance, things will improve. Good luck.
 
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