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Purple Algae?

This is a discussion on Purple Algae? within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> Cyno is generally caused by excessive nutrients breaking down into the water. The filter sock should not be used, because organic waste is trapped ...

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Old 03-14-2009, 04:13 PM   #21
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Cyno is generally caused by excessive nutrients breaking down into the water. The filter sock should not be used, because organic waste is trapped inside the sock, where it is broken down by bacteria. By not using mechanical filtration, you allow the organic waste to remain suspended in the water and removed by the protein skimmer.

Another problem area is your sand depth. At a 1'' depth nutrients tend to accumulate without being broken down by denitrifying bacteria. I would recommend slowing increasing your sand depth to a 4'' minimum, or reducing your sand depth to under one half inch.

On the subject of water flow, you want to identify areas of slow water flow and change the currents to eliminate such areas. These areas are where cyno generally take hold and begin to spread.

Finally, maintaining correct calcium and alkalinity levels are critical. This may be the most important step in discouraging cyno growth. Encouraging the growth of coraline algae makes it very difficult for cyno to take hold and spread.
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Old 03-26-2009, 03:35 PM   #22
Whats the best way to monitor and maintain correct calcium and alkalinity levels?

I've cut back feeding to once every four days, amonia, nitrates and nitrites read zero, SG 1.025 and I'm still getting a little growth....I'm using Phosban....Done 20% water changes using RO/DI water.... I have a Haitian Reef Anemone, so am trying to keep the lights to just 8 hrs a day.....So what can I do better to get rid of the stuff???
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:01 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by sergiotami View Post
Whats the best way to monitor and maintain correct calcium and alkalinity levels?
There are a dozen answers to this question, so I will just tell you my method. I use Kent Marine Super Buffer DKH as a buffer to raise alkalinity and I use Kent Marine Liquid Calcium as a calcium additive.

I want alkalinity between 10 and 12 DKH. I want calcium at 420 to 460 ppm. When I test, there are 5 possible outcomes and solutions:

1) alkalinity low, calcium low = add buffer and calcium.
2) alkalinity low, calcium normal = partial water change. This should be rare. Typically a magnesium issue, sometimes borate. In any case, a water change is the easiest solution.
3) alkalinity normal, calcium low = add calcium.
4) alkalinity normal, calcium normal = do nothing.

I test every weekend. I want the outcome to be #4. I dose calcium daily. I dose buffer 2 times per week. If I am dosing correct, then my test results will give me normal readings. It takes time and slight adjustments to how much you dose and how frequently to achieve the #4 test results consistently. Your stocking level will make a difference, as will the quality of your protein skimmer and the amount of organics it removes.

If you are getting result #1 or #3 on a regular basis, then increase the frequency of your dosing of buffer or calcium, as indicated. If you are getting result #2 on a regular basis, then you probably need to consider a higher quality protein skimmer or reducing your stocking level, because the organic waste being produced by your system is not being removed effectively.

This is a very simple approach to a very complex topic, but it is one that most hobbyists can utilize to be successful.
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Old 03-29-2009, 08:33 AM   #24
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Here are the kits I use. I just tested my 58 reef. My alkalinity was 8DKH, Calcium 380ppm.

I mixed 1/2 tablespoon of the buffer in a small cup of water and added it to my sump. I also added 1 teaspoon of the liquid calcium to my sump.

I will retest tomorrow. I expect to see my calcium > 420ppm and my alkalinity >10DKH. It this is correct, i will begin adding a small daily dose of calcium, say 1/4 teaspoon. I will also add 1/2 the alkalinity dose every 3rd day. Hopefully when I test next weekend I find that this dose is the correct dose that my system needs to maintain these levels.

Weekly testing is critical, because changes will occur as your system matures. Coraline algae growth will utilize calcium. Corals will grow and utilize calcium, even soft corals. Additionally, as your livestock grows it will produce more waste, in the form of organic acids. These acids remove carbonates from your buffer system, causing you to add the alkalinity buffer on a more frequent basis.

This is where a high quality skimmer comes in to play, because the skimmer directly removes these organic acids. If you allow these acids to be broken down by a biological filter, their impact on the buffer system is far worse, and they indirectly input phosphates into the system, which can bond with calcium and lower calcium levels.

I'm getting long winded, but the point remains. You can not take your system for granted. Weekly testing of alkalinity and calcium are necessary. And a high quality protein skimmer pays for itself quickly as you save money on test kits, buffers, and additives.
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Old 03-29-2009, 09:27 AM   #25
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Great post Pasfur, really explained a lot of the questions I had.

Just another question, not to hijack.

Can you add the doses directly to the tank if you are not using a sump? Or should you mix it into the top up water?
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:08 AM   #26
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Liquid calcium can be added directly to the tank. Buffer should be mixed first in a cup of water. If you do not have a sump, slowly add the dose to an area of high water flow.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:22 AM   #27
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Cool, thanks!
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Old 04-02-2009, 04:30 PM   #28
Thanks for all the great info... I ordered the PH/Alkalinity kit recommended...I bought a PH kit from my local fish store and it read 8.2... This is within normal parameters????

Last edited by sergiotami; 04-02-2009 at 04:43 PM..
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