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Unknown Growth

This is a discussion on Unknown Growth within the Beginner Saltwater Aquariums forums, part of the Saltwater Fish and Coral Reef Tanks category; --> Thank you to everyone on responding to this post. i will try to answer all the questions thrown at me in this response. i ...

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Old 01-12-2009, 02:28 PM   #11
 
Thank you to everyone on responding to this post. i will try to answer all the questions thrown at me in this response.
i am mind blown on how helpful everyone has been and i am forever thankful.
i had started this tank 4 years ago it has a bed base of ocean sand,covered in crushed coral. there is a lot of live rock in the tank and a few pieces of green marble lookin rock. the plants in the tank are not real- i have those all in the 200 gallon reef. i started the tank with the common Percula Clown fish i have in the tank STILL, along with the Brittle Serpent Starfish i have as well. (there were a few others but...you know how it goes)
Nemo, the clown fish is a happy little guy and the starfish, at 4 years old, is very active.
Maintenance on this tank has been very minimal. i find in this tank if i do a water change as often as i can, it seems that the tank breaks down and things go wrong. so- the water evaporates, i add prepped tap water with the proper chemicals to remove the harmful things in the water. i add Aqua plus in the water that i am prepping and it seems to do the trick. i also add Marine Max from Tropical Science to the water on a regualr basis.

i added a few new friends to the tank which are: an arrow crab, a Firefish goby, a Cleaner Wrasse and a purple tip anemone as well.
everythign in the tank seems to get along great. they swim and play with each other in funny little ways.

i will be honest, i have not checked the chemical levels in the tank cause i havent gotten a testing kit, but i assume im doing something right cause i cant seem to kill anything in the tank. lol

i do a 6 month tear apart and cleaning. if i do it sooner or more often, like i stated before, it seems to be a bad thing for this tank....

the light is a 2 light system, brand unknown, with the atinic and white lights in it. the light is not on all the time, cause if i do...the green grass grows. i can control that with my light schedule...and everythign living in the tank seems to be adjusted to my schedule.

i guess i have a bond with this tank. Hmm.

Now as for the red stuff i was asking about.... when i pulled a piece off, it is....spongy. it does feel like a mushroom stem....and im talkin about a mushroom we eat.

i can post mroe pictures if needed.....or that one guy found some of mine on my photo bucket account.

Thank you for everything.
Tony

Last edited by WOCNAM; 01-12-2009 at 02:32 PM.. Reason: wrong word would cause a MAJOR error in feedback
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:20 PM   #12
 
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Tony,
I see multiple things that are result to your problems.
Ocean sand as in from the ocean collected yourself? This is very dirty and compacts tightly to not allow de-nitrifying bacteria to grow. Crushed coral seems to trap detritus and debris causing more problems.
I have heard of people having clowns live 10+ years. What color is the starfish?
When you water change, you must pre-mix water outside of the tank in a seperate container with a powerhead and thermometer atleast a night before hand to insure a consistant mixture. Using tap water is most likely if not def. your source of the algae's growth along with the high nitrites from minimal water changes. Using R0/DI water will greatly reduce your algae issues if not resolve it. Tap water contains nutrients and minerals that algaes feed off of.
The anemone most likely is not going to survive. They require a "reef enviroment" to flourish. What i mean by this is a good alk, calcium and magnesium balance, at stable levels ( which would be found i a reef ) along with a decent source of light. How long have you had it? Is it possible to return? ( if you can i can tell you have to release its "foot" safely )
Hope that helps, feel free to ask more questions.
-Jon (OF2F)
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:23 AM   #13
 
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I'm not sure if i understood you correctly, but you did say you do a complete teardown of the tank?

I'm assuming that means that you pull all the water out and start from scratch? You should only do a water change once a week of about 10% or every 2-3weeks of 20% or once a month for 25% the full water volume. Not the full 100%. that shocks the system of all your livestock and causes them to stress and shortens their life.

You really need to check your levels. Take some tank water from the system and get it over to a local pet store or local fish store (LFS) and have them test the water. You need to get them to check for Phostphates, Magnesium, Alkalinity, Nitrates and PH. Those will be the main components we'll look at for now. Your "RED" algae is coming from high Phostphates and the green hair algae is coming from high Phostphates and Nitrates. It feeds them. You really need to look into investing in test kits, they are very important for the hobbiest that wants success as i'm sure you do.

For now, decrease your feeding, work on pulling the algae off by hand and the "Red" algae that's also called Cyano Bacteria.

You also need to get some specifics about the lights you have. Brand name isn't important. The bulbs will tell you how many watts it's putting out. We need to know Watts, what type it is, VHO (very high output), T5, Metal Hailides(MH), Power Compacts(PC)
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Old 01-13-2009, 02:47 PM   #14
 
hello hello and thank you for the response.
the "ocean sand" is the type of live sand that i was given to use as a bed when i first kicked the tank up.
it is not FROM the ocean, but it simulates...blah blah blah, you get it, lol.... (i feel like a fool explaining it to you cause you really know your stuff here)
The clown fish is.... immume to everything it seems. lol.
the starfish is mainly brown. he has an awesome pattern that weaves down his arms. looks kinda snake-like.
the water that i pre-mix is actually done at LEAST 12 hours before with the power head and a warmer. i actually add water in moderation and try to avoid mixing things up while doing it.
i have had the anemonie for about 6 months. and he is really....alive. he opens and closes, i hand feed him and he seems to be staying "planted" in the area he is familiar with being fed in. he seems to move around at times, but he returns to that same spot at the time i feed him. its odd.

When i said teardown of the tank, i didnt mean it as i remove everything...that would be disasterous.
i do a proper water change, and re-arange the tank. the fish seem to like that better when they are in a "new environment" so i been doing that. when i do the complete change of the tank, i change the bulbs in the light fixture, the white and atinic, change a max of 25% water, and re-do the rockwork.
i am going to get the light info for you when i get home later tonight so i can let you know.

Thank you guys for everything. i really appreciate it more than i can say.
Tony,
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:40 PM   #15
 
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The reason i asked about the starfish is because green stars ( commonly reffered to as green machines or green death stars ) are predatory and EAT OTHER FISH. Since yours is brown your in the clear, but i just wanted you to be aware.
I recommend pre-mixing saltwater atleast a night before and testing it to match salinity in your display tank before adding.
What kind of water are you using, RO, tapwater, distilled, RO/DI ?
I think minimal "tank teardowns" as you put it should be performed as this seems to be more stressful on a fish then it is enjoyed.
What filtration are you running? nothing, canister filter, sump, skimmer... ?
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