Originally Posted by novicedave
and im honestly asking you with no disrespect intended how?
Huh? Disrespect for who and why? You are not very clear what you are implying. Are you implying that I felt disrespect from you, which is untrue. I only meant to clarify and give a deeper understand of the balance of light to nutrient content for algal growth. Or are you saying I'm disrespecting you. Again I'm unclear due to the incomplete sentence from above.
And as I mentioned a balance for the tank to nutrients, lighting, bioload algae growth you mentioned a lessened photoperiod to lessen the algal growth. That may
but is not a complete understanding for the growth and not a true management of the system. I'm trying to say that you can indeed run a long photoperiod if the water parameters are correct. I'm not going to debate you publicly about how inaccurate test kits really are, so I'll try to "believe" you about your absolutely perfect water chemistry that all my advanced reef friends struggle to maintain even close to perfect. But I assure you the longer you are in the hobby the more outlandish that statement will sound to you as well. As a guide I run 11 watts of direct 14K halide lighting over a 75g tank for 10 hours a day and do not have an algae explosion. You mention having phosban in a mesh bag. Where? You can't just float it. It needs to be in a direct forced stream of water such as a TLF reactor with about 200GPH flow. Ferric Oxide in a bag placed in the flow of water will only absorb from the exterior surface area as the water will only flow around and not through. Have you performed several water changes since administering the phosban? I want to explain the next step. As you lessen the nutrient load given to the algae (phosban) the algae dies. That algae will quickly "spoil" phosban making it necessary to replace it even sooner. BTW Ferric Oxide and aluminum oxide products need to be replaced weekly or they just leech everything back into the water once they become saturated. So now you have this dying algae spoiling your media faster than ever. The dead algae becomes a food source for new algae, thus the cycle begins anew. And on and on and on. So when treating for an infestation you need to plan on replacing any phos media every 3 days or so since it will quickly degrade with the dead algae it collects, large water changes every other day using RO/DI water to help manually remove the excess detritus from the dead algae.
This is also very true for anyone treating an infestation using a lessened photo period. There was recently an excellent article written about how natural reefs only receive 72 days of direct sunlight, other than that there are storms, clouds and odd reflections due to the angle of the surface to the angle of the sun at odd times of the year. So a well respected professional reefer did light experiments using controlled algae ridden tanks to see what would happen if he with held light for 3 days each month. What he found was that a darkened period for 3 days each month would significantly kill of algae with little recourse towards the inhabitants including corals. In a few of the tanks he did water changes the day before the experiment and immediately after the experiment small frequent water changes to manually remove the dead/dying algae and defensive sexual reproduction of new spores. In the other tanks he did nothing but turn off the lights. In the tanks that the water changes occurred within 3 months the algae had almost completely recessed, in the other tanks it would go away for a few days but then feeding freely on the nutrients come back as bad or worse.
Keep in mind that as reef keepers we artificially up our lighting for extreme coral growth and our viewing pleasures, nobody wants a reef tank with the lights on low for 280 days out of each year. It is thereby our responsibility to keep the water as near to ideal as possible. Cleaner organisms are not meant to be used as algae eaters. The entire idea of a "clean up crew" is to mop up any excess foods, dead animals or to process excessive nutrient loads into lesser evils. Some of the critters may in turn eat a small portion of the algae in the tank as part of their diet but adding 20 Mexican turbo snails into the tank to eat the algae is counter productive. Doing so only ups your bio-load. Sure they will mow down the algae quickly but then you now have the wastes from 20 large snails adding pollutants to the water. Now that some of the snails have died from lack of food or stresses from the raised parameters you now get an even worse algae explosion because you have quickly thrown your tank way out of balance trying to find that "quick cure".
As always you get a lot farther in this hobby using patience, physical labor, and a thorough understanding of the balance going on in the tank.
For every action there is an equal and opposite re-action. You must fully prepare for and understand the reaction before starting with the initial action.
Again Dave no disrespect meant here. I'm just fully detailing what happens each and every time we meddle with our tanks. Please don't take me being able to fully detail and explain these processes as me making an attempt to intimidate you or any others out there reading this. Just shooting for a good understanding of the all the processes that work together for a low maintenance and enjoyable hobby.