Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
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McFishin' 10-10-2008 10:33 PM

I haven't started cycling my tank yet, but I've been reading a lot about good and bad algae and I was wondering what's the best thing I can do to prevent the bad stuff and encourage the good stuff? Also, what bad algae is inevitable during cycling and will soon pass?

SKAustin 10-12-2008 01:47 AM

To keep your system free of undesirable algae, you want to ensure that conditions are favorable for Coralline growth, and that nutrients aren't allowed to build up in the system.

1. Keep Calcium levels in the range of 400-500 ppm
2. Keep Alkalinity Levels in the range of 8-12 dkh
3. Keep Magnesium levels around 1280.
4. Keep Phosphate levels at 0. (I highly recommend the use of RO/DI water to help achieve this)
5. Keep Nitrate levels as close to 0 as possible. (good skimmer, regular water changes, Macroalgae in the sump)
Test, monitor and suppliment (where necessary) for all of the above.

McFishin' 10-12-2008 09:42 AM

Thank you, that helps out a lot! One more question on this, how do I raise or lower calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium levels?

SKAustin 10-12-2008 10:28 AM

All 3 will be depleted by the calcification process carried out by the corals and various other organisms. There are several means by which to replenish Calcium and Alkalinity. 2 part additives like B-Ionic or C-Balance, Kalkwasser (limewater) in Top-Off water, Stand-alone supplements, Calcium reactors, Kalkwasser reactors. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. I personally use daily B-Ionic dosing coupled with Kalkwasser mixed into my Top-Off water. I also use Kent Marine's Tech M (magnesium supplement) to replenish the Magnesium.

McFishin' 10-12-2008 10:57 PM


Originally Posted by SKAustin (Post 147206)
I personally use daily B-Ionic dosing coupled with Kalkwasser mixed into my Top-Off water.

You add this stuff daily? Does it cost a lot of money?

SKAustin 10-14-2008 05:18 AM

Depending on the corals you keep, it can. I pay $ 39.98 total for 1 gallon of each part ($19.99 ea).

1 gallon is equal to 3784 mL. I use a 10 mL per day of each, so $40 lasts me 1 year and 13 days. But I keep mostly Soft corals, which use substantially less Calcium and Bicarbonate (alkalinity is the measure of carbonate and bicarbonateions in the water) than the Stony corals.

McFishin' 10-15-2008 10:34 AM

I like the soft and stony corals, but even if I use more for the stony corals it sounds like that gallon will still last a long time! Thanks for your help. :-D

Kellsindell 10-15-2008 08:00 PM

One other thing that you may want to take into consideration is the type of water you use. some use decloranator and most use and swear by RO/DI (revers osmosis de-ionized) water. if you don't use RO/DI you run the risk of putting phostphates and nitrates into the water initially which will help the algae grow. So initial water quality is very important as well.

McFishin' 10-17-2008 08:43 PM

Do you simply buy RO/DI water in gallon jugs or do you acquire it some other way? Also, I assume I will want to use RO/DI water for water changes as well, right? Can this be costly for a 10-20 nano reef?

onefish2fish 10-17-2008 09:33 PM

you can purchase a RO unit and make your own RO water from tap water. yes you will need RO water as well as a salt mix (premixed a day or two in advance seperate from your tank) and just RO water to top off daily what was lost from evaporation

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