Hello all. Sorry in advance for the long post, but really need input. Been awhile since I've been on since I got my new aquarium...finally! I have had, what I've been told, the normal algae problems because I bought the tank from someone that already had it set up. The tank had been set up for about 7 years without major problems, per the previous owner. I'll start with what I have because I know that helps you guys, then I'll tell you kind of how it has gone, and what my problem is now.
Tank -- 125 gallon, ~ 150 lbs LR, several coral, 1 tomato clown, 1 maroon clown, 2 damsels, 1 neon dottyback, 1 snowflake eel, several snails, crabs, sump with wet/dry filter, protein skimmer, wavemaker with 2 power heads (1 is broke and hasn't been replaced yet). The lighting consists of 2 VHO bulbs, one white, one blue. The tank was moved about 3 weeks ago. I have kept up on cleaning filters, skimmer and feeding regularly.
About 1 1/2 weeks ago, the major algae problem (green and red) broke out and while it isn't getting any worse, it really isn't getting any better either. I added some carbon to the wet/dry, on advice of LFS, without any real change. I had to scrape the sides of the tank because you couln't hardly see anything it was so thick.
The maroon clown, who is quite a bit bigger than the tomato, is very aggressive toward the tomato. We noticed little "nicks" to the tomato with even a piece of fin a little weird and I can only assume it is from fighting.
Other than that, everyone seems to get along OK, even with the eel. That changed today. After cleaning the skimmer, I have noticed something floating on the water only around the return from the sump. I don't even really know how to describe it other than like a "flaky" substance that does not seem to be hard or anything. It is hard to see from the top of the tank, but very easy to see from the side of the tank looking toward the top. I know that sounds weird, but I don't know how to better describe it. Also, the tomato has since been hanging around the top of the tank and swimming a little "off kilter". This is not normal for him and is even more confusing because he will also take off into the tank and swim around and act normal.
The only other thing that seems slightly off is that while some of my pulsing xenia's are fine, some seem "unhappy" or kind of sagging. The other corals seem to be fine.
I am pretty sure this calls for a quarantine tank for the tomato, but I haven't needed one till now since I haven't bought any new specimens for the tank. I don't really know what to put in it though, or how big a tank to use. There are so many opinions and configurations out there and I just want to get opinions from here.
Please keep in mind when you respond that while I am trying hard to learn, I am still pretty new to the hobby.
I dont really know much about saltwater tanks, mine is a freshwater, but i know good ways to help your algae problems is to borrow or even buy an algae eater, preferably snails or shrimp. But dont take my word, ask mor questions. Im kind of new to the hobby too...
EDIT: sorry i didnt see you had snails. If the snails arent eating enough algae to make it go away, try shrimp or an algae eating fish. Also test your phosphate levels and tell us. Dont add any algae ridding prodects that might harm your bio-filter
Do you relly think a quarentene tank is nececary? your fish doesent sound sick . it sound like either the maroon or the tomato has to go.
The new set up has allowed all the fish to stake out new territories. It sounds as though the maroon is dominating the entire tank. It is not recommended to keep even pairs of the same clown in a tank becuase of aggression. Clowns are damsels and damsels are extremely aggressive. If you are trying to keep clowns together they should be of the same species and understand it may not go well even then. One or both should plan on leaving. You could always try trading them in for tiny juveniles and starting over. That is generally the most accepted method.
Your algae problem is not hte normal datomaceous bloom. They are a dull brown. Green and red are bad. Red especially. Red indicates cyano bacteria, not really an algae. Sounds like when moving the tank the cycles got out of whack, to be expected. Probably kicked up 7 years worth of detritus. Look into doing large frequent water changes. Maybe 10g a day for a few weeks. That bit of advice sucks I knwo as it may seem like a real pain, but that is nothing compared the pain of seeing your new tank destroyed and plagued by algae if allowed to continue. For long term success keep the skimmer as clean as possible. The cleaner the throat the better it works. If possible think about getting a 2 little fishes phosban reactor. Get the kit, it's cheaper. For about $50 you get the reactor, media, tubing and pump. These little guys will help eradicate phosphates from your tank. Phos is possibly the source of your algae bloom.
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