so for those following along a brief update before getting to the point.
my 50 gallon has had a horrendous out break of algae!!! and it looks like a few different types .. so my journey to battle this pest has taken me to some odd places and now i have a few thoughts that i would really love some advice on...
step one 2x HOB filters with pads on front of tank, turkey baster, and blow the junk up into the water column to pull it out..
effect 24 hours then back to square 1
ok step two leave 1x hob on the tank (placed in back) changing pad every 48-72 hours do 12 gallon water change and research my eyes out!!!!
effect 24 hours or so and still an issue but not as bad
step three on day 3 after last water change do it again this time gravel vac the sand bed supper clean (back to white!!) read that carbon could be a contributor (especially old stuff and mine is about 4 months old) remove all 3 bags from the sump (just for kicks i put it in a bucket and added some clean water to it to rinse and see how bad it was the water almost instantly turned to mud!! this may have been a huge part of the issue)
this was last night so at this point i am not sure of the effect but after more research i have begin to consider bulding a phosban reactor, and or running some chemi-pure. i have one more water change to do this week just to make me happy and to continue on the original plan.
recent changes to the system were addition of a sound muffler to the skimmer air input (works great but not related) and changing to new piping for the over flow (went from 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch the flow is much much faster now!!)
also a recent addition to the tank is a pencil urchin who does not appear to be even attempting to eat the algae... (potential bad health and only having it since Friday may be a contributor here)
ideas thoughts concerns questions all welcome
before its asked i use treated tap water and have done so since day one this outbreak is only in the last 2-3 weeks
A couple questions: How long has this tank been up? How long is your photoperiod? and What are you feeding the tank? Do you have any Astrea snails? to me those guys are the best CuC
Also it sounds like your carbon was full of detrius so getting that out of there is definitely going to help.
i generally try to keep lights 12 and 12 but the last week its been a bit more in order to do work on the tank (removal of algae etc)
i have mexican turbos and a few nasserus snails a few hermits and none of them seem to eat it even when placed there by hand,
yeah the carbon was NASTYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
very glad i pulled it.
If it were me I would cut the lights back to only be on 8 hours or so but I doubt that is what is causing your issues. This algae has to be fueled by excess nutrients to thrive like this. So the real question is where are they coming from.
Maybe post a picture so we can see what sorts of algae we are dealing with?
i will take some pix tonight for my build thread and for here....
Ok, here's my humble opinion. Your problem probably is being added from a couple of places but the most possible cause is via water supply (unless you are feeding like a mad man). I say this because when i first started. like most i was using treated tap water. initally everything would look great, then over time it went all down hill with algae and such. Now i strickly use RO/DI. notice it's not just RO. The added DI portion of the filter does turn color indicating that it's filtering the ions that are present in the water. A simple test is to buy a TDS meter and test your water. it's relatively inexpensive and i can almost gurantee you you're adding unknown pollutants into your tank. here's a link to a tds meter that cost only $20 Aquarium Water | Reverse Osmosis | RODI Water | ReefKeeper Water | TDS Meter from Senno. My tap water measures about 250 to 350 TDS before RO filter. After RO it measures like 6 TDS, then after the DI it measures 0TDS (TDS -Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) are the total amount of mobile charged ions, including minerals, salts or metals dissolved in a given volume of water, expressed in units of mg per unit volume of water (mg/L), also referred to as parts per million (ppm). TDS is directly related to the purity of water and the quality of water purification systems and affects everything that consumes, lives in, or uses water, whether organic or inorganic, whether for better or for worse.) Strive for ZERO 0!
Alot of hobbiest don't like to spend the $ on a RO system but i will assure you it's well worth the investment! If you consider the starting over cost, sand, fustration, cleaning, etc and i can go on and on, it's well worth it. If you cannot afford a new RO, go to your local goodwill store, habitat for humanity store frequently and you will walk up onto a RO that someone sold/gave to the store for cheap! we've witness this at several visits here locally. my friend got a full ro system for under $15. then he changed the filters and everything came to about $65 and works as good as new. if you do alittle research you will be able to figure out exactly what is needed and how to aquire it cheap. heck if you like, i'll tell you what is needed.
i'm surprised you stated that the urchin isn't eating algae. what type of algae is it? i know first hand that they do eat algae because i saw it with my own eyes!
other than that here's what you can do to help fight algae.
1. change bulbs if they are old
2. make sure you use quality waterfrom here out for topoff and SW making (RO/DI or at least distilled water from a grocery store. This will also help prevent this from happening again)
3. lower you photo period until you control the algae.
4. Use Rowa Phos or some type of GFO or Granular Ferric Oxide base type phosphate removal material (don't use aluminum base type like phosguard as this leaches aluminum into the water)
5. Patients, lots of it because you won't see improvements for quite awhile.
6. Hope you are using a quality skimmer.
7. feed fish and corals very little (most people overfeed and this is where alot of problems can come from)
8. CUC you can also put in a sea urchin and he will go to town bigtime! if you do please return him back to a LFS otherwise when all algae is gone he will starve to death (this is one way to see rather quick results but you must do all of the above to prevent this algae issue again)
here are some pix... i have heard all of your advice and i am trying to get a plan together to get an RO/DI unit to be honest this has not been the best timing financially (long story i rather not impart) so i will do everything i can until i can get one....
that too looks like dingoflaggates! to get rid of it turn off all lights to aquarium for 3 days. then water change. it should be all gone by the 3rd day. if not do it again like a week later. if you got corals the reacclimate them by short periods of light then increase over time until you're back to normal. 3 days didn't kill my sps so you should be alright.remember that when corals are shipped from the wild they are in total darkness for at least 2 to 3 days too. and that's from poor water q cause when my di filter was exhausted i didn't realize it until i saw all this crap all over my aquarium. i've since replaced the di and now i don't have it. btw you're right urchins won't eat that. i thought you had like algae thats like green grass or felt. not that slimy stuff.
btw i just reloaded my di filter with a fresh batch of di resin since see this and another thread here on TFK! good thing i checked cause it was almost exhausted.
funny i actually noted this morning that there seemed to be a little less so i started the black out today!!! i have been looking at RO/ DI units and it may have to wait a while but inthe mean time i am going to see what the LFS charges and some other places... i will also start to run new carbon and either chemi-pure or phosban.... just have to see what is available locally for what i hav available.... i may even make another AIO tank and sell it off to raise funds...
leave all lights off for 3 days, make sure room is relatively dark or throw something over the tank to make it dark. the first day not much change but a big change by 2 1/2 days. use a flashlight to check progress and keep light to a minimum. dont be tempted to run short on the lights day unless emergency. then do a water change and i would use distilled or ro from a lfs.
btw show a before and after pic when you get the results to show effectiveness of treatment
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