Algae issue

aries426

New member
I have a 30g Deep Blue 24x24x12 tank that has been setup for about 9 months. I am getting some algae on the substrate, it is mostly starting as brownish/red and some spots do get a little longer(Hair Algae). It does not look like cyano to me, doesn't have the slime effect. I have 2 Koralia 240's plus my return, flow seems really good. I have moved the power heads in different directions to keep the sand clean but no matter what it seems to come back. I had a AI Vega LED but switched to a ATI 6x24w T5(3 Blue+, Coral+, Atinic and Purple+)I have a Super Reef Octopus 1000INT protein skimmer, filter sock, refugeium, Carbon and GFO reactors, Tunze Nano 3152 ATO and return pump all in sump. I have a pretty good CUC with about 8 Nassarius snails, Peppermint shrimp and hermits. I did a water test yesterday

Salinity 1.026
pH 8.3
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 10-15
Alkalinity 8.5
Calcium 375
Magnesium 1140
Phosphate 0.04-0.05

I have been vodka dosing to bring the Nitrate and Phosphate down, it has helped. I know the GFO does it but I wanted to try to get it down to optimum level and then let the reactors take over. The algae issue did start BEFORE I was vodka dosing, so it is not due to that. I feed twice daily but only enough so that it is gone within 30-45 secs. I switch between frozen Mysis/Brine/Bloodworms, flakes and pellets. I do 20-25% WC weekly with RO/DI.

Any ideas or help would greatly be appreciated!

Thanks
 

kissman

New member
the vodka will reduce the NO3 but will not do much for PO4. It will remove very little PO4 as it causes the skimmer to work harder because of the vodka. If you want to remove PO4 use GFO I would start out at about half the suggested amount if you are going to use it. If you have algae then the PO4 is higher than what you are reading because its bound up in the algae.
 

aries426

New member
The GFO has been running for about 6-7 weeks, should it of done it's job by then? I have tested the Phosphate a few times and had another place test as well and we came up with about the same result. Would I be better off doing Bio Pellets?
 

moatdaddy

New member
go to advanced topics and look at ATS basics. Literally i had a serious outbreak of cyano and hair algae. It was from re used rocks without treatment and direct sunlight into the tank from the window. My Algae Turf Scrubber has removed all the algae and now i clean my glass once every 2 weeks. Also i have to feed my snails now. :dance: LOVE IT. so far i have seen zero down falls. How much does it cost to run that GFO and carbon. My ATS cost me 150 appx and im about to go chinese led to make it so i dont have to replace the CFL lights every 3 months which for me runs around 30 bucks.
 

aries426

New member
I have 4 fish, Mystery Wrasse, Blue Neon Cleaner Goby, Yasha Goby and BABY Blue Hippo(he's only about 1 inch, I know he will get to big for the tank eventually). The rocks I have are ones I have used from my last tank, this issue didn't start until about 2-3 months ago. I clean my glass every 5-6 days, doesn't really get to dirty. 95% of the algae is on the sand, almost nothing on the rocks, glass, powerheads or overflow.
 

aries426

New member
The GFO media runs about $30 every 3 months and carbon about the same, maybe a little more. What would a ATS cost for my tank and needs?
 

kissman

New member
Do you have the water flowing through slow enough for a slight bowl? How often are you replacing the GFO? Once the GFO absorbs all it can it needs to be replaced. I was replacing mine every two week at one point to get the PO4 down. Some people have done it every week. If the flow is to strong the GFO will no work as good. I think I ran about 15gph through mine
 
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moatdaddy

New member
i didnt run it off my overflow, i went with two pumps. so mine was a bit more. pump from sump to ats setup, second pump from ats to sump. shouldnt be more than 150. check it out. if it works you can probably sell your gfo. i just run a skimmer and ats. both work wonders and my corals and fish are very happy also my tank is algae free and i feed with a heavy hand.
 

aries426

New member
I am using a Mag 7 for the return and I also run the 2 reactors off it. They each have a ball valve. The GFO is on about 1/4 of the way, the media is moving around in circles but not really up and down. The carbon is on 100% and it barely moves. I replace the GFO every 4 weeks and the carbon every 6. I don't know how much gph is going through the reactors.
 

kissman

New member
here is a video of what the flow should look like, not sure if you have watched it

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/cwfuo7OIosQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 

aries426

New member
Would I be better off with a Bio Pellets instead of the GFO? I did hear that when you come off of the pellets you have to wean your system off. I didn't know if it would be better in my case.

The other thing I was thinking of getting was a Kalkwasser reactor. With my system being only about 50g total volume I knew a Calcium reactor would be to much, so I was thinking of a Kalk instead. Wouldn't it help with my Alkalinity and Calcium?


Any thoughts would be great!
 

dml931

New member
the Kalk water will add calcium and raise your Alk some but only as much as you add. there is a great calculator here :http://www.hamzasreef.com/Contents/Calculators/KalkContribution.php to help determine whats going to be added given the amount of Kalk you mix.

Also to combat your substrate algae issue, have you thought of a getting a diamond goby, or a sand-sifting starfish? i have both and my substrate has NEVER had any algae grow on it. rocks are a different story, but not on my sand. one last thing, a decent fuge with micro-algae growing in it will also help reduce PO4 in a more natural way. hope you get your results soon!!
 
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aries426

New member
I have a Yasha Goby paired with a Candy Cane Pistol shrimp, if I get a Diamond Goby would he have any issues with the Yasha or shrimp? I was thinking about getting a Sand Shifting Starfish. I do know the Diamond Gobies do a good job with the sand cleaning as well.
 

MileHiReefR

New member
I know this tired advice sounds stagnant & simple but it's never failed me: increase flow, (or redirect flow to minimize what can accumulate on your substrate), keep on schedule religious water changes, blow rocks weekly, and stir sand lightly... patience...
 

aries426

New member
I got a Diamond Goby, he is already at work. I did adjust the flow and even increased before but the problem is that I have small grains that is blows easily, I kind of wish I did go with a little larger, maybe 1-2mm, mine now is around .25-1.25mm.
 

aries426

New member
I have been considering a Algae Scrubber but I am unaware of which one, should I go double sided on the light? I am trying to read up, but I see there are different ways to go, not sure which one is best for me.
 

Osteoclast

New member
Milehireefer is spot on: I would not add any new equipment until I maximized my existing methods. I would keep my skimmer and reactors clean and media changed out every 1 to 2 weeks. I would continue the H2O changes and double check my TDS readings. Usually gravel maintainence is critical in these situations and I would vacuum with each H2O change and also stir every two to three days to export the detritus. Power "washing" the rocks is also important and I would perform that weekly. Make sure your pumps are optimally functioning and clean them with HCL or vinegar if needed, change out socks more frequently. All this should bring success over time if you persevere. I am not a fan of complexity and always go back to the basics when the system becomes more eutrophic. Good luck.
 
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