Algae: Ozone Reactor needed?

Mako Shark II

Fish are Friends not Food
Before this gets too far out of hand, I thought I'd post this and get people's input.

Would a UV or Ozone Reactor assist in clearing up (the beginnings of) this algae problem?? If not, is there some hardware or a piece of equipment that can assist in minimizing algae.

The sand-sifting Orange Spotted Sleeper goby can't keep up anymore. The sand bed has a slight surface layer, which is not this bad.

This is a new development.



Premium Member
I don't think sand sifters actually remove algae, they just move the sand around so it is hidden.

In my opinion the gizmos like UV and ozone may get rid of the algae but you leave the root cause unaddressed. Algae grows when there is enough food in the form of nitrate and/or phosphate and light. I have always fought it by reducing feeding, reducing the light schedule, increasing nutrient export via skimming, more frequent water changes, encouraging more chaeto growth in my fuge and increasing my clean up crew. Eventually I find a balance point where everything is happy with no appreciable algae.

Mako Shark II

Fish are Friends not Food
Required BUMP: My green hair algae is starting to take on its own personality.

And I know this is a Lighting & Chemistry “thing”, so here’s a snapshot of the tank:

8/8/08 Go Live date (with mature LR & migrated water)

Typical Water readings:
SG 1.025
CA 500
pH 8.2
KH 143/ppm
Mg 1290
Temp 76-78 (depending on MH status)
I’ll take a Phos reading tonight.

20-gallon water changes once weekly. I’m now using equal amounts of I.O. & Oceanic salt for a 1.025 SG.

- 4 Frozen cubes of various Sally’s San Francisco bay stuff, daily (The 15 fish clear the tank in five minutes.)
- A couple squirts of Reef Nutrition Phytofeast a couple times a week
- Red nori (Omega 3) a few (4) times per week
- Various Sinking pellets, daily
- Flake food, daily
- Copepods into the Refugium (once every six weeks or so)
- Sands Eels or Silversides (as avail.) 3-4 times per week for the RBTA & GBTA

Light Cycle:
- 1 Hr. - 2 Coralife 1w Moonlight LED, then off after the T-5’s fire.
- 10 Hrs. â€"œ 2 each, T-5 54w Giesemann (1) Power Chrome + (1) Pure Actinic, which remain illuminated until 1 Hr. after the MH’s kick off.
- 9 Hrs. â€"œ 2each, 250w 20,000k XM MH’s, w/ Coral-Vue electronic ballasts
- 1/2 Hr. later â€"œ the T-5's switch off, followed by
- 1 Hr. - 2 Coralife 1w Moonlight LED

I had been experiencing some STN on my SPS, so I bumped up my Light duty cycle, but the SPS issue is now sounding more like Chemical Warfare with my advancing softies, particularly the Mushroom population (which are doing quite well these days, thank you!)

This ORP issue is a little Mind-numbing, so I really would just prefer to hear people’s remedies.

Should I kill the Lights altogether for a few days?
Will that hurt the Coral (because along with stopping the Photosynthesis in the algae, all zooxanthellae production will come to a halt too!)
Will an Ozone reactor Help? If so, which one?
Should I dose with something?? Bleach perhaps??!!!! Vodka? (mainly for me??) :hmm4:


Reef Guru
I personally think you are overfeeding. Thats alot of food: 4 cubes, plus flakes everyday. I would cut out the Phytofeast altogether for awhile, and alternate flake and cubes on different days, and feed less cubes. Two cubes may be sufficient. But thats just me..... :D
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New member
Food for Algae: Phosphates and Nitrates
What I do to lower these two nutrients (because no matter what you do they are there) Use a phosphate reactor (around $30) and some sort of phosphate removing resin, had good results with this. You can also drip kalk that will cause phosphates to bind up and not be soluble then they can be vacuumed up in the water changes (in theory) but I think that you stand a chance of getting that phosphate getting released back into system if it ever changed its state (good and cheap fix but may only be temporary) To reduce nitrates I usually go with a deep sand bed (6 inches) hear positive and negatives with this one good way is trying a remote DSB by routing some of your water through a bucket with about a 6 inch deep sandbed, if you ever have a problem you can always remove the sandbed or easily replace the sand (look up old tank syndrome). And at the same time you can never beat water changes better then all the filter technology created for aquariums.
Ozone acts more as a sterilizer and will help with water quality but may not help with all algae problems, really helps with chemical warfare and the yellowing of your water (algae byproduct) but i do not know it to be a nitrate reducer.
I've read about using vodka or sugar as a food source for nutrient feeding bacteria (build up the population) but never tried it before
People use the kill lights for 2 days once a month but I look at it as a short term fix, algae dies, release nutrients back into the water, start cycle back again, so I like to try and figure out long term fixes and the phosphate reactor and remote DSB seem to work great for me.
By the way unless you have a spectrometer type phosphate test kit you might get a 0 reading because the commercial kits do not test organic phosphate, but trust me it is there. also if you do decide to use the media bring your phosphate down slowly, changing water chemistry too fast can cause problem in itself


I agree that you are feeding way too much. You could easily feed half what your feeding now and be just fine. I am currently using the vodka dosing method to reduce phosphate in my system. So far I've had good results. A phosphate reactor is probably a little safer method and perhaps even more proven. One other method I've seen discussed quite a bit recently is using an algae turf scrubber. I've been considering this one myself, just maybe need to find the time to put it together, and the space to put it. Anyway, good luck with your fight, I know it's not an easy one.


New member
I had some of the same issues that you are dealing with, and other than some hair algae that I do still have some that I clean once a week I am not having too much of a problem anymore.

I am running a DSB and refugium where I harvest chaeto (that I share around the club) every 2 weeks.

I am also dosing with Prodibio, that has really seemed to help.

There are many different methods, out there, Prodibio, Vodka dosing, Vitamin C, Sugar, Zeovit and the Brightwells products.

There is a huge amount of reading out there on all this but the two threads that I would recommend is one Algae and control methods that is really informative It is "Shock and awe against algae or something like that" I will look for the link and post later if I can find it.

and one thread on dosing is on the Brightwells Method and was started by Just Dave>

Both of these are really "LONG" but have a great deal of information.

The Prodibio really has worked for me as you could actually see the algae 'dissolving away" but I also know that a big part of my algae issues is that I do have too heavy a bioload with the fish I have and I do feed too much. I know that and then just deal with the issues (Does not sound to bright does it) Oh well!!!
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New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14265253#post14265253 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by MrRyanT
I am currently using the vodka dosing method to reduce phosphate in my system.

Just don't drive after using that method, Ryan. :p

I had the same problem with hair algae a while back, and a Phosban Reactor took care of my issue. That was the only thing I did to stop what started to be an outbreak that was taking over my nice rock. I think I had to pull algae off the rock for another week or two after starting the reactor.

Mako Shark II

Fish are Friends not Food
Thanks guys.

I popped over to MemFish on the way home (Sorry Dave, it's a location thing) and it dawned on me & Richard that my PURA Phos-lock was likely saturated and done. It was installed shortly after my 8/8/08 go-live date, so I'm sure it's absorbed everything it could.

So tonight I re-charged the bag in my sump with 500 mL of PhosGuard. I had the Phosban Reactor 150 in my hand, but before I fluidize the stuff, I'll just go this route and monitor the level. (I'm kind of a spaz in forgetting about the PURA usable life.

JFYI- the Phos test came out with 1.0 ppm, which is high. So, Scott, Carson, and those others of you that mentioned PO4 - hat's off.


To be continued.... until next time when our Hero says, "Honey? Where'd you stash the Vodka? I need it due to the reef tank."


New member
Please be careful with Phosguard. The aluminum it releases will cause long term issues with your softies, if you have any. I would go the ferric oxide route (Phosban and the like, etc) if at all possible.


I have 2 phosban 150s on my 120 and they are not doing the job.They both have 200 ml of phosban in each one.I think my problem is the substrate,I bought the reef mixture from F&S which is man made.My 40 gallon tank has no algae and has a deep sand bed and deep sand bed in the refugium.I am about ready to swap it out for sand.

Mako Shark II

Fish are Friends not Food
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14268343#post14268343 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by MarineFlake
Please be careful with Phosguard. The aluminum it releases will cause long term issues with your softies, if you have any. I would go the ferric oxide route (Phosban and the like, etc) if at all possible.
Yes! I have Sofites out My... ...Sump! (For lack of better words!)

I thought the Ferric Oxide was a little more intense, than the PhosGuard (a lesser measure and evil of the two.) I'm going for subtlety here.

Clearly, I’ll really have to watch & chart my water parameter levels now. Then REMOVE the PhosGuard (bag) from the sump, once level normalize.


Mako Shark II

Fish are Friends not Food
Good stuff. Nice read Bill thanks.

The line has already been drawn in the (live) sand. I've declared war!

The PO4 has already dropped down by .25 ppm, after only one day. Tomorrow is water change day and I'll retest.