Algae! :confused:

Discussion in 'Algae' started by SaltwaterNoob17, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. SaltwaterNoob17

    SaltwaterNoob17

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    Okay, I'm kinda freaking out! :shock:

    I have a 14 gallon that has been taken over by green hair algae and red slime; it's a hopeless case, and I'm shutting it down.

    That's not the problem, though. I got a 46 gallon for Christmas, and it's been cycling for 4 weeks now. Basically, the cycle is done (Ammonia=0; Nitrites=0; Nitrates=20). It's been doing just fine, until today I noticed ALGAE GROWTH on the glass. I can't get a picture because it's really fine strands. It's brown, fine, and about a 1/4 of an inch long, and they're scattered all over the glass like freckles on a face not in clumps like the hair algae I'm used to seeing in my 14 gallon. I've been running my lights for only 4 hours a day. I want to add fish and a clean-up crew, but I'm waiting for my skimmer to come...it's on backorder.

    Should I be freaking out?! Should I do something? (I haven't done water changes since I was considering the tank as "still cycling;" should I start?) Thanks guys... :frustrat:
     
    SaltwaterNoob17, Jan 19, 2010
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  2. SaltwaterNoob17

    mng777777 Shark Wrangler Wannabe

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    You should do a water change. The algae is due to your high nitrates. Your cycle is done, but you need to get the nutrients out of the water now. Do a water change and then get your skimmer up and running before adding any fish. In the mean time, you can add some snails to take care of the algae on the glass. You have no reason to be alarmed at this point. As for the 14 gallon, I hate to hear that you are tearing it down. The algae and slime can be beaten, it just takes time and dedication. Good luck!
     
    mng777777, Jan 19, 2010
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  3. SaltwaterNoob17

    dcantucson

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    Algae is part of every healthy system so don't freak out! :)
    I would brush, pull, scrap, etc. and suck the algae out while doing a water change. Once everything is in check (as in you Nitrates at 0) then it will go away. Give it some time but get as much of it out as possible.
     
    dcantucson, Jan 19, 2010
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  4. SaltwaterNoob17

    SaltwaterNoob17

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    Okay. One water change coming right up!
     
    SaltwaterNoob17, Jan 19, 2010
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  5. SaltwaterNoob17

    mng777777 Shark Wrangler Wannabe

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    Make sure that you are using RODI water and not tap water, or your algae problems will only get worse.
     
    mng777777, Jan 19, 2010
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  6. SaltwaterNoob17

    SaltwaterNoob17

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    I just changed out 15 gallons with RO/DI water. I siphoned debris off the LR, scrubbed the glass to get the algae off, and then cleaned up the sand bed a bit.

    As for the clean-up crew...

    How many snails? Crabs? Types? Anything else I need to know/get when I head to the fish store?
     
    SaltwaterNoob17, Jan 19, 2010
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  7. SaltwaterNoob17

    dcantucson

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    I hope you mean RODI Saltwater. :shock:
     
    dcantucson, Jan 19, 2010
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  8. SaltwaterNoob17

    SaltwaterNoob17

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    Yes. Saltwater. :sfish:
     
    SaltwaterNoob17, Jan 19, 2010
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  9. SaltwaterNoob17

    SaltwaterNoob17

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    What about the clean-up crew, though...

    How many snails? Crabs? Types? Anything else I need to know/get when I head to the fish store?

    Do I need to get to the store today, sometime this week, etc.? I don't want a serious algae problem on my hands... :(
     
    SaltwaterNoob17, Jan 19, 2010
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  10. SaltwaterNoob17

    mng777777 Shark Wrangler Wannabe

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    A good starting place would be 10-15 snail. something like 2-3 cerith, and 8-12 astrea. You could throw a few hermits in there, though there is great debate as to their true evil nature, and as to which type are the safest. I have always heard blue-legs are the safest but have personally found them to be trouble. My least destructive crabs have actually been the odd balls that slipped in when I was buying blue-legs. One has white legs (My Avatar) and the other is a zebra
     
    mng777777, Jan 19, 2010
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  11. SaltwaterNoob17

    SaltwaterNoob17

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    Okay. Yeah, I've noticed the "crab debate" on the forum. What trouble have you had with blue-legs?
     
    SaltwaterNoob17, Jan 19, 2010
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  12. SaltwaterNoob17

    mng777777 Shark Wrangler Wannabe

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    They have literally ripped apart corals to get food from within the corals stomachs after feeding, they knock frags off after glueing them, and they bothered my clams. I just got tired of always chasing them away from stuff that I decided one strike and you're out, banished to the sump. After a bit, I found myself with only 2 or 3 hermits in the whole tank where I started with about 35 or 40. My sump is crawling with the little devils and that is where they are going to stay :)
     
    mng777777, Jan 19, 2010
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  13. SaltwaterNoob17

    SaltwaterNoob17

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    Nice. "Banishment to the Sump" sounds like an appropriate punishment. ;)
    Thanks for the help.
     
    SaltwaterNoob17, Jan 19, 2010
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  14. SaltwaterNoob17

    Tristan Detritus

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    you should just give them to dcan
     
    Tristan, Jan 20, 2010
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  15. SaltwaterNoob17

    mng777777 Shark Wrangler Wannabe

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    I would if he really had a tank to keep them in...
     
    mng777777, Jan 20, 2010
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  16. SaltwaterNoob17

    SaltwaterNoob17

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    Hey guys. The algae is still here. :grumble: Every day a few more strands pop up on the glass and now they're starting grow on my Tunze and Koralia...

    I did the 50% water change the other day, and I did a 10% water change today and scrubbed the glass, siphoned the LR, etc. A couple of days ago, I bought 34 snails (various types: turbos, trochus, nassarius, cerith, nerties, and margaritas); I also bought 11 mexican red-leg crabs, three scarlet crabs, and one emerald crab.

    Water Parameters:

    Salinity 1.023
    Temp: 78F
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrites: 0
    Nitrates: 15
    pH: 8.2
    Alk:179ppm

    I have a skimmer and refugium on the way to help out...

    How frequently should I keep up the water changes? Should I do another 50% water change?

    I have the lights running 4 hours a day right now; should I turn them off (blackout the tank)?

    Also, I noticed a few strands of what I think is the same algae growing on a piece of my live rock today. The strands are fine with little "branches" just like the ones on the glass; however, the strands on the live rock are clear and about 4" long, whereas the ones on the glass are brown and only 1/2" long. Any ideas for an ID?
     
    SaltwaterNoob17, Jan 24, 2010
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  17. SaltwaterNoob17

    mng777777 Shark Wrangler Wannabe

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    It all sounds like hair algae. Your Nitrates are the problem. Though they are not terribly high at 15ppm, you must consider that the algae is consuming some, and you just did a 50% water change so 15ppm really means a substantially higher number. I personally don't like the idea of huge water changes. I suggest you locate the source of the nitrates and starve the algae by removing it. Keep doing weekly 10-15% water changes and keep your photo period where it is for now. Please list your livestock and your feeding regiment.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
    mng777777, Jan 24, 2010
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  18. SaltwaterNoob17

    SaltwaterNoob17

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    The only thing in my tank right now is live sand, about 70lbs of live rock, the snails I mentioned, and the crabs. No fish. No coral. No nothing. So, I'm not feeding anything, just letting the snails and crabs work on the LR and sand bed. Where could the nitrates be coming from?
     
    SaltwaterNoob17, Jan 24, 2010
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  19. SaltwaterNoob17

    SaltwaterNoob17

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    Also, my water is good. I have an RO/DI system with 2 DI chambers for extra insurance. The water reads at 0.00 TDS when it comes out.
     
    SaltwaterNoob17, Jan 24, 2010
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  20. SaltwaterNoob17

    mng777777 Shark Wrangler Wannabe

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    Sorry, I had a brief memory lapse as to how new your tank is and I had forgotten that you are running without a skimmer right now. I know it's crappy to have a new tank sit fallow, and even worse to have it growing algae, but I suggest that you just keep up the weekly water changes. Probably do 15-20% since you don't have a skimmer at this time, and wait till you get your skimmer. Before you do your water change, you can scrape the glass and then try to suck out some of the algae. Get your skimmer up and running for a week or two and you should be in good shape. the nitrates are just the result of the nitrate cycle that occurs from the die-off in your LR. In time, they will go away, and so will the algae with it.
     
    mng777777, Jan 24, 2010
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