Algae/Diatom Situation

Discussion in 'Algae' started by earman88, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. earman88

    earman88

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    Alright, thanks FishyReef. While this all sucks, I've learned more about reef keeping in the past two weeks than the past 8 months that I've been in the hobby.

    It will be great to start fresh. I just have to try to not think about the $ down the drain. Better to learn on a 10g than making some of these mistakes on a 100g I suppose :)
     
    earman88, Aug 10, 2012
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  2. earman88

    earman88

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    Got home last night and worked on my tank a little. Did a 1.5g water change. My tank was looking much much better. There is very little algae remaining, so I figure I'll do the blackout again today and tomorrow, and on wednesday put my LED's back on (1g water changes each day until then).

    Question: Since I now have no fish in there.. just some crabs and 2 nassarius snails, how will this affect my tank's cycle? At what point should I get another fish in there?
     
    earman88, Aug 13, 2012
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  3. earman88

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    You will likely have to re-cycle the tank just like you would have if you had just set it up. This is because you had a lot of die off. Test your parameters to make sure everything is good (ammonia, nitrite, nitrate) before adding a fish. Then watch them carefully again to keep track of anything that spikes.
     
    Bifferwine, Aug 13, 2012
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  4. earman88

    earman88

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    Thanks Biff. Noted!
     
    earman88, Aug 13, 2012
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  5. earman88

    earman88

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    Ok last night I did another water test.
    Ammonia: 2.0ppm
    ph: 7.4 or 7.5

    I then did a water change of 1g because that's all I had mixed at the time. Tonight I am going to try for a 25% water change. The algae situation is looking great and I have it pretty much all cleared up. I plan on putting the LED lights back on tonight.

    Can anyone comment on my ph level and ammonia? I want to get my pH up to around 8.0, right?
     
    earman88, Aug 14, 2012
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  6. earman88

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    If your other parameters are off (which they are), they will throw your pH off too. You want your pH to be at least 7.8. But I suspect that once you get the ammonia under control, the pH will go back up to a normal level.
     
    Bifferwine, Aug 14, 2012
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  7. earman88

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Sounds like your tank is well on its way into another cycle. I'd just keep monitoring your ammonia and nitrite, once they reach 0 then go ahead and do a big water change. Not sure if doing little water changes along the way will disrupt the cycle or not.
     
    FishyReef, Aug 14, 2012
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  8. earman88

    earman88

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    Alright, btw the Nitrite/Nitrate were at 0 last night.
     
    earman88, Aug 14, 2012
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  9. earman88

    earman88

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    I changed out 2 gallons last night. A couple hours later I did a test and my ammonia was at 1.0 (was at 2.0 24 hours before).

    95% of my algae is gone, and I've now got the tank back to normal (no fish still).
    I should wait until my ammonia reads 0.0 before adding any fish right? And if so, should I keep doing like 25% water changes to get the ammonia out the fastest?


    BTW: I put my birdsnest, xenia, and zoas back in to try to salvage them.. if I don't see improvement within a week I'm going to toss them
     
    earman88, Aug 15, 2012
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  10. earman88

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Have you seen a nitrite spike yet?
     
    FishyReef, Aug 15, 2012
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  11. earman88

    earman88

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    I have not seen one yet. The levels have been at 0. I didn't test nitrate/nitrites last night.

    I will do a full test again tonight.
     
    earman88, Aug 15, 2012
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  12. earman88

    earman88

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    Btw last night I put in some frozen mysis shrimp to help with any cycling.
     
    earman88, Aug 15, 2012
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  13. earman88

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    At this point since you've seen the ammonia spike, I'd just wait for the tank to go through a cycle - meaning you'll need to see nitrite spike and return to zero as well as ammonia. If you don't see the nitrite spike then it isn't cycled. If you are using water changes to bring the ammonia down it might delay a nitrite spike so I'd hold off on water changes at this point.

    And out of curiosity, how much rock do you have in your tank?
     
    FishyReef, Aug 15, 2012
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  14. earman88

    earman88

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    Alright, duly noted.

    As for the liverock, I am not sure the weight. I would say enough to displace around 1.5gallons of water. Let me try to dig up an old picture.
     
    earman88, Aug 15, 2012
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  15. earman88

    earman88

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    This was an old pic just to give you an idea of my liverock. RIP to every living thing in this pic.

    [​IMG]
     
    earman88, Aug 15, 2012
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  16. earman88

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    I think I'd add a little more rock in there - looks a bit on the light side. That should help speed your cycle along once there's a little more surface room for the nitrifying bacteria to grow on. And you can use dry rock, doesn't have to be live.
     
    FishyReef, Aug 15, 2012
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  17. earman88

    earman88

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    yeah I was thinking I might pick up a bit more anyways so that's good to hear. The top rock in the middle is actually fairly big, you just can't tell from that angle.
     
    earman88, Aug 15, 2012
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  18. earman88

    earman88

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    I put in about 4 more pounds of live rock last night. The LR even came with some cool hitch-hikers like gsp, kenya tree, a small white thin starfish, and other unidentified things.

    Anyways I think my tank is finally starting to stabilize. Here were last night's perimeters (No water changes done, and I had my LED hood back on all day yesterday for the first time)

    Temp: 81 (my LED's put off too much heat I think..)
    salinity:1.023
    pH: 8.0
    ammonia: .30
    nitrite: 0 ppm
    nitrate: 5.0 ppm

    It appears I am in the final stages of a cycle. If the trend continues, my ammonia should be down to almost 0.0 today. I'm thinking about picking up a baby oc. clown today if that is the case.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
    earman88, Aug 16, 2012
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  19. earman88

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    I would wait before adding a fish -- even if the ammonia drops, there's still a chance that nitrite will still go up. So I'd wait until your parameters are stable (at zero) for at least a few days.
     
    Bifferwine, Aug 16, 2012
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  20. earman88

    earman88

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    Alright Biff I will take your advice!
     
    earman88, Aug 16, 2012
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