crabs, algae, and alkalinity

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by margaritaville, Aug 18, 2005.

  1. margaritaville

    margaritaville

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    I have been having an algae problem in my tank. It is on everything from the glass and sand to the live rock and heater. I clean the tank and within hours to a day its growing again. I added a few more snails but they only do so much. I thought my nitrate was a bit high so I am using a nitrate sponge now.
    I even added an lawnmower blenny which helps but the algae grows too fast.

    I am using test strips most of the time and they are showing my alkalinity higher (more blue) than whats on the test strip, and was wondering if this is a problem and what I should do.

    One last thing is my hermit crabs have really been acting strange the last two days. Usually there always moving around but lately they have been just hiding in there shells, at first I thought they were dead buy they moved, one of them even partially buried himself in the sand. Any suggestions
    Thanks again everyone for all the help.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2005
    margaritaville, Aug 18, 2005
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  2. margaritaville

    jhnrb

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    if your system is not at least 3 to 6 months old it is not settled in yet and any bioload added will affect the system to some extent. enough information has not been given to help you with what the problem might be other than normal cycling. alga needs several things to exist, light/food/ water. once the food source is depleted the alga should start to dissapear. nitrates, phosphates, vitamins, minerals, low ph, silicates all contribute to alga blooms or diatom blooms. take a sample of your water to the local fish store and let them run a full line of tests for you. write down the results and post here. let us know what your lighting, makeup water, water changes, and anything else you put into the tank consists of and the procedure and/or frequency of each. let us know how old your system is, and at what points you added any live animals (bio load). good luck and will try to help when more information is provided. also see the various threads on this forum. you will find several articles on this subject.
     
    jhnrb, Aug 19, 2005
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  3. margaritaville

    minireefer

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    Good info JHNRB.
    margaritaville how long do you run your lights for.also if your tanks is ready you might try a small yellow tang.When I added mine he was constantly eating green hair algae till there was non left
     
    minireefer, Aug 20, 2005
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  4. margaritaville

    bkv1997

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    Couldn't have said anything better jhnrb.
     
    bkv1997, Aug 20, 2005
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  5. margaritaville

    margaritaville

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    Well I didnt get to the fish store with a water sample but my test strips read as follows

    ppm
    nitrite0
    nitrate 40
    alkalinity 300-350
    phosphate 0.5

    PH 8.3-8.4
    salinity 1.23-1.24
    I have two 55watt CF's and recentally cut on time down to 9 hours
    I am using oceanic salt at 1/2cup/gal
    using tap water with Evolution by ammex
    also using Kent liquid calcium ( although not using everyday)
    I have only done two very small water changes about 5-8 gal each time to clean up some fish waste
    I have 9 snails, two hermit crabs, two damsels, a six line wrasse and an algae blenny
    My tank has been running 6 weeks

    also i found one of my hermit crabs out of his shell the other day but a day later
    they both were in there shells. Did it just shed its skeleton, is this normal? should I have extra shells for the growing of the crabs?
    Thanks jhnrb for the info, hope the info helps
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2005
    margaritaville, Aug 22, 2005
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  6. margaritaville

    minireefer

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    The nitrate is alittle high and the phosphates could be alittle lower.I would not dose the tank with calcium till you can test for it.To much calcium is not good for your tank .
     
    minireefer, Aug 22, 2005
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  7. margaritaville

    jhnrb

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    Your nitrates are definitely too high. you need to do one of three things or all three 1) increase frequency of water changes, 2) increase volume of water changes, 3) add a denitrator. I would initially try a more frequent water change and increase the amount to at least 10 percent at least weekly until nitrates are under control. remember to use only seasoned new salt water mix, top off system before water change with fresh water, mix and aireate well the new mix while ciculating at tank temp for at least 24 hours preferably 48 to 72. watch your nitrates and initially start testing before water change and 2 hours after water change. continue to test daily and keep a record of the nitrate levels. in a few weeks you will be able to tell if the water changes alone will resolve your problem. also you need to test your tap water for phosphates, nitrates, silicates as you may be adding to your problem from your water source. is so an ro/di system is in order or distilled water from the grocery store. hope something here helps. start your water changes and keep records, feed very sparingly, and be carful with any chemical additions unless you have tested for and determined they are needed. good luck keep us posted.
     
    jhnrb, Aug 23, 2005
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  8. margaritaville

    Chris

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    Also adding more of a cleanup crew will help in the long run by eliminating non-eaten food in the tank. More snails & hermit crabs.
     
    Chris, Aug 23, 2005
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  9. margaritaville

    bkv1997

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    Another thing that might not have been mentioned..

    If you have Sponges or filter pads... keep them rinsed out...

    Don't do them all on the same day though.

    Brandon
     
    bkv1997, Aug 23, 2005
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  10. margaritaville

    margaritaville

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    Thanks

    Thanks everyone for all the advice, I will start asap Great forum!!!
     
    margaritaville, Aug 23, 2005
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