red/brown algae

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by Dustyrose, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. Dustyrose

    Dustyrose

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    I need some serious help. I'm really new to this salt water tank stuff. And I'm begining to feel like this :frustrat: Its a 55 gallon tank and its been set up for just over 2 months now. According to the local fish store, the water is perfect, the salinity(however that is spelt) is perfect, yet I cannot get rid of the algae. I'm told its red, but I also believe there is brown. There is a scum layer floating on the top of the tank, also it will cover the silk like plants and the sides of the tank. I also have something brown growing on the bottom rocks. The tank now holds only about 7lbs of live rock, a tomato clown, black damsel and a tang. I have used chemi-clean over and over in the tank. After treating the tank, waiting 48 hours, cleaning the tank, suctioning out the rocks and about 10 gallons of water, washing the plants, each time and within days.. it starts coming back. I'm not sure what information you all need to see if you can help, but the tank has a canister filter on it which I put in a chemi-pure filter thing in it and the light is that one with the blue growing light, a regular light and moon light. (told you I was a newbie, I don't even know the names of things, but I can find out if needed) The last cleaning I was told again, by the local fish store, to take out the live rocks and use a vegitable brush on them to clean the algae off and to boil the plants, which I did, but alas, the algae is back again. I also put in another layer of a filter that is suppose to stop algae from growing.. isn't working yet! When I think back to when this started it was when I added the live rock. Could it be possible the live rock is causing the algae?

    I'm at my witts end here. Can anybody help me? I'm sure there's something I'm not doing besides dumping the whole tank! (which is NOT an option I'm willing to consider at this point...yet) I looked at some of the other posts and I don't understand about all that chemical stuff or products that may be used. Can someone simplefy it for me please?? :bowdown:

    Thank you for ANY help.

    Dusty
     
    Dustyrose, Feb 15, 2006
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  2. Dustyrose

    jhnrb

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    Welcome to the forum. well on to your problem. if you have stuff floating on the top of the water you do not have enough circulation and top water extraction. do you have a skimmer? if not you need one. so current and skimmer, now for long term success you need to understand and identify what is causing your problem. it really is not that difficult, just take your time, go to the helpful articles, there you will find articles on algae on page one and read also the articles on new tank setups, and newbie articles. once you have finished you should have a basis to determine what is causing your problem and how to start dealing with it, however, after reading the articles you have more questions come back to your thread here and post your additional questions. also keep us posted as to your progress.

    Discontinue the use of chemi-clean it will not solve your problem. weekly water changes with purified water (ro/or di) or distilled but not tap or well water. test water parameters i.e. ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, calcium, iodine, silica, phosphates, ph, alkalinity, and post all results here. will try to help more then.

    also let us know what you are using for a substrait. (bottom cover) you can send me a private message or e-mail me also. I know this is not fun but with a little patients, reading the articles, and posting the water test results will be a good place to start, in the mean time increase water circulation, and add a protien skimmer to your system. if you already have one consider a uv sterilizer. but more on that later. water test results please.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2006
    jhnrb, Feb 15, 2006
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  3. Dustyrose

    damigs

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    What truely helped me with my brown algea was cutting back on the feeding and/or the amount along with the lights. By only having the whites on 4hrs and the blues 6hrs thruout the day. Doing these few things and just let it ride. You will see much success.

    My biggest problem I was trying to do to much instead of letting things take its own course. If in fact you do have red slime this is could be a sign of bad circulation in your tank.
     
    damigs, Feb 15, 2006
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  4. Dustyrose

    Dustyrose

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    Thank you for your help last night. I'll get to reading the articles tonight. Not to sound stupid but when you say test your water parameters, you mean the tank water correct? Not the tap water I use to fill the tank? I'll see if I can pick up a skimmer and something to work with more water circulation and get the tank water checked again and the readings from that.

    As far as the bottom cover it is that rock that comes in bags with water and the bacteria already in it? I can't remember the name of it. I can find that out also.

    Thanks again!!

    Dusty
     
    Dustyrose, Feb 15, 2006
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  5. Dustyrose

    minireefer

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    New tanks will have these types problems at fist.I had slime algae to at first chemiclean did help somewhat.Then I added a protein skimmer and I a big differance in the first week.The stuff went away and did not return.Protein skimmer removes the waste and nutrients the stuff feeds.It will also give you more flow.Look for a skimmer that is for twice your tank size in the specs.I am using a coralife super skimmer that am very pleased with.Great price to.How many power heads or water pumps do have and where are they placed?
     
    minireefer, Feb 15, 2006
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  6. Dustyrose

    Dustyrose

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    I don't have any pumps in the tank except from the canister filter that flows back into the tank. Obviously it sounds like a pump and that skimmer is what I need. I wasn't told that I needed those two things by the fish store. Its amazing how many different ideas you get and how many different things you are told for running a tank. Noone ever tells you the same thing, how in the world are you suppose to get it straight? :shock: thank you for your help. Going to go look into those two things tonight.

    Dusty
     
    Dustyrose, Feb 15, 2006
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  7. Dustyrose

    Chris

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    Trail and error, You will eventually find the combination that works right for you. No two tanks are alike, they all have different creatures and needs.
     
    Chris, Feb 16, 2006
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  8. Dustyrose

    jhnrb

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    if you are using tap water that is part of your difficulty. you can initially purchase distilled water from the super market for water makeup and for mixing water changes. later on you may want to consider an ro system. and yes good question test both your tank and fresh makeup water you are curently using. those results will be very helpful. good heads up on the question, i apologize for not being more clear on that point. clean that canister filter at least ever 10 days max. so it does not become a biological filter or leach nutrients back into the system. good luck youre on your way to solve your problem.
     
    jhnrb, Feb 16, 2006
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  9. Dustyrose

    Dustyrose

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    Thank you!

    I just wanted to thank you all for your help. I'm so glad I found this site. I got the protein filter and a pump and just finished putting them in. I'm a little confused about the protein filter and how it exactly works, the directions in the box were a bit vague to say the least. Are the bubbles suppose to fill up the top part of the container or just have them bubble up to the bottom of it? Ever feel really stupid? I sure do when it comes to this stuff. But it is interesting learning.

    Keep your fingers crossed that this works, I'm thinking it will, ok, so I have my fingers and toes crossed that it will. I'll get the water checked this weekend, and get those numbers out and see if there's something I can do with that too.

    Thank you so much again!! :wave:

    Dusty
     
    Dustyrose, Feb 16, 2006
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  10. Dustyrose

    jhnrb

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    Lets see if i can explain this on the protien skimmer. if you are ever at the beach you see the white fluff at the shore line. well that is the foam you want. its from agitation and contact with oxygen/air bubbles where the gunk attaches to the air bubbles and rises into the tube. you do not want to spill over clear or tea colored water, but a stable and dry foam that rises into the cup and then slowly settles out into a dark wet gunk liquid in the cup. this should be emptied every day and will create a real strong objectional odor. hope this helps. see also helpful articles there are several articles on protien skimming that will explain all about the process, what it is, what it does, etc. good luck keep us posted on your progress.
     
    jhnrb, Feb 16, 2006
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  11. Dustyrose

    minireefer

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    What brand of skimmer did you get?Also skimer will preform differently the first week or two while braking in.After the brake in period ajust the flow so you get the least wet skinmate possible
     
    minireefer, Feb 16, 2006
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  12. Dustyrose

    Dustyrose

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    I got a WON Clean up protein skimmer, have no clue if its a good one or not. It seems to be working alright so far. Have some yellowish water in the top of it. Even after cleaning the tank again last night before I put it in, the algae is coming back, although doesn't seem to be as bad.. yet. Not sure if I have the volume of the water/bubbles right, I'll check that out this weekend at a fish store and see how they have theirs running to get a better idea.

    This weekend going to clean out the canister filter, haven't done that yet since setting up the tank, but then again, the fish store personel told me I only needed to do it once every 5-6 months :grumble:. Then head to a different fish store and get my water tested.

    I was thinking about getting some type of algae eater? Would that be benefical at all? The tank only has the maroon clown, black damsel and a trigger in it. Any suggestion as to what to get or if I should?

    I did read some of the articles last night and saw the one about the protein filters AFTER I posted asking how they work ect. I should have checked there first... sorry jhnrb :D I'll let you know how it goes with the water.

    thanks again all!

    Dusty
     
    Dustyrose, Feb 17, 2006
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  13. Dustyrose

    jhnrb

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    Dusty rose; at this point I would not add anything else to the system until you get a handle on the algae problem. a few different snails maybe but no more fish at this time. add animals = add bio load = more food for the algae. You may consider a small abalone. if you have a lot of algae and a glass tank as they will scratch an acrylic tank. they are very aggressive algae eaters. if you do just do a small one. just my thoughts. if your protien skimmer is producing yellow water in the cup you are getting too much wet foam and need to adjust the water in the skimmer's reaction chamber. foam should generally push up twards the cup and partially collaspe on itself water back down the tube and dryer foam into the cup. hope this helps.
     
    jhnrb, Feb 17, 2006
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  14. Dustyrose

    amonya

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    Im Not Sure If You Already Talked About This Subject Yet But What Type Of Water Do You Use To Top Of Water And For Water Changes?tap Water Or Store Bought?how often do you do water changes
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2006
    amonya, Feb 17, 2006
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  15. Dustyrose

    Dustyrose

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    I have a question about cleaning out the canister filter. Its a Eheim Classic, it has a couple layers of stone like thing, a white filter, the additional filter I put in for the algae and a chemi-pure bag. My question is about the layers of stone.. do I take those out also and clean those? Or do I leave them in? I just clean the filters? Thanks!

    Dusty
     
    Dustyrose, Feb 18, 2006
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  16. Dustyrose

    jhnrb

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    Take them out completely not needed in a marine sytem. they are a nutrient trap and produce a place for bacteria to produce and break down wastes to nitrates. if you do not remove them clean the entire canister weekly or every 10 days.
     
    jhnrb, Feb 19, 2006
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  17. Dustyrose

    minireefer

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    I agree with this idea.To do this though you will enough live rock for you filtration.1-1.5 lbs per gallon I think is the right amount needed.How much do you have?.Also if the rock ammount is ok I would remove half of the bio-media(rocky stuff) and let the rock catch up.The foam filter you may decide to remove and use only a when needed.If you decide to keep them in clean them as stated above.New tanks will go through this type of cycle and then become stable.
     
    minireefer, Feb 20, 2006
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