The Great Algae Genocide War of 2010….

Discussion in 'Algae' started by andysgirl8800, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. andysgirl8800

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    Update: I am wrapping up my third day of blackout. I've been monitoring my pH daily, but ran the full spectrum of tests today to check my progress to date. First, I will show you the preliminary test results on the left from 2/19/2010, the day I connected the dual reactor. On the right, are today's values:

    [​IMG]

    Most notable changes are in my pH, my phosphate, and (most exciting to me) the Nitrates :^:. This is the first time in MONTHS that I've registered this low. AWESOME!

    The Kalkwasser drip seems to have done its job in raising my pH as well as my calcium and alkalinity.

    My hippo tang doesn't seem too happy though. She is a very active swimmer (and eater) and doesn't like this prolonged darkness. If only I could explain that this is for her own good! :mrgreen: Her ich spots are showing through again and since she hides when its dark, she hasn't been visiting the cleaner shrimp as often. I am beginning to consider if I need to turn on the lights for at least an hour each day just so she can get her swim time in. Hmm....

    Tomorrow, I will be doing the first water change. The new salt water has been "aging" and mixing for 48 hrs. Oh boy do I LOVE water changes!! :grumble: I will also be removing the sand from my fuge area and replacing with additional live rock rubble. The return pump and skimmer will also be getting a thurough cleaning.

    I must also note that earlier, I was asked if I will also be blacking out my algae scrubber. I originally planned to do just that. However, my brain kicked in and told me that even if it is only pulling brown slimy muck....it's still pulling SOMETHING out of the water! So ultimately, I left it running.

    The way I have my sump set up, the water has to pass through the skimmer, then the scrubber, then the live rock, then the reactor before being pumped back to the tank. Perhaps if the scrubber and reactor shared the same compartment, there wouldn't be much point in keeping it going.

    Thanks for following my thread fellow reefers! I will keep you posted.
     
    andysgirl8800, Feb 25, 2010
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  2. andysgirl8800

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    Day 4:
    I've just completed my first 30 gallon water change. After hauling 12 buckets to and froe, I am seriously considering just pumping the water where I need it to go! :mrgreen:

    I also removed the not-so-deep sand bed from my refugium. I've restocked it with live rock. Once all the cloudy debris settles down again, I'm sure I will still have a little bit of sand on the bottom, just enough to cover the glass. I haven't yet decided what to do with the leftover sand..... Throwing it away seems like such a waste! I'm sure it chock full of pods and worms and stuff, but I have no idea how to filter them out of the sand, or if that is even possible.

    I also changed the media out in my dual reactor, replacing it with fresh carbon and phosban. I have no idea if the old stuff was completely exhausted, but since I have no way to determine if they have any life left in 'em, I'm changing it out!

    I have decided, for the sanity of my Tang, to turn on the lights for 1 hour each day to let her get a little swim time in. Of course, with 3 days of lights off......my stupid actinics won't turn on! :frustrat::frustrat::frustrat: So I have the MH only on right now.

    Oh well. I have to dismount the entire lighting fixture anyway to repaint it and replace the bulbs, so I can check out all the wiring while I'm at it. I sincerly hope nothing is wrong with my new IceCap ballast that I recently installed. That would seriously SUCK!

    I will take another reading of my parameters tomorrow to wee where everything is at.
     
    andysgirl8800, Feb 25, 2010
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  3. andysgirl8800

    flatsout1171

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    Wow!!! Sounds like it's going pretty good overall. We started our blackout last night. It's a little funny that you mention your hippo tang because we have a Naso tang that is seriously unhappy in the dark. I was really concerned about her because she also loves to swim and eat. I sure hope it all goes well and I will continue to watch your progress. Thanks again!

    Flats Wife
     
    flatsout1171, Feb 25, 2010
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  4. andysgirl8800

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    Wow! Good luck Flats! I hope you are also successful in your algae battle! Keep us posted!
     
    andysgirl8800, Feb 25, 2010
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  5. andysgirl8800

    kmart189

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    Isn't your salinity kinda high 1.027/1.028?I keep mine around 1.025 or are you keeping it high for the ich?
     
    kmart189, Feb 26, 2010
    #45
  6. andysgirl8800

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    Kmart....
    Yeah, the salinity is higher than I want it. I only recently (last Friday) replaced my crappy and inaccurate hydrometer with a refractometer, and this is what I found out. My salinity was actually at 1.03 :shock: I have been very slowly lowering it to prevent shocking the system. My newly added saltwater was at 1.024. I've also been taking out small amounts (3 gallons) of the saltwater in the tank and replacing it with RO water. With so many other changes occuring in the tank, I have to do everything very slowly.
     
    andysgirl8800, Feb 26, 2010
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  7. andysgirl8800

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Good deal lowering the salinity slowly. It's not high enough to harm anything in the short term.
     
    Bifferwine, Feb 26, 2010
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  8. andysgirl8800

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    Ok guys and gals,
    Today is day 5. During Dory's 1 hour swim time with the lights on, I decided to take some updated pictures and compare them to my before pictures, on page one of this post. I've put them side-by-side here so you can see the difference. **Note: The original photos were taken with both actinics and MHs on. Current photos are taken with MH only. This is why there is such a color difference. :D

    BEFORE
    [​IMG]

    AFTER
    [​IMG]

    BEFORE
    [​IMG]

    AFTER
    [​IMG]


    BEFORE
    [​IMG]

    AFTER
    [​IMG]
    I think it's working!! :bounce::Cheers::^::mrgreen: I may have mentioned this previously, so I apologize if I am repeating myself, but I have been noticing that wherever my urchin has cleaned up, it has remained clean and the algae has not grown back.

    I also wanted to point out the red mushroom rock on the left, the second "after" photo (4th photo down)....you can see the dark green algae on this rock. This is the only rock in the tank with this algae on it. I am thinking that this is evidence of the nutrients being leeched out of this rock because there are no more nutrients in the water for the algae to feed off of. I'll be watching that rock closely to see if it continues to look like this by the end of my blackout.​
     
    andysgirl8800, Feb 26, 2010
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  9. andysgirl8800

    d2mini VIP Member

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    This is what i do.
    I attach some 3/4 clear tubing to a spare pump and drop it in the tank. Then run the hose out the nearest door. It's a pain in the butt having to unroll and re-roll 75' of tubing, but it's easier than hauling buckets. ;)
    Then i do the same to get the new water from the 32g brute in the garage to the tank.

    BTW, sounds like you are kicking some ass! :bounce:
     
    d2mini, Feb 26, 2010
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  10. andysgirl8800

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    Thanks Dennis! Our longer term goals involve an ATO and an automatic water replacement system. One of the LFS's we primarily shop at has an awesome system that I am trying to learn.
     
    andysgirl8800, Feb 26, 2010
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  11. andysgirl8800

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    Today, I removed the lighting fixtrue from the canopy. My intent is twofold (now). I will be repainting it, since the white paint it was originally painted with has yellowed. This is an effort to increase the light reflection into the tank, a little bit, so that a little more light hits some of the darker areas of my tank.

    I am also going to be inspecting all my wiring, since I have to disassemble the entire fixture anyway. Apparently, my actinics are on the fritz again. :grumble: Thankfully, they didn't start any fires again, but they are not powering on anymore. I am afraid the Icecap ballast that I purchased in December to replace my old magnetic ballast was/is defective. Icecap customer service doesn't operate on Fridays (must be nice), so I can't check on warranty until Monday. I did check the obvious, such as a burnt out bulb (they are also both new as of December) bad wiring job (still a 50/50 chance of that) and hooking the ballast up to an identical system. It isn't even warming up when I plug it in. :frustrat::frustrat::frustrat:

    Anyhow...I'm still hoping that after the paint dries and we reassemble the whole thing, that it was the wiring after all. Warranty replacement/repair can take a long time.

    So... the painting. I had to choose a paint that had a high heat tolerance, was very bright white, and would fully cure in less than a day. Here is what I ended up with:

    [​IMG]

    First, I had to sand off all the old paint and salt creep that had accumulated. Here is it half sanded:

    [​IMG]

    Then, I hung it up from the ceiling to spray paint it. Here is it half painted:

    [​IMG]

    Now that it is fully painted, I turned it to see the backside (which I did not sand, nor repaint, since it sits flush to the top of the canopy. On the right edge of the fixture in this shot, you can see the old paint vs. the new paint. Quite a difference! (Don't mind the dribbles, they were wiped off right after this shot was taken)

    [​IMG]

    I put on two coats. It should be fully cured in 3 hours. I'll leave it overnight before reassembling it and hanging it over my tank again. Hopefully, I'll get a little more light in the tank.
     
    andysgirl8800, Feb 27, 2010
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  12. andysgirl8800

    puttycat

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    I have a suggestion for you water changes, Use your skimmer to take out the bad water. I skim out 2 or 3 gallons quickly with the skimmer and replace it with salt water. It cleans the water faster than just siphoning it out of the tank.
     
    puttycat, Feb 27, 2010
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  13. andysgirl8800

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    Hmm, that's a thought......thanks for the suggestion! I will have to try it!
     
    andysgirl8800, Feb 27, 2010
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  14. andysgirl8800

    puttycat

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    I set a timer to make sure my bucket doesn't overflow. Won't let that happen again. :frustrat:
     
    puttycat, Feb 27, 2010
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  15. andysgirl8800

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    I've put a small float valve on one of my buckets. On the outside of the bucket, I have a quick connect for my 3/4" vinyl tubing. I start the siphon, hook it up and let it fill the bucket....just in case!
     
    andysgirl8800, Feb 27, 2010
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  16. andysgirl8800

    PRC Stop Quoting Me!

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    You've gotta be proud of how much you've accomplished on that tank in such a short amount of time. Great informative read.
     
    PRC, Feb 27, 2010
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  17. andysgirl8800

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    Thanks! I'm going all out. The results of all this work will determine if I stay in SW or not. I really really enjoy the hobby, and really really want to get to a point where I am happy to stare at my tank all day. I realize that it is my fault that the tank got to this state, and I am willing to do whatever I need to do. I just really don't want to completely start over again.
     
    andysgirl8800, Feb 27, 2010
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  18. andysgirl8800

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Your on the right track to an awesome tank with what your doing.:D
     
    yote, Feb 27, 2010
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  19. andysgirl8800

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    Thanks Yote! I'm really anxious to see how it all comes together in the end. I LOVE my new aquascaping, what little I've seen of it so far. :D I'm biting at the bit to try out my new 15k MH bulbs that are just sitting on the shelf....calling to me. The water has never been clearer...like there is no glass at all between me and my fish.

    These past 2 weeks I've been working my tail off and turning my bank account into a black hole for my tank. When I first started out in this hobby and started researching the expense involved, I didn't take it seriously. I thought....there's NO WAY my tank will cost anywhere NEAR that $12,000.00 mark (for a 55 gallon). That's a Kia!!

    I'm up to $10,697.42 :Cheers:
     
    andysgirl8800, Feb 27, 2010
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  20. andysgirl8800

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Oh shit! I think at this point, you should stop keeping track! I cringe at the thought of how much money I've spent on this hobby since I started. Some things are better left unknown!
     
    Bifferwine, Feb 27, 2010
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