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Found 12 results

  1. Nuisance algae in reef systems is pretty much a ubiquitous problem, and one that is a common source of frustration for reef aquarists. It is also one I've learned to view the problem very differently than what is generally portrayed and it just takes a few rather basic steps, and patience. (This is longer than I planned so feel free to jump past the backgound info.) Back in the late 90's I realized the general notion of nuisance algae being just a nutrient issue didn't fit what I was seeing in my maintenance business. In my systems there was not a correlation between PO4, Nitrate, and nuisance algae problems. A nice looking tank that did not have a problem would test "bad", have "unacceptable" levels of PO4 and/or Nitrate, while a tank with "good" numbers would have a serious nuisance algae issue. If there was a correlation between equipment and nuisance algae it was a positive one, more and fancier equipment didn't get rid of nuisance algae. There was clearly something else going on and I'll get back to this in just a sec. While I have tried various chemical fixes, the first, and very simple, technique I realized worked well and produced the most consistent results was just small weekly water changes, 5% - 10%. One aspect of these early fixes with water changes that I didn't really appreciate until years later (reading reef research was at the time for purely aesthetic reasons), I would siphon out nuisance algae when doing a water change. The top layer of sand would also be siphoned off if there was any "color",any single cell algae, rinsed quickly in tap water, then put back in the tank. This constant removal of algae, not aggressive but persistent, turns out to be very beneficial and very similar to the way the primary herbivores (Parrotfish in the Pacific and Urchins in the Caribean) on reefs control the algae. Fast forward a few years, a little bit more than a decade, and I started getting on the internet and checking out the forums. I didn’t look up every forum, but the ones I did pursue suggested nuisance algae was still treated as a nutrient issue. So maybe I was missing something? I started wondering what the scientists and the research being done say about reefs? This was a real eye opener. Here are just two of the observations I stumbled across: "When I see the colors of some of these low nutrient tanks, I can't help but be reminded of bleached coral reefs. It should therefore not come as a surprise that feeding corals in such systems becomes a very important component in these systems. Though reefs are often categorized as nutrient "deserts", the influx of nutrients in the form of particulates and plankton is quite high when the total volume of water passing over a reef is taken into consideration. Our crystal-clear aquaria do not come close to the nutrient loads that swirl around natural reefs. And so when we create low-nutrient water conditions, we still have to deal with the rest of a much more complex puzzle. Much like those who run their aquarium water temperature close to the thermal maximums of corals walk a narrow tight rope, I can't help but think that low-nutrient aquariums may be headed down a similar path." Charles Delbeck, Coral Nov/Dec 2010, pg 127. "Imported nutrients are usually transported to reefs from rivers; but if there are no rivers, as with reefs remote from land masses, nutrients can only come from surface ocean circulation. Often this supply is poor, and thus the vast ocean expanses have been referred to as "nutrient deserts". The Indo-Pacific has many huge atolls in these supposed deserts which testify to the resilience of reefs, but the corals themselves may lack the lush appearance of those of more fertile waters. Many reefs have another major supply of inorganic nutrients as, under certain conditions, surface currents moving against a reef face may cause deep ocean water to be drawn to the surface. This "upwelled" water is often rich in phosphorus [2.0 mg/l] and other essential chemicals." J. E. N. Veron "Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific" pg 30 " What was real gratifying was reading Forest Rohwer in ch 5 of his book "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas" discussed how it wasn't nutrients per se that causes algae problems on reefs but a shift in the equilibrium of a reef ecosystem that allows algae to take over. This really resonated as I would see nutrients stay the same or increase as algae abated. Chasing some of the references Forest Rohwer mentioned, there is a far more complicated picture involving microbes, herbivores, corals, algae and the various roles of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC). I'm going a bit off topic, but there's a lot of stuff aquarists are doing that's either not relevant or is detrimental to the long term sustainability of reef systems. I encourage every reef aquarist to read his book. So, back to the problem at hand. Patience. You're not getting rid of algae. You are changing the equilibrium of your reef ecosystem. It ain't going to happen overnight. Expect to see it get worse at times; two steps forward, one back. Changes in the types of algae is a good thing. As far as using any of the various products out there touted for dealing with nuisance algae, I strongly, strongly discourage their use. First of all, they definitely are not at all needed to fix a problem. These products do not actually fix the underlying problem; there's still the issue of why the ecosystem's equilibrium is favoring nuisance algae. Some of the products if overused have the potential to create superbugs which none of us want. Most importantly, corals have a holobiont, an assemblage of various microbes, viruses, cyanobacteria, fungi and archaia which is species specific and essential components of a coral's immune system and nutrient cycling. Much of the holobiont is in the mucus coating of the coral (a portion is internal and a portion is also endolithic, in its skeleton). Anything dumped into a reef system that kills nuisance algae will be killing beneficial, and I'll argue essential, portions of a coral's holobiont. And pointedly, one (if not more) of these products were used in this thread by a previous maintenance company with no effect. Small water changes. These don't have to be weekly. I'm posting links to two threads I've done dealing with nuisance algae below and one had water changes every 3 or 4 weeks. 20% monthly would be a good target number but I've never seen any benefit to going more than 30%. When siphoning, remember, suction strength is determined by the weight of the water in the hose and the height of the surface of the aquarium water above the surface of the water in a bucket you're siphoning into. Use a 1/2" or 9/16" diameter hose; smaller diameter is way too slow and the amount of suction gives poor performance. Larger is hard to control, has a higher suction over a larger area making it harder not to hurt animals, and siphons off water way too fast requiring larger water changes to accomplish the same amount of work. Stainless steel straws can be helpful and they have the advantage of actually increasing the suction strength at the nozzle end of the straw but decreasing the area that's seeing the suction. Below is a video using stainless steel straws to remove palies safely and works well with some aspects of algae removal. At some point straws do slow things down and I rarely do more than a third of my target volume using them. Usually, like I did in this thread and the 1st thread I've linked too below, I will pull out rock and scrub off algae in aquarium water with a toothbrush or small scrub brush. But I have also dealt with nuisance algae leaving the aquascaping in place (see below). If there's anything valuable like cryptic sponges, corals or coraline algae, I'll put a rock back in the tank. Some stuff may not be worth the effort and I'll use dry rock or a quality, quarantine wild or maricultured live rock to replace it in the aquascaping. I have yet, in all the tanks I've fixed over the years, seen one where I need to pull everything out to fix a problem. There are also occasions where I might do select rocks a second or third time, but never to the extent of the initial scrubbing. Remember though we're trying to get the corals growing again so minimize the disruption as much as possible. Here's my second example shifting the equilibrium of a system to favor corals: This is a 4 year old ~200 gallon 4' tall half cylinder on a 42" tall stand. Previous maintenance companies had tried to deal with it with gfo, algae reducing products and reduced feeding (once per week). The first thing we did was remove about half the rock and scrub it off. The first water change was ~25 gallons. We also removed gfo, turned off the skimmer. With the 2nd week we dropped to just 5%-7% weekly water changes with tap water. We also added an auto-feeder set to 8 small daily feedings, ~1-2 grams Spectrum pellets daily total (X6 or X7 for approximate frozen weight). Several urchins were added, a long spine, short spine pink and royal urchins and a couple Mexican Turbos (DO NOT ADD TO MANY SNAILS! short spine urchins like Tuxedo or Royal are the best options since they chew the algae "holdfasts" off rocks ). I removed the squirrel fish partly because it was seriously under weight 😕 The sump was setup to use a filter sock which I used a few times to help remove stuff but was permanently removed in August. The finger corals are gradually being removed, my client doesn't like them but I needed them to compete with the algae until other corals get going. March 3rd April 27. Here's what it looks like during a scrubbing. The height makes it impossible to get to spots even with a scrub brush with an extended handle (I stuck it in a section of PVC). Some of the sand was siphoned off with water changes, rinsed and dumped back in. June 15. A little nit of cyano started to show up. (This didn't happen in Mike's tank.) It was just siphoned off with water changes. July 6. Here's a weeks worth of cyano growth. July 20. And the cyano has stopped. (This step has taken longer in other systems.) August 8. Still got some hair algae showing up but this is 3 weeks worth. Last week. Here's links to my first thread and to my video on using stainless steel straws: http://www.austinreefclub.com/topic/34556-hair-algae-a-case-study/?tab=comments#comment-275433 http://www.austinreefclub.com/topic/40619-stainless-steel-straws-beta/?tab=comments#comment-340809 I also wanted to share this following experience I had with one of the systems I've maintained over the decades which I think demonstrates a reef system's ability to change it's equilibrium with just water changes. Last decade one of the house systems I had maintained for over a decade was left empty for over three years. During this period I still maintained the system on a weekly basis. On three separate occasions the system was crashed from either AC failures or circuit breakers being turned off. Because the house was empty the home owner chose not to put any effort into any remidiation, just keep doing the basic maintenance. While a few fish and robust mushrooms survived each crash the only animals added were overflow from other systems. As expected because of the dieoff there was a bad nuisance algae outbreak each time. But in each of the three events, in a process that took roughly 6-8 months, the nuisance algae abated. And the only action taken was siphoning out the algae small weekly water changes. No scrubbing, no removing rocks, and each water change left algae in the system. For those wondering the filtration was a wet/dry and no skimmer.
  2. Jeffrey howell

    Hair Algae with good water?

    Hi all. I'm at my whits end. I have a 30 gallon tank with 2 clown fish and plenty of soft corals. The corals are doing great, the fish are doing great. All the corals are extending fully and the nutrients are perfect. I've been doing frequent water changes, but I'm still overwhelmed with hair algae. I took the water into Aquadome and they said the water is fine. I bought two urchins and they haven't done much. I bought some emerald crabs and they died within a week of putting them in (maybe the starved?). I even performed a 3 day black out to try and get it taken care of. My lighting is as follows: Fluval A3995 Sea Marine/Reef 2.0 LED, 48-60" 2 hour sunrise from 10 - 12 Daylight with pink 79%, cyan 100%, blue 100%, purple 85%, cold white 70% 2 hour sunset from 3 - 5 Someone please help. I've been fighting this for months.


    This is my used/backup SKIMMER that has skimmed 300 gallons for the last 2 years, it originally came with an HY3000 pump. The HY5000 pump is about 7-8 months old, I bought it new from some one getting out of the hobby, it looked new and it was in a box. I like to over skim my system and that's why I have the HY5000 on it. No modifications; comes with stock assembly including a gate valve and plumbing. This Skimmer is very forgiving and can function properly with large variations is sump depth. Reef Octopus 8" Classic 200INT Skimmer Dimensions: 15.6" x 10.25" x 23.75" Manufacturer rates skimmer for tanks up to 250 gallons. BRS Recommends this skimmer for tanks up to 160 gallons Powered by an Aquatrance 3000 High performance venturi air injection system Modified cone neck design designed for easy transition of micro bubbles into cup Precision controlled gate valve In sump only 1 year warranty on skimmer and pump Metric plumbing parts Works great, I have a video but it is too large. $150 OBO
  4. FREE Senno Dual Inline TDS meter (orders > $100, enter code: FREEDUALTDS in your cart) & FREE SHIPPING (orders > $130 , enter code: FREESHIP in your cart)...Dont forget to credit Austin Reef Club by using your clubs unique 10% off code: (enter code: 70799 in your cart). Enter your discount code(s), click the orange apply coupon button in the discount codes section of your shopping cart at www.AirWaterIce.com. After over 30 years in business, we still have your filter pack. Remember you can pay MORE but you can't get LESS than ZERO tds. As always: Happy Reefing, Your friends at www.AirWaterIce.com ( email: [email protected] to get a FAST answer ) "
  5. giveme_bryopsis

    observations of algae control, sea slugs

    Algae control by sea slug is a repeating topic. I'd like to add my observations and a few links to the conversation. The very best critter I've had to clean up algae of various kinds is a sea hare, the commonly available Dolabella or Aplysia spp. (not to be confused with the blue spotted sea hare or the dwarf sea hare. They have very different diets and are not particularly suitable for general algae control). They are general algae eaters, not specialized in something specific, and have a rather hearty appetite. These sea hares will eat cyano (like candy!), green hair algae, like bryopsis (no, really), and many other kinds of macro algae. They have 0 interest in polyps of any kind. They are large enough to not get instantly sucked into power heads and to eat sufficient amounts to actually make a real, noticeable dent in algae growth. They can and do clean rocks, glass, and other surfaces with ease. After your nuisance algae is gone, they will eat sea lettuce, other macro algae, even nori sheets (though not a favorite), so they can be kept around and survive while continuing to provide cleaning services. They are commonly available in the LFS and, if fed, pretty hardy. Yes, they can release ink, but they are not easily bothered (you'd really have to massively pester them). While not a flashy tank inhabitant, their goofy nom-nom face will grow on you I have and keep other snails and slugs. Nerites, Stomatellas are good for small scale, on-going algae control, especially on glass. They will not control marco-algae or very heavy growth. The often suggested lettuce sea slugs (often called lettuce nudibranchs, though they are not nudies but belong to the sarcoglossans) are very delicate, highly specialized feeders, get sucked into powerheads/ problems even with medium flow. They will slowly munch bryopsis (they actually suck out the cell contents, they do not eat the algae cell walls), but they don't do much of anything with most other nuisance algae. They are unlikely to permanently fix bryopsis issues but will die quickly if bryopsis available is low to none. Unless you are willing to grow/provide bryopsis on an ongoing basis, and setup a low flow species tank, these guys are not for you. Please don't treat them as "disposable pets", there are much better options for algae control. I enjoy my various mollusc tank inhabitants and each one's specific habits and quirks. They are more than just some tolerated cleaning crew and I hope you can find the right slug (or snail) for your tank. I can't do without my shameless request (you noticed the giveme_bryopsis name, I'm sure ...) if you got bryopsis, I'd love for you to let me have that so that my lettuce slugs get extra munchies (I'll be happy to pick up anywhere in the greater Austin area at your convenience) Links to further info sea hares: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/SeahareSelF.htm http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/dolaauri http://www.seaslugforum.net/seahares2.htm lettuce slug http://solarslug.info/slugkeeping/slug-keeping-faqs/ http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/20918 marine snails in general http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rs/


    Does anybody have anything I can seed my new DIY scrubber? Thanks in advance! Arthur
  7. sifuentes31

    Clear slime in my socks....

    Ok so i'm having some sort of algae bloom in my tank. It's driving my skimmer nutzoid and my socks are stopping up after one day. It actually holds water and is pouring out the top of the sock. What could be causing this? It's making all my coral close up. And no i havn't done a water change.. I'm moving next week so i was going to put all new water in it. I am running biopellets but i've had that since the summer with no problems and running GFO and carbon, actually just changed it the other day. Any clue why this happening?
  8. I have a 50 gallon cichild tank that I have been battling algae in for a bit. I had a Chinese algae eater that did a great job keeping the tank clean. He ate everything. And then one day he was gone. The algae turned black and eventually I had to pull the rocks out and bleach them to get it off. I put them back and they looked great for a few days but are now covered in brown/rust colored film algae. I added two tiny bristle nose plecos and they are trying but they just aren't making a dint in the algae. Anyone have any luck with chemical additives to control algae?
  9. While at MACNA this year I had the opportunity to talk to Duard about their new product the Fl!pper Cleaner. The previous version of this product is called the Mag-Flip, I'm sure you've seen them around. It's a two part magnetic cleaner that has a dual-sided scraper/scrubber for cleaning algae off your glass and acrylic. By twisting the magnet handle you can cause the wetside to flip so as to alternate between the scraper and scrubber sides. I've got two of this version and used them for years on both my 90g tank and my 34g Solana. The scraper blade on the Mag-Flip was plastic, and while it worked well it would dull quickly. This wasn't good when trying to remove tough algae or coraline. The magnet was a little weak as well, so attempting to flip the wetside would sometimes send it far enough away from the glass that you couldn't reconnect the dryside magnet without putting your arm in the tank. The new version is called the Fl!pper Cleaner, and it was just picked up by Coralvue for distribution. Duard gave me one to try out, so I told him I would post my comments about it here. I'll start by saying that the Fl!pper has everything I liked about the Mag-Flip with none of the problems. To start with, the Fl!pper has metal blades (plastic blades are available for those of you with acrylic tanks). These blade have cut through the toughest algae and coraline on my new tank. The magnet is also much stronger, preventing the flyaways I previously dealt with. The new, stronger magnets also mean that it works even on larger tanks with thicker glass. Overall I give the product two fins up. If you're looking for a great scraper for your tank you'll be hard pressed to find one better.
  10. Teresa

    Nano Algae Scrubber

    Set this up a few months ago and love it! I started by doing some research on GHA. I didn't want to increase the flow in my cardiff tank cause it's my seahorse tank. I eventually came upon Turf Algae Scrubbers as a potential solution, but I really didn't want to create anything outside the tank. This got me thinking of how I could use the back side of my Cardiff to hold/create a scrubber. The attached video shows the water inlet, it moves up through a refugium, then over the algae scrubber and down through filter media. The light is a 15 watt Energy Smart Daylight 6500k floodlight from walmart (its designed to replace 65watt - and is encased in glass). All I did to make this was take the holding plate in the middle chamber of the Cardiff, scratch it up and then tilt it at an angle. Add the light and within two weeks I had a ton of growth on the algae scrubber and zero GHA in my seahorse tank! video-2012-02-13-18-56-59 (2).zip
  11. I'm a student and don't have time to keep my tank beautiful! (As you can tell by the glass) I'll also be moving again soon enough. All the fish, coral and invertebrates are healthy and happy and have been for years. I'm selling all the livestock plus live-rock and the crushed coral substrate. Substrate will have to wait until everything else in the tank is sold and taken. Some of the hardware will be up for sale once the livestock is all taken (tank, stand, Odyssea light fixture with extra CF bulbs). All fish are adult and have been healthy for many years. I moved them all here two years ago from California and they dealt with the trip excellently. There are lots of mushrooms and anemones that I don't know the names for but they are pictured below. There's a budding leather type coral next to some mushrooms and it's obviously not happy about the location. I don't have experience transplanting coral so I've left it where it is. The mushrooms invaded its space. There is also a small plastic breeder tank full of dark green macroalgae that I use as a scrubber. If I left the algae out it would get eaten by the foxface and tang within minutes! You can have the algae along with the breeder tank if you don't have a sump for the algae. I've got plenty of styrofoam boxes to transport all the livestock. I just don't have thick plastic bags. When I moved all this to Texas I used thick black trash bags and everything did great. Here is a list of the items and their prices. Cash only, please, and local pick up only. I am located in Harris Branch, Austin (near Manor) FISH AND INVERTS Sailfin Tang $30 claimed, pending Foxface Rabbitfish $20 claimed, pending Maroon Clown $20 Engineer goby (1) $20 Engineer goby (2) $20 yellowtail blue damselfish $10 or FREE with any purchase pale-purple shortspine urchin $20 pencil urchin $10 fire-orange serpent star $20 claimed, pending green macroalgae (w/o breeder) $15 $20 w/breeder Free fish food will go to the person buying the last fish. ROCKS (described by location in the pic below) Large center rock w/large condylactis, green ricordia, large bivalve, and ~30 red mushroom coral $140 Small, leftofcenter rock with ~10 red mushroom coral and budding leather coral $35 Small, leftofcenter rock with ~20 red mushroom coral $35 2 Small, leftofcenter rocks with combined ~10 red mushroom coral $20 Small rightofcenter rock with ~7 large purple and green hairy mushroom coral $120 Small rightofcenter rock with ~3 large purple and green hairy mushroom coral $60 Medium rightofcenter rock with ~1 med purple and green hairy mushroom coral $30 Medium rightofcenter rock with ~1 med purple and green hairy mushroom coral $30 Medium rightofcenter rock with ~2 green fluorescent mushroom coral, ~1 med purple and green hairy mushroom coral $40 Rocks with no anemones/mushrooms $2/lb Seasoned crushed coral substrate $1/lb Free salt will go to the person buying the last of the substrate can email with questions: tliglesiasATucdavisDOTedu Cash only, please, and local pick up only. I am located in Harris Branch, Austin (near Manor)
  12. Mindflux

    Eradicating Gelidium

    So, between GHA, Hydroids and now Gelidium I think I'm dealing with a considerable amount of nuisance algaes and growths. The sea hare is actively eating GHA, but it keeps sprouting up even though my phosphates are reading zero. (Though I'm told the GHA is consuming it, which is why it reads zero) So now I've got red wirey algae growing which I can only assume is gelidium. How do I get rid of this? I think Bry mentioned burning it off, but there's so much of it at this point I'd really do a number on my LR going that route. I've also read on reefcleaners that Sea Hare's eat Gelidium.. but I guess the GHA tastes a whole bunch better because my hare has no interest in it. I will say this is the last time I'll be buying live rock that's got any considerable age on it. I thought I was being smart buying rock that's nice and 'purpled up' from the get go.... but this stuff must have been tagging along with it. (I know the GHA was for certain).