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Wardlaw

phosphates and high capacity gfo

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I just got all things back on track and i cannot seem to get the brown diatom like algae off of my sand bed.  In the morning it is not as prevalent.  By the evening it is covering most of the sand.  I replaced the gfo and carbon yesterday and now some corals have less or no polyp extension. Note attached picture.  Sand has been cleared and frag rack removed to allow for more flow.  Skimmate is a brownish color.

 

suggestions welcome

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Does it look like dust or a bit slimey?
Flies away with stirring. No slime

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Flies away with stirring. No slime

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Seems like just diatoms then. Did you add any new sand? How old are your RO filters? It typically goes away once all the silicate in your system is used up unless silicates are coming in through your source water.

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Be careful about stripping out too much phosphate, it can scavange PO4 better than corals.  Dropping PO4 too low will make it hard for corals to compete.  I see that algae often associated with an ecosystem that has had a problem of some type and it always goes away on it's own but it may take a few months.  Physically removing it by siphoning off the sand is the only think I do.  FWIW I don't see an association of this or cyano in systems I maintain with tapwater so I am dubious an increase in silicate/nitrogen/PO4 are the primary cause.

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I just got all things back on track and i cannot seem to get the brown diatom like algae off of my sand bed.  In the morning it is not as prevalent.  By the evening it is covering most of the sand.  I replaced the gfo and carbon yesterday and now some corals have less or no polyp extension. Note attached picture.  Sand has been cleared and frag rack removed to allow for more flow.  Skimmate is a brownish color.
 
suggestions welcome
1512689268063.thumb.jpg.c9c2d0be1fb3edae43380103fffd69c1.jpg
+1 for checking your RO filter. I never had a problem with diatoms until I loss control of my Phosphates and couldn't find the source. Turns out the problem was my sediment filter in my rodi which had been introduced to sunlight and was leeching Phosphates into my water.

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2 hours ago, FarmerTy said:
3 hours ago, Wardlaw said:
Flies away with stirring. No slime

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Seems like just diatoms then. Did you add any new sand? How old are your RO filters? It typically goes away once all the silicate in your system is used up unless silicates are coming in through your source water.

No new sand.  My mp40 went out on one side and you can see in the picture that side started with more algae.  I have since replaced it.  I have more DI resin to go in.  How can I know when the other filters need replaced?  

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1 hour ago, Timfish said:

Be careful about stripping out too much phosphate, it can scavange PO4 better than corals.  Dropping PO4 too low will make it hard for corals to compete.  I see that algae often associated with an ecosystem that has had a problem of some type and it always goes away on it's own but it may take a few months.  Physically removing it by siphoning off the sand is the only think I do.  FWIW I don't see an association of this or cyano in systems I maintain with tapwater so I am dubious an increase in silicate/nitrogen/PO4 are the primary cause.

Thank you.  I will siphon some of it off.  I let the system go for quite a while and just now got back on top of maintaining parameters. I am not shooting for ULNS but I thought with the growth of this algae and the evidence of small areas of other types I should address phosphates.

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No new sand.  My mp40 went out on one side and you can see in the picture that side started with more algae.  I have since replaced it.  I have more DI resin to go in.  How can I know when the other filters need replaced?  
You can get fancy and use a counter to know when to replace the filters at a certain gallon usage or just do it every 6 months is usually safe for all prefilters and DI resin. For your membrane, every 3-5 years is about right but you can measure your TDS before and after the membrane and see if you're still getting the correct rejection rate to know if it's time for replacement.

If you haven't used GFO in awhile, you should start very light on it. I believe you remember but I'm not a fan of high capacity GFO at all. Its too aggressive with removal in my opinion. I'd use the regular stuff and use only a little and slowly ramp up each month when you change it. I don't buy the high phosphates is okay theory. I've seen it most common in tanks full of softies that are forgiving of higher phosphates. There are only a few cases of higher phosphates run in full acro systems and to me, that's just an exception to the norm. It could just simply be a case of acclimation over the years and tolerance versus ideal phosphate levels.

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You can get fancy and use a counter to know when to replace the filters at a certain gallon usage or just do it every 6 months is usually safe for all prefilters and DI resin. For your membrane, every 3-5 years is about right but you can measure your TDS before and after the membrane and see if you're still getting the correct rejection rate to know if it's time for replacement.

If you haven't used GFO in awhile, you should start very light on it. I believe you remember but I'm not a fan of high capacity GFO at all. Its too aggressive with removal in my opinion. I'd use the regular stuff and use only a little and slowly ramp up each month when you change it. I don't buy the high phosphates is okay theory. I've seen it most common in tanks full of softies that are forgiving of higher phosphates. There are only a few cases of higher phosphates run in full acro systems and to me, that's just an exception to the norm. It could just simply be a case of acclimation over the years and tolerance versus ideal phosphate levels.
I am using the same high capacity I had. I upped the dosage a bit and I have been changing monthly. I also run biopellets although very few for my tank volume. I have always had a problem getting a continual tumble with too many.

Any need to change more frequently? Perhaps lower amounts at higher intervals?

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Really depends on your nutrient levels and the amount you feed. I use 1.5 cups of biopellets on 300 gallons and 1 cup of GFO. I keep my nitrates at around 10 ppm for best color for my acros. Phosphates generally read undetectable on my ULR Phosphorus Hanna Meter.

Don't assume that is no phosphates as I feed heavy. Pellets in the morning, more pellets during the day as well as nori, and a cloudy storm of frozen in the evenings. The frozen is roughly 6-8 cubes of various foods daily (mysis, bloodworms, rods , LRS foods, and various hikari mixes. I like to give the tank doses of food and then remove the phosphate so it doesnt linger after the feeds.

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3 hours ago, FarmerTy said:

Really depends on your nutrient levels and the amount you feed. I use 1.5 cups of biopellets on 300 gallons and 1 cup of GFO. I keep my nitrates at around 10 ppm for best color for my acros. Phosphates generally read undetectable on my ULR Phosphorus Hanna Meter.

Don't assume that is no phosphates as I feed heavy. Pellets in the morning, more pellets during the day as well as nori, and a cloudy storm of frozen in the evenings. The frozen is roughly 6-8 cubes of various foods daily (mysis, bloodworms, rods , LRS foods, and various hikari mixes. I like to give the tank doses of food and then remove the phosphate so it doesnt linger after the feeds.

so you test before replacing gfo or have it on an automated time schedule at this point?

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so you test before replacing gfo or have it on an automated time schedule at this point?
Every month like clockwork. I just observe the tank and determine if I ever need to up the amount or lower it.

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What about a biological solution here for the short term? Some kind of sand sifter?
I have one but he sticks to sifting the back where the apparently most important sand needs cleaned. You know, behind all the rock where absolutely no light penetrates. That sand is immaculate.

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I have one but he sticks to sifting the back where the apparently most important sand needs cleaned. You know, behind all the rock where absolutely no light penetrates. That sand is immaculate.

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See this peek-a-boo artist6a682e786c645ec272e07514afe3266c.jpg

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