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Algae? problem


SChrisEV

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My normally crystal clear tank water has been hazy over the past few days. Today I went to clean the filter socks and they were brown, I should have taken a picture before I cleaned them, but I did take a few others.

Not sure how well the water clarity will show up in a pic

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This is from my refuge, you can see the top of the currently closed Leather, the light were just recently on in the refuge

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Back wall

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I've had some red algae patches for a while, off and on. The fish all seem fine. My Sherman RBTA recently split, but definitely not the first time and I've never seen this before. For the most part there have been no other changes to the system.

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Sounds like your phosphates are high. Like Dan H. Said check your parameters. If everything is ok, you can look into a UV sterilizer. If it's not in your budget. You can buy Bacteria at your LFS. If your phosphates are up. Do a big water change and get a clean up crew. They'll take care of the algae fast.

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Sorry for the delayed response, busy working day today. I did test the basics, and all checked out.

Ammonia 0 ppm (API)

Nitrite 0 ppm (API)

Nitrate about 5 ppm (API)

Phosphate @ .04 ppm (RedSea)

Those are the only test I've done. All the fish & inverts seem to be doing fine. I was thinking some sort of an Algae bloom, never had one before so I'm really not sure.

I'm running carbon, GFO, and my Skimmer. Bio Pellets have been offline for many months now. Tomorrow I plan to do a decent water change, really in hopes to make a dent.on whatever is going on.

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Sorry for the delayed response, busy working day today. I did test the basics, and all checked out.

Ammonia 0 ppm (API)

Nitrite 0 ppm (API)

Nitrate about 5 ppm (API)

Phosphate @ .04 ppm (RedSea)

Those are the only test I've done. All the fish & inverts seem to be doing fine. I was thinking some sort of an Algae bloom, never had one before so I'm really not sure.

I'm running carbon, GFO, and my Skimmer. Bio Pellets have been offline for many months now. Tomorrow I plan to do a decent water change, really in hopes to make a dent.on whatever is going on.

Definitely do a big water change to lower your nitrates. Try to aim for less than 2 ppm. Your nitrates are high. That might be the cause. Once you change the water check your levels often and don't let nitrates to go over 2ppm. There are these ceramic bio balls that BRS sells. Those give bacteria a lot of surface area. Sounds like you need to increase the amount of good bacteria. UV sterilizes have worked wonders for me in the past. But I have never left them on 365 I always leave them on for 2 weeks and turn them off between 4 and 6 weeks.

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Sorry for the delayed response, busy working day today. I did test the basics, and all checked out.

Ammonia 0 ppm (API)

Nitrite 0 ppm (API)

Nitrate about 5 ppm (API)

Phosphate @ .04 ppm (RedSea)

Those are the only test I've done. All the fish & inverts seem to be doing fine. I was thinking some sort of an Algae bloom, never had one before so I'm really not sure.

I'm running carbon, GFO, and my Skimmer. Bio Pellets have been offline for many months now. Tomorrow I plan to do a decent water change, really in hopes to make a dent.on whatever is going on.

Definitely do a big water change to lower your nitrates. Try to aim for less than 2 ppm. Your nitrates are high. That might be the cause. Once you change the water check your levels often and don't let nitrates to go over 2ppm. There are these ceramic bio balls that BRS sells. Those give bacteria a lot of surface area. Sounds like you need to increase the amount of good bacteria. UV sterilizes have worked wonders for me in the past. But I have never left them on 365 I always leave them on for 2 weeks and turn them off between 4 and 6 weeks.

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Sorry, I had to get my little girls down from the car lol.

Right now the water change should help. You gotta keep checking your levels frequently, and try to maintain these levels.

Ammonia <0.1 ppm

Nitrate < 0.2ppm

Nitrite< 0.2ppm

Phosphates < 0.03ppm

Good luck!

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Uhm... I believe you are wrong on this. Nitrates of 5 ppm is normally considered very acceptable, to get them down to the reading you are talking about .02 ppm almost tells me there is something wrong with your cycle. With proper bacteria your Ammonia will be consumed by bacteria and become Nitrite, that will in turn be consumed by other bacteria to become Nitrate the less toxic of the free. There are techniques to reduce nitrate, bio pellets for example, that will reduce nitrate, but 5 ppm is, as I understood a fine level to be at. Am I off on this understanding? Can others please confirm this, or not. :) Maybe I've had it wrong all these years.

I understand that people especially the elite SPS croud want the Phosphates to be lower than my .04 ppm but i think even that is an acceptable level with no SPS, again please confirm for me?

I will be doing a water change either way, but right now it's kind of a "I don't know whats going on" reaction.

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5ppm Nitrates isn't that high at all, same with the Phosphates of 0.04ppm. Those are both high enough to cause some algae, but not enough to really be "bad". Although if you are having some algae bloom and you are measuring 5ppm nitrates, you have to factor in the algae is consuming some of the nitrates so you're reading lower than reality.

When was the GFO and carbon changed last? When was the skimmer cleaned? Is it pulling out a lot of stuff?

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Yes, I agree that my reading is likely lower than the true number. Carbon was changed Thursday, it was about a month old, GFO is getting changed today, also about a month old. Skimmer cup gets cleaned roughly every other week, it empties into a second canister, sooner if needed, the skimmer body was last cleaned.... probably 4/5 months ago, and yes it is pulling a good bit out.

I think I'll do the water change, then might reduce my light cycle for a couple days and see where that puts me. I know there are products I can add to reduce algae, but I hesitate, seems more of a cover up than a fix, but if I am having an algae bloom, should I go that path??

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Definitely do the water change. I'm not a believer in magical additives fixing problems. Your tank has been running for quite a few years right? Something must have changed recently. Are you using RODI for the top-off water? Perhaps your DI resin has gone bad and your TDS has gone up?

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Sorry was helping with a tank move. :) So I should have stated all of this in the original post, but I would not have jumped on and asked the question had I not tested, and looked at all the "basics". But obviously something is going on. :) I use RO/DI that I make, DTS is 0, resin is pretty new I use a dual canisters system, dual RO membrane, they are flushed before and after each use. This tank has been running for about 13 months. Nothing changed, well as far as what I've purposed to do. :)

I'll see how it goes with the water change and reduced photo period.

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Well, I believe I found the issue, now the question is, how bad will it be over the next days....

Yesterday I did a water change as I said i was going to. And the end of that change I planned to swap out my GFO, also planned, but when I pulled the reactor there was WAY less GFO in the canister than there should be. I run my GFO off a manifold, mid-ish week a bit of my macro algae found it's way to the pre-filter on my return pump. I stopped the return pump, pulled the pre-filter off and cleaned it really well including a vinegar bath. I think that after cleaning it the flow rate must have increased enough to get my GFO to tumble more then it should and it produced GFO "dust" over the next days, causing the hazy water. I cleaned surfaces I could, replaced the GFO, and did another 10g of water change, all the salter water I had left made.

I don't know how much having all that crud in the water will affect the livestock, but I can't imagine pulling that water through their gills is good for the fish. As of light out they all looked fine, but I'm not sure if I will see issues to come because of this.

UGH!

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The haze is, I believe GFO dust. If you see my last post #14 (http://www.austinreefclub.com/topic/37312-algae-problem/?p=305174)

But no I do not carbon dose

It shouldn't affect anything Chris. I've done this 3x over the last 6 months due to my reactor slowly falling apart on me and each time, running my skimmer a little wetter and temporarily running filter socks cleaned it up in a day with no issues to livestock. Just think of it as iron dosing. [emoji4]
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