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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Unusual situation/question

    Howdy folks, so I've found myself in what I imagine is a somewhat unique circumstance due to my amateur status in the hobby. I apologize but this is somewhat of a novel...

    In all my reading and research that I've done I somehow managed to overlook just how important the original source of water is... I hadn't noticed the importance of having the water phosphate free etc. to really avoid algae problems. I used dechlorinated tap water and long story short I have a 10g nano with an algae problem, after the tank cycled and the clean up crew was added they have not been able to keep up, (5 trochus, 3 nassarius, 1 blue leg hermit) and what's more they seem unable to put a dent in a sort of green algae which has formed a very thin covering on some of the diy liverock (cannot be scraped off either). I was optimistic that this problem would go away as long as I kept up proper maintenance but it has not and I'm beginning to think the phosphates and other metals in the tap water is the culprit. I was reluctant to add any other livestock as I was unsure about future problems I would encounter with this.
    I should add that my lighting is 50/50 daylight/actinic 65 watts, I have a Rena Smartfilter 20, MJ 400 powerhead, tank temp. is 79 degrees, all parameters good.

    So I've decided to fix the problem from the ground up and completely discard the dechlorinated tap water that is currently in the tank and replace it with ozonated distilled water (I figure this route is currently more financially feasible than RODI with such a small tank). However, herein lies my problem, I realize that changing all of the water will mean my tank would need to cycle again.
    So my question is this; is it possible to prepare my new water in a rubbermaid container, put in some of the live sand from the tank as well as live rock and maybe toss in a raw shrimp and effectively have the nitrogen cycle occur in this rubbermaid bin? And then once it is complete, get rid of my old dechlorinated tap water from the tank, clean the tank of all algae, and replace it with the new water, and then be able to acclimate the CUC, and put them in the tank without exposing them to the nitrogen cycle?

    Also, it seems the only way to eliminate the microalgae which has formed a green discolouration of some of the rock is to remove the rocks from the tank and pretty much revert them to dead rock. If this is my only option what precautions must I take when reintroducing this rock? Could it be used to help cycle the new distilled water before any livestock is added?

    Or would it be better to move the contents of the tank into the rubbermaid bin and have the new water cycle in the actual tank? Could the snails and crab survive in the bin if I used it as a replica to the way the tank is set up right now?

    Sorry for such an essay... as you can see I am new and want to make sure I do everything perfect from the ground up this time !

  2. #2
    liv is offline
    Former Moderator liv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    why not gently start mixing your current water with the new better water ?
    and do like 25% water changes only with the new stuff over a few weeks.
    the green tint on your rocks is most likely a type of algea like coraline.

    thats what I would do.

    moving.. so temporarily out of SW :b8:
    planning next tank, possibly 60x30x20 on 2x plasma.
    updated: 2011/05/30

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Yah don't worry about the green on the rocks, it's fine. If I had any new rocks to my larger setup, it gets green first, then eventually turns purple with coralline. They definitely don't have to come out. Just slowly do small water changes as liv suggests, and over many changes your water will be fine...

    How long has this tank been running?

    Get a good quality phosphate test kit, and nitrate test kit, and see what you have.
    120g AGA~145 lbs Haitian LR~DA Reef Keeper 2 Controller~Dual 14k 250 DE MH's~Dual Overflows~Dual 250w Jager Heaters~Dual 96W Actinics~30g Sump/Refugium~Mag 12 Return~140 lbs Reefgrade Caribsea Aragonite~BubbleKing 180 Skimmer~Phosban Reactor~GEO Kalk Reactor~Powerheads:MP40w/Seio 820/modified Powersweep 270 with Hydor rotating deflector~Digital lighting timer for moon/fuge lighting~7 stage RODI filtration~Quarantine: modified 12.5g Marineland Eclipse

  4. #4
    Senior Member Bonaqua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Throw in one or two strawbery conches. They did miracles on my tank when I was new to this. They would strip clean bottom few inches of any soft algae.
    You yust have to rotate your rocks so they can reach all the algae.
    Also do the water changes as Liv suggested. And make sure your water moves in all areas of the tank.

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