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Thread: Phosphate/Algae

  1. #1
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    Phosphate/Algae

    Hi everyone,

    I have a problem that has been plaguing me since I upgraded to MH 3 months ago or so. I have brown algae.

    Identified as some Padina sp., Sargassum sp and mostly Rosenvingea intricata (see all of them on http://www.coralreefnetwork.com/marl...haeophyta.html)

    The best pic I found of the most annoying algae is the last pic on this page:

    http://www.wetwebmedia.com/maralgid5.htm

    These guys seem to thing it's beautiful... try filling a tank with it!

    I have gotten a decent-size cleaning crew which did a good job at cleaning up the hair algae but they don't touch that brown algae.

    I think I have a bit of a phosphate problem so I introduced a makeshift fuge out of a 20gal tank with 2x40w 4' NO lit 24/7 and shoved a live rock and spaghetti algae in there.

    1 month later, my spag algae has not grown much and I'm wondering it it's getting enough lighting....

    I'm starting to wonder if I should get some sort of phosphate removal reactor or the like.

    I will post my latest water params tonight.

    Thanks for your help!
    Eric

  2. #2
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    I used Kent Phosphate Sponge in an external canister filter, and it removed all measurable phosphate in 48hrs. It may take a little longer if you cannot direct a water flow directly through the media, but it sure works, and although expensive, it was well worth it. If your Nitrates are up, you may want to try AZ-NO3 (Absolute Zero Nitrate). I got it on-line in the states, but Ivan may be able to get it for you. The stuff is amazing, and will reduce measurable nitrates to zero in 1 month. I've used it for 3 weeks and it dropped my Nitrates from 40 PPm to less than 5 ppm, and I expect the they will be zero by the weekend. This will reduce algae growth as well.

    Good luck,

    Gary

  3. #3
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    Got Zero Nitrates that I know for sure... Thanks Gary

  4. #4
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    You've got enough light over the fuge. I personally wouldn't run it 27/7- give the macros a night phase- it's natural.
    You are using R.O. water right?
    Phosphates could very well be the problem- as well as nitrate etc.
    Any phosphate removal is beneficial- There are always phosphates in a tank, simply by feeding the tank you are adding po4. Reducing them does two things-it reduces algea growth and promotes coral growth and health.
    You could experiment with Iron additions to get the maco in your fuge going, but I wouldn't do that until you have all other nutrients in check. Iron will spurr the macros into growth and once they take off, they will begin to strip the water of the nutrients that the nuisance algeas are currently using.
    Matt.

    Old system torn down to make a playroom.. planning a 62x42x28 high

  5. #5
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    rm,
    positive on RO
    Ivan suggested going with 4000K as opposed to 6500K, any take on that?

    I also read some people dosing Kalk to lower po4... was going to try that as I need to drip kalk anyway.
    Eric

  6. #6
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    4000k for what? the fuge? I see no benefits from using that low a k rating.
    Kw will lower phosphate level in the water, but it does it by causing them to precipitate out of solution and get bound up in the substrate mainly. Phosphate removing media actually removes it completely from the tank.
    If you have any leather corals, you should NOT be using any aluminum based po4 removers like Kent or Seachem. You should use the iron based ones like Rowaphos, or Phosban.
    The aluminum can stress and kill leathers- If it hasn't happened yet, it doesn't mean you won't kill a leather in the future.
    Matt.

    Old system torn down to make a playroom.. planning a 62x42x28 high

  7. #7
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    yeah for the fuge (4000k). I have a leather and I already read about the Al po4 removers. I was planning on using the ROWa or PhosBan... I haven't used any po4 removers yet, just the spag algae.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    your nitrates may be reading zero because it is all used up by the algae. if you remove the phosphates, then the algae growth will slow allowing your nitrates to build up. while PO4 media or nitrate removing chemicals may be a quick fix, you might want to look into your source water or feeding schedule to see if you are really adding more nutrients than your system can handle. adding macro alage deffinitely increases the nutient capacity of your tank, but without any nitrates, it will not be able to grow and consume the phosphates. if you try shutting the lights in your tank for up to 3 days, some of the algae will die off releasing phosphates and nitrates back into the water. your macro algae will then be able to use that up and grow. give it a shot.
    Albert
    My Photos

  9. #9
    Senior Member ALRHA's Avatar
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    reefmutt, regarding phosguard, i have used it with large leathers in my tank. as long as it is not overdosed and it is rinsed well before placing in your system, it should not affect the leathers. there are reports of negative effects using iron based removers as well.
    personally i use phosguard.
    Albert
    My Photos

  10. #10
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    ALRHA, good idea, I think I'll leave my lights off for the next 3 days as you proposed. Should I keep my fuge lights on? I have spaghetti algae in there I would rather not lose :-D

    Thanks
    Eric

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