algae outbreak

Discussion in 'More Saltwater Aquarium Topics' started by pokechop1980, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. pokechop1980Valued MemberMember

    whats the best way to control an algae out break? im not entirely sure where its coming from. my lights are on about 7hrs a day, im using ro water, all my tests (ammonia, nitrate, nitrite) are at 0ppm. i have a refugium with cheato growing in it as well. i try to feed my fish everyother day to lower food waste levels. i also hooked up my poly reactor today and have kent marine nitrogen sponge in it. i dont think im doing anything to make this algea grow wildly like it is.......any help would be greatly appreciated
  2. ploopy

    ploopyValued MemberMember

    can you check phosphate levels?
  3. OP

    pokechop1980Valued MemberMember

    i checked that too...all test appear normal

  4. Mike

    MikeFishloreAdmin Moderator Member

    Some things to check:
    -Check your RO filter using a TDS meter, make sure it doesn't need replacing
    -Are you emptying the protein skimmer daily, couple times per day? If not, maybe need a bigger/better skimmer
    -Are you feeding heavily? Cut back on feeding a bit. Small frequent feedings are better than large less frequent feedings (IMO).
    -Is there enough water flow in the tank to keep particles suspended and collected in the mechanical filter or skimmer?
    -If you have a mechanical filter have you replaced/cleaned the media in a while?
    -Biopellets work well to keep nitrates and phosphates low which means less algae

  5. OP

    pokechop1980Valued MemberMember

    My ro water reads a 3 on the tds meter. Im not sure if my skimmer is enough or not. I havw a pro clear mps 150..i feed my fish very little every other day right hoping to get this all under control....whats a good skimmer that would work on a 125g with 30g sump?
  6. pitbull_ncValued MemberMember

    I was just wondering what kind of algae problem you are having?
  7. OP

    pokechop1980Valued MemberMember

    It appears to be hair algae
  8. pitbull_ncValued MemberMember

    If it is hair algae I have heard that you need to lower your light time do frequent water changes and can remove a lot of it by hand. I have never had to deal with this first hand but I do know it can be a somewhat long and aggravating process.
  9. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    A couple of things spring to mind...

    How old are your MH bulbs? Do they need replacing?
    Are using NSW or ASW? If NSW, test it for NO3/PO4, if ASW, what type?
    Are your corals showing any signs of 'poor health'?

    And the basic parameters:
    SG? (is it still .0235)
    Alk? (should be 8-12 dKH)
    Ca? (should be around 400 +/- 50ppm)
    Mg? (if you can, should be around 1250-1400ppm ideally)
    NO3 = 0
    PO4 = ? (should be 0-0.02 ish)

    I notice in your info you have supplements. Are you adding these? They may not necessarily be required?

    Have you added anything recently? Does your fuge have a DSB, has it been disturbed?

    Just a few thoughts.
  10. OP

    pokechop1980Valued MemberMember

    im currently not using mh anymore...i have since upgraded to led's. im now wondering if my protein skimmer is big enough for my tank. i have a 125 with a 30 sump and im running a pro clear 150 skimmer. as for the supplements, i havent recently added any. i just recently did a 30g water change a few days ago
  11. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    When did you upgrade to LED?
    The extra intensity of light could be a factor.

    My guess is a combination of light and nutrients. If you use natural sea water, something may have changed in the supply that is increasing your NO3/PO4

    Is your skimmer getting full quicker? If so, then it may be time to upgrade.
  12. OP

    pokechop1980Valued MemberMember

    I got the leds in the middle of February or so. Mt lfs told me how close to mount them to the tank. I purchased ecoray 60's... as for My Skimmer, it doesnt really get continuously full all the appears to fill up slowly
  13. OP

    pokechop1980Valued MemberMember

  14. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    I'm guessing it's the LEDs, and the change of light conditions.

    Check the intensity (if it's variable) - I run mine at 80% and still have problems. (Related to nutrient export more than anything I believe)

    Also worth checking your PO4.

    My plan of attack at the moment would be to maintian regular WC's and manual removal, and let the system re-establish it's equilibrium.

    If the skimmer isn't filling quicker, it doesn't suggest an increase in DOC's/nutrients.

    If it's still a problem in a few weeks, I'd look at reducing the intensity of the LEDs.

    That's just how I'd tackle it, others may have a different view ;)
  15. OP

    pokechop1980Valued MemberMember

    the way these leds are setup is that they are either on or off....theres no controller or power switches....i use to have this same problem in my 55g before i upgraded to this 125g. the leds are totally new, i had a single 400w mh on my 55g before. im still using all the same pumps, skimmer and overflow system as before. could the phosphates be getting through my ro system?
  16. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    I do believe it is most likely the lighting giving you some headaches. Once the system re-establishes it's equilibrium, I believe you'll be fine, and the algae will disappear.

    Do you happen to know what your NO3/PO4 readings were prior to the LED, and what they are now?

    Phosphates shouldn't get through your RO system, do you know the TDS of the output water?
  17. OP

    pokechop1980Valued MemberMember

    before i changed my ro filter, it was at like a 33-36 on the tds, now it reads at like a 3.
    the NO3/PO4 readings were all at a 0ppm before and after the leds. i believe it is due to the algaes effect on the testing
  18. OP

    pokechop1980Valued MemberMember

    would a low ph have anything to do with this algea outbreak?
  19. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Please be specific with your questions/answers.

    What test kit are you using for PO4? Many of the standard liquid one's aren't all that accurate, or don't offer the low range resolution that others do (i.e. Salifert or even better, a Hanna Checker)

    What is the pH? Is it still 8.2-8.3 as detailed in your info?

    How long are the lights on?

    I also notice you have supplements. How much and how often? Are you testing for these elements? (generally, unless you're testing for it, I don't recommend dosing anything)

    I had a hair algae outbreak in the early days, but it disappeared on it's own after about 2 weeks.

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