algea problem/Sand is clumping

Discussion in 'Algae' started by david, Sep 8, 2003.

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  1. david

    david Peppermint Shrimp

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    Here's something I've been wondering I notice that my sand on the bottom of my tank is clumping up in some spots. Should I break up these clumps or just leave them be?
      Also, I noticed an algea bloom in my tank.  It's almost time to do a monthly water change.Just three days ago the algea looked like it was almost gone. Now it's growing back and some spots have bubbles under the algea. I'll do a water change this week and I'm sure that will take care of whats there.I've seen this cycle before.
          What should I be doing to win this battle? should I use some phos-ban or some simular product in with my carbon? I would like to see my p.h. a little higher and the calcium too! I'm already on it now.
    I just switched from b-ionic to sea chem and It through me off a little in regard to the p.h. and the calcium! Here are the tests from09/03/03..........let me know what you guys think?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    calcium=385mg./l.
    p.h.= 8.2
    sal.= 1.022
    alk. =4 meg/l
    nitrite=0
    nitrate=3p.p.m.
    ammonia= 0
    temp.=78*F.
     
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  3. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    I think your numbers are pretty damn good David. The Sea-Chem additives should help keep your pH where you want it as they claim to be optimized for 8.3 - 8.6.

    I assume you got Sea Chem Reef Builder for alk and Reef Advantage Calcium. The trick is to figure out the right dosage. I am currently playing around with Reef Builder through my Kent Marine I.V. as I am trying to raise my alk which is low. I started with 1.5 teaspoons mixed in a gallon, but this hasn't done much. I plan on going to 2.5 maybe 3. I think I have a unique situation with DIY rock which initially caused a huge pH spike and now I have extremely high calcium levels and low alk. Your numbers are in the ball park, you should find it easily.

    As for your clumpy sand, I have always been an advocate of limited grooming. That is, hitting the bad spots with a siphon during a water change or using a chop stick to break it up occasionally. This makes some people concerned about bacteria freak out, but I have never had a problem, ever. Always postive results. Things tend to perk up after it, actually. But it's probably a combination of things that go into it.

    Anyway, some other stuff you could do is get some sand specific clean up crews.

    Conchs
    Nassarius Snails
    Sand Sifting Star Fish
    Diamond goby - some have troubles with these, especially in tanks that aren't a year old. They jump too. And eat critters.

    I just got the sand-sifting star fish over the weekend. I like what its done for my sand so far. I'll add more to the star post above.

    You could also do water changes a little more often. Say smaller ones every two, three weeks if you want. That may help your pH.

    Test your pH in the morning and in the evening to get a range. It's lower in the morning.

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. david

    david Peppermint Shrimp

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    Thanks Matt,
       Sounds great! I actully got reef buffer. I am using that with reef plus,reef complete, and reef cabonate. Plus I use reef calcium.I just got the buffer today I put in 1 and about 1/3 teaspoons today.As for the rest I put in 2 capfuls twice a week on tues. and fri. Do you think I shoud do it different?i.e. put in reef plus(trace minerals,vitamins etc.) on mon. and thurs.Reef complete(calcium,stontium,and magnesium) on tues. and fri.Reef carbonate(raises alk.) on weds. and sat? Or is it o.k. to do it all on the same day?
    I tested again LATE last night. My calcium was up to 410mg/l. My P.H. was at like 8.1, and my alk was at 3meg/l. Like I said I was testing water at 3:00 in the a.m. Although I don't think I have a handle on the sea chem switch just yet. I'll get there.
            With the clean up crew I have nass. snails. I should get more. When you feed the tank they all emerge from the sand.  
    It's like a scene from dune. LOL! When people "freak out" about the bacteria from the chop sticks. Do you mean you will disturb the bacteria in the tank or bacteria from the chop sticks themselves? I think it sounds like a good idea!
     
  5. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    [quote author=david link=board=ASAP;num=1063066103;start=0#2 date=09/09/03 at 14:29:09] With the clean up crew I have nass. snails. I should get more. When you feed the tank they all emerge from the sand.  
    It's like a scene from dune. LOL![/quote]

    [smiley=laugh4.gif]

    hehe. That's funny.

    Your schedule seems to be working for you. I'm not going to tell you to change it. ;)

    I was talking about bacteria in the sand, not the chopstick. But definitely don't use a used chopstick with Chinese food on it. ;D
     
  6. karlas

    karlas Fire Goby

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    hey matt a chop stick in a fish tank are u going for sushi  ::)
    i like the nassarius snails to i wish i could find more they are pretty good scavegeners but stir the sand when they burry themselves in it

    i get clumps of sand to it seems like that might be pretty normal thing but my engineer gobies seem to take care of that pretty well i just let them take care of it

    as far as the alge more frequent and smaller water changes helped me get rid of hair alge and slime alge
     
  7. david

    david Peppermint Shrimp

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    Thanks karla,
    I have allready stated changing my water every two weeks in smaller batches. Allthough it's only been a mounth( two changes). I still have more hair algea then I would like.
     
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  9. david

    david Peppermint Shrimp

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    Still having algea problems patches of hair algea every where?
    All my tests come out great. Got a phosphate test yesterday, did it today and that came out good too! ( only 0.1). I have started water changes twice a month instead of monthly. This thinned it out a little but I'd like to see it gone all together. Any suggestions as to what I could try next?
    THANKS,
    D.
     
  10. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Short of chemical warfare which I would discourage, sometimes it just takes time. :-/

    Have you tested for silicates?
    Keep the calcium up so it has to compete with macro-algae.
    How long are your lights on?
    How old are the lights?
     
  11. karlas

    karlas Fire Goby

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    im going to add to matts list

    hows circulation in your tank?
    have you tested your nitrates?

    it still takes a while to get rid of the alge even with stepped up water changes, i do one once a week about 10% that helped me get rid of mine and i just sort of stuck with that seems to work well
     
  12. david

    david Peppermint Shrimp

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    Thank you Matt and Karla,
    My bulbs are kinda old like 1 yr. That I'll to look into soon and yes there is a lack of good ciculation I'll get a couple more power heads this week nitrates barely show on the test it's like 1 p.p.m. So I;ll keep changing the water twice a month it thinned it out a little so maybe it'll keep thinning!!
    D.