Do blackouts really help with algae?

Discussion in 'Algae' started by grinder37, Nov 11, 2010.

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  1. grinder37

    grinder37 Whip-Lash Squid

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    I'm at wits end with probably 10 to 12 different species of algae that is just loving my tank.I have researched and tried everything i can think of to no avail.Bought an ro/di unit,do 15%weekly water changes with 0 tds water,only feed flakes(very small amount every other day,just 3 small fish))have a cuc of nerites,nassisarius(sp?)cerith and dwarf cerith snails from reef cleaners,with bristle worms and stomatella snails that was hitchikers,i run phos remover and fresh carbon all the time(i probably change it too much)and clean my filters every couple days.My lights are new and i only run 8 hrs and then just led moonlights.I've tried algaefix marine algeacide(which worked on some,but not all algaes,and all came right back as soon as i stopped dosing)I do not have a fuge,but otherwise with my small bioload,i have tried every type of nutrient export i can think of as well as manual removal.Nitrates and phos are 0,but i know thats because they are locked up in the algae.Can a blackout help?How long can i safely go?Tank is a 28 gal nano cube with around 35lb rock going on 5 months old and mostly softy corals-zoas,leathers,etc.Any other ideas to rid this problem?I really don't want something to keep it trimmed up and mowed down(i may have to go that route),i want it to stop growing and die off without having to nuke my rock.Any suggestions??
     
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  3. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If you don't have a skimmer invest in one and skim wet. Turkey baste your rocks to remove as much ditritus as possible. Crabs will help with algae as long as you have it mowed down. Emeralds will eat the algae regardless of length. If you have phosphate in your live rock you will be fighting this for a long time until it leaches out completely. Changing the phos remover and carbon often will help. If you do blackout you will want to keep up or increase your waterchanges to export the nutrients as well as changing your media more often.
     
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  4. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    Pretty much the same direction I am going.

    Manual removal
    Blow it off the rock work.
    Clean mechanical filters when the water clears.
    And repeat.

    If you want to go the blackout route. Total blackout for at least three days. Corals should be fine, I had a lovely outbreak of dino and the blackout was the key.
     
  5. grinder37

    grinder37 Whip-Lash Squid

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    I do have a skimmer running full bore(it's an airstone driven one thats made for the nano,(but it acually does pull decent skimmate)I pull my filter basket and blow my powerhead around to stir up as much as possible,so i can pull it out with the wc.What is the longest i can blackout for without harming my corals?I may have to just go with a lawnmower crew,but really wanting to eradicate it all together,but feel like i'm fighting a never ending fight.lol
     
  6. inwall75

    inwall75 Giant Squid

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    A blackout in and of itself, won't do diddly-squat. However, a blackout while you're doing waterchanges, running phosphate removers, running algaecides like algaefix will do wonders. If one just kills off algae those phosphate and Nitrates (and Ammonium) are now back in the water and will just grow the algae right back as soon as the light returns.

    1) Get a turkey baster.....squirt those rocks until your tank looks like a snow-globe. Do a 25% waterchange and get rid of as much of that as possible.

    2) Keep some of that water. Rinse your bioballs and sponge in that old water (after it has settled).

    3) Add phosphate remover. Don't use GFO.....it works best long-term as it doesn't de-adsorb phosphorus. In spite of the fact that you have leathers, and knowing an Alumina phosphate remover is going to tick them off, use that kind anyway. Aluminum phosphate removers DO de-adsorb so you need to remove this in 3 days.

    4) Wait one day and repeat step 1 and step 2

    5) Day 3...Make some new saltwater. Heat it and aerate it. Scrub the living daylights out of the worst couple of rocks in your old water. Rinse it in NEW saltwater to remove algae fragments. Dump that water...don't use it for a water change.

    5) Buy some more algaefix and more crabs and snails.

    6) Day 5....turn lights back on for 1/2 of the normal photoperiod. Sit back and enjoy your tank.

    7) Day 6 to 10....slowly work your tank back up to it's normal photoperiod.
     
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  7. mattheuw1

    mattheuw1 Montipora Capricornis

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    The only thing I know of a 3 day blackout will fix is cyano....and yes it works very well. It did not affect any of my other types of algae though. The main thing is to manually remove and constantly blow off rocks. The detritus settles on the algae beds and the algae loves it. My main problem is my engineer goby as he is always stirring sand up and burrowing so there is constantly dust in my water column!

    Like mentioned above, your rock may be leaching phosphates. If I were you, I would get a massive wad of chaeto and let it grow under your lighting for a good month then tuck it behind some rocks where it can get some lights but not look bad in your display. It should battle the other algaes and hopefully starve them out eventually. Algae sucks! Its so discouraging that it makes people want to quit all the time. I started my first tank on tap water....big mistake. Corals loved it but so did algae.

    Good luck and don't give up!

    EDIT:
    Just saw inwalls post....sounds like he knows what he's talking about. I may have to go that route too!!!
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
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  9. Aaron.Herk

    Aaron.Herk Sea Dragon

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    See if you LFS has a Sea Hare those things eat algae like you wouldn't believe. Especially hair algae if that is a problem.
     
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  10. grinder37

    grinder37 Whip-Lash Squid

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    Oh,it's not dinos,i had them in another tank a while ago and Inwall75 walked me through the steps and helped me get that whipped,i wish this was dinos,then i'd know what to do. lol

    Printed,thanks Inwall,trying everything i can think of,i want to go super aggresive on it now,i think i've taken all the proper steps,but now it's just getting out of hand.Will follow accordingly.

    Appreciate it,but your right,it does suck,this is my 3rd reef and never had algae this bad.I'm thinking of one of those magnetic led fuge lights for the nanos and converting my media basket to a fuge,just not in the budget at the minute with Christmas around the corner.But mabey for christmas??;D
     
  11. grinder37

    grinder37 Whip-Lash Squid

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    My closest lfs that i will buy livestock from is way to far for a sea hare,plus they don't get them often,and when they do,they don't last.But i have thought of one of those too.Good sugestion.
     
  12. Dr. Bergeron

    Dr. Bergeron Peppermint Shrimp

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    your tank being only 5 months old, I would just sit back and wait it out for a month or two, and switch over from flake food to frozen, preferably homemade with some RO water. Maybe manually remove it in large clumps from time to time. If it's your standard algae blooms that newer tanks get, it's probably not worth your time to do all of that dosing and blackouts.

    Sometimes we get so wrapped up in trying to fix something that will take care of itself in time that we make things worse.
     
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