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Coraline Algae gone

Discussion in 'Fish Discussion' started by dewear, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. dewear

    dewear New Member

    Hey everyone,
    I have a 75 Gallon Fish only with soft corals. I have had the tank for 3 years and had bought a Compact light about a couple years ago. The bulbs have been changed, but they are now going on 8 months or so. My Coraline algae is almost if not all gone. Fish seem to be great and soft mushrooms are doing well. I run a canister filter that I really do not clean out much at all. The last time I replaced the carbon and filters was probably a year ago. I am just curious what caused the Coraline algae to go away and all my live rock to turn into the brown and green algae. I am thinking about moving to a Reef style tank and am very curious if anyone thinks it is the lighting, which is over 300 watts or Carbon, or Nitrates.
  2. geoj

    geoj New Member

    Give us the numbers
    Calcium 420 ppm ----For good coral growth
    Nitrate 0 ppm

    [hr]
    Keep zero to prevent nuisance algae growth
    Ammonia 0 ppm

    [hr]
    Keep zero for the health of animals
    KH 8-10 dkh

    [hr]
    For good coral growth
    Nitrite 0 ppm

    [hr]
    Keep zero for the health of animals
    Phosphate 0 ppm ----Keep zero to prevent nuisance algae growth
    Silicate 0 ppm

    [hr]
    Keep zero to prevent nuisance algae growth
  3. dewear

    dewear New Member

    Well I really have only tested the main ones due to someone telling me that the others do not matter as much with a Fish Only. Here is what I have tested. Is their another kit to test others? I appreciate any advice.
    Nitrate 40
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0
    pH is 8.3
  4. geoj

    geoj New Member

    I think you should get an API reef master test kit. It does not have all that is need to maintain a reef IMO but it is a cheep and good start.
    I edited my post to let you know what I think every reef keeper should test for. If I know the numbers above then I could start to diagnose what is going on in your tank that may make coralline algae stop growing.
  5. bms

    bms New Member

    your nitrates seem a little high. your algae is probably feeding off a combination of high nitrates and most likely high phosphates in your water. try using phosban and/or feeding your fish less. also after about 8 months im sure your power compacts are beginning to shift it the spectrum output. this shift causes algae to explode in many cases. you should change your carbon in your canister filter once every 6 months to a year depending on the brand (it will tell you what they recommend on the directions in most cases). also i would recommend a water change as soon as possible and also do larger and frequent water changes, maybe 1/2 a week til you notice your algae starting to dye off. believe it or not but that is one of the best things you can do to eliminate algae because you are removing their food source. large frequent water changes attributed greatly to my successful removal of nuisance algae in my tank; in combination with the phosban i added. i bought a $10 can/bottle of some off-brand phosphate remover when i had an algae outbreak and it cleared things up in a week or less (the algae just started dying off due to starvation). you can also go to your LFS and pick up a nitrate remover to add into your canister filter; depending on how you have it set up. i would try to lower that and if you cant buy one of those to put in until you get it down to about 5/10. g'luck with everything. bms
  6. flower

    flower Well-Known Member

    Originally Posted by dewear

    Hey everyone,
    I have a 75 Gallon Fish only with soft corals. I have had the tank for 3 years and had bought a Compact light about a couple years ago. The bulbs have been changed, but they are now going on 8 months or so. My Coraline algae is almost if not all gone. Fish seem to be great and soft mushrooms are doing well. I run a canister filter that I really do not clean out much at all. The last time I replaced the carbon and filters was probably a year ago. I am just curious what caused the Coraline algae to go away and all my live rock to turn into the brown and green algae. I am thinking about moving to a Reef style tank and am very curious if anyone thinks it is the lighting, which is over 300 watts or Carbon, or Nitrates.

    If you have not cleaned your filter for a year, I am surprised any fish or coral are alive at all. Coraline algae is the least of your concerns. Change your filter and do some water changes, coraline will bounce back.
    Clean your filter once a month.
  7. jackri

    jackri New Member

    I'm guessing the reason your coraline has died off is that your calcium and alkalinity levels are super low. Coraline takes both to grow and low levels can suck it out of the coraline. You don't need calc and alk for softies and fish though. Also if you don't do water changes often you're not replacing your minerals ---- when you first set up your tank with new salt, etc the levels should be near perfect, but the longer you go the lower they have gotten IMO. Doing tests on these would confirm my guess.
  8. gwhunter

    gwhunter Guest

    I've had my coraline decline recently also. I picked up the test kit mentioned in a previous post. I was expecting to find my cal low but it's at 500. I have 0 nitates,nitrites,ammonia, ph 8.3. sg 1.20 temp 78. I haven't tested the alk and my phospates are low also. Use ro di water for top off to help with phosphates. I noticed my emerald crab really eating alot of algea so I'm thinking he has eat some of the coraline.
    Matt
  9. jackri

    jackri New Member

    I would really test your alkalinity and magnesium. After slacking for 3 months on my two tanks one was low on calcium and alkalinity making the coraline disappear, the other one had calcium of 420 but really low alk and magnesium. I've been dosing both tanks steady for 3 weeks bringing the levels back to acceptable reef levels and the coraline is already coming back.
    I highly doubt your emerald crab can make a dent in coraline algae IMO.
  10. btldreef

    btldreef Moderator Staff Member

    Originally Posted by dewear

    Well I really have only tested the main ones due to someone telling me that the others do not matter as much with a Fish Only. Here is what I have tested. Is their another kit to test others? I appreciate any advice.
    Nitrate 40
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0
    pH is 8.3

    Nitrates are too high! Clean your filter ASAP
    By the way, if you have corals in your tank, it's not a fish only, get a reef test kit.
    I also think that your algae and nitrate problem is connected as a poster above suggested.
    You may also want to cut back on lighting to help get the algae under control. Be prepared to see white rocks under the algae as your coraline may have suffocated under the algae if it's been that way for too long.
  11. roastreef

    roastreef New Member

    Originally Posted by jackri

    I would really test your alkalinity and magnesium. After slacking for 3 months on my two tanks one was low on calcium and alkalinity making the coraline disappear, the other one had calcium of 420 but really low alk and magnesium. I've been dosing both tanks steady for 3 weeks bringing the levels back to acceptable reef levels and the coraline is already coming back.
    I highly doubt your emerald crab can make a dent in coraline algae IMO.
    +1. First thing I thought of was low mag.
  12. gwhunter

    gwhunter Guest

    Originally Posted by jackri

    I would really test your alkalinity and magnesium. After slacking for 3 months on my two tanks one was low on calcium and alkalinity making the coraline disappear, the other one had calcium of 420 but really low alk and magnesium. I've been dosing both tanks steady for 3 weeks bringing the levels back to acceptable reef levels and the coraline is already coming back.
    I highly doubt your emerald crab can make a dent in coraline algae IMO.
    Figures the API kit doesn't have a mag test kit. I'll check the alk in the AM if my 3 month old will give me a break. What brand of alk and mag do you guys recommend? I believe the local petco has Kent stuff.
    Matt
  13. gwhunter

    gwhunter Guest

    I checked my KH this morning and it's just over 12. I also order a mag test kit.
    Any other idea's?
    Matt
  14. btldreef

    btldreef Moderator Staff Member

    Originally Posted by GWhunter

    I checked my KH this morning and it's just over 12. I also order a mag test kit.
    Any other idea's?
    Matt
    That is high. I suspect your magnesium reading will be off as well.
    Clean your filters and do some water changes and test again for the next few days. You've got to get your water parameters looking better.
  15. gwhunter

    gwhunter Guest

    I just did a 20% wc this past weekend. I cleaned the filters the week before.
    Why would my cal and alk be high? My kit says between 8-12 is good. All my other parameters are good.
    Matt
  16. geoj

    geoj New Member

    This is Tests listed in order of importance IMO
    0 Ammonia For the health of animals
    0 Nitrite For the health of animals
    73-80 Temp For the health of animals
    1.023-1.026 Specific Gravity For the health of animals
    8-10 kH For good coral growth
    420-500 Calcium For good coral growth
    8-8.4 pH For the health of animals
    0 Nitrate To prevent nuisance algae growth
    0 Phosphate To prevent nuisance algae growth
    0 Silicate To prevent nuisance algae growth
    1250-1350 Magnesium Test if Calcium will not rise
    .05 Iodide For good coral growth
  17. geoj

    geoj New Member

    Originally Posted by GWhunter

    I just did a 20% wc this past weekend. I cleaned the filters the week before.
    Why would my cal and alk be high? My kit says between 8-12 is good. All my other parameters are good.
    Matt
    Ok, let me see if I can say this clearly. With calcium of 500 it is very unlikely that the magnesium is low. Here is why I think this; magnesium acts like a chaperon to calcium and carbonates. It prevents them from hooking up and making babies (calcium carbonate) at too young of an age. When Mag is low (no chaperon) your calcium becomes calcium carbonate it is not very soluble in water and tends to fall out. Thus low calcium numbers.
  18. geoj

    geoj New Member

    If I wanted to find out why my coralline algae is gone I first would evaluate how much light I had in the tank. If there were lots of light then the coralline algae would fade. If you look in the shaded areas you will tend to see more coralline of deep color. If the light were good I would think maybe I have not been keeping my calcium above 420 consistently. If calcium drops into the 380s coralline does not do well. If all that is good thin I would see if my water changes keep my Iodide up. If Iodide drops to zero coralline does not do well at all.
  19. gwhunter

    gwhunter Guest

    First sorry to the OP for the hi jack. I've got a lot of light on this tank(300w of MH and 260w of pc atinics) and in the darker areas of the tank the coraline is deep purple. Like the op I've been testing the normal stuff and neglecting the reef specific parameters. So thanks for all the help. So really one needs to test for iodine,mag,kh,cal, what about strontium? I'm old to marine fish but relatively new to the reef side. I'm upgrading to a 110 x tall in the next month so I'll have less light with the added hieght. And will keep a better eye on the reef specific parameters.
    Matt
  20. geoj

    geoj New Member

    Originally Posted by GeoJ

    Give us the numbers
    Calcium 420 ppm ----For good coral growth
    Nitrate 0 ppm

    [hr]
    Keep zero to prevent nuisance algae growth
    Ammonia 0 ppm

    [hr]
    Keep zero for the health of animals
    KH 8-10 dkh

    [hr]
    For good coral growth
    Nitrite 0 ppm

    [hr]
    Keep zero for the health of animals
    Phosphate 0 ppm ----Keep zero to prevent nuisance algae growth
    Silicate 0 ppm

    [hr]
    Keep zero to prevent nuisance algae growth
    Let me explain why I posted these and not the others. You see you can deduce some of the numbers by looking at other numbers example; If Calcium is 420 ppm and KH is 8-10 dkh, then magnesium is up near where it should be. If magnesium where not the calcium would be much lower. So you don’t need to test magnesium much only when you cant determine why things are off. If coralline algae die out it could be lack of iodide so testing it is the only way to know. Iodide is like magnesium you test to see if the water changes you do keep the number where it needs to be. If water changes don’t then you decide how to fix this. Of course if you dose then you will need to test before and after. If you have good coralline algae growth then you must have a good iodide number...

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