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WARNING Algae Fix Marine

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by FishNewb1, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. FishNewb1

    FishNewb1 Inactive User

    +0 / 0 / -0

    As a few of you may know, my tank has had a pretty bad algae outbreak.  I used waterchanges at first and when i saw no improvement i decided to try a new product out called algae fix marine.  Its a great product made by Aquarium Pharmaceuticals.  It works fabulous.  Within a month of use i have seen a huge amout of algae reduction.
    Now for the bad part.  It tries to take away the amout of food or waste that can be used by the algae to help in its growth process.  Now what ive noticed is that it also effects the copeopods in my tank. 
    My Green Mandarin Dragonet just died recently, not from not getting enough to eat, but from the malnutritioned pods that he was eating. 
    He wasn't fat but he wasn't skinny either.  All of my water params are perfect... 
    This was just my conclusion... Please let me know if you have any other suggestions.
  2. covey


    +8 / 0 / -0
    It an algaecide plan and simple.
    Reef tanks are alive you can't just dose them with poison and except no problems.
    If you have an algae problem you must work at the root cause of it.  The algae is the effect not the cause.
  3. RobynT

    RobynT Inactive User

    +0 / 0 / -0
    Sorry to hear about your Mandarin.  I wish I knew more answers about the algae thing but I have sporatic patches in my tank too although they are disappearing. 
  4. jtesdall

    jtesdall Expert Reefkeeper

    +1 / 0 / -0
    Sorry, but I must agree with Covey. You either keep dosin this stuff (in which case you will never acheive the tank you are lookig for) or figure out what is causing the problem. Most of us have been there, I know I have and I (hate to admit it) dosed something to get rid of Cyano. Last time I have ever dosed anything meant to kill something, bad ju ju there. Problem is, we americans, myself included want the fast, easy and cheap fix. This is a problem we can help you fix. Many have had this problem and many have solved it, again myself included.
    First, don't take this wrong, I just want to help. But, if your water params were perfect you would't have this problem. So maybe some are perfect, but the ones that deal with algae are not. Popular belief are Phosphates and nitrates. This has been discussed many times here and many more on RC. But here goes ...... I apologize if these questions are answered in another thread and I have missed it.
    1. What kind of algae are we talking about
    2. Have you tested phosphate, do you have a phosphate reactor
    3. Have you tested Nitrate
    4. What are other params
    5. Tank size and fish load
    6. Water source, if RO is your water at 0 TDS, if not your are putting algae growth nutrients back into the water
    IMO, to keep ahead of algae with water changes you have to start drastically. Not that it is dangerous but it can be expensive. Depending on the severity of your problem, start with very large water changes 2-3 times a week 50-70%. Do the math and you will only have 3.125% of you original water left after 5 water changes (at 50% each) Do this over about two weeks, maybe 10 days. Lots of salt sorry. Now nutrients should be under control then you have to keep them under control.
    The method above was told to me and solved my problem (in the short term) and so I like to pass it on when I can. I know of one other terrific success story with this method and now his tank looks better than mine urghh. Damn you Ryan #2.
    There will be many opinions on how to keep this under control. I can just tell you what worked for me. A Good skimmer, phosphate reactor and in my case a Nitrate Reactor. Of course a regular water change schedule about 30% a month with GREAT WATER!!! 0 TDS nothing less is acceptable. Did I emphasize this enough folks?
    Anyone please add to or correct my statements.
    P.S. My wife just said to tell you "Get out while you still can", this is very addictive which becomes very expensive. But then again she is into horses.
    Good luck in battle,  you can and will prevail!
  5. IowaDiver Well-Known ReefKeeper

    West Des Moines
    +6 / 0 / -0
    How can you tell the pods are malnutritioned? I find it hard to believe it died due to eating malnutritioned pods. Like the others said, it probably had something to do with the weedkiller you were dumping in the tank.
    It will be really hard to determine what killed your mandarin. I lost mine while on vacation and never found the body.
    What I would look at to remove hair algae. (In no particular order)
    1. Increase water changes
    2. Buy a skimmer if you don't have one or upgrade an existing one.
    3. Hook up a refugium and grow chaetomorpha to absorb some of the nutrients.
    4. Feed the tank less often. Say every other day.
    5. Reduce fish bioload in the tank to reduce waste.
    6. Run a phosban reactor.
    Good luck with your tank and please don't hesitate to post for help on here with any problem or question you have.
  6. FishNewb1

    FishNewb1 Inactive User

    +0 / 0 / -0
    Its all hair algae.
    I have never tested for phosphate and i dont have a phosphate reactor.
    Here are my params.
  7. jtesdall

    jtesdall Expert Reefkeeper

    +1 / 0 / -0
    What is feeding alot every day? This may not be advisable depending on your definition. Uneaten food will add both nitrates and phosphates to your water.
    TDS is Total Disolved Solids and is the measurement of truly good RO/DI water. You have to be careful about buying water. I know of at least one member that bought theirs at walmart only to test later and find it was chuck full of Ammonia. You need to have RO water that reads 0 TDS to beat this problem. Otherwise you are most likely to be adding back in exactly what you want rid of to get rid of algae. Usually Phosphate. To get to 0 TDS RO you need to have a DI (De-ionization) cartridge on the RO unit. Most probabally walgreens unit does not do this. So for your next purchase I would contact the filter guys and get yourself an RO unit with DI cannister as well as a TDS tester.  thefilterguys.biz is very highly reccomended by the club, their customer service is exceptional.
    Next get a phosphate test kit and most probabally a phosphate reactor with media. You can wait until after you test for phosphates and after your RO unit is humming along for the reactor. My bet is you will need it like most of the rest of us. I am guessing 75% of GIRS members use one. This is purely a guess from the contact I have had. Please anyone disagree with anything I have said if you disagree. It won't hurt my feelings.
    Lastly, how old are your test kits. I would verify your NO3 (Nitrate) reading with a new kit or borrow one. You have done a bunch of water changes but I HIGHLY doubt your nitrates are at 0. The end of the Nitrate cycle in a reef is Nitrate without other means to turn it into Nitrogen gas. Water changes, Skimming and Chaeto all will help reduce it but not eliminate it. I would be happy to be wrong here but thats not the money bet I would make. Elevated levels of Nitrate + a little Phosphate = Algae, either one will do, both will gaurantee it. Nitrate should be kept below 1 and phosphate should be kept below .03. These are high hurdles to achieve. It gets expensive and time consuming but it is acheivable.
    Hey someone else out there validate or in-validate what I have said. I don't like feeling like a know-it-all, I am just passing on what was taught to me from many members here. Giving back to repay what I have received as it were. So Please, how about Ryan #1, #2 or #3, Sone, A Jason, Ein, Travis, Jeremy, Phil, Billy ..... someone ..... bueller.
  8. Philby

    Philby Inactive User

    +0 / 0 / -0
    My tank is too new for me to feel comfortable giving you too much advice - but I would agree with Joel's suggestion to use ONLY RO/DI water in your tank. This is one of the first purchases I made and I think most people would say it's vital to a healthy reef tank w/o nuisance algae. I don't have anything to compare to since I've only ever used RO/DI water but it seems to have worked well for me (although I am in the middle of a 3 day no-lights period to get rid of a cyano outbreak, but I think that's just part of my cycle since my tank is only 2 months old...)
  9. FishNewb1

    FishNewb1 Inactive User

    +0 / 0 / -0
    well my nitrate test jumps from 0 to 5. it doesnt have anything in between. Ill look into a phosphate reactor... I know Wolfe was trying to make one himself. Is this easy to do?
  10. jtesdall

    jtesdall Expert Reefkeeper

    +1 / 0 / -0
    IMO a phosphate reactor is only $31 at Fosters right now. Its not worth it to DIY unless you are just into that sort of stuff. Ya, makes sense from me huh, who is running DIY stuff all over the place including a skimmer and auto-water change.
    FishNewb, under 5 is still good for NO3, but I would still be suspect that something isn't right with the reading. How old is your tank, what sump and are you using sand or bare bottom? If nothing else, on a newer tank 55 gallons with 8 fish and minimal means of Nitrate export the NO3 will go up, so keep your eye on it. You current algae problem is most probabally from Phosphate. Doctor fosters has a phosphate kit for around $5, but I would reccomend the Seachem kit. Then you can test your aquarium water and walgreens RO. I would test their RO for every test you have then take a sample to a friend with a TDS meter. But take the plunge and get your own RO/DI soon.
  11. JB Veteran Reefkeeper

    +3 / 0 / -0
    One thing to note about testing for Phosphats and Nitrates: It's sometimes difficult to get an accurate reading because nuisance algea feeds on it which or course lowers the levels.

    In other words, you could have problems with them and not see it with test kits because it's being rapidly consumed by the nuisance algea before the levels can build up to a detectable level.

  12. Coralfreak

    Coralfreak Inactive User

    +0 / 0 / -0
    Let me see if I can add some things to help.

    First, whatever it is you used to get rid of the algae, grab it, open your back door and throw it as far as you can.

    First is your source water, I have a feeling if it were tested, the so called RO water from Walgreens would not do well.
    Are their any other reef keepers in your area that you could get water from?
    Ideally you want to get your own RO/DI, I don't if that is within your budget though.
    Its not a bad idea to test for Phosphates/Nitrates, but IMO most of the test kits give iffy results.  If you have algae, you have Phosphates and/or Nitrates in your water.
    What to do:
    Find a better source of water, something with a confirmed TDS of 0 if possible.
    Start using some type of Phosphate remover, the TLF reactor is a good choice, though I dont much care for their Phosphate remover.
    I would go here: http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/index.html  for Phosphate remover, they also have a Kent reactor which should work just fine.
    Reduce you feeding, small amounts, once a day tops, until you get a handle on things.  Once you have found a good source of water, water changes will also help.
    This will take patience and time, but it can be fixed.  I know I have already mentioned this, but finding a good source of RO/DI water is going to be critical in this, it is a large variable, taking this out of the equation will help tremendously.
  13. RobynT

    RobynT Inactive User

    +0 / 0 / -0

    I know that it cannot be easy being in high school and affording all the various reef tank accessories that some of us have or have used.  Before I bought a RO/DI unit I used to get my water at the water fill stand at Walmart but I soon decided that it probably wasn't that good of water plus it was a huge PIA to fill those jugs weekly.  I believe that the water that is sold at Walmart that comes in the green jug is used by many reefers and is considered fairly decent and I used that also. The cost of making water even with a unit is significant in my town as our bill is over $100 a month but it's definately worth it to me.  If you want some water for a water change let me know and we'll figure out a time.
  14. jtesdall

    jtesdall Expert Reefkeeper

    +1 / 0 / -0
    I applaud you Adam for gettig into such an advanced hobby at a young age. I will try to keep my costly reccomendations to minimum. I had no idea you were in High School.
  15. FishNewb1

    FishNewb1 Inactive User

    +0 / 0 / -0
    LOL yes... Its tough. I have saved up since i was about in 3rd grade. Then freshman year i decided to get into the hobby and i have loved it to this day.(now im a junior) Except now im running a little low on my budget... I just have a summer job and i use all of that for supplies to get me through the year. But it is most definately worth it.
    How does your water bill go up when you have a RO unit?
    I have about $100 to spend on stuff at the moment so just let me know what i really NEED and ill get it as soon as i can.
    Can phosphates do damage to fish? Its really wierd because now all of the sudden when i stopped useing algae fix my corals look amazing but my fish look bad...
    Thanks Robyn, ill keep that in mind.[​IMG]

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