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Hey everyone,

 

How to i get control of massive amounts of green algae. From my knowledge its lots of snails, and crabs, or clean up crew. Making sure im feeding correctly, not too much food.

I have a protein skimmer, a canister filter, with UV light and carbons, and bio balls. An excellent clean up crew is in place just bought about 15 snails and crabs. i have 1 clown fish, watchman goby, two peppermint shrimp, a pistol shrimp, and a purple Haitian anemone. 

im running an LED light strip, i dont think its powerful enough for my tank, so im wondering if that might be the problem?  

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Lots of green algae out there. You have a picture? Where is it growing?  What are your nitrate and phosphate levels? Lighting could be an issue but in this case I think the question on this issue in relation to algae is spectrum. 

Watchman goby, pistol shrimp, Idaho? If this is who I think it is. You’re running a current USA LED  strip. 

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Hi Brooke 👋🏽

It’s a pretty normal looking baby tank. Diatoms are starting to recede. I also feel GFO  is more beneficial than carbon , not sure if that’s something you can  switch in a canister filter. Make sure you change the filter media in the canister, you don’t want that getting clogged up with waste. 

You have a bit of hair algae on your rocks it looks like. I think it’s time for some working fish! Smaller Zebrasoma would be  a great addition. Yellow tang , purple tang, or scopas tang. Or maybe a bristletooth tang. Before you add it take that rock out and scrub as much of that off as you can with a brush of some kind. If you can’t pull that rock out scrub it during a water change and suck up the bits of algae then. 

Green algae on the glass is easy fix. Put that Magfloat to work. I clean mine about once a week. 

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Tank will settle in, over next months. For long term info, this might helps...

 

What do all algae (and cyano too) need to survive? Nutrients. What are nutrients? Ammonia/ammonium, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate and urea are the major ones. Which ones cause most of the algae in your tank? These same ones. Why can't you just remove these nutrients and eliminate all the algae in your tank? Because these nutrients are the result of the animals you keep.

So how do your animals "make" these nutrients? Well a large part the nutrients comes from pee (urea). Pee is very high in urea and ammonia, and these are a favorite food of algae and some bacteria. This is why your glass will always need cleaning; because the pee hits the glass before anything else, and algae on the glass consume the ammonia and urea immediately (using photosynthesis) and grow more. In the ocean and lakes, phytoplankton consume the ammonia and urea in open water, and seaweed consume it in shallow areas, but in a tank you don't have enough space or water volume for this, and, your other filters or animals often remove or kill the phytoplankton or seaweed anyway. So, the nutrients stay in your tank.

Then, the ammonia/ammonium hits your rocks, and the periphyton on the rocks consumes more ammonia and urea. Periphyton is both algae and animals, and is the reason your rocks change color after a few weeks from when they were new. Then the ammonia goes inside the rock, or hits your sand, and bacteria there convert it into nitrite and nitrate. However, the nutrients are still in your tank.

Also let's not forget phosphate, which comes from solid organic food particles. When these particles are eaten by microbes and clean up crews, the organic phosphorus in them is converted into phosphate. However, the nutrients are still in your tank.

So whenever you have algae or cyano "problems", you simply have not exported enough nutrients out of your tank compared to how much you have been feeding (note: live rock can absorb phosphate for up to a year, making it seem like there was never a problem. Then after a year, there is a problem). 

So just increase your nutrient exports. You could also reduce feeding, and this has the same effect, but it's certainly not fun when you want to feed your animals :)
 

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