Well here's my dilemma... I've picked out a spot for my future reef tank and it really can't be put anywhere else in the house whatsoever. Our living room is one of the tall slanted ones that has windows at the top of one of the taller wall and the spot I have picked out unfortunately gets hit with sunlight for part of the day. I'm not sure exactly how long, maybe one or two hours tops? I know sunlight on a tank can cause algae problems, but there's not really any way around it and I don't really want to put curtains or blinds on the windows. So my questions are: would sunlight cause any other problems besides algae and possibly small temperature fluctuations? What can I do to the tank to prevent the algae from growing in the first place? I think maybe strong lights will solve this, am I wrong in thinking that? Any other suggestions you guys can think of?
Nitrate and phosphate control (water changes, rinsing of frozen food, protein skimmer and phosphate reactor usage are a few techniques).
Originally Posted by SunSchein89
Keeping nitrate, phosphate and dissolved organic compounds at or near undetectable levels will curtail algae growth.
Any other suggestions?
The only other suggestion I could see would be to address the symptoms (algae) and not the cause (nitrates, phosphates, etc) and that would be to utilize algae-eating organisms.
In that regard I would highly recommend turbo snails (not to be confused with astrea snails). Turbo's can tackle pretty much most types (film algae, hair algae, tough wire algae, etc). Combined with others such as certain crabs and other snails and various inverts, algae in the tank can be suppressed.
I kind of regard algae like fire. There's the fire triangle: heat, fuel, and oxygen. Remove one, some or all sides of the fire triangle and the fire gets extinguished.
Similarly, I see the sides of a 'algae triangle' as being: light, phosphate and nitrate. Remove one, some or all sides of this 'algae triangle' and algae goes away. In a reef tank you need light so logically phosphate and nitrate are the algae-enablers which need to be controlled.
Gotcha. Thanks again. One other question now: would it be possible for the turbo snails to eat all the algae, thus eliminating their food, and ultimately dying off because of that or if I have the right amount of snails would it just stay at a balance?
If conditions promoting algae remains then a balance of a sort would have to be found so that algae production matches the snail's consumption rate. Algae-eating snails will starve if their consumption rate exceeds the algae growth rate.
So the ideal balance would be for the snail to consume the algae as quickly as it grows, the outcome being no visible algae and a roving snail. That balance could be just having 1-3 turbo's instead of 10 or so. To find that balance you may have to start with one then tweak the numbers up depending on performance over time.
Crabs are largely omnivorous so if they solved the algae problem they have other dietary alternatives to turn to after algae depletion.
This may be a silly option, but as I can't really picture the layout of your house this may or may not be useful.
They have those folding/adjustable/moveable 3 panel room dividers that you could maybe use to block the light? If its only going to hit one end perhaps put a background on that side?
Just throwing out more ideas...
I would think taking into account your lighting would help. Set your timer so your tank gets less light from the light strips because it is getting natural light.
Like, if your tank gets sun between 2 and 4 pm. Time your lights to go off a little before 2 and come back on a bit after 4.
I was having some algae in mine b/c in the late afternoon the corner of my tank got sunlight. I cut back on my lighting and now its gone.
30g:: Planted: 1 SAE, 1 Bristlenose Pleco, 5 Guppies, 3 Platys, 1 zebra danio, 9 Rasboras
2.5g: 1 Male Betta
I have a simalir problem, my tank is in the corner by the windoiw and gets light on it.
I have found that having 5 turbo snails, 2white and 3 painted, means that snails patrol all the time, I also have 2 hermits and my blenny loves a spot of algae as well. All in all they now keep the algea where you can see alittle bit, but its not covering everything.
I have a nice coral on that side and it seems to grow very well, due to the natural sunlight
[url=http://www.fishyeggs.com/levelup.php?id=131][img]http://www.fishyeggs.com/get/131.gif[/community of guppies and b/n plecs [/COLOR]
Tank 2, 60L 2ft tank, Pair of blonde red guppies (guppy mating breeding project)
Tank 3 Nano Reef in recovery 23ishg 1 Cardinal 1 twotoned blenny
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Cool, thanks for all the additional pointers. Looks like I'll definitely be getting some snails and crabs in my tank .