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Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. Default Brown hair algae infestation

    0 Not allowed!
    I have a 55-gallon fish only aquarium. I have 3 fish and about 8 snails. They mostly hang out at the very top of the glass, so they aren't eating much algae. I have a wet-dry filter, 216 watts of T5 lighting, and 2 powerheads. No protein skimmer yet. I've been cycling the tank for about 5 weeks now. Ammonia is at 0, nitrite is at .5 for about 2 weeks now, nitrates are through the roof at 160+. For the last couple of weeks, I've had a major brown hair algae problem. It grows everywhere. After I vacuum the rocks and clean the glass, a couple of days later, it all grows back. I haven't done any partial water changes up to this point, because my LFS tells me to wait until the nitrite reaches zero, then change out about 10 gallons. I do, however, top off the water almost every day. They sold me Algon to lower my nitrates, but it doesn't seem to be doing much of anything. My ammonia has been at 0 for a while now, but my nitrite levels seem to fluctuate between .25 and .5. How long should it take the nitrites to reach 0, and should I continue to wait to do a water change? Is all of this normal, or do I have a major problem? Someone please give me some sound advice. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    Wish I could, I know nothing in part. about salt water but the cycle part should be similar.With o ammonia and fluctuateing Nitrites sounds normal to me but I would say do a water change to get the Nitrates down. I don't think you have a problem but want to here from others on this one

    I once thought I was Brave, but I can't stop crying. "Kendal Payne"
    135g. 6' -"currently"under reno. to river tank for 12-L204 Panaques and 12 Cory Sterbai
    135g. DIY 48"X28"X24"- 1/2" glass. 7-wild L046Hypancistrus zebra
    65g.- 7 [B]wild[/B]L066 Hypancistrus King tigers 6 - 30g. fry tanks
    BE responsable!

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    I would repost this in technical. It's a good q just not enough saltwater people right now. I would like to know too now.

    I once thought I was Brave, but I can't stop crying. "Kendal Payne"
    135g. 6' -"currently"under reno. to river tank for 12-L204 Panaques and 12 Cory Sterbai
    135g. DIY 48"X28"X24"- 1/2" glass. 7-wild L046Hypancistrus zebra
    65g.- 7 [B]wild[/B]L066 Hypancistrus King tigers 6 - 30g. fry tanks
    BE responsable!

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    Saltwater is not like freshwater, if I were you I would take the fish back right away and cycle your tank first.

    What are you using for water? Ro/di water is recommended, as it does not add any nutrients to your tank. If you are using tap water, that will be part of the problem there.

    Is there live rock in your tank?

    I have no experience with wet-dry filters, but pretty much everyone uses live rock as their filter. Conventional bio-media is well known in the saltwater hobby to be a "nitrate factory" which certainly seems to fit in your case.

    What I would do:
    Bring the fish back.
    Get some live rock if you don't have any - at least 60lbs, more is better. You can get less live rock if you mix it with dead rock, which will be cheaper if cost is an issue. 80 lbs of rock would be a good amount, all told.
    Ditch the wet-dry filter.
    Wait for another reefer to agree with me, lol.

    Once the above is done, your levels - and your algae - should level out into something more manageable.

    good luck
    20gal long planted community

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!

    When I go to any of my local fish stores, they all seem to have wet dry filters on their saltwater tanks. I don't have any live rock however. It sounds like you want me to almost completely start over. Isn't there an easier solution? I started looking around at some threads that suggested that diatoms are a normal part of having a new tank. I really don't want to have to start from scratch. Anyone else have some insight?

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    Diatoms are normal, yes, nitrites and sky high levels of nitrates are not. So you would not be starting from scratch, as your tank has not cycled yet.

    All I can advise is what worked for me - I started my tank with live rock, and I never had any ammonia or nitrites. My nitrates were never higher than 40.
    I quit using tap water and my nitrates dropped. I am still battling cyano.
    After diatoms, you can expect hair algae, then cyano, before your tank settles. All normal stages.

    You never mentioned what you are using for water - this is a factor, no matter what filtration method you are using.

    I hope someone can give you the easy answer you are looking for. Keep researching and reading. Good luck with your tank.
    20gal long planted community

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Before I started my tank up, it had been sitting dormant for years. I still had water and dead coral rocks in it, and I would always tap it off with tap water when it got low. So when I started the tank back up 5 weeks ago, there was a significant amount of tap water in there already from over the years. For the last 5 weeks, I have been using RO/DI to tap off the tank. Again, I haven't done any significant water changes in 5 weeks, because my LFS says to wait until nitrites reach 0. It seems that a lot of people change their water every 1 to 2 weeks, and from what I've read, it helps drop nitrate levels. Should I disregard what my LFS tells me, and go ahead and do a 20% water change? Will this delay my cycle?

    By the way, the algae bloom I have is brown and hairy. It's growing on all of my dead coral rocks, and there's even some on the glass and sand. It comes off easily, but there's just so much of it. Is that considered diatoms?

  8. #8


    0 Not allowed!
    For now Kill the lights and turn on only during feeding.

    Your water parameters right now are ideal for fueling nuisance algae. Take light out of the equation and no matter how well the water is at fueling nuisance algae, nuisance algae cannot develop without light. You have a long road to suitable water conditions for a SW tank. During an extended lights-out period, remove as much of the algae as possible.

    I would actually recommend a much larger water change than 10gal when the nitrites are undetectable. If you match the parameters (salinity, temperature, pH and alkalinity) you can (and probably should) change out at least half or even 75-80% if you return your fish and snails to reduce 160+ppm nitrates levels down to double-digit ppm.

    Fish Only (FO) systems are different than FOWLR systems (for the most part FO systems are like FW non-planted tanks in terms of nitrate accumulation).

    For nitrate control in a FO system you must utilize other means than live rock (since live rock isn't in the FO equation), such as a protein skimmer, deep sand bed, macroalgae, and (for the advanced) carbon sources such as vodka or sugar, etc to feed 'nitrate-eating' bacteria.

    If you have the means to convert the FO to a FOWLR you can potentially maintain undetectable nitrate levels all the time and will probably be a easier system to manage over the long term.
    African cichlid and saltwater aquariums

  9. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Is there any way to convert dead coral rock to live rock?

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    Put it in a tank with live rock and wait. After 2 weeks to a month it will be alive

    29 gallon-planted community

    20 long frag tank
    75 gal-planted goldfish

    75 gallon mixed reef with 20 gallon sump

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