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Thread: Nano Q's

  1. Default Nano Q's

    0 Not allowed!
    So I finally got the desire to try my hand at a reef tank and decided to go with a nano reef. It is only a 2.5 gallon w/ live rock a few small hermits, micro stars, and some soft corals.

    This tank has been setup for about 6 months now and seems to be doing very well, but recently I started noticing some red algae on the glass and some on my live rock. Is there anything I can do about this without hurting my coral? I'm far from a newb to FW fishkeeping, but I will be the first to say I have much to learn about SW. I'll also admit that I am having more fun with this project than I anticipated (I was sort of an anti-marine tank person).

    Any advice or tips are appreciated!
    Gar connaisseur

    Predatory Tank:
    20" Tropical Gar, 18" Florida Gar, 20" Longnose Gar,
    17" Ornate Bichir, 25" Silver Arowana, 16" Bowfin, 15" Giant Gourami

    16" Male Dovii

  2. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    this will fix your tank...
    the 6-9 month mark is a challenge, most picos wreck with algae at this point and you have a chance to save yours

    this is only one way to fix it, but there is no other way I would use.

    -when changing water, change all of it, stop doing partial water changes its storing up nutrients in your tank. tidal reefs are exposed for hours and hours in certain places, corals don't mind quick emersion during these changes.

    wipe off the red algae on the glass during the next full change.

    -take a blue jet flame lighter and singe the algae on the rocks while the tank is empty during the change, then wipe off with a paper towel and fill up. Get all the algae out in one cleaning, and when it comes back do the same.

    not any time for explanation at work but this is what I do!

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks! I'll give just about anything a shot. Will the algae ever not come back?
    Gar connaisseur

    Predatory Tank:
    20" Tropical Gar, 18" Florida Gar, 20" Longnose Gar,
    17" Ornate Bichir, 25" Silver Arowana, 16" Bowfin, 15" Giant Gourami

    16" Male Dovii

  4. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    The algae is simply the result of dissolved nutrition in the water. Water changes get rid of that. If you never let the nutrients build you will never get algae. Easier said then done, I know.

    In the interest of your inverts, let me suggest that you that these changes be done "acclimation style". Meaning, that you have a large container of salt water siphoning into your tank through an airline hose. At the same time you have an airline siphoning out of your tank. Your tank is so tiny the extra water use won't be that much. The idea is that the water chem changes slower in the tank. I don't know about corals, but I've had a number of things die due to large water changes.
    80 Gallon: Native Temperate Reef

    5 Gallon Native Temperate Invert tank

    20 Gallon Planted: Cherry Barbs, Common Pleco, Floating frog, Fire Bellied Newt

    10 Gallon Planted: Apple Snails/Cherry Barb Breeder.... fingers crossed

  5. #5


    0 Not allowed!
    Different algae blooms are simply stages most SW tanks go thru. Usually diatoms, then cyanobacteria, then hair algae.
    Continuing proper tank maintenance with partial water changes and reducing excess nutrients, proper water flow and proper lighting, will get you by. For cyano, you want to vacuum as much of the stuff out as you can when you do your water change.
    As Michael mentioned above, large water changes can kill critters that aren't from those tidal zones. Unless you know where your stock is from, I wouldn't risk large water changes.
    Last edited by sheamurai; 12-07-2010 at 01:35 AM.
    20gal long planted community

  6. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    getting twenty responses is the tough part of a reef forum lol enjoy your information cherry picking lol

    those are excellent origins for the algae. my thoughts were that unless you were going to hook up a giant skimmer, large water changes and a timed feeding could be your only approach to real nutrient control.

    also, the flame is excellent because it physically removes algae, even after it would still be present in your tank by resetting your values to low nitrates and no phosphates, algae doesn't just go away when you reach those, it has to be sustained. You can wait all that time, or have it done in one hour and your tank will instantly look great, then you rezap the popups that are naturally emerging as said above, and in time they will lessen due to the large frequent water changes.
    In nano reefs, large water changes are inconsequential because the environment is already so harsh. How is it my delicate tanks of twenty genera get 100% changes for years and not need to adapt animals to clean water to begin with it works


    either way you choose, post pics, we need at least cell phone pics for this outcome its a good buildup. no one chooses the fire way so at least post pics of all the snails you buy

  7. Default -

    0 Not allowed!
    obviously I don't mean press and hold the fire to the rock, you quick pass it and get a mass dieoff its harmless to the undersurface. the rock is so wet and nonconductive that after you try it, you'll see its the only way to go in algae removal. Mowing your lawn with goats is always an option too but I choose the toro.
    Last edited by brandon429; 12-07-2010 at 05:03 AM.

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks guys. I'm not exactly sure which way i'll go yet. I hardly ever feed the tank...Just a few shrimp pellets or some brine once in a while for the crabs. Then I use calcium and iodide for my corals. I normally do one gallon per week or every other week as a water change. I really didn't expect an algae outbreak because I felt I was taking pretty good care of the tank. Like I said...This is new to me.
    Gar connaisseur

    Predatory Tank:
    20" Tropical Gar, 18" Florida Gar, 20" Longnose Gar,
    17" Ornate Bichir, 25" Silver Arowana, 16" Bowfin, 15" Giant Gourami

    16" Male Dovii

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    a tank that size is really considered a pico reef. a ten gallon would give you more room for error, but nano reefs are by nature, fragile. what kind of lights do you use? can we see a picture? the blue spectrum is better to use because it is more natural and cyano and hair algae seem to explode under warmer colored lights. even if you don't physically feed the tank very much, the corals produce NO3 and other elements as a by product of the photosynthetic algae colonies inside them. most algae loves NO3 and this can lead to a bloom, but it can also happen when you change the nitrate levels too quickly. on one of my tanks, i saw the trates shoot up, paniked, did a major WC, and the next day the algae went crazy. i lost a good sized green star polyp colony. not a happy reefer. but if i were you, i'd try what everyone else is saying, and seriously think about a slightly bigger tank for more elbow room. or a sump, they are great as well.

    75 gallon freshwater, 1 pleco, 1 pumkinseed hybrid sunfish, 1 crayfish, 1 sengal bichir,1 convict cichlid.
    45 gallon-ball python-20 gallon-honduran milk snake. 35 gallon-black rat snake
    10 gallon-black rat snake
    90 gallon reef tank
    10 gallon, 2 darters, 2 cory cats
    come over and count all the scales at my house some time!

  10. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    I have a 20 long that I could probably make available, but I'm not sure how far into the "reef" thing I want to get. I mean, I like it alot, but I have plenty to keep me busy between all of the herps and my FW pred/comm tanks. I appreciate the advice and will keep you updated.

    I'll check the info on the light/fixture when I get home. I think it's just a 12" strip, but I forget the specs on the tube itself.

    Gar connaisseur

    Predatory Tank:
    20" Tropical Gar, 18" Florida Gar, 20" Longnose Gar,
    17" Ornate Bichir, 25" Silver Arowana, 16" Bowfin, 15" Giant Gourami

    16" Male Dovii

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