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Author Topic: cycling questions - brown algae everywhere  (Read 5167 times)

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Offline VickiG

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cycling questions - brown algae everywhere
« on: July 18, 2006, 10:15:10 am »
Ok, I figured it was about time someone used this part of the forum again, even thought I don't really have crabs (yet! - Reeftopia order coming tomorrow - thanks Dashia!).  I have some questions for you experienced reefers.  We are cycling our tank, as you know.  Have about 2/3 of our live rock now in for two weeks.  Will be getting more soon, but in the meantime, we are definitely getting ugly brown algae on the rocks and the sides of the tank.  It is now 'flowing like wheat in the wind' in the water current, maybe 1/2 inch long.   :shock:  Told you it was ugly.  Our water parameters, tested Sunday:  Temp 78, pH 8.2, ORP, 280, Alk 3.6, Ca 400, SG 1.024, D.O. 6.5, NO2 .15, NO3 4.0, NH3 .25.  So you can see our Nitrate is coming up a bit and a little ammonia.  The algae showed up after our last water tests and we shut our lights off but have not re-tested the water, which I intend to do this evening.  So...are we "cycling" yet at this point?  Other than the janitor order coming tomorrow, do we need to do anything about the algae?  At what point would we need to do a water change and how much?  We are adding a couple gallons of top-off every day, but no water changes yet.  We have a small (about 4 gal) 'fuge going with just some refugium sediment (Kent Marine - not the Miracle Mud) and a few LR rubble rocks - should we add any macro algae yet to the 'fuge?  Chaeto perhaps?  Also, UVS has been off - should we turn it on yet?  When we get the rest of our live rock, I imagine these parameters will all change.   The temp is holding between 78 and 78.5 now with the new chiller, pH is staying right around 8.2, ORP is up to about 320.  But, from where we are at right now, what actions/water treatments etc do you guys suggest?  

Sorry for the long e-mail... you know how much we newbies have to learn and ask questions of all you OLD TIMERS!   :lol:   Looking forward to your input/advice/suggestions.  Thanks in advance!
Vicki
"I always wanted to pretend to be a marine biologist" - George Costanza

Offline Les

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cycling questions - brown algae everywhere
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2006, 02:57:19 pm »
Vicki,
That's what cycling a tank is all about. What you're seeing is the cycle process. You may want to do a water change, about 5- 10% a week should do. Please bare in mind that you may go through this again when you put in the rest of the live rock.
I would say yes on adding some macro algae. Any nutrient export you can get started would also good for the tank.
400 Gal Reef/Fish custom built tank w/90 gal sump. Dolphin Ampmaster 4000, Dolphin Ampmaster 2100, Dolphin Aquasea 5200, Dolphin Ampmaster 7500, Five 400 MH 10,000 K bulbs with 2 VHO actinic

Offline VickiG

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cycling questions - brown algae everywhere
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2006, 03:27:51 pm »
Thanks Les.  I just wanted to make sure that what we are seeing is 'normal' for cycling and not something crazy going on that we need to get concerned about or that will get wildly out of control.  We do know we'll likely see more of the same when we put more rock in.  I might go get some Chaeto today and toss in the 'fuge.  What about the UVS - should that be running yet? (I said no because we want all the 'good' bacteria to develop - Darrel thinks it should be on all the time - so you can settle our disagreement!  Ooh, no one likes to be put in the middle of that!   :lol: )  Thanks again!
Vicki
"I always wanted to pretend to be a marine biologist" - George Costanza

Offline Les

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cycling questions - brown algae everywhere
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2006, 03:36:10 pm »
The only thing a UV will do is kill the free floating algea, not the stuff growing on the rocks. I wouldn't bother running it until you get your first fish in the tank.
400 Gal Reef/Fish custom built tank w/90 gal sump. Dolphin Ampmaster 4000, Dolphin Ampmaster 2100, Dolphin Aquasea 5200, Dolphin Ampmaster 7500, Five 400 MH 10,000 K bulbs with 2 VHO actinic

Offline VickiG

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cycling questions - brown algae everywhere
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2006, 04:29:53 pm »
Ahh...that make sense!  Thanks again Les!
Vicki
"I always wanted to pretend to be a marine biologist" - George Costanza

Offline angelscrx

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cycling questions - brown algae everywhere
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2006, 04:35:21 pm »
I'd be hesitant about adding any critters yet as your tank will spike (ammonia) and then come down during the cycle and the spike may kill snails and stuff.  If you have enough stuff die in the tank your cycle will be prolonged and the algae will get worse.  Keep a lot of flow going for now and 10% water changes on a regular basis will speed it up.  Depending on how bad it gets you can do a water change every two - three days or just do the normal once a week.  HTH :D
150g AGA, 200lbs LR, Cinnamon Clown, 2 engineer gobies, Spotted Mandarin, coral beauty, Skunk cleaner, scarlet wrasse, Bangai Cardinals.  Corals, check out my thread!!

Offline VickiG

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cycling questions - brown algae everywhere
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2006, 07:18:30 pm »
Angel, as always, Thanks for your words of advice and encouragement.
Vicki
"I always wanted to pretend to be a marine biologist" - George Costanza

Offline dakota's dad

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thanks
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2006, 07:21:19 am »
thanks vicki for asking some really good questions about new tanks. i am getting ready to start a 75 aga. hopefully soon. the more you ask the lees i have to. :D
Paul:75gal aga w/ 400 xm 10k, 175 xm 10k & 24" t8 actinic with fish, sps skeletons & a few shrooms. 20 gal w/fish,enemones, lps & softies

Offline VickiG

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Re: thanks
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2006, 10:41:58 am »
Quote from: dakota's dad
thanks vicki for asking some really good questions about new tanks. i am getting ready to start a 75 aga. hopefully soon. the more you ask the lees i have to. :D[/quote

Ha ha, we do ask lots of questions!  We started our reef tank project in Jan 05 (also when we joined the club) and we have taken LOTS of time to research, look at what others have done, and ask questions.  Darrel says we are too old to have to do this all over again, so he wants to get it right the first time!   :lol:  We've definitely learned a lot from other club members as well as just reading all the different reef forums like Reef Frontiers, Reef Central, and MCSAC of course!  And asking lots and lots of questions.  Bear in mind that you'll get 10 different answers for every question and people will disagree with what you ultimately decide to do, but if you put a lot of time, research and thought into your design and plans, you are the one who will live with the outcome, so do what you believe works best for you (you can always change it later if you have to, right?!).  We are hoping we've made good decisions about our reef system, but of course already see things we'd have done differently and we are not even 'up and running' yet.  Take your time, read books and magazines, look at the forums, ask lots of questions and most of all, enjoy the whole process, from the designing and planning stages, building the beast, stocking it with critters - all the way.  This is such a complex hobby, but so much fun, very educational and fulfilling.  There are lots of great folks to help you along the way - never be afraid to ask!  Enjoy!
Vicki
"I always wanted to pretend to be a marine biologist" - George Costanza

Offline dakota's dad

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pics
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2006, 11:10:39 am »
if i was a little smarter with a computer  :?  i would post pics of my tank (it also helps to have a digital camera) and how it is turning out so far.
Paul:75gal aga w/ 400 xm 10k, 175 xm 10k & 24" t8 actinic with fish, sps skeletons & a few shrooms. 20 gal w/fish,enemones, lps & softies

Offline Les

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cycling questions - brown algae everywhere
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2006, 03:26:51 pm »
Here is a pic of Paul's tank I think.
400 Gal Reef/Fish custom built tank w/90 gal sump. Dolphin Ampmaster 4000, Dolphin Ampmaster 2100, Dolphin Aquasea 5200, Dolphin Ampmaster 7500, Five 400 MH 10,000 K bulbs with 2 VHO actinic

Offline dakota's dad

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thanks
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2006, 01:58:52 pm »
thanks les. the pic is of my tank. off of my phone so the quality is poor.
Paul:75gal aga w/ 400 xm 10k, 175 xm 10k & 24" t8 actinic with fish, sps skeletons & a few shrooms. 20 gal w/fish,enemones, lps & softies

Offline angelscrx

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cycling questions - brown algae everywhere
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2006, 06:13:13 pm »
Paul that is a great start.  I know that is going to be one sweet set up.
150g AGA, 200lbs LR, Cinnamon Clown, 2 engineer gobies, Spotted Mandarin, coral beauty, Skunk cleaner, scarlet wrasse, Bangai Cardinals.  Corals, check out my thread!!

Offline dakota's dad

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cycling questions - brown algae everywhere
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2006, 12:20:20 pm »
thanks angel. hope to see some pics of your progress as well. :D
Paul:75gal aga w/ 400 xm 10k, 175 xm 10k & 24" t8 actinic with fish, sps skeletons & a few shrooms. 20 gal w/fish,enemones, lps & softies

Offline nacheetah

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cycling questions - brown algae everywhere
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2006, 05:06:07 pm »
Wow, it's great to see more activity on the forum.  It seems like it's been quiet lately.  Yes, Vicky...keep asking those questions because I'm trying to learn a little about this before we get into the bigger set up.  Our 55 has quite a bit of coraleen..o.k. teach me how to spell it (that red stuff) on the glass now and I was told that is a good thing.  It's going to be sad to see the 55 go because it looks soo healthy right now even with all this heat and no chiller.  We will definately have to get one for the bigger one.
In the works on a 120 GL.
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