brown & green algae in new tanks

Discussion in 'Red Sea Max Owners Club' started by nanoreefing4fun, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. nanoreefing4fun

    nanoreefing4fun Well-Known Member
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    I see this question asked a lot - They post "I have brown algae (which is diatoms) & green algae in my new rsm tanks, what can I do about it?"

    So I decided to start this thread, so I can bump it & others can add in there wisdom too to this thread :)

    Let me first say, I can empathize with you, about 11 months ago I started my first swt and I can remember going through the exact same thing & having the exact same questions. I started with beautiful expensive Tonga Branch LiveRock, covered in life & gorgeous coralline algae, along with my pretty very white Seaflor Special Grade sand. Then it started to happen, with in the first two weeks, my beautiful white sand, started to turn brown, then much to my dismay my gorgeous Live Rock started turning brown. Followed a few weeks latter by green hair algae.

    Well let me tell you what I was told & then experienced. All this is Normal New Tank Progression, let it run it's course and it will pass.

    I can still remember thinking, bummer I have an ugly tank (embarrassed to post pics) and I wanted a pretty tank like everyone else, what am I doing wrong. The answer is nothing - this is all normal new tank progression - it will pass in time (mine was not 100% algae free for about 3 months).

    The algae is feeding & using up (a good thing) the silicates in the sand.

    There are a few thing you can do to help, I am about to list - but remember - it's normal new tank progression & the real answer is to let it run it's course and keep telling yourself, it's a phase & will soon pass.

    This is what I do & suggest... others can add tips below and there is more than one way to do all this, what I am listing is my way, how I did it & not a hard fast rule.

    Tips to reduce algae:

    1. Don't overfeed - only feed what the fish can totally consume with in 2 or 3 minutes.
    2. Do regular water changes with ro/di sw - 15% weekly
    3. Run CPE (Chemi-Pure-Elite) or something similar like Rowaphos - carbon with gfo - phosphate removers
    4. Have a hardy CUC (clean up crew) I like snails for cuc - Ceriths, Nassarius, Margarita Turbos, Astrea & Banded Trochus, Mexican Turbos - hermit crabs eat snails - one snail per gallon is a good rule- when starting out, add 1/2 snail per gallon & then over time increase this to 1 snail per gallon.
    5. Run your lights no more than 8 to 10 hours a day. To knock algae back, run you lights 4 hours a day for 5 days, this will not hurt your coral.
    6. When doing water changes you can syphon the sand lightly, using a turkey baster to blow off the rock weekly will help.
    7. Add an Emerald crab, I added one & he wiped out a tank full of the green hair algae in a week.

    Hope something in here helps - remember it will pass - normal new tank progression - you will have a pristine beautiful tank soon ! :)
     
    #1
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
    BryanCLS, Ceejai777, miro and 2 others like this.
  2. tvreaves

    tvreaves New Member

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    re: brown & green algae in new tanks

    From a person who is currently in possession of an ugly brown tank, I thank you for this. This is the exact information I was searching for!
     
    #2
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  3. Nowellsy SNR

    Nowellsy SNR New Member

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    re: brown & green algae in new tanks

    Great post Glenn
     
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  4. NYCreefer

    NYCreefer New Member

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    re: brown & green algae in new tanks

    Great info! Was starting to panic there for a sec .. my tank doesn't look too hot atm. Regarding the Cuc, when is a good time to add them? Should I wait until my cycle completes or can they go in earlier?
     
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  5. nanoreefing4fun

    nanoreefing4fun Well-Known Member
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    re: brown & green algae in new tanks

    Yes - wait until the cycle completes, before adding cuc!

    Glad this post is of some help to some... [​IMG]
     
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  6. fishhead

    fishhead Active Member

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    re: brown & green algae in new tanks

    Time and patience are an key factors when starting up a new tank. Stick with it and time will be your friend. And remember, when things aren't looking right or some parameter is getting out of hand, it usually best NOT to add something to fix it, but rather to do water changes to fix the imbalances, and let time do it's thing.
    Also, It is often the mistake of the starting out reefer to end up with a shelf full of expensive "fixes" used to correct imbalances, and forgetting to address the source of the problem itself. Yes, lots of water changes first year. All worth it. 13 years later, I'm glad I stuck with it and took it slow, and listened to what RS members had to say about things. The LFS's will SELL you "solutions" whereas RS members will GIVE you answers.

    Oh yes, and it sounds odd for to a nitrate spike to be a good thing, but it is the first step towards equilibrium, and what every new tank needs.
    Happy Reefing!
     
    #6
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  7. nanoreefing4fun

    nanoreefing4fun Well-Known Member
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    re: brown & green algae in new tanks

    :bump: just a bump... might help some with new tanks & seeing algae.
     
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  8. dizzyg

    dizzyg New Member

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    re: brown & green algae in new tanks

    I'm at the ugly brown green stage :( added a hardy clean up crew and a lawn mower blenny, I know from having one in my work tank that he will clean the back glass and munch on lots of the green off the rocks! I also got a jaw-fish, he sifts the sand a lot so I'm hoping he will keep the sand as clean as possible for the next few months till my tank is fully mature!
     
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  9. Reefmack

    Reefmack NaClH2O Addicted
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    re: brown & green algae in new tanks

    You have to know that we'll be waiting for some pictures. :)
     
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  10. bhazard

    bhazard New Member

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    re: brown & green algae in new tanks

    I'm at the "had the tank for 8 months and just now have hair algae" stage. Its really bad on one rock. I've added 2 emeralds, numerous turbo snails, and a sea hare, and they have not touched it. I'm shocked that the sea hare hasnt devoured it, nor goes near it.
     
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  11. Reefmack

    Reefmack NaClH2O Addicted
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    re: brown & green algae in new tanks

    Vince - can you tell if it's typical hair algae (non-feathery strands), or Bryopsis (similar, but feathery strands). Bryopsis is tougher to get rid of as few things seem to want to eat it.

    Melevsreef.com - Bryopsis
     
    #11
  12. websurfer

    websurfer New Member

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    re: brown & green algae in new tanks

    Great post .. I just had to remove some of my turbos those things are like bull dozers when they get big .. knocked all of my frags over all most every night..

    Need to get some smaller snails to replace those
     
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  13. nanoreefing4fun

    nanoreefing4fun Well-Known Member
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  14. nanoreefing4fun

    nanoreefing4fun Well-Known Member
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    re: brown & green algae in new tanks

    :bump: just bumping to encourage some of the new tank owners... [​IMG]
     
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  15. Outatime

    Outatime New Member

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    re: brown & green algae in new tanks

    Thank you this thread is going to be a great help to me shortly.
     
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  16. nanoreefing4fun

    nanoreefing4fun Well-Known Member
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    re: brown & green algae in new tanks

     
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  17. thutch6911

    thutch6911 New Member

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    re: brown & green algae in new tanks

    Thanks for the help. Two more questions because I'm not sure because I cycled with Stability...

    1. When should I add my CUC?
    2. When should I make my first water change?
     
    #17
  18. nanoreefing4fun

    nanoreefing4fun Well-Known Member
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  19. nanoreefing4fun

    nanoreefing4fun Well-Known Member
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    re: brown & green algae in new tanks

    lots good tips ... for winning the war on algae here... here a bump, for new members with new tanks... [​IMG]
     
    #19
  20. Epictofer

    Epictofer New Member

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    re: brown & green algae in new tanks

    yea this is a great thread. i have brown algae EVERYWHERE! thanks for the awesome info!!!
     
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