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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2004, 03:18 AM Thread Starter
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Just about had it!

Hello everyone! I had a tragedy occur to my tank and need some of your expert advice.
A few months ago I had a thriving planted 75 gal that I was proud of and that pretty much ran itself with only a little help on my part. My problems began when I noticed my corkscrew vals losing their leaves. I figured that it had to do with a lack of nutrients in the substrate (I have only gravel). Around the same time I noticed that my nitrate levels had fallen, and began trying to raise them. This is where it got bad! Some sort of string algae began taking over my gravel and bba began showing up everywhere.
Presently, everything in the tank is dead, dieing, or covered in algae and I'm ready to tear it down and start over because it makes my other tanks look really bad!
My question is that if I want to re-use my driftwood pieces in the new setup, what steps should I take to rid them of the algae. Also, can the same steps be taken to clean the gravel? I'm at a point with this where I'm very close to making this tank saltwater like the rest of mine, but I like to have something other than sand and rock and corals to look at, so any advice on how to make this re-do work with positive results would be greatly appreciated! Thanks everyone!

J.C.

75 gal - 2 Magnum 350's, Turbo Twist 3x UV Sterilizer, 260w Aqualight, 250w Ebo Jager, Pressurized Co2: JBJ regulator/bubble counter, aluminum 5# cylinder, DIY External Reactor.
10 gal Reef - AC Mini w/Chemi-pure & Phosguard, AC 201 PH, 96w Aqualight Power Quad, ~7# live rock, ~5# Aragonite sand, Frogspawn, Mushrooms, Hammer, Brain, Osc. Clown & 6-line Wrasse.
20H FO Saltwater - AC 200 w/Chemi-pure, 24" Dual Shop light w/ Coralife 50/50 bulbs, 15# Aragonite sand, ~11# lava rock.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2004, 03:43 AM
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if you really think your tank is beyond hope, then you can easily nuke in a way that will be safe later on.

Go to your local market/drugstore and get like 3 bottles of hydrogen peroxide. Dump them all in and keep the pump running. This should oxidize all living things...algae bacteria ...everything. H2O2 will degrade on its own (WC's wont hurt) and you do not need to nutralize anything. I'm not 100% sure that this will nuke every last cell...nor not 100% sure that it won't age the filter in anyway. I personally would feel safe about it though.

Again, this is a last resort as it pretty much resets your tank to day 1.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2004, 04:49 AM
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Just did a similar thing. Neglected my tank for months and just beginning to redo it again. Had a very thick carpet of algae (pretty easy to remove since it came off in mats along with the sand and any that was on the tank walls ) and some of it on the driftwood. I just stripped the algae off the wood and took as much of the algae off the wood as possible. After that, I changed a portion of the tank, cleaned out the filter, and just let the tank balance itself out. Took less than a week and the algae is no longer there and the water is as pristine as it was before.

Eric


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2004, 07:01 AM
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Remove any fish from the tank before dumping large amounts of Hydrogen Peroxide in the tank.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2004, 12:35 PM
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Did you add any fert sticks to the gravel to help your Vals just prior to the algae woes ? If the gravel is too coarse or too shallow it will seep too many nutrients through the layer and create a mess.
Also...
Lighting period... How long ?
CO2... Is your "DIY" reactor doing its job ?
Water Changes ? Often enough ? (This time of year with water temp's can be difficult and need to be frequent)

You say you started raising your Nitrates...you also say in your "sig" that you have too many fish in that tank... many fish in a tank usually create a good supply of nitrates, maybe you went overboard there as well ?

How old is this tank ?
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-08-2004, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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I was monitoring the levels of nitrate and adding KNO3 until I got between 5 and 10 ppm and my phosphate was already at .5 to 1 ppm and kept it there with KH2PO4. My in-line reactor works 10 times better than the in-tank one I had before and I was able to turn the CO2 down adn still keep my desired pH of 6.8-6.9.
I did add fert sticks to the areas under the vals, and figured that that must have contributed to the algae problem, but the algae was present before I added them. I thought that maybe by removing the only fast growers in my tank (cabomba) that there might have been an excess of nutrients that the algae used to grow. But like I said before, I monitored nitrate and phosphate, so it may have been micros that accumilated. I add iron once a week (which my anubius love) and potassium (K2SO4) after water changes.
If I were to use a weak solution of bleach and water, would that damage the driftwood in any way or make it turn a certain colour? I know it will kill the bba, but I want to make sure I don't harm the wood, they're some nice pieces I found at my lfs. Thanks again for help!

J.C.

75 gal - 2 Magnum 350's, Turbo Twist 3x UV Sterilizer, 260w Aqualight, 250w Ebo Jager, Pressurized Co2: JBJ regulator/bubble counter, aluminum 5# cylinder, DIY External Reactor.
10 gal Reef - AC Mini w/Chemi-pure & Phosguard, AC 201 PH, 96w Aqualight Power Quad, ~7# live rock, ~5# Aragonite sand, Frogspawn, Mushrooms, Hammer, Brain, Osc. Clown & 6-line Wrasse.
20H FO Saltwater - AC 200 w/Chemi-pure, 24" Dual Shop light w/ Coralife 50/50 bulbs, 15# Aragonite sand, ~11# lava rock.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-09-2004, 03:26 AM
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You can boil it, or bleach it to kill algae. I bleach at 25:1 and it does a great job on algae, BBA included. Just soak the piece in a tub with Tap Water Conditioner after bleaching. This will not harm or discolor driftwood.
It's for this very reason that I don't use and advise against the use of plant tabs/Jobe's sticks in the substrate. IMO, they raise the possibility of algae issues, and are not necessary. I've got a huge stand of Val. and have never put a substrate tab in my tanks.

Len

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-10-2004, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. I figured that bleach would be alright, I just needed to find out what ratio to use. How long do you soak the wood for in order to kill all the algae?
I took out all the plants and began cleaning out the gravel. It was sad to throw away all that I had accomplished, but at least I know what things not to do the next time and that I will need to keep a closer eye on things unless I want to start throwing more away! I guess we all learn from our mistakes at some point. What's funny is that I thought a reef tank would be harder to take care of than a planted tank, but it's actually the other way around! Thanks again for your help, I'll keep you posted on how the driftwood turns out.

J.C.

75 gal - 2 Magnum 350's, Turbo Twist 3x UV Sterilizer, 260w Aqualight, 250w Ebo Jager, Pressurized Co2: JBJ regulator/bubble counter, aluminum 5# cylinder, DIY External Reactor.
10 gal Reef - AC Mini w/Chemi-pure & Phosguard, AC 201 PH, 96w Aqualight Power Quad, ~7# live rock, ~5# Aragonite sand, Frogspawn, Mushrooms, Hammer, Brain, Osc. Clown & 6-line Wrasse.
20H FO Saltwater - AC 200 w/Chemi-pure, 24" Dual Shop light w/ Coralife 50/50 bulbs, 15# Aragonite sand, ~11# lava rock.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-10-2004, 06:04 PM
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You can soak it for as long a you like, but it's not necessary to go much longer than 5 - 10 mins. as it will kill the algae in a couple of mins.
Be sure and rinse well and let it soak in the fresh water tub with the Tap Water Conditioner.

Len

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Len

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