View Full Version : green algae

09-09-2006, 01:21 PM
My tank has been running for about three months now. I had a brief stage of some brown algae on the glass that was no problem. But now I have this green film algae that is covering everything. It even looks like the water is green. Does anyone know what would cause this? Or how I get rid of it.

09-09-2006, 07:14 PM
Need more info to answer you and a pic would help alot. How long are you running your lights for each day? What type of lights? How often are you feeding? What are you feeding?? How much do you feed?

Answering these will help us answer your questions.

09-10-2006, 12:49 PM
I have 2 96 watt 50/50 PCs and 1 55 watt 10000K PC. I run them for about 12 hours a day. I feed a mix of flake and frozen brine shrimp. Just a pinch of one or the other each night.

09-10-2006, 02:46 PM
How many snails do you have? I don't see any on your glass and snails are awesome algae consumers. You can scrape off the algae too. Most of us wind up cleaning the inside glass more than we care to admit. You might cut back your light time by at least 2 or three hours. Try cutting back to 6 hours then work up to maybe 8 or nine.

09-10-2006, 03:05 PM
I currently have 9 snails. I plan on getting more. I have never seen an algae that was this bright green before. I clean the glass every other day. This glass is almost covered again in 8 hours.

09-10-2006, 04:07 PM
It's definately the light! 12 hours is way too long. Drop to 8 at the most and you will see a difference.

lReef lKeeper
09-10-2006, 05:19 PM
sounds like a lighting issue to me too.

and may i suggest Mysis shrimp instead of Brine ?? Brine shrimp has almost NO nutritional value to your fish. even the vitamin enriched in less nutritional than Mysis.

09-11-2006, 11:37 PM
SNAILS! SNAILS SNAILS!, just incase ya missed it ya need SNAILS, alot of em! A 12 hour light cycle is not horrible, but without anything to consume the algae it will just keep growing.

09-12-2006, 10:58 AM
My thoughts as well.... 12 hours for PC lighting seems to be just about perfect for most critters.... Halides closer to 8 hours. The large Mexican turbo snails and cerith snails would help tremendously with un-greening your tank. Also might want to look for anything producing excess nutrients/phosphates.

09-12-2006, 11:39 AM
I had planned on getting more snails. I was under the impression that I could add snails as the bio load was increased on the tank. I did not expect algae growth like this so quick. Is there something that will help eat the algae of the sand? Also any suggestions on how I locate what is producing the extra phosphates? I would not know where to look. Is my feeding schedule to much? Thanks for the help.

09-12-2006, 07:13 PM
Can you please list the critters in the tank. This will help with determining the feeding schedule.

09-13-2006, 12:11 AM
cerinth snails are great for stirring the sand

09-13-2006, 03:57 PM
I have 3 small damsels and 9 snails. Has anyone tried this Algone product? It claims to clear up green water. I have reduced the lighting time to 8 hours and have also not fed the tank for 3 days. This stuff is growing so fast I cant keep up with it. The water is so murky I cant even see the fish.

09-13-2006, 10:20 PM
The problem with something like "algone" is sometimes these "bandaids" can recycle your tank. Honestly you need a bunch of snails to control this. How big is this tank? 9 snails would be ok for a 10 gallon tank but barely. If your water is green you need get your skimmer working properly, maybe the skimmer is not working to it's full capability. What are you using on this tank? Pumps, skimmer etc??

09-13-2006, 10:26 PM
I used Algone recently on a friends recommendation to fight Red Slime (Cyanobacteria) and it did absolutely nothing for me. He claimed it worked for him. I'm still fighting Cyano with no phosphates, Feeding every other day, Skimming wet and still can't kill it. Chemicals are not the answer, Only a temporary solution.

09-14-2006, 09:50 AM
I agree, the chemical cocktail bandaids can do far more harm then good. If you do not have any coral in your tank, then I'd consider cutting the photoperiod almost to 0 for a couple weeks, increase the clean up crew and then slowly bring your photoperiod back up, increasing it an hour every week or two to stabilize the system.

09-14-2006, 09:29 PM
the tank is a 65 gallon with a 20 gallon sump. The protein skimmer came with the tank so I am not sure of the brand. It is powered by a Rio1100. I also have two power heads in the tank for movement. The tank has 44 pounds of live rock and a bed of crushed coral. Anything I left out? Thanks for the help on this one. It is driving me crazy.

09-14-2006, 10:07 PM
can you take a photo of the skimmer? How much skimmate daily does it extract?

09-17-2006, 11:31 AM
You know I have the same algae in my tank. It's just growing on the glass. I have quite a few snail in my nano and they can't get it off the glass. I've had to resort to utilizing a plastic putty knife to scrape it off the glass and suck it out when I do a water change. It just keeps coming back in force. The only difference that I've had with my tank is I moved it from one side of the room to the other. I initially thought it was because there was some sun hitting it but I remedied that quickly. I've watched the snails as they are eating off the glass and they aren't even coming close to making a difference on it. They for some reason can't bite deep enough to get it off. I'm not sure what to do and I've tried the changing my light timing. Didn't make a difference. And with my anemone and clam in the tank I cant just turn the lighting off for a day or so.

09-17-2006, 01:01 PM
I'm of the firm belief that some algae growth on the glass is going to happen no matter what we try to do anytime the tank is out of balance even the smallest amount nutrients vs. uptake = algae growth. Trying to control what kind of algae is the real trick, be it the green film, diatoms, hair algae, coraline (yes it's actually an algae), all the way to the dreaded cyanobacteria.

In short that's what mag floats were invented for.

09-17-2006, 01:06 PM
The base problem with nuisance algae is that your system is out of balance. There is to much input of nuitrients compared to the output. This means that really you can either reduce your inputs or increase your outputs or a combination of both.

Inputs are such things a food, light, and minerals in your top-off water. To reduce your inputs decrease the amount of food, decrease the amount of light or use filtered (Reverse Osmosis) water. All of these things will reduce the amount of inputs.

Outputs are Protein skimming, refugium, more critters (snails or crabs) or water changes with filtered water. All of these thing exports nutrients out of the system or convert them to something else.

Once your tank is balanced, your nuisance algae will become managable if not dissappear.

09-17-2006, 01:22 PM
You are absolutely on the money with your explanation Whoyah! Our problem with the nuisance algae in the one tank is that there are only 2 Tangs in there and one Engineer Goby. It's not overfeeding in this case either, it's to much light. There are only two corals in the tank at this time (hydronaphora -sp?) I'm waiting for the money fairy to come visit me and stock me up with more coral, and fish. For now, what needs to happen is to shorten the photo period. I'll take the hydronaphora out of there, and really shorten the photo period as they don't really need the fantastic metal halide lighting that's in the tank. ...Angel

09-17-2006, 05:35 PM
I cannot bieleve nobody asked if straight tap water is being used or if you have a RODI water. That would be a HUGE contributing factor to the nutrient level in the water thus bringing on the added algae blooms. TDS is a pretty big factor IMO and its an easy fix.

09-21-2006, 05:57 PM
Since no one else has asked what TDS stands for, they either all know it and I just don't. So tell me, what is TDS? I boiled off my empty tank of live rock full of Aiptasia, and now I need to lick the algae problem and move forward with the tank to whatever I decide it should be. Should it be Seahorses, or another reef tank....or seahorses & reef combined? Anyway, fill me in on the TDS Greg. TDS to me, was a place Dave used to be a Network Admin at for awhile, and I know they don't know a thing about algae! lol Thanks! ...Angel

09-21-2006, 06:37 PM
TDS = Total Disolved Solids :)

Angel, remember testing the water served to us in the resturant a while back because I happened to find our meter in my coat pocket? TDS was over 500ppm :puke: