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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm pretty new to this salt set up. I actually had a 55g set up about 10 years ago but it was very basic at the time.

I've just cycled a 72g bf. Salinity is 1.023, Ammonia 0ppm, Nitrites 0ppm, and Nitrates are running between 5-10 ppm with a Temp around 78-79 degrees.

My set up consists of LED's in a canopy running approximately 9 hours a day at full power and actinics only for about an additional hour. No idea why, it's just what I did with the timer. I have a 20g sump/fuge with a skimmer set up in the first compartment with the overflow, a 3-4 inch sandbed + LR rubble in the middle and the return pump in the third compartment.

All water was made with a 4 stage ro/di BRS filtration unit.

Currently I have approxmimately 10 blue leg hermits, 7 astria snails, 3 Tongan snails and 1 Emerald Crab. I have 3 Chromis, 1 Royal Gramma and 1 Lawnmower Blenny.

I'm feeding 1 time per day, 1/2 cube of mysis shrimp placed into a cup of tank water to unfreeze.

I'm exeriencing quite a bit of green hair algae and green bubble algae in the display on some of the live rock and sandbed.

First question, is that clean up crew sufficient or would I be wise to invest in more inverts for 72 gallons, or should I shorten the photoperiod.

Next, I have quite a bit of slime algae in the sump/fuge. Could this be hitching a ride on the return pump and promoting the growth in the display tank? Also, I'm looking to add Chaeto in an effort to lower nitrates and restrict the nutrient load for other nuisance algae. Is it beneficial to add inverts to the sump/fuge to take care of the slime algae that will not eat the chaeto and what types won't eat the chaeto? FYI the skimmer and a lamp are on a 12 hour timer (overnight) in the sump / fuge.

Last question, i swear. I'm eventually, once the tank has matured, looking to add coral. I'm curious as to a proper flow from a gph perspective. I have the return pump which I *think* is something like 600 gph, and 2 hydor 1400's which puts me around 3400 gph for a 72 gallon set up. I actually cut off one of the Hydors because it seemed like the chromis couldn't stay in one place if they wanted to from high current.

Thanks for any help or insight you might provide :)
 

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You don't need to run your lights 9 hours a day at full power. While I may be mistaken, I believe that 4 hours of light per day is adequate for your future coral growth.

Alot of people run 8-12 hour a day cycles but it is typically a ramp-up and ramp-down cycle with their LEDs and in the end it is basically so you can benefit from viewing your tank longer than the tank ever benefits from the lights being on that long. You can bring in sunrise and sunset modes to similuate things but there is nothing documented that I have ever read that says your tank does better under those conditions.

Your tank is new so algae is going to come and go... All of that ammonia and nitrite that you were waiting to go away is now nitrate. You can put into place a system for removing nitrates... Algae scrubber, bio-pellets, water changes to name a few but you really cannot avoid the algae phase of your maturing system.

If you used dry rock to set the tank up there is a strong if not definately possibility that the rock will be leaching nutrients into the system which will cause algae and that is something you will need to live with and try to control until the rock is done which can be 6-8 months. To help with this you can run some GFO on the system.

You don't need to put a clean-up crew in your sump/fuge. I would let the skimmer run 24/7. Not sure why you want to turn it off when it is your primary source of nutrient extraction?

Your clean-up crew is a band-aid more than anything. You will ultimately want to be at the point where your system doesn't need to rely on animals eating the algae. Most will eventually die of starvation. Alot of people on these forums will probably tell you that had a large clean-up crew at some point which over time is now a handful of crabs and snails that are around to take care of leftover foods and to clean your glass. That being said, if you want to spend $75 dollars on Diver's Den to buy yourself some Trochus snails to help clean things up there is nothing wrong with that. Just don't rely on them. Needing large clean-up crews for an extended period of time is just masking the underlying problem.

I wouldn't worry about flow right now for corals because it depends entirely on what you ultimately want to keep in the tank. More then likely you'll pick-up some easy to care for corals and your current flow will be more than sufficient.

If you are running LEDs and T5s on your system I would consider running the T5s longer and perhaps changing to Coral Plus or AquaBlue Special bulbs and then using your LEDs for blue. This is one that you'll hear 50 different answers on. If you already have LEDs and T5s then I would be sure to take full advantage of that set-up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the input.

The skimmer is back on full-time duty. I'm not sure where I got the 12 hour timer idea; assuming I pulled it from something online and probably a tailored suggestion to someone else's problem.

I'll cut back on the lights. I just have a cheap set of 2x24" LED's that aren't dimmable. They're probably terrible to be honest, BeamsWork HI LUMEN LED Light Fixture 3W Quad Power 48" (TR)
but I really just wanted something to get started to keep the start-up cost down before I make the decision to try for reef set up.

They're too wide to toss in a set of T5's in that canopy so eventually I think they're coming out with one probably going in the sump/fuge. I'd like to eventually just put in a set of T5's and probably a DIY LED kit.

As far as the unavoidable algae bloom associated with a new system; I expected as much. I've just read how hair algae and bubble algae can take over a tank and be a nuisance so I wanted to try and circumvent / prevent that as much as possible to avoid long term problems.

Thanks again for taking the time to answer those questions :)
 

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How long of a time period did that take to accumulate? IMO that's pretty standard for a sw tank. Unless you want to invest some serious time making sure nitrates and phosphates are at zero I would consider scraping algae once or twice a week to be a normal part of tank maintenance. When I hear excessive I would expect to see that growth and possibly a lot more in less then 24 hours.
 

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What can also help keep problem or nuisance algae down is to strain your food before you put it in the tank,since nothing is in their to use it [juice] ,It is fertilizer..check out your calcium and alkalinity levels,when you have then in line,add a few varieties of coraline algae,once they start to take off,undesirable algae won`t grow on it,so it is harder to get a foothold in the system..Remember you want a nutrient desert not an oasis,keep you mechanical filter clean.......The reason I say varieties of coraline is one will get a foot hold in different areas of the tank,if or when enviromental conditions change lighting ,flow,even trace elements ,One of the varieties of coraline can take over a niche so to speak,So other algae can`t..Another thing you might consider is topping of your tank with kalkwasser,It percipatates phosphates out of your water, enhances protein skimming ,and helps keep a higher ph in your tank [Which all help get rid of undesirable algae] and it is cheap.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had been accumulating noticable amounts of green algae for a week or two. Over the past couple of days it seems as if the growth had accelerated quite a bit, which is why I was looking to get ahead of it.

I usually scrape the glass every few days but I really don't seem to accumulate as much on glass surface as most other places in the tank.

I'm going to stop in at reefkeepers after work and see if I can pick up some more specified test kits for phosphates, calcium etc beyond the basic kit of ph/nh3,no2,no3 I already have.

I'll also check into adding coralline and kalkwasser if the phosphates are up.

Thanks for the recommendations guys.
 
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