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Filtration Lighting L2 8 weeks growth, lighting adjustment?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Paul, Nov 5, 2017.

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  1. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    Starting to look a lot better, I would say you can either 1) up the intensity to 4 o'clock or 2) add hours (go to 14-16) but since your nutrients are low and it's taken some time to get to this point, I would proceed slowly - maybe just go to 14 hours/day and give it another growth cycle to confirm.
  2. Just cleaned a couple days ago and the brown slimy algae was all back. I think last time I cleaned too much algae off. Still have GHA in my display. I took my filter socks out now to see if that helps as I wasn't changing them often enough.
    IMG_20180119_134157.jpg IMG_20180119_134157.jpg IMG_20180119_134206.jpg
  3. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    Swipe the slime off & rinse, leave any GHA behind and let it go for a full growth cycle.
  4. So I'm still at 14 hours a day at the 5 o'clock position and getting a lot of light green algae growth as seen in the following pictures. I've been lightly hitting hit with the tooth brush to get the brown slime off every week and leaving most of the green growth. Should I change anything now? Thanks.
    IMG_20180206_173442.jpg IMG_20180206_173453.jpg
  5. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    That's developing nicely. You can prune growth a bit, just using your thumb & forefinger to remove about 1/4 to 1/3 of the growth, then rub & rinse. This will help to ensure that light and water get to the base of the screen.

    Also, you're at a relatively low intensity, so the light is not going to penetrate very deeply - another reason to do a pruning or partial harvest. I would normally suggest that you increase the intensity, but with caution in your case, due to the low nutrients. The higher intensity is going to allow you to let it grow longer, the thicker growth needs more light intensity in order for it to penetrate into the base. So what you might do is wait 2-3 days for growth to bounce back from the pruning, then increase the intensity to 4. After you prune again, go back to 5 for a few days, then up again. The idea here is to not over-light when there is less growth, but not under-light once it gets thicker.

    If that's too much trouble, you can try turning it to 4 and see what happens. Or, I might be over-thinking it, and you'll be fine where you're at on intensity.

    Glad to see that yellow growth fading away.
  6. Thanks for the idea. I pruned a little bit off with the brush, but left most of it as you suggested. I still have a fair amount of green hair algae in my display though that seems to be eating up the nutrients. How do I get my scrubber to out compete that? Also, would it be worth shutting down my skimmer for more and more hours each day until I can remove it from my system and just rely on just the scrubber for nutrient removal? I thought I read a while back that you don't have a skimmers on your systems and only rely on scrubbers. Thanks.
  7. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    I forgot about that
    This should happen over time, but now that you have a solid base of GHA on the screen, I go back to this comment
    So now you're here:
    Given the tank algae issue, maybe it is time to push it a bit harder...there's still nutrients available for the algae on the rocks. Go to 4 o'clock and 16 hours/day. That's not a major increase, so you should be OK

    Keep using the technique of "dragging" the toothbrush across the growth weekly & rinsing, and then add in pruning 1/3 to 1/4 of the growth. If this continues to improve scrubber growth, you should see a reduction in tank algae. If you see better scrubber growth, but the tank algae is about the same, extend hours to 18-20.
  8. Any thoughts towards slowing shutting down my skimmer?
  9. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    I would just change one thing at a time. Use the scrubber to help get the tank algae eradicated, then give it a few months to allow things to adjust to the change in filtration. Then you can start dialing back the skimmer if you want, or you might find that scrubber + skimmer works well for what you keep
  10. So here was 2 weeks of growth at 4 o'clock for 16 hours a day. There is some yellowish brown growth right where the lights hit it. Is this good or bad? Any changes down? A lot of the GHA came off pretty easily still, so I don't think it was very strongly attached to the screen. Next step? Thanks.
    IMG_20180218_101742.jpg IMG_20180218_101755.jpg
  11. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    I would hold the course with those settings for a couple more cycles of growth. This time, remove the screen 1/2 way through the growth cycle and give it a rinse to remove any of that dark growth that I see in the 1st pic, that stuff usually wipes off pretty easily. Otherwise, try not to remove much. Then put back in for the rest of the growth period.

    You might do this twice before actually harvesting anything, so 1 week, then prune, 1 more week, prune, 1 more week then harvest
  12. Forgot to post this on the 26th when I last pulled scrubber apart, inspected, and took photos, but here you go. It looks like it's finally taking off. I was reading a lot about dosing nitrates as I have always gotten 0 on my tank for 2 years, so I dosed Sodium Nitrate to get to 2ppm and it looks like that helped my scrubber a ton. The growth finally took off, got that nice green color, and is starting to attach better to the screen. What do you think? Looks like I had all the nutrients this needed except nitrate to get it going. I'm now at 18 hours a day at 4 o'clock to out compete the GHA in my tank and I think the GHA is depleting slowly. I lightly dragged the brush over the screen to remove a little loose algae and put it back in for another week. Recommendations? Thanks!

    IMG_20180226_182743.jpg IMG_20180226_182800.jpg
  13. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    That's looking a lot better, sometimes slow and steady is what you need. I'd keep doing what you're doing!
  14. SillySanj

    SillySanj Member Customer

    Algae sandwich anyone? as you can see, someone forgot to do a weekend choir and ended up with algae bread :p

    DSC_1645.JPG DSC_1646.JPG DSC_1647.JPG DSC_1648.JPG DSC_1649.JPG DSC_1650.JPG
    Turbo likes this.
  15. I keep getting this orange / brown slimy stuff on my screen instead of the nice green hair algae. See pictures attached. What am I doing wrong? IMG_20180506_191131.jpg IMG_20180506_191140.jpg
  16. Turbo

    Turbo Does not really look like Johnny Carson Staff Member Site Owner Multiple Units! Customer

    I don't know that I would say you're doing anything "wrong" necessarily. I scanned the thread and if you are still feeding flake and pellets daily, and 1-2 cubes/week, that likely comes out to 1 cube/day or less on average. So you might have a bit of an imbalance when it comes to nutrients being delivered to the scrubber compared to the light you are applying to it.

    The yellow growth typically shows up when you have too much light and not enough nutrients. In looking back at my other posts, at some point I said if you have OK growth but still have tank algae, to extend hours. The problem with that is that your tank algae might be showing up as you reduce nutrients and things like phosphate start to leech out of the rock and into the water column - the algae is being fueled by that. In the long term, that's a good thing. But it's a slow process to get past that issue (bound phosphate) so this is a marathon vs a race, meaning you can't in some cases "push" the scrubber to make things happen faster. I wonder if maybe this is the case here.

    Intensity is the instantaneous factor - if you have low nutrient water and are feeding moderately to conservatively, then you push the intensity up, you might be seeing the effect of too much light/not enough nutrients.

    You can lower the intensity, and try to match things better with the nutrients available on an instantaneous level (technically, what you're trying to balance is # of photons with # of nutrients, basically) and then you can extend hours to draw out the filtration longer. This should produce the same or similar overall level of filtration activity, it just does it over a longer daily period (compared to very high intensity for a short period) if that makes sense.

    So if you're at 18 hours/day at 4 o'clock still, try 22 hours/day at 5 o'clock. 4 isn't overly intense for most cases, but I'm wondering if in this case, where you're not feeding a ton, that the balance is off a bit and that's why the yellow stuff is showing up.

    On the other hand, what really matters is "how is your tank doing"...if your tank is doing well, it really doesn't matter a whole lot what exact type of algae you are growing, as long as it's doing the job. Some corals might not "like" the presence of the yellow slime algae being in the system, but if you're not seeing any adverse effects, it might not be a big concern.

    Fill in any other details about your system that might be pertinent - I'm making a fair amount of assumptions here.
  17. Thanks Turbo. To fill in the blanks, yes I'm still feeding pellets 3 times a day, but not a lot, and 1 or 2 pinches of flakes a day as well. The frozen cubes I'm not as great at doing. My ATS was running for 18 hours a day at about 4 o'clock position. I'm changing it now to 22 hours a day at 5 or maybe 6 o'clock position. Most of my corals are doing fine, but I'm having a lot of green hair algae growth in my tank. I pick it out manually, but it grows back so fast and some in places I can't reach. I dose nitrates to keep them at about 2 ppm, otherwise I get virtually no growth on the ATS. A few days ago, I cut back on my main lights by 2 hours. They have a 2 hour ramp up and ramp down with I believe 6 hours at max on the display to help with the GHA. I tried putting a sea hair in there from Blue Zoo Aquatics, but he died after 2 days. Debating getting another one. Anyway, I'm guessing you're right in that I have bound phosphate as my phosphates rarely go above 0.04 ppm when I test. Anyway, unless you recommend something else I'll shift to 22 hours at 6 o'clock and maybe take it up to 5 o'clock after a week or two.
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