At a loss with my Tank


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Hello any help/advice appreciated:

I have a 75 G Bowfront reef system. I use PC Lights, hi Power Skimmer, Drip system , fluval Canister etc. Monitored by Aqua control, Live rock and 5 Fish Only.

Here is my problem, even with RO/DI water, regular water changes etc the Algae is taking over, I have tested every test you can imagine, phosphate, used phosphate remover, changed filters, reduced lighting times. You name it.! Now the tank is approx 5 yrs old. I have heard after some 5 yrs or more. It may be necessary to do a complete take down? I am not really looking forward to this as a prospect. The parameters are fine, the fish are fine. I have some unusual algae and great colorful types however the grass and green slime I am at a loss with "though the clown fish love to lay in it". Also had over 100 Blue Hermit etc. I believe my large hawk fish ate one every day! for the last 90 days :?

I really dont want to sink any more $$ into extreme changes. I have a feeling that the problem may be the 5 + years running.?

Any idea's similar experience etc. If it does not work out, I will probably sell to someone who has the patience and time.

Thank's in advance

Try adding a refugium. I had a bad algae problem in my tank a few months ago, and then I added a CPR HOB refugium. What a turn-around!
You might stop feeding the fish, their food seems to be the only consistant nitrate source unless too much waste has settled into the substrate. Herbivores like a Tang might help. Remove as much algae as you physically can reach because the nitrate/phosphate nutrients are not in the water but in the plants. The macro algae refugium is a sound idea too. A massive water change might help. Try the simple stuff before you tear it all down and start over!
Oh yeah, after five years in the hobby, we are glad you finally found the Atlanta Reef Club! Your tank is older than the club, welcome!
I'd look into 4 things:

1. What type of hair algae is it? (Please refer to Julian Sprung's excellent book on identifying and eliminating nusiance algaes. It could be that your alkalinity is too low, or your phosphates are too high or you have a high level of organics in the water.)

2. What's the TDS (Total Disolved Solids) level of your RO water? It should be less than 7.

3. Do you have substrate in your tank and how old is it? If so, is it a deep sand bed? (This may need to be replaced/replennished if it's as old as the tank since it may have absorbed some nutrients which it is now releasing.)

4. I agree about adding a refugium and placing macro algae in there to compete with the hair algae. I fought hair algea for 2+ years and the refugium has dealt it it's death knell! KNW :!: [Knock on wood]

I hope this gives you some areas to consider looking into.

Good luck!

Is your pH kept above 8.0 or so? Until adding Kalkwasser for all makeup (instead of just every once in a while) seems to be keeping the pH high. This pH increase seems to be helping with the algae for me.
My recent algae problem sounds similiar to yours in 2.5 year old tank. I do regular water changes, have no measurable nitrates or phophastes, have hermits,snails etc. ...and of course algae. :?

I added a HOB refugium, changed my bulbs (mine were 1.5 yrs old), increased my alk (was a bit low) and upped the flow with a Mag-drive closed loop. Now my algae problem is basicallly gone. I had some hair algae and an overgrowth of macros in the display. The refugium is on an 18 hour reverse light cycle and is stuffed with caluerpa. The bulb change made a huge difference as my old bulbs had shifted into the red spectrum and were probably causing the excessive growth. My corals have responded nicley to the increased alk (dosing B-Ionic). I also added a SCWD to the Mag-drive to get the random waves.

I think the combination of all these things solved my algae probs. My other secret weapon was a turkey baster with a tooth brush attached. Scrub and Slurp. :lol: