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Algae from marine tank - moving to planted

Liam1989

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Hi all, I’ve downsized my marine setup and am in the process of cleaning out the tank ready for a planted setup. However some coralline algae is proving very hard to remove. Is this going to be an issue?
 

seedoubleyou

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Hi all, I’ve downsized my marine setup and am in the process of cleaning out the tank ready for a planted setup. However some coralline algae is proving very hard to remove. Is this going to be an issue?
Yes mate. The die off will likely cause you no end of issues.
Have you tried filling the tank and letting it run for a few days with a bottle or two of Miltons sterilising solution in there?
 

Liam1989

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Yes mate. The die off will likely cause you no end of issues.
Have you tried filling the tank and letting it run for a few days with a bottle or two of Miltons sterilising solution in there?
No I’ve just been scraping and clearing what I can with citric acid so far. Didn’t know I could use Miltons so I’ll have to pop and grab a few bottles. Any idea as to the ratio? I’ve got approx 170l tank
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
........
However some coralline algae is proving very hard to remove. Is this going to be an issue?
No, the skeleton is just the aragonite form of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). If your tank water is hard it will just remain as a chalky mark. If your water dips below pH 7? It will go into solution and raise the pH. Once you are back above pH7? It will remain as aragonite.

Cheers Darrel
 

Liam1989

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Hi all,No, the skeleton is just the aragonite form of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). If your tank water is hard it will just remain as a chalky mark. If your water dips below pH 7? It will go into solution and raise the pH. Once you are back above pH7? It will remain as aragonite.

Cheers Darrel
Thanks for the reply. So all in all don’t worry too much about it? It’s just not going to be the prettiest on the back weir as it’s proving to be a pig.
The glass is 95% clear just where it’s on the silicone and I don’t fancy scraping that too hard.
 

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seedoubleyou

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Not knowing what that product was I googled it. It's basically bleach + NaCl (salt). Composition states: Sodium hypochlorite: 1.0% + Sodium chloride: 16.5%
Yeah that’s right. Smells like a swimming pool. It gases off perfectly fine after use.
 

seedoubleyou

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Hi all,No, the skeleton is just the aragonite form of calcium carbonate (CaCO3). If your tank water is hard it will just remain as a chalky mark. If your water dips below pH 7? It will go into solution and raise the pH. Once you are back above pH7? It will remain as aragonite.

Cheers Darrel
So for all intent and purpose Darrel, with the right PH Coralline is completely safe for freshwater and effectively inert?
 

Nick potts

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kitchen paper soaked in vinegar or similar acid and leave it for an hour or so and it should be a lot easier to get off. But I wouldn't worry about it too much except for the looks.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
kitchen paper soaked in vinegar or similar acid and leave it for an hour or so and it should be a lot easier to get off. But I wouldn't worry about it too much except for the looks.
Sounds good advice.
So for all intent and purpose Darrel, with the right PH Coralline is completely safe for freshwater and effectively inert?
Yes. It is exactly the same as any other form of <"biogenic limestone">, like hard corals, mollusc shells etc. Sea water (or <"Lake Tanganyika">) is fully saturated with Ca++ and HCO3- ions.

You can reduce the pH of hard water <"by adding CO2">, this is how a <"drop checker works">, and as soon as the pH dips under pH7 calcium carbonate will start to go into solution. This is also why snails <"don't tend to last"> in high tech tanks.

cheers Darrel
 

seedoubleyou

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Cheers Darrel. I try to not delve too deep into the science’s , for me if a water-change can’t fix it then I’m at a loss. It’s always great to hear and learn new things.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I try to not delve too deep into the science............
I really like to know how things work, but I'm not sure it necessarily makes <"you a better aquarist">.

That was really the reason for the development of the <"Duckweed Index">, it is a simple methodology and it hides all the <"interesting / scary bits"> under the bonnet. All you need to do is <"watch the plants">.

It is the same with "plant and wait" <"tank cycling">, you aren't reliant on making decisions based on things you can't see, again all you have to do is watch the plants.

I know from my "day job" that a <"visual approach"> works much better than a numeric one for obscure concepts and I think that both plant growth and <"cycling"> are obscure concepts. We can't see <"the ions in solution">, or the <"microbial community"> in the filter etc., but we can see <"their effects">.

A criticism has been that they aren't <"very scientific approachs">, because you don't have empirical proof and numbers, but since I've worked with Ecologists and <"Freshwater Biologists"> I've began to realise that we can also use concepts like Biotic Indices, and that they are <"sensitive metrics">.
Some non-essential conjecture.
First the bit <"we know">, that the nature of that <"microbial assemblage"> is <"fine-tuned over time"> to reflect the levels of ammonia (NH3) and dissolved oxygen in the water.

This would be conjecture, but I visualise the microbial assemblage in a filter in the same way that I think about the <"benthic invertebrate assemblage in a stream">. In clean water (water with a lot of dissolved oxygen and a low Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)) you have a diverse assemblage of invertebrates, including <"Mayflies (Ephemeroptera), Stoneflies (Plecoptera), Caseless Caddis (Trichoptera) etc."> with Tubificid worms (Naididae) and "Bloodworms" (Chronomidae) etc present, but as a minor component of the assemblage.

As pollution (BOD) increases dissolved oxygen levels fall and you lose the more sensitive species from the assemblage. At the same time the number of Blood worm and "Tubifex" increases. As pollution continues to increase eventually only the haemoglobin containing Blood worms and Tubifex are left, and these often <"build up to huge numbers">.

The "Tubifex and Blood-worm" scenario is the traditional view of "cycling", with Nitrobacter winogradskyi etc representing Tubifex etc. If you only ever look at sewage treatment works? You never find the Mayflies.

cheers Darrel
 
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