Saltwater Aquarium Problems Solved

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Algae Simply put, algae is going to happen. Every tank, even healthy ones, has at least some algae growth.

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Keeping your tank algae free is not the goal but rather keeping the algae in check. The easiest way to do this is to control the two things the algae needs- light and food.


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Avoiding overfeeding and blocking direct sunlight from reaching the tank will go a long way towards preventing excess algae growth. Similarly, eliminating problem algae that has already taken hold is a matter of reducing the light and nutrients available to the algae. Lighting can be reduced to just a few hours a day and feedings can be cut back to only every other day until the algae begins to recede.

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Physically removing as much as possible along with a good gravel vacuuming and water change will also help cut off its source of food. Finally, if even after your best efforts the algae refuses to go away, you may want to test your water source.


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  • Algae feeds on phosphates and nitrates which are present in some water supplies. Cloudy or Green Water A common occurrence in new tanks , cloudiness can be the result of a couple different situations that require different courses of action to rectify.


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    A simple way to check if this is the case is to test the pH- it will be high. If this is the case a special water conditioner can be used to lower the pH and precipitate out the excess minerals. Finding a purer source of water is another option. Typically the culprit is some source of nutrients from overfeeding, decaying plants or fish, or a general lack of maintenance. With reduced feeding and a water change or two the cloudiness will clear up in a week or so.

    The causes and solutions to this problem are much the same as with a bacterial bloom with one additional consideration- light.

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    Algae needs light and too much of it can lead to excess growth. To treat green water, reduce the light, cut back on feedings, and perform a water change. All too often someone new to the hobby will set up their first tank, add in some fish, then watch helplessly as those fish perish over the following days or weeks. Without these bacteria, the fish are quickly poisoned by their own waste.

    Luckily, cultivating these bacteria is easy, once you know how. The process is called cycling and is necessary for every aquarium.

    Low PH in Saltwater Tanks Solved in 3 Easy Steps

    Aggression Some fish are known and even prized for their ill temper, but even those known for their peaceful demeanor can show signs of aggression from time to time. The causes are many but it usually comes down to the fish being unhappy with something in his surroundings. Possible causes include:.

    The invention of the aquarium transformed the way humans think about the ocean

    Many aggression problems can be fixed simply by adding or removing fish to alleviate the issue. Removing the bully rather than the victim is preferable. Furthermore, temporarily isolating problem fish or rearranging the tanks decorations as well as adding to them will sometimes work.

    Ammonia Spikes Just as ammonia can be a problem in a new tank before a bacterial colony is established, so too can it be a problem in an established tank should its balance be thrown off either by a new source of ammonia or a loss of beneficial bacteria that process it. Excess ammonia production often comes as a result of something rotting within the tank. This could be a dead fish or plant, or a clogged filter, or just lots and lots of waste collecting in the gravel. On the flip side, bacteria can be lost due to overzealous cleaning. The beneficial bacteria live on pretty much every available surface in the tank including things like the gravel, any decorations, and of course inside the filter.

    Common Problems And Solutions For Freshwater Aquariums – Aquarium Setup

    Removing any of these items from the tank for a wash with tap water or any cleaning product is a bad idea as it will likely kill much if not all of the beneficial bacteria. In either event, the goal is to manage the ammonia until the bacteria can readjust to handle it. If the tank has fish living it it during this time the ammonia level will need to be managed with water changes and monitored closely while the bacteria rebuild themselves.

    Feeding should be suspended temporarily as it will only put more stress in the form of waste on the system. Finally, heavy aeration can help dissipate the ammonia somewhat. PH Problems If there were one word to describe a healthy aquarium it would be stability.

    A stable temperature, stable filtration, and a stable pH. I suspected low oxygen levels in the water was a possible factor. To remedy this, I increased flow in the tank, which increased surface agitation and led to more oxygenation of the water. The higher flow also helped to suspend detritus, improving exportation of organic matter. I believe my protein skimmer was also a potential issue. On top of removing organic matter, protein skimmers do a great job aerating the water.

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    I had been struggling to get mine dialed in so the skimmer was not performing at an optimal level. Solving that problem certainly helped. Adding too many fish too soon can jump start a bacterial bloom. What about water changes? They are probably not going to help a lot since the bacteria can reproduce very quickly. However, cleaning the filter socks more frequently, vacuuming the gravel to remove detritus and not overfeeding the fish should help.

    Patience is key in this whole process so give the bloom a chance to cycle through. My tank started to clear up a couple of weeks after I increased flow and adjusted my protein skimmer. Ultimately, I did end up using a UV sterilizer to totally knock out the bloom. They were relatively inexpensive and very easy to install and then remove when I was finished using them.

    The difference over a couple of days was amazing. July 23, Get Social. Previous Next. Check The Protein Skimmer I believe my protein skimmer was also a potential issue. Patience is a Virtue Patience is key in this whole process so give the bloom a chance to cycle through.