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Discussion Starter #1
My aquarium is at the coast in Kenya. It is about 300 gallons with a 120 gallon filter tank sitting next to it.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I only set it up for about 3 weeks a year when on vacation. It is empty the rest of the time.

It is lit by natural sunlight, which at the equator is quite powerful.

A friend of mine saw my marine aquarium and was amazed at the amount of algae growth.

(I am quite amazed myself...)

It clouds up the tank something fierce. I conquer it only by changing the water once every four days.

My friend suggested a protein skimmer to solve the problem.

I never used one.

Where would I start?

I do not need to invest in any pumps. I have an extra 3000 gph pump that I could use to run a skimmer. Most of the skimmers seem to have a pump already incorporated. Does anyone sell just the skimmer?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I should probably add this:

The algae plaguing my aquarium is the green-yellow floating type.

It grows on the tank walls but mostly makes the wáter opaque.

Nothing I have tried using mechanical filtering takes it out.
 

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Control the sunlight that reaches your tank is the best solution. If you have a fish only tank, then you do not need much light, ie., adding shades to block most light you will see great improvements in cutting algae growth.
Yes, skimmer helps as well. I'll be posting a DIY skimmer design, which requires no extra power to operate, stay tunned...
 

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I CHANGE WATER
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A skimmer may help if large enough.
UV may help depending on what the algae really is.IF it is suspended in the water(like green water in Fresh) then I think a uv could work.
Otherwise a large Protien skimmer and possibly Ozone.
The 1000 starts the large skimmer category to me.
index
If shipping and price is a big issue this brand may not be for you but the link will show you a large size.
I run the 1,000 I believe on my 120g.Possibly it is a 750?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, skimmer helps as well. I'll be posting a DIY skimmer design, which requires no extra power to operate, stay tunned...
I love the idea of making a DIY skimmer.

If you would share your experience, I would be grateful.

Many thanks!
 

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Vodka Doser
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I've got direct sunlight on my tank, I don't have any algae growing in mine.
Keep your phosphates out of the water. Test using a Hanna Checker, keep them at .03-.05, that will keep your tank clear of problem algae. Or run a large sump with a ton of macro algae.
With regards to a skimmer, when choosing one, you need to look for one twice your water volume.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've got direct sunlight on my tank, I don't have any algae growing in mine.
Keep your phosphates out of the water. Test using a Hanna Checker, keep them at .03-.05, that will keep your tank clear of problem algae. Or run a large sump with a ton of macro algae.
With regards to a skimmer, when choosing one, you need to look for one twice your water volume.
Many thanks for your comments.

I do not have aquarium running now. So I cannot test.

Anyway, HOW do I keep the phosphates under control?

Is that accomplished by running a protein skimmer?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I found the following: Chemistry And The Aquarium: Phosphorus: Algae's Best Friend — Advanced Aquarist | Aquarist Magazine and Blog. It supports the idea mentioned about growing macroalgae:

Nevertheless, growing and harvesting macroalgae (Figure 2) remains one of the best ways to reduce phosphate levels in reef tanks (along with other nutrients). Tanks with large amounts of thriving macroalgae rarely have microalgae problems or excessive phosphate levels that might inhibit calcification of corals. Whether the reduction in phosphate is the cause of the microalgae reduction is not obvious; other nutrients can also become limiting. But in a certain sense it makes no difference. If rapidly growing macroalgae absorb enough phosphorus to keep the orthophosphate concentrations in the water column acceptably low, and at the same time keep microalgae under control, most reef keepers will be satisfied.
 

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The way I control my phosphorous and nitrate, those are the two major microalgae fertilizer, in my tank is to go natural and green with macro algae, grow in both tank and sump. Check my last photo gallery post. Competition-elimination is the key.
 

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Vodka Doser
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The way I control my phosphorous and nitrate, those are the two major microalgae fertilizer, in my tank is to go natural and green with macro algae, grow in both tank and sump. Check my last photo gallery post. Competition-elimination is the key.
You mean the picture of your tank full of Hair Algae?
Aquarium Gallery - Marine planted fish tank
 

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Vodka Doser
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Did you see the massive Hair Algae growing?? Your Caulerpa isn't helping, if running the proper amount of Macro Algae, you will not have any Hair Algae or other nuisance algae growth.
I don't use macro algae, I use SeaKlear to rid my tank of phosphates and vodka to rid my tank of nitrates, you will not see any sponge or hair algae growing in my tank.
Hair Algae is not a good sign.
 

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I studied marine algae for quite sometime. Yes, hair algae in general, is not a good sign for reef tank but may not be bad for a fish only tank, depends which type of hair algae you are getting, they are incidental, if you have good luck, angel hair (Briopsis plumosa)and brush algae (Clodaphora prolifera) or wire algae (Chaetomorpha linum) can be a good addition to your tank. Worst is the filamentous green algae, which you want to keep in your scrubber, not in display tank. Most Caulepa type algae are good addition and they keep my angel and moorish idol healthy by providing vitamin C to prevent and fight HLLE.
 

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Vodka Doser
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Fight HLLE? There is nothing you can do for a fish with HLLE, it is what it is.

As far as your Hair Algae, you'll change your mind about it when you lose control of it, and your tank looks like this.
Green Algae Tank.jpg
 

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Back to HLLE (not HELL, of course), see my previous post:
Let's continue on the difficult subject of HLLE, from which both I and the fish suffered, like most new hobbyists might have experienced, you see yours used to be pretty angels became not so pretty day by day and in the end I may have to do the last thing: euthanasia, and luckily, I found a medical solution, 0.1% metronidazole mixed in dried oyster balls, which my then 4-years old passer angel gladly swallowed daily. This medication stop the progression of lateral line erosion but did not heal the wounds. The passer was in good shape otherwise, in my sterile tank (no UV but with 0.05 ppm copper, measured by atomic absorption spectroscopy) for 6 years and was traded with fish food due to my relocation 14 years ago.
The fact that HLLE can be stopped by an antibiotics indicates that it's a bacterial infection and the use of trace Cu in the tank to keep algae on control may have exacerbated the problem because there would be no vitamin C from algae to supplement the need for the fish. 6 months after I moved, I decided to experiment with planted non-sterile marine tank, initially with ozone but was then replaced with UV couples years later as the bacterial control method. But once in a while I still had cyan bateria problem and fortunately erythromycin ascorbate came to the resue and problem solved.
Meaning while I formulated a water conditioning additive that allows incidental invertebrates (small unidentified nitrate-hardy sponges, bristle worms and rock anemone) to grow in the tank and this is what I believe my moorish idol can survive for more than two years because she kept picking on those invertebrates. Both clown trigger and blueface love to eat small bristle worms and young sprout of Caulepa
prolifera. Under these environments you will never need metronidazole because HLLE is not a natrual disease and will not occur in my non-sterile tank.
By the way, you don't need an advanced degree to enjoy a beautiful fish tank and certainly you don't need an AA spectrometer to test your water but you need to learn from past failures(others, not yours) to be a responsible pet owner.
Good luck!!!!
 
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