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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I have two hob marineland 350's on my 55 gallon tank. In one side of each filter I have floss, on the other side of each I have a bag with 50% carbon/50% phosphate remover.

I noticed the sides where I had the floss were starting to flow less and less water. So when I did a water change I syphoned some of the water out the tank into a 5 gallon bucket. When it was half full I took out the floss on each side and swished it around in the bucket to get rid of the "gunk".

After I put it back into the tank a week later I noticed a lot of red algae forming on the rocks and the tops of the plants where the water flows back in the tank. When I did my water change yesterday it looks like there is less algae. I usually do a 30% water change every week and a half.

So I'm guessing I swished away half of my bacteria colony when I cleaned the filter out in the bucket. I don't think I killed any bacteria because I used the tank water to clean the filter.

Can someone shed some light on this for me? *H2
 

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What type/brand of phosphate remover are you useing. I doubt it has anything to do with losing bacteria because there should plenty of bacteria in your tank as in the gravel, rocks, plants if they are artificials and even on the glass.
 

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Sometimes a tank just gets used to having TONS of bacteria in it, so when you remove a substantial amount of it, you're not harming your tank or causing a cycle, but you're altering the established balance. Algae is opportunistic and quickly responds to changes in water parameters. You may have just had an increase in nitrates due to a little less bacteria which made your algae go crazy.

Another possibility is the carbon if it's old. Carbon only lasts about a month before it starts leaching compounds back into the water. Some nitrates might be getting back into your water form the old carbon giving your algae something to eat.

Maybe try reducing your "lights on" time and doing some extra water changes. That usually fixes things. Let us know how it goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Archer772,
I'm using seagel "organic and phosphate control", it's 50% carbon, 50% phosphate remover.

Ladyonyx,
I usually only keep the lights on for 8 hours a day. I never have problems with algae at all, just this one bout with it.

The carbon is old though, it's been in there for a few months, but the water is still clear and I don't see an increase in nitrates or phosphates.. :?
 

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I dont think I would continue useing the seagel because it is an aluminum base phosphate remover, I would get the matrix carbon and then get some Granulated Ferris Oxide and mix them but thats just me and JMO
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Last weekend when I checked my levels the nitrates were 0, but the phosphates had jumped up to 2.0. The phosphates jumped up over the course of a few days from when I had last checked it. I did my usual 30% water change and didn't think anything of it.

Monday when I woke up and was about to feed them I noticed one of my catfish had died. I'm not sure how long it had been dead though. I had two of them in there, but since they hang around the bottom, and I have a crapload of fake plants in it, I usually see one at some time and see the other at some time. I wonder if the fish had been dead for a few days and that's what spiked up the phosphate level?? I got the dead fish out, and Wednesday I noticed my other catfish had died.. :( CRAP!!!!

So I checked my levels again yesterday, nitrate 0, phosphate 2.0. I did a 45% water change yesterday. I also noticed that none of the biowheels were spinning in either of my two 350's. I was able to get them spinning again by adjusting the floss in the 350's. Of course when I moved the floss all the "crap" out of the floss went into the tank. Thankfully this was before I did the water change.

This morning when I woke up the water was a bit cloudy, which it normally is right after I do a water change for a few hours.

My plan is to do a 20% water change every 2 days until I get the phosphates under control. I'm also going to swap out each of the two 50% carbon/phosphate bags a few weeks apart so I don't kill off of my bacteria colonies.

Should I go about this differently?
 

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low to no nitrates+phosphates=cyano.

I would kill my lights for a few days and let the cyano die off.

then resume with less lighting until I find a schedule that allows the tank to thrive but not th cyano.

my .02
 

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oh yea. the phosphates (and nitrates for that matter) come almose exclusively from the bioload (feeding the fish).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I tested the tap and the phosphate level is between .25 and .5. I'll kill the lights for a couple of days to kill the cyno, in the meantime I'll keep up the water changes.

I posted a pic of the algae in my gallery, hopefully you can see it..
Aquarium Gallery - algae on plant

Thanks for the help.
 

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I take back my kill the lights.

tank looks fine with little to no cyano
 
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