Good solution to green film algae on sand and rocks?

Discussion in 'Fish and Invertebrates' started by kinetic, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    It's pretty easy to keep my sandbed white, I just take my kent pro-scraper and stir the sand a bit. My rock is another story, super green.

    Parameters holding strong at:
    Nitrates: 5-10ppm
    Phosphates: 4ppb

    10 ORA Trochus
    10 ORA tiny cerith
    4 Nassarius (the larger super tonga ones, not the little vibex)

    The nassarius do bury in the sand, but unless I have a huge amount, they're really not going to stir the sand much. The cerith are so small, and only come out at night. I feel like I'd need 100+ to do anything, so probably not going to get anymore. The trochus do a pretty good job, but not sure if I should get a whole bunch more, there's already quite a few of them in the tank of this size.

    I have a feeling that pods are good for my tank, so I don't want an animal that will stir the sand, but actually deplete my pod population.

    I was thinking of maybe 1 Zebra Turbo for the rocks, and maybe a fighting conch for the sand (though will that deplete my copepods?).
  2. roostertech

    roostertech reef noob

    For the sand, my solution is to stir it on a regularly. I use my big tong in the large area and turkey baster for harder to reach spots.
    kinetic likes this.
  3. diamond goby is the best sand sifter ime
    Mr. Ugly, Wlachnit and kinetic like this.
  4. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    The green on your rocks is part of the natural progression of algae in the tank and was on mine until the coralline came in. It's like a precursor for it. I'd just leave it be, unless it's the long hair type. I just kept a steady supply of banded tiger trochus for the algae with a couple of mexican turbos.

    For reference.

    Fighting conch for the sand. They do a good job without depleting anything other than microalgae.
    Mr. Ugly and kinetic like this.
  5. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    Yeah, I'm not as worried about the rocks, just want to do something about the sand that might be more fun than me stirring it manually. I'll look into a fighting conch, they're on sale on LA right now.
  6. Ranjib Dey

    Ranjib Dey Webmaster

    Whats your light setting ? Do you have lot of white/red in there?
  7. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    I'm using the SPS AB+ settings that everyone talks about on the forums, plus I cranked the whites up a bit more to keep from having an ultra blue tank. This algae, in my experience, isn't too out of the ordinary. It's not a nuisance, just unsightly on the sand without daily manual stirring. The green rock, well, I'll just let it be for now. Maybe one mexican turbo will help the trochus do the work.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
    brohanus510 likes this.
  8. Wlachnit

    Wlachnit Vice President

    I completely agree.

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  9. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Diamond Goby....
    If you have fine sand, and don't mind it getting spread everywhere, they are great.
  10. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    Well I got a fighting conch (strombus), and he doesn't really do much. Super cool invert though, he has a trunk and just picks up one piece of sand at a time, but doesn't do much damage on cleaning up the sand bed.

    I guess I could get a few more and maybe they'll work faster. But maybe a diamond goby would be a better idea? I just know that they will eat up all the copepods in the sand?

    Also thinking of a sleeper gold blue goby:
    Orange marked goby:

    They're a tad smaller when full grown. Just not sure if they'll be equally good at sand cleaning. Any ideas?
  11. A sleeper gold blue goby practically ruined my first tank. It was the true fish from hell. I had to shut that tank down due to that fish -- but damn the sand was clean.
    kinetic likes this.
  12. ashburn2k

    ashburn2k Webmaster

    What did he do?

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  13. He was the James Brown of fish. Hardest working dude in the tank. He would constantly grab a mouthful of sand and then rise up into the water column till he was halfway up and then let it all go. It was 24/7 sandstorm in the tank reducing visibility to near zero and covering everything with sand -- corals, rocks,etc. And he was uncatchable!
    kinetic likes this.
  14. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    Ok... that’s a no on the sleeper goby ;)
  15. If you search for them on the reefing forums you will find horror story after horror story. Too bad to because they are gorgeous and have lots of personality.
    kinetic likes this.
  16. kinetic

    kinetic Webmaster

    I wonder if gobies would not do well in my tank's small footprint (24" x 20"). If I go for a diamond, would it run out of sand to sift? Would I need to constantly seed with copepods/amphipods? I have no fuge.

    I could get 5 fighting conches and maybe 50 cerith snails to see if I can get enough volume to actually clean the sand?
  17. I use conchs (3) and nassarius.
  18. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Nassarius should do it.
  19. Iris

    Iris Guest

    Do you have a picture of the conch?

  20. JVU

    JVU Supporting Member

    I have sand cleaning inverts but I also find manually cleaning the sand with a turkey baster satisfying and effective. It kicks the detritus into the water column to catch in the filter socks and buries any algae starting to grow. It works way better than just moving the sand around with a stick and is less likely to hurt anything you hit by accident.

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