Skimming at night

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CenlaReefer

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I had not run a skimmer on my tank for the past 2 years. Now, I am paying for it with some soft, long green-hair algae in a many locations. It can be removed easily with a bit of gentle scrubbing with a brush. Because of the outbreak, I started skimming 24 / 7. Now the polyp extension on one of my chalice corals is very poor at night. Before it was so extremely happy with fabulous polyp extension. My plan is to skim 1:00 AM to 11:00 AM daily. Any thoughts?
 
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CenlaReefer

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I also set one of my LEDs to mostly blue and UV spectrums. Prior, it was putting-out too much white light. The algae growth was the worst directly under this LED fixture. The zoas I have have purked-up and look much better with the recent changes.
 

CenlaReefer

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I am not sure how old it is. It is a Radion Gen 4 that I got used. The settings were not right for algae prevention IMO.

The tank needs an algae-eating fish or some emerald crabs. It has a Melanurus wrasse in there which has reduced the trochus snail population a bit. I also think it ate the one remaining emerald crab a while back. I did see some baby snails this week. I wonder if they will last. I have a Tomini tang on order with Seth at Coral Fever.
 
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BluewaterLa

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Did you happen to test your tank before making the change on lighting and turning you skimmer back on ?
Your Cal / Alk levels are a good indication of how things are in the tank before and after you make a change for the next few weeks to months.
Mainly on the testing would be knowing the only two we can test for being Phosphate and Nitrate in the ''nutrient'' department giving a better window into the total dissolved nutrition in the water (even for some of the fatty acids / lipids and aminos we cant test for )
Some corals rather like higher levels ( old school called dirty water ) such as the softies and including many LPS.
Turning the skimmer back on after a long hiatus can affect this though over a greater time frame vs for a few nights.
I would watch the habits of the chalice over the next week or so and most likely chock this off to a change in lighting spectrum triggering the chance for better or not depending on observations of a couple of months.

Honestly nothing much to worry, just need some adjustment and IF your skimmer is really efficient or oversized it could have pulled quite a bit out enough for the coral to stop trying to catch food for little while.
 

BluewaterLa

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Skimming part time may be a good thing for your tank to balance things out to keep corals happy and algae at bay.
The tang will make short work of the soft algae.
 

Kirk_M

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I skim 24/7, and have done so for 20 years now. I tried the night-time only skimming, but, the on-off cycling of the skimmer just caused overfoaming and overflow of the skimmer cup for me.
 

CenlaReefer

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Thanks for the input, guys! My sump was LOADED with chaeto yet I gave a volleyball-sized mass away. That likely allowed the GHA growth to get worse. That's a bit too much chaeto removal at once for a 34 gallon display with a 30 gallon sump. Mike, I never test. I just do weekly water changes.

Polyp extension was MUCH better last night.':banana:' The problem with making 2 changes at once is that it is hard to determine which change was the best answer: changing the light spectrum or reducing the skimmer schedule. I guess both changes were needed.

I will be changing things up a bit and starting a 90 gallon DT with the 34 gallon frag tank plumbed together to share one sump. The skimmer is a Bubble Magnus 5.5. It will surely be undersized for that job yet I can always run it a little bit more wet as needed. Currently I'm running it rather dry yet still pulling thick gunk out.
 
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CenlaReefer

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The big answer for me is that not skimming at all for 2 years was a bad idea... that and not having enough of a CUC. It is better to take care of a problem before it gets out of hand.
 
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clsanchez77

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Thanks for the input, guys! My sump was LOADED with chaeto yet I gave a volleyball-sized mass away. That likely allowed the GHA growth to get worse. That's a bit too much chaeto removal at once for a 34 gallon display with a 30 gallon sump. Mike, I never test. I just do weekly water changes.

Polyp extension was MUCH better last night.':banana:' The problem with making 2 changes at once is that it is hard to determine which change was the best answer: changing the light spectrum or reducing the skimmer schedule. I guess both changes were needed.

I will be changing things up a bit and starting a 90 gallon DT with the 34 gallon frag tank plumbed together to share one sump. The skimmer is a Bubble Magnus 5.5. It will surely be undersized for that job yet I can always run it a little bit more wet as needed. Currently I'm running it rather dry yet still pulling thick gunk out.

Been there done that, may even start selling the shirts. This happened to me about two years ago and I have a rapid loss of most of my corals. I have struggled to get the tank going back since then. About a year ago I shut off my skimmer and after about a month, my corals started to return. I have fully recovered several LPS colonies going skimmer less and a few that appeared to be 100% loss now have small heads re-emerging. Im not extrapolating this that skimmer less is the best way to go....far from it. However, the price I pay for this is having to manage algae. I monitor my nitrates/phosphates/alk/etc to make sure things are stable and in check, and for the most part they have been. Once I am satisfied with coral recovery, I will bring the skimmer back online.

But I completely agree with @Kirk_M. When I experimented with cycling my skimmer on/off, I had nothing but problems. When I do decide to bring the skimmer back on, I will go 24/7.

Bottom line, each tank is different and you will have to feel around to see what gives you best results. I would say is that if your skimmer is pulling too much and you are not getting your best growth, but no skimmer is not working, see what you can do to reduce the flow rate or air flow through the skimmer so you can reduce its output but keep it running 24/7.
 

CenlaReefer

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Chris, I can relate to your post. So far my schedule of 1:00 to 11:00 AM works fantastic for my system.

The problem I am having with a mixed reef is keeping LPS (high nutrient corals) and SPS (lower nutrient corals) all happy without having an algae outbreak. My realization this weekend is that I should only spot-feed my favorite LPS corals after lights-out. My days of doing broadcast feedings are over until I get an algae-eating fish.
 
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