Algae reactor - worth it or not?

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I'm fairly new to marine and have been reading up about these but can't decide if its worth it or not.  What are peoples thoughts?  Interestingly my lfs the staff couldn't decide between themselves about the merits! (instead of buying a reactor I came away with a seneye lol)

I've had to lose my refugium chamber in the sump due to other kit such as skimmer and phosphate reactor, but I think I can fit an algae reactor in.

Also what do people recommend model wise.  I can't decide between the ALR 1 and the TMC reef grow S.  The TMC on the face of it is more attractive due to the smaller footprint as I am tight on space..

zollybosher

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Reply #1

Personally. I would not bother with an alage reactor for the simple reason that not all tanks are the same . As time goes on your  tank and  inhabitants will evolve. It maybe that you never need a reactor. I

If I put my own personal spin\ experience on it. I read and read and the more I read the more I became confused as to what was of benefit and I was adding to the problems.. which everyone gets.

 I ran GFO fluidised sand beds biopellets all sorts of concoctions, even carbon dosing one always led to anothe when it came to alage. Having the full range from bubble to turf. Eventually I stopped using anything and my tanks settled down - took me nealry 3 years to figure it out that  letting your tank do the work instead of adding  pointless stuff  is ( for me ) the way to go . I used a scrubber which did OK but didn’t  really do much to help reduce the alage- CUC did that. A good CUC and keeping your parameters stable is the main key. You can add extras in to combat certain types of algae  in the form of natural  predators and reduction of organic compounds PO4 for example feeding less, more water or higher % changes) all of which are far cheaper and better for your water quality, in fact Marine keepers are not hobbiests they are  water experts !  I would get  your water  right everything else will follow. Alage is present in all tanks and doesn’t need an inch to start to grow. It is a highly evolved  simple cell amd is present in its magnitude in the wild, however it is kept in check by the  billions of organisms and tireless workers.

I would suggest you let your tank mature for at least  6 months get a good CUC and see how you go.  Yes reactor work and for some are invaluable but I am one who is not convinced.IF you really want one ALR is probably the one I would choose

Good luck
Last Edit: Feb 20, 2019 11:14:41 pm by zollybosher

Nathanb

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Reply #2

Thanks for the reply.  I take your point about leaving it for a while to sort itself out and see where I end up.  What you describe above sounds very similar to years and years ago when I first started out with discus and I spent a fortune on things that I didn't really need, in the end, a couple filters, a heater and let the tank get on with it and it sorted itself out!


Out of interest what would you recommend for a circa 200 tank as CUC?  So far I've got 2 shrimps and 4 hermit crabs, I'm planning to add maybe one/two more fish and some more CUC in the next week or so.  Fish wise I'll probably either go for a Royal gramma and/or an algae eating blenny.  I just can't decide on the rest of the CUC (only thing I definitely want is a couple more fire shrimps - they're pretty cool!).


I notice you're in Manchester as well - which fish shop(s) do you use?

zollybosher

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Reply #3

Blimey we are twins ! I used to keep and breed Discus  many many years ago, more than I care to mention. Marine. well, this is a whole new ball game  :grin: As your experience will tell you having kept Discus it’s about the water and the parameters., Marine is the same  except there are a lot more parameters and living organisms to take into account. You WILL make mistakes and you WILL experience  problems but do not be deterred. Once you get it right you will have your own piece of the ocean in your houjsehold se. And believe me it’s fantastic watching it all come together from your CUC to your corals being nothing more than a spot to fully grown ti your fish pottering in and out of the rock

CUC take your pick from


Algae eaters:
Trochus, Cerith, money cowry snails,
Tuxedo, orange-spined & purple-tipped urchins,
Emerald crabs.
Sand scavengers:
Cerith, Nassarius, bumble bee, strawberry conch & fighting conch snails,
brittle stars (but not the green ones, which grow huge & eat fish).
Rocks & sand:
True blue leg hermits (too small to harm most snails) NOT electric blue-knuckled hermits which get too big & can kill snails.


Fire shrimp, blood ( whatever they call them are good to look at( except their  natural instinct is to come out in the evening early morning mist of the day they will find a hiding place out of the way
 (mine do) As for stocking  you want a good selection of each, don’t go for the star fish straight away, they can be picky and difficult, that isn’t to say  you can’t keep them but stick to the main stock . Turbo snaps are excellent as are the Narc which help to turn your sand around

Shops well the obvious ones are Abyss in Stockport and the old favourite Oasis but I tend to get my corals from other enthusiasts. One place that has just opened recently and has a fantastic selection of corals is Out of the Blue in Failsworth at the back of Housing Units

I wish you the best of luck, try to enjoy it and dio not get disheartened if things don’t go your way. Patience is the key with Marine’s


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