I've noticed more algae growth as of late. Sigh. Looking back at my notes, I think I'm feeding too much and the lights are on for too long. Plus, 20% weekly water changes are starting to take its toll on me. That's a lot of work!
Problem: Algae Growth
Solution: Feed less and reduce lighting period.
The fish are used to getting fed once a day. I don't want anyone turning into Mr. Hyde and gorging on cleaner shrimp so I'm reducing slowly. First, I'm feeding them less, period. Second, I feed them just a pinch of some dried food in the a.m. This makes it easier to cut this out. The next step is to begin "forgetting" a.m. feedings. I'll skip every other day the first week, then every two days, the second week, etc. until I'm no longer feeding in the morning.
To reduce the lighting, I will also do it slowly so as not to shock the fish and coral. In addition, I want to shift the lights to turn on later in the day so they can stay on later at night (when I get to see them). I'm tired of not being able to look at my tank. Evenings are the only chance I get! To do this, first I'll begin by having the lights switch on 1 hour later in the morning. Right now, the blue lights are on 12 hours a day, and the white lights are on for 10. I am going to aim for 10 for the blue and 8 for the white (and if that doesn't work, then 8 and 6). My goal is to have the blue lights come on at 1:00 pm and then turn off at 11:00 pm (the whites would be on from 2-10). I have to shift slowly. Maybe by 1 hour a week until I get it right.
Other tactics to reduce algae would be to add a few more snails. Worst comes to worst, I can always drop in a sea urchin!
Phil didn't last very long (the new Royal Gramma). He was very small and very shy. Basically, he was too scared to eat. The other tankmates would feed, and he hid in his cave. He wasted away until one morning, I discovered a cleaner shrimp eating his carcass. Nothing left but a skeleton. Sad.