Nine months on and still no coral? - saltwater aquarium update

When I firth thought about setting up my saltwater aquarium I have visions of vibrant colorful fish and gorgeous corals. I've always found watching marine aquariums really entertaining. Especially the many different forms of aquatic life that can be seen going about their business. My favorite thing to watch is the invertebrates such as crabs and shrimps. I find them especially fascinating. This was what I had hoped to be doing round about now but no, not me, my aquarium dreams were to take a different path and nearly 9 months down the line, I spend more time cleaning algae and cyanobacteria from the surfaces inside my saltwater aquarium than anything else, aquarium related, than anything else. Oh, and there is still no corals or vibrant livestock either.

Why? I ask myself that same question every day. At first, I considered the fact I had been using conditioned tap water to create my saltwater. This can create problems for sure and maybe my bacteria outbreak could be attributed to this issue. So I began to use a RODI water filter to mix my saltwater. This single change did make a difference with my water perimeters for sure. My water had never been better. But the issue was still not going away.
My reverse osmosis water filter is available from
This is the 50g per day model which means I can fill 1 x 25l drum in about 3 hours.
I would clean as much as I could each time I did a water change - which was twice a week,  just saying! and the next day the cyanobacteria was back again in full force. This had me stumped. What was causing it?

I began to do more reading and try to find a solution to this horrible issue. The sooner I could get passed this stage, the closer that dream aquarium would be. Each day when I turned the lights on, Id just want to turn them straight back off again. I had a swamp in my home, not a reef tank. This was not good.

When I was in my local Fishkeeper, I was discussing the problem with one of the staff members and they recommended a combination of three products from ARKA Bioteche or Microbe-Lift as their range of products are called. I was advised that this would kill all cyanobacteria in my aquarium. At this stage, I was ready to try anything so after picking up what I needed I headed home with a battle plan and big expectations.

Let me explain this plan and what it involves.

The three products needed are called:

  • Nite Out II
  • Special Blend
  • Zeopure powder

The process involves dosing your aquarium every second night with Nite Out II when you switch the lights off. At the same time dose the aquarium with Zeopure powder. Weekly dosing with Special blend is also required. It is very straight forward but 100% effective. I repeated this process for over a month and in the end, all the bacteria was gone.

You might be thinking that at this point, I'd be stocking my freshly renewed and clean aquarium with the fish of my dreams. You would be wrong. Not only did the bacteria return as soon as I stopped this routine, But It has also come back stronger. This is because although I successfully killed and removed all the bacteria from my aquarium, I have yet to deal with the cause of the problem. This is the part where I struggle. I cannot find the source of the issue.

Currently, I am looking at adding a protein skimmer. There has been a lot of debris lying o the water surface and bubbles are forming around the edge of the aquarium. Could this be contributing to the problem? I'm not sure yet but I know adding a skimmer can only help the situation.

Whatever the cause, I will discover it and do everything I can to fix it. My dream aquarium will happen. Id love to hear from anyone who thinks they have the answer. Even if you have had a similar problem with your aquarium, please either comment below or get in touch on Facebook

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