Your help is very much appreciated! I am not able to take a photo but the 'film' like algae has since gone. The hair algae is still there but i have lowered the amount of time the lights are on for.
Coralline, thank you for explaining that its the algae feeding on the nitrites, which explains my water test results. So am i correct that most people get rid of the algae due to the way it looks or can it be harmful in any way?
My tank was setup for just over a month before the fish went in, during that time i had an algae bloom and it died down again. Fish were added, and its been going for about 2-3 months with the fish in. The problem is, for the last month-ish i have had a bloom of algae which just has not gone away. I get stringy soft green algae, but recently a worse looking algae which is more film like. During the first bloom, my snails seemed to feast through it very quickly, but during this recent bloom they dont seem to be touching it.
The second problem, which i assume is a problem, is that i rarely see any fluctuations in my water parameters. I change about 10-20% water every 2 weeks, but have occasionally left it longer just to see if my water parameters change, but they barely seem to do so. I had my spikes during the first cycle but since then it neither amonia, nitrite or nitrates seems to raise much between my water changes, even if i leave it 3 weeks.
I feed my fish once a day, normally flake, occasionally brine shrimp or mysis.
Is this normal? I thought i should at least see my nitrates go up on a weekly basis.
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Edit : As a side note, i have two test kits, and i have used both to be sure the test kits are not bad, and both give the same results
I keep a sealed plastic container full of saltwater in my garden shed ready for when i need to do water changes etc. However, with the recent weather it seems that it has partly frozen. My question is whether or not the water will still be usable after its defrosted? Will the salt in the water still be correctly mixed correctly?
I have not checked Ca or KH, I do however have two hermit crabs and I think one other crab from my LR which i have yet to see ( i have only seen a crab claw from it ).
One thing i have noticed recently is that the 'crumbly' area appeared wherever some form of leafy algae once was. So my current guess is its where the crabs or snails have pulled that up. Since my first post, the initial soft area's appear to have hardened so i think it is fine, and just how my environment will change over time.
When i spoke to my lfs about them before buying they said that they pretty much eat the left overs after feeding your fish. As i don't yet have any fish i just give them some flake. Other than that they have not needed any special attention. One thing i did notice was that the blood shrimp is much more active and less scared of coming out now i have a second shrimp in the tank. As the cleaner shrimp is much faster at moving they compete quite a lot for the food!
On a side note, and perhaps i should make a new topic, but I yesterday i noticed a crab claw on the sand near the back of my tank. I have one red legged crab, and one blue legged crab and clearly this claw does not belong to either of those. Having read forums related to crabs i see that the general consensus is that if the crab has sharp pincers then its probably bad. So i would like to get some more experienced advice on whether this is from something i should be rather concerned about. As a quick overview, i currently have three turbo snails, 1 red legged crab, 1 blue legged crab, 1 blood shrimp and one cleaner shrimp. From what i can see none of these 'appear' to have any damage done to them. I also have a bristle worm too which comes out during feeding time and again, he seems fairly healthy ( certainly no chunks of him missing! ).
The claw measures approx 5-7mm.
The tank has been setup for about five weeks now and i have never seen it. Having said that, I tend not to look at it during the night when its pitch black.
"The other possibility is that the crab molted as it grew and what you see is not the crab but just it's old skin. Keep your eyes open"
I made this mistake, the molt looked very vibrant ( unlike my shrimps molt which was much more translucent). My crab has a tendancy to hide occasionally too, though i have no idea where, and its only a 48litre tank.
As eagle said, keep an eye out, and hopefully it will just be that. Fingers crossed.