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find much of the present substrate bound together, especially if you have never surveyed it for blockage.

Add to this that the remaining loose sand is probably filled with detritus, and your sandbed's filtration is of little value. Then add the pump problem and animal die-off, and conditions were perfect for what you now have. And possibly this Bryopsis species of algae has made your aquarium its home, and like other forms of unwanted algae, they can now make their own nutrients under their base, thereby extending their existence even if the tank had perfect water quality.

As for your having no nitrates and phosphates, I could believe that, as ammonium is the key factor that got the whole problem started! That isn't going to be readily seen depending on your pH level. But that is the key algae nutrient, with phosphate providing the energy needed. And if the phosphate were organic, it won't register on your test kit. My preferences for these test kits are either those by Salifert or Merck. You also want a phosphate reactor or a canister filter to control phosphate. And my preference there is ROWAphos or the Warner Marine media.

When a plenum is used in the main aquarium, 75 percent of the bed should remain exposed for maintenance.

What to do? If it were my aquarium and I was moving, none of the rock that had these algae would go into a new aquarium, even if it were scrubbed clean. Nevertheless, I would scrub that rock clean, sterilize it and let it dry out and possibly save it for use in a more distant future aquarium. For now, get new cured rock.

As for the new aquarium, the plenum should be set up in an interconnected system, which should be no sand mail

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