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Algae Problem

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Beeba

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
300
Location
Portsmouth, OH
Over the past few weeks I have started having a problem with a dark brown algae that grows on most everything during the day but seems to disappear at night. After the lights have been on all day it is very thick looking and has lots of air bubbles all over it.

You can see it in all over the sand in the picture below. All of my fish seem healthy and happy. Their color is good and the few mushroom corals I have don't seem bothered by it. It is driving me crazy. Is this considered diatom algae? I read something about brown slimy algae being called dinoflagellates. Is that what this is? Everything else in my tank seems to be going great but I can't stand this slimy brown stuff.

 

Beeba

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Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
300
Location
Portsmouth, OH
Thanks for helping me determine what it is. Now I can at least read more about how to fix it. Any suggestions?
 

Beeba

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Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
300
Location
Portsmouth, OH
I do have a skimmer. My water flow is a CAP-1800 pump that sits in my sump and I have one RIO 600 powerhead blowing the opposite direction as my return. My water source is from the tap. I do use a dechlorinator. The local LFS told me that he uses the same for his water source and we have the same water. I probably should invest in an RO/DI filter. Would this solve this problem? All of my tests are good except for my phosphate which remains high even though it is lower than it was two weeks ago.
 

esmith

AQUAMANIAC
Joined
Oct 9, 2003
Messages
451
Location
Shoreline, WA
The RO system will definately help to aleviate any future problems from the tap water. But this will require doing some water changes with pre-mixed SW from the RO sytem.

One other question, how old is the sandbed? This could be part of the problem if it's old and oversaturated with inorganic phosphates. The tank looks fairly new, so I would probably say that using tap water is causing the cyano to grow.

HTH,
:)
Eliyah
 

Gordo

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Jun 27, 2003
Messages
398
Location
Olympia, WA
Beeba,

If I remember correctly your tank it pretty new. This is all part of NTS (new tank syndrome... I just coined that....maybe it will catch on and I'll be famous). Just sit back and wait a couple of weeks. It will peak and then begin to diminish. If you do water changes it won't hurt to suck the Cyno off the sand. I would also get some more snails. For a 72G 40 - 50 should so the trick.


~Gordo~
 

NaH2O

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Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Great advice everyone! RO/DI water is so important from my point of view. All the "nasties" that fuel algae are stripped out. Gordo is correct about NTS (love the newly coined term) - you will go through periods of different algaes. What do you have as far as a clean up crew? Variety of snails is important, IMO.
 

cdeakle

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Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Messages
199
Location
Lynnwood, WA
Best way to deal with cyano is this:

- Reduce nutrients, don't over feed, good skimmer, refugium (algae scrubber)

- Use RO/DI water. No phosphates, silicates...

- Physical removal, suck it out when doing water changes and keep that skimmer cranked up on full blast and keep it fine tuned.

- Chemi-Clean works really well on cyano, just be prepared to do a monster water change when done with the treatment.

- MOST IMPORTANT OFF ALL, don't freak out. We all deal with cyano at one time or another. Just pray you don't get the dinos like some of us have.

-Chris
 

cdeakle

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Feb 25, 2004
Messages
199
Location
Lynnwood, WA
He has snails, I can see a few in the picture, might wanna get a few more though. I had as many as 50 assorted snails at one time in my smaller reef tank(55 gallon)
 

Gordo

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Jun 27, 2003
Messages
398
Location
Olympia, WA
cdeakle said:

- Chemi-Clean works really well on cyano, just be prepared to do a monster water change when done with the treatment.


I've never heard of this. What does it do and is it reef safe?
 

fishermann

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Jul 13, 2003
Messages
670
Location
Searcy, Arkansas
Gordo it is a red slime remover additive,it is made by Boyd enterprises, same people that make chemi-pure, i would not recomend it unless the situation has gotten totaly out of control. It depletes oxegon from the water severly and makes your skimmer go really crazy. It is basically the same as that red slime remover by ultra life. I used both when i was new and lost a few sps, they rtn'd, it didn't seem to bother the others. It gets rid, but it shows back up until you find the reason. Some of the above post are alot better way to go. I still get a little once in awhile and just vac it out with a small hose while doing my weekly water change.
 

jasontatro

Wiseguy
Joined
Sep 1, 2003
Messages
177
Location
West Seattle
Yeah.... the problem with Chemi-clean is that it kills the cyano, which is a bacteria. The problem is that it also kills your beneficial bacteria. A last resort in my opinion.

I like the NTS statement..... says alot. We've all gone through it. Hang in there.
 

cdeakle

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Feb 25, 2004
Messages
199
Location
Lynnwood, WA
Here is a link to the product on MarineDepot.com:

http://marinedepot.com/md_viewItem.asp?idproduct=BE1115

I have many inverts and corals that had no ill-effects. I would recommend this product. Of course this may only treat the effects and not necessarily the cause which I think normally is bad source water and not enough circulation...

Word to the wise, this product will make your skimmer go nutz. Skimmers will have to remain off for 24-48 hours during treatment and you will have to be prepared to do a large water change. The directions recommend a 20% water change but I would recommend a 30% water change.
 

cdeakle

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Feb 25, 2004
Messages
199
Location
Lynnwood, WA
I have seen no negative effects or reason to believe my beneficial bacteria has suffered almost 6-8 monthes after I have used it. Just my opinion, not trying to start a fight. =)
 

Beeba

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Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
300
Location
Portsmouth, OH
My tank has only had water in it since the second week of January so I think NTS would apply to me. In January I bought an algae attack pack suitable for my tank from liveaquaria.com. I feed 1/2 of a frozen food cube (Marine Cuisine) once per day and it all seems to get eaten pretty quickly. I thaw it and rinse it using a net so that only the food goes in the tank. I do a 10 gallon water change per week (72 gallon tank) and I suck the stuff off the sand. I hope that Gordo is right about the NTS and that it will subside in time.

Should I order more snails or do I have enough?
 

Beeba

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
300
Location
Portsmouth, OH
I found this information at garf.org. Does everyone agree with this theory?

THINGS TO DO ABOUT RED SLIME ALGAE (CYANOBACTERIA BLOOM):

*two 20% water changes will lower nutrient level - ALWAYS USE INSTANT OCEAN
*DOUBLE the power heads to increase current - the more water flow you have the faster your algae will clear up.
*ADD MORE LIGHTS -Light bulbs shift to red and grow more algae when they age - change bulbs
*Cut food to 1/2 for one month
*Add Phosphate control product from SeaChem
*Add carbon slowly - I add one tablespoon three times a day for two days to 55 gallon
*Siphon out as much cyanobateria as you can - use small hose
 

DonW

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Dec 15, 2003
Messages
8,753
Location
Tacoma, WA
Chemi-clean at half the recomended dose should clear it up in about 2 days. It has almost no efect on anything else. Its expensive but effective. The consensus is large water changes anyway so why not use the chemi-clean and do the large water changes? I have only used it at half dosages, but at that it cleared it all up overnight. Once you clean it out then try to keep it gone. If funds are low you can throw together a DIY RO two filters and a membrane at Home Depot for about $70. From what I understand you can drip kalk to help precipitate Phos. You can also make a DIY Phos filter with a Coke bottle and a small powerhead.

Just a few Ideas each will help some. NTS is a drag.

Don
 

NaH2O

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Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
ALWAYS USE INSTANT OCEAN
I found this interesting. I would say use whatever salt brand you are most comfortable with.

Increasing flow and direction of flow in the tank will help. Also, siphoning out what you can when doing your water changes. RO/DI will help tremendously. Cutting back on your feedings may help by not introducing excess nutrients. IMO, first thing - several water changes using RO/DI and increasing your flow/changing direction of flow - then reevaluate. If you aren't using RO/DI water, then you will continuously be introducing fuel for nuisance algae. Remember, tanks cycle through algae before they are mature, so don't get frustrated. It is a lot of information to take in. Devise a plan and let us know what you think.
 

Beeba

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 29, 2003
Messages
300
Location
Portsmouth, OH
Thanks for all the great advice. At least I feel hopeful now that it won't last forever. My b-day is coming up on Thursday so I guess I will have to ask for a RO/DI unit. What brand is best and what GPD would I need? I would prefer not to add chemicals to my tank unless it is a last resort. I will do a 20% water change tonight and syphon out as much of the cyano bactor as possible. Should I do another change tomorrow or wait a few days?

Nikki... What size powerheads would work best in my 72 gallon tank? I don't want to over do it and have stuff blowing around. Perhaps a bigger pump? Would it be best to get another Rio 600 or should I get a bigger power head?
 
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