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Cyno or algae?

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Beckmola24

Hawkfish
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
Messages
1,112
Location
Columbus, OH
There is a red tinted algae that grows on my tank. Not sure what kind it is. It has gotten a bit better with my skimmer, but isn't completely "cured". I was told by someone in my LFS that it might by cynobacteria. My blenny eats this red stuff as do my astreas and margarita. Would they eat cyno?? Any info would be appreciated! Thanks!
 

Beckmola24

Hawkfish
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
Messages
1,112
Location
Columbus, OH
It is like a reddish slime. I turned my lights off a little early yesterday and it has subsided a little. I also put a Maxijet 900gph pwrhead in there and it seemed to help a lot too. I just would like to know what the red slime stuff is. It's a pain. I have a skimmer, and a hang on filter on that tank. (it'a a 20) I wouldn't think reef animals would eat cyno... But that's just IMO.
 

Curtswearing

Mantisfreak
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Nov 20, 2003
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St. Louis, MO
There are some critters that will eat cyano's. However, this is like giving your kid cold medicine to cure a cold instead of making your kid wash his hands often to prevent a cold. One of the things that never gets asked is how did I get my cyano bloom.

Cyano's are heterotrophic bacteria which basically means they get their food from dissolved organic compounds. Well, we certainly introduce a lot of those to our tanks don't we? We can remove some DOC's with Granular Activated Carbon and water changes but we can remove even more with a properly sized protein skimmer.

You can use E.M. to help rid yourself of cyano but it really is a band-aid approach and that's why I don't recommend it EVER unless someone is so frustrated they want to leave the hobby. Not only that, there are unintended consequences such as bacteria dieing that we want to live. E.M. doesn't only kill cyano's. It's an equal opportunity killer----it kills the good bacteria too!!!

Because cyano's are a blend between an algae and a bacteria, you should also do the normal things you do to prevent algaes. Such as......

Do not overfeed----ever. Normally, this revolves around uneaten food but in this case, the major problem IMO is excess fish waste (which will degrade into DOC's).
Always use RO/DI water if your municipal water supply adds phosphates to their water (as most do). You can request a water report from them.
Never overstock your tank.
Use a quality protein skimmer.
Check on the photoperiod you are using and make sure your bulbs aren't so old that they have experienced a color shift.
Increase circulation to get the waste suspended in the water column for your skimmer to pick up.
Run a phosphate test on your food. Take some RO/DI water(read the manual....not all test kits work in freshwater) Get a baseline reading of your water. Write that reading down. Next, let some food soak in this water for an hour. That will give you an idea of how much phosphate is going into your tank each time you feed. BTW (soaking food like this is a very good practice to limit input of phosphates into your system).
 

Beckmola24

Hawkfish
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
Messages
1,112
Location
Columbus, OH
Oh. I've learned my lesson with medications. Don't plan on using any in the future. My little clowns were never the same after using Formalin with them. They wound up not making it.
 

nubes

Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2004
Messages
23
hey i have some cyanobacteria in my tank and ya i know that margaritas and turbo snails eat it, but i also have another similar looking stuff that is more brownish than cyano but still kinda red. Mine comes from using tap water when i was first starting out and it stayed eversince. If its cyano than you can use this stuff called 'Chemi Clean' it works great.
 

Beckmola24

Hawkfish
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
Messages
1,112
Location
Columbus, OH
Cool, thanks for the 411. What's funny is that I used tap water on one of my little 5's and it doesn't have algae at all. On my 20 I used RODI and it has some cyno and algae. Murphy's law... =)
 

mojoreef

Reef Keeper
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Jul 5, 2003
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Sumner
Becky tap water is not the only cause of it. basically the cyano is grow because it has the nutrients it needs to grow. (raw tap water can have high levels of phosphate in it) you can also get these nutrients from a number of other sources such as over feeding, feeding foods that are heavy in Phosphates, salt mixes that have alot of nitrogen or Phosphates, additives such as those that use sugar as carriers and so on. Cyano likes certain conditions also. It likes lighting skewed to the red spectrum (personally its what I use to tell me my bulbs are getting old) it also doesnt like alot of flow, you usually find it in the dead areas where the water isnt flowing very much.


Mike
 

DonW

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Dec 15, 2003
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Tacoma, WA
nubes said:
. Mine comes from using tap water when i was first starting out and it stayed eversince. If its cyano than you can use this stuff called 'Chemi Clean' it works great.
I dont think it came from your tap. More likely your tap water is just feeding it. If it continues to stick around its still being fed. Syphon off as much as you can, do your water changes and stop feeding it.
No flake food, no QFC seafood, No gel cubed food. You get the point, dont fight the cyno fight its dinner source.

Don
 

mojoreef

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DOn thier is a way to fight the P in seafoods and some qube food. If you soak the food in ro/di water, the P that is used will bind up with the striped water, then you can just rince out the water/slurry and feed the left overs


Mike
 

DonW

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Mike,

I rinse everthing, I know kind of anal. The seafood from QFC seems have extremely high p by comparison to Jonny's. I tested the rinse water from each after the fifth rinsing. The QFC still showed up. I then did this from another QFC location and got the same results.

Does rinsing remove the absorbed binding gell from cubed like Formula One??

Don
 

mojoreef

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Hmm good to know DOn of the QFC, they must use a lot of orthophosphates to make the food look fresh. . On the cube, it gets a bit, but not all the persrvatives. I dont use it for that reason.


Mike
 

Beckmola24

Hawkfish
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
Messages
1,112
Location
Columbus, OH
If the cyno doesn't like high flow then what I have may not be cyno. I have a 240 gph powerhead in a 20 gallon along with a skimmer and a hagen power filter. I just bought the current light I have. It was brand new (had it for 2 weeks). I rinse all of my food. I don't overfeed. As I stated before, It takes me almost a half hour to feed 2 fish. I am really careful about stuff falling to the bottom of the tank. I do water changes once a week. I am currently using Oceanic Salt mix with RODI water. What could this be? My tank is at 1.023 and I keep the temp at 76/77. I have 2 fish and a cleaner crew. I'm not so sure this actually is cyno. It's reddish brown and covers the walls of my tank. Some areas are gettig a greenish tint. Should I run phosguard to get rid of excess phosphates?
 

Beckmola24

Hawkfish
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
Messages
1,112
Location
Columbus, OH
I cleaned my glass and now instead of red slime it's greenish. What do you all think my problem is?? I can't figure it out. Thanks for your help!
 

Curtswearing

Mantisfreak
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
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Location
St. Louis, MO
There are tons of different types of cyanobacteria. If you change the color spectrum in your bulbs, you will often get a different color of cyanobacteria so this could still be cyanos.

If you move the water right in front of it with a turkey baster, does the film easily remove? If so, it is likely cyanobacteria.
 
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