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Problem with red slime algae

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Rick

New member
Joined
Oct 3, 2004
Messages
4
Location
Amarillo, Tx
I am relatively new to marine aquaria. Basically got started because my nine year old son is really interested in the hobby. He has medical problems, so we really don't have sports or other activities to share. We really enjoy the time around the aquarium though, except for lately. The tank is a year old now and about 2 months ago we started getting a red slimey algae growth on the rock and bottom of the tank. The testing shows no seen problems with water quality and all the fish seem to be in excellent, happy conditions. I just don't know what to do to stop the problem. I clean it up at water changes, but it just starts to come back within about a week.

75 G. Reef
70 lbs. Live Rock
20 G. Sump
Rio 2500 Main Pump
Skimmer
9 W UV Sterilizer
220 GPH Power Head
Power Compact with 2 65W 10000K And 2 65W Actinic
Additional 48in. Hood with 6000K and Actinic 50/50 Bulb

Fish: Yellow Tang, Purple Tang, Blue Tang, 2 clown gobies, Pajama Cardinal, Royal Gramma, Six Line Wrasse, Coral Beauty Angel, Green Chromis, Mandarin Goby, Firefish Goby, Blue Spot Goby, Peppermint Shrimp, Assorted Snails and Crabs, and a Sandsifting Starfish.
Corals: Pumping Zenia, Green polyp, Various Mushrooms, and a couple that I am unsure about.

Any help appreciated,
Rick
 

wrightme43

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2004
Messages
4,355
Location
bowling green ky
JMHO, Check for phosphates, Try a Poly-Filter, (chemical impregnated) absorbs Phosphate, How old are your light bulbs? If over one year, try replacing them. It seems to me as your fish grow they eat more, as they eat more, more phosphates are introduced to the tank. They red stuff should be cyano-bacteria, they seem to like phos. Remove phos, and deterius. It starves and goes away. How are you removing it. Have you tried sucking it out with thin tubeing? That usually seems to get the deterius as well. Do you blow your live rock off with a turkey baster? It seems to help to. I am sure you already know this but try to refrain from using a chemical that says it will kill it. Usually bad news. JMHO. Hope it helps you. Steve
 

wrightme43

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bowling green ky
Oh yeah if your bulbs are old only replace one a week. If you do it all at once it seems to shock the heck out of corals. Sometimes they will bleach out and die. STEVE
 

Rick

New member
Joined
Oct 3, 2004
Messages
4
Location
Amarillo, Tx
I have basically been peeling it off the rock and sucking it out with the vacum. I will try the baster next time. My bulbs are original, so I will start replacing them as soon as possible. Thanks for all the info, we are really short of knowlegeable people in this town. We actually get all of our equipment from Lubbock, Tx. We go there a lot for doctors appointments for my son. THANKS AGAIN, RICK.
 

Angelscrx

Import Fish
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
1,103
Location
Ettrick, VA
You also may want to check your make up water. If you are using a RO/DI unit to filter the water when was the last time you changed the filters? My 2 cents
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Rick, Welcome to Reef Frontiers!!

wrightme43 has posted some good information for you. Another thing for cyanobacteria is good water flow. Along with changing your bulbs, you may also want to look at your feeding regime. What and how often are you feeding the tank?

For supplies, check out our sponsors page, many of them ship across the country, so you may find some needed tank items this way. Some of the sponsors also offer discounts for RF members.

Hope to read more about your system! Keep checking out threads and asking questions!
 

Rick

New member
Joined
Oct 3, 2004
Messages
4
Location
Amarillo, Tx
Thanks to all for all your responses. I have currently added a poly-filter as suggested by wrightme43 and have also replaced my first bulb. Will replace others at the suggested time frame. I do not have my own RO system, so I have been purchasing my water from a local water store. I have been buying from the same place since beginning, and will ask them about their filter replacement schedule. I have been changing 20 gallons every 2 weeks using instant ocean. Have been thinking about switching to another brand. Any suggestions? Hope to post some pictures of the homeowners soon. We are really impressed at the beauty and good health they seem to be in. Have always fed once a day in early evening so we could all watch about 1/2-3/4" square cube of frozen brine with a 3" length of Seaweed salad. Once again, thanks to all.

Rick
 

Angelscrx

Import Fish
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Jul 30, 2004
Messages
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Location
Ettrick, VA
NaH2O said:
Angelscrx - good call on the water!
Thanks Nikki.

Rick, you may also want to check and see if any of your corals are dying. When one of my corals got Rapid Tissue Necrosis (RTN) it released phosphates into the water which started my red slime. I almost have it beat now.
 
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Beckmola24

Hawkfish
Joined
Mar 17, 2004
Messages
1,112
Location
Columbus, OH
Like Niki said too, water flow is important to control slime algae. After I added my 2nd powerhead I haven't had problems with cyno. Niki was the one who actually reccomended the added flow and it really helped. HTH
 

Rick

New member
Joined
Oct 3, 2004
Messages
4
Location
Amarillo, Tx
Problem seems to be getting better. At least it is not spreading like it was. I am going to change my second bulb and have added a maxi-jet 750 power head to the tank. Phos. media might have helped to, will place some more this weekend for another day and see what happens. Kind of reluctant to add new stuff like that so I usually just give it a quick sampling for a day or so and then pull it out. Got lucky and found a guy who cares for local business set ups and bought the power head used off of him for $12. It has excellent flow and my zenia's and polyps seem to love it. Thanks again for everyones help and am still planning on attaching some pics. once it looks better.

Rick
 

damer

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
16
Location
Geelong, Australia
gday rick,

you also seem to have a lot of fish in that system, how many do you have?

i know the temptation to load up a tank with fish is hard to resist, but realistically the tanks cant cope with large bioloads, i think this may also be a reason why you have cyano. dont stress to much, as it will go away, it will just take time and a little bit of work.

you will almost allways get good readings when testing the water as the cyano is a sponge for organics.
a "golden rule" (lets face it though there are lots of these!!!) is an internal circulation of at least 10x the total volume of the tank, but dont take into account the flow from your return pump.

some things that have/do work for cyano-

-decrease bioload
-decrease feeding, but i think you have to many fish ofr the tank to naturally feed everything, so this may not work- we dont want to starve your fish!!
-decrease photoperiod
-increase you internal water flow
-increase water changes to twice a week for a little while.

you can buy tablets (well here in australia anyway) that will kill all the cyano in a matter of hours. dont do it, dont let your LFS talk you into it. it can also kill you "good" bacteria

ad try not to buy any more fish, if your water quality starts to slip due to bioload the tangs are going to suffer.

hope it works out, and im glad the tank brings you and your son so much enjoyment.

regards

Damien
 
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spongebob lover

flea whisperer
Joined
Oct 5, 2004
Messages
11,664
Location
Everett
hey where do you find this vacuums?
i am having the same problem but now the red slime changed !!!
they look like red worms that move very quick, i already took some of the red slime and i added 12 snails into the tank and the tank looks cleaner :p , but these things are horrible worms that are over my xenas, mushrooms and rocks.
I checked the water with my kit test and everything seems fine and well i just have 4 fishes in my 39 galon tank, so if anyone knows how to get rid of these ugly looking worms , please let me know :( .
 

wrightme43

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Jul 1, 2004
Messages
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bowling green ky
Are they little pinkish red worms with small bristles sticking out of the side all way down? If so its bristle worms, dont touch, it hurts. If you really have alot and dont like them make a trap. They eat deterius, and left over food. In reasonable numbers they are a good thing. If that is not what they are please post a photo and someone will Identify it for you and share how they dealt with the situation. Might be best to start a new post as this one is about cyano bact, instead of worms. HTH Steve
 

spongebob lover

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Oct 5, 2004
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Everett
hmm actually they look more like red orange and i dont think they are eating the bad stuff :(
i'll make a post so everyone can see them
 

damer

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
16
Location
Geelong, Australia
spongebob,

are they flat? there is a species of flat worm that is red. these can reach plague like proportions in the tank as they reproduce very quickly. can you get a picture?

there is a chemical which i know a few people have used here, works well with very little harm to the tank. you have do be able to do at least a 50% water change though. and they must be flat worms of course.
 

Angelscrx

Import Fish
Joined
Jul 30, 2004
Messages
1,103
Location
Ettrick, VA
I had some flat worms come in on some live rock once and my scooter blenny and my Mandarin made quick meals of them. Didn't last a day :eek2:
 
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