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Red Algae

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cliff-king@live.com View Drop Down
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    Posted: December 10 2009 at 10:49pm
My tank is starting to grow red algae. It has been going for 5 months now. I have a 90 gallon tank. I got everything new, and had no clue in the hobby before this so I don't really know  what is going on. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am up in Logan if anybody would like to come over and check it out I just got done with my finals so I am free.
Cliff
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CapnMorgan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 10 2009 at 10:56pm
What are your current water parameters? If you don't have a test kit you should get one asap. I know Mark will probably see this thread, so if you could post a full tank shot as well as a couple other photos that will help a lot. Chances are you have high nitrates in your water. We just need to figure out the cause. What is the maintenance schedule for the tank, and what is currently in it? How much LR/LS are you using now?
Steve
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Yodaman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 11 2009 at 2:03am
See my Cyanobacteria/Red Slime post in the General Posts Forum.  I just recently went through a bout with this stuff too.  The keys are:
 
1. Increase Flow in the tank (add powerheads or redirect them to make more turbulence).
2. Decrease dissolved nutrients in the water (stop feeding, increase skimming, run phosphate remover). 
3. Reef Cleanup crew (red leg hermits, snails, etc).
4. Starve it from light (lower photoperiod to 6-8 hours and do a black period for 2-3 days then 1 day on, repeat for a few weeks).
5. Physically remove as much as you can.
 
Here is what I did, and I was able to successfully get rid of the red slime/cyanobacteria naturally without the use of chemicals.
 
1. I redirected my powerheads to create more turbulance.  Didn't have to add any.
2. I blew off the cyano with a power head and caught it with a net and removed it.
3. No feeding for 3 weeks now.  Except for 1 per week with low phosphate flakes.
4. Added Snails and Red Legged Hermits.  Also added a Lettuce Nudi for the hair.
5. I covered the aquarium and did 2 days black, 1 day lights 2 weeks straight.
6. Adjusted Skimmer to be wetter and pull more dissolved crap out.
7. Phosphate remover running in my reactor.
 
Try it naturally before going with chemicals.
 
Here's the order of importance in my experience and opinion:
 
1. Flow
2. Feeding
3. Light
4. Filtration (skimming & phosphate)
5. Cleanup Crew
 
Good luck.  Be patient with it, it will take some time.  If you want help, give me a call, I just recently went through it and if it weren't for fellow reefers I wouldn't have succeeded.  Jared 801-709-8753.


Edited by Yodaman - December 11 2009 at 2:07am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sculpin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 11 2009 at 3:02am
I get cyano sometimes. I just blast it off with a power head during a water change. During the next few days I just squirt off any remaining growth with a syringe that has a long tube on it. As long as your parameters are good and you stay on top of it, it goes away rather fast.


Micah


Edited by Sculpin - December 11 2009 at 3:02am
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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 11 2009 at 8:28am
Good post Yodaman.Thumbs Up Very good.
 
I like to fix the root cause rather than spend time continually cleaning it up.
 
Sometimes the answer is to first try something as simple as stopping the feeding for 5 days and then feeding half as much from then on. That reduces the incoming nutrients.
 
Cyano grows more when there is not enough biological filtration capability to handle the incoming nutrients. There are two easy ways to increase the natural biological filter:
 
1. add more sand. Just a few quarts of Oolitic sand placed on the bottom underneath the present sand, will increase the area for bacteria to grow and thus eat up Nutrients.
2. grow more macroalgae. Place some in the display or leave the RDP Refugium lights on longer
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sanddune600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 11 2009 at 4:00pm
adding a clip on light in your refugium with cheato will help and be fairly cheap and also adding more flow will be useful I can stop by my number is 435-764-8034 I was thinking of seeing what you where up to just the other day to see how things where going sorry to here this
Andy Jorgensen
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Luckedout Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 11 2009 at 4:04pm
I'm up in Logan as well. I don't have anywhere near the experience of Andy but I like seeing new tanks! Give me a call. 435-770-4043
-Ben



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www.body-balancechiropractic.com

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cliff-king@live.com Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 10:09pm
Sorry this took so long. The pH is 8.4, the ammonia level is 0, the nitrite level is 0, and the nitrates are at 18 ppm. I have a 90 gallon tank with a 30 gallon refugium. I am not quite sure what all my equipment is, so I took pictures and hopefully you can  tell me. I have 90 pounds of live rock as well as 100 pounds of live sand. living inside the tank, I have 2 false perculas, a 3 stripe damsel and 2 blue damsels, I only had 2 little snails and 1 hermit crab, but today I added 10 more hermit crabs, I have 5 peppermint shrip, some green mushrooms, 1 red mushroom, a frog spawn, 3 or 4 toadstool things, a large devils snare and some xenia. That is about it.  any and all help would be greatly appreciated.


ok here are the lights and the protein skimmer

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cliff-king@live.com Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 10:12pm
I guess the lights and skimmer didn't add so here goes
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ryan Thompson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2009 at 10:46pm
I would add 30-40 snails as soon as you can. 2 snails in a 90 is not enough, not even close. Get a mixture of astrea, cerith and nassarius(sp?). Other than that it looks good.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cliff-king@live.com Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 15 2009 at 11:11am
Thanks, is there anywhere in salt lake that I could pick those up? I am headed to Delta and will probably stop on the way back.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trplxj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 15 2009 at 11:52am
Originally posted by cliff-king@live.com cliff-king@live.com wrote:

Thanks, is there anywhere in salt lake that I could pick those up? I am headed to Delta and will probably stop on the way back.
Lots and lots of places.  The Aquarium (SLC), Bird World (North SLC), Aquatic Dreams (Layton).  Just to name a few.  I would hit Bird World or Aquatic Dreams, I've had really good experiances with both places.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ryan Thompson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 15 2009 at 12:01pm
^^^^ Those are some good places. Personally I would stop at either Reef Runners in Orem if on the way, or Marine Aquatics. I would also call Chad and see if he has snails in. He has the best price out of anyone.

It really depends on whatever store is easiest and closest for you. Bring a cooler though to help keep the water temp stable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 15 2009 at 10:59pm
Depending on the light, one snail per gallon is the rule of thumb. This tank will do fine as Ryan has said if you add at least 30 more snails.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jcoulter17 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 15 2009 at 11:44pm
Aquatic Dreams started to have this problem in the big tank. They fix it fast with a phosphate Reactor. They have one nice clean tank there. I started to have the problem too and they said get a phosphate Reactor. It worked and never had a problem with red algae again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote EvanB756 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 16 2009 at 7:58am
I have to agree with yodaman, I had it starting and just stopped feeding for 3 days and then just fed half as much as I was from then on and it all went away within a week.... plus I didn't have to come up with the money to buy a phosphate reactor... just my 2 cents.

but yes do get some snails in there to help as well.



90gal display w/ 30gal sump.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Scott Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2010 at 4:50pm
I know this is an old post, but I have the same problem.  

I first tried reducing the light, but I have an LTA and he got into really bad shape and almost died.  I was able to nurse him back to health by putting the light back to a normal amount.

To get rid of it temporarily, i used the chemi-clean remover.  It worked great, but I know it will come back.

Not feeding for 5 days, will that harm any of my fishies?  I have the following:
- Two percula clowns w/LTA
- Yellow tail damsel
- Foxface Rabbitfish
- Copperband butterfly
- Banner cardinal
- 4 green cromis

I normally feed them every day, so stopping for 5 days seems drastic.

I think I will add more sand.  I only have a 1.5-2" sand base.  Is it OK to put the new sand on top of the old sand?  If I have some Nassurius snails to keep it sifted?

Thanks!
Chris
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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 24 2010 at 7:33pm
Good questions.
The reason for the Cyano algae appearing in the first place is partly associated with overfeeding, especially dry foods. The only time I feed dry prepared foods is when i don't have the time to feed my favorite frozen food, Emerald Entree. It is a variety of meaty foods plus half of it is greens, which are good for all fish, especially herbivores like one of the largest and most ravenous fish in your tank, the Fox face. 

When I suggest 5 days, I know that some people have trouble with it, but really the fish will be fine. Most people don't go the full 5 days. As EvanB756 said above, 3 days and half as much after that worked.

Part of the reason for nuisance algae growth is underfiltration, meaning that the biofiltration is not adequate or cannot keep up with the extra nutrients going into the water.

Quite a few hobbyists have had very good results by placing some Oolitic sand under the current sand bed. This is much easier than it would seem. Spread out a hole in the sand down to the glass by pushing and mounding up the sand. In that hole place a quart or two of Oolitic sand. Then spread the original sand over the top of the oolitic. Do this in 2 or 3 places in the tank. Another way to do it is to place those quarts of Oolitic sand across the back sand. Oolitic sand naturally sinks down underneath larger particle sand.

Placing sand into the tank without much disturbance or dust flying everywhere is accomplished by rinsing the sand very well and slowly submerging the container of wet sand in the water allowing it to fill with water before moving it down to the sand and slowly pouring it out underwater.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris Scott Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 25 2010 at 12:46pm
Great, thanks for those answers I will try those techniques.

The oolitic sand, other than being free if I go out to the Salt Lake, is there any benefit of it over the fine sand at the LFS?

Thanks!
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