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Red Slime Algae/ Cynobacteria Outbreak

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Hottsauce23 View Drop Down
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    Posted: July 02 2016 at 3:00pm
So I am starting to get a lot of this algae growing in my tank. It is in a low flow area which is expected and luckily hasn't spread further then it has. It is said that it can be due to poor water conditions with excess nutrients. I am not sure why this is happening now. My corals have never looked better and for the past 2 months I have started using RO water instead of tap water. So if anything water conditions should be better. I don't believe I am over feeding either. I accidentally used to over feed but as for the past couple months I no longer do. Are there any products that fight this algae in particular? Or would you suggest just ramping up the water changes for a few weeks? Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kevin.st Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 02 2016 at 5:09pm
Leave lights off for 3 days, scrub off the remaining cyano with brush, large water change and fresh carbon.
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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: July 02 2016 at 10:55pm
Have you looked in the Reefkeeping Tips? There is a thread where we discussed Cyano/red slime algae specifically, looking at how to eliminate it for good.

FYI, activated carbon does nothing to reduce it and water changes usually feed it. There are chemical treatments but they cause more harm than good and the Cyano returns in a couple months. 

I have used an all natural product on a troublesome patch of Cyano that wouldn't respond to anything else. If, after trying the suggestions in that thread, the Cyano does not disappear, let me know if you need some of this product.

Aloha,
Mark  Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 03 2016 at 10:21am

Originally posted by Hottsauce23 Hottsauce23 wrote:

It is said that it can be due to poor water conditions with excess nutrients.

My corals have never looked better and for the past 2 months I have started using RO water instead of tap water. So if anything water conditions should be better.

Yes, I'm sure your water conditions are better. Thumbs Up That's the craziness of Cyanobacteria. Because it is not a typical algae, nor the average bacteria, it behaves unpredictably. This is probably why it has survived on earth since the beginning of time. Since it seems to most often appear in response to temporary extra pollution, it's not a bad thing that it helps clean the water.

Entirely stopping feeding for 5 days and feeding half as much afterwards usually allows the tank's biofiltration to catch up to any excess nutrients/pollution. This typically starves the Cyano.

Aloha,

Mark  Hug

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote reefer86 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 03 2016 at 11:03am
I'd suggest picking up some Dr Tim's Waste Away. You need to have a skimmer to use this product. I had a cyano outbreak in my tank a while back. My tank was ~4-5 months old at the time. I tried several different things to address the cyano (ie added macro algae, phosphate sponge, fed less food). These things helped, but non combated the cyano as much as Waste-Away. It's a great product and you can find it for $20 on amazon. If you do decide to use this - make sure you read the directions. A little of this stuff goes a long way. If you add too much you can crash your tank from a bacterial bloom. If you have any questions about it just let me know. Good luck!

https://www.amazon.com/DrTims-Aquatics-Waste-Away-Aquarium-Aquariums/dp/B003I5QRVA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1467565254&sr=8-1&keywords=dr+tims+waste+away

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hottsauce23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 03 2016 at 12:15pm
Thanks for the replies. Okay so I don't have a skimmer at the moment because I'm trying to keep my copepod population growing to feed my green mandarin.
So Mark from what I found on the tips I should decrease the photo period and not feed for a couple days? My only concerns with this is I have macro algae in my display tank which needs light and also if I do a small fast will my yellow tang just start picking off all the remaining bugs in the tank?
Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hottsauce23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 03 2016 at 12:48pm
Oh ya one other thing that may contribute is the food I've been feeding for the copepods. Mark I got the food from you. Maybe I'm overfeeding it. How often do you put a pinch of it in your tanks?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 03 2016 at 2:12pm

It's very possible that overfeeding has created this issue. BSD Golden Pearls is a great food that works best when using a very tiny amount. The amount that adequately feeds the micro invertebrates is much less than it seems. Thinking about it, I fed a "micro" pinch about 2-3x/wk in each of the 6 tanks of my 300 gal coral farm.

Macroalgae can handle lower light for a few days. Think of big storms in the tropics. Yellow Tangs don't typically eat many bugs, preferring instead to chomp on live algae, lettuce and Nori. I've seen where excess Nori created a Cyano bloom.

Coincidentally, Dr. Tim's Waste Away Bacteria is the product I was referring to above. Contrary to what was said, a skimmer is not necessary unless the product is overdosed. After all, it is a special blend of bacteria. Each tank is different so the key to successful use is to start with a very low dose, even less than suggested on the bottle and give it several days to work, meaning allowing 3-5 days between doses and only repeating doses if no change is seen. Because it is so effective and the new bacteria can grow very fast in the right environment(some bacteria populations can double in a matter of hours), a little goes a long way so rather than having to buy a whole bottle, I would share some capfuls with you. 

On the other hand, before trying Waste-Away, the simple, no cost changes in the way the tank is being run, suggested in the thread, usually resolves the issue. FYI, here's the thread I'm referring to, found in the Reefkeeping Tips:

Red Slime/Cyanobacteria of many colors, how to eradicate it:

Aloha,

Mark  Hug

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hottsauce23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 03 2016 at 2:32pm
Ya so I would definitely say I have been overfeeding the golden pearls so I will cut down on that to start. Also I'll reduce the light period. Won't feed for a couple days. Remove what I can manually and adding more to my cleanup crew. I currently do about 1/8th of a Nori sheet per day like a 3 by 2 inch piece. Is that a good amount? Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2016 at 8:11am
I don't bother removing Cyano manually, rather I just use a long handled algae scraper or if you don't have a scraper use a long handled spoon to "waft" the algae off the surfaces. Wiggle the scraper/spoon back and forth to create a small draft which will dislodge the algae and let it float away in tiny pieces so it doesn't look so bad. Trying to remove it from the tank is fruitless and futile because it comes back with the same force the next day. It's more important to address the root of the problem like I believe is stated repeatedly in that thread. Smile

Originally posted by Hottsauce23 Hottsauce23 wrote:

I currently do about 1/8th of a Nori sheet per day like a 3 by 2 inch piece. Is that a good amount? Thanks
Unfortunately, we cannot give a reasonable answer to this question because an important bite of information is missing. How much Nori do the fish consume? 

I'm starting to believe, by what you are saying and from previous issues with your tank, that you are definitely overfeeding. From long experience with other hobbyists, I'd say you may be feeding twice as much as needed. I assume you are feeding a frozen food. Are you also feeding a dry flake or pellet food for the fish? Remember, fish and invert stomachs are very, very small.

My firm advice is to stop feeding anything, even GP, for 5 days (3 days if you are reducing the photoperiod for a week) and feed half as much of everything from then on. Cut out the dry fish food altogether, except for GP and only use dry flake/pellet fish food when you don't have time to feed frozen. IMO and experience, frozen meaty foods, like Emerald Entree, Rods Food Herbivore recipe and Larry's Herbivore Frenzy are best for the tank inhabitants in general, providing all inverts and fish with tasty, healthy, nutritious food.

Aloha,
Mark  Hug


Edited by Mark Peterson - July 04 2016 at 8:17am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evan127 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2016 at 9:10am
I am getting a small outbreak of cyanobacteria in my system right now. I have run a ULNS for years now with phosphate and nitrate almost always undetectable. I use RODI water I make here at home. I don't know what specifically triggers it in my system, but I periodically get small amounts throughout a year, even with undetectable nutrients.

I'm not sure if it's been stated yet, but this is usually my checklist getting rid of cyanobacteria;
- Siphon out as much of it I can get out.
- Stop feeding for 3 days.
- Lights out for at least 2 days.
- Increase flow to the areas that are plagued with cyanobacteria.

Edit: spelling

Edited by evan127 - July 05 2016 at 9:11am
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