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Clarification on Cyano

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Kynneke View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 25 2017 at 5:40pm
I've been fighting Cyano for months, but I'm confused on something. BTW, three doses of chemi-clean in 3 months (1st dose worked like a charm, it came back after 3 weeks.  Doses 2 and 3 haven't touched it).  Yes, I read and followed the instructions.

I see two conflicting ways to fix it

1.  Decrease lights so they are on only 6-8 hours a day
2.  Get new bulbs

So do I want more light or less light?  I only have my lights on 7 hours a day as it is, but I hesitate to get new T5 bulbs and add more light if I'm supposed to be cutting down on it.  Do you see my confusion?

I put this in the emergency forum because the cyano is killing my favorite coral, but I can't get rid of it.

Before it's asked, I've read the forum post "Type of Algae", along with :
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 25 2017 at 7:07pm
Shorter time is less light. New bulbs is correct spectrum. So while yes new bulbs will put it more light is more about correcting the spectrum of old bulbs. T5 bulbs need to be replaced every 9 months to a year to stay in the correct spectrum and output.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aquaristnewbie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 25 2017 at 11:33pm
I agree about the new bulbs. That will help rather than hurt. Years ago when I had this problem redirecting my flow helped as well. I had to make sure the water wasn't stagnant anywhere. Especially lower near the sanded. It has been so long I can't remember what else I tried.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kevin.st Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2017 at 7:47am
Have you done a total 72 hour blackout?  

I had cyano taking over a few months back.  Did the blackout.  I haven't had it come back.  Also, chemiclean is scary.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kynneke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2017 at 9:46am
I've done the 72 hour blackout.  I've gone 3 days without feeding and then cut their food in 1/2.  I moved from flake to frozen.  I've done the chemi-clean.  I have a protein skimmer.  I've done water changes.  I've added 2 power heads.  I have new lamps coming in today, but that light bar is only 8 months old.  My poor GSP is dying off slowly.  It was growing like a weed until this all started.  My leather and sinularia are both growing and doing great though.  It has something to do with my sand.  The red is only on the sand, but the power head blowing across it isn't getting rid of the slime.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Trevor40 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2017 at 9:58am
What is taking the nutrients out of your tank? Sounds like you are using a protein skimmer and water changes? Anything else and how often and what percentage are the water changes?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reefer4Ever Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2017 at 10:03am
What bulbs specifically are you running? You mention a light bar is why im asking. Based on all you have done it certainly seems like a light spectrum issue. Are you using rodi water for top off and water changes? What are all your parameters alk, calc, mag, this, nitrate, salinity and temp.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kevin.st Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2017 at 10:36am
during your 72 hour blackout, did you skim wet?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kynneke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2017 at 11:31am
Caulerpa?  I have no idea.  Yes I have a protein skimmer.  The water changes are 22 gallons for a 150 gallon + 40 sump and I do monthly (or 48 hours after chemi-clean).  Weird thing?  My sump is pristinely clean!  It has sponge growing, no cyano, and tons of pods.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kynneke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2017 at 11:32am
https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/coralife-lunar-aqualight-quad-t5-ho-aquarium-light-fixture

Those in the 48".

I am using RO/DI, verified using a TDS.  

I have water heading in to Aquatic Dreams to get tested.  I have a test kit at home where everything came back right in the middle of what the package said was normal.  0 ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.  I'll see what AD says.

I don't know what wet skimming is.  I tried to siphon out the cyano, but it doesn't come off the sand.


Edited by Kynneke - May 26 2017 at 11:35am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zack801 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2017 at 11:34am
Have you tried also manually removing it? In addition to the blackout period. I've done that twice with different tanks and it's been a good fix so far
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kynneke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2017 at 12:16pm
How did you manually remove it?  I tried to siphon it out with the python but all I did was either get just water or tons of sand.  It doesn't blow off either.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2017 at 8:50am
Sorry to read about your trouble. I have a few thoughts. 

In a situation like this, where a nuisance algae is running rampant, we always expect Nitrogen pollution to be at or near zero because the nuisance algae is doing a lot of the biofiltration for the system that, like yours, may lack sufficient biofiltration for the load of nutrients entering the water.

What kind of LS and LR were used in this setup? Were they dry, previously used in another reef aquarium? This kind of rock creates its own specific problems that need to be dealt with in a special way. The problems of dead dry rock usually show their ugly head from 3-9 months after setup. There is a Reefkeeping Tip discussion about the unique problems and solutions associated with dead, dry LR and LS.

You mentioned Python and above I mentioned a lack of biofiltration. In doing water changes, do you always go deep down into the LS? If so, I would stop doing that. The life in LS does it's best biofiltration when left undisturbed so that good populations of different bacteria, bugs and worms can do their job. 

It takes time for bacteria, bug and worm populations to grow and reproduce to the size that they can overtake nuisance algae. Be patient. It can help a lot to add some LS and and LR from a long established reef. The LR that has Coralline Algae growth on it is the best. The LS that has bugs and visible worms in it is the best. Smile

How long has this tank been running? From what I have read in your posts above I would guess 3-9 months, Am I right?

A full tank pic posted here would allow us to give the best and most helpful advice.

Insufficient light can be the cause of increased Cyano growth/ It may seem strange because we know that light grows algae, but only 7 hours of light per day, really is not enough light. It is way less than in nature near the equator where the sun shines for 12 hours. I have seen many tanks where insufficient light actually encouraged Cyano. I would, gradually over the next 10 days, increase the photoperiod to as much as 12 or even 14 hours per day. This makes sense in that fluorescent lights lose intensity by as much as 50% after one year of use. It may not seem dim to our eyes, but believe me, it is dim. 

Is there Macroalgae in the sump.? At this point with this problem, adding a big clump of Chaeto to the display tank will make a difference. Macroalgae can often eat nutrients out of the water which effectively steals it from the Cyanobacteria. Caulerpa algae is a beautiful addition to any reef tank. It adds a color and a look that bring variety to the whole picture. There are many types/shapes of Caulerpa and they all can be grown across the sand where they are easily harvested and can be moved to suit your taste. 

The solutions I have touched on above all deal with the root of the problem. If a quick fix is wanted, I often use Dr. Tims Waste Away.  Waste Away is a bouquet of bacteria selected for their specific aggressive appetite for organisms like Cyano and the nutrients Cyano eats. Cyano seems to stay away longer with Waste Away than with the chemical products that are made to directly kill Cyano, such as Chemiclean.

Hope this helps.

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Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kynneke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2017 at 4:14pm
I used 150 lbs of live sand (Fiji pink arag), you gave me 100 lbs of LBTF, and then 50 lbs of live rock from Aquatic Dreams.

I try not to get sand when I use the python.  I was attempting to find a happy place where the python sucked just perfectly above the sand to siphon off the cyano without getting any sand, but I never found that.  As soon as it started to suck sand, I lifted it.

I do have one rock that is entirely purple.  My favorite rock.  I have very fast growing coraline algae on the glass right now.  It grows fast enough that I have a hard time keeping it scraped off the front so I can see.

It has been up since October 18th, 2016.

I have caulerpa in the sump.  I try to keep huge clumps of it in the main tank but my foxface is a pig and he'll eat 2 softball sized clumps in a night.  I keep running out.  It's not growing fast enough in the sump (with a grow light) to keep up with his voracious appetite.  I buy it as often as I can to try to resupply.  If I could get my hands on that foxface, I'd get rid of him.  I hate that fish.  

I have some Waste-Away ordered and it should be in this week.  I am still waiting to hear back from the water sample I sent to Aquatic Dreams too.  I'm not 100% certain, but it looks like the red slime may be turning dark-ish brown with the new T5 HO light bulbs.

When the lights come back on in the morning, I'll get a picture.  Right now, the tank has no lights at all because I built the world's ugliest canopy to hang the lights from and it's still on the ground in front of the tank heh.  I'm definitely more suited for Cybersecurity than Carpentry.

Livestock : 
1-Foxface
1-False Perc
2-Small Bangaii
1-Dottyback
1-Chromis
Handful of snails and crabs.  I had 50 of each but they kill each other off.
GSP (an unhappy one)
Leather Coral (growing like a weed)
Sinularia (splitting happily)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Reefer4Ever Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2017 at 9:07pm
Just a wee but of food for thought. The calurpa grows in the sump/tank by using the excess nutrients as a food source. By letting your foxface to eat it, well the nutrients are being added right back into the water colunn as the fish then excretes it as waste. Anyways just my .02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 29 2017 at 2:44pm
Dennis makes a good point. It's always been my belief that when an herbivore eats and then excretes algae that grew in the system it's like recycling and that's a good thing. I'm pretty sure it doesn't pollute the tank nearly so much as the dry and frozen foods we feed. Assuming that supplemental feeding is already being done at the absolute minimum, and if this algae does not go away after increasing the lighting photoperiod, we have to look at another way to control this algae; find an animal that eats it.

The color change you mentioned reminds me of another thought, something I didn't think of above. It's something I have had to do recently in a few tanks. I believe this brownish-red algae is a mutated form of Cyano. In recent years it seems to be appearing on the sand in the best of tanks. There are two animals that eat it, The Conch Snail and the Sand Sifting Cucumber. 

Originally posted by Kynneke Kynneke wrote:

I do have one rock that is entirely purple.  My favorite rock.  I have very fast growing coraline algae on the glass right now.  It grows fast enough that I have a hard time keeping it scraped off the front so I can see.
Not a bad problem to have. Big smile Awesome

Some concern about snails and hermits not surviving for long. Can you say more about this? Maybe we can help?

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: May 29 2017 at 2:52pm
BTW, the simple Turkey Baster (or large syringe) is a great tool in this hobby. We use it to blow off the Cyano and detritus from coral and rock. Smile 
I also use it to feed coral. I stick it down into the sand and slowly squeeze. It makes a puff of grey colored detritus come up into the water column. Coral eat detritus. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Boston Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 29 2017 at 5:12pm
I waa battling for a few months too. I did large 20% water changes, dosed chemi clean two different times. On the last dose I left it in for a week and did a 48 hour blackout to finally get rid of it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kevin.st Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 29 2017 at 8:37pm
skimming wet means adjusting your skimmer so that it it produces a clearer liquid, instead of the dark stuff.  When you do the blackout, you should skim wet so that your skimmer pulls out the maximum it possibly can.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kynneke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 02 2017 at 9:36pm
I've been skimming wet by accident then.  I couldn't figure out why all of a sudden my skimmer cup has a lighter, yellowish brown color instead of that thick, dark sludge.





Edited by Kynneke - June 03 2017 at 1:53pm
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