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Old 10-30-2005, 07:01 PM   #1
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Diatoms and Algea

Have a question. Had this tank set up for 3 years now. 175 lbs LR in and 100 gallon. Have a skimmer, fuge, and sump (40 gallon). Only have 1 regal, clown and damsel with anenome, and some shrimp. For some reason I am getting red diatoms on my sand on both ends of the tank. Looks almost the the beginning of red slime but never gets real think...looks almost like a new tank does if its getting the brown diatoms on it for the first time. Each day I stir the sand up and it goes away until the next. Never had this issue until recently. Havent dont anything different than I have in the past 3 years. Feed frozen food mixed in vitamins. VHO lighting. Have about 6 PH's in the tank for circulation and use RO water. Filters changed about 3 months ago.
Also coinciding with this issue is I am getting patches of green slime algea as I call it. Real slimy and hard to get ahold of. I usually take the rock out of the tank and brush it with a toothbrush. Any ideas what is causing this? I also feed every other day and very little. Also using Phos ban as my phosphates were at 1 not to long ago. About 2 weeks ago as a matter of fact.
Thanks
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Old 10-30-2005, 07:15 PM   #2
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If you have phosphates then that is your problem, cyno can also be green so it sounds like your dealing with cnyo to me. Ro or ro/di water? Test your top off water an see if your getting any PO4 reading there.
Its either the food or the water that is causing the po4 reading. Phosban is great stuff, it does take time to start to work and it can last up to 3 months so let it run. Sounds like your starting off in the right direction. Find the source and that will help speed up the removal process.
The cyno on the SB comes and goes with the lighting right? Mine did that at first, in the am there was nothing in the afternoon it was on the SB and after the lights went out it was gone. How old are the bulbs?
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Old 10-30-2005, 11:32 PM   #3
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Yes I do know I have patches of cyno (green) but those have started to disappear and the red is still lingering. The red stuff isnt your typical cyno though and maybe its because I keep mixing up the sand each day...Going to have my RODI water checked tomorrow. The filters are new and I have been using the same food as I always have.
My bulbs are about 6-8 months old...again VHO. I may change them out soon just to be safe. Also going to add a PH to the tank on one end as well to keep all the stuff moving.
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Old 10-31-2005, 10:28 PM   #4
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Do you have a skimmer? Is the pump on your skimmer 3 years old also? That may be something you can check. As they age they get weaker and they flow less.
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Old 10-31-2005, 11:21 PM   #5
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Seaham hit it right on the mark. Your feeding seems under control so it has to be the water you are adding. I would check all water that you put in your tank and eliminate that possibility
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Old 11-01-2005, 08:20 AM   #6
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If the filters are new then you may be fine. If you were still using the old filters they may have been letting some po4 slip buy. Only the Di is going to remove all PO4 so that is the filter that is the most important when it comes to PO4
8 month old bulbs are past their prime and should be changed out. for a FO tank they will be fine in a reef tank they are old. But the old bulbs can change and the spectrum of light can help cyno take hold.
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Old 11-01-2005, 08:27 AM   #7
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Until you find what’s causing the issue you can drop a couple dozen small Mexican red leg hermits in to clean up the algae if you don’t have them already. They even eat Cyrano. They have never messed with my shrimp or larger turbo snails and are considered reef safe. Plus they are cheap
http://www.moabyte.com/reef/crab.html
http://www.garf.org/algae2/janitor.html
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Old 11-01-2005, 09:01 AM   #8
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One thing I would not do is stir up the sand. Everytime you do that, you disturb it and it releases spores into the water column... your best bet is to check you source water for bad elements. If all shows well, then do 10 to 20% water changes and use a tube to suck the algae off the sand..replace what you take out with fresh makeup water...The suggestion of getting new lights was a good one and needed but be prepared for when you do, it can cause it to grow wild for a bit until you get the nutrients under control..bad algae can only survive by getting what it needs to live on.. Cut that out as much as possible and it should become manageable.

Also, I would cut down on the feeding with the frozen foods. This is the major source of proteins in the water...I would make it every 3rd day or so...If the fish don't physically look hungry, chances are they aren't starving.. They may look like it chasing you around for food, but let them live off of the rocks that you have and do the job that they are supposed to do just as they would on the reefs that they come from...

Hope everything works out well for you...
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Old 11-02-2005, 12:04 AM   #9
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Well I tested the RODI water straight out of the RO system and there are no PO4. I also tested my tank water and no PO4. SO I will resorting to cleaning my skimmer. My Aqua C Remora is 2-3 years old and so is the pump. I really think it might be my lights as the sand directly in the lights path is the sand that ends up with diatoms on it and then the sand under the rocks dont have it. Also I do 20 gallon water changes weekly. (My total volumn of water in my tank is about 30 in my sump and 100 in the tank itself so Im doing more than 10% each week. This is a reef tank. Also on a TDS meter not to long ago I had my RODI water tested...on a scale of 0-25, it was a 3 which shows it still good.
I have a mag 9.5 - can I use this on my skimmer? Woudl that be to much overkill? Also I have red leg crabs as well as blue legs...neither one of them will touch the algea...no one does.
Any other suggestions are welcome.
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Old 11-02-2005, 09:00 AM   #10
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I am with Seaham on this. I would consider the last time I changed my lights. Even a three month old light can cause cyano to grow. I would be willing to bet that is the cause of your problem. It sounds like you are very experienced in your sw tank keeping, thus if you have not had this problem before I would change my light bulbs first.
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