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Old 09-29-2005, 07:35 PM   #1
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Red Stuff (Algae?) growing on live rock

Hey all,

great site. I have been learning a lot and now I have my first problem....

First, my tank..37G with 15lbs live rock, 20lbs live sand, Jebo Filter (came with the system Jebo R375) and 2-55w 10" Florecent (Blue?)lights.

The tank has been running for about 2.5 weeks and I just added 1 damsel when the water parameters looked ok. (about 4 days ago)

Current parameter are
Temp-82F (there is a heat wave in So Cali, outside temp was around 104F-heater is set for 79. but the lights produce a lot of heat it seems. It usually hovers on the 78-80 range)

NH4 - .25ppm ( I was expecting a spike when I added the damsel)
NO2 - 5.0ppm (looks like I am past the NH4 spike and at the Nitrite Phase)
NO3 - 10ppm
PH-8.0 (dropped a little in recent days from a stable 8.2)

I came home today and there seemed to be an abundant amount of red growth on my live rock - only the live rock. Should I be concerend? The tank in not in direct sunlight. Damsels swims around and feeds ok..

Any recomendations to help disipate the extra heat caused by thelights.



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Old 09-29-2005, 07:39 PM   #2
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1. run a fan on the light while theyre on

And 2. its probably just an algae cycle,itll go away and possibly be replaced by a different type. in the meantime just fan it off or whatever if you can.

BUt what does it exactly look like? does it look like fil or slime? or is it hard? if its rad it goods algae and if its slimey its because your tank is new.

you should also try to find out why your ph dropped all of asudden..it should be about 8.4

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Old 09-29-2005, 07:54 PM   #3
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The red stuff is not hard and it came off fairly easy. I will watch it.

As fart as the Ph, Iwill need to do some extra research. I am not sure why it dropped.

Thanks a lot.

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Old 09-30-2005, 09:56 AM   #4
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this "red stuff", is it soft and furry looking or is it kind of slimy/silky looking? If it comes off in sheets it is actually cyano bacteria. A common occurance in new tanks caused by low water flow and excess nutrients in the water. You can use a piece of airline tubing and start a syphon, use the tubing to suck off the cyano. After you've removed as much as you can, adjust your powerheads and water flow to eliminate those areas of low water flow. You could also reduce the time your lights are on while cycling, this can help cut back on the amount of algae and cyano outbreaks you'll go through.

and.. it sounds like your using a damsel to cycle the tank? You should read our article on the Fishless Cycle. It's much prefered over subjecting the fish to the harsh conditions of a cycling tank.

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Old 10-01-2005, 01:59 PM   #5
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It does not come off in sheets. When I get home in the afternoon, there are bubbles on the rock where the growth is.

The lights are on for about 12 hrs day, too long?

I know about the fishless cycling, but I think I got bad advise from the LFS. I was told that if I used live sand and rock, it would speed up the process and I could add a fish sooner. When I added the damsel, parameters looked good, but I agree that it was still too early. Trust me, I spent a lot of nights worried about this little guy. Seems silly to my friends I'm sure, but me and my wife would check up on him all the time.

Right now, NH4 is 0ppm, NO2 is 2ppm and NO3 is 10ppm.

One last thing, now that I have gotten this far, is it still too early to add a cleaner shrimp? I am worried cause my little damsel will not eat the bigger chunks of the frozen brine. I cut a cube into 1/8 pieces, but he still avoids the larger chunks. The pieces collect on the bottom on the sand. Will this throw off water parameters as its biodegrades? I wanted to add a peppermint shrimp to help clean this up. Am I rushing things?

thanks everyone.

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Old 10-01-2005, 04:44 PM   #6
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Ya you are rushing things so slow down. Add nothing until you are sure your tank is cycled and with a nitrite of 2 that is way high for any inverts you want 0. Bubbles trapped in the red algae sounds like cyno to me. What type of water are you using, tap or ro/di?
Have the LFS check the water for phosphates, it could pass after the tank has finished also.
You thaw out the shrimp before you add it to the tank right? If not thaw it out first then feed the fish. Feeding flake food is a good idea also, give them a variety of foods. and try not to over feed, I only feed my tanks once a day some people feed every few days.
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Old 10-01-2005, 06:45 PM   #7
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LFS also believes that it is cyno. I did a 15% water change ( I set up the tank using filtered tap, but used prepared seawater from the LFS for the change)

I added a Phosphate adsorber and a PH buffer (it had fallen to 7.8-8.0 range).
I also added small powerhead to increase water movement at the bottom of the tank.

I also disconnected 1 of the 55w lamps to help with heat control.

Thanks for the help
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Old 10-01-2005, 06:47 PM   #8
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80 degrees is not too hot. Alot of people, myself included, run their tanks at 82-83.

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