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Old 05-16-2012, 06:30 PM   #1
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Slime algae

Cannot seem to get rid of this stuff and it's driving me NUTS. When it started, I started doing more water changes. I went from doing every other week to every week. I also shortened the amount of light and reduced feeding. Nothing. Then, I got a sand sifting goby to see if he might clean it off the sand...nothing. Then I got a custom cleaning crew from reefcleaners.org. This consisted of probably about 100 new cleaners. Different types of snails and hermits mostly. They've done nothing but clutter up my tank. I then redirected my flow towards the sand to try and keep stuff from settling on it. Nothing. And finally, I changed the ENTIRE sand bed when I moved my tank a few days ago. I replaced it with brand new, much finer sand. The algae is already starting to cover it and it's only been 4 days. It's driving me crazy. Can anyone help? I'm still doing weekly water changes and scrubbing it off the rocks and stirring up the sand every time. Any an all advice will be appreciated.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:41 PM   #2
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Ya this stuffs annoying. It usually is there as a result of nitrates and phosphates. What are yours at?
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:54 PM   #3
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Always the result of nitrates and phosphates. It consumes nitrate and phosphate to grow like all algae.

Test your nitrates and phosphates, what are they at? It might say zero for both but dont let that fool you. Test kits only test for phosphates and nitrates that are free in the water column. The nitrates are bound up in the algae/cyano to remove the nitrates/phosphates you have to siphon out the algae during water changes.

What size tank? Inhabitants? Skimmer? How much feeding? Corals? Adding a clean up crew wont solve the problem. You have to get the nutrients. How old is the tank? Newer tanks (1 year or less) experience what is called new tank syndrome, basicly it is when phosphates begin leaching from your rock and sand causing algae problems called the uglies which can last 6m-1 yr.

Any and all info will help.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:09 PM   #4
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Run gfo in a reactor change out every 2 weeks do big water changes a couple times a week! To lower nitrates besure to use ro/di water
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:11 AM   #5
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Have you tried chemi-clean?

Hows your flow? Fix your flow issue and dose chemiclean to kill the cyno. Be sure to follow the directions when you use the chemclean!!!

Good luck.
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:15 AM   #6
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I highly advise against using chemi-clean. Its is a very risky product and has been known to kill fish and coral. And besides that it will not get rid of the root problem and will come back either as cyano or algae. Its no fix. To fix cyano and algae issues you need to find the source of the nitrates/phosphates and remove it along with the cyano and algae harboring those nutrients.

There is no quick fix in saltwater. Chemicals are bad news and entirely not needed.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:12 AM   #7
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This tank is 20 gallons with no skimmer and it's only about 6 months old. But I had the another tank before this one for about a year and the rock in this tank is the same rock I used in the other. The sand was the same also until I switched it out about a month ago. I have 2 acans, a digitata, some leather coral, 2 anemones, green star polyps, a couple different button polyps, 4 different zoanthid colonies, a bubble coral, some ricordea, some mushrooms, a torch coral, and some pulsing Xenia. I have 2 clownfish and a watchman goby. And I have a ton of cleaners. I feed them a small cube of mysis shrimp 2-3 times per week (mostly to the anemones) and add some of brightwell aquatics microvore diet once a week. I had the lfs test my nitrates and phosphates and they claimed that both levels were perfect. I don't remember the numbers exactly. I've siphoned out the algae every time I do a water change (weekly) and adjusted flow a few times. Nothing seems to be working.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:03 PM   #8
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When you switched sand did you add dry sand or live sand?

Your cyano problem is not overblown so dont do anything drastic. Continue siphoning it out and if you dont have a gfo reactor hang a bag of gfo in the tank or filter somewhere can help. It will take some time. Stay on top of it and you will beat it.

You will want to make sure you cleaning filter media often. Regardless of what the tests say, you have nitrate/phosphates. They are not detected because they are bound up in the cyano. Removing the cyano will remove the nutrients. You filter media could be contributing to the problem, what kind of filtration is it exactly?

If you replaced with live sand the that is probably what is causing it. Sand had die off and is leaching nutrients. If this is the case, gfo is a good idea along with siphoning cyano out regularly. Cyano and algae battles take time unless you can physically remove the source of nutrients.
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