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Old 04-11-2005, 06:29 PM   #1
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Red algae

I have this red algae on one of my rocks I looks like a film covering part of the rock. at night it seams to disappear bu after the lights come on its back in full. I scrubed it off once but I came back, I dont like to scrub it becasue the rock has some shrooms and polyps on it. Could it be cyno and If so how do I get rid of it.

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Old 04-11-2005, 06:31 PM   #2
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Definately sounds like cyanobacteria. You could try adding flow to the area to help keep it from taking hold. What are your nitrate and phosphate levels?

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Old 04-11-2005, 07:54 PM   #3
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the Nitrates are pretty high but that is becasue i just moved the tank and changed the CC over to a DSB. Plus I have a 20h refuge W/ chateo lit 24h now. the phosphates should be lower than they were I ran a phosphate sponge for about a month and have been using RO/DI after the initial fill up, but have not tested them
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Old 04-11-2005, 10:08 PM   #4
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dont break it up as that will make it spread. siphon out as much as possible and as stated abaove increase flow. once you figure out what is feeding it(nutrients) you can stop it from spreading
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Old 04-12-2005, 08:43 AM   #5
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I just got hit with cyno as well and found that my Nitrates are the cause, im going to do a big water change tonight. Is there anything else i can do to kill off the bacteria quicker, its starting to smother my polyps and shrooms.
i currently have the lights off and blanket covering tank, also pointed my ph directly on the LR.
any help out there would be appreciated.
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Old 04-12-2005, 11:08 AM   #6
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If phosphates are at undetectable levels, I'm not sure what to say. When I had cyanobacteria, I replaced my junky Prism skimmer with a CPR bak-pak, and without any water changes or other modifications to the tank, the cyano disappeared in about one week. It has never returned.
Former advisor and planted tank geek...life's moved on though.
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Old 04-12-2005, 12:01 PM   #7
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Check out this thread. It should help you a lot.
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Old 04-12-2005, 01:30 PM   #8
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I plan on taking the rock out, its pretty small, and scrubbing it as much as i can to get the cyno off. hopefully that will do it for now, then I will get a PO4 test kit and test my water. Plus I am planning a 10 gal water change for this weekend.
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Old 04-12-2005, 02:07 PM   #9
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That will not kill the cyano. You cant even see the cyano, all you are seeing is the waste is gives off. Just cleaning the rock is not going to help the problem. It may get the waste off, but it wont keep it from coming back.

In order cure your tank of this annoying algae you will have to take many steps and it may take a great deal of time. The first step you will want to take is to test your water. Find the root of the problem. “You will find that the overall catalyst for cyanobacteria issues is driven from phosphates, primarily organic forms. Nitrate unto itself will not cause it but will definitely fuel it's continued growth. Cyanobacteria is the one "algae" (if you will) that can actually manufacture it's own food supply so simply limiting nutrient is not the key. The reduction or preferably elimination of phosphates in both forms common to aquaria is the ideal goal.” (Care of Steve-S of Aquarium Advice.com) Now that we are sure that is the problem, where are all the extra nutrients coming from that is causing these problems? Once you have that under your belt, fix it. Here are some ideas to work with:

· Over feeding – Cut back your feedings. Stop using additives like Marine Snow for the time being and wait for the tank to get back to normal before you start using it again.
· Not enough water movement – Increase the amount of power heads in the tank, make sure they are pointing in directions that allow every spot in the tank to have constant movement.
· Poor tank husbandry – Start harvesting algae regularly. Do 25% water changes at least once a month depending on your filtration system.
· Fish die off – There is really no way to fix this unless this is a re-occurring problem. Just do your regular water changes and keep the tank as clean as possible. In the future, take the dead fish out ASAP.
· Use of tap water – While the chemicals you can buy at the store will clean out some of the problems with tap water, it is not recommended to use tap water in a salt water system. Most hobbyists will make use of Reverse Osmosis water and even some will use distilled water. I personally recommend using RO water for a salt water system; I also like to drink mine, it really tastes better than tap or bottled water.

In the mean time, you are going to need to clean up the tank. Here are some ideas on ways to fight the cyanobacteria.

· Harvest the algae. These means get in there and scrap it off and pull it out. Do not let any of the algae you remove get into the filtration system if you can avoid it. Really clean the tank well the first time. You will need to do this regularly until the problem is gone, so the first time you will want to be a through as possible to make regular cleanings a bit easier.
· Nitrate sponge is always a good way to help to remove the nitrates from the water. Most local fish stores carry this. My favorite brand is Kent. You can get a mesh bag and fill it with the Nitrate sponge, then attach it to a power head that is not being used for water movement. This will make sure that you get every drop of water through the sponge. If this is not an option for you, I would suggest putting it in your refugium where the water flows from one area to another.
· Chemi-clean and other additives. Chemi-clean is great! It does not hurt inverts or your tank, but it is just a bandage to the problem. There are other additives like Vital Gold and Combisan; the problem with these is that it will hurt the good bacteria in your tank. Also some of these products require that you turn off UV filters, protein skimmers and other filtration devices. I do not recommend using anything that needs you to turn off the protein skimmer. Antibiotics really will not help this problem.
· Protein Skimmers… what can I say to you if you do not have a protein skimmer? GET ONE NOW! Protein skimmers are God’s gift to hobbyists. These things are great! It helps to reduce the extra nutrients from the water before it gets turned into bad things like nitrates. If you have any questions about the best one to buy, ask a friend or post on a website like www.aquariumadvice.com, other hobbyists always want to help out. That is why we are hobbyists this has become our obsession!
· Siphon out the algae on your sand, take a bit of the sand with it. Sand holds nutrients very easily. Like I mentioned before, the stuff you see is not actually the cyanobacteria, so you want to get the root of the problem. Don’t take all your sand out though, just try and get the surface sand.
· Clean up crews. Who doesn’t love a cute, cuddly little hermit crab or snail? There are only a few types of these little guys that will actually eat this stuff though. You are going to want to get some Bumble Bee Snails and Mexican Red Footed hermit crabs. I would also recommend getting a few other little guys just to make sure you get it all. Any little snails that air raid the sand, sand sifting starfish and turbo snails are great to have in the tank to keep algae levels down.

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algae, red algae

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