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Old 05-10-2010, 01:15 AM   #1
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What is this, how can i fix it?

On my sand, this stuff has been growing, and its really annoying. I have had this tank for about a year and never had this problem until about a month ago? I dont think I am overfeeding, I feed them probably every other day. I change my water and clean the top layer of sand every 2 weeks or so. I used to do it once a week. Fish seem fine, water temp ok. Any ideas? The red stuff seems to clump to the top layer of sand, so cleaning it off isnt too bad. There are also some small skinny things that remain after I suck all that off. Somebody please let me know how to scale this down a bit or eliminate my problem.
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:54 AM   #2
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That is cyanobacteria and it comes from too many nutrients in the water. What are your water parameters? What kind of water (tap, well, RO/DI, etc) do you use for top offs and water changes?
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:16 AM   #3
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+1 for cyano. It can be a real PIA, what are your phosphate and nitrate readings?
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:57 AM   #4
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Waiting for replies to the q's above. looks like cyano and spinoid worms.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:15 AM   #5
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+++ for cyano.

You need to siphon out was much as you can with your water changes. There are products like Boyd's chemi-clean that can help you get a handle on the problem, but the root cause is nutrients in the tank. You need to identify the cause and cure that problem.

Post all the water paremeters. If you don't have a test kit for an item, you should get one.

lease post the following info:
SG:
Temp:
pH:
Ammonia:
Nitrate:
Nitrite:
Calcium:
Alkalinity:
Phosphate:
Fish:
Inverts:
Other Corals:
Lighting:
Filtration:

Do you add any chemicals to the tank? (ie. Buffers or Supplements)
What do you feed the tank? (Frozen, Flake or Pellet)
Do you use RO/DI water? How do you Top Off evaporated water?
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:52 AM   #6
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Also we have a great article about it in our SW articles section.
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Old 05-10-2010, 02:16 PM   #7
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+++++ for cyano
can't be 100% but more than likely. in is a pain to control.
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Old 05-11-2010, 12:48 AM   #8
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SG: 1.024
Temp: 76-78 - always have my chiller set
pH: about 8.2
Ammonia: about 0-.25 ppl
Nitrate: seems a bit high? 10-50 ppm high low range
Nitrite: about .005-.1 ppm
i know i dont have 0-0-0 but pretty **** close. there will always be a little bit of ammonia nitrate nitrite. has always been as long as i tested. and my fish have been fine the entire time.
Calcium: ? - ran out of testers.i use red sea salt mix, when i tested Ca and alk, was always at optimum
Alkalinity: ? - normal 1.7-2.8 milli eqivilants/L
Phosphate: 0.5 ppm
Fish: yellow tang, hippo tang, 2 blue/yellow damsels, 1 b+w damsel, small blue emperator angel (about 2.5-3 inches long now)
Inverts: 3 tiny polyps
Other Corals: just whatever corraline is on my live rock
Lighting: t5's blue white combo light 2 hours in the am and about 7 at night (the times i am generally home)
Filtration: protein skimmer, sponges in my internal oveflow, 40g sump w/bio balls, uv filter

Do you add any chemicals to the tank? nope. i have some calcium supplements/buffers but never use them
What do you feed the tank? (Frozen, Flake or Pellet) frozen brine, frozen formula 1, frozen formula 2, and pellets. 1/2 cube of 2 choices. (ex 1/2 cube brine and formula 2 (day 1), pellets the next feeding (day 3), 1/2 formula 2, 1/2 formula 1 (day 5), etc. alternate and feed only every other day.
Do you use RO/DI water? How do you Top Off evaporated water?

i have always used tap, and add half a cap of PRIME to every 5g bucket. usually do about a 20% water change every 1- 2 weeks. i have not changed this routine for the entire year and 1/2 i have had the tank. and the same fish have been there since november and very happy/completly healthy. feeding , lighting, and water changes have been consistant in the past year, and never had this problem since about 1 month ago. I also have a pretty good clean up crew. about 10-15 snails, 3 good sized crabs, and 1 blood shrimp.

i have tried ro water in the past for a very short amount of time - 2 months, it just took too long for me to prepare so i went to tap. my water was actually better and lower ammonia-nitrate-nitrite

the only thing i could think of is that i have been busy working so much/lazy that i change every 2 weeks or so when i used to do it once a week. its the only variable that i have changed if i could pin it down.

had very much sucess until the last 1 month or so.

Thanks guys, just busy at work all day and couldnt respond.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:51 AM   #9
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Sounds to me like when you were doing weekly water changes that this was making up for a slightly over stocked tank. You have to remember that as your fish grow they produce more waste until it got to the point that your bio filter could not keep up anymore. Fish getting larger, going from PWC every week to every two weeks, Using Tap water instead of RO/DI water...All this adds up to extra nutrients and algae and cyano growth.
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:31 PM   #10
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you say yor tap water is better than RO/DI water,are you sure your test kit is still in date or giving correct readings.may help with cheatomorpha in sump with a light for growth.
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