Need Some Advice to Fight Cyano

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Marco V

Aquarium Advice Freak
May 7, 2012
los angeles
First off , I just moved my power heads back to where I had them originally and took out some filter sponges I had in my sump to slow down flow . I first noticed on Saturday a small clump in my refugium that was half way on the glass/sand . Didnt bother with it and did a 20 gallon water change yesterday. But I had taken one of my power heads out to mix the salt and water I was making. I think this was my mistake , I just got home and now there's red spots in my DT on the sand. Scooped what what I could pretty easy since it clumps up . My question is should I change my lighting schedule ? Right now I have my lights on 12 hrs actinics 13 . I believe I was over feeding adding to the outbreak.
The best thing you could do, is just cut back on your feeding by about half.
Although lighting for 13 hours is a lot, Cyano doesn't have that much to do with light. Cyanobacteria is just that, bacteria, not really an algae. Although its called Red Slime Algae. I would cut back your lighting to maybe 10 hours whites, 11-12 blues.
The biggest contributing factor is excessive feeding, causing excess nutrients (nitrates, phosphates) in your tank.
You should also have sufficient skimming and water movement to export the nutrients that you have to put in the tank.
are you using RO/DI water? have you tested the RO/DI water before adding salt? cyano does need light to grow it grows better under certain spectrums of light. When did you last change your bulbs? are you running GFO in a reactor? A big part of cyano is over feeding but the main thing is phosphates
I'am using RO/DI , my unit has a inline TDS is that what u mean by testing ? My lights are 2 months old if that and no im not running any GFO.
I would start running a good quality gfo in a reactor where its more efficient rather than just in a bag. Look at TDS doesn't tell you if you have phosphates. There are several places phosphates can come from and you need to figure that out to fix the problem
Just found what seems to be the left overs of a ricordia that I had , could that have been the cause of this ? The sebae was on top of it.
probably not but could be, I think I am correct in saying that higher phosphates come from animals that have bones.
water changes, water changes, water changes. I can't say it enough times. When things like that occur you need to remove nutrients which are on overload now. Do water changes once a week for a few weeks (syphon as much cyano out as possible) till Cyano is gone.....pain in the neck but works like a charm my friend. And I concur, slow down on the fish food.
bavass said:
TDS doesn't tell you if you have phosphates.

Sure does. If you have 0 TDS you have nothing to worry about. Phosphate is a dissolved solid like everything else im pretty sure. If not id love to be proven wrong:)

As far as the OP's cyano problem i think if you ever have a reoccurring cyano or algae problem that you need to be running GFO. Its fairly inexpensive for a reactor. No reason not to have one.
I have 0 TDS on my RO/DI and .05 phosphates coming out. Which is low enough to not read as TDS. If I am correct, I have seen as high as .08. I run GFO in my tank so it reads .021 on the Hanna 736
Overall a reading of 0 TDS will be a huge help in terms of the outbreak that is being dealt with. Running GFO and a fuge on RO/DI water is the perfect setup IMO, but we were just starting to discuss addressing this issue. I don't recall is being stated that there is a reactor or a sump on the system so I didn't mention it. RO/DI water for top off and water changes is the best start, along with siphoning the cyano out with some airline tubing prior to the water change.
I did a water change Saturday and I keep siphoning the algea as I see it . I do use RO/DI For my top offs and I do have a fuge.
I did use tap water for the initial set up and top offs at the beginning . I just bought my RO/DI set up, it's been running for almost 2 weeks now.
Again water change, water change, water change ! The best way to get rid of the nutrients that feed the algae.
Marco V said:
I did use tap water for the initial set up and top offs at the beginning . I just bought my RO/DI set up, it's been running for almost 2 weeks now.

Getting that was the best thing you could've done to remedy your problem. Removing the tap water and over feeding pollutants really is the next obstacle. Everybody here is in agreement. Your tank needs lots of water changes.

A GFO reactor is somewhat optional in a carefully controlled system with a low bioload, RO/DI water, an established refugium, frequent water changes and light feeding. I would also recommend that you look into one for your tank.
I'm already looking @ the BRS reactor, I really want to thank you guys for all the help. How often can I do water changes until my tank goes back to normal .... Once a week like previously stated ? And how much should I be changing out , up to this point I've been doing 20gallons a week in PWC's. 60 gallon DT and 30gallon sump/refugium.
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