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Old 09/11/2017, 01:35 AM   #1
TangReefer
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Algae always on one side of the tank...

Hi Guys,

I am having algae problems in a new setup in a way that the bulk of the algae is forming only on the right hand corner of the tank. If I clean it in the morning, it will be looking like the picture in the afternoon. Water parameters are good with Phosphates at 0 (salifert) although it may be because any phosphate may be consumed immediately by the algae, Nitrates are a bit higher than desired at 5 but shouldn't be causing all this. Circulation is good with 2 wavemakers set at minimum power as to not shift the sand bottom. Does anybody has an idea of what would be the reason why algae is forming so much more on this corner?



Thanks.


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Old 09/11/2017, 04:39 AM   #2
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Thats not algae.. Thats cyanobacteria and its typically from excess dissolved organics,etc.. Occurs more in lower flow areas (sometimes)
Did you use "live sand" too?
Its also a fairly normal part of a new cycle.. Its ugly stage #3 (diatoms then green film/hair algae.. then cyano)

Siphon it out with water changes and you can try a 3 day lights out too..
It should pass on its own in a new tank provided you keep up with water changes,etc...


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Old 09/11/2017, 01:36 PM   #3
TangReefer
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Hi Mcgyvr,

Thanks for your reply. I'm guilty indeed of heavy feeding. I got a mix of 3 bags of sand for this tank and 1 was live...What would be the implication of that to the Cyano?

I would love to syphon it out but unfortunately it seems I get a lot of sand with that...any recommendations or just pay the price?

Thank you.


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Old 09/11/2017, 02:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TangReefer View Post
Hi Mcgyvr,

Thanks for your reply. I'm guilty indeed of heavy feeding. I got a mix of 3 bags of sand for this tank and 1 was live...What would be the implication of that to the Cyano?

I would love to syphon it out but unfortunately it seems I get a lot of sand with that...any recommendations or just pay the price?

Thank you.


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Siphon it out.. Some of the sand will come out with it..
Then 3 days lights out..
Then siphon again..

Or red slime remover or chemiclean if you want to go the medicine (anti-bacterial) route... Just follow the directions exactly and don't over do it..

But yes.. likely overfeeding is the "real issue"..

I find that "live sand" usually causes more nuisance algae/diatom/cyano issues as there is a lot more "dead" than "live" in the sand..
I always recommend using dry sand..


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Old 09/11/2017, 02:47 PM   #5
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Does natural sunlight hit that side of the tank? Odd it only appears on one side of the tank.

Yes as mcgyver noted that it's cyano and not algae. Increasing flow to that area wold also help.


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Old 09/12/2017, 08:23 AM   #6
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+1 for adjusting flow to cover that area


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Old 09/13/2017, 08:55 AM   #7
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Hi Guys,

I have already increased the flow in the tank and will try to siphon it out on the next water change.

Thanks for the advice regarding live sand, it does make sense and I will consider it in the future.

There is no direct sun light hitting the tank, I do believe now it to be cause by less flow than desired in the area.

Thanks all the inputs and I will keep you updated on how it goes.


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Old 09/15/2017, 04:13 AM   #8
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Hi guys,

I increased the flow and today siphoned it out...it looked great...for 2hrs, then it's all back.

I'll do a good water change in the next few days and will then step up to the 3 days no light plan, let's see how it goes from there...

Does corals suffer much from it?

Thanks.


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Old 09/15/2017, 04:17 AM   #9
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3 days lights out is fine for the corals and fish, it's not bright and sunny everyday on the reef.

Just keep in mind that if your able to, the first day don't blast them with full power light. Bring your lights up slowly.


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Old 09/15/2017, 04:19 AM   #10
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Sounds like good advice, thanks Homer. Would it be fair to expect the 3 day blackout to solve or at least improve a lot the issue?

Thanks.


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Old 09/15/2017, 04:58 AM   #11
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A 3 day blackout usually improves the situation quite a bit..
Sometimes its all you need.. Other times its not..
You will soon find out which of those you fit into


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Old 10/04/2017, 06:20 AM   #12
TangReefer
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A 3 day blackout usually improves the situation quite a bit..
Sometimes its all you need.. Other times its not..
You will soon find out which of those you fit into


Hi Guys,

Update on the tank. It took me 2 weeks until I could implement the 3-day blackout strategy, unfortunately the situation got a bit worse until then where I had cyano in all parts of the bottom and also attaching to some rocks.

I performed a 25% water change on the 28th and blacked out the tank then. I wasn't home on the 1st so the tank was actually blacked out for 4 days until I resumed normal operations on the 2nd. Everyone was alive and well and the cyano had not proliferated, I could only see remains of what was left from the 28th. I then siphoned out that while performing an additional 10% water change. I came back home today, 2 days later, to find cyano spread all around the tank and rocks:



I have got food added to a minimum, lighting was turned down to 6hrs a day at 50% acclimation power reduction, skimmer running wet...

Any help you guys can give in this scenario?

Thank you very much.


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Old 10/04/2017, 08:25 AM   #13
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Source water quality?

Chemiclean works.


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Old 10/04/2017, 08:34 AM   #14
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Try to use Red Slime. But the better option, control yours parameters.


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Old 10/04/2017, 08:55 AM   #15
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You need to break your strategy down into two very different buckets.

First, you need to solve the immediate problem. Kill/remove the cyano. Blackouts, siphoning it out with water changes (with good source water), brief periods of no or very low feeding, higher flow, red slime remover, etc.

Second, you need to solve the root cause of the issue. Usually, this has to do with nutrient balance. Reduce feeding long term, up your skimming, add macroalgae in a refugium, solve issues with your source water, and so on.

If you only do one or the other type of solution, it'll be much harder or impossible to solve the problem. Even if you fix the long term issues, once a pest like this is established, it can be incredibly adaptive - you need to remove/kill it in addition to solving the root cause.


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Old 10/04/2017, 09:26 AM   #16
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A bit late, but when you siphon out the cyano and sand comes with it, you can then rinse what you take out and save the sand. It's a good thing to do if you end up siphoning out a lot of sand, or do it repeatedly.

As far as the cyano, I've used chemiclean and had good luck in the past. I agree that getting nutrients and flow under control first is the optimal way, but if that doesn't work, chemiclean has worked wonders on my tank. Just annoying that you have to remove carbon and your protein skimmer won't work for a while.


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Old 10/04/2017, 12:51 PM   #17
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ChemiClean +1. It's cheapest on Amazon, from what I found recently. 72 hours and your tank is clean as a whistle. Just make sure to follow the directions closely.


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Old 10/04/2017, 02:12 PM   #18
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Chemi clean will certainly work to get rid of the cyano... but don't overdose it or you run the risk of a bacterial bloom. This can kill your corals.

You should also consider adding some sand stirring invertebrates and/or fishes. And make sure your skimmer is adequate.


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Old 10/05/2017, 11:10 AM   #19
TangReefer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by der_wille_zur_macht View Post
You need to break your strategy down into two very different buckets.

First, you need to solve the immediate problem. Kill/remove the cyano. Blackouts, siphoning it out with water changes (with good source water), brief periods of no or very low feeding, higher flow, red slime remover, etc.

Second, you need to solve the root cause of the issue. Usually, this has to do with nutrient balance. Reduce feeding long term, up your skimming, add macroalgae in a refugium, solve issues with your source water, and so on.

If you only do one or the other type of solution, it'll be much harder or impossible to solve the problem. Even if you fix the long term issues, once a pest like this is established, it can be incredibly adaptive - you need to remove/kill it in addition to solving the root cause.


Guys, thank you very much all for such good information. I definitely agree with approaching both the problem and the cause.

Water from tap goes through a 4 stage Spectrapure RO/DI with 0 TDS reading output, I use Red Sea Coral Pro salt @1025 and accurasea to calibrate the refractometer. The skimmer is supersized as a Reef Octopus Regal 200 for a 120gal system. Flow wise, I had cyano accumulating around a long tentacle plate coral where the tentacles where almost horizontal with so much flow, so if the cyano might have started in corners with less flow, it is definitely not the case at the moment.

Unfortunately I do not have access to chemiclean where I live. Only one of the LFS had a product to fight cyano, called sliminator from a company called Ruby Reef, anybody has any experience? Given the state of affairs, I have already started using it and to be fair I see some results now 6hrs after the first application, I did siphon out what I could before start using the product but it didn't grow again as usual and one part of the tank seems to be already clean. I am also keeping lighting exclusively on the blue range for now.

I will be in the US towards the end of the month and will make sure to buy chemiclean. Hopefully the sliminator will have worked by then but I would like to have that card up my sleeve in the future should this issue arise again.

Thanks again all for the help and will keep you posted in the next few days on how the current treatment is working.

Cheers.


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Old 10/08/2017, 10:40 AM   #20
TangReefer
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Hi guys,

4th day of treatment today. There is some considerable improvement (I would say 60%) however it is a pitty this product require such a long treatment (minimum 12 days it states), quite a nuisance without skimmer. I have added a pair of yellow head sleeper gobbies which are being quite helpful sand shifting and improving the situation as well. The lights are running an all-blue 6hr cycle which is also contributing to the improvement, once I put on other color spectrums back I will take a picture of the general condition.

Cheers.


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Old 10/08/2017, 08:31 PM   #21
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Get a sand sifting goby and your sand will be forever white.


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Old 10/08/2017, 09:58 PM   #22
TangReefer
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Get a sand sifting goby and your sand will be forever white.


Yeah, they were doing a good job however one already jumped out unfortunately. Any recommendation of good sand shifting fishes to house in an open tank?


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Old 10/09/2017, 06:52 AM   #23
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I highly suggest you get a mesh top. It won't block any light and will keep your guys from jumping out... then you don't have to worry about it (as long as you remember to always put it back on!). After that, a pink spot watchman goby does a great job of sifting sand. They are also fun to watch.


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Old 10/09/2017, 10:07 AM   #24
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I had a dragon goby to sift my sand in what was a 40 gallon at the time. He was an A-hole and would gulp as much sand as he could, swim up to my powerhead, and spread the sand all over everything in the tank. It was his sole purpose in life to make sure my rock and coral were sand covered 24/7. He lasted maybe a month before he went back to the store. I think I'd maybe try a sand sifting starfish? I havne't had great luck with any snails for stiring the sand, and the only fish I had that would turned me off to them.


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Old 10/09/2017, 10:34 AM   #25
TangReefer
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I highly suggest you get a mesh top. It won't block any light and will keep your guys from jumping out... then you don't have to worry about it (as long as you remember to always put it back on!). After that, a pink spot watchman goby does a great job of sifting sand. They are also fun to watch.


The tank is part of the decoration of the living room and looks great rimless open top, I do not intend to change that. The safety of the fish is also obviously very important, reason why I haven't got a school of firefishes for example. For now I would rather try and find a good sand shifting option that is also safe with the open top.


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