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Old 03/06/2018, 12:15 AM   #1
Donut528
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White murky cyanobacteria water

Hi, this is my very first post on Reef Central!

Iím a newb to the hobby and Iím having difficulty balancing my parameters for corals. Iím a stupid college kid. I have a JBJ 45. My tank has been operating for 8 months as a fowlr with no corals. My only livestock was a pair of clownfish. No cleanup crew because my light wasnít even strong enough to grow algae. I do not do water changes because I am a neat freak and hate getting saltwater all over my apartment.... and frankly I donít have the money for new salt and rodi water on a constant basis. I run an aquamax 1.5 hob skimmer 24/7. I had a cheap petsmart light only so I could see my clownfish. I topped off my tank with tap water... my townís water is pretty good (Arkansas). Manually top off every day while I study. I use instant ocean sea salt; NOT reef crystals, wasnít understanding the price difference. My salinity was at 1.019 and I never dosed any type of nutrient.

Recently, I made some huge changes to the aquarium to alter my parameters for coral. I finally saved enough cash for corals. I dose 2ml of vodka every 24 hours to lower my nitrates/phosphates because I had 8 months of nutrients built up. Been doing that for about 2 months. My nitrates were through the roof... 3 weeks ago I also bought a small golf ball sized piece of chaeto and cut away part of the black covering so that a 20inch finnex planted plus light could serve as a fuge light at he base of the sump. Itís taped on with painters tape lol. I had a nano planted tank, I startled out in the hobby with planted tanks and have a big *** 60 gallon jungle planted tank for tetras and red cherry shrimp as well. I run the fuge light 24/7 on maximum power and my chaeto has tripled in size. The sump of my jbj is so bright that you can clearly see the bottom of it, equipment and all lol. Very bright when Iím trying to sleep at night. Within the last month my nitrates dropped down to 10-20 ppm (it was around 80 a month ago), I attribute that to the new vodka and chaeto.

1 week ago I bought an ocean revive t247 light and mounted it 8 inches over the tank on brackets. It was a great deal for a light, mount, and only needed one power cord unlike a lot of other blackboxes. Plus it has a built in timer! I run my blue spectrum at 45% for 12 hours and whites for 9 1/2 hours. I have a glass lid over my jbj display section so I estimate my lighting is descreased by around 10% because the panels are always filthy... so 35% lighting reaches my display. Iíve had this light for 2 weeks. I also upped my salinity to 1.025.

So I took the plunge and bought 2 zoathid frags, a green toadstool frag, a blue devils fingers frag, and a pulsing Xenia frag. The zoas are already sprouting polyps, the Xenia is growing like crazy, the toadstool appears to be ok, and my lobophytum blue devils finger looks like itís half dead after a week in my tank. My issue is that my tank has developed a pale, murky appearance in my water. I know itís Cyanobacteria. What I canít figure out is what is causing it.
The options are:
-Tap water dissolved solids are feeding the cyano growth with sudden new light
-vodka is growing the wrong type of bacteria; too much vodka!
-side effect from leaving a 7000k led bar on 24/7 on the back of my jbj sump
-normal phase of tank cycling from adding a new VERY POWERFUL reef light; I doubt this, my tank is going on 9 months old

If yíall could give a newb like my some suggestions so that I can figure out how to stop this bacteria outbreak, that be great. Iíve given yíall every piece of info about my aquarium that I am aware of.

Also, I stopped using tap water to top off. You can roast me about that if you want, yes I am now aware that was a retarded thing to do to a saltwater tank.

Iíd also appreciate any suggestions for improving my setup (ie: change your salt mix, get a different fuge light, dosing supplement suggestions for a soft coral reef, anything.) I have never killed anything since Iíve started the fish hobby and I would be extremely upset if I killed my very first coral frags.

Sorry about the wall of text!


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Old 03/07/2018, 07:57 AM   #2
Crooked Reef
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Sounds like a bacterial bloom, probably a different bacteria than cyano. My guess is that you are causing more bacteria to grow by dosing the vodka than the skimmer can remove. I don’t really know much about that skimmer, but how is the skimmate amount and consistency? First think I would try is to lower the amount of vodka you dose by .5ml for a few days then down to 1.0ml if that doesn’t clear it up.


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Old 03/07/2018, 08:04 AM   #3
Sk8r
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I agree. Stop the vodka. Run a filter sock. It's not cyanobacteria but a bacterial bloom feeding on the carbon, and it's also sopping up the oxygen. Do a 20% water change each week until you can get this calmed down.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, 2 firefish, 2 chromis, royal gramma basslet, starry blenny, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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Old 03/07/2018, 09:42 AM   #4
Uncle99
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If you dose, you must skim skim skim......


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Old 03/07/2018, 03:15 PM   #5
gonioporagirl
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The bacterial bloom will probably pass, it's common in new aquariums. If you want to just get rid of the free floating bacteria quickly i recommend getting a UV sterilizer. I had an algal bloom in my tank and it cleared it up in just a few days. I would also stop dosing the vodka because it could be too much for the skimmer to remove. For the time being i would add one of those oxygenators (bubble maker things) so that your fish have enough exygen in the water, as the bacteria do use up oxygen.

Good Luck!


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Old 03/07/2018, 08:34 PM   #6
Donut528
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Wow, ok thanks guys! Yes I had wondered why my clownfish were hanging out so much toward the water surface... the bacteria is sopping up the oxygen and they’re having a hard time breathing. I kept testing my water for amomia and nitrite because I had assumed my tank was undergoing some sort of crash from the new lights. Corals appear to be irritated, but fine otherwise. I’ll get on the bubble thing right away!

Yes I assumed my skimmer was strong enough to keep up with my dosing. The 1.5 hob by aquamaxx is supposedly rated for tanks up to 75 gallons if lightly stocked. It’s the “latest generation” of the big blue hang on slimmer aquamaxx makes. My entire system is 45 gallons, lightly stocked. My skimmate is very wet and watery, sort of the shade of sweet tea. Reappears every 6-8 hours from thick white foam. If I try to adjust the skimmer to collect dry skimmate only, I wouldn’t have any skimmate in the collection cup at all.

Should I worry about this bacteria colony in my water surface having an impact on my colony of beneficial bacteria? I think my problem was that I was dosing for the amount of vodka recommended for 40 gallons of water, but I never took into account that my tank doesn’t actually hold 40 gallons of water, I have 42 pounds of San Marcos dry rock displacing the mass of water, so my actual amount is probably like 20 something gallons.

Thank you all so much!


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Old 03/07/2018, 08:56 PM   #7
Donut528
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crooked Reef View Post
Sounds like a bacterial bloom, probably a different bacteria than cyano. My guess is that you are causing more bacteria to grow by dosing the vodka than the skimmer can remove. I donít really know much about that skimmer, but how is the skimmate amount and consistency? First think I would try is to lower the amount of vodka you dose by .5ml for a few days then down to 1.0ml if that doesnít clear it up.
My skimmate is very wet and watery, sort of the shade of sweet tea. Reappears every 6-8 hours from thick white foam. If I try to adjust the skimmer to collect dry skimmate only, I wouldnít have any skimmate in the collection cup at all.

Sorry, I just realized I can quote people. Not sure how notifications work on here lol, but hopefully you see my answer to your question!


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Old 03/08/2018, 02:28 PM   #8
Sk8r
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Vodka dosing is not for new tanks. Don't do until you're sure you need it.


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Salinity 1.024-6; alkalinity 8.3-9.3 on KH scale; calcium 420; magnesium 1300, temp 78-80, nitrate .2. Ammonia 0. No filters: lps tank. Alk and cal won't rise if mg is low.

Current Tank Info: 105g AquaVim wedge, 2 firefish, 2 chromis, royal gramma basslet, starry blenny, chestnut turbo snails, bristleworms, couple of hermits.
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Old 03/08/2018, 06:40 PM   #9
ajoe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk8r View Post
Vodka dosing is not for new tanks. Don't do until you're sure you need it.
+1 on this. Stop the vodka asap. As for that skimmer it is perfect for your tank size and appears to be working just fine. Don't mess with it and keep skimming wet. I would get into the habit of weekly water changes if you want to continue with corals unless you get a sump and try some other methods. The water will clear in time with continued skimming and no more vodka. Your tank needs to season for some time and go through the necessary changes. Don't rush it and just enjoy the process.


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Old 03/09/2018, 08:59 AM   #10
oceanfan913
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My first year I had cloudy water pop up twice I think and ever since it has been fine. I also think it was a bacteria bloom and part of the tank getting settled and "aging". Never had a problem in the years since.


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