0.06 phosphate = Dinos? Algae? It's everywhere and it's my fault. Lots of pics.

BRS

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It's my fault. I switched out my entire sumps bacteria filled substrate and biofilter media and replaced it with calcium reactor media and crushed coral. It's been a month with no problems until the last couple of days. Just tested phosphate (0.06) to decide if I need a large water change to drop the phosphate or ride it out? It’s gotta be going through a new bacteria cycle. Balance out or change it?

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We have to show the ugly side of reefing. I’m amazed at all changes of life in a reef tank good or bad.

I’ve been turkey blasting this stuff for 3 nights now. I’m not so sure if I should keep do doing it. It just comes back. I’ve added pumps and upped the flow a bit to keep it off the corals, but as you see, no such luck. Also I haven’t seen bubbles like this since my the first cycle 33F5774E-C7DD-4101-85E1-87F2D306F8D7.jpeg
 
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Brett S

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It's my fault. I switched out my entire sumps bacteria filled substrate and biofilter media and replaced it with calcium reactor media and crushed coral. It's been a month with no problems until the last couple of days. Just tested phosphate (0.06) to decide if I need a large water change to drop the phosphate or ride it out? It’s gotta be going through a new bacteria cycle.

I’m not sure I agree with your diagnosis. The bacteria cycle in the tank converts ammonia to nitrite, then to nitrate. It doesn’t do anything with phosphate. It’s possible that changing out the substrate in your sump might have initiated another cycle, but the symptoms of that would have been ammonia, not phosphate. Additionally, if you did this all a month ago then even if there was a new cycle it would have finished long before now. Since you didn‘t change anything in your tank the bacteria would have been able to repopulate the new substrate in the sump pretty quickly and easily.

Frankly, even .06 ppm phosphate isn’t really that high, although it’s possible that there is considerably more that’s bound up in the algae.
 

blasterman

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Look like common diatom sludge.

Bio media needs to banned. It serves no purpose except to cause problems. You want your biological filter in the tank. Not living on external gadgets and media. Using CC in your sump will just create the same situation in time. Also traps deitrus.

The sludge should clear on its own. If it's persistent Virant will hasten its decline.
 
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When I had what appears to be a similar issue as yours, I actually found feeding nitrate made my situation worse. The nitrogen made my glass green, and some green algae on gyres. I blacked out my tank for 2.5 days and things cleared up.
 
OP
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When I had what appears to be a similar issue as yours, I actually found feeding nitrate made my situation worse. The nitrogen made my glass green, and some green algae on gyres. I blacked out my tank for 2.5 days and things cleared up.
Black out may be a good idea since I found the the tank looks much better in the morning as compared to later at night when the lights have been on all day.
 
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Look like common diatom sludge.

Bio media needs to banned. It serves no purpose except to cause problems. You want your biological filter in the tank. Not living on external gadgets and media. Using CC in your sump will just create the same situation in time. Also traps deitrus.

The sludge should clear on its own. If it's persistent Virant will hasten its decline.
I have very minimal rockwork in my 25 gallon display and 45 gallon frag system so i've added some biomedia to the sump. Not sure if it was hurting anything, but I removed the spheres and sand to replace it with larger crushed coral substrate and calcium media, because I had it, but also to grow zoas, mushrooms and other frags in the sump area. I have lots of flow in this area and I can easily vacuum detritus if it builds up. It's an extension of the bio life in the display, but down in the sump on a reverse light cycle.
 
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Agree that PO4 is not the issue. Mine consistently runs around .16 without any issues. I think that the more you chase it with other "solutions" the more issues you are going to have. Give it time to build up natural and therefore permanent resistance.
 
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I’m not sure I agree with your diagnosis. The bacteria cycle in the tank converts ammonia to nitrite, then to nitrate. It doesn’t do anything with phosphate. It’s possible that changing out the substrate in your sump might have initiated another cycle, but the symptoms of that would have been ammonia, not phosphate. Additionally, if you did this all a month ago then even if there was a new cycle it would have finished long before now. Since you didn‘t change anything in your tank the bacteria would have been able to repopulate the new substrate in the sump pretty quickly and easily.

Frankly, even .06 ppm phosphate isn’t really that high, although it’s possible that there is considerably more that’s bound up in the algae.
I have not tested ammonia since the initial cycle years ago and haven't been able to detect nitrate for some time now. Phosphate has hovered from 0.00-0.02 for the last year. I've been trying to raise both with a variety of ways. Now that it's 0.06 and i'm seeing this algae should I do some water changes to get rid of the algae, but then lower my phosphate also?
 
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Agree that PO4 is not the issue. Mine consistently runs around .16 without any issues. I think that the more you chase it with other "solutions" the more issues you are going to have. Give it time to build up natural and therefore permanent resistance.
I don't think it's the only issue, but something of note. Just wasn't sure if this was algae because of high nutrients or Dinos. The 0.06 just through me off.
 
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What is your N03 level? If it is real low like 0, it needs to be bumped up to at least 5 to 10.
Nitrates have been zero for a long time now using saliphert test kit. I've been trying to raise nutrients with more feeding, less water changes, and timed protein skimming. This is the first algae i've seen in a long time. Wasn't sure if its Dinos because of lack of nutrients.
 

moreef

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Look like common diatom sludge.

Bio media needs to banned. It serves no purpose except to cause problems. You want your biological filter in the tank. Not living on external gadgets and media. Using CC in your sump will just create the same situation in time. Also traps deitrus.

The sludge should clear on its own. If it's persistent Virant will hasten its decline.

What is wrong with bio media in sump? I have several bags of it along with rock. I don’t have a lot of rock in display and felt I needed to up biological filter in sump.
 
Budmans
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Do we have an answer to if this is Algae or a Dinoflagellate bloom?

If it's algae, I should do some water changes maybe a blackout?

If its dinos, then what? Feed some bacteria and add nutrients?
 

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Sorry, but that looks a lot like dinos. Here is the quick test:

Get a water sample in a jar with a bunch of the gunk. Shales it up very hard so that the gunk mostly dissolves. Pour this solution through a coffee filter into another jar. It should be fairly clear water now.

Place that jar under a good light source and leave it for an hour or so. If the gunk coagulates back together, you have dinos.
 

ScottB

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I am a little puzzled that you always had very low undetectable PO4, and now suddenly you have .06.

How recent is that measure and maybe you should test again?
 

Willbiker

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Looks like dinos to me. Here is how I beat dinos (almost...still battling it but I'm winning):

1) raise phosphate to around 0.1 by feeding extra or dosing neophosphate
2) raise nitrate to between 5 to 10 ppm either by feeding extra or dosing neo nitro.
3)Install uv with slow flow rate
4) dose microbacter 7
5)DONT DO ANY WATER CHANGES
6) blast rock with baster and vac out the really bad patches on the sand at least once per week.

Mature biodiversity is whats beats dinos and the added nutrients and uv help with the fight. Blackouts only temporarily help the situation.

This battle usually takes months
 
OP
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Sorry, but that looks a lot like dinos. Here is the quick test:

Get a water sample in a jar with a bunch of the gunk. Shales it up very hard so that the gunk mostly dissolves. Pour this solution through a coffee filter into another jar. It should be fairly clear water now.

Place that jar under a good light source and leave it for an hour or so. If the gunk coagulates back together, you have dinos.
Thanks for the experiment, I have it next to a window right now. I guess dinos react to the light then? I mentioned somewhere above that every morning the tank looks great, but as the day goes the worse it gets.

I'm not surprised if it is dinos, because my po4 and no3 are always non detect or 0.01 ppm low.
 
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