Absolute Distress! Algae is breaking my WILL!! Help please

Discussion in 'Algae (including nuisance algae and bacteria)' started by Antlrman, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Antlrman

    Antlrman Well-Known Member

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    Fellow Reefers,

    I have battled a major algea issue for 12 months solid now. I am at my ropes end with it.

    Tank has been established for 4 years. Until last Nov. I never had any issues with algae. NONE.
    In Nov last year over the holiday weekend my tank crashed. it is at my office and it sat 4 days without water moving. Fried everything. Lost about 6,000 dollars worth of fish and coral. So I started over. We got the tank cleaned up and let it stabilize over 4 months before adding stock again slowly. I loaded up my system with Apex everything to monitor and prevent any future crashes. I started to be GHA and got that under control Flunco 200. Then the cyano algae started and zapped that with Red Slime Remover. Since then I have been out of control with this algae. See pics. i have treated with Marine AlgeaFIX, Vibrant, bacteria, everything. Manual removal. UHHHH, its killing me.

    My water perimeters are good. Following:
    PH = 8.03-8.3 constant
    Salt = 1.025
    Orp = 430
    Alk = 8.4 ave
    cal = 400
    Mag = 1500
    no3 = 3
    po4 = 0
    Temp = constant 78.1

    I had Triton test done and results were good. I was high on Bromine, Boron, Lithium. low on Iodine, molybdenum, Manganese, Vanadium, Nickel, and Zinc. All of what I was low on I bought the Triton elements and dosed as per their instructions. Not sure how to lower the few things I am high on.

    Tank system:
    220 Oceanic Reef Ready
    75 gal sump
    Quantum 220 skimmer
    Apex full monitoring system
    2 Apex WAV running 100% on various schemes
    3 Radion gen3 XR Pro 30 lights
    Chiller
    ro/di 3 stage with additional di cartridge
    Apex dosing alk, calc, mag, PHOLS xtra special, trace elements all dialed in
    hand dose vitamins, amino acids, algaefix
    feed every 2-3 days all frozen food, mysis shrimp 2 cubes, and one cube each of 4 different various coral foods, along with 1/2 teaspoon of reef roids and coral frenzy.

    Livestock is low for fish, only 7 small reef fish, 10 or so inverts, and the rest lots of sps and lps coral.
    Corals growing awesome and at rapid rate, but seems that the algae is starting to upset some of them.

    Let me know what you guys think my next step is? Im lost. Willing to try anything. :(:(:mad:

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  2. XNavyDiver

    XNavyDiver Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Honestly, the tank looks pretty good. I was expecting gha of biblical proportions from your description.
    Question: what's your CUC consist of? The reason I ask is because I had a gha outbreak that's looked nearly identical to yours, and I employed about 20 Mexican turbo snails that obliterated it in about 2 weeks. I gave 15 back to the lfs for store credit. The five that remain along with rest of the cuc keep it from coming back. They made me a true believer. Just a suggestion.
     
  3. Doclight

    Doclight Member

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    Since you don't have many fish.. I'd suggest a Lawnmower blenny and turbo snails. They are good at eating up the algae. But I agree, I thought we'd be seeing long flowing plains of grass.. :)
     
  4. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I would agree with using a larger CuC.

    I would also consider an algae turf scrubber or brightly lit fuge if you aren't running one.
     
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  5. BigJim

    BigJim Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    It is hard to say from just the pictures but it appears to possibly be dinoflagellates as well as hair algae and either cyano or diatoms on the sand bed. It could also be cyano mixing with the hair algae to make it look like dinoflagellates. The thread below has a ton of information on dinoflagellates.

    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/dinoflagellates-–-are-you-tired-of-battling-altogether.293318/

    I would recommend feeding smaller amounts daily rather than large amounts every two or three days. It also seems like you are adding a lot of coral food. Four cubes every 2 or 3 days, as well as amino acids and Pohls Extra Special is a lot. I use only KZ Flatworm Stop and Coral Booster to feed coral and have good growth and color. I also feed Rod's Original and/or LRS Reef Frenzy so my corals get some food when I feed my fish.
     
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  6. BigJim

    BigJim Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    You may also want to consider getting am ICP test from Triton or ATI. You might have high iron, silica or some other issue feeding your algae. My ATI test showed I have high silica in my RODI water and helped me clear up my diatom issue in a week or two.
     
  7. rtparty

    rtparty Well-Known Member

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    Looks like dinos to me. The above thread will be your lifesaver. All the chemicals you are using are screwing things up even worse.

    Read the Dinos thread and post in there. Be ready to up tour nitrates to 10ppm, phosphates to .10ppm and add a UV sterilizer.
     
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  8. Antlrman

    Antlrman Well-Known Member

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    Awesome responses! Great info. I will read the thread on the dino now. I just ordered a massive CUC as recommended as well. I will perform the ICP water test as well. And i will back off on the feeding and less a little more often. You guys are all great. I'll read up on the other thread today and start working on it. I was running a fuge but lost all my cheto. Thought maybe my mud was done after the crash so slowly been taking a little out at a time to get it empty and then start the fuge all over again. So guess I will start moving a little faster on that as well.
     
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  9. Antlrman

    Antlrman Well-Known Member

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    OK, the ICP test, did you only test your RO water? Or the Tank?
    I have a fill Triton test that I did on my tank. But iron and silicon were both in the low range. Iron undetectable and silicon was in the green on the warning lamp. I will perform a second test. One on the tank and one just on the RO water.
     
  10. BigJim

    BigJim Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    The ATI test allows you to test both. You send two samples of your tank water and one sample of your RODI water.
     
  11. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    And you did add an iron supplement? I had a small problem with dino's and the algae in my fuge was growing very slowly. I added Fe and within a week my dino's were gone and my fuge algae was growing like a weed.
     
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  12. Antlrman

    Antlrman Well-Known Member

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    I will order the ATI test and try that for results. Thank you
     
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  13. Antlrman

    Antlrman Well-Known Member

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    No, I only made the changes to my water that Triton recommended. They made no mention of dosing Iron
     
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  14. Antlrman

    Antlrman Well-Known Member

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    I suppose that yes, it could be much worse, but for me my tank was spotless of algae for 3 years. I am on a mission to rebuild my sps reef as it was before the crash and this algae makes me crazy! lol
     
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  15. Doclight

    Doclight Member

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    You mentioned you lost your chaeto.. I did too.. I switched to Culpera and it took off like crazy. I have to cut it back every week! Might switch.

    I never could get the chaeto to tumble correctly in my refugium.

    Good Luck!
     
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  16. mcarroll

    mcarroll Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    You probably already know if you've hit that dino thread linked earier, but the low nutrients you listed are most likely at the core of the problem.

    In the short term I would be prepared to dose some liquid NO3 and PO4 to assert positive flows of both in your system. That also means removing any GFO, organic carbon sources, bio-blocks, et al.

    If those are dino's (it looks like a really nasty mix to me, so read on...) then you should know that they are actively working to suppress available nutrients in the act of blooming. Info is in that thread! :)

    Read through the first post on that thread and check out at least some of the links too.

    Use the guidance there to make sure of what you're dealing with before you do anything more exciting than just fixing your nutrient levels. (Fixing nutrient levels manually for a short time could be all you need to do!) For positive ID of that mess you'll need to get a microscope to look at it up close. Post cellphone pics on that thread, or use the searches on the first post to look up past ID's on the thread.

    BTW a $10 scope is the minimum....lets you see 1200x. I'd suggest buying one regardless of the current situation. Link the scope thread is also on the dino thread. See you there!
     
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  17. Antlrman

    Antlrman Well-Known Member

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    thank you. Excellent advise. I would like to know the exact algae strands I'm dealing with.
     
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  18. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Photo of the Month Award

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    Wow. Dropped the boom.

    Me I'd do that first.
    That is really interesting.
     
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  19. spiraling

    spiraling Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    agreed with everything from @mcarroll . Anytime I get phosphates to 0 I get really bad algae (diatoms, cyano, etc).
    Seachem makes a freshwater line of phosphorous and nitrogen for dosing. Work great in a reef tank. There are also threads in the chemistry forum about alternatives, including feeding a lot more. Having the livestock low on fish might be hurting you at this point. More snails will work if they eat the stuff.
     
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  20. mcarroll

    mcarroll Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Sorry, I have been distracted...

    Feeding more is unlikely to help in the short term and lack of fish isn't a cause. Definitely do not overfeed as an attempt to fix.

    Food doesn't show up as "nutrients" for a day or more....plus, the elements you need most are likely to be gone by that time.
     
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