Advice Needed - Newer tank, Cyano, Low alk, and precipiation issues

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Gossy379

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Hi All,

I'm in a bit of a difficult spot with Calothrix and precipitation issues and would love some help here.

The system - Reefer 625 G2 set up Aug 28, 2022. 152g water volume.
Water Parameters:
Salinity - 1.026
Alk - 7.2-8.0 dKh (pretty stable at 7.2-7.3 dKh till I tried to raise it and saw precip again)
Cal - 400-425
Magnesium - 1380-1440
Nitrate - 8-12
Phosphate - .02-.08
Temp - 78.5-79.3 F

My tank has been up for ~2 months now, and after running into precipitation during the cycle with the sand bed hardening I cut back drastically on dosing but didn't want to stop entirely since I am trying to do light water changes and rely on heavy filtration with additives to keep the chemistry stable. I currently change 5g a week with Red Sea blue bucket, and have a ReefMat 1200 fleece roller, and a Regal 150INT skimmer running.

The tank started with dry marco rock and dry sand, but I seeded the biome with some MarinePure media from an established (~2y) tank. My goal was to try to keep a nice Alk/Cal level from the start, so I started testing on Day 1 to keep the Alk in the 8-9 range I had success with on the smaller tank. Initially with the lights off during the fishless cycle I saw the alk dropping rapidly (~1dKh) every day so I was dosing with BRS two-part to try to stabilize. After reading some forums I thought it could be the bacteria stripping carbon out of the carbonate so I switched over to BRS Alk only but was still dosing a ton each day (~320mL). I realized one night that the sand bed was hardening so I busted it up, and decided to cut back and keep the Alk at ~7dKh to avoid precipitation issues.

Since I turned on the lights ~6w ago (2w ramp up), I started dosing again to feed the corals I transferred over, starting out at ~80mL per day of BRS two-part to keep the Alk around 7.2 dKh. Since the lights have been on for a while now, I thought I'd try to raise the Cal/Alk slowly to 8-9dKh and 400-420ppm Cal to feed the patches of Coralline I see growing amongst the uglies. Unfortunately I noticed today that the sand bed is hardening again so I need to cut back but now I am in a difficult spot.

The tank is currently overrun by what I think is Calothrix based on the reef cleaners guide, there are some photos below. It has bubbles trapped within, persists overnight, and loses form when I blast most of it off a rock with a turkey baster. Since this is a form of Cyano, I believe the conventional path here would be to maintain good water chemistry/maintenance but beyond cal/alk staying on the low end I've never seen a chemistry issue. I test alkalinity daily and the rest of the params once a week at nearly the same time. There are other patches of red Cyano, GHA, and green film in the tank but they haven't taken over like the Calothrix.

I feed 1 cube of frozen mysis or brine shrimp a day and add ~1/4 tsp of TDO chromaboost through the auto-feeders though a fair bit of the pellets go straight down the overflow. Since I just added a group of 6x Lyretail Anthias I've doubled the autofeeders, and am considering doing the same for the frozen food I feed each night. I've never seen a marked increase in Nitrate/Phosphate as I've increased feeding however since I have both a Reefmat and Skimmer running on the tank. Though that may be because of the increased algae/bacteria growing in the display.

My question is, how do I deal with this issue? I have cyano that seems to demand I raise calcium/alkalinty to encourage competing organisms like coralline but I can't seem to raise those levels without causing precipitation in the sand bed. Should I instead try to raise Nitrate/Phosphate to encourage competing algaes that a CuC/micro fauna will actually eat? How and when can I actually raise the Cal/Alk to where I want them to be (~9dKh, ~420ppm) without causing it to precipitate out?

20221029_135416.jpg 20221029_121112.jpg
 
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vetteguy53081

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Hi All,

I'm in a bit of a difficult spot with Calothrix and precipitation issues and would love some help here.

The system - Reefer 625 G2 set up Aug 28, 2022. 152g water volume.
Water Parameters:
Salinity - 1.026
Alk - 7.2-8.0 dKh (pretty stable at 7.2-7.3 dKh till I tried to raise it and saw precip again)
Cal - 400-425
Magnesium - 1380-1440
Nitrate - 8-12
Phosphate - .02-.08
Temp - 78.5-79.3 F

My tank has been up for ~2 months now, and after running into precipitation during the cycle with the sand bed hardening I cut back drastically on dosing but didn't want to stop entirely since I am trying to do light water changes and rely on heavy filtration with additives to keep the chemistry stable. I currently change 5g a week with Red Sea blue bucket, and have a ReefMat 1200 fleece roller, and a Regal 150INT skimmer running.

The tank started with dry marco rock and dry sand, but I seeded the biome with some MarinePure media from an established (~2y) tank. My goal was to try to keep a nice Alk/Cal level from the start, so I started testing on Day 1 to keep the Alk in the 8-9 range I had success with on the smaller tank. Initially with the lights off during the fishless cycle I saw the alk dropping rapidly (~1dKh) every day so I was dosing with BRS two-part to try to stabilize. After reading some forums I thought it could be the bacteria stripping carbon out of the carbonate so I switched over to BRS Alk only but was still dosing a ton each day (~320mL). I realized one night that the sand bed was hardening so I busted it up, and decided to cut back and keep the Alk at ~7dKh to avoid precipitation issues.

Since I turned on the lights ~6w ago (2w ramp up), I started dosing again to feed the corals I transferred over, starting out at ~80mL per day of BRS two-part to keep the Alk around 7.2 dKh. Since the lights have been on for a while now, I thought I'd try to raise the Cal/Alk slowly to 8-9dKh and 400-420ppm Cal to feed the patches of Coralline I see growing amongst the uglies. Unfortunately I noticed today that the sand bed is hardening again so I need to cut back but now I am in a difficult spot.

The tank is currently overrun by what I think is Calothrix based on the reef cleaners guide, there are some photos below. It has bubbles trapped within, persists overnight, and loses form when I blast most of it off a rock with a turkey baster. Since this is a form of Cyano, I believe the conventional path here would be to maintain good water chemistry/maintenance but beyond cal/alk staying on the low end I've never seen a chemistry issue. I test alkalinity daily and the rest of the params once a week at nearly the same time. There are other patches of red Cyano, GHA, and green film in the tank but they haven't taken over like the Calothrix.

I feed 1 cube of frozen mysis or brine shrimp a day and add ~1/4 tsp of TDO chromaboost through the auto-feeders though a fair bit of the pellets go straight down the overflow. Since I just added a group of 6x Lyretail Anthias I've doubled the autofeeders, and am considering doing the same for the frozen food I feed each night. I've never seen a marked increase in Nitrate/Phosphate as I've increased feeding however since I have both a Reefmat and Skimmer running on the tank. Though that may be because of the increased algae/bacteria growing in the display.

My question is, how do I deal with this issue? I have cyano that seems to demand I raise calcium/alkalinty to encourage competing organisms like coralline but I can't seem to raise those levels without causing precipitation in the sand bed. Should I instead try to raise Nitrate/Phosphate to encourage competing algaes that a CuC/micro fauna will actually eat? How and when can I actually raise the Cal/Alk to where I want them to be (~9dKh, ~420ppm) without causing it to precipitate out?

20221029_135416.jpg 20221029_121112.jpg
Looks like chrysophytes rather than calothrix and will need to be physically scrubbed off outside the tank placing rock in a container of tank water using a firm toothbrush and 3% hydrogen peroxide and return to tank, reduce white intensity slightly and add snails such as chiton, ninja star, margarita and a couple pitho crabs
You can also add liquid bacteria such as micro bacter 7 to compete with any leftover
Assure phos is not elevated
 
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Gossy379

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Looks like chrysophytes rather than calothrix and will need to be physically scrubbed off outside the tank placing rock in a container of tank water using a firm toothbrush and 3% hydrogen peroxide and return to tank, reduce white intensity slightly and add snails such as chiton, ninja star, margarita and a couple pitho crabs
You can also add liquid bacteria such as micro bacter 7 to compete with any leftover
Assure phos is not elevated
I've been bouncing back and forth between Chrysophytes and Calothrix, hard to tell which it is though. I'm hoping to avoid taking the rocks out of the tank for a scrub since they are all single large pieces. I'll try to clean it off in the tank and let the reefmat strip it out of the water column. Luckily there's enough flow in there that I see hardly anything settling out. Next week I'll add some of those cleaners if I can find them.

Do you have any advice for the precipatation/alk issue?
 
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