Algae/Cyano Issue Not Improving, Help Please?

UKR33f3r

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Hi all,

I have a Red Sea Reefer 250 that has been up and running for 8 months now. My issue is a strange black algae\cyano growth that has plagued me for the last two months+. I have been treating as follows:

cleaning gravel twice weekly
20% water changes twice a week
Addition of beneficial bacteria fortnightly
Clean 100mU filter socks daily
Reduced white spectrum by 75%

Tank parameters are as follows:

dKh 7.7
Mg 1500
PO4 0.06
Ca 450
Ammonia 0
Nitrate 5
Nitrite 0.25
Ph 8.4
Salinity 35ppt
Temp 78f
Fish stock: 1 x Sailfin Tang, 1 x Lemonpeel Angel, 2 x Clowns, 2 x Yellow Belly Damsels
Corals: Various Zoa colonies, mushrooms and rhodactis, Kenya Tree, Xenia, GSP, Hammer, Acans, Plating Monti, Candy cane and Fungia Plate.

All corals doing well with the exception of the fungia plate and candy cane; fish healthy and feeding well.

I’m not even sure what I’m actually fighting here, whether it’s an algae or cyano - it’s an amorphous black slime which grows in patches on the sand and rocks. The pictures shown are 48hours after a thorough sand clean and 50l water change.

Any help would be gratefully received, thank you for your time.

9B2AF059-5ECB-405D-B332-B480CFB5DEA0.jpeg 05C01420-9C64-42EE-B898-1E5957C0DF47.jpeg
 
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UKR33f3r

UKR33f3r

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Hey @brandon429 thank you for that brother - I’ll get on that after work tomorrow for sure. One thing that isn’t clear from the links is do I replace the substrate after cleaning or replace with new? I might try bare bottom for a bit and see how that rolls out. Do I remove and clean the rocks with 3% hydrogen peroxide also?

Sorry for the questions I just want to get it right first time
 

brandon429

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hey Id really like to customize the job live time here. I use that link to scare away the undedicated

but for those who want that reef tank all fixed up Id like to make a totally custom plan can you post a full tank shot standing back

agreed in all reef tanks using any common arrangement of live rock, even bare minimums, we are able to tap rinse and put back or replace or remove fully any sandbed. The key is we have to do it as parted out takedown surgery because if you remove or clean that sand in-tank, a huge cloud wells up that can cause loss. the only reason we take apart tanks to manhandle them this way isn't for flair its for that separational ability where we can take the corals and fish out first, rocks second, then do whatever we want to that bed.

if you put back new sand be sure and rinse it with tap totally, then final rinse RO, for a truly cloudless start. post full tank shot we'll make a unique custom job here
 
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brandon429

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-there's no harm in catching some of your cleaner top half of water for re use, that's a neat time saver trick. try and put back at least 50% new matching temp and salinity to the old tank ideally. rocks merely get dribbled contact style with perx after you detail scrape off the offenders with a knife sitting on the counter, we dont like to dip or submerge rocks as the target zones should be pinpointed. then saltwater rinse off the rocks and prepare to reassemble, it all skip cycles back into place if we use no clouding at all in the reset tank, and dont forget to lower your lighting back down intensity for a week as you ramp power back up; we're robbing all the waste its used to and we dont want coral sunburn.

that right there is 99% of any skip cycle approach the other 1% we can fit to your pics.
 
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UKR33f3r

UKR33f3r

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That sure makes sense to me buddy; thank you for your kind offer of a personalised way forward, I’d love to get her back to looking great! Please find attached a full shot and then the two halves in a closer perspective
 

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brandon429

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Perfect, those lysmata whiskers indicate the most sensitive animal we keep regarding peroxide, any degree on them will kill them so simply isolate them cleanly while working.

nothing else in the system is peroxide sensitive, though in our surgical rock cleaning peroxide never touches non target zones anyway. Serves as a mistake backup


the sandbed is shallow and not likely to contain horrible irritants, though in our parted takedown cleaning it wouldn’t matter if it did. Helps build room for error safety as we disassemble. I’d drain and keep half the water and use half new, put back clean sand or none if you’d prefer and we can use your tank as another rare work example for thorough surgery and fine after pics

one reason a doser or medication cannot beat our method is we export, those kill within and recirculate the mass to feed a gha explosion on the rocks, or in the case of ‘chemiclean killed my tank threads’ it kills corals.

use of any doser or param change to kill the black growth adds to clouding, it’s mass doesn’t disappear it relocates down into rock pores and sandbed.

there are no ‘rip clean killed my reef‘ threads. There’s hard work vs easy way that compounds waste for later invasions as the fundamental choice.
 
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UKR33f3r

UKR33f3r

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Perfect, those lysmata whiskers indicate the most sensitive animal we keep regarding peroxide, any degree on them will kill them so simply isolate them cleanly while working.
nothing else in the system is peroxide sensitive, though in our surgical rock cleaning peroxide never touches non target zones anyway. Serves as a mistake backup


the sandbed is shallow and not likely to contain horrible irritants, though in our parted takedown cleaning it wouldn’t matter if it did. Helps build room for error safety as we disassemble. I’d drain and keep half the water and use half new, put back clean sand or none if you’d prefer and we can use your tank as another rare work example for thorough surgery and fine after pics
Thank you @brandon429, all received and understood. Sure I’ll isolate the lysmata amboensis prior to the clean tomorrow - I’ll take lots of pictures and maybe do a video so we can try and help people in the same predicament?

I have at least 150 litres of temp and salinity matched water mixed at any one time for replacement in this endeavour so I’ll have plenty on hand. I have 3% perox in stock and some clean squirt bottles to apply topically. I don’t have any clean sand so I’ll roll with a bare bottom for the short term. Wish me luck!
 

brandon429

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what a nice quick summary and plan for your tank. iIm confident this will work well

and you can easily just add back sand in the future at any time. you'd buy the sand, rinse it in tap two hours to perfection, final rinse in RO, dump it in exactly like harmless snowglobe grains. all the crazy rinse work gives us total cloudless freedom on the reassembly side even if that's delayed a while/

your live rocks have so much surface area right in the middle of water for immediate waste contact, that half that load you have even with the sand instantly removed could run more fish than you currently carry. live rock is that far beyond able to scrub free ammonia out of the water. the jury is still out on whether filtration bacteria or tiny microscopic algae systems scrub that much ammonia we can all see in our seneye threads...but either way they uptake it like mad. even though we're removing your sand you still have 50% more surface area than needed to run that bioload, so we're safe in dispensing immediately with sand.


that's more scannable post rip cleaned tanks above just for handy patterning.
 

brandon429

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One last thing since we'll probably use this as a fine example of a rip clean


you are clearly working with the right size reef for you. Not once along the way did you hesitate/I dont have enough water etc.

or the classic
my rocks are arched in place I cannot access them. can't cant cant is the common standard.

you have backup preps for your exact size system such that total access is not a challenge, that's exactly the right size tank to own. the old rules of go as big as you can initially afford have created ten thousand reefs so big their only choice is to dose a med and cross fingers; cannot be exacting and deliberate. the right size reef to own is the size that if you had to replace all its water or access the very lowest rock stack for whatever reason, you could.
 
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UKR33f3r

UKR33f3r

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Aw man it feels good to have a plan to work forward to get rid of this problem, thank you brother! I’m willing to do whatever I can to make this the best reef tank possible and with the help of people like you I’m sure it will develop strongly.

Should I post the pictures and video on this thread or should I start another entitled ‘Cyano Rip Clean’ and tag you in it?
 

brandon429

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Either way no problem happy to have the predictions in place and we get to see outcomes
 
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brandon429

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its fascinating how various invasions and pigments express in reefing. of matted invaders its the browns, then reds, then greens that present the most. these black ? are 1% of anything we get in forums. i have no idea what it is, but cyano and spirulina come in many colors
 
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I’m starting to feel very unlucky if it’s any relevance this outbreak started as a standard Cyano brown film on the gravel; I then upgraded from cheap lights to a V2 iLuminair and it developed into this. No additions were made to the tank during this time.

Just trying to help with the understanding of the development of this outbreak.
 

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This is pure speculation and anedocetal at this point but I have noticed many algae problems in my tank when I changed from a mostly white to a mostly blue spectrum. First really bad Dinoflagellates and then massive cyano. My friend had a similar experience.
 
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