At wits end [emoji31]

Discussion in 'Nuisance Algae (including bacteria)' started by Samina, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Samina

    Samina Active Member

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    So since the beginning of this year, I have been battling and trying to get ahead of what’s going on with my system. I don’t know what it is, dinos or cyano or something else. It recedes at night. I blow off my rocks and coral everyday, multiple times a day and siphon up as much as I could a few times per day as well. As the photo period goes on, it progressively gets worse. Do a 10% gallon change every week. It started after I used GFO and purigen, both are offline and have been for the past couple of months.

    I tried the peroxide test a few times and all times only some bubbles formed but the clumps floated to the top. And the water seemed like it had a bit brownish tint. I don’t know of what to make of that. I really need to just buy a microscope I guess.

    Well so I had been using API to test Nitrates and I was not getting accurate results apparently. I automatically was estimating it up to be 5ppm even though the color was not quite dark enough, but the color never quite matched 0ppm for me either. So I started using Red Sea and found out that my Nitrates were actually 0ppm. Started using Hanna ULR Phosphate and phosphates have been on average .11ppm the last month. This past week, I started dosing KNO3(saltpeter) to help raise my Nitrates and am following Randy’s dosage instructions on it. I also am running skimmer at night only now. The imbalance of the two parameters made me lean towards cyano. But I’m not quite sure.

    I don’t know what else to do. I am debating on whether I should just take it apart and clean the tank out and put in new sand and scrub the rocks and just do a reset. But that is so drastic and I am trying to see if this is a phase. But it’s been going on since January!!!!!

    I am open to suggestions and sorry about this long rant. Let me know what you think this looks like as well please.

    Oh, tank is about a year old and half
    55g, ~20g sump w/fuge (chaeto, mangroves, Fiji mud), GAC in media bag
    (4) h. Erectus, Bengai, Yellow Watchman, Mandarin, Chromis

    (2) Harlequin Shrimp, (2)Sexy Shrimp, (2)Fire Shrimp, Randall’s Shrimp

    CUC: Shore shrimps, Hermits, Snails

    Various gorgonians, softies, SPS and LPS

    3” aragonite sandbed (looks disgusting now btw)

    1.025
    74degs
    7 dKH
    425 Ca
    1420 Mg
    7.92-8.34 pH night to day

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  2. Tanglover11

    Tanglover11 Member

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    Cyanobacteria, sometimes you have to just treat it with Chemiclean. It might return but it helps you get a leg up on getting your nutrient levels down.
     
  3. Samina

    Samina Active Member

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    Thanks for the response. The good news is that you think it’s cyano. I dread the thought of dinos after looking though that massive thread about it. So do you think I should stop dosing to bring Nitrates up? If I stop dosing, it will return to 0ppm.

    Also, I am not running any nutrient reduction media. Should I start GFO? I do not want to bottom out either nitrate or phosphate. I was under the assumption that .11 ppm phosphate was acceptable, is that incorrect?
     
  4. DeniseAndy

    DeniseAndy Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Not help with the cyno or dino issues, but just a few thoughts.
    Just my experience and opinion, but keeping all those variety of corals is a tricky feat. Gorgonias need tons of nutrients and food in the water with lots of flow but specific flow to be happy and not shed or build algae. The sps need lower nutrients, the lps slower flow and feedings, the softies are the shedders and can be problematic to keeping nutrient levels good and fighting to a minimum.

    Sometimes an unbalanced system is what causes us to get major outbreaks. Not that I don't get them as i do. I just have found that my more specific category tanks (gorg/softy, lps, zoa/nem,) work better and stabilize better with less algae issues.
     
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  5. Tanglover11

    Tanglover11 Member

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    Your phosphates are a little high, should be around .03 to .06 , nitrates under 10. Gfo is good, feeding usually raises nitrates and Phosphates
     
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  6. Tanglover11

    Tanglover11 Member

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    How is your water flow?
     
  7. ot7

    ot7 Member

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    er no looks to be dinos, its bubbly and brown. Never had dinos before so can't really help with that. I had cyno before, I used chemiclean to get rid of it. I then started using phosgaurd, feeding less, and occasionally blowing the rocks with turkey baster, haven't dealt with cyno for 6 months now.
     
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  8. Samina

    Samina Active Member

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    Water flow is an icecap gyre 3K running on alternating gyre at 50% during the day and stream at 30% at night.

    I will put GFO back on to bring phosphates down. Nitrates were at 2ppm as of yesterday.

    I was reading about chemiclean but was unsure of it due to having mud in the fuge. It says it works by oxidizing sludge and I couldn’t figure out if it’s safe to use with having mud. What do you think?

    @DeniseAndy, thanks! I target feed the gorgs, lps, and sps, alternating coral frenzy, oyster feast, cyclopleeze, and roe. I tried to place everything according to the flow and light that would be appropriate for it to offset as much as I could. And with the way it’s scaped, there’s plenty of areas of different types of flow. And everything seemed happy with good color, decent growth, and pe until this outbreak. But I do see what you are saying as far as balance as it’s a very valid point.
     
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  9. Tanglover11

    Tanglover11 Member

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    Are you using a Protein Skimmer? If you aren’t , I would recruit members who use a mud only system on their thoughts about using Chemiclean with Mud refugiums only because Chemiclean requires alot of aeration which Protein Skimmers provide. However they need to-be dialed way down because they will bubble over heavily when you add the Chemiclean. I usually partially plug the air intake on the skimmer until it skims at a normal rate then open up slightly after a couple days
     
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  10. Samina

    Samina Active Member

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    Yes, I have a bubble magus curve 5 that I used to run 24/7. But since my Nitrates bottomed out, I starting just running it at night for 12 hours.
     
  11. Skynyrd Fish

    Skynyrd Fish Active Member

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    As you keep dosing KNO3 your PO4 will fall Naturally. I would say no to the GFO. It is what I think caused a Dino cyano outbreak in my tank. Your fuge should start cranking the cheato with the NO3 addition. This will also bring down PO4. In one week of KNO3 dosing to keep around 1-2 ppm my PO4 went from .11 to .04. I am certain it will be lower next week. Back your skimmer down or turn it off if you feel you have Dino's. Also an airstone with fresh air in the tank helped me get rid of my Dino outbreak. Remember your tank needs NO3 and PO4 to process both. Also stop the water changes for a couple of weeks. I hope you get through this.
     
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  12. Tanglover11

    Tanglover11 Member

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    I agree with the turkey baster, also Gyres do provide great flow, but sometimes a couple of small pumps (vortechs) or other programable type of pump provide a random unpredictable flow that will blow detritus and uneaten food into the water column. Fine sand beds also tend to collect nutrients, you might need to stir the sand occasionally or get a sand sifter(starfish, goby,snail). Hope this helps
     
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  13. Samina

    Samina Active Member

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    Thank you for the response. Out of curiosity, how did you confirm that you had dinos? I am really debating on whether I should by a scope to confirm. It’s interesting because as you said and you can see it on the two charts, that as nitrate was rising, phosphate dropped and once mortars dropped, phosphate rose. So I definitely get what you are saying. It’s just, I haven’t seen too much improvement since I started the KNO3 dosing. Maybe a tad, nothing significant. How long did it take you to see results?
     
  14. Tanglover11

    Tanglover11 Member

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  15. Skynyrd Fish

    Skynyrd Fish Active Member

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    My results were in polyp extension and growth. my sps, 45 new frags. It took a couple of days. I started KNO3 last week for the sps.

    When I had Dinos and Cyano it was bad, this was three years ago. It killed ten frags. I shut off my skimmer, and quit water changes. I also pulled the GFO and Rox carbon. Water changes made it worse. What I noticed was I did not have any green algae growing in the tank. In my opinion this is bad, as others (bad) will grow. after a while the green film algae started to take over. this is when I began water changes and only sucking up the red and brown stuff leaving the green. In the last year I added cheato and a LED light on reverse cycle. my Nutrients went down and I started sps 6 weeks ago, I also started ATI essentials at this time. So far so good. I have some brown scum algae that has not gone away yet, but I'm going to add more clean up crew in two weeks. The brown started after a heater was unplugged for two weeks ( maintenance guy), the tank (fish only) was at 69 degrees. That being said everything is churning along. I may back my skimmer down because of the brown film algae.
     
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  16. Samina

    Samina Active Member

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    It’s funny, but I had a mp40 on there before as well but took it down because even when it was turned all the way down, it was just too much for flow for the tank.

    I wouldn’t be able to keep a sand sifting star due to the harlequins. And most of the gobies that sift sand like diamond gobies are not really compatible with the seahorses. I do blow my rocks and corals off multiple times in the day and siphon out the crud as well. But it’s relentless. Comes back within an hour or maybe even less. I have such fine sand and I absolutely hate it now. I bought the aragonite sand for its buffering capability but it’s a pain. It gets all over the rocks and clouds the tank every time I stir the sand. I stir the sand every night and turn it over with the baster.

    I am wondering about chemiclean and if it will work. I think I may give it a shot. If it doesn’t work then I may just rip that bed out and replace it with Reef flakes. I’ll get to really clean the rocks off as well if I do that but it’s a huge undertaking and not to mention, so drastic. Do you think that if I was to do that, it would eliminate this constant outbreak?
     
  17. Tanglover11

    Tanglover11 Member

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    Chemiclean really works well, but you MUST keep your skimmer running during the whole treatment. Just figure out a way of restricting the air intake of your skimmer so that it doesn’t overflow. It will do this immediately after adding it to your Aquarium. Chemiclean is really a miracle product for what it does. Keep a supply of fresh Salt water mixed for a water change after treatment. I have used this product many times in the past and I have a mixed reef with Sps and multiple fish[​IMG]
     
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  18. Tanglover11

    Tanglover11 Member

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    It’s very possible it might return, I have had a cyano outbreak from time to time however it seems to pop up when my nutrient levels were too high(phosphate/nitrate) or if I overdosed Red sea N03 PO4x since Cyano is a bacterium. First time using it seems scary but after seeing the results it is no longer a concern when/if I need to use it again. The key is to keep your reef tank fed but not over fed, change out filter socks, keep skimmer neck clean, clean sump occasionally and this will result in Cyano not having a nutrient source. Most of us in the reef hobby have experienced Cyanobacteria
     
  19. Samina

    Samina Active Member

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    You have a very nice tank!

    So I ordered the chemiclean powder. I am going to try it this weekend once it gets here. The Fiji mud won’t be a problem! Hopefully I have some success. Plan on letting the skimmer run without the cup and just letting it overflow into the sump, instead of air stone because I don’t want the seahorses to end up with GBD. I looked it up to gauge how others experience was with it and many seemed to use it at 1.5x recommended dosage. So instead of one scoop per gallon, one and a half scoop per gallon. I wonder if I should do that or should I follow recommended dosage, what do you think? How many treatments did you end up doing? Reason why I ask it because I read that it has some erythromycin properties in it, even though it has not been confirmed by Boyd. So I don’t want to dose insufficiently which could create a resistance.
     
  20. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    It’s not the Po4 or no3. It’s the foods. IMO.

    Fine foods are a trick to get balanced.

    Dissolved organics settle and decompose. Cyano loves it.

    It doesn’t sound like you have any problem with a nutrient limitation than can cause some cyano and dino blooms.

    You’ll like the mud. It’s fun.
     
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