Cyano and Diatoms at the same time

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mike550

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Newbie here with a tank that’s about 18 months old. My tank was going along fine but sometime in the last few months created a big imbalance in my tank. I‘ve now got cyano and diatoms covering a majority of my sand. If I had to guess at what happened I bottomed out nitrates (3-ish) and phosphates (0.02-ish) and also added new lights to my tank.

I‘ve been able to raise my nitrates and my current parameters are:
Nitrate 5
Phosphate 0.12
Alk 8.1
Mg 1350
Ca 460

I just added GFO in a media bag to try and lower the phosphates — targeting around 0.05. I’m still doing 10-15% weekly water changes and vacuuming a portion of the sand bed.

I’m considering Chemiclean or adding bacteria to try and kick start this. But I also know that things take time. Open to any suggestions. Thanks in advance.
 
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Bo.

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Post a picture, I'm interested to see diatoms and cyano simultaneously. What's your tank size and flow like? How fast does it come back after lights on? I'd personally try reintroducing beneficial bacteria before chemiclean.
 

Dan_P

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Newbie here with a tank that’s about 18 months old. My tank was going along fine but sometime in the last few months created a big imbalance in my tank. I‘ve now got cyano and diatoms covering a majority of my sand. If I had to guess at what happened I bottomed out nitrates (3-ish) and phosphates (0.02-ish) and also added new lights to my tank.

I‘ve been able to raise my nitrates and my current parameters are:
Nitrate 5
Phosphate 0.12
Alk 8.1
Mg 1350
Ca 460

I just added GFO in a media bag to try and lower the phosphates — targeting around 0.05. I’m still doing 10-15% weekly water changes and vacuuming a portion of the sand bed.

I’m considering Chemiclean or adding bacteria to try and kick start this. But I also know that things take time. Open to any suggestions. Thanks in advance.
Of the changes mentioned, the new light is a good candidate for the microorganism growth If it is brighter.
 
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mike550

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Of the changes mentioned, the new light is a good candidate for the microorganism growth If it is brighter.
Thanks @Dan_P I lowered my max lighting by 5% from 45 to 40. I went from 2 AI Primes to a Reefbreeder 48 over my 120G. I really need to measure PAR
 
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mike550

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Post a picture, I'm interested to see diatoms and cyano simultaneously. What's your tank size and flow like? How fast does it come back after lights on? I'd personally try reintroducing beneficial bacteria before chemiclean.
@Bo. I’ve attached a pic. Hopefully, you’ll get a sense of it. I have a 120G running two MP 40s. Flow is good. What type of bacteria would you suggest?
 

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Thats cyano

Dose some microbacter7 to help outcompete. The light is change fueled it

Manually remove as much as possible and increase nutrients export

I'd stay away from chemi clean bc it'll also negatively impact the rest of your beneficial bacteria. I know it says its safe for nitrifying bacteria but those strands are strong as bull so can withstand the antibiotics in chemiclean, esp since there's a constant source of ammonia feeding them. However the same can't be said for the rest of your beneficial bacteria diversity thats maintaining nutrient cycle stability.

If you choose chemiclean route, make sure redose bacteria bottles like microbacter7 after treatment and water change
 
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mike550

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are you sure it is diatoms? they are limited by silicates so you either have a new silicates source or it is not diatoms.
cyano and imbalance seems hand in hand.
do you have a microscope?
@attiland Great question. I was thinking diatoms because they are very powdery/dusty. The cyano I can lift some off in sheets. I don’t have a microscope, but you raised a great Q on silicates. I was dosing NoPox for quite a while but shut that down when my nitrates started to bottom out. The other change I made was that I started storing new saltwater in a Brute. Can silicates leach off the Brute?
 

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@attiland Great question. I was thinking diatoms because they are very powdery/dusty. The cyano I can lift some off in sheets. I don’t have a microscope, but you raised a great Q on silicates. I was dosing NoPox for quite a while but shut that down when my nitrates started to bottom out. The other change I made was that I started storing new saltwater in a Brute. Can silicates leach off the Brute?
not to the best of my knowledge.
 

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My personal opinion is to make Chemiclean an absolute last resort. Try dialing back your lights and manual removal. I ran my tank with no lights at all for 4 full days and then turned off the whites completely. It hasn't cleared up the issue completely, but it sure made a huge dent in it.
 
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mike550

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My personal opinion is to make Chemiclean an absolute last resort. Try dialing back your lights and manual removal. I ran my tank with no lights at all for 4 full days and then turned off the whites completely. It hasn't cleared up the issue completely, but it sure made a huge dent in it.
@Jedi1199 I can black it out. But what about corals and BTAs?
 

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@Jedi1199 I can black it out. But what about corals and BTAs?
They should be fine for a few days.. None of my corals had any negative issues from the blackout period. I gave them all a good feeding right before and again as soon as I saw they were all opened back up afterwards.
 
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attiland

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I had red cyano but it’s gone now . Mixing 20% saltwater now for water change. I assume I’m supposed to run carbon now??
You have to start using carbon now. If you had it in change it.
instruction say stop carbon during treatment.

you are not the first one making this mistake. I have done it myself. It lessens the effectiveness of chemiclean not like it matters much.

I regularly under dose it anyway.
 

jmichaelh7

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You have to start using carbon now. If you had it in change it.
instruction say stop carbon during treatment.

you are not the first one making this mistake. I have done it myself. It lessens the effectiveness of chemiclean not like it matters much.

I regularly under dose it anyway.
I didn’t run carbon during the treatment. I’m going to start now.

so the Red cyano is gone but I still have brown film on top in areas. I’m assuming Diatom or Dino because Chemiclean doesn’t remove either correct?
 

attiland

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I didn’t run carbon during the treatment. I’m going to start now.

so the Red cyano is gone but I still have brown film on top in areas. I’m assuming Diatom or Dino because Chemiclean doesn’t remove either correct?
Correct. Unlikely diatoms but you can only be sure with a microscope. It is only £30 on eBay for a used one
 
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mike550

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@Bo. @Dan_P @attiland @Dkmoo @Jedi1199 @jmichaelh7 thanks for your suggestions. I started with a four day blackout that wiped out the cyano and cleared up the diatoms. Of course now that the lights are on — even with lower white and intensity — the diatoms are coming back. I’ll vacuum the sand as part of my water change. Thinking of adding microbacter or it’s equivalent to outcompete.

thoughts?
 
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