Cyano or type of algae

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tanerg18

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I’ve had this pretty nasty bloom for about a week and a half now, and I’m worried that it could be dinos or diatoms. Any ideas on what it most likely is? My nitrates are at 10 and my phosphates are at .1. My tank isn’t very old I set it up in April about 3.5 months ago.

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BanjoBandito

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It seems too sparse too be cyano...it's usually a slime mat and more vibrant in color. So we gotta do the checks -

1. Does it get worse as the day goes on?
2. Do you see small bubbles and/or is it extending slime towards the light?
3. Do you own a microscope?
 
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tanerg18

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It seems too sparse too be cyano...it's usually a slime mat and more vibrant in color. So we gotta do the checks -

1. Does it get worse as the day goes on?
2. Do you see small bubbles and/or is it extending slime towards the light?
3. Do you own a microscope?
It spreads more when the light intensity goes up throughout the afternoon and when the lights start to go out it’ll fade but not completely. I’ve never seen any bubbles on it, only some sort of thin hair that could potentially be slime but I’m not sure. It’s either hair algae or slime. I do not own a microscope but I have a lfs that probably could take a look.
 
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tanerg18

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Sounds like Amphidinium Dinos. Take a scoop of "dirty" sand (not much) and a bit of water and take it to someone with a good 200x + microscope. Or buy a cheap pocket microscope off amazon.
Okay thank you. Should these be a really big concern for me, or are they more of just an eyesore. Either way I’ll take a closer look through a scope. Do you have any recommendations on how to completely remove them from a system?
 
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Gedxin

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I've got very similar looking algae on my 2+ week tank. There are bubbles coming off of it on the rocks mid-day when the light has been on a bit.

I have a microscope as well, will likely checking out what's going on soon.
 

BanjoBandito

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Okay thank you. Should these be a really big concern for me, or are they more of just an eyesore. Either way I’ll take a closer look through a scope. Do you have any recommendations on how to completely remove them from a system?
What's your parameters? How big is the tank?

You ask for advice on dinos and you are bound to get all sorts of different advice/answers. If it truly is Amph. dinos, they are the least of the toxic dinos we usually deal with. When dinos get "eaten" or die they'll release a toxin. It can kill snails or anything else that eats it.

WE THINK dinos come from low nutrient systems, so most plans of attack involve keeping higher phos and nitrates in the tank and encouraging diatoms and other algaes due to the dinos being unable to "out compete" these organisms. UV is popular, but amph. usually don't go into the water column at night. Dosing phyto/adding pods can help but it'll wipe out the pods usually after they eat the dinos. There's some chemical options, like DINO X, which works, but is NUCLEAR option. It can stress/kill corals. ANYTIME i've had dinos I've always gotten rid of them the same way, no matter the strain -

1. 72 hour blackout with UV at 3x turnover directly in my tank close to the problem area (so for you, close to the bottom)
2. during blackout and after, following the "DR TIMS RECIPE" - turn your lights down for awhile, even though Dr Tim says GO BACK TO FULL LIGHTING
3. feeding PHYTO/REEF BUGS daily - I have no idea if this works or what, but it's basically "reef snow" aka bacteria (I do this anyway...regardless of what's going on in my tank)
4. after the Dr. Tims treatment is done - COPEPODS, TONS AND TONS OF COPEPODS.

Good luck!
 
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tanerg18

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Sounds like Amphidinium Dinos. Take a scoop of "dirty" sand (not much) and a bit of water and take it to someone with a good 200x + microscope. Or buy a cheap pocket microscope off amazon
What's your parameters? How big is the tank?

You ask for advice on dinos and you are bound to get all sorts of different advice/answers. If it truly is Amph. dinos, they are the least of the toxic dinos we usually deal with. When dinos get "eaten" or die they'll release a toxin. It can kill snails or anything else that eats it.

WE THINK dinos come from low nutrient systems, so most plans of attack involve keeping higher phos and nitrates in the tank and encouraging diatoms and other algaes due to the dinos being unable to "out compete" these organisms. UV is popular, but amph. usually don't go into the water column at night. Dosing phyto/adding pods can help but it'll wipe out the pods usually after they eat the dinos. There's some chemical options, like DINO X, which works, but is NUCLEAR option. It can stress/kill corals. ANYTIME i've had dinos I've always gotten rid of them the same way, no matter the strain -

1. 72 hour blackout with UV at 3x turnover directly in my tank close to the problem area (so for you, close to the bottom)
2. during blackout and after, following the "DR TIMS RECIPE" - turn your lights down for awhile, even though Dr Tim says GO BACK TO FULL LIGHTING
3. feeding PHYTO/REEF BUGS daily - I have no idea if this works or what, but it's basically "reef snow" aka bacteria (I do this anyway...regardless of what's going on in my tank)
4. after the Dr. Tims treatment is done - COPEPODS, TONS AND TONS OF COPEPODS.

Good luck!
Ive got nitrates at 10 and phosphates at .1 so I definitely could raise those to promote algae/diatoms to outcompete the dinos. I also can definitely set up a copepod colony. By UV do you refer to a UV sterilizer? Thank you for your recommendations.
 
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tanerg18

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What's your parameters? How big is the tank?

You ask for advice on dinos and you are bound to get all sorts of different advice/answers. If it truly is Amph. dinos, they are the least of the toxic dinos we usually deal with. When dinos get "eaten" or die they'll release a toxin. It can kill snails or anything else that eats it.

WE THINK dinos come from low nutrient systems, so most plans of attack involve keeping higher phos and nitrates in the tank and encouraging diatoms and other algaes due to the dinos being unable to "out compete" these organisms. UV is popular, but amph. usually don't go into the water column at night. Dosing phyto/adding pods can help but it'll wipe out the pods usually after they eat the dinos. There's some chemical options, like DINO X, which works, but is NUCLEAR option. It can stress/kill corals. ANYTIME i've had dinos I've always gotten rid of them the same way, no matter the strain -

1. 72 hour blackout with UV at 3x turnover directly in my tank close to the problem area (so for you, close to the bottom)
2. during blackout and after, following the "DR TIMS RECIPE" - turn your lights down for awhile, even though Dr Tim says GO BACK TO FULL LIGHTING
3. feeding PHYTO/REEF BUGS daily - I have no idea if this works or what, but it's basically "reef snow" aka bacteria (I do this anyway...regardless of what's going on in my tank)
4. after the Dr. Tims treatment is done - COPEPODS, TONS AND TONS OF COPEPODS.

Good luck!
It’s a 35 gallon aio.
 
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Took a look under my microscope. I hate to say it, but 99% sure it's diatoms :( Yours look exactly like mine.

Edit: Diatoms are BETTER than Dinos though (at least that seems to be my research.) Much more manageable, so maybe this isn't the worst thing?

20210726_114829.jpg 20210726_115146.jpg
 
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BanjoBandito

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Are there any other possibilities for what it is? Is there a chance that it could be some form of algae if it isn’t dinos?
"classic brown algae"

Don't buy into this sparking, clear, beautiful tank shots you see everywhere. Good tanks are a lil' dirty. I SAID A LITTLE. Enough that you can toothbrush it off when company comes over!
 
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tanerg18

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Could also be diatoms that's what it looks like to me.
Obviously I’d prefer that over dinos. Do you think that it’s still convincing enough to only be diatoms? I feel like my nutrient levels aren’t particularly high right now, which makes me think it’s dinos. I’m at 15 for nitrates and about .1 for phosphates.
 
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BanjoBandito

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Obviously I’d prefer that over dinos. Do you think that it’s still convincing enough to only be diatoms? I feel like my nutrient levels aren’t particularly high right now, which makes me think it’s dinos. I’m at 15 for nitrates and about .1 for phosphates.

While your initial comment about the "getting worse through the day/lights" made me at least entertain dinos, I'm pretty sure you don't.
 

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Obviously I’d prefer that over dinos. Do you think that it’s still convincing enough to only be diatoms? I feel like my nutrient levels aren’t particularly high right now, which makes me think it’s dinos. I’m at 15 for nitrates and about .1 for phosphates.
Diatoms are much more likely than dinos with a 3 month old tank. Ive had dinos in a mature tank I ran for years when the nutrients bottomed out and it trapped lots of air bubbles and looked like snot covering every inch of the tank. 15 is pretty high nitrates to have dinos and the phosphate could be higher with the degree of inaccuracy even on the better test kits. These are different diatoms under the microscope yours looks very similar to some pennate diatoms. Im not saying Im sure Im just saying diatoms seem more likely.
 

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tanerg18

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Diatoms are much more likely than dinos with a 3 month old tank. Ive had dinos in a mature tank I ran for years when the nutrients bottomed out and it trapped lots of air bubbles and looked like snot covering every inch of the tank. 15 is pretty high nitrates to have dinos and the phosphate could be higher with the degree of inaccuracy even on the better test kits. These are different diatoms under the microscope yours looks very similar to some pennate diatoms. Im not saying Im sure Im just saying diatoms seem more likely.
Okay thank you so much for your insight
 
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