Diatom or Dino??

djm

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Hi all,

my tank has been running for about 2 months now and in the last couple of days I have had an outbreak of algae.
At first I thought this was just the diatom stage as I haven’t had any yet, but I notice some stringy down bits growing on my rock today.
This stuff is growing really rapidly, I vacuumed my sand today to clear all the brown off and within around 4 hours it’s showing up again.
Is this diatom or something else, perhaps Dino?

680769D5-559D-4213-83C3-D16AEBF87932.jpeg 77A29746-B206-43ED-8ABD-008F98D3CA9A.jpeg 89938DE9-4898-4779-AFC6-3DAA7AC86A5A.jpeg
 

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Evening,

Rock work looks great. I would say diatom they way it looks. Keep up regular maintenance and should pass. A cheap turkey baster is a great thing to keep for a reef tank also. You can use it to blow off stuff like that from rock and coral
 
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djm

djm

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Evening,

Rock work looks great. I would say diatom they way it looks. Keep up regular maintenance and should pass. A cheap turkey baster is a great thing to keep for a reef tank also. You can use it to blow off stuff like that from rock and coral
Hi, thanks for your advice. I’m currently doing about a 30% water change each weekend to keep the maintenance going.

I’m really pleased with the rock work, I used TMC EcoReef Rock so basically man made rock. I think it actually looks nicer now it has some growth on it.
 

attiland

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Hi all,

my tank has been running for about 2 months now and in the last couple of days I have had an outbreak of algae.
At first I thought this was just the diatom stage as I haven’t had any yet, but I notice some stringy down bits growing on my rock today.
This stuff is growing really rapidly, I vacuumed my sand today to clear all the brown off and within around 4 hours it’s showing up again.
Is this diatom or something else, perhaps Dino?

680769D5-559D-4213-83C3-D16AEBF87932.jpeg 77A29746-B206-43ED-8ABD-008F98D3CA9A.jpeg 89938DE9-4898-4779-AFC6-3DAA7AC86A5A.jpeg
Algae all I can see. Nothing to worry about. I would put a couple of snails and hermits to keep it in check.
 
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djm

djm

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Algae all I can see. Nothing to worry about. I would put a couple of snails and hermits to keep it in check.
Thanks, I have 3 hermits in a 60 litre tank (16gal) at the moment. They don’t seem to be making much of an impact on the algae. Perhaps I should add a few more?
 

attiland

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Thanks, I have 3 hermits in a 60 litre tank (16gal) at the moment. They don’t seem to be making much of an impact on the algae. Perhaps I should add a few more?
My experience is the hermits are very specific about what they eat. They do an excellent job on what they like. Less visible cousins of them can make a dent in there though. I am referring to pods. Introduce them and they will replace quickly and work at night so you won’t really see them. Fish will eat the brave one’s coming out at daytime.
Snails are hardcore eaters but very sensitive to water chemistry and in a new tank they often don’t survive for long.
We can’t call your tank’s state as outbreak of any sorts.
 

ScottB

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This is just one of the "ugly" phases that you just need to patient with for the next 10 months or so. Perfectly cool to keep inquiring about the next, and the next, and.. ugly phase. Resist the urge to intervene though. Your biome has several iterations to get through before it all settles down. Totally natural and expected to go through different looking phases.

Question: How did you arrive at the conclusion to change 30% each week? That is not a method I am familiar with unless you are severely overstocked on fish and/or corals.
 
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djm

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This is just one of the "ugly" phases that you just need to patient with for the next 10 months or so. Perfectly cool to keep inquiring about the next, and the next, and.. ugly phase. Resist the urge to intervene though. Your biome has several iterations to get through before it all settles down. Totally natural and expected to go through different looking phases.

Question: How did you arrive at the conclusion to change 30% each week? That is not a method I am familiar with unless you are severely overstocked on fish and/or corals.
Hi Scott,

thanks for your advice.
Regarding the 30% water change, I recently put two small Ocellaris clownfish in, these guys are about an inch in size (so total stock is only 2 clowns, 3 hermits). My nitrates have been high, I’d say 75 ppm. I tried a 10% water change as this is what I had in mind that my weekly maintenance would be but it didn’t make a dent in reducing the Nitrate so I’ve stepped it up to 30% in an effort to get these down.
 

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Hi Scott,

thanks for your advice.
Regarding the 30% water change, I recently put two small Ocellaris clownfish in, these guys are about an inch in size (so total stock is only 2 clowns, 3 hermits). My nitrates have been high, I’d say 75 ppm. I tried a 10% water change as this is what I had in mind that my weekly maintenance would be but it didn’t make a dent in reducing the Nitrate so I’ve stepped it up to 30% in an effort to get these down.
Got it. Yeah, 75 is a bit racy so I am not so confused. Do you know what your phosphates are like? If you are PO4 limited, your nitrates can run high. The bacteria that process nitrates (ultimately to nitrogen) need some PO4.
 
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Hi Scott,

thanks for your advice.
Regarding the 30% water change, I recently put two small Ocellaris clownfish in, these guys are about an inch in size (so total stock is only 2 clowns, 3 hermits). My nitrates have been high, I’d say 75 ppm. I tried a 10% water change as this is what I had in mind that my weekly maintenance would be but it didn’t make a dent in reducing the Nitrate so I’ve stepped it up to 30% in an effort to get these down.
What would cause nitrates to be 75ppm after two months? From what I read this is pretty much toxic levels to fish
 
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Hi All,

Ok, we are 2 months on now and I’m still battling algae in my tank. I’m not 100% sure which type this is but it seems to be irritating my zoas.
The algae goes away on the sand bed over night and then is back after a few hours of the lights being on, it also dies back on the rocks. I can blow it off of the rocks using a turkey baster and it comes off in sheets same with the back wall. It seems to stick to the sand and clumps together when blown with a turkey baster. I also get a brown film on the glass

parameters are;

salinity 1.024sg
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 2.5
Phosphate 0

anyone got any ideas?
Thanks
 

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attiland

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Hi All,

Ok, we are 2 months on now and I’m still battling algae in my tank. I’m not 100% sure which type this is but it seems to be irritating my zoas.
The algae goes away on the sand bed over night and then is back after a few hours of the lights being on, it also dies back on the rocks. I can blow it off of the rocks using a turkey baster and it comes off in sheets same with the back wall. It seems to stick to the sand and clumps together when blown with a turkey baster. I also get a brown film on the glass

parameters are;

salinity 1.024sg
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 2.5
Phosphate 0

anyone got any ideas?
Thanks
Dis you have a look at this under microscope?
One of the pictures looks like Dino but you can be sure only after checking it under microscope.
phosphate is 0 is not a good sign.
 

ScottB

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Hi All,

Ok, we are 2 months on now and I’m still battling algae in my tank. I’m not 100% sure which type this is but it seems to be irritating my zoas.
The algae goes away on the sand bed over night and then is back after a few hours of the lights being on, it also dies back on the rocks. I can blow it off of the rocks using a turkey baster and it comes off in sheets same with the back wall. It seems to stick to the sand and clumps together when blown with a turkey baster. I also get a brown film on the glass

parameters are;

salinity 1.024sg
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 2.5
Phosphate 0

anyone got any ideas?
Thanks
Given that it "goes away" overnight, we can rule out aquarium algae pretty much. More likely a dinoflagellate species or two. Search around here for "coffee filter test" to get a yes/no on dinos. If yes, then time for a cheap, 400X student microscope and some video from your phone.

How are you testing for phosphate? If Hanna ULR says 0, then you need to get that up by dosing or adding more fish poo.

Lastly, you no longer need to test for nitrites or ammonia as your tank is done cycling. If you have sick/dying fish then you should test again but otherwise no need.
 
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djm

djm

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Given that it "goes away" overnight, we can rule out aquarium algae pretty much. More likely a dinoflagellate species or two. Search around here for "coffee filter test" to get a yes/no on dinos. If yes, then time for a cheap, 400X student microscope and some video from your phone.

How are you testing for phosphate? If Hanna ULR says 0, then you need to get that up by dosing or adding more fish poo.

Lastly, you no longer need to test for nitrites or ammonia as your tank is done cycling. If you have sick/dying fish then you should test again but otherwise no need.
Hi Scott,

thanks I will have a search.
mum using Salifert Phosphate test kit, I was leaning towards dinos so have been trying to raise my levels by dosing Seachem Flourish Phosphorus. I raise it to 0.1ppm then next day it’s back to 0.
 
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djm

djm

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Dis you have a look at this under microscope?
One of the pictures looks like Dino but you can be sure only after checking it under microscope.
phosphate is 0 is not a good sign.
Unfortunately I don’t have a microscope available, may need to invest in one
 
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djm

djm

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Here is a picture after the lights have been on around 6 hours.
 

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ScottB

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Hi Scott,

thanks I will have a search.
mum using Salifert Phosphate test kit, I was leaning towards dinos so have been trying to raise my levels by dosing Seachem Flourish Phosphorus. I raise it to 0.1ppm then next day it’s back to 0.
Totally normal. In a depleted system, your rock and sand (aragonite) will continue to bind up the phosphorus until it saturates. Double down on the dose for a few days.

For ultra low PO4 readings, Hanna ULR is the only reliable tool.
 

attiland

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You should be able to pick up a decent student scope for 50 quid or so. This is mine.
You also can pick it up used on eBay for half price.

Unfortunately I don’t have a microscope available, may need to invest in one
One of the bests investments you will make. Will come handy a number of times later too

post a picture once you have one. You can use your camera of your mobile.
 
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