Is this red algae? How do I get rid of it?

marktheminnow

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I’ve had a 29 gallon Biocube for over 14 years. It’s been a reef tank the whole time and I used to put clowns and anemones along with a LOT of live rock in it but the anemones never lasted very long so I switched over to soft corals with just one small percula clown and a watchman goby. They’ve been in there for four years. I didn’t think they’d live that long. Anyway, I pretty much lost interest in the tank about three years ago and quit doing ALL maintenance. No water changes, no filter cleaning - nothing! As the water evaporated I would add water from my under sink water filtration system and feed a little every three days or so. Miraculously, not only did all the corals and clown and goby live but they thrived, especially the Kenya trees! They spread ALL over and took over some corals so I have since removed many of them. Anyway.

So, I moved a month ago and had to move the tank. I put almost all the water in 5 gallon plastic jugs and moved the aquarium with everything in it intact. When I got to the new house I added the 15 gallons of water back and everything was fine but I noticed my very old heavy LED system (that cost me like $600 a long time ago) was failing in that some of the blue lights were not coming on. I tried to fix it but instead broke it. So, I looked on Amazon and lo and behold I found an amazing Nicrew 20 watt 72 LED light system for $40! It’s amazing. I liked it so much I went out and bought a small new diamond goby, a couple big turbo snails, a couple more hermit crabs and a few frags of soft corals. A few days later, i started to notice some (I think) red algae. It’s been growing like crazy ever since. I did some research and read that only Trochus and Cerith snails will eat red algae so I went and bought a couple of each along with a couple more hermit crabs along with a purple pseudochromus. He/she was too darn pretty to pass up! Anyway, back to my problem. Can anyone offer any solutions? I’m getting worried about the corals dying off bc of all the red algae (I think) growth. I will add that I was probably feeding a little more frequently and a bit more quantity.

IMG_2679.jpeg IMG_2680.jpeg IMG_2681.jpeg IMG_2678.png
 

Dan_P

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I’ve had a 29 gallon Biocube for over 14 years. It’s been a reef tank the whole time and I used to put clowns and anemones along with a LOT of live rock in it but the anemones never lasted very long so I switched over to soft corals with just one small percula clown and a watchman goby. They’ve been in there for four years. I didn’t think they’d live that long. Anyway, I pretty much lost interest in the tank about three years ago and quit doing ALL maintenance. No water changes, no filter cleaning - nothing! As the water evaporated I would add water from my under sink water filtration system and feed a little every three days or so. Miraculously, not only did all the corals and clown and goby live but they thrived, especially the Kenya trees! They spread ALL over and took over some corals so I have since removed many of them. Anyway.

So, I moved a month ago and had to move the tank. I put almost all the water in 5 gallon plastic jugs and moved the aquarium with everything in it intact. When I got to the new house I added the 15 gallons of water back and everything was fine but I noticed my very old heavy LED system (that cost me like $600 a long time ago) was failing in that some of the blue lights were not coming on. I tried to fix it but instead broke it. So, I looked on Amazon and lo and behold I found an amazing Nicrew 20 watt 72 LED light system for $40! It’s amazing. I liked it so much I went out and bought a small new diamond goby, a couple big turbo snails, a couple more hermit crabs and a few frags of soft corals. A few days later, i started to notice some (I think) red algae. It’s been growing like crazy ever since. I did some research and read that only Trochus and Cerith snails will eat red algae so I went and bought a couple of each along with a couple more hermit crabs along with a purple pseudochromus. He/she was too darn pretty to pass up! Anyway, back to my problem. Can anyone offer any solutions? I’m getting worried about the corals dying off bc of all the red algae (I think) growth. I will add that I was probably feeding a little more frequently and a bit more quantity.

IMG_2679.jpeg IMG_2680.jpeg IMG_2681.jpeg IMG_2678.png
This might be cyanobacteria, an organism that can be a pest in any age aquarium, but most likely to grow vigorously in newer ones.
 
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marktheminnow

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This might be cyanobacteria, an organism that can be a pest in any age aquarium, but most likely to grow vigorously in newer ones.
The only things that have changed are new lights and the addition of a small diamond goby that sifts sand of course and should be detritus neutral or beneficial right? Well, I also added a few snails and hermit crabs.
 
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marktheminnow

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... you disturbed the entire system when you moved it. How cloudy was the water after you added it back?
Actually, the tank was fine after the move. The water was clear within an hour. I’m thinking it’s the much stronger lights and more feeding bc I have more inhabitants. Could that be it? If so, I know I should cut down on feeding but I only feed every other day and what should I do about the lights. I run 7 hours of white and blue and two hours of blue which builds up to 100% then fades to zero % in two hours.
 

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We should be able to feed our tanks heavy if need be without fear of cyano bacteria. I have Anthias and a Copperband Butterfly which need multiple feedings per day. Also a friendly tip. You shouldn’t really feed your fish every 48 hours. Clown fish aren’t really good live rock grazers. Once a day is ideal. As far as your red slime is concerned: purchase a small jar of Chemi Clean and follow the directions. Vacuum your sand/gravel at least monthly. And try not to have any dead spots in your tank, re: flow. Good luck.
 
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marktheminnow

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We should be able to feed our tanks heavy if need be without fear of cyano bacteria. I have Anthias and a Copperband Butterfly which need multiple feedings per day. Also a friendly tip. You shouldn’t really feed your fish every 48 hours. Clown fish aren’t really good live rock grazers. Once a day is ideal. As far as your red slime is concerned: purchase a small jar of Chemi Clean and follow the directions. Vacuum your sand/gravel at least monthly. And try not to have any dead spots in your tank, re: flow. Good luck.
My local LFS owner told me, “ please don’t feed your tank every day, every other day or every third day is fine” and that’s what I’ve been doing the past four years with a lot of success. Also, I’ve researched the additives that remove red algae. It seems they only cure the symptoms and the source of the problem. Additionally, isn’t there a risk of killing off the good bacteria and throwing off the bacteria balance altogether?
 

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My local LFS owner told me, “ please don’t feed your tank every day, every other day or every third day is fine” and that’s what I’ve been doing the past four years with a lot of success. Also, I’ve researched the additives that remove red algae. It seems they only cure the symptoms and the source of the problem. Additionally, isn’t there a risk of killing off the good bacteria and throwing off the bacteria balance altogether?
So here is my thinking on the subject. My desire is to have a “reef” tank as close to coral reefs as I possibly can. Fish in the reefs are not feeding once every two or three days, they’re eating, scavenging searching for food constantly. It’s rare for them to eat in the wild the way we feed them, daily broadcasts of meats and plant matter. They do get an occasional whale carcass up current that feeds a feast to their area for a day or two but then it’s back to pods and worms and plants etc. on the nutrient rich live rock that we could only wish for in our reef tanks. I feed my tank twice a day as I have Anthias and a Copperband Butterfly. Multiple feedings daily is a real things with these fish and others or they’ll starve. Granted my clowns, tangs and wrasses etc love the extra food. So one’s success is limited if feeding only once every two or three days when it comes to livestock choices. Lastly, I’ve seen underfed clowns, gobies and tangs etc. in tanks that I’ve helped to maintain in the Phoenix metro area over the past 4 plus
years. Seeing these tanks just once a week or once a month lead me to believe there’s neglect when I see undernourished fish. So very long story short, (sorry about that) 48 to 72 hour between feedings in our enclosed ecosystems is not as reef like as we and our fish might want.
As far as Chemi Clean, I use it when needed which is almost never. Like once every 2 years maybe. It’s gone in 2 days, a quick water
change and it’s good to go. Never noticed any issues or evidence of beneficial bacteria disappearing. Obviously your call on all this. There are many opinions and experiences on this forum that lead to a successful reef as crazy as that is. Lol
 
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marktheminnow

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So here is my thinking on the subject. My desire is to have a “reef” tank as close to coral reefs as I possibly can. Fish in the reefs are not feeding once every two or three days, they’re eating, scavenging searching for food constantly. It’s rare for them to eat in the wild the way we feed them, daily broadcasts of meats and plant matter. They do get an occasional whale carcass up current that feeds a feast to their area for a day or two but then it’s back to pods and worms and plants etc. on the nutrient rich live rock that we could only wish for in our reef tanks. I feed my tank twice a day as I have Anthias and a Copperband Butterfly. Multiple feedings daily is a real things with these fish and others or they’ll starve. Granted my clowns, tangs and wrasses etc love the extra food. So one’s success is limited if feeding only once every two or three days when it comes to livestock choices. Lastly, I’ve seen underfed clowns, gobies and tangs etc. in tanks that I’ve helped to maintain in the Phoenix metro area over the past 4 plus
years. Seeing these tanks just once a week or once a month lead me to believe there’s neglect when I see undernourished fish. So very long story short, (sorry about that) 48 to 72 hour between feedings in our enclosed ecosystems is not as reef like as we and our fish might want.
As far as Chemi Clean, I use it when needed which is almost never. Like once every 2 years maybe. It’s gone in 2 days, a quick water
change and it’s good to go. Never noticed any issues or evidence of beneficial bacteria disappearing. Obviously your call on all this. There are many opinions and experiences on this forum that lead to a successful reef as crazy as that is. Lol
Thank you so much for the great info. I’m going to get some chemi clean and give it a try. I’ll do more research on the proper feeding frequency for my particular fish. Cheers!
 

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