Killer Green Film Algae

Deltec

tanked4u

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Hello Reef2Reef,

I have been struggling with a case of killer green film algae (see attached photo) for about the past 4 months. I just can't seem to kick it. So far, I have lost 3 corals to it, and it looks like my large zoa colony will be the next to go.

Background
My 32g BioCube has been up and running for about 3 years. Over the years, I think I have experienced just about every type of algae at some point (e.g., dinos, green hair, bubble, and film to name a few). Historically, my approach has been to just keep up with my 5g weekly water changes and let it works itself out. I tried to keep the same approach with this outbreak, but it seems to be getting worse instead of better.

The tank has a rather deep sand bed to support a yellow jawfish, who was a previous resident. Unfortunately, the royal gramma harassed him to death, so the jawfish is gone but the sand bed is still present. I try to keep the sand bed clean during my weekly water changes, but I suspect it became polluted over the years.

I believe the trigger for this film algae outbreak was the addition of a yellow watchman goby and tiger pistol shrimp about 4 months ago. The fish and shrimp are doing really well, but the shrimp is CONSTANTLY digging. I suspect his daily shifting of the substrate is unlocking nutrients which were previously not exposed. Perhaps it is also disrupting the nitrifying bacteria?

Bio-Load
2 clowns
1 royal gramma
1 watchman goby
1 tiger pistol shrimp
1 tuxedo urchin
1 emerald crab
8 Nassarius vibex snails
9 Florida Ceriths snails
8 Nerites snails

Filtration/Equipment
Tunze nano skimmer
inTank Media with carbon, GFO, and filter floss
MightyJet return pump
Hydro wavemaker

Parameters
Temp: 78
Salinity: 1.028
pH: 8.2
Nitrate: ~0
Phosphate: 0.5
Calcium: 450
Magnesium: 1350
Alkalinity: 10.2
White light runs for 7.5 hrs.

I believe the low nitrate and phosphates may be misleading. I think the film algae that grows every day is soaking up the nutrients.

Previous Mitigation Actions
I added Vibrant two nights ago, but I have not seen any impact yet on the film algae. I will say the skimmer seems to fill up quicker now.

I swap out the filter floss every other night.

I religiously do a 5 gallon water change weekly with RO/DI water. I have been doing this for the life of the tank.

I blast the rocks and corals every night with a turkey baster and clean the glass. Until about 3 weeks ago, this seemed to keep the worst of it at bay, but it is starting to overrun all the corals.

About 2 weeks ago, I started to really reduce my feeding. I was never a heavy feeder, but now the gang is on real low cal diet.

I went to my LFS. They said I should try Chemi-Clean. I'm willing to give it a shot, but I really don't think it is going to do anything. I'm pretty sure I'm dealing with a plant, not a bacteria. I did purchase 3 astrea snails and will add them to the tank tonight.

Tentative Plan
- Keep up with the weekly 5g water changes and filter floss changes every other day.

- Continue to blast the rocks every night with the turkey baster and clean the glass.

- Continue with the Vibrant

- Reduce white light to 6 hours

- Maintain low feeding levels for the fish.

Suggestions

I read about rip cleaning the sand, but it would be a major project. I would really like to avoid tearing the whole tank apart if possible.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Anything I am missing?

Thank you in advance!

GreenFilmAlgae - Copy.jpg
 
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Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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You should rip clean that nano it’ll likely help better than anything you can do. Clean the sand, rocks, new water. Doesn’t recycle

heres two of them:



we have four hundred more examples they’re all the same moves. Those two are best


notice how we cleaned sand, by taking the entire tank apart and cleaning it. They way it’s been cleaned so far mixes around waste, this way above removes the waste in one pass.
 

sfin52

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It has resemblance to dino i would stop the vibrant dosing. I would raise the nitrates to about 10.
Hows the flow in the area that is having established the fastest.
I agree a rip clean is not a bad idea.
 
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tanked4u

tanked4u

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The flow is overall pretty good in the tank, but I may try cranking the MightyJet Desktop AIO DC Return Pump (326 GPH) to the max setting.

I have had dinos in the past, and this seems fairly different. The algae is very green, and it is growing all over the glass. Also, the CUC is not dead, and they were almost completely wiped out when I had dinos.
 
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sfin52

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The flow is over all pretty good in the tank, but I may try cranking the MightyJet Desktop AIO DC Return Pump (326 GPH) to the max setting.
It may be lower than you think in those areas.
 
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brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Keep in mind: every doser used, every param adjusted to hopefully attack the attacker, is a mass compounder

it’s killing mass and relocating it to the rock pores and sandbed, the circle


guess what interrupts that process
 
Deltec

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