Need help IDing algae

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optimisticdingo

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Hello everyone. My Red Sea Reefer 450 has been set up for about 2 months now and I'm having an absolute terrible struggle with some strange algae. Can you guys help me ID it?

Water Parameters (Tested Today)
pH 8.2
Ammonia 0 ppm
Nitrite 0 ppm
Nitrate 25 ppm
Phosphate 0.1 ppm
Alkalinity 8 dKh
Calcium 460 ppm

I tried a 3 day blackout and it helped but the algae has returned with a vengeance. I've cut back on feeding and have been dosing Vibrant. I did 2 doses the first week and one dose the second week. Tomorrow after a water change I plan on doing another dose. I've also dosed Chemiclean for 48 hours to no avail as well. I'm not sure if this is dinos or just a very evil strain of cyano or something else. Currently I have a Foxface, a purple firefish, an urchin and a sea hare. The urchin doesn't really eat the algae and the sea hare kind of eats it but he hasn't made a dent. The foxface picks around the algae and eats some of it. I don't really have a microscope to ID dinos but I'm thinking of ordering one.

Weird algae
 
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vetteguy53081

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Suohhen

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2 months is very young for a tank and you've already been fighting with blackouts and Vibrant? It's been a long time since I've set up a tank and I know there are claims of methods to skip the uglies but nothing works 100% in this hobby and algae is waiting for every opportunity. All I can really recommend is to slow down. I can't help but feel the story goes even deeper when I see such frustration in a thread about a 2mo tank.
Oh and it doesn't look like dinos to me but here is an easy test to rule them out. And yeah ofc a microscope is always the best tool. I just can't believe that they went from $15 for a toy and $50 for a tool, to $50 and $200 ;Panda
https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/helpful-method-for-identifying-dinoflagellates.216508/
 
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optimisticdingo

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2 months is very young for a tank and you've already been fighting with blackouts and Vibrant? It's been a long time since I've set up a tank and I know there are claims of methods to skip the uglies but nothing works 100% in this hobby and algae is waiting for every opportunity. All I can really recommend is to slow down. I can't help but feel the story goes even deeper when I see such frustration in a thread about a 2mo tank.
Oh and it doesn't look like dinos to me but here is an easy test to rule them out. And yeah ofc a microscope is always the best tool. I just can't believe that they went from $15 for a toy and $50 for a tool, to $50 and $200 ;Panda
https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/helpful-method-for-identifying-dinoflagellates.216508/
This tank is only 2 months old and I know that the ugly stage is part of a new tank but none of my other tanks have been this bad in their ugly stage
 
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Suohhen

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This tank is only 2 months old and I know that the ugly stage is part of a new tank but none of my other tanks have been this bad in their ugly stage
Yes but like I said every tank is different and one thing that changes is we come into this hobby with so much energy and we read up on everything and then the 3rd time around we have forgotten everything we learned. It is like school, no one remembers what they learned. But Vibrant def has this issue to reduce biodiversity which is the whole reason for the ugly phase. Especially for anyone who uses dry rock or sand, or God forbid both.
 
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optimisticdingo

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Yes but like I said every tank is different and one thing that changes is we come into this hobby with so much energy and we read up on everything and then the 3rd time around we have forgotten everything we learned. It is like school, no one remembers what they learned. But Vibrant def has this issue to reduce biodiversity which is the whole reason for the ugly phase. Especially for anyone who uses dry rock or sand, or God forbid both.
This go around I used live sand, dry rock. So what is the proposed solution to the problem? Just let it sit and somehow it will magically go away? I guess I'm not tracking. I get slowing down and I'm fine with that. I've got an established tank for my coral to live in and the algae isn't harming my fish so that's fine, but how is doing nothing going to help the problem?
 

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This go around I used live sand, dry rock. So what is the proposed solution to the problem? Just let it sit and somehow it will magically go away? I guess I'm not tracking. I get slowing down and I'm fine with that. I've got an established tank for my coral to live in and the algae isn't harming my fish so that's fine, but how is doing nothing going to help the problem?
Manual removal and time. Like the previous post said as well, buy a Conch snail. Mine was key in removing my nuisance algae during a slight outbreak I had.
 

Suohhen

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BRS is actually testing this atm. They have a tank with LR/dry sand, Dry rock/dry sand, and both dry. They are going to send out samples periodically to test for biodiversity. So when that gets dropped maybe we'll have some answers.
But yeah I am recommending to slow down, not stop. You are the one with eyes on the tank so you're in the best position to understand what is going on. Different types of algae behave so differently. So once you have a grasp on what it is we will have something to work off.
 
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optimisticdingo

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BRS is actually testing this atm. They have a tank with LR/dry sand, Dry rock/dry sand, and both dry. They are going to send out samples periodically to test for biodiversity. So when that gets dropped maybe we'll have some answers.
But yeah I am recommending to slow down, not stop. You are the one with eyes on the tank so you're in the best position to understand what is going on. Different types of algae behave so differently. So once you have a grasp on what it is we will have something to work off.
If Bio-Diversity is an issue should I try adding some Phyto to the tank to try and increase the Bio-Diversity? I've never dosed Phyto to this tank. For a short time I fed it reef roids when I had corals in there but when the algae got really bad I moved it to my frag tank.

Interesting note as well, I never dipped the corals before adding them back to the frag tank and the frag tank has shown no signs of algae. However, that tank is about 8 months old so it has much more Bio-Diversity. So perhaps that's the cause for the problem
 
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Suohhen

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If Bio-Diversity is an issue should I try adding some Phyto to the tank to try and increase the Bio-Diversity? I've never dosed Phyto to this tank. For a short time I fed it reef roids when I had corals in there but when the algae got really bad I moved it to my frag tank.

Interesting note as well, I never dipped the corals before adding them back to the frag tank and the frag tank has shown no signs of algae. However, that tank is about 8 months old so it has much more Bio-Diversity. So perhaps that's the cause for the problem
Ryan at BRS solved his problem by dumping a bag of Ocean Direct live sand over everything. But his tank was dry/dry and over a year and a half old. That is the only thing I've seen work. That is the hope with this new focus on biodiversity, maybe someone will drop a product to address this issue. For now it is all about fighting using the old techniques until you can dig out of it but adding some live rock could help.
 
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optimisticdingo

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Ryan at BRS solved his problem by dumping a bag of Ocean Direct live sand over everything. But his tank was dry/dry and over a year and a half old. That is the only thing I've seen work. That is the hope with this new focus on biodiversity, maybe someone will drop a product to address this issue. For now it is all about fighting using the old techniques until you can dig out of it but adding some live rock could help.
So how does vibrant kill Bio-Diversity? After all, it is a bacteria so shouldn't it increase the diversity?
 
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