Algea expert needed please

Shotscane

New member
So i have a 56 gallon tank that has been setup for over two years, over the last few weeks ive had this algea/dino/bacteria whatever it is take over my tank. From what i can gather from my research its characteristics mimic dinoflagellates with the exception of the bubbles. Its slimy and almost impossible to syphon out, got worse with a water change and grows back incrediblely quickly. Attached is a picture any help with identification would be incredibly helpful. Thanks!
 

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BryanW

New member
cut back the feeding, 10% water changes or more each week, change out GFO at least every other week or if you can afford, every 7 days. Your gonna have to go to battle and be prepared for it.
 

Capn_Crunch

New member
I don't think the GFO will be exhausted in a week. Start by testing your PO4 and change your GFO when it looks like it's no longer being effective. You could also go lights out for three days (blocking off all light into the tank). The corals will be fine, but the algae will die. It will come back though so you have to determine the root cause. How much stock do you have? How often/how much to you feed? How deep is your sand bed? Do you siphon your sand bed when you do water changes? If not, do you stir it up frequently? What do you have for a cuc? How much water flow? Can you also list your parameters? there's a lot of variables to consider.
 

2_zoa

New member
cut back the feeding, 10% water changes or more each week, change out GFO at least every other week or if you can afford, every 7 days. Your gonna have to go to battle and be prepared for it.

I don't think the GFO will be exhausted in a week. Start by testing your PO4 and change your GFO when it looks like it's no longer being effective. You could also go lights out for three days (blocking off all light into the tank). The corals will be fine, but the algae will die. It will come back though so you have to determine the root cause. How much stock do you have? How often/how much to you feed? How deep is your sand bed? Do you siphon your sand bed when you do water changes? If not, do you stir it up frequently? What do you have for a cuc? How much water flow? Can you also list your parameters? there's a lot of variables to consider.



So no ID on this then???? I'm betting on it being a bacterial growth and not an algae. Just a hunch though.

I've seen this stuff before (in another's tank) and no one had an idea of what it was. I've also seen it go from this to cyano and back again. Like the two were going head to head for whatever nutrients were available.
 

reefpatrol3

New member
I've got the same thing that just appeared in my tank. I'd like to know what it is also.

And if I need to stop dosing vinegar
 

madadi

ReefOG
if you cant easily blow it off I would imagine it isn't bacterial. you said it got worse with water changes and your tank is two years old. in that time did you change your RO filters? what kind of container do you use to store your RO water? do you clean it recently? how much vinegar do you dose per gallon of water. how old are your bulbs. hope some of these help pinpoint the problem
 

Shotscane

New member
I have had my ro unit for a year and have been checking with tds meter regularly.just recently changed the filters with tds 0. I store my water in 5gallon drinking water gallon buckets, and I've never honestly thought of cleaning them. I have reef breeder LEDs that have been running for close to a year with no issues, I have an mp10 for circulation and added another power head when this outbreak occurred.i have a dsb with cuc consistting of crabs and nausaresus snails. I run carbon and gfo in a brs duel media reactor. I just uncovered my tank after a two day blackout to find matters much worse the water is brown and cloudy and my fish look distressed any help would be wonderful
 

regalangelfish

New member
if you cant easily blow it off I would imagine it isn't bacterial. you said it got worse with water changes and your tank is two years old. in that time did you change your RO filters? what kind of container do you use to store your RO water? do you clean it recently? how much vinegar do you dose per gallon of water. how old are your bulbs. hope some of these help pinpoint the problem

+1
This is the best advice I have seen on this thread...

keep in mind that cyano can grow on algae. I never seen cyano morph into other types of bacterial growth FWIW.

This is all with 16 years exp. in the hobby so take it for what its worth.
 

regalangelfish

New member
Here's a pic of what I'm looking at


that pic looks algal based to me. have you disturbed the sand bed at all recently? Oh and try and get off GFO and carbon. do n't get me wrong there are times you need to throw some in but learning when you need them is key. I don't run them both anymore. Stop listening to vendors who sell in >bulk< who tell you and sell you a dual reactor to run all this media. always have some on hand but only use it when you need it. test your water params I would bet you have high po4. set up refugium with chaeto to outcompete with other nusance alges in the main display.
 

Shotscane

New member
Yes, I did disturb the sand bed when I did the initial water change, I have never stirred my sand bed, I've always depended on my cuc. I'm not opposed to carbon dosing I just don't know much about it. I see some research in my future. I do already have chaeto running in my sump I'm limited to a ten gallon sump so I don't have a lot but I make due with the space available. Thank you for your advice, how do I remedy myself from this current situation. Massive water change or let it run it's coarse
 

rgulrich

greybeard
Okay, you're in "gotta fix it now" mode, so might as well roll up your sleeves and get to it.

First, vigorous particulate filtration. If your filter system has a place to put a Polyfilter or some such as the first stage, go ahead and do it. Clean the sponge used for a bubble trap in the sump if you have one, get a filter sponge in the sump before return pump if you don't. Adjust your skimmer to a "slightly wet" skim to pull as much out on each pass as possible. Remember you're going to have to keep up with adding some additional saltwater during this period.
If you happen to have something like a Marineland Hang On Tank Magnum or an old Diatom filter or some such, this would clear the water pretty darn quick in your set up. nice to have one on the side for occasional water polishing if desired.

That's the first "step".

Second, if you can prep enough water for a healthy water change, say about 50%, do so. Let it mix for 24 hrs to stabilize and match temperature before the water change.

Do you use particulate filter media of any kind? Sponge for a bubble trap in your sump? Polyfilter or some such? If so, during the water change, change out/thoroughly clean the particulate filter. Again. Perhaps twice a day. If you have -any- other filter media, such as bio balls, ceramic stars or some such, this is a great time to rinse them out in a -saltwater- bucket as well.

While I see you're not, if you were dosing any carbon sources (vinegar, sugar, vodka, biopellets in a reactor, etc.): stop, pull the reactor(s)/dosers from the system, clean them and let them sit to the side until things get stable in the aquarium again. If you are dosing Kalk in your top off, I think it may be a good idea to continue as it has a tendency to bind phosphates.

Do the water change, use a clean particulate filter, and don't feed the aquarium for a day or two (believe me, they can handle it). Consider hooking up activated carbon and/or Polyfilter to pull organics out of solution. Observe the inhabitants.

Maintain vigorous particulate filtration over the next few days, and things should stabilize very quickly.
 

regalangelfish

New member
Yes, I did disturb the sand bed when I did the initial water change, I have never stirred my sand bed, I've always depended on my cuc. I'm not opposed to carbon dosing I just don't know much about it. I see some research in my future. I do already have chaeto running in my sump I'm limited to a ten gallon sump so I don't have a lot but I make due with the space available. Thank you for your advice, how do I remedy myself from this current situation. Massive water change or let it run it's coarse

disturbing the sand bed >MAY< have released nutrients and detritus causing some sort of algal bloom. what did it smell like when you did this? was it a rotten egg smell or no smell at all?

as others have said here and I agree dilution is your freind :) water changes is key. however I caution against doing large water changes. That >MAY< do more harm than good. I prefer no more than %30-%35 water changes every week. That is aggressive as it is. In other words its better IMHO to do more frequest smaller water changes than one or two massive ones. More than %35 is way too much IMO. In addition to this blowing off detritus from your rock prior to every water change is also advisable. I also can tell you from personal expierience that siphoning the sand bed is a good way to keep the sand bed healthy. >causion< should be used here... when doing so pick a small section per week about 10% area of the total sand bed of your aquarium). siphon this area out as a part of your water change and leave the other areas alone. Now when you siphon pay close attention not to disturb the bed too much. focus on trying to take out the gunk in one are at a time rather than moving thorugh an large area. Focus on capturing as much stuff as you can without allowing it to dissapate into your tank. this can be done by squeezing the hose to control the flow through it as you are siphoning.

the use of filter floss or polyester floss is a good thing while disturbing the sand bed and so is carbon during this process. However I would remove carbon after about a week once you have everything back under control.

AVOID adding any supplimentation. kalk is fine but stop everything else for now. also you could try shutting the lights for two days. corals wont mind. they mind the algae in the water more. as someone suggested and is correct when experiencing algal blooms you should stop carbon dosing on the tank or better slow it way down through the use of recirculating pellet reactor. However, I disagree with washing it off and taking it completely off line as that will kill all benefitial bacteria you work so hard to grow.

I would also suggest picking up test kits to see where your No3 is and Po4 as well as monitoring other parms are crucial. hope that helped!
 
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