brown algae? Diatoms? help 6 weeks of misary and counting

Kovdad

New member
well here goes 90gal 15 gal sump 2 1300gph powerheads 1 500gph powerhead 70-80lbs of rock overflow box with a 690gph return pump, asm mini-g skimmer, currently running a brs dual media reactor (gfo/carbon).4 bulb t5 light 2 10k and 2 antic

well I guess it started 6 weeks or so ago this brown algae or diatoms not sure this tank has been running since October of last year before this brown stuff I was feeling good about the tank and my direction and for the last few weeks am kinda down I really don't want to put anything new in the tank till it clears up. I have 2 damals 2 cardinal one yellow tang and a clownfish now I had 3 emeal crabs maybe 10 hermit crabs 6 big turbo snails 10 small snails and a couple of those snails that go in the sand bed that was about 3 weeks ago now 2 emeal crabls died and maybe 6 hermit crabs died now. I added that reactor 3 weeks ago. sorry its long winded my question is what is that brown stuff and how can I be proactive and get rid of it because 6 weeks im done with it looks like bad
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:headwally:
 

Kovdad

New member
well just tested them nitrates are 20ppm and phosphates are 0ppm and the water I've been using is from a rodi unit its also new maybe 2 months old
 

JWClark

New member
Just some thoughts:

1. Tank seems pretty heavily stocked for just 6 months in.
2. Definitely need a larger clean up crew. Also, looks like your sand is way too coarse for the sand burrowing snails (assume you mean nessarius).
3. You probably need more live rock. How much are you feeding the fish?

Really only time will get you past this but you really need to be on top of the nutrient input and the capacity of your biological filter (liverock) to handle it.
 

dan_k

New member
I would cut back on the feeding maybe a half cube every 3 days your fish will be fine also a. 90gal tank the rock is fine lbs wise I would maybe add 1-2 more power heads more flow the better and when you do your water changes gravel vac but only a little at a time you should be doing 20% every other week
This is just my suggestions good luck
 

tkeracer619

Premium Member
The rock substrate in your tank wasn't the best choice. It is likely full of the bad.

I hate to suggest something so radical but I would swap out your gravel for some sand.

I doubt it will solve the issue short term but I do believe it will help long term. Likely your rock is loaded with phosphates. It tests zero because the bacteria is using it rapidly.

That thread is a good read.

Don't give up, the tank will be great once again and you will regain that confidence. We ALL have gone through this at some point or another. Those who say they haven't are either lying or haven't been in the hobby that long. This hobby can break you down physically and mentally. How you prepare for it determines if you are going to stick around or give up.
 

2_zoa

New member
well just tested them nitrates are 20ppm and phosphates are 0ppm and the water I've been using is from a rodi unit its also new maybe 2 months old

I think you have cyano.

What test kits are you using?
What were the phosphates before you added the reactor?

Interesting to me that the thread linked didn't give any tank values?? Unless I missed them...

Also, you have a skimmer rated for 75 gallons on your 90 gallon display with a 15 gallon sump? What is your total water volume? While I think more differently about skimmer's then most, I do think you under bought. I don't think you need more rock. If more rock helps you, then this issue will happen again latter on. Your system to me, has become imbalanced. The real issue here is you need to export more. All the increased water change's will do is clear up the tank for a small amount of time IMO. Just like adding more rock will do. If, your ok with changing out lots of water all the time. Then go that route. The rock will become a sink for the issue and, will be over taken in time.

Root cause.......You must export more. How? Up to you. There are lots of ways. I know my post is long and on the surface provides zero insight on how to help you or to solve the issue. It's to make you think about what you have and what you want, and how you want to get there.
 

Stolireef

Active member
I think you have cyano.


Interesting to me that the thread linked didn't give any tank values?? Unless I missed them...

IMNO (as always). Actually, if you think about it, the tank levels don't matter much. If you have cyano at that level, you have excess nutrients. No real need to test for them, especially on a newer tank. Once you have reduced the nutrients sufficiently to eliminate the cyano, then you can test to ensure that your levels stay low.
 

2_zoa

New member
IMNO (as always). Actually, if you think about it, the tank levels don't matter much. If you have cyano at that level, you have excess nutrients. No real need to test for them, especially on a newer tank. Once you have reduced the nutrients sufficiently to eliminate the cyano, then you can test to ensure that your levels stay low.

While I would agree that the levels won't be accurate nor will they tell you that there is a problem. You already know there is one. They will tell you where you are deficient and you can then bring things back into balance. Which is why I asked what the values were before. Which you chose to remove from the quote?
 

Stolireef

Active member
While I would agree that the levels won't be accurate nor will they tell you that there is a problem. You already know there is one. They will tell you where you are deficient and you can then bring things back into balance. Which is why I asked what the values were before. Which you chose to remove from the quote?

Completely agree and didn't mean to misquote you. Sorry for the error, I just find endless requotes annoying. No slight intended.

That said, we know for certain that there are excess nitrates (and likely phosphates) in the water. Ca, Mg, kH, etc. won't change this fact nor will adjusting them solve the diatom/cyano problem.

I regularly track the basic parameters in my tank for exactly the reason you cite.
 

Kovdad

New member
so if I am interpreting correctly the substrate is too coarse causing nutrients to get stuck in the substrate there for due to my lack of sand sifting and substrate cleaner I can export those nutrients from my tank? now for course of action I was thinking could I rather then remove all substrate could I brake the tank floor into maybe 5 or 6 section and vacuum substrate then add a finer substrate to current substrate and do you guys think that's something that could work maybe a section a week?

I would just like to say thanks for any input I really appreciate taking the time to read and answer my question if anyone ever has car question inbox me ill try to help lol
 

Kovdad

New member
reefermike1 the owner of my lfs told me about chemiclean few months ago when I was asking him about some stuff when I was thinking about getting a bigger tank but I forgot all about it till now I may have to look into that tho I would like to remedy this problem immediately I think I have to address few other things so this doesn't happen again
 

stingeragent

New member
It's sorta hard to tell from the pics. Could it be cyano bacteria? If you pick at it, does it kinda float or no? I have cyano bacteria in my 20 reef and it looks similar to yours and its a nightmare.
 

reefermike1

New member
reefermike1 the owner of my lfs told me about chemiclean few months ago when I was asking him about some stuff when I was thinking about getting a bigger tank but I forgot all about it till now I may have to look into that tho I would like to remedy this problem immediately I think I have to address few other things so this doesn't happen again

It looks like cyano to me. I've dosed chemi-clean in the past with nothing but positive results. Just follow the directions on the box and if it is cyano it will be completely gone within 2 days.

You still should work to correct your nutrient issues or the chemiclean will only be a bandaid and much harder to eliminate algaes will take hold in its place.
 
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Every1jockzjay

New member
My brother in law had chaeto in his sump and we couldnt figure out whyyy he had he same briwn algae for months... When he swapped tanks and took out the chaeto it crumbled and was dead... The chaeto was leaching nutrients the whole time
 
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