New member
I recently installed 2 sea swirls on my tank and a ReefresH20 9"x9"x4" block in my sump next to my skimmer. I am getting more bubbles in my tank than I have ever gotten before the sea swirl install. I am now fighting a bryopsis algae and now a brown I think type of cyano algae. it's not red slime algae its brown. My Fowlers and bariene tang eat it but it's growing and covering my rocks like crazy. I have had the tank running for over 3 years now, but recently changed the rock work around and removed 4 inches of sand about a month ago. now I have a bare bottom tank except in a few places where it is about a half inch deep where my engineer gobies and diamond goby eat and hang around. I don't know what could be causing the bubbles and don't know if the bubbles are creating the brown slime algae. I only dealt with the brown slime when I first set up my tank 3 years ago and used red slime algae remover and it went away. anybody use sea swirls and have a bubble problem or is the ReefresH20 block causing or adding to the bubble problem? Please help. At a lost of words. I even turey baste the rocks clean from the slime algae and it comes right back the next day. Nitrates are at 15ppm and have dropped from 20 ppm but the Nitrates have been at 20 for well over 4 months now and did not have the slime algae.
Cyanobacteria will produce bubbles on their surfaces. Bubbles in the water column and bubbles on the surface of cyanobacteria are two different things.

There are a lot of hobbyists in your same position. Reducing your nitrate and phosphate levels to a zero reading will help in getting rid of many type of algae pests. IME, reducing nitrate and phosphate levels too low can kill or cause problems for many types of coral. Running GAC & GFO will all help in reducing the growth of these type of pests. In many cases they will not eradicate the pest. Vodka dosing will help reduce the nitrate and phosphate levels also, but will not necessarily eradicate the pest either.

A common problem is being able to identify your pest to a catagory correctly: true algae, cyano, dino, bacteria & other assorted pests that look similar. In many cases a micro look at your pest is best to properly ID it to one of these catagories.

IMHO, if you are faced with an algal type pest problem, it is best to implement an algae pest control program strategy:

1) Wet skimming with a good quality skimmer. Clean your skimmer cup at least once per week.

2) Reduce your nitrates and phosphates to a zero reading using the hobby grade test kits. See Randy's articles regarding this:

Phosphate and the Reef Aquarium

Nitrate in the Reef Aquarium

3) Proper lighting. I find that the higher wavelength bulbs are less conducive to algae growth. I now run 20,000 K bulbs from using 10,000 K bulbs.

4) Proper day length is a good thing also. I would not run your lights for more than 12 hrs total. Keep in mind that light entering from a window nearby is added to this figure.

5) Running GAC is a good practice in my book. It will help reduce the total dissolved organic carbons in your tank water and this is a food source.

6) Proper 30% per month total water changes will help export the DOC as well as some of the pests in the water column. It will help maintain the micro-nutrients as well.

7) Physical removal of the pest by hand, scrubbing and siphoning is important as well. If the amount of pest in your aquarium is overwhelming, perhaps dealing with one section at a time is a better idea.

8) Proper water circulation in your tank to prevent dead zones. When dealing with cyanobacteria pests increasing the flow where it grows seems to help.

9) Use RODI water for all top-off, salt mixing, additive mixes... etc.

10) Dosing iron may have benefits for macro-algae, but if you are experiencing algae pest problems than I would stop dosing it as it can add to the problem in many cases.

11) If you are dosing other supplements such as vitamins, amino acids, or others that contain a mix of supplements other than the basic alk., calcium and magnesium, I would stop these until you gain control of your pest. This includes many of the store bought products with unknown ingredients. Dosing Vodka or sugar to reduce your nitrates and phosphates would be an exception in my opinion.

12) Proper feeding habits. This can be the number one problem when trying to reduce your nitrate and phosphate levels. Use low phosphate fish foods.

13) IMHO, lighted refugiums may be a problem when trying to deal with an algae type pest problem. They are wonderful when it comes to reducing nitrates and phosphates. However, the light over most refugiums is conducive to the microalgae type pests. If the refugium becomes infested with a microalgae pest, I would clean it throughly of all pests as best as possible, remove the macro and turn off the lights until you gain control of your pest. Re-using the same macroalgae later may serve as a source for re-infestation of your pest.

14) Adding fish and other creatures that will eat your algae pest will help.

15) There are other items that can be added to this list if others care too share and some of the items listed may be disputed. ;)


New member
thanks for the help I don't dose anything except B-ionic 2 part every other day or so. I just started feeding every other day. I do more than 30 % a month water changes for the past 2 months but i was removing over 200lbs of sand and detritus was all over then place. I change my filter socks twice a week right before they start to overflow. and as for the algae the bubbles look like they just appear from the algae like you mentioned. I was watching the tank for several hours yesterday and did not see any bubbles coming from my return or powerheads. so I guess it would be a cyano strain of algae. I was getting some red in my sump but now there is nothing in my sump and nothing but looks brown to me in the tank.
This is a quote from one of Boomer's threads regarding the control of cyanobacteria:

"Some added thoughts from over the years from many

The only known fish to eat Cyano is Amblygobius stethophthalmus and it needs to be the real one not its close relative that is often Mis-ID with it.

A 2- 3 month scheme

1. Water changes. 25% weekly.

2. Bare bottom refugium only for cheato nutrient export and not for critters.

3. Siphon, sump, refugium, etc. every week during water change and clean all filter you have.

4. Blow off all the Cyano and settled stuff you can so it can be siphoned off.

5. Clean out skimmer and cup every week.

6. Carbon, 1 cup per 50 gallons / 2 wks. Try to use ROX

7. GFO -HC , change every month.

8. Purigen, every month

9. Soak frozen food in RO/DI and discard water before use. This is especially true for brine shrimp. Matter of fact I use to pour off the water, and then fill it back up, to repeat it until there was only whole brine shrimp in the container.

10. Read what is in the food and look for things low in phosphates.

11. Keep the pH in the very low 8's or very high 7's, as Cyano will out compete other algae's in higher pH water.

12. The # 1 limiting nutrient for Cyano is N, not P based on studies in various microbiology texts.

13. During these water changes and blowing stuff off and siphoning it up run a Diatom filter with a second cake of PAC (Powdered activated carbon)."

14. Increase water flow where Cyano are growing, as they do not like high currents.

15. Shutting of all lights, almost total darkness for 48 hr. every few days.

Last resort is Chemi-Clean by Boyd.

99.9 % of the time if nothing eats it and it looks like yours it is Cyano."