Reef tank, primo gear, problem with red slime...

sirebral

New member
Hello all, it's my first post, yet not the last for sure! I have a 55 gallon reef tank, 6 months old, with live rock and a deep sand bed. I have a dual return pushing about 2000 gallons an hour through the system and a 20 gallon sump that contains an AquaC 180 Skimmer. I have 2 small fish, a CBS, some hermits, a sand star, some snails and 3-4 corals. I run a chiller at 78 degrees to negate any pump/light heat. Lighting is run automatically in cycles of 12 hours of actinic light with 4 hours of MH and moon lights at night. I do 10% water changes weekly and all water is run through a RO/DI system. I run a filter sock at the start of the sump that I clean every few days and clean out the skimmer's collection cup in about the same intervals. Here's the problem.. I don't want to expand my livestock as there's some sort of problem with Silicates and/or Phosphates. I have red slime that will continually coat the sand and as much as I try I can't seem to get it to stop. My Phosphates test at 5ppm, everything else (ph/am/nitrates/nitrites) are perfect. I've tested the water I'm putting in and it reads 0 phosphates. I feed once every 3-4 days, a small bit of frozen brine, or a bit of pellet food.

Sorry about all the rambling, I'm trying to cover all parameters, any assistance would help as I'm doing everything I can to finally balance this tank so I can get on to enjoying my fauna.

Thanks so much,

Keith
 

smatter

New member
Phosphate needs to come down, have you tried any of the products that are available like Rowaphos or Phosban? It sounds like you are exporting more than you are importing based on your feeding and water change regimen. Sometimes substates leach phosphates, or dosing too many additives can fuel such problems. Usually they run their course and end as quickly as they started. What is your alkalinity, I don't see it listed. If its not 7-10 dkh raise it. You could also adjust your photoperiod and see what happens. Good luck, and welcome.
 

smatter

New member
Oh, I forgot to add, if your not using kalkwasser, use it. It precipitates phosphates and enhances protein skimming, aside from adding calcium and maintaining alkalinity.
 

sirebral

New member
Nope, no kalkwasser... I have in the past used one of the 2 part buffer/calcium mixes, yet my LFS said my water changes alone should be enough...
 

smatter

New member
You can't beat the benefits of kalkwasser, I have seen many algae/cyano problems subside with its addition. I have used the Pura pad and it performed as advertised.
 

smatter

New member
To realize its full benefits you must replace all evap with kalk. Just make sure you follow the instructions. There are some good threads about different methods of dosing it on here, but you can just start with a good old drip can that you can find in the reptile section of your local pet store. I use a kalkreactor attached to my auto top-off.
 

sirebral

New member
Thanks for the assist.. hopefully it's my magic bullet, I've tried to do everything correctly, yet still frustrated with the results. Time to research!
 

Amphiprion

Premium Member
Unless water changes are frequent and substantial, they will not dramatically reduce your phosphate levels. I second the absorption media (Phosban, RowaPhos, etc.)
 

HowardW

New member
Changing your lighting schedule won't really help much, you must remove the nutrients in the water fueling the issue. The phosphate media is a good start. Many frozen foods are also loaded with phosphates so I've heard, make sure to feed sparingly for now and rinse away all the juices before feeding.
 
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