Stringy Algae after switch from MH to LED

Grumpy Vet

Reefer
Hi all.

I've been fighting a red stringy algae in my 29 gal tank since I switched from halides to LED. I'm using the black box Amazon LED - on about 30% power. I had it higher but dialed back as the algae set in. I've done many water changes. I run a Tunze skimmer and media filter with GFO and carbon and filter floss. I figured maybe it was a learning curve for the tank but I'm several months in and it won't go away. I've added cleanup crews and tried to increase flow.

I know Cyano - it isn't really that like a blanket. It is more of a stringy algae that grows upwards toward light on the sand and rocks. Turning the lights off - stops growth completely.

Tank is about 12 years old. 2 clowns, a goby, a shrimp and some cleanup critters.

Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks,
GV
 

Navig8tr

New member
Looks like dinoflagellates. A change in lighting spectrum can bring them on. I used to get them under 10K MH but they would slowly go away under 14K MH. They aren't easy to eradicate. Lighting spectrum change, siphoning them out, and water changes worked for me.
 

Grumpy Vet

Reefer
Thank you for the reply. I’ll stay on course and keep up the battle. Wonder if I should dial up the blue in the LEDs? I used to run 14k MH - 150W.
 

Grumpy Vet

Reefer
Well - I read a bunch of stuff on Dinos today. Again, I appreciate the diagnosis and I certainly concur that is what it is. So here is my plan. This tank is sumpless so I have some limited options.


  • Dial back my lights a bit and cut down the photo period.
  • Over oxygenate the tank - more air - increase PH
  • Look into an external UV light
  • Took the carbon / GFO mix out of the filter and exchanged it for a new carbon only filter bag.
  • Stop water changes. It almost sounds like my tank was too clean - or out of balance. It sounds like most have success w/ trace phosphates and some nitrates. I always tried to run no trace.
  • Consider dosing this https://www.seachem.com/flourish-phosphorus.php
  • Since I can't put anything into a non - existent sump - I'm considering dropping some chaeto directly into the tank and hope that provides some competition to this slimy bastard.
  • I'd like to consider repopulating the tank w/ some diverse bacteria or pods. I've found spotty information on any good recommendations for this. I'll keep looking.

I'd love any input on my plan - good / bad. At least it isn't Bryopsis again eh?

Thanks,
GV
 

Navig8tr

New member
Your first five steps look good. I don't think the last three are necessary. I wouldn't go with chaeto until after the dinos go away. I had chaeto at the same time and the dinos loved coating it.
 

Jeff B

Member
I highly recommend the UV light option. I have a 55 corner tank and, like you, am sumpless. I had been battling dino's for months. Lights out and they would disappear only to come back in a short while. I read some reports about positive effects of UV light on eradicating dino's and decided to try it. A month ago I purchased an Aquatop PF40-UV which is a small hang on the back filter with a 7 watt UV light. Within 24 hours I could see a change for the better. 3 days later my sand bed looked like it had a light diatom coating. I vacuumed the sand while doing a water change and it has remained white ever since. Dino's have not reappeared. Water is crystal clear and skimmer produces more output.
 

Michael Hoaster

Registered Seaweedist
Premium Member
Dinos are tricky because there are many different strains, with widely varying treatments. You probably have seen that in your research.

What worked for me was UV, manual removal-not water changes, competition for nutrients, using Ulva (better than chaeto), and consumers, employing lots of reproducing snails (no hermits!) and lots of pods. After a month or two, when you see that you have it on the ropes, do a very thorough, large manual removal, combined with a three day blackout. Wrap the tank so no light gets in. Then do a good vacuum/water change to remove the dead stuff. Add a bubbler during the blackout to keep oxygen levels from dropping too much.

There is much disagreement in what fuels their growth. I solved that issue by going with the knowledge that 'you are what you eat'. Manual removal removes it AND what it eats, so you don't have to figure out what it's eating. If you need to vacuum to remove it, you can tie a filter sock or similar to the end of the hose and put the removed water back in. What do you think is the most concentrated source of it's food, the water or the dinos themselves?

This worked for me. You'll likely end up with your own variation. I did a lot of research and made a list of things that made sense to me and formulated my plan from there.

I hope this helps. Good luck!
 

Grumpy Vet

Reefer
Your first five steps look good. I don't think the last three are necessary. I wouldn't go with chaeto until after the dinos go away. I had chaeto at the same time and the dinos loved coating it.

Thank you very much. I ordered the Cheeto for next week. I'll hold it in my sump in the tank downstairs until things settle down. Appreciate the input very much.
 

Grumpy Vet

Reefer
I highly recommend the UV light option. I have a 55 corner tank and, like you, am sumpless. I had been battling dino's for months. Lights out and they would disappear only to come back in a short while. I read some reports about positive effects of UV light on eradicating dino's and decided to try it. A month ago I purchased an Aquatop PF40-UV which is a small hang on the back filter with a 7 watt UV light. Within 24 hours I could see a change for the better. 3 days later my sand bed looked like it had a light diatom coating. I vacuumed the sand while doing a water change and it has remained white ever since. Dino's have not reappeared. Water is crystal clear and skimmer produces more output.

Thank you so much. I ordered a small IV light and have since come to find out that it is not a great unit. Probably return it and look into what you got. Thanks for taking time to respond.
 

Grumpy Vet

Reefer
Dinos are tricky because there are many different strains, with widely varying treatments. You probably have seen that in your research.

What worked for me was UV, manual removal-not water changes, competition for nutrients, using Ulva (better than chaeto), and consumers, employing lots of reproducing snails (no hermits!) and lots of pods. After a month or two, when you see that you have it on the ropes, do a very thorough, large manual removal, combined with a three day blackout. Wrap the tank so no light gets in. Then do a good vacuum/water change to remove the dead stuff. Add a bubbler during the blackout to keep oxygen levels from dropping too much.

There is much disagreement in what fuels their growth. I solved that issue by going with the knowledge that 'you are what you eat'. Manual removal removes it AND what it eats, so you don't have to figure out what it's eating. If you need to vacuum to remove it, you can tie a filter sock or similar to the end of the hose and put the removed water back in. What do you think is the most concentrated source of it's food, the water or the dinos themselves?

This worked for me. You'll likely end up with your own variation. I did a lot of research and made a list of things that made sense to me and formulated my plan from there.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

Great info. Much appreciated. I'm following this and adapting to my situation. Thank you for taking the time to type all this. Have a great weekend.
 

Potsy

New member
Thank you so much. I ordered a small IV light and have since come to find out that it is not a great unit. Probably return it and look into what you got. Thanks for taking time to respond.

I had ostreopsis dinos start to appear in my 75 gallon after running some gfo. I bought a 55 watt Jebao uv sterilizer and the dinos disappeared in 24 hours.
 

WVfishguy

New member
You worry too much. It doesn't look all that bad to me. Just a simple transition period. I'd get one or two turbo snails and that tank will be fine. I might substitute a small urchin for the turbo snails, but it may eat that pretty purple coraline algae.
 

Grumpy Vet

Reefer
Update - added carbon. Stopped water changes. Added UV sterilizer. Siphoned water into filter sock to remove debris and put water back in. Added air tubes to my maxi jets and increased air significantly. Added Chaeto. Really think UV was the kicker. My tank used to look like a snow globe when I blew off the rocks. Almost gone!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/c46nq0bda9z0wau/IMG_0801.JPG?dl=0

Thanks for all of the help and advice.

GV
 
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