what's causing my cyano prob?

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by billyboy2, Feb 26, 2010.

to remove this notice and enjoy 3reef content with less ads. 3reef membership is free.

  1. billyboy2

    billyboy2 Coral Banded Shrimp

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Messages:
    394
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    I am preparing to return my fish to my DT....right now they are in QT. I have a major problem controlling red cyano in my tank. I think i have considered all factors that could make this problem, and can't figure out where i'm going wrong.

    I use RO/DI water, i have good circulation, i don't overfeed, i have a good cleanup crew, i frequently test my water and the only place i can think it would be comming from is my phosphates will go from 0ppm to .25 then will go down and back again. I have never measured it above .25ppm. my nitrate is always always 0ppm....never have read anything but 0ppm. usually have a 0ppm reading for ammonia but i has once or twice gone up to .25 . my temp is 77deg, salinity 1.024. I use seachem reef salt for my mix. i have t5 lights and bulbs are all recently changed out. I have a skimmer and use an aquaclear70 for mechanical filtration. In the filter i use BIO-MAX media could this be fueling the cyano?

    I'd really like to get this problem solved before moving my fish back into the DT. my only other idea other from what i've tried (which is vacuuming it off substrate and rocks) is to take all my LR out and start over with new substrate. Right now my substrate is 50% crushed coral (from my first setup) and 50% aragonite(added substrate needed for larger tank). I went from a 29G to a 55G so i needed more substrate and i wanted to keep all the benifical bacteria that was built up in my crushed coral so when i got the new tank the old crushed coral got transfered into the new one.
    I can clean the cyano out of my DT during the day and by that time the following day i have red carpet covering the substrate and it starts peeling and floating it gets so thick

    Any ideas on where my problem is :confused:

    thanks
     
  2. Click Here!

  3. marlinman

    marlinman Zoanthid

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,106
    Location:
    Pompano Beach, Florida
    I don't claim to be a genius at this but the crushed coral leaves too many hiding places for bad things. If you have live rock the sand is incidental. It would be a good idea to vacuum the sand good for starters and see if that helps. Check with your LFS and ask what they use.
     
  4. SAY

    SAY Ocellaris Clown

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,462
    Location:
    San Antonio
    i am new to this but is it possible to have ammonia showing up with 0 nitrates?
     
  5. Grant

    Grant Feather Duster

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2008
    Messages:
    206
    Location:
    St Louis, MO
    I am in the process of clearing out a cyano outbreak as well. About a week ago I found that my skimmer's air intake was partially clogged, thus my skimmer was not working at full capacity. After cleaning the skimmer & 2 days with lights off, my tank has shown positive results now for nearly a week.

    Maybe something like this is your problem? skimming is the best way to remove DOC's which fuel the cyano, or so I've read.
     
  6. mikejrice

    mikejrice 3reef Affiliate

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    5,762
    Location:
    Colorado
    What exactly are your flow specs?

    Your readings for nitrate and/or phosphate will most likely be fale due to the algae soaking it up before it can be tested. IME algae is a better indication of parameter problems than tests.
     
  7. billyboy2

    billyboy2 Coral Banded Shrimp

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Messages:
    394
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Well i'm not exactly sure how to answer that....i'll tell you more about my setup. It's a 55G without a sump. The sump is in the works but will have to wait. i've already mentioned that i have a mechanical filter and skimmmer both are HOB. skimmer on one side of tank filter on the other, together they take care of the water movement on top. i have 3 submersible powerheads. 2 x Koralia #1's and a aquaclear30 powerhead. The koralia's are in the corners and aquaclear in the center, these all sit mid-level in the tank pointed down at a 45 deg angle.

    I hope this is along the lines of what you were asking...

    lastly i did check my skimmer like grant had mentioned and i saw something that is a first for me...my skimmer's collection cup is filled with an orange colored substance....like flipin bright neon orange!
     
  8. Click Here!

  9. mikejrice

    mikejrice 3reef Affiliate

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    5,762
    Location:
    Colorado
    Sounds like that should be pretty good flow. How recently have you changed or cleaned out the media in your HOB?
     
  10. billyboy2

    billyboy2 Coral Banded Shrimp

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Messages:
    394
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    i change the carbon every month, the carbon i'm running now is 3 weeks old, the bio-max is only a week. i Just did another water test and i got 0ppm for the nitrate, nitrite, ammonia, and phosphate. my alkalinity was quite low...like an 8 dKH so i just added some alkalinity booster, and i'll raise it about 1 dKH/day. All other parameters are bang on
     
  11. unclejed

    unclejed Whip-Lash Squid

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    Messages:
    2,964
    Location:
    Clinton Township, Michigan
    Hello, thought I would explain more about Cyano. Contrary to popular belief, flow has little to do with cyano. The 2 main sources of food for both Cyano and "bad" algae are Nitrates and Phosphates. Too many aquarists focus on Nitrates when Phosphates are really more of a concern. The reason for this is because it is harder to eliminate Phosphate from the tank. We greatly limit Nitrates by employing methods such as protein skimmers, plants, denitrators etc. however Phosphates are introduced through food mainly, and water if not using a RO/DI unit, and we can't eliminate food or water. Since Phosphate is constantly getting in the tank, the only adequate method of elimination is a Phosphate reactor. If the out break is extensive, Chemi-Clean or Red Slime Remover is called for to get things under control.
     
  12. billyboy2

    billyboy2 Coral Banded Shrimp

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Messages:
    394
    Location:
    Winnipeg, Canada
    thanks uncleJed that was going to be my next question.....My LFS just sold me exactly that, the chemi-clean red slime remover. I showed them a picture of my tank and said it would be necessary. They said it could have been the root cause of my fish getting sick as it was a velvet and ich outbreak but one fish had a bacterial infection around the time the cyano started and soon died before i had time to set up a hospital tank...

    I test for phosphates frequently and do all the things to keep phosphates out, but I don't have a phosphate reactor . I use API brand for testing phosphates and find it quite hard to distinguish a difference between 0ppm- and .50ppm they all look almost exactly the same. any recommendations on a good phosphate test kit brand?

    Would running a filter media specifically made for removing phosphates be a good idea? I saw some seachem ones at the LFS called purigen and some other ones i can't remember. I definitly want to fix this problem all the way through before returning my fish to the DT