Yet another "What is this stuff" thread

Discussion in 'Algae' started by jskeen, Oct 27, 2014.

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  1. jskeen

    jskeen Plankton

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    Ok, so this may be a repeat but I've read through the past "what is that" posts and hope I can provide enough info up front for a diagnosis. These pics are from my 55 fowlr tank that I am in the process of completely re-plumbing and overhauling.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The maroon and green growth is on the few existing pieces of LR, and is appearing on the new pieces. It is very close growing, does not seem to be getting long or hairlike and is not capturing or generating airbubbles.

    I don't have the luxury of cycling everything empty then stocking slowly. It was given to us running (barely) and stocked (the critters that hadn't died yet, at least) I broke it down, transported it and set it back up in about 2 hours, saved most of the water, and then started trying to update the system. I updated the light from a single old t8 daylight bulb to a new fixture with an electronic T5HO ballast driving one 410 actinic t8 and one 50/50 daylight t8 bulb. I run them on a 12 on/12 off timer. The 'fuge is lit by a pair of 23w CFL 6500k bulbs about 4 inches above the center of the fuge, on the same timer (for now).

    The system had a fluval 305 canister filter, and I left that running as is while I added a 20 gallon sump with about half the volume set up as a 'fuge. I filled it with about 7 or8 pounds of LR crumble and pieces, and some chaeto and Fern Caulerpa. Since I got the sump up and running I have cleaned the canister and completely removed the filters, letting it free flow through two trays of granulated carbon and the original tray of ceramic media. It had two packets of fluval nitrate remover in it originally, but I took them out assuming they were saturated. (currently soaking in fresh water in case they might be refresh-able) .
    [​IMG]
    The Macro is fairly recent, but I'm concerned that the chaeto ball is getting covered with what looks like maroon hair algae and has not grown visibly in a couple of weeks. And no,unfortunately I don't know what the nitrate and phosphate numbers are. The maroon algae is also showing up on a piece of LR that I moved from the DT down into the pump, even though I'm not seeing it in the DT yet.

    I had to add some makeup salt water from well water when I moved the system a month ago but since then have been using RODI from the LFS both about 15g premixed and buffered sw when I added the sump, and as top off freshwater since. The Diatom bloom I saw right after adding the well water tapered down to a minimum, and I'm now seeing the green and purple growth up in the DT and the limited Maroon hair in the 'fuge.

    So; what do you think? What is a good next step? What are danger signs to look out for?

    All input welcomed.
     
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  3. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

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    I would take the chaeto out and clean whatever is on it off, even if you have to sacrifice some of the chaeto itself. Do you have a protein skimmer? didn't see it listed here. If not that is something you want to get.

    So it is the green and maroon growth in your DT that you are worrying about? Is it slimy looking? Can you get a close up picture of it? My thought is red and green cyanobacteria, but not positive without a closer picture.

    The nitrate and phosphate numbers are important in what other steps need to be taken. I am guessing you don't have those test kits available since you don't have the numbers, you should take a water sample to your LFS and see if they will test those parameters.
     
  4. jskeen

    jskeen Plankton

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    Ok, I will pull the chaeto out and get rid of the maroon stuff. I don't have a skimmer, but that's next on the DIY list. I'm not so much concerned about the algae growing in the DT for now. I was actually hoping that it was some coralline algae starting to show up after I upgraded the lights. If it is infact just normal annoying old green and maroon hair algae being kept short by the clean up crew, then I am going to either have to accelerate the development of a DIY skimmer, or look at loading some fresh phosban into the canister filter as a temporary fix.

    Thanks again
     
  5. civiccars2003

    civiccars2003 Great Blue Whale

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    Pretty sure you have cyanobacteria. Start by feeding less. And increase flow.
     
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  6. oldfishkeeper

    oldfishkeeper Giant Squid

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    yes, the description sounds like cyano to me as well
     
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  7. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

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    The way you can tell cyano from coralline is that cyano is like a gel and will separate easily from the substrate. Coralline is calcium based and hard. Won't come off by gently scrubbing or blowing off with a turkey baster.
     
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  9. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

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    My first and second thoughts were cyano and coralline algae. I agree with Billme, try to either blast it with water or take a toothbrush to it. It will only take a light scrub for cyano to come off and would take scraping with a blade to get coralline loose.
     
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  10. oldfishkeeper

    oldfishkeeper Giant Squid

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    LOVE your avatar picture md!
     
  11. gcarroll

    gcarroll Zoanthid

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    It's definitly cyano. How bad do you really want it gone?
    Cyano needs light to survive. Eliminate it and it will be gone.
    My steps for cyano erradication are as follows.

    1. feed your fish heavy
    2. install a media reactor with a fresh load of GFO
    3. Turn all lights off. Yes, including fuge cause you got it there too.
    4. Place a blanket over the tank to insure that it gets no ambient light.
    5. Come back in 72 hours to a cyano free tank.

    Most seem to drift from the plan in some way or another before the process is complete causing moderate results. Those that can follow directions all seem to have excellent results. I do not have one member in our club that has failed when they follow these instructions.

    Good luck to you.
     
  12. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

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    I think this is the ONE!