Red Algae developing??? (not Diatoms)

Discussion in 'Algae' started by CMOS, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. CMOS

    CMOS

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    Hey All,

    My noob tank is doing pretty well. Recently a couple patches of red algae have developed on the substrate and are spreading pretty quickly.

    Is this normal? Is this good? Should I "clean" this stuff? Are there critters that will eat this form of algae, etc.?

    Thanks for any and all responses.

    CMOS
     
    CMOS, Apr 13, 2009
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  2. CMOS

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Thats cyano bacteria.
    Is it normal? Well,In a matter of speaking.Its fairly common for it to pop in a new tanks.Its caused by excess nutrients,mainly phosphates, and the need for more water flow.
    Yeah,you need to clean it out.The best method is to siphon out as much as possible and do a decent water change.25% would be good.Then turn the lights off for 3 to 4 days.Then the day you turn the lights back on,change another 25% of the water.It'll also help to run some type of GFO,Rowa-phos or Phos-Ban are good choices.
    I dont know of anything that I could say for sure would eat it.
     
    yote, Apr 13, 2009
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  3. CMOS

    ndepratt Equipment Junkie

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    Mexican red leg hermits will help you out. Not only will they eat cyano (seriously) but they will eat uneaten food which will sit on your sandbed and fuel the cyano.

    You have pretty good skimming for a 50g, so either the injectors need cleaned if you're not pulling much skimmate OR (most likely) you have a couple other things wrong, like yote pointed to.

    1. Evaluate your water source. If you're using tap water, then you're fighting a never ending uphill battle. To not get too in depth your water company put in chloramine which eventually break down, giving you a small amount of ammonia which will turn into nitrates. Secondly, in order to protect their pipes, and save them money, they include ortho phophates and hydrolisable (sp?) phosphates into the water which will, in your tank, break down into simple phosphates. If you're using RO, consider RO/DI, either way I would consider taking a sample of my water to a decent LFS and have them test it with a TDS meter.

    2. Like yote said, FLOW! Flow will keep food suspended in the water column. This will mean it won't sit and break down on the sandbed, and that it can be mechanically filted out.

    3. Light. I'm assuming your MH bulb isn't that old, since you claim to be a noob. How long per day are you keeping your lights on? If this is a new tank, I would advise somewhere in the 6 hour range, and slowly work your way up to 8-10 hours at the max. There are many good articles on RC about people stunting coral growth with too drastic of photoperiods, so don't be worried if this sounds like it's not that long.

    4. Watch your feeding. Make sure you're feeding a high quality food. Cheap stuff is packed with phosphates. Cheap brine shrimp is just loaded with phosphates, so always strain your frozen stuff before tossing it in your tank. (brine is horrible anyways.)
     
    ndepratt, Apr 13, 2009
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  4. CMOS

    CMOS

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    pratt,

    Good info.

    I use store bought RO/DI water for my top-offs and water changes so I think I'm good in that area.

    I recently went through a "learning phase" on water flow and discovered that I was horribly underpowered in this area. I have added 2 additional PH's in the last week or so, which seems to coincide with the breakout of this red algae (Why??? - Coincidence?)

    I think I still may have some dead spots that do not have good flow, but oddly enough the red algae is growing in a very high flow area. What's up with that?

    I'm running the MH for 10.5 hours a day and T5's for 12.5 hours.

    Do you still suggest I cut back on the MH run time? Will this harm my soft corals (forgspawn), Button Polyps, and mushrooms?

    I do feed frozen Brine sometimes - so I'll discontinue that immediately.

    All input is appreciated.

    CMOS
     
    CMOS, Apr 13, 2009
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  5. CMOS

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    I suggest you cut back on all lights. Going down to 6 to 8 hours a day won't hurt a thing.
     
    Bifferwine, Apr 13, 2009
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  6. CMOS

    CMOS

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    Thanks Biff,

    Many of the posts I have read on some of the forums suggest anywhere between 10-13 hours a day, so it's hard to know what the right thing to do is.

    I'll try cutting back, and I'll try to siphon the substrate when I do a 10% water change tomorrow night.

    CMOS
     
    CMOS, Apr 13, 2009
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  7. CMOS

    cthegame

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    Everyone has you covered. I would cut back lights, increase water changes to 2x per week (10%), remove as much of the cyano as possible and if you can, run phosphate remover. Make sure to use RO water as suggested. It takes time to win the battle so dont get discouraged if you dont see immediate results.
     
    cthegame, Apr 13, 2009
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  8. CMOS

    ndepratt Equipment Junkie

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    Frogspawn is a large polyp stony coral. Honestly they're not that light demanding, so you're set. I'd go to 6 hour for a few days, after syphoning out what you can of the cyano, and see how that helps, if you're still getting cyano coming back, then you might invest in a phosphate kit and/or pick up some chemiclean to compliment a nice water change, just like cthegame suggests.

    I hate cyano... i feel your pain... enjoy syphoning the sand bed on that 30" tank :p
     
    ndepratt, Apr 13, 2009
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