Red Turf Algae and Nitrates

Discussion in 'Water Chemistry' started by DAvis, Nov 25, 2010.

  1. DAvis

    DAvis Reefer Madness

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    Happy Thanksgiving Y'all who celebrate!

    I've had a an increasing amount of red turf algae, which didn't really bother me until I realized it was starting to cover everything. Funny how that happens! Well, this is my 28g nanocube, and I don't run a skimmer, but I do weekly 3 to 6 gallon water changes. I used to (operative word!) do weekly parameter checks, but with my weekly changes, everything was '0' for bad(nitrate, nitrite, ammonia), and good range for everything else (pH, Alk). On a recent check, I find my nitrates, while not excessively high, are about 2.5 ppm, confirmed by two different test kits.

    I imagine this isn't helping my algae problem. For the last three days, I've done two 5 gal changes, and want to continue at this rate to get back to undetectable amounts.

    My long-winded question - Is this too much of a water change (10 - 12 gallons over a 3 day period in a 28 gallon)? The tank is full but not overloaded. 2 midsized clowns, 2 banggai cards, 1 Diamond Goby.
    Thanks and enjoy the day!
     
    DAvis, Nov 25, 2010
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  2. DAvis

    Smitty

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    Nope, that's not too much water changing. Cut your light schedule back also for a lil while to help kill of some of that algae. The reason your nitrates are reading low is because the algae is taking it out the water.
     
    Smitty, Nov 25, 2010
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  3. DAvis

    DAvis Reefer Madness

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    Thanks Smitty. My light is way back, 6hr's daylight. Tank also has zoa'a, shrooms, lps, and an Acan. I continually pluck and suck :shock: the algae out. I think it's slowing down, I know it will take a while to abate. I'll continue with the changes. By the way, my RedMushroom, liked the back to back water changes. It really opened up big!
     

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  4. DAvis

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    +1 Smitty. That isn't too much for water changes. As long as you are using good quality water (not tap water), it should help.
     
    Bifferwine, Nov 25, 2010
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  5. DAvis

    DAvis Reefer Madness

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    Thanks Sarah, Yes, I'm using my own RODI and mixing (aging) IO Reef Crystals. Thanks, I thought as much. If I do that much in my freshwater aquarium, it could cause a bloom. I was worried about that possibility, but no more! In the picture, that is red carpet algae, isn't it? Kind of brillo-y, tenacious, doesn't scrub off even with brush!
     
    DAvis, Nov 25, 2010
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  6. DAvis

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    It sure looks that way to me. When I've had it, you can't even pull it off by hand -- it sticks so deep and tightly into the rocks.
     
    Bifferwine, Nov 25, 2010
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  7. DAvis

    DAvis Reefer Madness

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    I pulled off a piece big enough, I think I can use it to scrub my burnt cast iron pan! Did you get rid of it Sarah? Or did you get rid of the rock! lol
     
    DAvis, Nov 25, 2010
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  8. DAvis

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    I only had a small bit of it, and it eventually went away on its own. I understand this doesn't usually happen, so I wouldn't recommend the "sit and wait" approach! :)
     
    Bifferwine, Nov 25, 2010
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  9. DAvis

    DAvis Reefer Madness

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    Red Turf Algae Battle!

    I originally posted this with a nitrate question. It turns out as most of you veterans know, red turf algae thrives in pristine water. I have learned a lot about 'RTA' in the past few months, thanks to some of the pioneering work by sen5341b! See his link summary here:

    https://www.livingreefs.com/progress-red-turf-algae-t29510.html

    Mine is out of control, and will soon affect some of the corals. I had a nice piece of live rock that only had a few threads on it and I was trying Aiptasia control method, only I purchase Aiptasia X, not Stop Aiptasia! So, I will let you know what happens. This was a piece of baserock, with not too much coraline, but many tiny tube worms and fan worms. I took some tank water in a bucket, put the rock in, and a bright light over head and applied the Aiptasia X to the RTA I saw and left on for at least 20 minutes. I then removed the excess in the bucket, and returned to tank. Will let you know what happens!

    Here is my crop of algae, and it's not bad in this picture, it is far, far worse:
     

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  10. DAvis

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Good luck! Those are some awesome duncans, BTW.
     
    Bifferwine, Feb 3, 2011
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  11. DAvis

    Ulta REEFER

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    yeah.... I pretty much gave in and let the red turf algae win my battle :(

    so my 24g aquapod has red turf all over I just glue my corals on top of it and the corals overtake the algae when the grow across it :D
    The zoas do surprisingly well at spreading over top of it >_<

    It just got too far out of hand to fast...

    lol... so now I have flatworms and red turf in my aquapod.... but you know what? I really don't mind it... the tank still looks fantastically stunning and they aren't really hurting anything
     
    Ulta, Feb 3, 2011
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  12. DAvis

    sen5241b

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    Re: Red Turf Algae Battle!

    When I apply "Stop Aiptasia" the RTA turns bright red immediately --this means you killed it. The trick is getting the stuff down into the roots of the RTA. Taking the rock out of the water lets the Stop Aiptasia settle down into the roots more.

    I just wish I knew what Stop Aiptasia is made of. The maker is secretive about the "organic" ingredients but some have speculated its made of some kind of pepper extract like jalapenos.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
    sen5241b, Feb 3, 2011
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  13. DAvis

    DAvis Reefer Madness

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    Thanks Sarah. Yes they have thrived, gone from 3 small heads to about 15 heads in a little over a year. Lately, I've found that they seem to love cyclop-eze, and i don't have to target feed. I'm anxious to move them to the new 65g soon!

    I'm going to start a new thread in the more appropriate algae forum on my RTA problems/controls.

    Thanks all.
     
    DAvis, Feb 3, 2011
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  14. DAvis

    DAvis Reefer Madness

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    I have some zoas that seem to stay ahead of it, and I have put some green polyps that I hope will run it over!
    (pictured, with diamond goby that just had to get into the shot!)
     

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  15. DAvis

    sen5241b

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    Stop Aiptasia will kill corals. If the RTA is growing near a coral use tweezers to pick it out.
     
    sen5241b, Feb 3, 2011
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  16. DAvis

    DAvis Reefer Madness

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    Thanks sen5241, The rocks I'm treating have no coral. The pictures are of my infested 28g, the rock I treated was in my 65g, but I noticed a few threads of RTA. Thanks for the heads up though!
     
    DAvis, Feb 3, 2011
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  17. DAvis

    tankedchemist

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    How can you tell red turf algae and cyano apart? I've never heard of RTA before.
     
    tankedchemist, Feb 6, 2011
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  18. DAvis

    sen5241b

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    Cynao forms a slimy film over the sand and elsewhere. It feels slimy too. But Red Turf Alage (RTA) looks and feels completely different. See pics and description here: https://www.livingreefs.com/progress-red-turf-algae-t29510.html
     
    sen5241b, Feb 6, 2011
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  19. DAvis

    DAvis Reefer Madness

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    +1 sen5241b

    Tanked - look at sen's and my photos. On a water change, you can easily siphon off cyano. The RTA will pull off in tufts, but even brushing with a stiff bristle or even wire brush, will not remove it. You could almost scour a dirty pan with the stuff, it's so stiff and wiry!
     
    DAvis, Feb 6, 2011
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  20. DAvis

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    RTA is really stiff and wiry. It's a PITA!
     
    Bifferwine, Feb 6, 2011
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