Yet another thread on .... R-E-D__S-L-I-M-E

Discussion in 'Algae' started by fc_uk, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. fc_uk

    fc_uk

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    Yea!

    Figured as I would start my own. I am about ready to pull my last hair on my head out over this, so help would be greatly appreciated.

    First, what I know (from liquid kits or other more specific tests):

    pH: 7.8
    KH: ~250
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 0
    sg: ~1.26 (refractometer)

    Other good stuff:

    tank size: 75g
    lighting schedule: 1 hour of blue/moon, 10 hours of blue/white, two hours of blue, 11 hours of darkness.
    circulation: 2 aqueon 500's
    Sump: yes (return at 750-1000 gph; can't determine exact model, but know this is the range)
    live rock: 20 pounds in the sump, 70 pounds in the tank.
    Clean-up crew: what reef cleaners recommended; I've got 120+ snails of various sorts.
    Temperature: 78C

    Critters: mushrooms corals, one damsel, one clown, 120+ snails
    water: ro/di still testing by tds, which reads 0. Yes; I've calibrated the TDS. Initial fill and top offs by same ro/di.
    Salt: Instant Ocean

    I've got nice bright white sand that I can't see. I can't see it because it's covered with cyano. Literally. Every square inch.

    Would now be a good time to point out I am obsessive compulsive this this compeltely sends me over the edge? :frustrat:

    Blackouts and repositioning the circulation pumps won't do a darn thing to this. I've done three blackouts of 3-4 days each over the past two months. Nothing. Still there, maybe got a 50% kill the first time I did it at best, less every time there after. I've had this for about 3 months and can't make a dent in it. About 30% water changes after every time I did a blackout.

    My first step was reef cleaners to get a proper cleanup crew. That was a month ago. No blackouts since as it stopped working. I've been cleaning out by hand and performing ~30% water changes. No improvement in the cyano,

    My next step was to setup a phosban reactor. That was two weeks ago. No improvment in the algae.

    So here I sit. Those of you that remember, will know I hate my skimmer. I think it's complete bullox.

    As far as I am aware, this type of algae feeds off nitrates/phosphates/flow. I've fixed the phosphates, and flow should not be the issue.

    That leaves the nitrates and the skimmer. I don/t trust the nitrate or phosphate tests due to the algae problems. I'm being given false excellent readings here and I know it.

    My skimmer won't even produce a cup of skimmate every month; and that is when I did blackouts and had massive algae kills as a result of it.

    I ma getting a little nervous at continually throwing money at this trying to find the root cause and continually failing. At this point, I want to say it's the skimmer, but I really want to make sure before I throw a few hundred more at the problem.

    Due to size problems with my sump, I am looking at a Reef Octopus hb2000. I would really like an in sump, but this sump is a custom build and I can't find anything that will fit.

    Thoughts, ideas suggestions?

    Thanks in advance!
     
    fc_uk, Nov 19, 2012
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  2. fc_uk

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Your lights are on for a very long time every day. I know you said you tried blackouts, but keeping your lights on for that long isn't helping.

    Do you have sand or crushed coral substrate? And how deep is it? (Sorry if you answered that, I may have missed it).

    Getting a good skimmer will help.

    How much and how often and what type of food do you feed?

    You are right -- your flow/circulation sounds fine.
     
    Bifferwine, Nov 19, 2012
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  3. fc_uk

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    Are you on municipal water or well? Is it possible that something is in the source water? I am going through the same thing with my tank, but my source water was full of iron (which cyano also uses to grow)

    Other than that, how much and how often are you feeding.

    How old are your bulbs in your lighting fixture?
     
    Northstar24, Nov 19, 2012
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  4. fc_uk

    Ted Living one day at a time

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    Are you running a refugium? I think my cheato out competes the bad algae in my tank. Mine grows like crazy....without it I really think my tank would be a mess. My skimmer is a knock off Chinese built thing that pulls a cup a week, so cant be much better then yours even might be worse.
     
    Ted, Nov 19, 2012
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  5. fc_uk

    Civicdemon Go Big Or Go Home !

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    Im having the Very same issue right now and its pissing me off to. LOL No red slime but i do have light brown coat over my nice white sand. All my reading are perfect also.

    One thing im going to try still is another reactor with GFO in it and hopefully that will help. Everything in my tank as far as reading go are spot on.

    Only a tiny bit of reading on my phosfates wich im told does not actually mean its that low. i have ready with phosfate test kits its more like you have some or you dont.

    I have a refugium with Chaeto and everything, it grows great and i still have this issue. I think i might also need a bit more flow in my tank, Since i only have 2 power heads at 1200 gph, i think im going to add 2 more 700 gph power heads and see if that help. I have a huge clean up crew and just recently added more nassariuse. So hopefully that helps also.

    My Clean up crew just so you get an idea.

    30 tonga nassariouse.
    20 to 30 small nassariuse ( black shells )
    about 400 to 500 dwarf ceriths
    i think 5 or 6 turbos
    5 nirites
    1 cleaner shrimp and one blood red shrimp
    i even have a Scotter bleany and sand sifting goby cleaning my sand of food and i still have this issue.

    Well now that i think about it i guess its not a huge clean up crew considering the ceriths are tinny but yeah you get what i mean.

    Ones lights go out it seems that it goes away. When i turn on my lights early in the morning its barely there. but as the day goes on it seems to grow, then the same cycle the next day.
     
    Civicdemon, Nov 19, 2012
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  6. fc_uk

    fc_uk

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    Bifferwine: My apologies. I had intended to include info about the substrate and forgot to do so. I am using sand that is about 1 inch deep.

    What would you recommend as a lighting schedule. I am using this simply because that is how my light came programmed and I made the assumption that they manufacturer would not do anything insane. Bad assumption apparently.

    I am feeding New Life Spectrum marine formula as food. The fish are fed every one to two days depending. When fed, the fish are fed slowly and only what they will eat. I would say that less than 5 pellets will remain uneaten as a worst case; generally 0-1 pellets are left uneaten.

    Northstar24: I'm not too sure about the water. It should be municipal. I know from looking at the faucets around the house that the water here is very soft, though iron is not a mineral in the water as the deposits everywhere are white. This was a concern of mine, hence why I setup a phosban reactor a few weeks ago. I would also assume that the DI is pulling any unwanted charged ions out of the water.

    My lighting fixture is an led purchased new back in September.

    Ted: no, I am not running a refigum (yet) with chaeto. Though, I will be honest, I am very tempted to do just that if I can't get this problem to go away.

    I think that should answer everyone's additional questions.

    Again, thank you all for your help and input!
     
    fc_uk, Nov 19, 2012
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  7. fc_uk

    Smitty

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    Sorry to hear about your issues with this crap. Cynobacteria aka red slime isn't an algae, but a bacteria, so you're probably gonna have to fight it using a red slime remove like chemi-clean. Most of us have used it, and it works great. Good luck and keep us updated.
     
    Smitty, Nov 19, 2012
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  8. fc_uk

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    The problem with chemi clean is that it takes care of the symptom, but doesn't solve the problem. If used multiple times, the bacteria can actually build up an immunity to it

    Everything looks like its checking out for the OP, I'm not sure what the root cause is
     
    Northstar24, Nov 19, 2012
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  9. fc_uk

    Ted Living one day at a time

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    Hmm, do you run any kind of carbon in the tank? Not everyone does but I do, I figure it adds to water quality. Only other thing I can think of is maybe try a different food. Flakes and pellets will some times add phosphates to the system which in turn can feed problems. Go with a frozen.
     
    Ted, Nov 19, 2012
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  10. fc_uk

    Cheeser I Love Reefer

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    if i were you i would cut down your photoperiod by at least 3-4 hours a day. i have my lights on a total of 8 hours and my tank seems so much happier than when i was doing 10 or 12. before this i was having occasional cyano outbreaks and dinos and other algae problems in general...
    also get yourself a good skimmer, rated about twice the size of your tank. also a carbon reactor and phosphate reactor will make a big difference in how clean yout tank is over all. also how often are u doing water changes? and are u using rodi>?
     
    Cheeser, Nov 19, 2012
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  11. fc_uk

    little_fish Moderator

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    This appearing and then disappearing over night makes it sound like dinos which are much bigger issue to tackle. I would look into this
     
    little_fish, Nov 19, 2012
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  12. fc_uk

    fc_uk

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    Ted: No, I am not running carbon in the tank, though it is something that I could easily add with a little re-arranging of that phosban reactor.

    I will also take a look at the food and see what my lfs has in terms of frozen.

    Cheeser: I'll cut done on the lighting once I figure out how to reprogram the timer. Can't be all that difficult, so hopefully this will be the last day of too long of a light cycle. One question though: do the moon lights/blues count in that 8 hour total cycle, or do I only want 8 hours of white?

    Smitty and Northstar24: Yes, I am aware of such things and am very tempted. However, I've not gone down this road for the reasons Northstar24 pointed out (root cause and immunity).

    As for other skimmers, which I still have not been sold on yet, it seems it is difficult to find a hob that can handle over 100 gallons. Is 2x current tank size really required?

    My sump has three compartments: inlet (where the skinner currently is)/live rock/return. Would it be possible to use an external skimmer and have it draw from the inlet of the sump and return to the live rock section of the sump without the skimmer actually being in the sump (for example, the reef octopus nwb-150 looks like it needs to sit in the sump; is that correct?)? That way I would be able to purchase something rated for 2x the size of my tank.
     
    fc_uk, Nov 19, 2012
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  13. fc_uk

    Cheeser I Love Reefer

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    Cheeser: I'll cut done on the lighting once I figure out how to reprogram the timer. Can't be all that difficult, so hopefully this will be the last day of too long of a light cycle. One question though: do the moon lights/blues count in that 8 hour total cycle, or do I only want 8 hours of white?
    it depends on how powerful your blues are. if there the same intensity as the whites...then definitley no. a lunar light should be more subtle. i wouldnt just turn off the whites and leave the blues on. just a small moon light should be on. the blues on most fixtures are too powerful to be considered moon lights, unless they have a moon light setting in which they dim, or seperate leds from the actinics or royal blues for lunar lights.



    As for other skimmers, which I still have not been sold on yet, it seems it is difficult to find a hob that can handle over 100 gallons. Is 2x current tank size really required?

    My sump has three compartments: inlet (where the skinner currently is)/live rock/return. Would it be possible to use an external skimmer and have it draw from the inlet of the sump and return to the live rock section of the sump without the skimmer actually being in the sump (for example, the reef octopus nwb-150 looks like it needs to sit in the sump; is that correct?)? That way I would be able to purchase something rated for 2x the size of my tank .

    what size tank is your skimmer rated for? if you can afford a new skimmer altogether i would buy one rated for about twice the size ur tank is and put it where ur current one is. if it doesnt fit u should buy an external skimmer. i think the skimmer would have to spit the water back in in the same compartment of the sump or before that compartment, otherwise the amount of flow leaving that compartment will be greater than whats entering that compartment.
    on the other hand if you wanted to just supplement the skimmer u already have i would go with the reef octopus bh2000 which is rated for 150gallons. it runs like a beast and doesnt take up much space.

    what kind of skimmer do u have exactly?

    and i would definitely get a seprate reactor so u can run carbon along with gfo. also u should start growing cheato in that live rock part of your sump. thatll make a huge difference and eat up alot of whats fueling the cyano.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
    Cheeser, Nov 20, 2012
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    fc_uk likes this.
  14. fc_uk

    fc_uk

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    That's the problem, I don't know what the skimmer is rated for.

    The skimmer is a custom build into the sump by a company called Sea Life Systems. I have a rio 800 pump running it as that is what the manufacturer recommends. This pic is old (no more bio balls, replaced the pump running the skimmer), but you get the idea.

    [​IMG]

    Your comments about the reactor and cheato are noted. Reactors are cheap, so I can add another one for carbon. Is there an issue with running them in parallel (ie carbon flows into the gfo)?

    As for the cheato ... Something I have wanted to do anyway. Is it possible that for the cheato to starve out the cyano?
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
    fc_uk, Nov 20, 2012
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  15. fc_uk

    Cheeser I Love Reefer

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    how big is your sump? would you ever consider getting a new sump? like a diy sump would be cheap and u can customize it to fit a way better skimmer in there. otherwise i would go with the reef octopus bh2000. ull definitely see a considerable difference. u could hang it on your display tank.
    but personally. i would build my own sump and get a better skimmer. to me that first compartment u have in your skimmer is a waste of space.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
    Cheeser, Nov 20, 2012
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  16. fc_uk

    Cheeser I Love Reefer

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    u could run the reactors parrallel but i prefer to be able to control the flow in each independently. brs sells a dual reactor for both gfo and carbon. thats what i have, works great, but i think ill eventually get the 2 seperate reactors.
    and as for the cheato...itll eat up those excess nutrients that are fueling your algae. itll definitely reduce nitrates and phosphates in your system. the more space u have to grow cheato the better. keep in mind that cyano is not just algae but its a bacteria so keep up with water changes to get that stuff out. the big idea is to try to keep your water as clean as possible.
     
    Cheeser, Nov 20, 2012
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  17. fc_uk

    Cheeser I Love Reefer

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    i can tell from that pic that u definitely have more room for a bigger sump under that stand i would measure that space in there and see how big of a tank u can fit under there. im sure u can fit like a 30 gallon tank under there. also u should hang up that surge protector so it dont get wet. ;)
     
    Cheeser, Nov 20, 2012
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  18. fc_uk

    fc_uk

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    I would guess my sump is 15 +/- 5 gallons. Unfortunately, I don't know because I bought this used from a lfs. This is what the owner had put together. The owner was NOT sea life systems.

    Yes, I would be open to considering a new sump. However, my thoughts were actually more along the lines of a 20 or so gallon tank with live rock, cheato, skimmer, and a small led unit to stimulate growth. Was that what you were thinking in terms of diy?

    Given my opinion of the skimmer (crap), I agree with you; the first compartment of that sump is a total and complete waste of space. Those bio balls were another issue that were luckily easy to sort. As was the sponge filter from the bio ball compartment to the return pump. I've never understood mechanical filtration as it applies to uses such as this.

    edit: yes, I probably could fit a 30 gallon if needed... is bigger generally better here?
     
    fc_uk, Nov 20, 2012
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  19. fc_uk

    Cheeser I Love Reefer

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    yes bigger is better. bigger means more water volume...the more water the more dillution of bad things.
    bigger also means more rock, more cheato, bigger skimmer, room for ur reactors and heater and stuff.
     
    Cheeser, Nov 20, 2012
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  20. fc_uk

    Cheeser I Love Reefer

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    i have a 65 gallon display tank with a 55 gallon sump in the next room. the refugium part of my sump is like 25 gallons alone. i can grow a shit ton of cheato in there. since i upgraded to my 55 gal diy sump from my 20 gallon diy sump i havent seen any algae at all in my display tank.
     
    Cheeser, Nov 20, 2012
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