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Christyef

Rusty dusty type stuff

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I seem to always be trying to get rid of something. Lol. Now it’s this fine dusty looking rust colored stuff. It blows off easy. The tang and foxface don’t seem to eat it. My PO4 is .7. Still high, I know. New filters are on the way. Chemi-clean doesn’t touch it. Vibrant doesn’t either. I’m also running a dual reactor. Carbon is currently out bc some of my zoas don’t like it. 🤷‍♀.

Last night I Received a new coral purchase from Maine. In she included 5 nassarius as a freebie. I only include that tidbit of info bc in photo one, one of the snails seems to have done a good job today cleaning the rust dust off of his rock. a7ca990581d24b7e1223ba8e591e0018.jpg548c82746ef0778cf3727480bc5f367b.jpg7b70914ebc94a117c1fd85ce3052bcc9.jpga5ebb251702b0f4cd03f91babde14c8a.jpg

 

 

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Im going to say its diatoms. Have you added any new rock or  sand. Even plastic will contain silicates. Thats what they feed on. Since vibrant is just bacteria it will not kill them. Neither will chemi clean. In dried form they are used for many things including tooth paste.

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seems diatom-y.  more flow and filter socks should clear it out.

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Speaking of more flow, my powerheads gunk up pretty quickly with this stuff. I have to clean them weekly. Is this normal? I did put a plastic bowl in there to keep a ricordia frag from blowing around. Maybe that was it


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Dont know about the freq. but I have to clean my mp60 covers once a week to get the cyano off.

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It looks like Calothrix or brown cyanobacteria to me. Cyano and Calothrix are both characterized by suspended bubbles that are caused by respiration. It's similar looking to diatoms, but the bubbles gives it away. 

Here's what Reef Cleaners says about it. 

Calothrix

calothrix 300x225

These species of cyano often appear as a light slimy yet hairy/fuzzy nastiness that loosely attaches to your rock work. Air bubbles are usually trapped while eascaping the "algae", just like in the picture to the left. Calothrix is a type of blue green algae that looks very similar to Dinos. We have them next to each other in the guide to help you distinguish the difference between the two.

Manual Removal - Remove the rock and scrub, and then fine tune with a toothbrush. Let the cleaners get the rest. It helps to use a net to collect the debris that will occur as a result of the toothbrushing.

Starving it out - Use a phosban reactor or a macro like chaeto to take down phosphate. If you have a nitrate problem too, you can add more live rock or rubble to the tank, do some more wcs, add macro, add dsb, etc...

Clean Up Crew - Chitons, Nerites and other cyano cleaners work well. 

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I have a gfo reactor. My phosphates are kinda high. . I have to replace my CUC regularly bc my eel eats them. . I’m starting over with new rock in my new tank. ONLY rock I’ll transfer over will be ones I cannot get current corals off of. I’ll try to give all that a good scrub and peroxide soak (except the coral) before adding it. That helped with my GHA


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Cyanobacteria and many different algae spores are in our water in some form at all times. Starting with new LR can help if you're concerned with leaching, but it wouldn't stop the introduction of cyano, GHA, or other types of algae. I did an experiment in May 2017 where I used peroxide to remove GHA. You can read about it in these posts if you're interested: First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth. Peroxide as a coral treatment can be used with zoas, palys, mushrooms, leathers, and other softies, but can't be used on SPS or LPS. It will kill the bloomed algae, dinos, pods, stars, and worms, etc. but doesn't affect spores or eggs. 

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If it cyano and not diatoms , why didn’t the chemi clean work or the vibrant?

 

 

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16 hours ago, Christyef said:

If it cyano and not diatoms , why didn’t the chemi clean work or the vibrant?

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I've never used these products before and I'm not an expert on algae or bacteria. I was just trying to help with my meager experience. The Boyd Enterprises says that Chemiclean works on "many" strains of cyanobacteria, including red, black, blue-green, and methane producing strains. According to the instructions it should have worked. I couldn't find any examples online where some hobbyists have used it for anything but red cyano. I guess that's why they started marketing it as "Red Slime Remover". 

Vibrant looks very much like a hoodwinked shamcrockery to me. The hobbyists polls and posts online aren't great. About 50% of users said it makes them run faster, jump higher, and look more attractive, but the other 50% said it either straight up didn't work or they didn't notice a change. The product instructions include doing water changes, manual removal, and adding media, which is excellent marketing if you ask me. 

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What I realized and the main reason I stopped using stuff to kill off nuisance algae 12-14 years ago and focused on just manual removal is the stuff doesn't really get rid of the main problem.  It only corrects a secondary and mostly aesthetic issue.  Using an antibiotic or what ever it is in chemiclean or some algacide just dumps all those stuff that had been bound up in whatever nuisance algae available for everything else in the system. And one thing I've learned some other nuisance algae is most likely going to step in and out compete corals, especially if whatever product is used also impacts corals ability to compete.  Just because a product says it won't kill corals doesn't mean it won't affect it's metabolism.  There's plenty of research showing corals impacted by disruptions or stress events can look fine but thier internal biology can take months to recover.  

So another way to think of it is like this; If a tank is treated all the stuff bound up in the nuisance algae is now back in the system. Doing a 20% or 30% water change leaves 70% to 80% of the stuff available for some other nuisance algae to use.  But manual removal may take out 60%, 70% to 80% of the nuisance algae and the suff it's bound up.  Sure there's still 20%, 30% or 40% of the nuisance algae left but the stuff it's pulled out of the system is still bound up and not available for other nuisance algae.  Since nothing has been added that would interfere or disrupt corals ability to compete and shift the ecosystems equilibrium to one that favors corals over algae.  

Here's links to my two threads on nuisance algae.  One important takeaway is nitrates and phosphate INCREASED as the nuisance algae disappeared.  I think this demonstrates there is a lot more going on with our systems than just nitrogen and phosphate and whether the equilibrium of an ecosystem favors corals or algae than what our tests are currently able to show us.

http://www.austinreefclub.com/topic/34556-hair-algae-a-case-study/?tab=comments#comment-275433

http://www.austinreefclub.com/topic/39043-hair-algae-a-second-case-study/?tab=comments#comment-325744

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What I realized and the main reason I stopped using stuff to kill off nuisance algae 12-14 years ago and focused on just manual removal is the stuff doesn't really get rid of the main problem.  It only corrects a secondary and mostly aesthetic issue.  Using an antibiotic or what ever it is in chemiclean or some algacide just dumps all those stuff that had been bound up in whatever nuisance algae available for everything else in the system. And one thing I've learned some other nuisance algae is most likely going to step in and out compete corals, especially if whatever product is used also impacts corals ability to compete.  Just because a product says it won't kill corals doesn't mean it won't affect it's metabolism.  There's plenty of research showing corals impacted by disruptions or stress events can look fine but thier internal biology can take months to recover.  
So another way to think of it is like this; If a tank is treated all the stuff bound up in the nuisance algae is now back in the system. Doing a 20% or 30% water change leaves 70% to 80% of the stuff available for some other nuisance algae to use.  But manual removal may take out 60%, 70% to 80% of the nuisance algae and the suff it's bound up.  Sure there's still 20%, 30% or 40% of the nuisance algae left but the stuff it's pulled out of the system is still bound up and not available for other nuisance algae.  Since nothing has been added that would interfere or disrupt corals ability to compete and shift the ecosystems equilibrium to one that favors corals over algae.  
Here's links to my two threads on nuisance algae.  One important takeaway is nitrates and phosphate INCREASED as the nuisance algae disappeared.  I think this demonstrates there is a lot more going on with our systems than just nitrogen and phosphate and whether the equilibrium of an ecosystem favors corals or algae than what our tests are currently able to show us.
http://www.austinreefclub.com/topic/34556-hair-algae-a-case-study/?tab=comments#comment-275433
http://www.austinreefclub.com/topic/39043-hair-algae-a-second-case-study/?tab=comments#comment-325744

By manual removal of this stuff, could I just blow it off with a turkey baster (it comes off very easy) and let the filter socks catch it? Or should I blow it off and do a water change at the same time?


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If it is concentrated in certain spots then siphoning out those spots would be helpful. Replenish that water with new. If its just all over, then blowing it and getting it into the water column with your pumps on high will let the filter socks do their job.  Do this a couple of times in 8 hours,  then change out the socks when the water clears. Some will settle again so repeating the process will get more and more. Doing a water change will help as long as the stuff is in the water column, but will use up salt. Its all manual labor.

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It is pretty much in certain spots. And seems to keep reappearing in those same spots. Could be a flow issue. I have an mp40 I’m not using. Saving it for my upgrade. I figured it was overkill for a 55 gal. I guess I could try it in there and just dial it way down. I just didn’t want to blast my nems all over and have them start walking


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If it blows off easily I would just siphon it out but if you use a filter sock leaving it in for more than a few hours algae is going to be breaking down releasing stuff back into the water, I would suggest a really fine micron sock so it catches a lot more and clogs up fast so you have to swap it out (FWI I stopped using filter socks many years ago).   Don't worry about trying to get all of it, being obsessive compulsive isn't going to shift the equilibrium of the ecosystem any faster.   Most algae has a slightly negative bouyancy so if you turn all circulation off after 20-30 minutes a lot of it will settle to the bottom and it can be siphoned out.    When I get rid of nuisance algae most of the time I'm only doing 5% to 10% water changes weekly.  My first thread when I corrected the equilibrium in Mike's tank was an exception with roughly 15% water changes roughly 3-4 weeks apart.  My 2nd thread was typical with just 5% water changes weekly: because of the 4' height I was using a long handle dish scrubbing brush stuck in a piece of PVC so I could reach to the bottom of the tank, like I just mentioned, pumps were shut off before I started scrubbing then the algae along with sand was siphoned out and just some of the surface sand was rinsed in fresh water and returned to the tank.

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Thank you, Tim. I’m going to try to siphon what I can see.


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You're Welcome! 

I siphoned what I could reach today. A pretty good amount. I will tell you, I have respect for what you do. Tank maintenance is a tedious job. I had no clue if I was doing it correctly, but I did come out with a pitcher or rust water. I was using a drip acclimating thing on the end of my siphon hose going into the bucket pretty much wide open bc I didn’t want to take out a crap load of good water. Seemed to work ok. I’m sure I’ll have to do it a time or two more, but for now things look good. Thanks again!

 

 

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What diameter tubing are you using?  I always use 9/16 so I'm not standing over a bucket forever. 

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Wow. That big?? Do you pinch it or have a valve on it? I didn’t want that much water coming out. I just used a 1/4” with a dripper wide open. Lol. Got clogged a few times, but Got the job done. So, if it keeps coming back then I’m safe to assume there’s something causing it? Do high TDS cause to cyano?


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I pinch it or fold it partially with one hand while my other hand holds it, in most cases, roughly 6" from the end that's siphoning out algae.  I also use stainless steel straws with a bend in them or striaght pieces of 1/2" CPVC pipe of various lengths as a nozzles if needed.  As far at TDS causing cyano this reef system was started in 1994 and since it was rehomed in 2007 it has had water changes with tapwater.  Does it look like it has a cyano issue?

 

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I pinch it or fold it partially with one hand while my other hand holds it, in most cases, roughly 6" from the end that's siphoning out algae.  I also use stainless steel straws with a bend in them or striaght pieces of 1/2" CPVC pipe of various lengths as a nozzles if needed.  As far at TDS causing cyano this reef system was started in 1994 and since it was rehomed in 2007 it has had water changes with tapwater.  Does it look like it has a cyano issue?
 

No, sir! I’d say not!


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Ive used the Chemiclean before to fight off cyano as well, i didn't find that it worked that well. best recipe and a few strings on 30% water changes and watching my nitrates, and went dark for a few days to break it. i hate the stuff. Also if you have the ability check your lights make sure they are with in spec, this stuff doesn't stick real well so if can be siphoned off pretty easy like Tim suggested. 

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I moved my powerheads around and added an Mp40 on its lowest setting. The cyano was settling on the dead spots. The extra flow and the snails seems to have drastically helped the situation. The biggest difference I can tell in corals is the sarcophyton are all now happy. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why they wouldn’t open. They either don’t like the cyano, or love the extra flow. Either way, I’m glad they’re finally happy. I added a weeping willow toadstool about 3 weeks ago that wasn’t cheap and just love it! It’s so small and just waves all over now. I’m not an impulsive buyer anymore like when I first began the hobby, lol, but I was on a waiting list for this little guy for 6 weeks.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Christyef said:

I moved my powerheads around and added an Mp40 on its lowest setting. The cyano was settling on the dead spots. The extra flow and the snails seems to have drastically helped the situation. The biggest difference I can tell in corals is the sarcophyton are all now happy. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why they wouldn’t open. They either don’t like the cyano, or love the extra flow. Either way, I’m glad they’re finally happy. I added a weeping willow toadstool about 3 weeks ago that wasn’t cheap and just love it! It’s so small and just waves all over now. emoji173.png I’m not an impulsive buyer anymore like when I first began the hobby, lol, but I was on a waiting list for this little guy for 6 weeks.

 

 

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you have any pics of the weeping willow? Where did you get it from? I've been on the hunt for one for a while myself. I saw one once from Divers Den, but hesitated on getting it and it sold.

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