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FAQs on Controlling Cyano/Blue-Green Algae 18

Related FAQs: Control of Cyano/Blue-Green Algae 1, Cyano Control 2, Cyano Control 3, Cyano Control 4, Cyano Control 5, Cyano Control 6, Cyano Control 7, Cyano Control 8, Cyano Control 9, Cyano Control 10, Cyano Control 11, BGA Control 12, BGA Control 13, BGA Control 14, BGA Control 15, BGA Control 16, BGA Control 17BGA Control 19, BGA Control 20, & BGA Identification, Algae ControlMarine Algicide Use, Nutrient Limitation, Marine Algae Eaters, Culturing Macro-Algae; Controlling: Red/Encrusting Algae, Green Algae, Brown/Diatom Algae

Related Articles: Blue-Green "Algae"/(Cyanobacteria), Algae Control, Marine Maintenance, Nutrient Control and Export, Marine Scavengers, Snails, Hermit Crabs, Mithrax/Emerald Green Crabs, Sea Urchins, Blennies, Algae Filters, Ctenochaetus/Bristle Mouth Tangs, Zebrasoma/Sailfin Tangs, Skimmers, Skimmer Selection, Marine Algae, Coralline Algae, Green Algae, Brown Algae,   Diatoms, Brown Algae

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Marine Aquarium Algae Control

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Diatom/BGA question and polyp ID   12/21/10
Hello crew!
<Howsit Chris?>
My name is Chris, and I started my first marine reef tank this past October (my 30th birthday present from my wife). All is going fairly well, but I do have two questions. So first off, my set-up:
65g tank, containing about 36g Instant Oceans salt water premixed with RO/DI at my local supplier, 20% weekly changes, 110LBS live rock (mostly Fiji with a bit of Haiti), 60LBS CaribSea "live sand" on top of 60LBS crushed coral/stone making a sandbed ranging 4-6" deep (depending on flow). No sump (yet, will add in new year)
Red Sea Berlin skimmer (rated to 250g) with Mag pump @550gph, Eheim classic 2213 canister filled with Eheim Substrat Pro and LR crumbles, floss on the intake replaced weekly, @116gph. Hydor Koralia (pre-evolution) 850gph fan, Hydor Nano 240 gph fan, MaxiJet 600 @160gph. Total flow in the tank is 1916gph.
Livestock 2 percula clowns, 2 cleaner shrimp, 2 blue-leg hermits, 1 stand-sifting star, 14 Astrea snails, 6 turbo snails, assorted small dusters, hitch-hiker clams (rock boring I think), wormy dudes. Small frag of Orange Polyps (will ask about these in a moment).
Tank "cycled" if you could call it that remarkably quickly. Like, I never actually saw an Ammonia spike. For three days my Nitrites were "up" (1.0, 0.50, 0.25), but both have been flat at zero since. Various and sundry people kept telling me to wait, it would spike, but after four weeks I figured I was safe and bought the clowns. They've been fine. 40 LBS of the live rock was uncured, but the other 70LBS was bought out of two different established (I think both about 4 years old) hobbyist aquariums near-by.
One person said it was reasonable, because there is so much rock and sand, that my cycle was likely just really really quick (agree?).
I check Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, pH, SG and Phosphates 3 times per week, and KH Ca once per week. Using API test kits. Ammonia/Nitrite never budge off 0, Nitrate bounces between about 5-20ppm leading up to water-change day.
Phosphates go between 0-0.25ppm, but I'm told that's not hugely accurate.
SG is nearly always pegged at 1.023, temp never seems beyond 83.2-83.9F.
KH stays around 13dKH, Ca at around 450ppm. Oh and pH is always between 8.1-8.3
Lighting is a Marineland double strip LED (24x1watt diodes with 12 moonlights), one 50/50 Coralife t8 that came with the tank and a 6500k PC.
I'm planning to move to all LED in the next year, before I get into corals.
Lighting runs full for 12 hours, moonlights for 24 hours.
I've been feeding the clowns on flaked veggie food, three times per day (which I thought was a lot, but was on advice from place I bought them.
They eat vigorously every time, as do the shrimp (doing their little back-stroke) is this too much?), and started feeding the polyps 3x weekly using Kent Zooplankton (5ml per feeding, obviously the shrimp and clowns get some too, despite feeding directly. The polyps all close, so I assume they're eating).
Okay, first question, I've attached a picture of the polyps. They guy who I got them off of said they were Orange Star Polyps. I'm not so sure. Best I've been able to find searching here and online would be Orange Sun Polyps, but I'm not sold. What do you think? Also, I've heard both sides, that they do feed off photosynthesis and that they don't. What say you? Is 5ml zoo 3 times per week sufficient feeding?
<Zoanthids of some sort and feeding okay>
Second, I've had some algae, that I know isn't algae.
<BGA, Cyanobacteria>
Different people have told me it's either Cyano or Diatoms. I've looked at various pictures and can't decide, there's some in the polyp pic, as well as in the other pic I've attached. As you can see, it ranges from crimson red to brown to grey/black. It definitely prefers areas of less flow, it grows on both the glass and LR, but especially on LR where there is healthy purple coraline algae. I generally siphon it off during the water changes, but it keeps coming back. When I thought it was diatoms, I assumed "just wait", but it's been present now for about 6 weeks. Nothing eats it, though the snails do push it away to eat under it, so it gets dislodged. Is it diatoms and I just need to be patient, or BGA, and I'm overfeeding (it's been present since before I got livestock and started any feeding)? I'm also considering
putting an ounce or so of activated charcoal in a pouch in the canister for a few weeks, might this help?
<Mmm, there are a few approaches to consider...>
Thanks so much for such a great resource!
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm
and the linked files above... What elements of what you read/discern are at play here? Bob Fenner>
Re: Diatom/BGA question and polyp ID   12/21/10
A little follow-up: The polyps: Orange Zoanthids?
<Mmm, yes. Zoanthideans: http://wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm

Re: Diatom/BGA question and polyp ID   12/22/10
Good Morning Bob (et al)
Thanks for the reply and the reference. Here's my plan of attack:
- I'm going to add 3 tbsp activated carbon in a media bag to my Eheim
<Mmm, I'd add a bunch more... likely a "unit" (bag) of Chemipure or equivalent>
- I'm going to cut back feeding to twice daily
- I'm going to get a timer for my lights (up till now it's been done by hand, but we're going away for the weekend for new year's so I had to get to this anyways). There's definitely been days when the photo period would have been 14-16 hours if I was working late and forgot to switch them off on time. Full lights will only be on for 12 hours. Moonlights over night.
- I'm going to keep on siphoning off any that pops up
Thanks so much, I really appreciate how friendly and helpful you all are.
<Welcome and please do consider the addition of a DSB in a lighted refugium... macro-algal culture there, on a RDP light regimen. Cheers! BobF>

Re: Diatom/BGA question and polyp ID, Cyano contr. f'    12/22/10
Okay, more Carbon! I'd read an article in the archive that prescribed between 3 tbsp to 3 cups, and recommended starting at the bottom and working up.
<Tis so... but I think you're ready for the "full bag" here>
The refugium is in the works.
<Ah good>
The plan (as it stands) is to have a custom sump, that has fairly deep walls, with the refugium built into it, above the sump area. Water will get pumped up into it, where it will hang out with some nice deep sand (maybe mud?)
and macro, it will then overflow back down to the last baffle (from where it came) and either get pumped back to the display or recirculated through the refugium (depending on any disparity between pump volumes).
<A great design... I do wish there was a commercial maker or makers of such... By having the 'fuge above, much more reduced flow can be metered, than all that is going through the sump and its gear>
Ummmm, not sure how clear that is. I could draw a picture in Photoshop, but I've got a holiday-crazy two year old on my lap and things could get ugly.....
<I do think I understand you here>
Anyways, all the best to you and the crew and all your families this holiday
season! Many blessings for the new year.
<And to you and yours Chris. BobF>

Black Algae/Cyano Control 11/19/10
Hi Crew,
<Hello Rosie>
We have a 85 gallon saltwater tank that has been doing very well for about 2 years. Lately we have noticed some black algae coming on some of the rocks. We have 2 powerheads and recently added a third. This seemed to stop the problem for a bit but now it seems to be back, there are a few dead spots but not totally. I have tried repositioning the powerheads, and we do weekly tests, and water changes as well as scraping the glass and vacuuming the gravel. The rocks are nice and pink/purple, we have 2 Skunk
Clownfish, 4 Green Chromis Damsels ( one recently disappeared) , a Blue Hippo Tang, 1 Mandarin, and a Dottyback. There is also some Leather Coral, button polyps, star polyps, and mushrooms. Our tests are all coming back within the normal ranges : calcium is anywhere between 380 and 420 , ammonia is usually 0 the odd time it is 0.1, nitrates are usually between 20 and 50, nitrites, are normally 0 - 0.1. We also did a silica test which came back at 0ppm. We did have a buttle <Bubble> Tip Anemone, but about a week ago it just seemed to disappear ...... not sure what to do and if the algae has anything to do with the disappearance of the anemone or the fish ?? any suggestions ??
<The disappearance of the Bubble Tip Anemone and the Green Chromis likely had something to do with you Cyano infestation as water conditions would deteriorate with dead animals present. Suggest reading here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm?h=black+cyano
James (Salty Dog)>

Algae question and maybe a few others   8/2/10
Hello to the crew of WWM and thank you in advance for taking the time to read over and answer my questions. I'm hoping to answer a few questions, plus get any helpful advise from your team along the way.
First a bit of history, I purchased this tank back 2006 and it was already about three years old and fully stocked with fish and corals. While I had previously kept salt and fresh water fish only tanks, corals were completely new to me. I'd like to list all of the livestock and equipment I currently have, as some has been lost, changed or upgraded over the years.
Oceanic 92 gallon corner tank, stand & canopy with two 120mm fans
Pro Clear Aquatics 175 wet/dry, sump
Mag-Drive 9.5, return pump
ASM G-1, skimmer
2 Hydor Koralia 3's, tank circulation
Coralife 24" Aqualight Pro with one Aqualine Buschke 10k 150 watt MH & two
Coralife 65 watt actinic PC's, lighting
Coralife 3x, UV sterilizer
Two Little Fishes Phosban 150, with Pura Phoslock and Kent reef carbon, phosphate reactor
<...? Why all this HPO4 removing?>
1 Sailfin Tang (7")
1 Yellow Tang (4")
2 Maroon Clowns (4" and 3")
3 Blue Chromis (3")
1 Blue Damsel (2")
1 Engineer Goby (14")
1 Pink Starfish (5")
1 Bubble Coral
2 Heads Dendro Coral
1 Frog Spawn Coral
1 Green BTA Anemone
<And a good deal of BGA>
A mix of Purple Mushrooms, Yellow Polyps, Green Star Polyps, Kenya Tree Coral, and Zoanthus
All of the fish are adult the corals are of mixed ages.
Two feeding of Omega One Marine Pellets (about 10 pinches, there very small pellets)
Two feeding of Two Little Fishes Green Seaweed (3"x2" piece)
I hand feed the Engineer Goby one Krill
I feed the Starfish one Kill 3-4 times a week
I feed the Dendro Coral small cut up pieces of Krill
I also feed the Anemone one Krill 2-3 times a week
All of the Krill is rinsed and soaked in Two Little Fishes Phyto Plan
Water change of 30 gallons with Instant Oceans Reef Crystals and store bought RO water (Windmill or Glacier water stations). vacuumed from gravel.
Removal and replacement of filter pad in wet/dry.
Removal and replacement of Phoslock and Reef Carbon.
Test nitrates, phosphates, calcium, salinity, ph and kH.
Average test results:
Nitrates 10 PPM
Phosphates .5 PPM
<? Surprising>
Calcium 460 PPM
Salinity 1.023
PH 8.2
KH 214.8 PPM (sometimes higher)
Nitrite and Ammonia always test zero
Clean pumps, skimmer, and sump
Treat for Aiptasia with Aiptasia-X
Change all bulbs
This maintenance list is really for the last year, prior to that it was not as good.
As I have a small group of questions I figured I'd just list them out.
In between water changes I always get very fine bright green algae on the glass, even after cleaning its back within 48 hours. Is there anything I can do to reduce this?
<Mmm, yes... directly... raise your RedOx... indirectly switch out,
replace some of your live rock (should be done annually... see WWM re), add a DSB in a tied in refugium/sump... with a RDP lighting regimen and useful macroalgal culture... Mmmm. Get a much larger system...>
I also have a very dark red/brown algae
that covers some of my rocks, it even over grows the small amount of coralline algae I have. It grows in high light areas and oddly enough it has grown more since my water parameters have improved (mainly the phosphates dropping). Is there anything I can do to reduce this algae and promote the coralline algae?
<The photo attached is almost certainly BGA... is it soft to the touch? Peals off when pinched?>
I believe my water changes of 30 gallons a week are causing the tank to have a small cycle. Could this be, and how harmful is this?
<Well, you don't want to have so much change period that cycling is interrupted...>
I'm in the process and strongly considering some new changes to the tank.
I'm looking to have a sump/refugium custom built to allow for the most volume I can fit in my cabinet.
It will add a real 10 gallons of water volume to my system, giving me a spot for a five gallon refugium. Good/Bad idea?
<Well, the bigger the better...>
I'm also looking to add a larger skimmer with the new space in the sump.
Currently I'm looking at the CoralVue SRO-2000 INT Good/Bad idea?
<These are good units IMO>
Strongly considering the Red Sea Wavemaster, and using airline tubing on my Koralias to keep them from clicking when the pump cycle on and off. As well has upgrading the ballast and sockets to support a 250 watt metal halide in place of the 150 watt. Good/Bad idea?
The main reason for the upgrades is because I would like to start adding some SPS to the top portion of my tank. I actually added a small Pocillopora about 3 weeks ago and so far so good. All the upgrades would be in stages mainly to cut down on the upfront cost. First would be the sump/refugium, second the skimmer, third the Wavemaker, and lastly the 250 watt metal halide.
<Sounds good. Is the order I'd do them>
I've also recently been learning about algae scrubbers. I'm curious if this could be any help to my system. If there <they're> what I believe them to be, my small 30 gallon tank my have a naturally occurring one. As my HOB filter is under my T5's it always grows thick green algae on the two 1"x 4" lips of the return. And the test parameters of that tank are always perfect of course there's only one Damsel and Hermit Crab in that tank. If
this would be any help in my 92 gallon tank I could add a small 2'x15.5' lip to the wall going to the refugium. Worth the effort, or not the same thing?
<I would go w/ the rest of your plans first>
I would love to have your thoughts on these things or anything else that you may help me with from the information I provided. And thanks again for your time.
<You'd do well to learn to use the search tool and indices on WWM. Thank you for sharing, and do send along specific questions, and your follow-up input as your plans progress. Bob Fenner>


Re: Algae question and maybe a few others. BGA cont., Reef op. f's  8/4/10
Thank you, I really wasn't expecting such a quick reply. Although I do appreciate your timely response.
<Ahh! In action, watch the timing... a resounding/repeating theme in human cognitive history/writing>
A few of your questions and mine could have been answered if I would have given a better history rather than just a current status.
<You show/display wisdom.... wish I did!>
When I first purchased this tank the previous owner had a list of problems and failures. And even though I knew little to nothing about Corals, for the price they were asking ($600.00 for Tank, Stand, Sump, Light, UV Sterilizer, Skimmer, Return Pump, Live Stock and Accessories) I felt I couldn't pass it up. At first I felt that my experience keeping Fresh and Saltwater Fish for years before would help in my success with Corals, and the rest I could learn along the way. This was not so much the case, there were things I never even thought of. The problems I noticed and fixed right off were more equipment related.
The owner had cut a huge hole at the top of the over flow box to allow them to put the U drain pipe in the main tank. This also put uneven pressure on the rubber seal along the bottom of the drain pipe, causing a small constant drip.
The Skimmer body had been cut or drilled out to allow for a bigger pump.
<?! Not smart>
However it was done so badly and without any type of gasket, that just as much water leaked out has went in. I noticed these issues right off and fixed all of them. The Skimmer was replaced with the ASM G1.
What I didn't realize was how over stocked the tank was, or how big the fish that were in the tank would become. And how under sized my new Skimmer was going to be for it's future job. In addition to the 9 fish I listed in my current setup, there were originally 7 more. Including 1 Chromis, 2 Yellow Wrasse, 1 Red Coris Wrasse,
<Gets quite large, rambunctious>
1 Scooter Goby, and 2 Blue Devil Damsel. There were also 3 BTAs, 2 Tube Anemone,
1 Green Flower Pot Coral, 1 Bubble Coral, 1 Flame Scallop, 1 Feather Duster, 1 Star Fish, and another Star Fish I found dead in the overflow box that the owner had mentioned went missing, 2 Porcelain Crabs, and 1 Banded Coral Shrimp. Out of the Coral/Invertebrates I only have the Bubble Coral and Star Fish left. The Flame Scallop and Green Flower Pot slowly died off,
<Very typical, par for this course>
one of the BTA's did not make the move, the other two died after 2 to 3 years, the Star Fish ate the Feather Duster, and I donated the Tube Anemone's to my LFS after reading about them in your book. Of the fish, 1 Yellow Wrasse Jumped out of the tank, the other was bullied to death by the Maroon Clowns,
<Common beh.>
1 Chromis died from starvation, (he just stopped taking food, even live Brine Shrimp).
<Very social animals...>
And the Scooter Goby died of starvation too during a bad out break of Aiptasia (he couldn't even move over the rocks to eat Copepods, without getting stun by the Aiptasia, and he eventually stopped taking Live Brine Shrimp). The 2 Porcelain Crabs and Banded Coral Shrimp were eaten by the Red Coris Wrasse.
<Ah yes>
That's a sad thing, to admit all of that, I feel as if I failed them, after all they were in my care. I also donated the Red Coris Wrasse and the 2 Blue Devil Damsels to my LFS as well. In addition to the heavy bio load the tank had no water movement, besides the return line. I also noticed that the return line first went through the UV Sterilizer reducing it's flow and making the UV Sterilizer
pointless. I rerouted all of this with a new Maxi Jet 1200 and ball valve to run UV Sterilizer and Phosphate Reactor. And of course the Mag Drive 9.5 is only a return feed pump. The tank also had a huge amount of Bristle Worms. These were killed off during a radical treatment for the Aiptasia.
After losing the Scooter Goby to the Aiptasia, (one of my favorite fish in the whole tank). I removed all of the Live Rock and put it in a 35 gallon container with fresh mixed saltwater and a 800 gph pump, covered the container and left it outside in the sun for a week. Monitored temp which was in the high 90's almost 100's and changed out the water as needed. The high temp killed everything, Aiptasia, Bristles Worms, Algae, and I'm sure a good amount of my Beneficial Bacteria. After this I went through the cook process, keeping the rock at a temp of 78 to 79 degrees with water movement and changed the water as needed, until everything was well cycled and safe to put back in the tank, about a month total time. The rocks that had large growth of Polyps and the Bubble Coral went into a 10 gallon QT tank and were treated for Aiptasia as well as the addition of some Peppermint Shrimp. This was all during the same time the live rock was being treated outside, the fish stayed in the tank, with make shift PVC housing during this process. While I killed every Aiptasia on the live rock and in the tank, I know I had to miss a few on the rock I kept in the QT tank. I still treat with Aiptasia X for these guys once a month, however there are very few, and they don't seem to spread. My understanding is that a heavy nutrient rich tank, higher heat (was at 82 at one point, now a constant 76 to 78) and low water flow, basically gave them a perfect breeding ground and they started to reproduce asexually, which is what caused the out break of literally hundreds in the tank.
<Likely so>
Now I probably treat about 20 a month. Another problem I had after this was high Nitrates, even with weekly maintenance the heavy bio load was causing me to see deep red in all my Nitrate test. During the beginning of 09 I finally got these under control, and tested 20PPM on average, sometimes higher. Although I still was seeing Algae, It never dawned on me to check Phosphate. The first test for Phosphate turned dark blue instantly. I changed to RO water and over time saw them drop to 2.0PPM,
<Still way too high>
I could never get below this mark though. I read a lot on your site about Phosphate Reservoirs and saw that while I was on the right track, it was going to take time, as everything in this hobby. I then added the Phosphate Reactor, and saw a drop to 1PPM by the beginning of this year.
During a desire to re aquascape and maybe eliminate the Phosphate Reservoirs, I again broke the tank down, but no where near as severe before. I simply set up a few buckets of fresh RO water and a large 35 gallon tub of fresh saltwater. Pulled the rocks out one by one, dipped in the fresh water and shook them clean before placing them in the 35 gallon bin of saltwater. Once done, I thoroughly vacuumed the Crushed Coral
<You might switch this out for sand...>
in the tank, changing out a total of 70 gallons. The Phosphates instantly dropped to .5 PPM and have never risen above that, and recently have been at .25 PPM. All this was done about 4 months back. The reason I'm doing the upgrades I mentioned is so I can feed my fish a bit more and support SPS, my Sailfins lost a bit of weight, nothing scary but I don't like seeing weight loss in any of my fish. It's mainly because I stopped using the Large Shrimp Pellets from Omega One, do to the fact it's a Shrimp based food and the whole Phosphate thing. I'm going to see how the levels do by putting him back on the larger pellets rather then the small ones he and the other fish eat. Either way I'll still be feeding far less than I used too. Suggestions on a good dry food of larger size would be greatly appreciated.
<Oh, Spectrum brand by a very long shot:
Wow, that was a lot. I don't think I listed all of it before because I was afraid of length and embarrassed about some of it too.
<Don't be>
I really do feel bad that some of my live stock has died do to poor care and naivety. I've learned a lot over the years, and yes I do read your site quite often. I find it very informative, most of the things that have me on the right track now are do to your site and book. I put the email together with a few questions I found some answers to on your site, but felt that since everyone's tanks just a bit different I'd still ask for your advise. I'm glad I have and appreciate all the help.
In answer to your question about Magnesium, I have no idea I've never had it tested.
<I definitely would>
I was under the assumption that if Calcium, Alkalinity and PH were in line, them Magnesium should be okay.
<Not the case, no>
Considering that you asked, I'm guessing I'm wrong and should be concerned about this?
<Yes... if out of proportion, all else to do w/ alkalinity and biomineral content will be mal-affected: http://wetwebmedia.com/mgmarfaqs.htm>
And seeing the Algae with the low Phosphate and Nitrates is surprising to me too. Any Ideas?
<All sorts... again, the substrate switch out... the addition of a good-sized refugium, RDP lighting, macro-algae culture... if you'd like an ozonizer, perhaps a dryer...>
(light cycle 10hrs PC's and 8hrs MH)
The Dark Red Algae does not come off. I've never tried to peel it off, however I did try to use a stiff nylon brush on it and nothing. The top is some what soft and my Tangs do eat it if that helps.
<Is indicative of a bad situation sorry to state... And can be used (through its diminution) as a gauge of improvement in your system/water quality>
The new Sump/Refugium is the largest I can fit, with out making it a two piece unit, and even then I might only be able to add 5 gallon.
<No chance for one elsewhere? In another room/closet, above?>
Current design is 26"x16"x16" with a 8.5"x15.5"x9" for the Refugium.
I'm planning on having 3" of Live Sand and Chaeto Algae. With a 12 watt PC 6500k or 10000k, I currently have a 50/50 bulb in this size, but I didn't know how well it would work. I do plan on running the lighting opposite cycle of my main tank lights. Honestly I read a lot over Refugium design on your site, I'm just limited to space.
<I see>
Oh and in the main tank I do have 3" to 3 1/2" inches of fine crushed coral, it's just not under the Live Rock, the Goby Engineer keeps that area completely free of Crushed Coral.
<Again... I'd switch to sand for sure: Sara's new pc. here:
and the linked files above>
I'd personally like to know if there's a way to avoid changing out some of the Live Rock yearly, I've read about this before on your site. However I'm not big on the idea of the cost or wasting Live Rock. Are there any ways around this?
<A good deal of it "melts down" and you don't need to change/add much... 10% in larger systems will do>
I'm going to have to read about RedOx, this is new to me. Is it something that could be causing my Algae growth?
<Mmm, more like "allowing it"... is an aspect of water quality>
From what I had a chance to skim over, it sounds like my new Refugium and Skimmer will raise it?
<Yes, hopefully>
Which is good?
But either way sounds like I need to have it tested to know the level.
<Indeed you are correct>
I also don't' do or know much about Ozone. I'm guessing this should be on my list of things to read up on too?
<Heeeee! But of course>
Thanks again for all your help and I will keep you posted on how things are going. I'm having the Sump built this week, next month the new Skimmer.
Mark Morales
<Thank you for sharing Mark. BobF>

Another Cyano Question BGA in a 29 gallon. 7/25/2010
Thank you for reading this,
<Hi, no problem.>
I know it's another Cyano question. I've looked at the archives here and have also been searching online for weeks now and am overwhelmed with conflicting advice. Here's what I've got -
29G Biocube started 12/09, cycled for three mos. with live rock/sand.
Everything is stock - I haven't changed anything. Added pair of Ocellaris Clownfish in March. Developed free floating green algae a month later after leaving for a week and letting pet-sitter watch (even though I put food in
separate food containers!).
<Yeah, that happens.>
Tried to get rid of that with water changes for a month, then got the Biocube UV filter which cleared it up within days. At that time I was running activated carbon (after taking out the Biocube filter) in the sump.
LFS told me to stop using carbon after a month so I wasn't running any chemical filtration. Have a Polyfilter above the bio-balls.
<The bio-balls may be contributing here - they make lots of nitrate.>
Everything looked good so started adding animals every other week. I currently have:
Pair of Ocellaris Clownfish
Royal Gramma
Yellow Watchman Goby
Fire Shrimp
Fighting Conch <Will starve in this setting unless deliberately fed.>
9 Cerith snails
6 Super Tongan Nassarius snails
3 Trochus snails
3 Red legged hermits
1 Emerald crab
Pulsing Xenia
Open Brain
Modern Coral
Moon coral
3 Button Polyps
Star polyp
Mushroom Anemone
<A bit overstocked.>
I've had Cyano for about two months now. When it first appeared, LFS said it's a natural part of cycling - needless to say, now it's really happy in my tank covering my sand, rocks. Am worried about my animals. I had stopped all additives to the tank including Roti Feast and Calcium/Buffer, and am feeding every other day just some Mysis shrimp. My parameters are calcium = 400, Nitrate = 0 (or very very close I know there must be some), PO4 = .1, Nitrite = 0, Alk = 300, PH = 8.4.
<There is the trap. You are reading 0 nitrate, so what nitrate that is being produced is being consumed.>
I don't have a refugium - so no macroalgae. My LFS said to stop water changes and stop feeding for a week. I put in a phosphate sponge thinking there has to be something feeding this stuff. I also put back in activated carbon (both 4 days ago). LFS keeps telling me I need to use ChemiClean. I just read Robert Fenner's book and realize I've made a lot of mistakes (should have read before getting the 29G I know!) I'm stumped at this point
and am afraid for my animals -either because of the Cyano or not feeding them enough. My corals actually look better than I've ever seen them - fully extended, the brain is like this undulating mass of green and red and is beautiful - button polyps are reaching up - Xenia is practically climbing out of the tank. Should I just be patient?? I've given up on my LFS advice. Thank you if you can help me figure this out. Obviously I'm new to the hobby.
<A few things I can think of off the top of my head. You do not mention if you have a protein skimmer. If you don't have one, do get one. You are likely to be amazed at the 'stuff' that comes out of the water. Secondly,.
regular water changes are a necessity 15 - 20% per week goes a long way to keeping your tank looking nice. Lastly, You don't mention your lighting. Suck out as much of the red slime as you can during your water changes.
and try keeping the lights off for a couple of days. You can also reduce the number of hours you keep your tank lit.>

Re High pH And Tons Of Hair Algae/Lacking Useful Info/Now Toxins/Now Anemone Health/Now BGA 4/18/10   5/11/10
Hi James,
Thought I would give an update in case you have any insight.
As a reminder, I am the poor soul who has the hair algae that wont go away and had the seemingly toxic tank that had a pH spike, causing me to move my anemone into a bucket for 2 weeks.
<I do remember you.>
The tank's levels have stabilized. Ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, phosphates (Salifert test) are all 0.
<Sounds very good.>
The only level that was not normal was my calcium which was at 300.
<And do not forget the all important magnesium.>
I've been dosing Tropic Marin's Calcium powder the last 2 days to start getting it back up to 400. This is a 6yr old tank with new bulbs and freshly replaced filters in the RO/DI unit. If you remember, it's recovering from a pH spike that wiped out almost everything in the tank except a shrimp, scooter, some star polyps, and the LTA. The current problem is still the hair algae. It grows VERY fast in spite of buying 10 Turbos and 2 urchins.
<Will take some time here. May want to reduce your photoperiod to 7-8 hours until things get back under control.>
They, a few hermits, and several small emerald crabs cant seem to keep up. My TDS meter reads 0 on the RODI unit that I use so the fresh water SHOULD be ok. I do 10-20 gallon water changes at least once a week, usually scrubbing hair off of what I can.
The other day, I noticed a black substance in my gravel. Note the attached pic!
<<... where is this? RMF>>
 What is that?! Could that be a clue to the poor conditions that allow this hair to grow?
<Appears to be Cyanobacteria which thrives in systems with poor water circulation/filtration and an excess of inorganic and organic compounds. If you are using any liquid food and/or dry powder type supplements, discontinue their use now. Your total water flow should be somewhere near 10 times your tank volume, and more importantly, adjust flow direction from powerheads and returns so that no stagnant areas exist  and do continue the use of Chemipure. If filter pads/socks are used, do clean/change weekly. Have a look here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm>
Almost defeated in NYC
<No such word in this hobby, perseverance will win here. James (Salty Dog)>

SERIOUS problem - help requested. BGA controls  2/22/10
Some tank info for help:
Age: 5.5 months
55 Gallon wide
Small Refugium (made from an HOT AquaClear 70 Power filter) with macroalgae (Caulerpa)
65 lbs. LR (43 pounds currently in curing stage for ~108 total pounds once added)
Jebo 304 canister with 2 fine pads, 1 course pad, ceramic Bio-rings, one pouch of Chemi-Pure Elite (under a fine pad) Nitrate pad (with ~3 lbs charcoal in bags) and 1 4x6 PolyFilter Pad.
<Mmm, a lot of chemical filtrant>
AquaTech 40-60 HOT Power filters with bio screens. Media is a simple filter media with Activated Charcoal in both.
AquaC Remora Skimmer (added 3 weeks ago)
Hydor-Koralia 3 power heads (x2)
Last H2O change was 18 Feb. 10 and was ~12 gallons (includes canister water)
Lighting: AquaticLife T5 HO (216w total (less Moon LED wattage and added 19 Feb. 2010))
Substrate: ~ 1-1.5 inches of Aragonite
Ocellaris Clown (x1)
McCosker's Flasher Wrasse (x4 males)
<Not much space for these>
Mexican Turbo Snail (x2)
Nassarius Snail (x4)
Porcelain Anemone Crab (x1)
Bubble Tip Anemone (x1)
Small Zoanthus colony
Small Star Polyp Frag
Small Trumpet Frag (x2)
Mushroom frag /w 2 green stripped mushrooms
Testing done 02-21-2010 (all done with API test kits)
Ammonia: .00ppm
Nitrite: .00ppm
Nitrate: 10ppm
Phosphates: 0ppm
pH (high): 8.0
dKH: 12
Calcium: 420
OK, now to my issue. Let me preface by stating I have read and read both here and other places for information and have implemented everything I can to that is suggested.
In 3 words - Red Hair (slime) Algae
I have cycled my TAP water out with pure RO water over a period of 2 months so all water should now be RO water.
<Mmm, less tap-effect all the time>
Water was tested prior to adding to tank with everything showing 0ppm except phosphates which is very minimal... unless I am reading that test being pessimistic, it is almost non readable.
I am feeding tank VERY VERY lightly to the point I truly do not feel my livestock is getting enough, though they all seem to be doing ok with the only exception being the color of the Ocellaris becoming fairly dark, not the brilliant orange as before. The Wrasses seem to be maintaining their color.
The bubble-Tip initially had a difficult time adjusting to its new home, but once the Anemone Crab found it (2 weeks later) and now resides there, the bubble-tip NOW seems very happy. It moved a time or two from the front to the rear then from the rear to now the front middle depth of the tank where it is seems to like and has remained now for a few weeks. The Anemone gets feed 2-3 times per week primarily with Silverside and the occasional Marine Cuisine. I just purchased Selcon to soak the silverside in prior to feeding the Anemone (probably tonight 1st time).
The Anemone crab has molted its shell within the last few days (not sure exactly when as I saw the discarded shell while doing partial H2O change).
<Leave such castings/shells/moltings in place... they are ingested, reincorporated into the new exoskeletons>
It has become a daily chore to remove as much of the red slime as I can and it is fairly significant. Only to find it returning just as heavily as the day prior. Most all open bed area is red with slime with stringers. It is now just starting to spread on some of the small pieces of rubble rock lying on the substrate. The AquaC seems to be working fine, yet not too much is coming out of the water, which, I must assume, tells me there is not much in the water to remove.
I broke down the Canister last weekend and cleaned everything inside and outside to include the massive build-up in the in/out hoses. Doing this alone significantly reduced Nitrates in the water. Was running 20+ every day when tested until this was done and in one day alone dropped it to 10 where it now remains constant.
I also thoroughly cleaned the Skimmer a few days ago (did not want to do all heavy cleaning one day to prevent massive loss of beneficial bacteria).
Both HOT filters have their filters changed about once every 2 weeks with a rinsing once per week on the opposite week of replacement.
I absolutely understand over-feeding is the primary reason for red algae. I have dropped feeding to once per day and very minimal when I do. Any frozen food I feed is rinsed in my shrimp net a few minutes, to thoroughly thaw and rinse to remove any nutrient rich water caused by the thawing. If feeding flakes, only 3-4 flakes are introduced and I allow the fish to decide who wins. The ones still hungry must forage through the live rock for supplemental feeding. I was putting in PhytoPlankton for the corals and anemone crab but have ceased doing that for 3 weeks now to assist in dropping Nitrates. I am using Seachem Marine Buffer to keep pH steady as if not used will fall back to 8.0 and sometimes lower. I do dose Purple-Up to keep Calcium levels up to at least 380.
<I would use other product/s>
I did try to use UltraLife Red Slime Remover
<NOT advised>
once and it caused such a problem by killing off not only the red algae but everything else (bacteria) and just blossomed my Ammonia and Nitrites to dangerous levels. I hesitate to try that again as I do not want to babysit my tank for 24+ hours again doing water changes every few hours.
That was not fun! I feared my bubble-tip especially as well as the corals and fish being unduly stressed.
Questions: Will using Selcon on the Silverside aggravate the situation?
<No, it will not>
Is it advisable to put Selcon on the flakes prior to
<Not really, no>
What in heaven's name can I do now that I am missing to get rid of this slime problem?
<A few things... Increase the sand bed depth (make a DSB in your system), switch out the Caulerpa for more appropriate algal genera, Chaetomorpha of Gracilaria spp., add an ozonizer to increase your ORP, boost your pH temporarily, likely with Kalk to precipitate out nutrients at one go...>
I am out of ideas and desperate to get this out of my tank. Please help!
<Oh, I've got quite a few more. Read here:
and the linked files above>
Respectfully submitted;
Marine Tank newbie, Marine lover always.
<Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Opinion and Help Requested'¦Cyano Troubles -- 01/13/10
Hello crew;
<<Greetings John>>
I am in a bit of a dilemma. I am having a major red slime outbreak to the point of it becoming an epidemic.
<<Not uncommon'¦and have been there myself. It can be dealt with'¦but will take some time/patience>>
My substrate is turning maroon and growing hair.
To the point it is actually trapping gases (o2, nitrogen??) under bubbles.
<<Yup again>>
Some tank info:
55 Gallon wide
Small Refugium (made from an HOT AquaClear 70 Power filter) with macroalgae (recently added x2 weeks ago). 40 lbs. LR (more to be steadily added as budget allows) Jebo 304 canister with 2 Eheim fine pads, Eheim sponge (coarse) pad, ceramic Bio-rings and 2 bags of activated charcoal (one under each fine pad).
<<I would remove the pads, sponge, and bio rings (at least for now'¦are trapping detritus) and fill the canister with cut-up Poly-Filter, or maybe a cup or so of an iron-based Phosphate remover. It has been my experience that limiting/reducing 'excessive' Phosphate goes a long way to winning the battle against Cyanobacteria outbreaks>>
AquaTech 40-60 HOT Power filters with bio screens. Media is a simple filter media with Activated Charcoal in both.
<<Do be sure to rinse or exchange the filter media at least weekly to reduce detritus accumulation>>
Red Sea Prizm Skimmer.
Last H2O change was 12 Jan. 10 and was ~13 gallons. Lighting: T5 HO x2 (one 54w Actinic / one 54w 6700K Life-Glo) (Both bulbs just replaced x6 days ago, major improvement).
Ocellaris Clown (x1)
McCosker's Flasher Wrasse (x2 males)
Mexican Turbo snail (x2)
Nassarius Snails (x2)
Porcelain Anemone Crab (x1)
Small Zoanthid colony
Small Star Polyp frag
Various hitchhikers to include spaghetti worms, feather dusters (x3 that I know of).
Latest testing (all done with API test kits):
Ammonia: .05ppm
<<Should be '0'>>
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 40ppm
<<With sessile inverts present this is best kept below 10ppm>>
Phosphates: 0.5ppm
<<A major factor here'¦should be less than 0.05ppm>>
pH (high): 8.1
dKH: >216ppm
<<Yeeikes'¦say it isn't so! Do check your test kit for accuracy'¦this should be in the 8-12 range, ideally>>
Calcium: 350
I just vacuumed my gravel so I stirred the tank pretty good, thus why I believe I see elevated Ammonia and Nitrate.
<<Maybe, but still'¦>>
Ammonia normally 0ppm and Nitrate are normally 20ppm (which is still too high in my opinion).
All livestock appears to be unaffected at moment. So to my problem and opinion request. I cannot get my Phosphates, dKH or Nitrates down.
<<Look to your source water>>
All water is in my make-up tank at least 7 days before adding to display tank. Unfortunately I am forced to use tap water until I can purchase a RO unit.
I tested the tap water straight from tap and the nitrates test out at 10ppm and dKH: 17.9 (lowest scale on color chart), and Phosphates: ~3.5ppm.
<<Yowza, certainly a problem here'¦and no doubt a huge contributor to your present predicament>>
Today, while doing my weekly water change I replaced the filter media in the canister, and HOT filters. I actually broke down the canister and washed my ceramic bio media with fresh water to clean them. I thoroughly rinsed both carbon bags. I rinsed both ceramics and carbon bags for some period of time.
<<The carbon is 'used up' very quickly and should be changed on a bi-weekly schedule'¦or even weekly if possible>>
I completely cleaned the canister.
<<These filters should be cleaned weekly to prevent the accumulation of decaying detritus'¦something very important to your battle with the Cyano>>
I also broke down the skimmer and thoroughly cleaned it. I am feeding only 2 times a day now to try and decrease nutrients.
<<That's fine'¦as long as it is not to the detriment of the livestock>>
I rinse all frozen food in freshwater during thaw to prevent thawed nutrient rich water from entering tank.
<<Hmm'¦considering the state of your tap water, this may be moot>>
I am not sure of any other steps I can take at this time to reduce nutrients. Still my algae continue to bloom. Even after stirring the sand, vacuuming it, etc.
<<I would simply vacuum the slime from the substrate without stirring, for now>>
I now notice 3 hours later the red slime is growing/reappearing again on the substrate.
My request for opinion: I know this Prism skimmer just is not cutting the mustard. It does produce but hardly anything in two days. I get black/green stuff but not near what I expect it to produce. Based on everything I have read on WWM I should be getting anywhere from 1/2 to a full cup of junk out of the skimmer at least every other day. I get nowhere near that.
<<This is a subjective measurement based. In a lightly stocked tank such as yours, skimmate production may well be less. Though I do agree that a better skimmer would be of benefit>>
If I try and run the skimmer wide open I get a huge amount of micro bubbles. So I am going to purchase a new skimmer. My question is would you purchase the Bak Pak 2 or the AquaC skimmer if you were buying?
<<Some folks like the Bak Pak skimmers. But I feel the AquaC is a better design, and it has excellent customer support should you need it>>
The Bak Pak is a bit cheaper but I do not want to regret purchasing a cheaper skimmer if it will not meet the demand.
<<For the few dollars difference'¦the AquaC for sure>>
How much time should I leave my lights on per day?
<<Something around a normal 'Tropical' schedule of 12-hrs>>
Also, what else, if anything, can I do to reduce the dKH, Phosphates, and Nitrates?
<<I fear until you resolve your source water issue you are not going to beat this. Something you can try until you get that RO unit would be to run a canister filter filled with cut-up Poly-Filter on the container used for your water storage. I used to do this back in the late eighties/early nineties when I was living in the UK. The Poly-Filter, while not as cost effective in the long term as an RO unit, will give you a short-term solution for removing the Phosphate, Nitrate, et al from your source water>>
I am in desperation mode right now trying to gain control of this serious bloom.
<<There's no magic bullet'¦but it can be beat. Keep up the filter maintenance and manual removal of the slime, and take some measures to improve the quality of your source water>>
I have read about every page on WWM related to nutrients, algae, lighting. There is a ton of stuff there and have incorporated as much as I can.
<<No doubt'¦but cleaning up your source water is key here>>
Thanks a million in advance.
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>

(Another) Cyanobacteria Battle -- 01/05/2010
Hi Crew,
<Hey Angela! JustinN here!>
The biggest "thanks" for helping so much in the past. The website as well as your amazing advice has saved me many times (not to mention all the $$$ saved!).
<Glad to have helped.>
I've been researching red slime algae (Cyanobacteria) due to an outbreak in my tank. I just wanted to double check that I've taking the right route.
Here is what I have done to combat the problem:
1) Manual extraction. I siphon the gravel and rocks and in the process change about 5 gallons of water per day (RO).
<Good -- if you wish to increase the removal rate, while not having to increase the water change amount, you can also attach a filter sock to the end of a substrate vacuum, and redirect the flow from the vacuum into your sump (if applicable, obviously.). This will allow you to suck out more of the Cyano, without running all the water to waste.>
2) Increase circulation. I have added additional powerheads, some oscillating, pointed at substrate.
3) Add chemical filtration. I've added additional carbon (changed weekly) as well as phosphate remover.
<I would try a more purposeful chemical filtration than the carbon, personally -- PolyMarineBio's Poly-Filter is a personal favorite. Should be a good addition to the phosphate remover.>
4) Increased performance of skimmer
5) Will be changing lighting (HQI 14K Halides in the mail as we speak).
<The actual efficacy of changing bulbs, and old bulbs affect on growth of nuisance algaes, is a hotly debated topic -- but doubtful that this will hurt in any way.>
6) Will be adding live rock after quarantine (on the 2nd week)
Do you have any other suggestions as to what I should be doing?
<This sounds about right from a 'curing the plague' standpoint -- keep in mind that this is one of the most invasive and prevalent bacterial species in the history of this planet, and your chances of total, 100% victory are next-to-nil... It is extremely adaptable, and will likely always be present in some small quantities... usually controlled to an overflow, or sump.>
I'm sure that this is a "this too shall pass" issue but it really is stressful.
Any estimate on how long the problem will last?
<Depends -- how old is your tank? If your tank is under 6 months old, this may just be a portion of the natural cycle of growth in a new aquarium -- not uncommon for a 'phase' of cyanoBACTERIA to occur 3-5 months into the tanks life. It is often referred to as 'New Tank Syndrome'.>
Lastly, would you recommend adding my live rock now, or should I wait until the Cyano is eliminated?
<Is the rock fully cured, and do you have livestock already in place in the tank? If no livestock, and the rock has been nitrogen-cycled, I would place.>
Thank you!!
Water Info:
SG- 1.023
<I would look at bumping this to the 1.026 range -- most, if not all, marine creatures prefer a salinity at this level.>
pH- 8.4
Ammonia- 0
Nitrite- 0
Nitrate- about 0
Temp. 78 Degrees F
<The rest of this looks good... Keep up the due diligence, you will get the upper hand. Good luck! -JustinN>

Some weird growth 1/4/2010
The above image is of something that is growing on EVERY surface in my tank. It is white/brown in color. It's what looks like grass growing on the overflow in the picture. It's growing everywhere and I feel it's having a negative effect in my tank.
<Can... is mainly a type of algae... Though it doesn't look like it, probably a Cyanobacteria (only can be discerned by microscopic examination of distinctive cell structure)... Best to "fight" on as many "fronts" as you can devise/employ... see below>
Some softies like a toadstool and Zoanthids have some growth on them, not much, but I feel it's impacting them negatively.
<Oh yes>
Also, I think it is outcompeting with other algae's that my Lawnmower Blenny feeds on because since this has
come about it has had a pinched stomach.
<Won't eat this material>
What is this and how can I remove it?
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/avoidingalgaeproblesm.htm
and: http://wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Macroalgae vs. BGA...which will win?   12/19/09
Hey Guys,
<And Gals. What's up Joshua?>
I have a 90 gal salt tank with two Aqua-C Remora skimmers, live rock, several corals, T-5 lighting (sorry, I am not there and can't tell you wattage but I know it is more than 3 watts per gallon), two powerheads (which I have already been informed that the flow is ok, not great but ok from past emails) a blue tang, a yellow tang, clownfish, and a Royal Gramma. Everyone has been living together peacefully for more than a year but I have never been able to get rid of my BGA.
<What have you tried? What source issues do you imagine here?>
I have spent so much money on water changes (10 gal a week of RO/DI) and siphoning out of BGA, that I haven't been able to invest in anything else.
I have stopped feeding frozen Mysis to my fish, with the exception of once every other week as I have lots of amphipods growing and reproducing, in order to (at least temporarily) see if that was why the BGA wouldn't go away. It didn't change at all. All my tests show zero on nitrates, ammonia, phosphates etc..because of the BGA consuming it.
<Very likely so>
The only thing I am feeding is dried sushi seaweed from Wal-Mart twice a week, for my tangs, after which I remove the excess within 24 hours. I am at a loss. SO, I was given a 50-gallon tank which I am working at turning into a refugium underneath the main tank, and was HOPING that by adding a nice amount of Chaetomorpha it might solve the excess nutrient problem.
Think it will work? Or will the BGA out compete the Chaeto?
<Depends on a few factors, but if conditions favour the Thallophyte...>
Ultimately I would like to have a nice looking refugium,
<I'd install this ASAP, with a DSB, fine sand of depth, RDP light set up...>
and I would prefer a macroalgae that would be a great nutrient exporter, that wouldn't float around and doesn't require calcium (I have a hard enough time keeping it balanced lol).
<This is aiding the BGA as well. Solve this issue>
Would sea lettuce be better or maybe turtle grass??
<In general, no>
I am so burnt out on trying to solve this issue that this is my last desperate effort to get this thing balanced.
<Read... Start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm
and the linked files above... Make a plan... the 'fuge and its contents, plumbing, pump... and act on this out of understanding. Bob Fenner>
Thanks for all your help,
Joshua Lucero

Re: Macroalgae vs. BGA...which will win?  12/20/09
Thanks Bob! I have read a lot about the BGA on your site, and the only sources of nutrient input I can think of is the sea weed
<Mmm, not so fast... what re source water? The hard substrates (gravel, sand, rock, biomineralized basis of livestock...) in your system?>
but I don't leave it in there long, and without it I have nothing to feed the tangs lol. I have taken some ecology courses and know that BGA is a nitrogen fixating bacteria...
<Mmm, not all, no>
so here are my thoughts...correct me if I'm wrong. Cutting out everything except the seaweed still allows the BGA to grow so there must be an alternate source. I know that the fish produce ammonia as well as waste so that must be the other source.
<Mmm, likely to a large extent, yes>
I have two protein skimmers that pull about a 1/2 cup to a cup a day, as well as a sea cucumber, several hermit crabs, amphipods and about 10 snails. I would like to believe that they do a sufficient job of consuming detritus and waste, but maybe not. By adding a refugium, it should increase the nutrient uptake and decrease the amount of free floating in the tank.
<Mmm, yes>
I purchase my RO/DI water from a local drinking water store, and I have had them do a PC analysis of the content as well as using my home testers, and everything I had them test for comes back zero (NO3, NO4, P, NH4) but I have had to adjust the pH using Seachem Reef buffer. I know that there is no green algae that grows in the tank due to the crabs and snails, so therefore there is no real competition for nutrients. Would removing the snails until the green algae out competes the BGA work?
<Having other, competitive photosynthates is a good idea. One strong "front" to BGA control>
I would rather be fighting green algae than BGA.
<Is much less toxic in general>
Also, I have looked at several designs for a refugium on your site and some have separate compartments for the DSB and then another one for the tumbling macroalgae. Would it be better to do this, or have one large compartment with anchored algae and DSB?
<IF all the purpose of this live sump IS the stated purposes, having just two low barrier/overflow weirs to dissipate incoming water kinetics and on the other side one to contain the substrate and algae is sufficient>
I have been working on the calcium issue, and its been that I have added too much buffer and its almost back in control. (Several water changes with no addition of buffer).
I appreciate all the help I get from you guys, it has made a huge difference and a complicated hobby very enjoyable :),
Joshua Lucero
Oklahoma State University
<Useful exercises in life, learning... valuable input via a microcosm of our world. Bob Fenner>

Re: Cyano Bacteria -- 10/22/09
Somebody told me there was a snail that was excellent for eating Cyano?
Any ideas as to what the snails name is?
<I'm afraid I don't know. But like I said please try to address the causes of the Cyano rather than the symptoms. In the mean time to keep things looking nice try manually siphoning or pulling out the Cyano bacteria to keep things looking nice.>
<Josh Solomon.>

BGA Control: Residue found in Refugium. 8/29/2009
<Hi Jeff.>
Ok Ok here is a new one. I have been having trouble with Red Slime Algae or Cyanobacteria.
<Not an uncommon problem>
First I cleaned everything I could with a little soft brush to get rid of the red coating. Then I got some Chemi Clean and treated the tank.
<Hmm, not a fan of chemical controls. It kills the slime, but does not correct the underlying cause of the slime.>
I have also replaced all the lamps and all the filters in my RO unit, and reduced the amount of food I was giving.
<Ok, Good, so you are taking steps to correct the root cause as well then.>
I think I was overloading the auto feeder but the lamps were a year old and the filters were at least 6 months.
<6 month old filters?>
I had to leave for a day so I treated it with Chemi Clean before I left thinking I would do the 20% water change on my return day.
<That is fine.>
I get home and everything looks pretty good in the tank (180 gallon) and I go down to my 55 gallon refugium and no red to be found spotless..Awesome!!!!
But I see something I never saw before and I have no idea what it is. On the bottom of the refugium right above the 5" live sand bed there is a milky film just hovering above the sand about half an inch think.
<Die off from the red slime and anything else it may have taken out. Plus since you let for a day, I assume the skimmer was still off from the treatment.>
Looks like what I have seen on TV when salmon fertile there eggs. There is a 5" sand bed, two pieces of live rock about 5-6" round and a 4" thick 12" x 18" Macro algae and a few copepods or something of that nature in the refugium...nothing to make "sperm". Do you have any idea what this could be and how much of a heart attack mode should I be in?
<I would siphon it out as soon as possible.>
It also look like there are 1/4" long and as thin as thread worms stuck to the glass at this same level. Some appear to be moving and some do not.
They almost look like scratches in the glass more then worms but I just don't know. What in the world is going on?????
<Red slime that wasn't killed settling down and feasting on the dead remains.>
Main tank as 2 Tangs, 3 clowns, 1 cardinal, 1 Angel, 5 chromis, 1 Foxface, 1 harlequin tusk, 2 butterflies, 4 turbo snails... so about 16 total 5-6" fish. I also have sump with a giant protein skimmer, some rubble rock, a bag of bio balls and a regular white filter pad. The water comes from the main tank and about 1/4 goes through the refugium and then overflows into the sump and the other 3/4 goes direct to the sump..............
<Sounds good. You are on the right track correcting the causes of the red slime. Keep correcting and removing the slime as you see it. It takes time, but you will win eventually. Remember, NOTHING good happens quickly in a SW tank.>

Slime algae, snails and feather dusters 8/26/2009
Hello Crew,
Thank you for such an informative site and for helping those of us born before computers and not search savvy. We all appreciate your efforts.
My ongoing saga of a 75 Gallon FOLWR that has been through Caulerpa which I liked but now long gone, then hair algae which no one liked and wouldn't go until I removed all the live rock and scrubbed it in fresh water, which naturally made it dead rock. Next on deck was red slime algae coating the bottom.
<Sort of reverse desired succession eh?>
In conjunction with a household move, I replaced the tank with a new one, I replaced the sand with brand new live sand and dipped and rinsed the dead rock new salt water. I preserved 50 gallons of the existing water but filtered it through a Vortex Diatom filter. Remember them?
<I do... they're still about>
While in the transport tub the water tested 0 for phosphates, but within a week the red slime algae was back.
<W/o competition, predation, why not?>
Livestock is 2 clowns, one coral beauty and a yellow tang plus 2 turbo and 4 Nassarius snails. In recent months the rock has begun to develop shades of dark red and medium green and appears that life is slowly returning. Then last week we have the first feather dusters, 6 on them, but they're growing from the sand rather than on the rock and therein lies the problem: Unless the brand new live rock contained it or the test kit failed to detect it I don't have a phosphate problem
<Mmmm; possibly... there are other inputs, consequences>
in the tank and the feedings are down to one pinch every other day, but I still have the Red Slime Algae problem. One thing I'd like to do is add some livestock that would disturb or churn the sand. My first thought was more Nassarius snails except as I recall, they'll eat the feather dusters if they're in the sand.
<Again, maybe>
First, will a sufficient quantity of snails keep the sand churned and aerated and second, if so are Nassarius the best snails given the situation?
<The genus is amongst the best available, yes>
Thanks Again,
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Cyano From New Live Rock 6/23/09
<Hello Barry>
the two items in the subject line aren't related, but since my parameters are important I should probably address that too.
The system is a 90g with 30g sump (18g actual water level) mixed reef, under 6x54w T5 lighting, 2 Koralia 4's for flow and a Mag 5 return pump.
Skimming is a large recirc skimmer (big recirc pump, small feed pump for max contact time). Bioload is probably on the high side of medium, if that makes sense.
On to the problem:
I recently purchased a ~8 pound piece of LR for my tank from a LFS. I had plenty for the purpose of filtration, this was just for aesthetics. I examined it closely and saw only sand and detritus around the base. I washed it in SW and put it in place.
24 hours later, I have a Cyano outbreak. 80% of it is on that rock, so no doubt in my mind it is the source. In retrospect, it was under VERY weak lighting (standard home-type fluorescents), so I guess when I got it home my strong lighting gave it a jump-start.
<Generally, intense lighting is detrimental to Cyano.>
This Cyano is stringing from my other rocks and corals, and all my softies (plus my RBTA) are very ticked off.
The rock was removed once I discovered this, and is in a bucket with a powerhead and heater until I figure out what to do with it.
I have read here about Cyano treatment, and I understand the basics of beating it. Since my only previous encounter was small and brief, I think (hope?) my reef conditions are OK for me to beat it once the offending source was removed... however, I am skimming wetter, doing more water changes (25 gallons in two days so far) and reducing feeding until this is under control. Is 12g/day a safe amount to change while this is going on?
<I would not do that much, I'd syphon the Cyano out as needed and replace the discarded water with fresh sea water and watch your feeding as you mention above.>
Should I consider adding another powerhead or two temporarily? I have enough flow to keep the corals happy, but if it will help my battle I have a couple of spare MaxiJet 1200s I could throw in.
<As long as your total flow is around 900-1000gph, you should be fine here.>
And, obviously, the rock must be dealt with. Should I just "nuke" this rock, or will darkness, time and lack of nutrients take care of it?
<You could keep the rock in a container (plastic pail, etc) of nutrient free sea water with a small powerhead for circulation. A light scrubbing as needed and rinsing the rock under a different source of sea water should return the rock to a healthy state.
Monitor/observe until no Cyano reappears.>
For the record, my parameters are:
SG 1.024
pH 8.6
dKH 11
phosphates .5ppm (were undetectable until the rock showed up)
ammo/trite/trate all 0
Ca 325
<A little low.>
Mag 1050
<Try to keep that mg around 1280-1300>
As you see, I also battle high pH.
<Not dangerously high, and your test kit could be reading high.>
I don't dose anything other than SLOWLY raising the Ca and Mag. It has been suggested to me that once calcium and Mag are raised to their correct levels, the (what I'm told is high) alkalinity and pH should fall in line.
Is this a correct line of thinking?
<Not necessarily, do read here and related articles.
Briefly, keeping the magnesium at a proper level (1280-1200), allows the entire measured calcium level to be available for calcium loving animals.
With your indicated magnesium level, less than 300ppm of calcium is only available to the corals. Magnesium is a major element of sea water and should be maintained at NSW levels, especially so when keeping calcium loving animals.>
Thank you for your time and dedication to helping me and others like me who need it!
<You're welcome. Keep reading/learning my friend. James (Salty Dog)>

Cyanobacteria 5/25/09
Dear Bob, Mr. Calfo,
<Hello, Scott V. with you today.>
I have big problem with Cyanobacteria which has spread out on my Acropora on peaks, I am trying to blow them with turkey baster everyday, but it seems it will not want to leave. When I am blowing Acropora's peaks-end also some part of tissue is damaged and coral is losing Zooxanthellae. I have tried to bath coral in tropic Marin pro cure but Cyano is retrieving back.
<This will not do it.>
Cyano was caused by my mistake that I have put china MH bulbs instead good ones. Please help!
<Well, in the end there are other fueling factors behind the BGA besides the light, see: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm
There are other factors at play. As for your corals, you will need to figure out what is causing the BGA to be so competitive. Until then keep blowing off what you can.>

Re: Cyanobacteria 5/26/09
Ok, thank you so much, I will keep trying.
<Welcome, this battle can be won! This is a mild case, you have caught it early. Scott V.>

Red algae... please help! 09/20/09
Hello Bob and crew!
<Jas... no sense sending msg.s twice...>
I hope everyone is great. It's been a while since I have harassed you (which is hopefully a good indicator), but once again, I am in need of your expertise! In mid January of this year, I upgraded from my 72 gallon tank to a 120 gallon. I have also made many strides forward with my set up. I am now running a chiller, RO/DI, a calcium reactor, 2 Tunze power heads with the multi controller, better bulbs in my light fixture (2 X 240 metal halide Giesemann 1300K), as well as a Tunze ATO set up. I have also ordered a Mini Bubble King 180 skimmer.  (I am currently using the Aqua C EV 240, but have not been blown away by the results to be honest). About 2 months ago, I noticed a little bit of Cyano forming on my sand. I was very confused by this, as my po4 tests had shown less than .03 on the test kit. I figured I'd better get a second opinion so I took a sample of water to my LFS.  They tested it with a digital test kit and it was 7.5!!! I purchased a couple Phosban reactors and a digital test kit. Since then I have gotten my po4 to .03 and the Cyano has been gone for at least 1 month now.
<... the test... "results" are likely skewed by the Cyano uptaking soluble phosphate>
My fish and SPS seem to be doing very well. I guess you're wondering when I am going to get to the point ;-)'¦ So'¦ here is my new problem. I had beautiful purple coralline algae growing on all my rocks but it seems to have been covered with this red fuzzy algae (see photo). My tangs pick at it and I have picked up a couple of urchins to try and cut it down, but it doesn't seem to be giving in without a fight. My tank (unfortunately) receives a lot of sunshine (no choice) and I suspect this isn't helping. I do 15 to 20 gallon water changes weekly with aerated RO/DI water, my no3 tests at less than 1 (confirmed by LFS tests).
<See re HPO4 above>
I have also cut down my feeding as well and I have been rinsing the food. I don't know what else to try to get rid of this stuff. I really want to see my coralline algae'¦ not this fuzzy red crap J. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
<See WWM re Cyano control... this is what it/this is. BobF, on painfully slow Net "access" in Sulawesi>
Thanks again for all your wonderful help.

Re: Cyano Control - Glass Tops (Bob, do you really recommend these?- Sara M.)  5/11/09
<Hello Tom>
I want to thank the crew for providing a wealth of knowledge.
<our pleasure>
Wanted to give feedback on my tank condition. My first email was 1/13 or 1/14/09 and here it is May already and I am still combating Cyano but with noticeable success. It is a very slow process but I can clearly see the LR has growing spots of pink algae emerging. I guess like most humans we hope for the quick fix and seem to get discouraged when results are not achieved overnight. The advice I was give was to do water changes which I have been doing 1 to 2 times per week and making sure there was good water flow.
Also changing the activated carbon every 2 weeks and trying to feed properly. Now I am encouraged because I do see results!
<Great! And good for you for being patient and sticking with it! With marine aquarium keeping, it is definitely true that "slow and steady wins the race.">
By the way I have a question. Is it better to have a glass top on the tank or not.
<Glass tops are almost always a very bad idea for marine aquariums. It's difficult to maintain proper pH in a covered tank because you just don't usually get nearly as much gas exchange as when the tank is left
I used to have one on my 46 bow with the compact fluorescent light fixture sitting on top and it cracked and instead of replacing it I bought supports to hold the light fixture up. For some reason I thought it was better to have evaporation but I was reading The Conscientious Marine Aquarist 2nd edition and it was mention to have a top.
<Really? Can you tell me what page? I'm surprised Bob would recommend such... and don't remember seeing that part.>
<<A good idea in most cases to have some sort of "top" to reduce the very common incidence of life leaving a system.... but if glass (or acrylic) is used, very important to keep it clean (for light transmission mostly)... the salt spray, splash removed, algae off... RMF>>
Best Regards
Sara M.>

SW Water Quality Issues: Silicates\TDS RO/DI Softeners, etc. 5/4/2009
<Hello again Penny,>
I recently bought a silicate test (Seachem) and a TDS Meter and what an eye opener these two purchases were.
<Hehehe, they usually are.>
Our house runs off of a 400ft well. I have a home RO unit (no DI) and have recently changed all filters and membranes so these numbers are as good as it gets so far:
Tap water: 1090 TDS!
RO water: 109 TDS! (so 90% removal rate)
<Less than optimal, but not surprising. What is the water pressure\temperature? out of the tap?>
Silicates in tank are about 4-5
<A bit high.>
I have some problems with Cyano blooms, could this be because of the 4-5 reading?
I know is s/b 0 but is 4-5 a horrible number? It's not off the chart but higher than I like.
<Not horrible, but lower is better>
I run two Phosban reactors (TLF's), one has carbon and the other has Rowaphos (recently switched
to this from another brand-last water change). I am hoping the Rowaphos helps brings down the silicate readings, it says it aids in silicate removal, is this true?
<Yes it does.>
All my water changes have been done with water from a drive thru dispensing machine which I have checked and it has 3 TDS's which is stellar compared to my crappy water, and 0 for silicates. But I was
using my 109 RO water for the ATO on my 90g tank. I assume this is where my silicates have come from.
<Likely so.>
I am now using all store bought water for everything. I am hoping this will help turn around my Cyano blooms???
<It certainly cannot hurt, but if you remember the articles I referred to you earlier, Cyano is normally caused by excess organic nutrients and\or a lack of competition for what nutrients are there.>
Again, I am not sure how bad 4-5 is as a silicate reading. I am having a water treatment guy (rep from the drive thru water source) come to my house and assess my situation and hopefully get me on track to being able to use my own water source. I was told by my LFS that adding two DI add on units would greatly help my situation, do you think this is true??
<You will see positive results with a DI unit. I'm not sure if two are necessary.>
I was also told by the rep guy that my water softener (which is not working properly anyways) is really not big enough to handle my TDS/ Hardness count, I should have a bigger model. Do you think this is BS?? It makes a bit of sense to me that the softener does dissolve some of the hardness and solids in the water.
<By default, you should not use water from a water softener for an aquarium. Straight RO\DI from the tap is better For that matter, what does your tap water test out for straight from the tap.>
I am having to do weekly/bi weekly water changes to keep the Cyano in check on the sandbed which is costing me a fortune in store bought water now that I am using it for everything (ATO is about 2-3g a day!).
<Hmm, I wonder if it would be better to get a dedicated RO\DI system for your tank. It will probably be cheaper in the long run.>
So do you think I am on the right track with the above mentioned things?
<I would not use a softener for your aquarium water, otherwise, yes.>
Will the Rowaphos help with silicates?
<Yes, it will>
Will water changes bring them down enough or should I buy a silicate remover product? If so which one?
<Rowaphos is fine.>
And could the 4-5 silicates be causing my blooms?
My tank is a 90 gallon, about 3-4 months old, 100lbs+ LR, 1.5" SB, 3 Vortech MP40's for movement, 2x250w MH 14,500K (Giesemann), 2xActinic Plus T5's (Giesemann), Eheim 1262 for return pump, Bubble king 180 skimmer, Nitrite-0, Nitrate-0, Phosphate-0, Ammonia-0.
Is there a clean up crew that deals with cleaning the sandbed better?
I don't have dead spots really but am wondering if something other than crabs (don't eat it) will eat the Cyano? Or keep the sandbed mixed up.
<There are several creatures that will keep your sandbed mixed up. Read here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marsiftfaqs.htm >
My fish are: Hippo tang, yellow tang, Foxface, 2 blk clowns, 1 Sixline, 1 lawnmower blenny. Stocking OK?
Everyone gets along great.
My lighting timers are Actinics from 9:30am-8:30pm, MH's are from 11:15am-7pm. Is this too long of a span?
<You can reduce it a bit to help with the Cyano problem.>
Sorry for the long winded email.
<No worries.>
One last question.... Do you guys have an address where cases of beer can be delivered for providing such a great service???
Thanks for all your help, you guys are the life savers of the SW community!!
<My pleasure>

Re: SW Water Quality Issues: Silicates\TDS RO/DI Softeners, etc. 5/5/2009
I don't use my softener water for my tank directly. The well water runs through the softener first before heading to the RO unit. I also have purchased a booster pump which I forgot to mention before for my
RO unit.
<Ahh, OK.>
I tested my "straight from well" water and it's 1130 TDS.
Water through our ill functioning softener is 1100. Water through our RO is 93. These are numbers as of 5 minutes ago. You were asking about pressure, our house pressure tank is set at 50/20. But for the RO unit
I do have a booster pump. Do you have any good brand suggestions for an add on DI unit(s)?
<I buy my RO\DI equipment from these guys -
http://www.thefilterguys.biz/index.htm >
I have been dosing Kent's Marine Buffer for PH/Alk levels to keep my Alk at about 9. Could this be a Cyano causer?
I don't dose every day, maybe once a week but ever since I started dosing it my Cyano started.
Nothing before then.
<Keep up the water changes and stop adding the buffer. I've found that not adding any supplements when fighting Cyano does seem to help.> >
I have been trying to find someone who has Chaeto in Canada as no doubt I can't ship it across the line. How big of a chunk do you need growing to be beneficial?
<A small chunk is fine, it will grow very quickly in the right conditions.>
I am just stumped as to my Cyano cause.
<I know the feeling - been fighting it myself - I'm finally winning. It does take time. I've been fighting it for a month.>
I don't feel I am over feeding. I am not one of those people who do no research before getting into this hobby. I feel I have really great husbandry skills and am willing to do whatever it takes to solve this. I keep hoping it will go away with all my water changes and lack of feeding.
Thank you again for such a fast response. I am still needing an address to ship the beer to.
<Heheheh I'll have to have Bob chime in here. The shipping costs to Florida would be astronomical.>
<<Maybe we can just swing by your place to tip a few? RMF>>
Thanks again.
<My pleasure>

Re: Dwarf Lionfish Health\Feeding (4/8/2009) Update with BGA control 5/4/2009
Hi Mike
<Hi Peter.>
Fuzzy still doing well, still not weaned him off live yet, but I leave him a few days and he then shows interest in dead at first but does not eat it, but I am sure with perseverance he will come around.
<It can take some time. Just keep trying.>
My nitrates are still quite high, however I do have good news.
<Keep up with the water changes for the nitrates, or add some macroalgae.>
The red slime I had is no longer,
<Excellent News.>
I really don't know what I did, except I do not add cycle anymore, thanks for the tip, and basically I left the tank alone. I used to clean the red stuff as soon as it appeared, I left it for a week without touching it and
although initially it got worse after 2-3 days it started to recede, and within 2 weeks it was gone.
<It likely ran out of stuff to 'eat'>
I have now had 3 clear days without it appearing.
Thought I would let you know as it may help other marine keepers get rid of this problem.
<Thank you for sharing this.>
Regards Peter
P.S. Picking up an Eel today to add to the tank, but he IS eating lancefish (no weaning required).
<Do read up on its care requirements. Here is a great place to start:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/morays.htm >

Algae ID: BGA\Cyano 4/20/2009
<Hi Penny>
Tank is 90 gallons (30g sump, no refugium)
Nitrate0, Nitrite0, Phosphate0,ph8 night time-8.25 daytime, Ammonia0, Calcium 420ish
I have two bags of Chemi pure elite along with two Phosban reactors, (one has Phosban, one carbon)
Bubbleking 180 skimmer, 2xVortech MP40's for movement set on reef crest (stronger flow)
My tank is about 3 months along now, 100+lbs LR, and I have noticed a slimy dark film on my sand (not super dark), some might not see it but I do. (like diatoms but slimier) It's darker at night and lightens
during the day but is a visible slime none the less. And in the evening bubbles form on it, more bubbles at night then during the day. It is a definite brown color though. I siphoned it all out and cleaned the substrate and put it back in but I see it forming again now.
<Blue-Green Algae>
At first I wondered if it was the Coral FrenzY I was using (not lots, maybe four times total in the last month but twice in the last week), I only have soft corals and was told that they don't need a product like coral frenzy so I have stopped using it. I have started feeding very very lightly, poor fishies. But it still seems to be
coming back. I am buffering my Alk to about 10 from 7 (Seachem's Reef Buffer), which also raises pH up which I hear is good for algae, I dose at night when pH is low.
But to be truthful I have no clue as to what kind of algae or bloom is happening. I don't want to just treat with something, guessing. I am doing all I can, I do 16gallon water changes once a week. I can up them if need be. The algae (or whatever it is) doesn't seem to be "wild" or out of control. It spreads mostly in the front of the aquarium in the open. I can see it mostly (darkest) around the open brain and plate coral, like a brown border. It isn't on any of the LR. Is this part of a growing phase of my tank?
<Not uncommon, but not desirable either.>
Or am I doomed? My levels seem good to me but I want to nip this in the bud, is it one of those things that once it starts it's hard to stop?
<It will take some work, but not insurmountable.>
Or is there hope? Please say there is hope.
<There is hope.>
I am very sorry for the long winded email but I wanted to explain it as thoroughly as possible. Listing tank readings etc. I am not sure what to do, I want to catch it early if it's something bad. I hope this explanation helps. I searched through your website (holy crap!) and couldn't find something similar, all I read was bubbles on the sandbed are bad. So I am hoping for the best.
<What you have is Blue-Green Algae (Even if it is not blue-green in color)
Not at all uncommon in new systems. It is a 'pest' algae that you will want to keep under control. You can read more about it and how to control it here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bgafaqs.htm >
Thanks very much
<My pleasure.>

Re: Algae ID: BGA\Cyano 4/20/2009
Ok (crap).
<Hehehe Fighting a minor outbreak myself, I understand the sentiment >
I have a good skimmer, good flow, carbon etc.
<Which is good, as I said, it is not at all uncommon in "new" systems>
So basically light feedings and siphon up the infected sandbed and wash it in FW and replace?
<I would just try to siphon the algae up, but this would work as well.>
Should I increase my water changes from once a week to 2 or 3 times?
<10 - 15% once a week is standard. You can do smaller, more frequent changes for the time being.>
I have a UV, I hope that might help. I always turkey baster the LR before siphoning for the WC.
<Very good.>
How often do tangs need food? I have a yellow tang, Foxface and hippo tang. I want to feed less but have read tangs need constant grazing.
Two light feedings a day?
<They are constant grazers, two light feedings per day plus some green or red algae for them to munch on For my tang, I add a strip of sushi Nori I the morning, and remove it in the afternoon.>
Sorry to be a pain.
<Not at all.>
<My pleasure>

BGA\Cyanobacteria Follow up: 4/22/2009
I wrote in the other day about my sandbed becoming brown (grey brown) with bubbles appearing at night.
<Hi Penny, it's Mike>
My LR seems unaffected so far.
<Very good.>
I was told by you it was Cyano which is a bummer to say the least. It has not yet turned into the red carpet as I have seen in pictures.
<It can appear in multiple colors.>
Although because of the thought of it I have been doing 15 gallon water changes on my 90 gallon tank (30 gallon sump about half full) I do these changes on Wed's and Sundays to keep it from getting bad (I hope).
The more I read about it the more I wonder what is causing it in my tank, all my levels are zero.
<Again, not at all uncommon in a new system.>
I tested the phosphate, nitrite, nitrate, ammonia. My Alk was lowish a while back so I have been dosing with Kent Marine buffer to raise it.
That's all I dose.
If all my levels are zero how could this happen? I read online that the ammonia, nitrate, and phosphate levels elevated normally trigger an outbreak. My tank is about 3 months along now and I can't for the life of me figure this out.
<I'm fighting a minor outbreak myself and all my readings are zero as well.
Zero means the nutrients are being consumed as fast as they are produced.>
I have a bubble king 180 skimmer which should be good enough shouldn't it?
(it cost 1000.00 so I assume it is a better one).
<No direct experience with this model, but I have not read anything negative about them,>
I have two Phosban reactors running, one with carbon, one with the Phosban stuff. I have three Vortechs for
movement at almost full tilt, stuff doesn't seem to settle. I tried to buy the best stuff I could to eliminate problems of low flow and light.
<All sounds good.>
I have 2x250 MH's, 14,500Kelvin that run from 11am till 7pm. I have 2xT5's (actinic blue) that are on from 9:30 till 8:30. Is my lighting all wrong? I have no fuge in my sump.
<Adding some macroalgae can help in soaking up any excess nutrients that the BGA is feeding on.>
My return pump is an Eheim 1262 and I have a Aqua Step UV sterilizer running, would it be causing the problem?
Please help as I don't know what I am doing wrong.
<You aren't doing anything 'wrong".>
My fish are 1 blue hippo tang, 1 yellow tang, 1 Foxface and two blk clowns. I feed lightly twice daily and put seaweed sheets out for the tangs in a clip once a day (1.5"x4" long of grn and purple seaweed). I can't think of anything I am missing for info so I hope this will help. Should I be keeping up with my twice weekly water changes or am I wasting my time?
<Keep up with the water changes and try to physically remove as much of the Cyano as you can. It will take a bit of time to get it cleared up, but it will.>
As I mentioned all tests are zero which is odd for a Cyano outbreak isn't it?
<Not at all unusual.>
Fish have been in for 1.5 months now.
Thanks so much and sorry for emailing again.
<No Worries.>
You guys are life savers though, keeping everyone sane(ish). ha ha

Attacking Cyanobacteria-You might find this interesting 3/19/09
<Hmmm, well, the problem with this process is that it just kills the BGA.
The stuff then just releases all the nutrients that fueled it in the first place back into the water.
It also does not treat whatever is the fueling factor for the growth in the first place. Like the thread says, repeat this every two months or so, but some do not need to....if it is just a new tank and all else in
done correctly this will work.
If there is some factor spurring the growth other than the instability of a new tank and the curing of
the rock, there will be trouble...this will need to be repeated. Who wants to shut the lights off on their corals every few weeks or months?
But, siphoning out the BGA is far more effective in my experience (it actually exports all the junk!!) and if the fueling factor is not remedied the whole action is disputable. I do very greatly thank you for sharing this with us. It will be posted for others to make their own decision....I just personally see problems with the
technique itself. Scott V.>

Re: attacking-Cyanobacteria-you might find this interesting  3/20/09
Thanks Scott.
The problem that most of us have is that we try various methods to reduce nutrients but the Cyano stays around for months.
<Yeah, the stuff makes you want to beat your head on the wall, I know!>
And although things improve it is a very slow process and at times seems like we are getting nowhere. And all during this time you are siphoning.
If we were to begin a program to reduce nutrients and then once initiated do some aggressive siphoning followed a 3 day lights off. That should get us a bit of a head start on the Cyano. Then if the nutrient controls are in place it should prevent reinfection.
<For sure, just another tool to use!> 

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