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FAQs on Controlling Cyano/Blue-Green Algae 11

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, BGA Control 12, BGA Control 13, BGA Control 14, BGA Control 15, BGA Control 16, BGA Control 17, BGA Control 18, BGA 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

BGA is deleterious to your other livestock. Linckia laevigata.  Here in S. Sulawesi.

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Marine Aquarium Algae Control

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Green Slime 7/3/07 I have a FOWLR system.... Have you found any products that eliminate green slime algae? I have no phosphates and Nitrates are 10....Thanks E-mail From Craig Smith <Not that I would put in my tank. Remove with frequent water changes, find the fuel source for the outbreak. Most likely you do have a phosphates, but its tied up in the algae and unavailable for testing.> <Chris>

Nitrates, algae, Cyanobacteria, what gives? -- 06/17/07 Hello, me again. I have had a persistent case of Cyanobacteria for at least 4 months, it seems to be dying off but not gone. So here is my problem, I've had this 90 gallon for a year, and have been fighting algae, Aiptasia, Cyano, nitrates the entire time I've had it. I have read a absolute ton of material as well as posting on the forum here (hi Adam, Lynn, if you see this). I don't know what to do at this point. Here are my tank parameters, flow, lighting, all of it: ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 5 ppm, phosphate 0-0.1, alk 11 DKH, calcium 370 (trying to raise, slowly), SG 1.025, Magnesium 1185 ppm (also raising that), temp. consistent 80 degrees, Ph 8.3-8.4, lighting is 2 250 watt 10K XM (recent upgrade) for 6 hours daily, flow is 41x per hour (Tunze, Hydor, Mag return), skimmer EuroReef RS-135 set to pull out a half a collection cup per day (yes a lot). The inhabitants include, one ocellaris clown, one Kole tang, one Regal tang (I know, trust me), numerous Acroporas which are browning and the reason for the email (aquacultured), torch coral, brain corals (Favia, Favites), Cynarina, Montipora, Pocillopora, BTA (yes I know), <Then...> I think that's about it besides snails. What is really bothering me is the nitrates since I have a small fish load (all 3 inches or smaller), a good skimmer, lots of flow, plenty of light. <No other real export mechanisms...?> I also have a refugium that is 14" x 12" which has 6" of fine sand, LR, and Chaeto (total sump is 30 gal.). <Oh!> Possibly causes, Aiptasia are gone (thank you Berghia) from 100+, most algae is receding or gone, addition of fully cured LR, addition of DSB in refugium. I know that 5ppm of nitrate is not so bad, but I strive to keep it at 0 to keep my picky corals happy <They'd be less happy if there was really none> and don't know the reason for the "high" reading. I have read all the FAQ's, you'll have to trust me, I'm obsessed. I do a bi-weekly water change of 25-30 gallons with RO/DI water (0-2 ppm on TDS meter). I feed New Life Spectrum pellets once per day and nothing else (the tangs have stuff to pick at). My latest idea is to add some Xenia (currently in QT) to "replace" the Aiptasia as a means of nutrient control (given by a friend). I have at least a couple weeks to wait on the Xenia, so in the meantime I guess I'll watch my parameters? <And not obsess> This is crazy frustrating to me, I am a perfectionist with my tank, please give me some additional ideas. If this is Mr. Fenner replying I would also like to add that the "big" small tank is still in the works as well as my Berghia "farming" operation. I would like to add that I read continuously about anything to do with reef tanks, so this email is not without a lot of research. Thanks, Ryan. <Understood... I consider that it is really "only a matter of time" before this tank settles, centers to where you want it. I urge patience. Bob Fenner>

Doing Battle with Cyano 6/5/07 Dear WWM Crew, <Hello> A little pre-emptive study being done on your Blue Green Algae/Cyanobacteria, Identification, Causes & Control article and the related FAQ's section, I can honestly say that I am now treating against the primary source of BGA rather than chasing the symptoms - this, after years of seemingly banging my hard head up against a thick piece of glass! <Excellent!> Readers may take this as a testimonial to adherence of the basic said principles, but lest I sound too arrogant in this regard, I have indeed suffered through trials of impatience and lessons learned the hard way, the same as many others. Fortunately, I have not lost any animals as a direct result. I do not chemically treat my system in the hopes of eradicating this nuisance; <Smart> rather, I have pursued a diligent schedule of performing weekly water changes, vacuuming the LR and sugar sand bed of detritus, providing ample circulation, creating cleansing "storms," etc., etc. All of the acceptable measures have produced a significant decrease in Cyano-bacteria and I trust with continued application, I will maintain an upper-hand over this blight. <Nice to hear of your success.> With that said, and for the purpose of personal education, I have specific questions which deal with the Weiss product, Algae Magic. Most of the WWM FAQ's deal specifically with chemical treatments and the resulting negative impacts to the systems in which they were applied (occurring in most cases). <Most are not helpful, many just out right harmful.> I only noticed one reference to this product there, of which the response was somewhat negative. The Weiss folks market this product as "100% organic, stimulating oxygenation... while lowering the food supply and thereby decreasing nuisance algae." <But most importantly, can it bring me a beer?> Okay...good so far if it can meet these assertions. <IF> But they also make the statement that it "fortifies the plants leaf structure." First of all, what plants? Does this imply that the product is designed to be used in systems with macroalgae present, thereby assisting in the growth of desirable species, in turn depriving unwanted BGA of nutrients? <I believe the bottle says for marine and freshwater applications, I am guessing that they mean for freshwater plants, although they could be referring to macroalgae I guess.> Then, is it therefore to be trusted as "safe" to our systems whether it works or not? With a check of the ingredients it might appear so. Have further results been reported or observed by The Crew? <I for one, and this probably goes for most of the crew, am not willing to find out if it is safe or effective in my own tank. I wish these manufactures would publish some sort of empirical data, and not the anonymous "testimonials" and unsubstantiated claims that I see so very very often.> The following is the published list of ingredients, supposedly complete: Vitamins: B-complex, Beta-Carotene, C, Cyanobalamine, D, Folic Acid, Iodine, K, Niacin, Pyridoxin, Retinol, Riboflavin, Thiamin, Tocopherols. Minerals: Ca, Cl, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Na, P, S, Se, Si, Zn Derived from ferment of: Acacia Gum, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera), Asparagus Officinalus (Asparagus), Camellia Sinesis (Green Tea), Citric Acid, Citrus Molasses, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber), Curcurbita (Squash), Daucus Carota (Carrot), Ipmoea Batatas (Sweet Potato), Lycoperscion (Tomato), Sea-Vegetables, Triticum (wheat) plus added to the ferment are the micro aggregates of Oolite, Volcanic, and Hematite. Thanks Gang! Sincere regards, from David Bell <Lots of stuff in there, why they are needed I would love to know. Maybe someday after I win the lottery I'll start running some Steven Pro type experiments to test the claims of some of these products. Until then I just avoid them, stick with the more effective, if slightly more work, methods that you described above.> <Chris>

Thanks for your recent reply on my algae issue... BGA, reading...    5/19/07 Bob, <Jon> Thanks for your recent reply on my algae issue. I had one more question I wasn't sure may have something to do with my predicament. I am using a single 10,000K fluorescent lamp in the tank. Should I be using something different? <... for what?> I just did another 20 percent water change and tried to manually pluck a lot of algae from the substrate. It has looked significantly better as far as covering my snail shells and the glass but it seems to slowly be regaining color on the substrate again. I picked up some Kent Phosphate Sponge, perhaps helped and my skimmer is doing its best. I have a SeaClear aquatics 50gal in sump venturi skimmer in my 29 gal. That¹s all I have for now. <I'd upgrade...> I shall keep on reading. <Good> Its just odd to me that this is Cyano, <Take a look at it under a scope...> for when I have seen it it looked a lot more slimy and teal color rather than this forest green carpet <Jon... you're not reading... Please, don't write, READ> like growth I am experiencing. Right now I am just pushing to remove as much phosphate as I can. Thoughts, concerns, complaints? Haha Thanks again for all you help! Always appreciated :) Jonathan <RMF>

Cyanobacteria. Knocking Out Nuisance Algae!    5/15/07 Hey Crew! <Hi there! Scott F. here with you tonight!> Well, I've come to you for guidance again.. geez, you HAVE got to be tired of me!!! <Nah...That's what we're all about!> It appears my 55 gal saltwater has Cyanobacteria...although it's not bad yet, I want to nip it now. <An admirable goal!> I also have the typical green algae that grows on the glass, which I scrape everyday. Here are my stats: NH3 - 0 NO3-0 NO2-0 SG-1.024 Ph-8.3 78 lb LR 1 Clown 1 Firefish 2 Conch snails 3 powerheads (2 w/ rotating deflectors) (working on a enclosed loop system) Temp around 80 (I'm in Florida) I do 10% weekly water changes, changing carbon and PolyFilter in the sump. I do get about 1/2-3/4 cup skimmate from my protein skimmer per day. I've cut back on the feedings and the lighting. Tank is 2 1/2 months old. What do I need to do to get rid of this bacteria? I've searched the WWM site and it appears I'm doing all that I should be doing but as soon as I siphon it off it's back the next day. Should I up the 10% water changes to 2x per week?  Thanks! Jennifer <Well, Jennifer- you are doing many things well. Let's just revisit your husbandry techniques again to make sure that things are on the right track. I like your water change schedule. Make sure that the source water that you use is of high quality. Reverse osmosis/deionized water is always the best way to go, IMO. High quality source water is the start of good husbandry...Are you using good quality source water? Remember, nuisance algae outbreaks are always caused by some form of excess nutrient in the system. What is your water's phosphate level? Is the alkalinity high? Next, your use of carbon and Polyfilter is an excellent practice. Keep it up. Be sure to continue to replace these chemical filtration media regularly.  Every other week is a very good practice.  Are you using any additives or liquid food products? if so, rethink their use. Only add things that you can test for, and only if testing dictates the need. Another, often overlooked factor in Cyanobacteria is good water movement. Good, brisk water movement and vigorous aeration is a definite plus in fighting these blooms. Another idea- competitive, "purposeful" macroalgae, grown in a refugium or in your sump, harvested regularly. The rapidly growing macroalgae (Chaetomorpha is a favorite) is competing for many of the same nutrients as the nuisance algae, which creates a perfect, natural nutrient export mechanism. In summary, it sounds like you're on the right track. Just keep doing what your doing, and make some of the small adjustments mentioned above as needed. Be confident than you're doing things right. In time, the nuisance algae bloom will be history! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>
Re: Knocking Out Nuisance Algae (Pt. II)    5/16/07
Hi Scott...thanks for all the words of encouragement! <Well, you're certainly on the right track!> My problem could be my water source. I originally started up my tank with tap, which tested with 0 phosphate. But ever since the start up I have been doing all my water changes with bottled distilled water....could that be the problem? <Possibly...Even though it is bottled, distilled water, the quality may vary from batch to batch. It's probably worth testing.> I'm looking into getting an RO/DI system but I need to find one that I can hook up myself and I'm a little concerned about the whole plumbing thing. <Actually, you can do one without any hard plumbing. I'm definitely what you'd call "Plumbing Challenged", and I use a Kent Marine "HI S" unit, which I keep outside, hook up to a garden hose when I'm using it, and put away when I'm done making water. No fancy plumbing hook ups, no exotic procedures, just a really simple, user friendly unit. There are other excellent products out there, like Spectra Pure and Captive Purity. Do a bit of asking around and you'll see what's out there!> Alkalinity is at 8...should I try to increase that? <Not bad...target 8 to 12 DKH.> The only liquid additive I was adding was calcium for coralline but I stopped doing that about 2 weeks ago. I feed the fish frozen food but I drain off all the liquid through a strainer before they are fed. I'm changing out the carbon and PolyFilter once a week. I also have 3 powerheads, Aquaclear 50, 70 and a Maxijet 1200 plus the return line in the tank. I am trying to find some macroalgae.. hard to find right now...Right now as soon as I see this stuff growing I brush it and siphon it out. thanks for all your help Scott!  Jennifer <Again- I think that you're doing just fine! Stay on top of things, remain vigilant and continue to employ aggressive nutrient export methods and your already excellent husbandry techniques. Keep me posted! Regards, Scott F.>

Finger Leather Coral, BGA control...     5/8/07 Hi All, About a month ago I purchased a green finger leather coral to go in my 150 reef tank.  Just recently it started to get little strands of what appears to be Cyanobacteria algae on its tips.  The algae is long, brown, and seems to constrict the tips of the coral.  The coral still opens fully and appears normal, except for the algae.  I know that I have to get this stuff off or it will kill the coral, however I don't want to place it under excessive stress.  Could you please offer some advice as to how I can get rid of the algae and how to  prevent it in the future.  Also there none of this Cyanobacteria algae anywhere else in the take so I don't think that excessive nutrients are causing the problem. Thanks much, Joseph <Mmm, yes... alter, improve the environment to favor the Alcyoniid... disfavor the BGA... less nutrient in solution, more circulation, higher ReDox... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alcyoniids.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

My brain hurts. Cyano 4/12/07 Dear Marine Geniuses, <Aleasha> I must have read hundreds of pages of Do's and Don'ts before even attempting to set up my now 3-month-old 26 gallon bow front saltwater aquarium.  It took many years to get up the courage to attempt this aquatic dance and I finally took the plunge.  I continue to refer to your website often and thank you for the sage advice.  However, now my brain (and bank account) are hurting, despite my best efforts.   I did everything correctly to the best of my research and knowledge, including the cycling (survived the obligatory diatom bloom), the stocking, the equipment, etc.  As I've gone along, I've upgraded the lighting to 10K (plus actinic and moonlights), upgraded my skimmer from a no-name brand that came with the tank and was not producing anything to an Aqua C Remora with Maxi-Jet 1200 and have just ordered a UV sterilizer. <So far, so good.> I also run one wavemaker and a Magnum H.O.T canister filter (with the pleated filter insert) - as the blue sponge-type insert filter was ineffective. <The pleated filter should be cleaned at least twice a month.  There are instructions in the manual as how to accomplish this.  This filter is capable of filtering down to 5 microns and will foul quickly.  These trapped nutrients are still in the system, just relocated.> I have found a way to add some carbon and Phos-ban in some nylon pouches and this seems to work so far as clarity is concerned. <Clarity does not necessarily indicate good water quality.> All of my parameters continue to test perfectly, except it seems difficult lately to keep KH where it needs to be.  (I have read that the additional of a particular mixture of baking soda and water can correct this, do you agree?. <I prefer products such as Sea-Chem's which provide other necessary elements to the water along with raising the dKH.> I add liquid calcium as directed every other day, but this seems to be used up very quickly.   <Indicates excess nutrients and/or overstocking, excess CO2.> The lighting, I believe, is correct <So far, I have no idea of the wattage/number of lamps you are using.> and the temperature is where it should be and is stable. <Where is where it should be?> I also add the proper supplementation as appropriate (Strontium, Calcium, Essential Elements, etc.).   However, in a short time, despite by best efforts and constant education in this hobby, I've lost a costly torch coral (I let the pet store talk me into (which won't happen again, as it was not a species that was compatible with my eventual bio-plan) and I recently lost a small frag of clove polyps.   Mystery 1:  Why are these corals dying, when all my parameters constantly test perfectly and I've upgraded my lighting (I think inadequate lighting is what killed the torch, since I had weak lighting in the beginning)? <What does your lighting consist of?  Am not a mind reader.> The blue-green mushrooms have survived, but they seem to vary greatly in the "mood" they are in since sometimes they lie flat and shriveled - and other times full and robust - in the same kind of light?!?!  I have kept my phosphates under control with Phos-Ban (as mentioned above) - they were a problem in the very beginning.  I have no ammonia, nitrates, nitrites or other nasties. <Is difficult to measure nutrient waste as it does not form into nitrates that quickly.> My other inhabitants (including 20-ish lbs of Fiji live rock and a 2-3 in. live sand bed) and some appropriate species and numbers of snails and hermit crabs, a Peppermint Shrimp that has happily molted twice, 2 Sexy Shrimp, 2 False Percula clowns and a Green Chromis damsel that are very happy together, a Pulsing Xenia, and two Feather Dusters.     Right now I am doing water changes with store bought distilled water, until it's warm enough to hook up my marine-store-bought tap water filter outside for weekly water changes (since the adapter will not fit on any of my indoor faucets).  (OK, I must be honest here - I do not do water changes every week, <Very important to success, especially with smaller tanks such as yours.> but please read on anyway.)  (How much should I do and how often for this size tank?)   <I would do three gallons weekly.> In additional to Mystery 1 - departing corals, there is: Mystery 2:  I now have a nasty and growing red carpet of thick red slime algae - and there is some green algae mixed in with it - and now water bubbles appear on top of the sludge/algae mixture. <Bubbles may very well be hydrogen sulphide gas, not good.  Live sand beds can work well but need critters to continually stir up the bed to prevent stagnant areas from developing.> Before it got bad in the last week, I cleaned it out and scrubbed the rocks and vacuumed the sand lightly to avoid sucking up critters, but the mess was back within 24 hours and with a vengeance.   <Yes, you've stirred up more nutrients.> I feed once per day a varied diet and try to get the foods with no phosphates. <Most foods do contain phosphate.>   Why am I plagued with this algae, if I believe I have eliminated nutrients, ammonia, etc. from the equation?  It seems that it is a direct result of the increased strength of lighting, though I cut the hours back to 9, when I noticed the problem. <Intense lighting is actually detrimental to nuisance algae/Cyanobacteria (red slime)> The corals seem to need the light at this intensity - at least when they are "in the mood" for it <Corals need good lighting, cannot live without it.> since it seems they react differently at different times, so if I cannot reduce the light, how can I combat this photosynthetic scourge? <Do read here and linked files above to include algae control.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm> I have invested over $1500 in this small set up already (I cannot accommodate a larger tank space-wise) and am at a loss as to what to do. And finally, Mystery 3: Stretching the limits of the bio-load (shame on me - but this was BEFORE the algae and coral problems), I previously added a Royal Gramma, <Can be an aggressive fish.  Your tank is too small to mix this with peaceful fish.> but it was (I believed) killed within one week - although I did not see this in person.  I tried very carefully to choose peaceful species which are supposed to be compatible and I thought - even though damsels have a nasty reputation - that the green chromis was an exception to that rule - especially since it and the 2 false percs get along so well?    Was this a fluke, and can I try again with a royal Gramma once my other problems are under control? <No more fish in your tank Aleasha.  I would again get the sand bed as clean as possible and invest in a small Sand Sifting Starfish.  Stay away from large species as your tank will not be able to support it as most of their food source is taken from the live sand bed.> Really, the red slime algae is the largest problem, please help. <Read link and related files above and do practice suggestions.  Cannot comment on your coral issue as I have no idea what your lighting system consists of. James (Salty Dog)> Aleasha

Re: Cyano 4/13/07 James, Wow, you guys are great!   No one EVER answers questions I pose on the web, so I am delighted to get a response and so quickly.  Thanks!   <You're welcome.> All points taken and I will get back to you with the lighting parameters and other info lacking - since, despite all my reading - lighting, at the very least, seems still a mystery to me - and I really need some guidance specific to my tank and inhabitants, if possible.  I promise to do regular water changes from now on and I can clean/swap my pleated insert bi-weekly. I had a sand sifting starfish for one week (several weeks ago), James, but returned it since I had read in many places on the web that it would deplete all of my sand bed fauna very soon and then starve.  It said that this species was suitable in only well-established 100 gallon tanks and above - but if you say it's OK, I just wanted to be sure - and I love starfish, so this will be a good addition (if my tank can support it and it won't eat my other (non-pod) inhabitants (or alternatively starve).   <Large sifters will not do well in your tank as you have stated, and is why I suggest a small sifter.  If your live sand bed is well developed, it should support the starfish.  As it grows, and will take some time, you may want to trade down for a smaller one.> Also, could you kindly provide a proper number of hermits and snails for a clean-up crew for 26g.  I have very few and I am not sure this is enough for my size tank.  Recommendations seem too few, or far too many - so I am hoping you can answer definitively.   <I'd start with 25 Blue Legged Hermits and an equal mix of 15 snails, 5 Bumble Bee (like to burrow in sand beds, useful here), 5 Turbans, and 5 Astrea.> I actually wanted a Red Fromia (I like that it stays under 3") - but can find little info on these stars.  Can this be a substitute for the star you recommended - or does the Fromia not sift very well? <Would stick with the sand sifter, Fromias can be difficult to acclimate.> I love Linckias, but I understand they are difficult to keep. <Again, can be difficult to acclimate and do much better in larger developed systems.  Do read here and related files above.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seastars.htm> If a sand-sifting star is still recommended - could I also add a Fromia for color and interest?  Do you ever recommend Linckia - or are they just to hard to keep? <Sure we do.  Not extremely difficult to keep.  Problem with most seastars is how they are shipped/handled.  If exposed to air, pH shifts, etc, necrosis is most likely to develop, leading to a not so pretty starfish. Am I correct in that inverts do not add a lot to the bioload, and therefore, there numbers can be somewhat greater than bony fish, etc. without any harm coming to the tank? <Yes, and a colorful selection will add as much beauty as fish.> Also, tiger cowries appeal to me, but are they are a no-no? <Can be messy as some get quite large, knocking everything over in their path.  Would stay away from these.  In your size tank, is best to stay with smaller critters.> Thanks James, and I will get back to you with the info needed to be more completely advised! <OK, and do search our site for coral care, lighting requirements, etc.  Most, if not all of your questions will be answered here.  James (Salty Dog)> Aleasha P.S.  I cleaned/vacuumed the tank and dosed AntiRed (since it is not supposed to harm inverts or good bacteria, etc. (skimmer is working OT)).  Ordered Algone for additional preventative maintenance of algae and of course, as best water husbandry as I can provide.  Hope this helps.  I am too new to the hobby to get discouraged yet - I think.  : ) <<James... refer this writer to our FAQs on NOT using algicides... RMF>> Re:  Cyano 4/14/07 Thanks again, James! <You're welcome, Aleasha> Shall I get black or brown turban snails (per your recommendation below) - or does it matter? <Whatever suits your fancy.> What size (in inches) would you consider a small sandsifting star (considering my 26g tank)?   <Definitely under 3" from arm tip to arm tip.> Thanks! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Aleasha

I love the changes to the site! Beating algae, SW   4/11/07 Hello Bob. <Ahh, James!> It has been a while since I wrote last... my time has not been much of my own. The changes in the site are fantastic. I love the way it has been organized. I will need to spend some research time when I have some available. <Good> On my end things are well. The tanks are doing ok and would be in the great camp but for my own absence of mind. I am slowly winning the new BGA battle. My RO unit went and I did not know it and once again the slime returned. Slowly, yes very slowly I am working it out of the systems. Red Slime remover is an okay product but I suspect I need to get all of the 'bad water and nutrients' exported before I will be clear. <Yes... are "just" re-cycling...> I am once again doing 10% changes weekly and gradually it is helping. <Is akin to steering a large ship with a small rudder...> I largely beat the Aiptasia though the whereabouts of the two peppermint shrimp are not known... I suspect digested by one of my hungry fishies. I have two more in the other tank (friendly little characters) and they won't be going to the big tank (who likes seeing their pets consumed?). <Not I> Looks like I am going to be a dad soon! <Ah, congrats!> How have you been? <Fine> I hope well. One of these days we will have to get together for a beer or two. Let me know when you are in the area again. Sincerely, James Zimmer Garfield, NJ <Will do! Bob Fenner>

Cyano Control 4/10/07 Hello crew, <Hello James.> thanks for the thankless job you guys/gals do.  Although I have made many mistakes so far (most I didn't realize until I found your site). I am now on the road to righteousness and consider myself a conscientious aquarist. My wife dislikes your site but loves the thriving reef. Just too much info for me (read: less time with her) but I am now more knowledgeable than the LFS's I frequent and a hobbyist marine biologist. First off, my tank is only four months old and I have battled the many blooms.  I cured the hair with a Yellow tang and ended up curing the Cyano two weeks ago with UltraLife (anti-life) from the LFS (I know now). <Did not cure, just put a band-aid on it.  Curing means to get rid of the source of the problem.> Well, the slime is back and I'm wondering if this is actually Cyano and not diatom. <Diatom growth would not be slimy, more than likely Cyano.> It's rusty brown and takes about four days to get thick enough to peel off the 3" sugary live sand substrate and remove. Here's the pinch, it only returns heavy under my 11k T5 Oceanpros bulbs and not under the T5 blue pro actinic (everything is open and "seems" happy).  How long can my tank survive/thrive on just the actinic and should I get myself some higher Kelvin daylights? The fixture came from Aquactinics (good quality) and the bulbs came in a 20K Oceanpros box. Aquactinics said they were 11k (probably bulk).  They seem very white to me and I have already decided that when they need changing I will go bluer (I can't believe that's a real word). <Mmm, maybe "go with a higher Kelvin temperature"?> Here are my spec's and thanks and for everything. Respectfully, Jim 80g bow front (48x17x26 drilled) 125 lbs Fiji 200 lbs live sand <How deep?> 30g sump/refugium 2" sugar aragonite thriving with Chaeto, bubble Caulerpa, lotsa pods, Urchin Pro skimmer w/ Mag3 (erratic output/always adjusting), <Unusual for this skimmer, normally a plug and play.> Kent phosphate reactor w/ Rowa, poly filter w/ Black Magic carbon in bubble trap, <Better overall results just using a product such as Chemi-Pure.> and Mag 9.5 return Two Hydor Koralia 4 PH's (1250gph) 4ft Aquactinics T5 (3X54w 11k and 2X54w actinic) Actinic on for 12 hrs, 11k on for 8 hrs Load; 1 clarkii, 1 percula, 1 Yellow Tang, 1 algae blenny, 2 chromis, 2 Brittlestars, 1 Blue Linckia (but Bobs book said OK), 1 sand sifting star (another LFS cure for Cyano on sand), 3 Emerald Crabs, various hermits and snails, 1 banded shrimp, 1 flowerpot, 1 frogspawn, 1 daisy colony, 3 zoo frags, purple mushrooms, Xenia, and a Purple Ribbon Gorgonian. Water Quality; Kent salt 1.025 in RODI (3 months old) 10 gallon changes on Sunday Auto top off uses 5 gallons RODI/5 tbsp Kalk per week Temp 77.8 NH3-0 NH34-0 NO2-0 NO3-0 pH-8.3 (tried two nights ago to raise to 8.5-8.6 but it would not go over 8.4 with 3 tbs Kalk shots in 4 hours and 4 tbs reef buffer) meanwhile I lost my nerve. <Why on earth would you want to raise above 8.3?> Alk-5 mEq/L now, usually 4mq/L Ca-420 now, usually 400 Mg-1250 (hard to keep above 1220 using Kent M Po4- undetectable (Seachem) Si- undetectable (Seachem) <Do read here and related links on Cyano control. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm In future queries, please cap all proper nouns.  Just do not have the time to edit queries before posting on the dailies.  Thank you, James (Salty Dog)>

Coralline algae and Cyanobacteria in the dark 4/3/07 <Hello, Mike. GrahamT here.> How long will it take for Coralline algae and Cyanobacteria to die. <Mmm... depends.> I have a Cyano problem that I need to get rid of. What I'm doing is removing live rock from my main tank and putting it in a quarantine tank with no light. <Do this myself sometimes with service accounts.> This will essentially kill the Cyano but what other effects will this have? <Any light-feeding animals on the rock will be starving, but likely will pull through.> The Nitrobacter will stay alive as long as it is submerged right? <Yup.> Is this a bad idea? <Naw. I do this myself, and find that many times, as long as the system specs are up to par for the coralline to flourish, then the rocks may actually have brighter colors than before you placed them in the sump. You can usually expect die-off of the Cyano in two to four weeks. Naturally, there are better and more permanent forms of control, but if you have a little outbreak on a few rocks, this method is excellent, IMO.> I hope you understand my process here. I tried to keep it as short as I could. <Well done.> Thanks, Mike <You are welcome, and as always: write back with your results, please. -GrahamT>

Red-Algae, What's to blame?   3/21/07 Hello, <Hi.> first of all let me tell you how much you guys are appreciated.. outstanding job!!!!!! <Thanks.> I am trying to pin point the source of a new red algae growth spurt. <I'll see if I can help.> I have recently changed from a wet/dry filter to a lighted refugium. <A good change.> The lighting for the plants (Caulerpa and chaeta) is a Coralife mini aquatic 18 watt which is on 24/7. My nitrate reading has elevated to about 5- 10 ppm and phosphates are less than 3 ppm. <These are not ideal, the nitrates are not so bad'¦but the phosphates'¦.we need to get rid of those. What is your source water? Also consider that your tank has gone through a rather drastic change recently and you may be at a point where nitrifying bacteria is 're-establishing' after removing the wet-dry and adding the 'fuge.   The algae will also take a little while to get going. I would compensate with extra water changes.> I feed my fish and coral inhabitants a mixture of phyto, Mysis shrimp, Formula One, and Arctic Pods a quantity of two and one/half tablespoons daily. I am not sure if the actinic bulb in the mini light is the culprit or my feedings. <Could be the feedings, especially phyto, when large amounts are added at once it usually just amounts to liquid pollution.> Any help would be greatly appreciated. <I think you are on the right track Kathy, you may also want to consider additional water flow.> Thanks from an avid fan, Kathy <Welcome, Adam J.>

Algae, I am at my wits end, BGA, reading...     2/23/07 Hello I wrote you about this a couple months ago I believe and have found no solution.  Quick tank info. 90 gallon with 20 gallon sump/refugium. <You are growing purposeful macro-algae here? Have a DSB?>   250 watt MH and 130 watt PC.  My water turnover rate is 38 times per hour from a Tunze Turbelle, Maxi Jet 1200 and a Mag 9 return.  Water parameters ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 2.5, phosphate undetectable, <Could be being readily taken up by the pest algae...> calcium 400, alk 10 DKH, salinity 1.025, temp. 78.  My protein skimmer is a Aqua C Remora Pro.  I do a weekly 15 gallon water change. <All reads as "good" thus far> So here is the problem, I am having a cyanoBACTERIA problem, not completely out of control, and a problem with some green threadlike algae and green film on the tank walls.  Measures I've taken to get rid of the problem are, overskimming, siphoning, changed old lights a month ago, and am using PhosBan just in case the test kit was off.  So with all this flow, newer lights, light feedings with only 3 fish, overskimming and constant cleaning, I am completely out of ideas. <I am not... Heeeee!> I was told by someone on the crew to use Boyd ChemiClean for the Cyano which I am a little reluctant to do, is this safe? <I am NOT a fan> Well that about sums it up, I am out of ideas to fix this especially with good water parameters.  All corals including Acropora are growing and retaining full color, actually I think the Acroporas are growing faster lately perhaps in response to the PhosBan.  I would really appreciate any help.  This is not a huge disaster of a problem but it is getting rather annoying.  Thanks, Ryan. <... Your source water... salt mix brand... Please read, re-read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm and the linked files above... take down good notes... BobF>

Re: Algae, I am at my wits end, BGA contr., skimmer sel, O3 story   2/23/07 Thanks for the reply Mr. Fenner.  To answer some questions, I do have some Chaetomorpha algae in my sump, which does not seem to grow. <Good> I have a borderline DSB, some spots being quite deep 4" or more and some being less. <Mmm, I'd add to...>   I am a little reluctant to put more PhosBan in my tank because it lowers alkalinity although I personally do not believe that phosphates are my problem. <I agree> I have re-read the article you wrote and all makes perfect sense, the only thing I can come up with is perhaps buying a new skimmer that is more suited for a tank my size and better collection of DOC's. <Might help> Speaking of protein skimmers I recently got a mouthful of skimmate <Blechhh! Been there, spat that!> because my skimmer (Aqua C HOB) is in my sump and I don't have enough clearance to remove the collection cup, so in between cleanings I siphon the skimmate, not good.  I was wondering what your thoughts were between the Euroreef RS-135 vs. Aqua C EV-180, either one would be better suited for my tank. <Both are mighty fine units... I like the AquaC marginally more here> In your article you also pointed out that use of ozone for better skimming is also useful and the EV-180 comes with a ozonizer hookup, which would be useful if needed. <Yes> Please, please, please explain to me the use of ozone (I have read the article many times and its not clicking in my head) and the reasons for not wanting it to escape into your tank, and for that matter how you keep it from entering your tank (assuming you don't have a skimmer with a ozone hookup).  Thank you very much, Ryan. <Mmm, the short of it/this is the Ozone (actually a triatomic molecule of Oxygen) readily "falls apart" to form a much more stable diatomic molecule (the twenty and a bit percent of that stuff between you and the screen)... the unstable monatomic Oxygen atom really wanting to combine with whatever it can find greatly expedites the removal of organic molecules... in your skimmer. BobF>

Algae Control 2/20/07 Hello, again, <James> Crew: <Hello Debbie> Unfortunately, my Horseshoe Crab died two days ago. She just had too much of the black algae in her system. <James is thinking too much hydrogen sulphide.> The remaining four yellow-tail Damsels and one Striped Damsel are all doing well, but I just can't get the algae problem under control. I've decided to put the Damsels in my quarantine tank and take out all the substrate. After finding out that we had 4 inches of substrate, we removed 1/2 of it in hopes that the problem would stop. <In your type of system, I would have only left 1/2 inch of substrate.> When it didn't, I finally convinced my DH <Dear husband?> to replace the light. The black algae continues to grow but not as fast. This was the point when I sent my last email to the Crew concerning Harry, my Horseshoe Crab. I searched WWM and couldn't find any answers, so, once again I'm contacting you for help. This tank has always been maintained by my DH until recently. He has always claimed that he knew all about Saltwater tanks but, I am now finding that's not entirely true. <Maybe knew all he wanted to learn.> This tank is a 90 GAL Marine Tall tank (48"x18"x24") with a 2 inch crushed coral bottom. <Do get this down to 1/2 inch, will help with your problem.  Also, less gravel to vacuum.> We run two Emporer 280's and the water parameters consistently come up excellent but, I don't test the Calcium or Phosphate, yet. The current fish stock are almost 2yrs old and act normal. Now, on to my questions... 1. My husband used to regularly bleach the ornamentation and then treat them before putting them back in the tank. This always stripped the good algae off. He stopped using this method 6 mths <Please, no abbreviations.> ago after we read that the green algae was good for the environment. <Yes, but green hair algae can be unsightly growing in masses, better off with macro algae.> Would this method work to kill the black algae or do you think we should purchase new substrate? <Not worth the bother, I'd start clean and rinse the gravel well before using.> 2. I use the extra-long Top Fin Gravel vacuum and it seems to work pretty good. I had to laugh when I saw my DH use his mouth to start the syphon flowing. You should have seen his face when I showed him the right way to do it! I have no upper-body strength to get the water back into the tank once it's dosed and ready to go. I also have a bad back so I'm looking into the Python for at least the gravel cleaning part. Finally, I'm getting to my question. I know that the Python can be used for water removal but, is there a way for it to be used when putting water back into a Saltwater tank? I can't see how. <Nope, not an easy one anyway.  I don't like the idea of mixing new water into the old while siphoning old water out.  The new water constantly mixes with the old, so in reality, your not getting the full amount of new water as it has mixed with the old and going down the drain.  A 10% change is giving you somewhat less than that in new water.> Also, if the Python can't be used in this way, does any of the Crew have any suggestions on how I can get water back into the tank? <A powerhead would work with a piece of flexible tubing attached to the nozzle.  I mix my water in a 10 gallon tank using a powerhead to mix the salt, and when ready, I attach a piece of tubing to the powerhead and pump the newly mixed water into a container for the trip upstairs.  You could mix your water in a container below the tank and do the same, only pump it into your tank.> Thanks, again, in advance for your help. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Sincerely,

Black Turf Algae, SW... BGA   2/19/07 Hi there, I have been looking over your site, and I have this really tough black turf algae that I just can't seem to get rid of.   <Some of these are really hard to eradicate... some to the point of it being better to dump the system (nuke/bleach it... and start again!)> This all started because of a power outage nearly one year ago.  The tank dropped to 68 degrees, and I did my best to stir it every few hours.  It has been suggested that I get rid of my substrate, which is a gravel, crushed coral substrate. <Oh! This is a marine system?>   The tank has been up since 2004.  I had a big battle with green hair algae in the beginning which I beat, but I can't seem to beat this stuff. <Mmm... this is more of an endogenous situation... can be solved by environmental mediation... reducing nutrient, predation, competition... covered on WWM> First of all the tank parameters are 75 gallon, with 2 250 HQI metal halide lights.  A hang on the back refugium with Chaeto, and Caulerpa in it.  It has powercompact and I run it with the main lighting. I have 3 Maxijet 1200 powerheads on a wave timer.  I have a magnum 350 canister filter running carbon which is changed every two weeks.  I have an overflow and a 20 gallon sump. <... Do you have lighting, a macro-algae t/here? I would add a DSB as well...>   I am using a Euroreef 5-3 skimmer running 24/7.  I have a PhosBan reactor, and my return pump is an Eheim 1260. <All good gear> I feed once per day, a teaspoon of formula one pellets, some phytoplankton, some rotifers, and some Cyclop-eeze.  My clean up crew consists of three urchins, one diadema, one florida urchin, and one tuxedo urchin.  I have 10 chestnut turbo snails and a queen conch.   <This all sounds good too... as long as the Conch is still small/ish> I have 3 clams in there.  One squamosa, and 2 maximas <Sounds nice> I have for fish, a Foxface Rabbitfish, a yellow tang, a blue tang, a royal Gramma, a Banggai cardinal fish, clownfish, a mandarin, and a pearly jawfish. My tank gets topped off with a Tunze Osmolator with RO water and Kalkwasser. <See WWM re the "Kalk trick"... goosing the pH up to the mid-8's... to insolubilize phosphate...> I add in Superbuffer dKH, and peladow each day to keep my kH and Calcium up.   My kH has been around 10 and Calcium around 350 for the past year I have been testing it. I haven't had a single nitrate show up on a test in two years now. <Mmm, very likely being aggressively absorbed by this (undoubtedly) rabid BGA...> Same with ammonia, and Nitrite. <Ditto> 1.026 salinity Running about 76 - 78 degrees. pH has been in the 8.4 range too. I do water changes once every two weeks.  I vacuum out the substrate as well when I change the 10 gallons. I grow Halimeda like crazy, but also this strange black turf algae. I've attached the picture below of my Mandarin which shows the stuff growing on the substrate and on the live rock.   What do you suggest? <The macroalgae, DSB... Please give a read here for a bit of background, impetus... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/index.htm scroll down, to the bits on Cyanobacteria, control... and I still would consider (at the most extreme) nuking the system... to "re-balance" the setting, overwhelming effects of the Cyano/BGA. Bob Fenner>

Cyano Issue 2/16/07 Hey guys, this must be the 5th email about Cyano to you. <Welcome back.>  Thankfully, you have supplied me with enough knowledge to cure my Cyano issue... and I think I know what the new issue is. <Good to hear.> I have a 5yr old 90gallon tank that has seen it's share of Cyanobacteria. The remedy that worked was aging my tap water for 24+hrs, light feedings, more frequent water changes, increased water flow, and the addition of Chaeto in my refugium. <The basics, good to hear they worked.> I introduced the Chaeto in around August and started a regimented water change schedule and my Cyano issues disappeared.  There would be the odd spot of nasty stuff growing in a sheltered rock but I am thinking that was more of a water flow issue.  <Always present somewhere, just want to limit where.>  Anyhow, for the past month I have experienced burgundy goopy stuff growing out of my sand like stalactites/stalagmites ?? (I forget which one grows UP). <Me too, but I THINK it is stalactites.>  It looks awful and my once nice pure beige sandbed is burgundy.  I've been siphoning it off. <Good> I've had my Chaeto grow in the refugium for awhile now... I actually pulled it apart into two separate balls so it can tumble... as it did get to big to tumble.  It used to be a bright green... and now it's a sickly greenish brown color with a lot of detritus in it. <Not good.>  I'm wondering if in fact it actually died and is just polluting my tank? <Sounds that way, or at least capturing detritus and allowing it to rot.> I don't think it's growing anymore.... but definitely has lost it's green shine!   I have been keeping 2x18watt PC lights on the refugium 24/7.  I had a MaxiJet 600 on it to keep it tumbling until it got too big. <Maybe try going to a light cycle, letting it "rest" at night.> I've read through some of your FAQ's... and it seems that this is likely the cause.  I'm wondering, would Chaeto die-off cause such a nasty growing Cyano problem on my sandbed??? <More likely cause of than victim of.> How can I tell if it's just dirty with sand vs. dead? <Try taking it out and rinsing in salt water and see if it improves.  Also try removing some and shrinking the clump, may get a positive response.>  I have 3" of miracle mud in the refugium.  Wondering if the tumbling and water is causing the Chaeto to get dirty with sand? <Maybe, hard to tell without seeing it in action.>  In your opinion do you think I'd be better off without the miracle mud in my refugium? <Is most likely fine.>   Is Chaeto fine tumbling in glass bottom refugium? <Should be ok either way.> On a different note...  I had to remove my yellow-tailed blue damselfish (tiny little guy) because I had introduced a Royal Dottyback.  The Dottyback was terrorizing the little guy, even though the damsel had no marks on him... it was obvious he was getting stressed out.  <World War III with that group.>  Anyhow, the damsel is in my quarantine tank and has been doing fine. <Good>  I have the option of introducing him into my reef tank.  The only concern in my reef tank is two 5yr old False Percula Clowns.  Sometimes the clowns leave new guys alone... sometimes they tear them to shreds.  Do you think potentially adding the small damselfish into the tank is a mistake? Or should I just go ahead and watch and see?  The reef tank at the moment only houses the two clowns and a watchman goby... 90gallons, lots of liverock. <Well, if any fish could make it a well fed and healthy damsel would be it, but you need to be prepared to tear apart the tank to remove him, so the down side is pretty big if it doesn't go well.  You need to decide the risk/reward factor here.> Dave <Congrats on getting the tank inline, sure you can handle this as well.> <Chris>

McCosker's flasher wrasse, BGA continued - 02/11/2007 http://wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm Thanks for that article.  I have since cut feedings in half, using phytoplankton supplement every other day instead of every day.  I will  discontinue the gel based food. <Good... the binders are trouble...> I hadn't read that one.  My fire  shrimp are the only ones who eat it.  Could I still give this to them as a  special treat once a week and not run into any problems? <Likely so, yes> Once again thanks  for the response.  You guys are great!!! <Welcome. BobF>

Re:  Algae Question 2/2/07 Hey James, <Jason> I tried to get a picture but, my digital camera really sucks at taking pictures through glass, so I figured I would try and describe it better.  It is not fibrous (to the naked eye anyway) and best described looks like a layer of translucent/opaque fuzz. <Can't help you much without seeing.  Bob may have an idea.> <<... a BGA likely... this pic is too blurry to even post. RMF>> Attached is a picture albeit, you probably won't be able to tell what it is, you will also see my "blue" algae (does anything eat that?) <Can't see anything, pic is very blurry.  Nothing I know of eats Cyano if that is what it is.  Cyano is really a bacteria that thrives in poor water conditions.> Thanks Again, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Jason PS: I have a 30 gal tank and 10gal tank converted to a refugium/sump. So I probably running a total water volume of 30 gallons.  Considering the 46lbs of LR. <More frequent water changes along with vacuuming the substrate my friend.>

Cyano Outbreak...Is It The Lighting's Fault? -- 01/30/07 Hey Eric R., it is I, Tiffani The Topless again, and a hello to the rest of you as well. <<Hiya Triple-T!>> Just when you thought I was gone.  I am back like a bad outbreak of algae, which is why I am writing you again. <<Well I didn't think it was because everything was 'peachy' [grin]>> I am going to write this hoping Eric replies since I just bothered him recently, and he may remember my situation, but if not, I would be happy to accept anyone's help. <<And tis Eric you have again>> It has been two weeks with my new lights (192 watts from 25).  If you remember, <<I do>> I was told upon purchase of the new set-up that my live rock would take off, and yes, it most certainly has, but not quite how I was expecting. <<Experiencing a little 'bad with the good' are we?>> If I can back track, I have had problems in the past with reddish brown algae on my LR and on a few areas of the substrate.  I accepted it. <<Always a good attitude>> Well, I was hoping that my new lights would affect its regrowth in a positive way, but that doesn't seem to be the case.  For a week I was all excited.  I had siphoned it off during a water change before setting up the new lights, but it slowly started coming back, and it brought some friends too.  The brown (Cyano or diatoms??) now has some very thick green company. <<Mmm, I see...  But don't blame the lighting for this as it is only the catalyst...other factors/conditions are fueling the nuisance alga>> At first it looked like some nice coralline may be growing, but within a few days it thickened significantly, appearing as if I could lift it off in a sheet. <<Ahh, likely Cyanobacteria then>> It is like a bad combover.  I am starting to think water flow is definitely a contributing factor. <<So you've been doing some reading?  Excellent!  And yes...water flow...or the lack thereof...is often a factor in these instances>> I guess I wanted to be in denial about that, but now that I look, it is definitely more concentrated on the side of the tank that does not have a direct flow of water, if that makes sense. <<It does...and easily remedied too>> It isn't a huge tank by any means (46 G), but I have the valve on the filter open as far as it can be, so the return water comes in at what I think is a heavy flow.  It makes my plants sway (they are marine safe, by the way).  My protein skimmer (SuperSkimmer by CORALIFE) is on the other side of the tank, where more of the algae has taken up residence.  It also is on the glass, in thin patchy areas, on the sides, plus on the skimmer too.  So, can I blame it on the new lighting at all? <<Afraid not my friend...likely this is all on you [grin].  The tank is not 'in balance' allowing the Cyano to proliferate.  You need to find what is 'out of whack'>> Obviously my water flow sucks...I know that is what you are thinking. <<The addition of a powerhead or two, creating additional chaotic flow would likely help...and in more ways than one>> You probably cannot wait to yell at me, right? <<No worries mate...this is a very common issue>> You have been so nice thus far, it is pending I am sure. <<Nah...have my cup of coffee in front of me...all is good at the moment>> A verbal lashing is good once in awhile I suppose. <<Mmm, well...does seem this is all some folks understand...>> I never added a powerhead because I feel like the protein skimmer takes up so much space inside the tank already. <<Ah, yes...not a good look...you need a sump my dear>> I hate to take up more swimming room and take away from the aesthetics of my waterworld. <<Understood and agreed.  Perhaps you would consider an upgrade to a better/more efficient skimmer that hangs on the 'outside' of the tank?  Do take a look at the AquaC Remora skimmer.  I also suspect that such an upgrade would help with your algae issues>> Let me guess, you are laughing now...wondering who would find my algae so attractive. <<A little alga here and there is not such a bad thing...and certainly no need for a panic.  I have a few patches of algae in my reef tank.  It provides food/habitat for some interesting and beneficial micro- and macro-fauna...and is more 'natural' than many hobbyists realize>> Before I forget, temp is 77-78, SG 1.025, Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Ph 8.3, Alk is in the normal range, but my Nitrates are 10-20 ppm, but let me add that they have always been there. <<These nitrate values are fine for a FOWLR system...but since you are considering adding corals/inverts I suggest you strive to lower/maintain this at 5ppm or less.  A little nitrate is actually beneficial, even necessary>> I am very diligent with my water changes...most of the time.  I never go without one within a 2 week period, but, I usually do a 3 gallon change once a week. <<I'm going to suggest to you that larger changes done less frequently (10-gallons every 3-4 weeks) may serve better.  While it may seem doing 'a little bit more often' is the better way to go, these small changes really do little as far as 'dilution of pollution' goes...as well as frequently providing fuel (phosphate/nitrate) for your nuisance alga (yes...even the 'best' salt mixes...), and is a constant source of irritation (raw artificial seawater and the ongoing chemical processes therein) to your livestock>> I do use my tap water with Prime.  I know what your suggestion will be here too, an RO/DI unit. <<Now you 'are' reading my mind...>> Honestly, I have never looked into them.  I am not against it.  I just never did the research. <<Mmm, ok...admonishment number one>> Let me clarify, I clearly understand their benefits, I just never looked into one. <<Can be as easy/inexpensive as the 'home units' sold by Lowe's/Home Depot, etc.>> Are you left wondering what it is exactly that I am looking for from you?  Chuckle. <<Enlightenment?>> Well, I am doing this for one year now and have done nothing different up until now with the new lighting, so one would think the lights are to blame for the algae outbreak...at least for the green.  Could it be? <<Not to 'blame'...but is the catalyst, yes.  The other elements have been there, waiting, all along>> You don't think going topless has anything to do with it, do you? <<Ha!...don't you wish it were that easy!>> You know I had to mention that again, otherwise I feel I have been civil and appropriate throughout my email, which I am sure is appreciated. <<[grin]>> Oh yes, back to business.  I do want to add that I do feed a lot of frozen food. <<Me too>> By that I mean more so than flake or pellet, but I do feed that at times.  I am thinking I may overfeed at times too, due too they do not all eat the same thing. <<Agreed>> Some eat everything I throw in there, some do not, plus I don't know what planet I fell off of, but I never heard about rinsing frozen food first. <<Often recommended...and have done so myself even, in the past...but what a pain...  But still, this is on option to consider>> Where the heck have I been?  It seems it is all over your site. <<Indeed...Anthony felt/feels very strongly about this>> After reading that though, I don't quite grasp the concept.  How do you soak it in water, and then drain it to add to your tank?  Do you rinse the whole cube, which would make sense, but then that is only the outside? <<Quite simple really...the process I used was to thaw the cubes in a container of tap water, then pour this in to a food strainer and rinse gently under running tap water>> I actually use a little knife and shave little slivers off...how on earth would you rinse that?  I am mentioning this as I have read that some of the additives in frozen food can contribute to the nuisance algae. <<Mmm, additives?...maybe...but is I think more the concentrated organic/nitrogenous compounds in the thawed 'pack water' that is not consumed by the fishes but rather just 'released' in to the bulk system water.  Though in my case I have a high concentration of corals that I believe benefit somewhat from these compounds in the bulk water>> If I could back track once again, I think because I feed 2-3 different things at a time that may lead to overfeeding now that I think of it. <<But better than not feeding enough or feeding inadequate foodstuffs, in my opinion>> I guess I feel like if I put a little extra in my Yellow Clown Goby is sure to get something before my Fiji Devil Damsel inhales everything in site. <<This is very likely true>> I cannot be the only gal who thinks that way, can I? <<Nope...and guys too>> If I can note, I do mostly feed only once per day, sometimes twice, but rarely. <<Well Tiffany...I actually suggest two to three small feedings per day whenever possible>> They make it hard though.  They look like puppies begging for table scraps anytime I go near the tank. <<Hee-hee!  I know the feeling...  I have a larger than average system well stocked with fish that have become very aware of what my proximity to the tank usually means.  Sometime I feel like Poseidon in that commercial where the schools of fishes are following his movements.  It's not unusual for me to be doing something near the tank and look up to a bunch of 'expectant looking' fishy faces all crammed in to a corner and eyeballing me>> Wow, my back and neck hurt after this one.  I am sincerely sorry for the length.  Feel free to be brief in your response, as there are many folks out there like me who need you.  I wouldn't want to monopolize all your time. <<Ah but that is the beauty of the WWM system.  The exchange/info is posted for others benefit as well>> I am hoping to get this under control soon, as I am ready to get wet...with some coral/inverts that is.  If this is you Eric, I did buy one of those books you suggested.  I ended up with Aquarium Corals. <<A good book>> Bob/Anthony's book was sold out. <<Do have a look on out site/the NET re as this would be the better primer for you in this instance>> I haven't opened it yet, but I hope to very soon.  I am not sure if this is significant or not, but also where this new algae has taken up residence, so have lots and lots of bubbles.  They are just lying atop this algae, even on the glass where it is. <<Common with Cyanobacteria>> The algae appear to even be growing over some of them and encapsulating them.  I definitely never had that before...any of it.  Sometimes they "release" and shoot to the surface and pop.  What is that all about? <<Bubbles of nitrogen gas...either trapped from the substrate or generated by the bacteria itself...nothing of grave concern>> And I am serious when I say I never had that before.  They aren't freely floating in the water.  They are stationery.  Every once in awhile when my Clown Goby perches in a new spot, he knocks them loose, but not always.  Some are small, some are big...not quite pea size, but close.  Anyway, don't know if it means anything, I just wanted to add that in. <<As stated...is common>> I thank you once again for your time and patience.  Can you tell I do not get much adult conversation? <<So that's what it is! [grin]  But not to worry, I do enjoy your well written/intelligent exchanges>> I am very long-winded.  I bet you are glad you don't have an "800 number." <<Ah yes...the pet-fish crisis hotline...>> Have a nice night, morning, day, afternoon...wherever you are. <<A few reiterations/suggestions...upgrade to a better skimmer...add more flow...employ a small canister filter loaded with carbon and Poly-Filter (would also add flow)...modify your water-change routine as suggested...and read/continue reading here (do be sure to check/follow the associated links in blue at the top of the page): http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm   >> Tiffani <<You know where to find me.  Eric Russell>>

Re: Cyano Outbreak...Is It The Lighting's Fault? - 01/30/07 Hello Eric, <<Hey Tiffani!>> I literally laughed out loud at the Triple-T thing.  Now that was funny. <<I do have my moments...or as Alf would say..."Hah! I kill me!!!">> Are you in Australia or somewhere close to it? <<One could wish>> The "mate" references in this and past emails lead me to believe you just may be, or perhaps you just use the word like one would say "dude." <<Hee-hee...not quite so exotic I'm afraid...I'm located in sunny South Carolina.  I was stationed in England for three and a half years on my last overseas tour with Uncle Sam and enjoyed/picked up much of the vernacular.  I have an old English mate who married a friend of ours and moved here...he refers to me as "Bo" and I refer to him as "Mate"...our wives think it is hilarious...don't see what is so funny myself [grin]>> Just curious.  I am not stalking you or anything.  No need to take cover. <<Bummer...never been stalked by a "hot mom" before...>> I thank you again for replying to my email. <<No worries "mate"...is what I/we do>> I hope I am not being a thorn in your side. <<Amat victoria curam>> I wish it could have been a social call myself, but no such luck. <<Hmmm...>> In a nutshell, my overall response to your reply is this...if I knew then what I know now, things would be so different! <<Applies to all of us my friend>> Believe me, I honestly spent months reading before I purchased most everything, except the tank.  So I do understand what you are saying.  I really do.  It was a gift from my sister for my boys.  I thought it was "big" compared to your run-of-the-mill 10-gallon with goldfish most everyone has growing up, but I quickly learned that was not the case. <<Mmm...indeed>> When I knew it was coming, and for a couple of months after that, I started research on how to set up a marine tank. <<Excellent...and unfortunately...is more than most do>> That is when I learned size does matter, it wasn't that big, and it was kind of too late.  I really tried to do the best I could, i.e. not too many fish, all-appropriate for my size tank, etc. after the fact. <<Not finding any fault with you here Tiffani>> You have no idea how much I wish I had a bigger system, but for now, I must deal with what I have. <<Was nearly 30 years before I had a tank over 100-gallons...now I wish my 375 was bigger...you're not so "special" [grin]>> I do not plan on staying where I am forever, so in the back of my head, I thought I would go larger after a move, but not before. <<Ok>> So, yes, I have done and continue to do reading, but I guess I keep hoping to find some easy way out, which is not the case. <<Another indication of your obvious intelligence...keep reading/asking questions...you're gonna do fine>> So, with that said, I agree on the need to revamp.  In regards to changing my protein skimmer...this is actually my second one.  It seems someone left me off the Seaclone sucks memo the first time around. <<Ahhh...yes indeed>> I guess you should not always go with the first thing a sales guy recommends. <<Back to the "research" you were talking about>> The retailer I use, does not carry the AquaC Remora.  I have asked.  I honestly hate to buy something online that I can't really see. <<Mmm...something you may need to overcome...backed by research of course>> Do you mind if I ask you about it? <<Do you really think you need to ask?>> I guess you don't have a choice, but you can always not respond. <<Bob would never allow...and besides, that would belie my reasons for being here>> <I'd have to respond myself. RMF> So I did check it out online. <<Very good>> I guess what I do not get is the visual exactly.  My current skimmer is a hang-on as well.  It hangs on the back.  It hangs inside.  The only place it doesn't hang is on me! <<Ha!...please do keep your sense of humor about this/life in general>> Pardon my technical terms here, but the motor part that hangs in the water is large, <<The pump>> plus there is a big basket, <<The skimmer>> if you will, with 2 different sponges where the water comes back into the tank. <<The water return and bubble-trap>> Their purpose would be to collect "waste," plus reduce bubbles from re-entering the tank.  That is at least my take on it anyway.  Bottom line, it takes up a lot of space, as well as is one huge eyesore. <<Hmmm...as will be most "any" hang-on style skimmer>> Comparing the two, the AquaC definitely doesn't look as cumbersome and only appears to have one nozzle/hose that will hang into the tank??? <<But does require the pump to be in the tank...back to leaning toward a sump, I think>> It is hard to tell with it being black.  Maybe there is more to it, like where does the water re-enter the tank? <<Very near where the pump is located>> Does it come back in like a waterfall? <<Very much like, yes>> If you could shed some light, that would be fantastic. <<The AquaC will definitely be more efficacious than your current skimmer...but not necessarily much less intrusive>> I would gladly trade what I have for this new unit and a powerhead, or two.  One other question...the unit I would be purchasing would be one for "up to 75 gallons," right? <<Yes>> They give you a choice though, one with a Rio 800 pump for $159 or a Maxi-Jet 1200 pump for $164.  Complete ignorance here, but what the heck is the difference, or what is better for my set-up? <<The cheaper Rio pumps have a dubious reputation (like most things in life...you get what you pay for), the extra dosh for the Maxi-Jet is worth it...trust me>> See what happens when you try to help someone...they take advantage. <<Not at all>> On to other issues.  No, I am not done.  I have no idea what a sump is.  I sort of just skipped that part.  When I see questions and diagrams on your site related to that, I move on.  That just completely terrifies me. <<Time to get over that Tiffani...time to read and comprehend>> The fear of the unknown, I suppose.  I am by no means asking you to explain that to me, as I am more than certain I could find much information on that topic myself.  So, you do not have to even go there. <<Read the material and then come to me/the crew with your questions>> I am just letting you know I have sucked it in and will take a look...unless you want to come to my house and walk me through it!!! <<Would be happy to do so...if I ever get up that way (Bob has been after me to start doing club/conference presentations so...who knows).  Perhaps there is a club/other hobbyists about that could assist you?>> Somehow I do not think you folks make house calls just yet. <<I don't think the pay scale is such that I can quit my day job just yet>> As for the RO/DI unit, I shall also consider it. <<Excellent>> One thing at a time. <<Indeed>> I will also try your suggestion on the water changes, but I really thought more frequent small ones were recommended.  Who knew? <<Differences of opinion...do seek others' advice>> As for feedings.  I can certainly make adjustments on that end too.  I just worry about my clown goby.  He isn't the fastest, most aggressive food gatherer.  He likes his squid, clams, brine and mysis shrimp, and marine cuisine, but so does everyone else too for the most part.  I try to feed pellets first, which he doesn't touch, in hopes the others won't go after, say the squid when I put that in, but they do.  I will figure it out sooner or later. <<Ah, yes...better to overfeed than to underfeed...in my opinion>> Wow, I thought I could keep it short.  I guess I shouldn't apply for a writer's job with Reader's Digest just yet.  Seriously, I am glad the bubble thing isn't threatening. <<Can be...but not the case here I think>> I truly appreciate the time you have taken to get back to me this time around, as well as in the past, plus, for the time it will take to address this one too. <<I've always wanted a pen pal [grin]>> I feel very passionate about this, so I will try not to disappoint and definitely exercise your suggestions. <<I think you have the capacity, and yes, the "passion," to do well>> Thank goodness tax time is here.  A little extra cash for the fishes! <<Not a cheap hobby indeed>> You are too kind Eric Russell. <<Is my pleasure to assist>> Tiffani <<EricR>>

Cyano Control With Lighting 1/30/07 Thanks for all the help in the past...... <You're welcome.>    I was wondering if my lighting is contributing to my Cyano problem. I have a 100g tank with 100lbs of live rock and a great skimmer. I also have a phosphate reactor with PhosBan. My nitrates are at zero. My pH and calcium are also within normal limits. My tank also has great water flow. My lighting is (4) 65watt bulbs, 2 actinic and 2 10,000K. I have been thinking of switching to (2) 250watt metal halide bulbs with 14-20K bulbs. Will that help the Cyano problem or make it worse? Please let me know because I think the bulbs I have now are not enough for my reef tank. <The halides will help with Cyano control.  Read here and linked files above for additional info on Cyano control. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm>    Thanks, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>      Jeromy

Re: Tank Problems........Cyano and more   1/30/07 My filtration is ran on an Aqua clear 110, <What you have, is in my opinion, not sufficient for a tank of this size.> I also have 4 Rio 800 power heads for flow. Is my flow o.k.? <It is satisfactory, I'm not a fan of this line of pump though.> About 6 months ago I purchased a Hamilton Light System. It has 2-110 VHO Actinic and 2-175 watt Mogul Base medal halides. I bought them used, they were about 6 months old at the time. Should I start replacing my bulbs? <Assuming they were used for at least that time beforehand...yes.> If I should be replacing bulbs, is what I am using know correct? <Can't say...you didn't mention the Kelvin rating.> Virginia <Adam J.>

Re: Cyano and lighting..........  2/1/07 Should I supplement the Halides with the  (4) 65watt bulbs with the halides, or will the 250watt halides be enough. Also, should I go with a 14K or a 20K bulb.   Thanks,      Jeromy <Mmm, please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/lighting/mhltgmar.htm The linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Cyano Control 1/22/07 I have a 72 bow saltwater tank. It has been up and running for 9 months. I have been through the brown diatoms and was doing great. Now I have this purple, red/brown slime algae that rests on my sand bed. I am told that it is a good algae and not to worry. I have had this for about 3 weeks. Any thoughts? <Yes, is not a true algae but a bacteria.  Although it causes no direct harm, it is unsightly to look at, and will eventually cover life forms that require light if it is not eliminated.   Read here and linked files above for help on this matter. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm  James (Salty Dog)> Virginia

Cyanobacteria--Much Reading, No Solution  1/6/07 Hello again, <Hi Ryan, Pufferpunk here> Hope you are doing well.   <Fantastic, thanks!> A couple of months ago I changed my 90 gallon reef tank's substrate.  Well soon after, I had a diatom bloom (which I completely expected), which has now gone to Cyanobacteria.  I always read as much material on a subject as I can find before I email you so please be understanding.    <Much appreciated!> I will explain this as best I can.  It's red, quite thin and on the substrate only in spots with direct lighting.  I have 2500 gph flow so that's not the problem.  My lighting is 130 watt power compact and 250 watt metal halide (12K).  Ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate <5 ppm, temp. 78, salinity 1.024, calcium 450, alk. 10 Dkh, and phosphate <0.1.  I do water changes every week 10-15% with deionized water.   <Have you checked the TDS on there lately?  I like RODI, myself.> Now that I got that out of the way here is my question(s).  My reading tells me this is nutrient caused, so I have my AquaC Remora Pro set at the highest level of DOC removal, which gives me about 6 cups (actual cups not collection cups) of thin skimmate a day.   <Wow!> I have also read that this can be due to phosphates or nitrates, based on the information I gave you would you try using either a phosphate or nitrate removing media?   <But your phosphates & nitrates are fine.> If so which one?  I have also read on another site that precipitating phosphates caused by dripping Kalkwasser can cause this on your substrate, is this true?  I know how to temporarily fix the problem, Maracyn tabs work wonders on Cyanobacteria but I'm sure the same is true for my "good" bacteria.  I personally think this is due to the substrate change and a small recycling of my tank.   <Agreed> My other thought is that my PC bulbs are getting a little old so that may not be helping.  Forgot to mention all corals (even acropora) are doing spectacular, my torch coral I bought about 6 months ago with 9 heads now has 17, so nothing in the tank is suffering.     As a side note, if Mr. Fenner is reading this, the brown jelly infection is gone and did not spread.  I found that using a powerhead to clean the coral (Goniastrea) in a bucket worked great and took care of the problem. <Glad to hear it!  Hopefully, Bob will see this in our Dailies.><<Ah, good... do see this now... in moving all. RMF>>       I really hope you can help me with this Cyanobacteria problem, I've done about all the reading I can and the conclusion all this reading is leading me to is that no one really knows what cause is.  You guys and gals are the best so I will hope you do. <Although fairly new to the reef scene (3 years reef, 5 years SW, 28 years FW) I have found great success using ChemiClean.  I also have friend who had a horrible outbreak this week & by my suggestion--with 2 doses, he's ready to add more corals again!  HTH>   Thanks, Ryan Nienhuis........Is this name looking familiar yet? <No matter, write whenever you really need us & can't find it on your own. ~PP> Thanks again.  

Cyano and Bubble Alg. with zero PO4/NO3? 1/5/07 Hello, <Hello, Deb. Graham replying tonight.> I sent this one a few days back and hadn't received any response.   <Happens...sorry.> I've searched the online FAQs for response (just in case something blocked your email), but I don't see one up there.  So, I figured I'd resend it. <Good idea, thank you.> Happy New Year to all of the WetWebMedia Crew!!!! <Cheers!> Deb <Graham T.> Encouraging beneficial algae  1/5/07 Hello folks, <Hello... again.> Well -- I've gone and done something really stupid, and I'm hoping for some sage advice on how to correct my problem.   <C'mon! If we never did anything stupid, how would we know how to fix problems... well, I guess we wouldn't have any?> Here's my stats: -55 gallon reef tank running for about 8 years <Thumbs up.> -Fish (1 of each):  Centropyge bispinosus, Ecsenius bicolor, Pseudochromis diadema, Chrysiptera cyanea -Invertebrates:  1 Lysmata amboinensis, ~10 Astraea tecta, ~5 Trochus sp. -Corals:  yellow polyps, various zoanthids, orange Ricordea, green metallic mushrooms, pulsing xenia, white clove polyps, green star polyps, red mushrooms , cabbage coral, 1 toadstool leather. -Parameters:  Salinity-1.025, pH-8.1, calcium, 380ppm (working to raise this), Ammonia-0, Nitrite-0, Nitrate-0 (I don't trust this, since the core of my problem is algae related.  I'm guessing that the system is simply absorbing Nitrates present in the water and this is lowering my reading) <possible, yes.> , iodide-<.2ppm, iodate-<.03ppm , Phosphate = 0. <If you are sure of these results, then have you checked-Hardware:  1 Fluval 304 canister filter, 1 CPR BakPak skimmer, 1 SCWD with pump, running inside the tank with a sponge over the basket (this gets rinsed out in removed tank water with every water change), 1 airstone So -- here's my problem.  I used to have, on either side of the tank, beautiful bunches of Halimeda algae.  However, it started creeping across the rock and interfering with coral growth, <Mm-hmm.> even though I would regularly prune this back.  So, I pulled out the vast majority of it during a water change about 2 weeks ago.  At the same time, I added the airstone to the system to help break the surface area of the water (not sure if this is significant, but wanted to add it).  From that point, I began having a HUGE outbreak of bubble algae, Cyanobacteria and hair algae.  I've also noticed that my zoanthids, clove polyps, xenia and mushrooms are all shrinking back and dying.  Possibly this is from the fact that algae is now covering everything in the tank. <Yes, possibly.> Oddly enough, my cabbage coral and yellow polyps look fantastic. I've begun doing 20% water changes using RO/DI water every three days to correct this algae bloom and I've stopped putting in additives, with the exception of dosing some calcium.  I either rinse or replace one section of filter media with each change.   A handful of my Zoanthids have started coming back, but overall, it still looks very dismal in there. Polyps are shut tight and hair algae and Cyanobacteria are still creeping there way across everything.  I've been using a turkey baster to push water across the rock and polyps to try to clear the algae away without damaging the polyps.  I've turned off the airstone for the moment, as well.   <I'm going to stop you here. Consider this: Ignoring your test results, I suspect that the biological filtration in your setup has just been largely removed in the form of your Chaeto. The fast-growing macro is a nutrient-hog, hence it's wide use in refugiums for NNR. When you remove it, the bacteria that a system without the fast-growing macro would need some time to catch up. What are you using for test kits? Have you tested your water change water?> Here are my questions:   1)  I still have some Halimeda growing in the tank, but it's getting covered with hair algae and Cyanobacteria as well.  How do I encourage the growth of my Halimeda while stifling the growth of these nuisance algaes?   <Cyanobacteria is *sometimes* unhappy with higher than 400ppm in addition to actinic 03 light. Cyano also dislike strong current, and usually fade away within a day when in the path of a good powerhead/pump return. Halimeda is a Ca hog, so keeping these levels up may require frequent monitoring.> I know that staying with a frequent water change schedule will decrease my nuisance algaes, <Unless the source is the tapwater... though unlikely, since your system was pristine just weeks ago...> but will it also stifle the growth of the Halimeda?  I'd really like to encourage that to grow again.    <what is your light setup made up of? How many hours, etc?> 2) Is there anything else that I can be doing to fix this horrendous algae issue and revive my corals, aside from the water change regimen? <You know that algae control begins with water quality control. You are doing the right things here, but I just don't trust the test results. Frankly, I have to wonder if Bob would see something here that I am missing...? (Bob?!?)> <<Mmm, removal of the sponge, canister filter... addition of a refugium/DSB... RMF>> Thanks much! Deb <Welcome, Deb! Keep up the work, I'm going to think on this while you work and we'll get through it! -Graham T.>  

Re: Cyano and Bubble Alg. with zero PO4/NO3? 1/5/07 Hello, <Hi Deb.> Thanks for getting back to me.   <What I'm here for.> I'm currently using Red Sea test kits for P04 and NO3.  I'll pickup new ones in case these are bad.   <K> I'll also test my tank and RO/DI water with the new kits as a confirmation. <Am often tired when I do my posting, missed the part about RO/DI water with 20% changes...> Typically, I use different brands for different tests.  My CA and Silica tests are Red Sea, Copper, pH Ammonia and Nitrite is Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, KH is Nutrafin, but I've got a Salifert backup on that, Strontium and Magnesium are Seachem, and Iodine is Salifert.  Does WWW have any recommendations regarding which brands are most reliable? <Salifert, LaMotte... do a little search here on WWM. My LFS actually says the Sera kits are just as reliable as her husband's kits that he uses at work in the water... testing... field. (Tired again, stupid language)> Regarding the biological filter -- that makes sense that it would be removed.   <You mean the Chaeto? I was referring to the natural ebb/flow of supply and demand for biological filtration: If you have some prosperous macro-algae, then your compliment of nitrifying bacteria would need time to bounce back.> I neglected to mention that I have about 80lbs of live rock in this tank, so I'm thinking that there will be enough beneficial bacteria provided by this rock to balance the system out in the short term -- especially given that the bioload isn't really heavy.  Do you think that I'm on target with this assumption?   <As long as you have sufficient flow in the system, which is actually a chief cause & enabler of Cyano/BGA problems.> Also -- there are ceramic tubes in the top layer of my canister filter which are never rinsed/replaced. These may also have some beneficial bacteria. <Should, but that reminds me that a 304 isn't really sufficient by itself for a 55gal. Consider Bob's advice (in the FAQ posted 1/6/07) and implement a DSB for NNR, or a (Chaeto ;) refugium or both. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm > To get rid of the unwanted algaes, I'm working to bring the Calcium up to about 450ppm.  This should encourage the Halimeda regrowth, providing competition for nutrient export, and from what you've indicated there's even a chance it will serve to discourage the Cyanobacteria from growing.  I'm also cleaning any accumulated hair algae and Cyanobacteria from the Halimeda so that it can get direct exposure to light and current.  I'm a little worried, though that the frequent water changes will inhibit the regrowth of my beneficial bacteria, thereby preventing enough Nitrates from being provided for the Halimeda.  Is this a valid concern? <The bacteria are present on the surfaces, not the water. That said, 20% every 3 days makes for unsteady conditions that the Cyano can tolerate, but other competing/beneficial forms of algae have a harder time with.> Finally -- my lights are as follows.  I have a Custom Sealife PC fixture with the following:  2x 10,000W daylight bulbs, 2x 6,700W actinics and 2 small "moonlight" bulbs.   <Ummm... ok. If I take you literally, I think we have the solution to your problem in your lighting. 20,000 watts of daylight will definitely feed BGA and then some! (I think you mean 10,000K, as in Kelvin) LOL. Whew, told you I was a little tired.> My schedule is:  Moonlight 8am-10am, Actinics 10am - 11pm, Daylights 11:30am - 9:30pm.  The moonlights come back on from 11pm-12am.  I've set this up to try to resemble a true dawn through dusk scenario.  Please let me know if there are any temporary or permanent adjustments that I can make to this setup for this tank.   <temporarily, you could lower your lighting schedule to 6 or even 4 hours total daylight. This does happen on the reef sometimes, in the form of cloudy days, storms, etc.> Last questions -- my circulation, with the SCWD delivering alternating current at each upper-back corner, the CPR BakPak on the right shooting left, and the Fluval on the left shooting right has seemed appropriate. Any thoughts on this?  Possibly a powerhead at the bottom, back of the tank that serves to stir up the bottom?   <Yes. More and more I realize many aquarists aren't utilizing flow to their ultimate advantage. Can't have too much.> There is no substrate on the bottom of this tank, and once a month I move the rock as best I can and vacuum up any trapped detritus.   <Ahh... a glass bottom, eh? In that case, the DSB would be an easy process.> Also -- my temp stays between 78F and 82F.  Does that have any affect on algae growth?   <Warmer temps mean faster metabolism.> Finally, I feed this tank once per day a mixture of mysis shrimp and marine algae mixed with Zoecon and Zoe for vitamins, etc.  I keep the skimmer running during the feeding, and only feed as much as it takes the fish about 3-5 minutes to consume.  Is this appropriate? <Absolutely, though you may try skipping every other day and watch for BGA reduction.> Sorry for the lengthy email, and thanks so much for your help! <Ack, not too long! Welcome, Deb.> Deb <G-man>

Cyano in Ca 800ppm??? Not likely 1/4/07 Happy New Year to my friends in fish! <Hopefully not *in* fish!>      I am having one heck of a time developing coralline algae growth. <If you don't have any to start with, you won't get it in the end either. Do you have at least some on the rock?> I have had the live rock for 1 1/2 years. I have a 125G pentagon shaped tank that is 27" deep. I have one 96W 10,000K bulb and one 96W actinic in my power compact that are on for approx. 12 hours each. <That's a lot of light if this is FOWLR. Try 8-9hrs.>      My dKH hovers around 10, my pH is fine at between 8.2 and 8.4, <Have seen coralline make an easier go in 8.6 or so until development is accelerated.> but my calcium is off the chart at around 800! <Woah! You must have dust EVERYWHERE!> I have been told by the LFS that the high calcium level is the reason why I am growing Cyano instead of coralline algae. <I'm not sure about that... Cyano usually doesn't do well in high concentrations (or precipitations, in your case) of Calcium, like 420+ Also, Cyano is a strong flow hater.> My bad...I was dosing without monitoring. <Bad! Lay down! No TV for you tonight!>   I realize that coralline can be the same color as Cyano, but I can remove it from the rock with a toothbrush, so I think that it is Cyano. <If it *is* Cyano, then the coralline will not compete. Usually, red coralline is just as tough as any other encrusting algae, but you should make sure you actually have red Cyano before scrubbing... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cyanocontrolfaqs.htm but I digress. We need to get to the bottom of your over the top Ca levels. If you use tap water and the "just wait" method of chemical removal, then you need to test your premix when you do a water change. I would recommend an RO/DI or at least an inexpensive DI ($30 online price) to purify your tap water.>   Please let me know if the high calcium is the reason for my failure to develop coralline and my success in growing Cyano. I would appreciate your advice to get me on the right track to developing the good stuff. <Don't think so, but let's start with trying to replicate the reef eco-system a little more closely first: 400-460ppm. Then read these: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corlineidfaqs.htm I think you will find a few blurbs about coralline's preference for actinic.>      Sincerely,    Mitch Poris <Graham T.>

Solution to Brown Slime AKA Snot Algae. Rick Gibson's investigation, eradication of BGA   12/27/06 G'day crew! <Richard> Some months back, I wrote in asking advice, with my 75g reef system suffering from a major onslaught of Brown Slime (AKA "Snot") Algae. I had to do a lot of internet searching to even discover what exactly the stuff was, as it is apparently a pretty seldom seen (thankfully!) form of Cyanobacteria. <Yes> I've only seen it once or twice in all of my travels, apart from my own system's demise. Those who have been unlucky enough to encounter it in their own systems seem to have shared in the same lack of success in treating it as I had. I tried virtually everything that I could think of and then some to get rid of it, from frequent vacuums and water changes to tearing the entire system apart and scrubbing everything, to single and double-dose erythromycin treatments, and many other failed remedies. I followed every recommendation from pet shop 'experts', internet reef gurus; and in the end finally followed Bob F's advice, building a small refugium to incorporate into my system. <Ahh!> This last project brought the brown slime more or less under control, yet did not completely eradicate it, and I still had to remain vigilant, having to scrub around powerheads, overflows, on the aquarium glass, etc daily, to make sure that the Cyano was kept in check. Then one day, I stumbled onto a solution to the entire problem, quite by accident. This happy accident completely wiped out the offensive Cyano, and I've never seen so much as a trace of it since that time, several months ago. I thought I'd share it with you and your readers, in case other reefkeepers out there run into similar situations and are in need of a "quick fix". <Please do> Through a series of accidents - the most notable of which was a heater malfunction - I had an ich outbreak in my tank, and had to do FW dips, followed by Cu treatment, quarantine, and a 6-week fallow period on the main tank. All the while, the Cyano in the main tank continued to grow, as I was still feeding the inverts in the tank. I finally returned the fish to the tank, and on a whim I decided to run a canister filter for a week or two with a filter sock containing SeaChem's Cuprisorb in it, just to make sure that no copper or other heavy metals had found their way into the tank via the fish. Within a week, 2 notable things began to happen: The Chaetomorpha macroalgae in my refugium - which had been a bright, beautiful and vivid green - began to turn pale and transparent, with massive amounts of it sloughing off and dying. At the same time, the brown slime Cyanobacteria just up and vanished without a trace! It took a day or two before I connected the dots and realized that it was the Cuprisorb that was responsible. An internet search led me to an FAQ page on SeaChem's website, where someone had asked quite simply, "...in addition to copper and heavy metals, will Cuprisorb also remove Iron and Manganese from the water"? <Yes... and these are essential nutrients...> Seachem's answer was yes. I ran down to the LFS and bought a bottle of Iron additive, and started to put 5 drops per day into the refugium. Within a week, the Chaetomorpha had sprung back to life, and looked as good as ever. It is now overrunning the refugium, and needs to be trimmed back (and sold or traded for goods, I guess). The Snot Algae has not returned. My first thought about this was that the brown slime must actually have been an algae, and not a Cyanobacteria, since it appeared to be dependent on Iron for survival. <Mmm, no> However, I finally located the following excerpt in an article that I read online, entitled: "Treatment Systems for Household Water Supplies" "Some types of bacteria derive their energy by reacting with soluble forms of iron and manganese. These organisms usually are found in waters that have high levels of iron and manganese in solution. The reaction changes the iron and manganese from a soluble form into a less soluble form, thus causing precipitation & accumulation of black or reddish brown gelatinous material (slime)". <Ahh, yes> It would be interesting to see if this same product might also work to eradicate red slime algae/ Cyanobacteria. I hope that you will find this information as interesting as I have. Regards, Rick G. <Thank you much for this reporting... Very valuable indeed. Bob Fenner>

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