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Cyano? Dinos? Or something else?


Oregonic
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Dont think this is cyano, had it once before and chemiclean took care of it. Dosed chemiclean about a week ago and had no effect. Ive tried siphoning the sand the last few water changes and it comes right back within 24 hours. Ive been hitting it with turkey baster daily for about a week and still appears again next day. I have plenty of water flow 2 gyres on a red sea e170, plus the return pump from aio chamber and I have a sump with a separate return.  Current parameters are alk 7.5, cal 450, mag 1500, salinity 34, nitrates 10, phosphates.02 (have to dose neo phos 2ml/day to keep detectable). I have a algae scrubber that has never produced lush hair algae but grows green, red and dark brown slime algae like a champ and has to be cleaned every 10-12 days. I do 10 gallon water changes every 2 weeks on average but have done it once a week for the last month to try to fight this. No changes or additions to tank in 3-4 months, other then loosing 2 hammers over the last 2 months not sure why everything else is doing great. Im stumped!

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Dinos is a possibility particularly as chemiclean did not work. I had something i a 10g Nuvo that looked just like that and I thought it was cyano but didn’t respond to typical treatments for cyano so I suspected Dinos. 

I successfully treated with no harm to the corals with 1ml per gallon of water of hydrogen peroxide. 

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I had to deal with this earlier this year. Chemiclean didn't work, aggressive skimming, and regular water changes didn't do anything either. I found my issue was my sandbed, and my tank had fallen out of the Redfield ratio. I started actually removing my sandbed, after I got about halfway removed I actually stopped having issues. I replaced my sandbed anyways. Did waterchanges with better quality water while siphoning my sandbed out, and havent had issues since. 

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I remember plowing through a R2R thread on Redfield Ratio and cyano/dino issues and thought this blurb was in some ways the best distillation - not saying it's correct, just that it laid out a reasonable theory as to how it relates to what we actually see in our tanks.  It also would provide the explanation of why Vibrant might work as it is (in theory) introducing a bacterial mix that is particularly good at uptake of nutrients which allows it to outcompete the "nuisance" microbes/algae.  It also touches on the interrelated issue of trace elements and how those can affect what might otherwise appear to be a healthy balance.  What do you think Brian @pdxmonkeyboy and Taylor @Taylorhardy1 ? Would this seem to fit with your experience?  I know you both have done some deep digging in the area.

If we are nitrogen limited we are more likely to grow cyanobacteria. We can either reduce the phosphates available to reduce cyano growth or increase nitrogen to allow algae to out compete the cyano. If we are phosphate limited we are more likely to grow dinoflagellates. We can either reduce nitrogen to reduce the amount of dino's growing or add phosphates to allow algae to out compete them. We can use visual clues in our tank to determine if our systems are balanced. If they are balanced and we still have these issues then it is likely we are missing a trace element such as iron or manganese.

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2 hours ago, albertareef said:

If we are nitrogen limited we are more likely to grow cyanobacteria. We can either reduce the phosphates available to reduce cyano growth or increase nitrogen to allow algae to out compete the cyano. If we are phosphate limited we are more likely to grow dinoflagellates. We can either reduce nitrogen to reduce the amount of dino's growing or add phosphates to allow algae to out compete them. We can use visual clues in our tank to determine if our systems are balanced. If they are balanced and we still have these issues then it is likely we are missing a trace element such as iron or manganese.

After reading up on the Redfield ratio, I feel it's critical for reef keeping and managing algae. It can be essentially a diagnostics chart for your reef. First things first I think you need to find the source of the problem, ie which element(s) are out of wack. Some people claim to have luck with blackouts, but I think thats more stressful on stock than its worth. Cyano is photosynthetic, so certain light spectrums can set it off too, but it does need nutrients to feed. Make sure your using 0tds Rodi. Test your water right after you mix it, and make sure you're not adding anything that could be negative. If your source water is truly good, you can rule it out. Next/continued step is finding what is causing excess nutrients to feed the bacteria. Could be detritus build up in the sump, or sand bed. Maybe your rocks are just starting to leach some nastys. In this step I think it's a good idea to attack everything. When I first started I had cyano/dinos growing all over. Mostly on my rocks. So I started to siphon the cyano off my rocks, and the stuff on my sand. I made sure to get the hose really close to the rock, you wouldn't believe the nasty stuff that came out. After about a week of siphoning 5g/day, the cyano stopped coming back on the rocks, and only returned on the sandbed after 24 hours. At first I tried just siphoning up the cyano and detritus in the top layer. Didn't have much luck. Wasted alot of water, and about 3 weeks doing this. Eventually I decided to just start removing the sandbed entirely. By the time I got about half of my sandbed siphoned out, the cyano stopped coming back entirely and I haven't seen it since. As precaution I replaced my sandbed anyways, and made sure to get more sand sifters. I almost always see cyano ends up being due to excess nutrients in the sandbed. 

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well, from my experience and most of my readings as I can remember them, if you get a phosphate spike AND your nitrates are fairly low..like

 

While I was fallow my nutrients dropped pretty low. 0.02 and 2. I added phosphate when I was getting 0.0 on the milwaukie. I read the directions wrong and ended up with 0.4 phos. ARGGGHHHH. I dropped it down over the course of 5 days with tiny amounts of lanthium chloride. it was too late..cyano popped up.

 

Like most things, once you have it, it's hard to get rid of. There are soo many spores that vacuuming does a little but not a whole lot. Same for black out, yeah, kill for a day then boom! you have another bloom.

 

You scour the net and everyone tells you yeah..you have to reduce your nutrients brah. like clean your filter socks and do water changes. Yeah maybe. I went that route and did TONS of water changes (50 gallons is about 15% for me) and I had this strange mix of cyano, hair, and dino. it was whack.. I was leaching phos from my life rock.

 

Finally i said, ok, i am giving vibrant a try. two doses... HOLY F'IN LANGUAGE FILTER BATMAN!! It was gone, and I mean GONE. I did a third dose and never added it again.

 

downsides... it melted half my chaeto. I didn't see a huge reduction in nutrients actually. many people have but many do not. My understanding is that it is NOT a nutrient reducing bacteria like carbon dosing would bring, the bacteria actually attacks the algae directly, hence my melting chaeto.

 

I have cyano and some other stuff right now, I am tempted to add it to get rid of it but i am going to try out the traditional method for right now which is getting phos under control.

 

Redfield is an interesting concept but I see it miss applied more often than not. People seem to think that if an organism has x ratio of this element to that element that having the environment match that ratio is ideal. Ummm..no, that is fuzzy science. By that logic... we are surrounded by air, which is 80% nitrogen but yet 70% of our body is hydrogen and oxygen....

 

There is a good ratio of phos to nitrate but I am trying to stay around 0.02 and

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Im leaning towards dinos due to tank always lacking phosphates and having high nitrates.  Always been off balance but since I started dosing phosphates nitrates have actually reduced on their own and all corals have coloed up and grown faster.  I does seem weird how this outbreak has been so delayed and never started till ratios of nitrates and phosphates have gotten closer to being in balance 🤷‍♂️  I have been slowly siphoning out sand with every water change but dont want to loose anymore since i have a goby and shimp that need a home, less then 1” average depth of sand. I think ill keep doing 20% weekly water changes till issue resolved and I can go back to every 2 weeks.  I think im going to order vibrant and give it a try.   

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it could be dino although I initially thought cyano for sure. That said, I dont see any of the air bubbles that are classic cyano.

I would love to have to dose nutrients but I have a very heavy bioload.

I was taking pics of my tank and my cyano is annoying me so i removed my chaeto and dosed vibrant. maybe I will take some pictures and start a thread.

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