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Old 01-18-2011, 08:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cyano and algae cures

For 1 1/2 years I ran my nano without any filtration other than a HOB filter with a sponge and carbon. A few months back I added a skimmer and within a couple weeks there was an orange red algae growing in the skimmer. I cleaned it every few days but it kept coming back. I took out the media from the Hob filter and added chemipure elite (recommended by a friend) and the problem exploded. Since it started growing in the tank it's been an endless battle. As soon as I got the red crap under controll there was grey patches forming on the sand and glass. If I dont syphon out the grey stuff every couple days it turns dark purple and gets thick and slimy and these long strings form from it. Im 99.9% positive the red stuff was cyano but have no idea what the greyish purple stuff is. My main concerne is the loss of my sandbed. I sucked out a lot of it trying to keep up with this. It's only about 1 inch deep now (was 2). My janitors are 2 turbos,4 ceriths,4 or 5 small nassarius and a but load of bristleworms. This whole rambling leads me to my question for you....I was wondering if getting a CUC from someplace like reef cleaners that says their snails eat algae and cyano would be able to consume the slime at a fast enough pace to reverse this problem. Or will I just have more snails and the same problem? I dont have a phos test kit but will soon, I suspect that is a major factor. Nitrates stay around 10, everything else checks out good. Oh..I forgot to mention that the slime will not grow on the rocks...only on the sand and glass..it never gets any closer than1/2" to any rock if that makes any difference. Any advise/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-19-2011, 09:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Try a sand sifter maybe you do not have enough water movement. That way when the star fish Is sifting the sand your filtration system will pick up the cyano.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What kind of lighting and how old are the bulbs?
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I removed the skimmer about a month ago. It was just to much of a headache. Now I have just the HOB that I run carbon in. I assume that where it is only a 10 gallon and I do a 2 gallon W/C every 3 or 4 days and the nitrates rarely go over 10 that I'm pulling out most of the organics before it breaks down. For flow I have a koralia 1 @ 400 GPH and the HOB is 100 GPH. I have to be careful where i point the koralia because it will move a lot of sand by the next morning. The lighting is a 24" 2X24 watt T5 HO. 10K and a 420 actinic. The bulbs are about 4 months old. The skimmer I was using is an antique Amiracle counter current skimmer rated for up to 90 gallons. It worked really well and pulled out a crazy amount of skimmate but also grew a lot of red slime in the reaction chamber in a couple days. A friend of mine has a used red sea prism he will sell me for $25 but I worry about growing nasties and I haven't heard much good about them. I was thinking a larger CUC to get in between the rocks and places where I cant get my hand into. Do you think it would make much of a difference?
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You can try a bigger CUC, specially hermits and again I would also try the sand sifter. You should check your parameters first to make sure everything is good. Did you say you have a 10g? Nitrates seem high. Do you over feed?
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Old 01-19-2011, 10:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It's a 10 and I am guilty of overfeeding a bit. I think thats why I have such a large number of bristleworms. Since removing the skimmer I cut way back on the food. I tried blue leg hermits twice. first time I got 4 of them and put in 20 different shells for them to move into and they hunted down the snails and moved into their shells. The second time was a repeat of the first so I gave up on them. Tested the water tonight and this is what I got.
PH 8
kh 180 ppm
1.024
temp 78
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
nitrate 10

Need to get kits for phos,mag and cal. Figured since I dont have demanding stony corals that the frequent water changes replenish trace elements. I really want to get this under controll without having to use medications but have a feeling thats what its going to come to before I have a bare bottom tank.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Try feeding less and a get sand sifter.
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