Help me figure this out! Algae+slowcoralgrowth

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry' started by anizatoreef, Mar 5, 2016.


I plan on starting a new tank soon, would you include this rock in the new system?

  1. use this rock in new system

  2. use new rock for new system

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  1. anizatoreef

    anizatoreef Guest

    I hae had this 50 gallon tank running for over a year now.

    It seems like the Diatom Bloom never went away and only got stronger. Did I make a mistake by curing my rock in a dark bin for 3 months before the tank was even setup?

    Up until I ran a GFO reactor the algae was just everywhere and impossible to get rid of, it was gunky and slimy ..very nasty stuff.

    My water chemistry has been stable, at least for what I can test for (CA,MG,ALK,SG,pH).

    CA 420

    MG 1440

    ALK 8.2

    SG 1.024

    pH 8.3

    Once I added the GFO reactor a couple of weeks ago, I have noticed how the brown gunky slime has been disappearing from the rock surfaces slowly, in patches in certain areas, but the stuff doesn't go away!!!. However the fact remains that my coral still struggle to overgrow this stuff. My Lawnmower Blenny and my handful of snails + 3 hermits are just not a competition against this stuff. Also, I have noticed that the tank is growing coralline algae like crazy. (I have tried scraping this stuff to get it to grow on the rock, but so far I haven't seen any noticeable growth.

    The GFO reactor has been up for a month now and these are my water parameters at the moment:
    IMG_0218.JPG IMG_0219.JPG IMG_0221.JPG IMG_0217.JPG IMG_0222.JPG IMG_0218.JPG IMG_0219.JPG IMG_0221.JPG IMG_0217.JPG IMG_0222.JPG

    CA 395-410

    MG 1400

    ALK 7.9

    SG 1.024

    pH 8.1

    I perform bi-weekly 15Gallon water changes. I was about to change the GFO reactor with new GFO and I wanted to add some carbon. Any ideas on how to battle this stuff?

    as you can tell my GSP has struggled to grow, this stuff doesn't allow it to, this GSP frag has been in the tank for about 8 months... NO GROWTH!! why???
  2. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Where did the rock and sand come from originally?

    What do you have for flow in the tank?
  3. anizatoreef

    anizatoreef Guest

    the rock was dry rock from BRS, I cured the rock in a dark bin for 4 months before I even bought the tank. When I bought the tank, the rocks cured inside the tank for another 2 months with a fishless cycle, I dosed ammonia and finally Dr. Tim's Nitrifying Bacteria.
    I have 5 Anemones in the tank and all are thriving apparently (from what my novice experience can tell). All my fish are happy.

    For flow I have an MP10 and an MP40 on opposite sides of the tank. Running two A360W Kassil.
  4. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Pukani rock? If so then that might be your problem. Pukani is known to have phosphates in the rock that will leach out slowly.

    Sand? Some sand contain silicates that cyano thrive on.

    An MP10 n MP40 should be plenty of flow to blow the cyano off the rocks, do you have them set very low?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. anizatoreef

    anizatoreef Guest

    no, nothing fancy, just the regular BRS Reef Saver Rock. The sand was the Fiji Pink, two bags of that, but I never added the chemical that comes in the little pouch inside of each Sandbag.

    My pumps are not that low. The MP10 is at about 70% and the MP40 at about 40% when they are at max, I run them on Yellow Mode.

    I also forgot to mention that I have 3 SPS pieces, the blue SPS stopped growing so rapidly, the pink SPS stopped growing and bleached a little (from intense pink to light pink/almost white), the 3rd SPS didn't grow so much before, but since the GFO was added, began to grow like never before.

    I got some Zoas from Legendary Corals a couple of months ago, they have show little signs of growth.
  6. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    With that much flow, you shouldn't have cyano on the rocks. Can you blow them off with a turkey baster? I would keep running GFO. Do you have a sump? Running a refugium?
  7. anizatoreef

    anizatoreef Guest

    i have tried basting them off, but they are like grass ...ugly ass grass! they are attached to the rock. I have even tried brushing them off with a toothbrush, to almost no avail.

    Yeah I have a refugium/sump. However it was a DIY and I effed up the wall from the sump into the return, and have the sump walls on backwards... i know..stupid, but I will be fixing that soon, to remove any possibility of that being the problem.

    Also I forgot to mention that I have a ceramic plate in the sump, where I have been growing Caulipera, it was thriving for a few months until I added the GFO because the Macro wasn't enough to battle the stuff in the display, and since the GFO, the Macro has been struggling to survive, but in the last few days it has begun to grow again.
  8. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    If it's attached to the rock then it's not cyano. I don't know what it is.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    You could try lessening your light's intensity and length of time that it's on for. Just worth a try at this point.
  10. MolaMola

    MolaMola Supporting Member

    Totally looks like dinoflagellates - brown slime.
    Sprung's algae book suggests: stop water changes and let it run its course, boost alk with buffers or calcium reactor, topoff with kalkwasser, remove snails that die from trying to eat it, maybe some types of bacteria can help. Just my 2 cents - no experience.
    Enderturtle likes this.
  11. anizatoreef

    anizatoreef Guest

    So I found out what it is.
    It is a bacteria called Alcacigenes Faecalis, it thrives on aerosol products. Mostly alcohol in the environment. Knowing this however, doesn't explain what the source is, since there are no open alcohol containers and we don't use any chemicals in the house to clean (only vegan biodegradable cleaning products).
    Check out this link:

    Apparently it is a bacteria, so the only way to attack this stuff is by outbalancing it and eliminating its food source. So I bought Dr. Tim's Re-Fresh, which not only outcompetes this nasty gunk, it cleans the water and eliminates odors as well. Odors coming from the tank started a few weeks ago, when for a year there was no scent at all, now you can smell it standing a few feet away.

    I began dosing, last night was the second dose, every other day. Hopefully Dr. Tim's Re-Fresh formula fixes the problem. This Sunday, tomorrow, I will also take out a few rocks and do some Peroxide Dip to help eliminate this stuff quicker.
  12. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Officer at large

    Sounds like some nasty stuff. Let us known i.e. It goes.
  13. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    How did you determine that it is Alcacigenes Faecalis?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Coral reefer likes this.
  14. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    It doesn't look like dinos to me. Dinos tend to be very stringy.

    I would consider upping the water changes to at least 15% every week.

    If you can, brush and suck out as much of the hair algae with a hand pump: When I had algae issues, I would turn off the powerheads, brush off the algae, and use a handpump to pump out the algae into the filter sock in my sump. I would then change out the filter sock. Doing it this way allowed me to continuously suck out algae into somewhere safe to be disposed. Depending on the kind of algae you have, it can take up to a month before making a dent.

    And regarding my experience with dry rock:

    I had it sitting in a tub for almost 5 months with a pool phosphate remover before it would get to .14 and not drop below that, even with biweekly water changes. After putting it into my tank, I got immediate diatom bloom and hair algae. Adding GFO turned the algae white and turbo snails took care of the rest. You are almost guaranteed algae issues if you don't handle the dry rock correctly.
    anizatoreef likes this.

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