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noirLotus' Palm Beach Pico Reef, String Diatom-Post Peroxide Treatment


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Greetings all!


I've kept many different reef tanks over the years, but haven't done much with pico reefs nor have I kept up with online threads in the past. I plan to keep this pico set up for at least the next year and hope to grow out primarily small sps frags to move to my larger reef tank once grown and established. I'm open to further stocking and equipment suggestions.


The tank has been set up for possibly two months max and I've been working on upgrading different parts of the equipment. I'm experimenting with LEDs for the first time and I'm fairly happy with the results thus far. My main area where I've been having difficulty is with the AquaClear 70 mod. I followed ElFab's mod exactly and have been playing around with different filter media. At first I had issues with sand being sucked up in the impeller and clogging the filter. I changed my rock work to prevent this and things have been fine so far. Now I've been dealing with the issue of micro bubbles and also an immense amount of water coming back out of the intake area as opposed to through the refugium/outlet. I've played with different sponges and filter floss and am still having issues. My primary chemical media is chemo-pure which I switched to recently.


Biggest problem at the moment is what I believe is cyanobacteria. It looks a little off in this lighting and I've also not seen it web like this. I started a treatment of chemiclean today and haven't noticed a significant change thus far. Corals are mostly fine except for frogspawn which has been deflated recently. Water params are fine. Salt a little low around 1.021. Zero nitrates and phosphates. Calcium and carbonate acceptable levels. Any thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated. Further details below!



3g JBJ picotope

AquaClear 70 Power Filter modded w/chemipure, filter floss and chaetomorpha

1 LEDtric PAR38 "zooman72" Full-Spectrum 18w ReefLamp - 90deg optics @ 11 hours a day on

V-Light swing arm clamp-on lamp from Staples

Stock Lamp on refugium

Stealth Heater 50w



1 Porcelain Anemone Crab (Neopetrolisthes ohshimai)

4 Blue-legged Hermit Crabs (Clibanarius tricolor)

4 Cerith Snails (Cerithium sp.)

1 Nassarius Snail (Nassarius sp.)

3 Astraea Turbo Snails (Astraea tecta)



Birdsnest (2 varieties)

Tyree Sunset Montipora

Superman Montipora

ORA Cali Tortuosa

Violet Rim Confusa

Pink Monti Cap

Plate Coral

Cherry Red Mushroom

Neon Green Ricordea Yuma

Striped Green Mushroom

LE Orange Fiery Digitata

Rare Limon Frogspawn

Green Acans

Red Acans

Gold Acans

Assortment of Zoas and Palys


UPDATED! Full Tank Shot (10/01/12): (After a recent round of black out followed by peroxide to deal with invasion.)







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If someone can confirm that this is cyanobacteria, I'd appreciate it. If not let me know what this is and best method to clear it up. Thanks!


First corals (Acans) before the slime:



Slime attacking Birdsnest frags and acro:



Zoos, acans and pissed-off frogspawn:



Refugium Set-up:



Full Set-up:



Top down:



Problem with flow coming out of intake:


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Im going to call that string diatoms invasion, try googling that. if other methods dont work hit us up in the disease and pest forum, peroxide thread, we can do some work with that. Most people want to try other methods first...although I wouldn't.

holler back if needed

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Greetings Folks,


So I do think it is that string diatom. I talked with a friend who runs an aquaculture business today and she suggested first trying the 3 day blackout method before the h2o2 method. Dyou think I should worry about coral loss with having the light off for this period of time? I was thinking about running my refugium light 24/7 until this blackout is over. I also picked up two mangrove pods at a frag swap today in south Florida. My hope is that the diatom will shrink down over the black out period. I also was running my LED bulb 10-11 hours, so maybe a reduction in photoperiod after the blackout would help. Overall I'm hoping to get this knocked out soon, not have any coral loss and start my frag grow out. I've got some really nice pieces though you can't tell from the pics right now. Today I picked up a small plate coral and another acan frag. Here are some pics of the current state of things. Thanks for your help!


Display blacked-out to treat for diatom (Day 1):



Refugium with new mangrove pods:


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holy cow! thats pretty bad cyano! i swear by the h2o2 method, and have never had any livestock loss or damage. ive never done the 3 day black out but since your not giving the corals any light they'll prolly be alot weaker once youre done with the treatment.


i still say h2o2. go try some spot treating when you do a water change (using a target feeder). you'll immediately see that sucker bubble up and turn white and melt and DIE! lol


well w/e you do, good luck with it and dont give up on the hobby :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Happy October Everyone,


To update you all on my pico… I started off with a black out in my display to deal with the string diatom and I noticed the bloom clear up a bit. I only made it about two days and then decided to turn on the light and contemplate the h2o2 method. Ended up draining tank as instructed, mixed a small squirt bottle with a 50-50 peroxide-salt water solution, and sprayed problem areas. Refilled tank with old water, let it circulate for a bit and then changed out all water for new.


Following treatment I immediately noticed the "webs" starting to clear up. I did not notice a pseudo-white burn off as described by some on the peroxide thread. The corals have been mostly fine, but my bird nest frags/cali tort frag area has been looking a bit irritated/bleach-y. I also have noticed a slight recurrence of the diatom in primarily this area, but I'm gonna hold off and hope that the corals color up more before another possible treatment.


Attached are a few new photos:


Acan area lookin' good:




Birdsnest area looking better, but string diatom appears to be on the rebound. I'm fearful of losing these frags and the cali tort is fairly bleached up top, but color is returning:




Plate coral has lost a little color since I picked it up at the frag swap, but I'm assuming that is due to the peroxide treatment as well:




Overall, I've made a few changes. Display light is only on 8 hours now 12-8pm. Fuge light then turns on from 12-8am. I've seen roots sprout from my mangrove pods which is cool as I've never kept them before. I've also been keeping up on water quality and everything tested out well tonight. Also been feeding a bit with Dr. G's. I thought about adding an emerald crab to help with the diatom. I was just thinking some critter that would potentially pick at the little bits that grow. Thoughts? I have one in my 40g and I know they do get a bit aggressive. Would it bug my porcelain anemone crab? He seems to be going strong. I was thinking about getting a few more critters, maybe a shrimp. I have a gold coral banded in the 40g and thought if I could find a mated pair I'd buy that and swap the single gold dude into the pico and the pair into the 40g. He's very small, maybe 1 1/2". Would that be to aggressive for the tank? I figure I better steer clear of a fish if I have to keep up with these h2o2 treatments for a bit. I had a yellow clown goby when I was just starting this pico and he jumped out. : (


Anyway… for those of you who didn't catch the updated FTS above, here it is again:




Comments and suggestions are appreciated! Thanks for stopping by!

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