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p-rizzle

What am I battling here?? Diatoms, Dinos.... Driving me bonkers

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p-rizzle

Red Sea Max Nano set up for about 4 months. I have two Frostbite Frozen Clowns, and number of mushroom corals and a few Rock Flower Anems (I found out after the fact that it was a little early to introduce the anems, but they seem to be doing great).

 

Anyway, I have been battling some kind of algae for the past 2 months. I searched and searched and was pretty sure it was diatoms, but now I don't know. Definitely not Cyano as I tried Chemiclean and it did nothing. I do seem to get a bloom after water changes, but I have an RODI system from BRS and the meter reads 0 for TDS. I am mixing the RODI water and salt in a Brute trash can and have a heater and pump in and on at all times (Should there be a film collecting on the pump / heater / sides of container? because there is... maybe this is nothing or a separate issue).

 

Regardless, I'd love to figure out what this is and how to combat it. Hopefully the pictures below show the problem clearly enough. My Dry rock is completely brown from it and it's getting harder and harder to blow off with a turkey baster. The glass is much easier to clean, and I have started to swipe from bottom to top rinsing the sponge each time in a separate container to make sure I'm pulling most of whatever it is out of the tank completely. When it gets thick, it has a "wavy" look to it. Definitely moving with the flow as opposed to just covering with no movement.

 

Any help / advice is greatly appreciated. 

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burtbollinger

this is what I know to be called diatoms/brown algae

 

Personally, I'd hit it from 3 angles....one of the 3 should help.  Worked for me, but not sure which was the actual fix.

 

  • I'd explore your lighting schedule, length and how much white you're using if youre using LEDs.  If your whites are at something like 35%, I'd drop them to @30 or so.
  • I'd begin passively running a bit of GFO...@ 1/4 to 1/2 cup in a filter bag swapped out monthly.
  • I'd begin passively running the "bag" of Purigen.

 

 

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Five.five-six

+1 on diatoms.  I'd like to add that GFO works best in a fluidized bed and worst in a bag because it matts down.  Assuming you have a media rack, put the bag at the top of the media rack and turn it every morning when you leave for work/school/whatever and then turn it again when you get back.  It will work a lot better.  

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seabass
3 hours ago, p-rizzle said:

I am mixing the RODI water and salt in a Brute trash can and have a heater and pump in and on at all times (Should there be a film collecting on the pump / heater / sides of container? because there is... maybe this is nothing or a separate issue).

Like after a day?  Some salt mixes tend to do this.  I just mix what I need so this doesn't happen.

 

3 hours ago, p-rizzle said:

Anyway, I have been battling some kind of algae for the past 2 months. I searched and searched and was pretty sure it was diatoms, but now I don't know. Definitely not Cyano as I tried Chemiclean and it did nothing. I do seem to get a bloom after water changes...

I think it looks too fuzzy for diatoms.  Could be dinos.  Does it look much better when the lights first turn on and worse by the end of the day?

 

 

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burtbollinger

IME, In a pinch GFO run passive in a bag will work until a reactor can be obtained.

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Clown79

Using phosguard my help and purigen.

 

I had this stuff occur when using Reef crystals.

 

I reduced lights, added phosguard, purigen, and changed salts

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p-rizzle

Thanks for the advice y'all. I really appreciate it. 

 

10 hours ago, burtbollinger said:

this is diatoms.

 

Personally, I'd hit it from 3 angles....one of the 3 should help.  Worked for me, but not sure which was the actual fix.

 

  • I'd explore your lighting schedule, length and how much white you're using if youre using LEDs.  If your whites are at something like 35%, I'd drop them to @30 or so.
  • I'd begin passively running a bit of GFO...@ 1/4 to 1/2 cup in a filter bag swapped out monthly.
  • I'd begin passively running the "bag" of Purigen.

 

 

-Can you clarify what you mean by "Passively"?

-Also, should I run the Purigen bag and GFO bag together?

-Should I also include Carbon (currently using Red Sea Reef Spec)?

 

Not sure I can fit a reactor. Here is what the sump contains in the Max Nano. I guess I could remove the auto top off. 

image.png.09982ea81e1fac3ea26fa2129d3fa50b.png

 

7 hours ago, seabass said:

Like after a day?  Some salt mixes tend to do this.  I just mix what I need so this doesn't happen.

 

After a longer period, I guess. I'm using Red Sea Coral Pro salt. Something is collecting on the heater and pump. 

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Clown79

Rscp is good for a week after that it precipitates. 

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seabass
2 hours ago, p-rizzle said:

I'm using Red Sea Coral Pro salt.

You don't want to over mix this salt.  Just make what you need.  Watch this video:

 

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burtbollinger
2 hours ago, p-rizzle said:

Thanks for the advice y'all. I really appreciate it. 

 

-Can you clarify what you mean by "Passively"?

-Also, should I run the Purigen bag and GFO bag together?

-Should I also include Carbon (currently using Red Sea Reef Spec)?

 

Not sure I can fit a reactor. Here is what the sump contains in the Max Nano. I guess I could remove the auto top off. 

image.png.09982ea81e1fac3ea26fa2129d3fa50b.png

 

After a longer period, I guess. I'm using Red Sea Coral Pro salt. Something is collecting on the heater and pump. 

passive...in a bag...vs. in a reactor, which I would not try jam in my AIO.

 

run a bag of GFO...run a seperate bag of purigen.

 

another seperate bag of carbon isnt going to hurt either.

3 bags total.

 

I don't use RSCP any more...alk. too high.

 

 

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Clown79

there are specific ways to mix rscp.

 

Add salt to water slowly, mixing by hand.

Let sit for 2hrs

then add powerhead and heater

 

per red sea, no heater or powerhead should be added prior to 2hrs and the salt should not mix for more than 4hrs total

 

it shouldn't be stored for more than a week

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Exodus

oh how fun! Looks like Dinos!!! :naughtydance:

 

The 1st time I fought those bastards was a loosing one that resulted in breaking down the system and rebuilding after a year and a half.

 

The 2nd time fearing I had nothing to loose I got more ambitious! I knew I needed export & eliminate excess nutrients so I went to town! In an AIO Without a Skimmer to assist me, I got 3 buckets, filled them with water from the tank, then added 3mL of Hydrogen peroxide to each. I then moved all my live rock with corals intact into these buckets. I then went after the fish relocating them to a 10G with water from the tank. I made sure to feed them while in the 10, I then pulled all the sand out of my tank and drained the remaining water cleaning up as much as I could, refilling the entire tank with newly mixed water & a fresh 10lb bag of sand, I let that sit for a few hours, measured the parameters and used BRS calculator to match them to the parameters in the 10Gallon, all the while watching the apex get the temperature up. After this was in place I simply moved the rocks back into the tank, followed by the fish, and did not feed for 4 days. The dinos disappeared rather quickly and have not had to mess with them sense.

 

Keep in mind this was seriously drastic measure i took, but I figured what the hell why bother wasting another year just to loose most of my corals and watch my tank die and possibly break down 1 final time, so I went all in and was happy with the results.

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p-rizzle
10 hours ago, burtbollinger said:

passive...in a bag...vs. in a reactor, which I would not try jam in my AIO.

 

run a bag of GFO...run a seperate bag of purigen.

 

another seperate bag of carbon isnt going to hurt either.

3 bags total.

 

I don't use RSCP any more...alk. too high.

 

 

Okay.... GFO, Purigen, and HW Marinemix Salt ordered from BRS. Thank you for the help! Hopefully this will put a dent in the Diatoms. 

 

27 minutes ago, Exodus said:

oh how fun! Looks like Dinos!!! :naughtydance:

 

The 1st time I fought those bastards was a loosing one that resulted in breaking down the system and rebuilding after a year and a half.

 

The 2nd time fearing I had nothing to loose I got more ambitious! I knew I needed export & eliminate excess nutrients so I went to town! In an AIO Without a Skimmer to assist me, I got 3 buckets, filled them with water from the tank, then added 3mL of Hydrogen peroxide to each. I then moved all my live rock with corals intact into these buckets. I then went after the fish relocating them to a 10G with water from the tank. I made sure to feed them while in the 10, I then pulled all the sand out of my tank and drained the remaining water cleaning up as much as I could, refilling the entire tank with newly mixed water & a fresh 10lb bag of sand, I let that sit for a few hours, measured the parameters and used BRS calculator to match them to the parameters in the 10Gallon, all the while watching the apex get the temperature up. After this was in place I simply moved the rocks back into the tank, followed by the fish, and did not feed for 4 days. The dinos disappeared rather quickly and have not had to mess with them sense.

 

Keep in mind this was seriously drastic measure i took, but I figured what the hell why bother wasting another year just to loose most of my corals and watch my tank die and possibly break down 1 final time, so I went all in and was happy with the results.

Wow... Very ambitious, but looks like it worked out for you. I'm going to hold off on this for now and give the GFO / Purigen a try. If that doesn' work, I will probably be reaching out to you with a few more questions, if that's alright..

 

10 hours ago, Clown79 said:

there are specific ways to mix rscp.

 

Add salt to water slowly, mixing by hand.

Let sit for 2hrs

then add powerhead and heater

 

per red sea, no heater or powerhead should be added prior to 2hrs and the salt should not mix for more than 4hrs total

 

it shouldn't be stored for more than a week

Thank you for the education, Clown. I had no idea. No wonder I was getting the build up and cloudy water. Huge help!

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seabass
20 minutes ago, p-rizzle said:

Thank you for the education, Clown. I had no idea. No wonder I was getting the build up and cloudy water. Huge help!

You're welcome.  Oh, wait, that wasn't for me. :lol:  Sorry, never mind, just amusing myself here.

 

20 minutes ago, p-rizzle said:

Okay.... GFO, Purigen, and HW Marinemix Salt ordered from BRS. Thank you for the help! Hopefully this will put a dent in the Diatoms. 

While all those things might help you with reefing in general, you aren't dealing with diatoms.  And if you were, it still wouldn't help, as diatoms are fueled by silicate.

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burtbollinger
50 minutes ago, seabass said:

You're welcome.  Oh, wait, that wasn't for me. :lol:  Sorry, never mind, just amusing myself here.

 

While all those things might help you with reefing in general, you aren't dealing with diatoms.  And if you were, it still wouldn't help, as diatoms are fueled by silicate.

 

I believe GFO can assist with silicate issues.

 

I also think those are diatoms...not dinos.

 

just my 2 cents...and I am not some master reefer or anything.

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seabass
1 minute ago, burtbollinger said:

I believe GFO can assist with silicate issues.

You are 100% correct.

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burtbollinger
1 hour ago, seabass said:

You are 100% correct.

I had what looks like his identical issue on my newer tank...best described as 'brown algae'...most of my internet research keeps calling this identical-looking brown algae "diatoms"...I was/am overdoing the Reef Energy A+B, Reef Chili combined with an uneducated hunch that I some silicate issues from either my Walt Smith 2.1 or the Tropic Eden Reef Flakes....anyway, .nothing would work until I did the 3 prong approach of Purigen, GFO, and a dial back of whites.

I think if he does that, he SHOULD see a reduction in whatever is causing him to go bonkers....that said,  while my tank is dramatically improved, anytime I dose Reef Energy A+B and Reef Chili, it comes back to a degree.

 

Also, you'll want to read up on GFO...you'll want to rinse it first obviously...and then maybe make sure you don't use too much.  



 

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seabass

So @burtbollinger, the OP describes it as, "When it gets thick, it has a wavy look to it. Definitely moving with the flow as opposed to just covering with no movement."   Looking closely at the pictures, you can see that it looks hairy.  I've never experienced diatoms like that before.  Is this consistent with what you experienced?

 

That's why I asked @p-rizzle if it looked better, as the lights just turn on, and worse at the end of the light cycle.  That is consistent with dinos.  However, it's difficult to positively identify dinos without a microscope.

 

 

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burtbollinger
1 hour ago, seabass said:

So @burtbollinger, the OP describes it as, "When it gets thick, it has a wavy look to it. Definitely moving with the flow as opposed to just covering with no movement."   Looking closely at the pictures, you can see that it looks hairy.  I've never experienced diatoms like that before.  Is this consistent with what you experienced?

 

That's why I asked @p-rizzle if it looked better, as the lights just turn on, and worse at the end of the light cycle.  That is consistent with dinos.  However, it's difficult to positively identify dinos without a microscope.

 

 

 

yes...as for as apprearance////totally IDENTICAL to my experience....which could best be described as sort brown hair algae that "When it gets thick, it has a wavy look to it. Definitely moving with the flow as opposed to just covering with no movement."

 

as for the light cycle, my issue looked worse as the day went on...

 

I've had dinos before in an old tank and this was way different.

 

One other thing I forgot...MIGHT be worth a mention....when my diatom? (brown algae) issue really got bad was when I was doing very vigorous, obsessive blasting of the sand and rocks with a turkey baster every night....I had to stop doing that as much, and just stirred the sand with a stick instead.v

 


 

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seabass

Thanks for that!  Then it sounds like the OP has a potentially valid plan of attack.  I'm just wondering where all the silicate could be coming from.  Usually it gets used up way before this point.  @p-rizzle has a RO/DI system which produces 0 TDS product water.  I'm at a loss. :unsure:

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burtbollinger
9 minutes ago, seabass said:

Thanks for that!  Then it sounds like the OP has a potentially valid plan of attack.  I'm just wondering where all the silicate could be coming from.  Usually it gets used up way before this point.  @p-rizzle has a RO/DI system which produces 0 TDS product water.  I'm at a loss. :unsure:

I always wondered that myself...exact same issue...still dont know....I've thought sand (tropic eden reef flakes) was somehow doing it...or if it was just a new tank thing....or I had a contaminated Brute trash can.

I won't lie....I still am dealing with it at 7 months, but to a much lesser extent after using Purigen, GFO and a reduced whites schedule

 My latest theory is that its a newer tank  + over-blasting sand + tons of natural light flooding the tank during the day + over use Reef Energy A+B/Reef Chili + Silicates from somewhere that were not going away.    

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seabass
2 minutes ago, burtbollinger said:

I won't lie....I still am dealing with it at 7 months

I'm curious, how did you make an ID of diatoms?  They are usually described as powdery or crusty.  They are also, usually, easily removed.  However, the OP describes them as, "getting harder and harder to blow off with a turkey baster."

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burtbollinger
1 hour ago, seabass said:

I'm curious, how did you make an ID of diatoms?  They are usually described as powdery or crusty.  They are also, usually, easily removed.  However, the OP describes them as, "getting harder and harder to blow off with a turkey baster."


certainly was not "scientific"...My ID for what I have is that it looks like exactly what he has....and that would best be described as filamentous BROWN algae, that as it grew longer, resembled a type of hair algae.  At first, it would start out powdery, but then grew in size, scope....never dealt with any "crusty" though.

As the issue increased in scope and ugliness, they ended up being more subborn to remove....requiring mild elbow grease and an old toothbrush to remove from the surface of rocks.

 

as for when I've had actual dinos, they were a much more pale tan/brown...long and stringly with lots of bubbles...the snot description was accurate...that makeup of dinos was more akin to slime than the brown micro-fine hair like structure of my brown tormentor.

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burtbollinger

if you look VERY, VERY closely, you can see some of what I was dealing with....and still see pop up on occasion, especially the day after I go crazy with the Reef Chili and Reef Energy.  

 

 

 

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