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Fisker's 20 Long Macro Tank!

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Fisker

No air bubbles. It's back in bulk this morning, even appearing in some of my Gracilaria Hayi.

 

These are the best pics I can get of it - you can see dark pieces of "hair" throughout the substrate,

 

Hair.thumb.jpg.90a03998bda733f231f24786ec036142.jpg

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Fisker

Okay, so I don't think it's dinos. I did a dino strainer test, and it's come back negative so far. Could change in the next few hours, but so far, so good.

 

I got to looking really close, and it was actually growing on some of my C. Racemosa too. I got some pics of it, and it appears almost purple/dark red in regular lighting. It's also growing in filaments, and not in a blanket of slime. So I don't think it's common Cyano or Dinos - although it does look a bit like dinos while growing on the Caulerpa.

 

Can anyone shed some light on this for me? 

 

Here's some pics of it on the Caulerpa:

703458315_Caulerpaalgae.thumb.jpg.03be63b65ab164bf081048b77775eb4f.jpg

 

1730874215_Caulerpaalgae2.thumb.jpg.b948bf1297dc7c873f350331635ddd69.jpg

 

here's some pics of it on a paper towel:

 

231849309_Papertowel.thumb.jpg.265556e8dc88c04758061cccaca6bb90.jpg

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billygoat

Hmm interesting... doesn't look much like dinos, but it doesn't look much like cyano either. If cyanobacteria were the culprit I think you would see it forming thick mats by the end of the day, which doesn't seem like what's going on here. It's clearly not hair algae either, and doesn't resemble any diatoms that I've ever seen. I think cyano is the closest match, at least in my mind, but honestly it's really hard to tell. I wish I could help out more! I don't suppose you'd happen to have a microscope lying around, would you? 😅

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Fisker

I don't, sadly. 

 

I've been talking back and forth with @Tamberav a bit, and regardless of what it is, I think the course of action will probably be to keep my macros happy and healthy, and to dose NO3 and PO4. Hopefully, that'll knock back whatever it is. I'm leaning towards dinos, because some of the strands are beginning to form bubbles. 

 

It's not grown in thick mats, or even really in clusters - in most spots, it's just sorta popping up on rock, crushed coral, filter intakes, macroalgae, and even on bits of exposed skeleton on my gorg. It's clustering in some areas, but not in most. I'll probably be removing the macros to scrub at least once a day, to try and keep them from smothering. I'll do what I can for the gorg as well, but I have a feeling that removing it and scrubbing the exposed skeleton will do more harm than good. Should I try and just snip off the affected areas, maybe back into healthy flesh a bit to try and limit the amount of area that the algae can latch onto? Or will this do more harm than good?

 

I do have to wonder if this has to do with the introduction of the CC or the new rock, but if it's dinos, this is a problem of low nutrients... which might make sense in a macro tank, but I haven't been shy with food. Nitrates were low (1-2 PPM), but not at 0. So maybe it isn't dinos... we'll see.

 

I'll continue with water changes for the coral, and just try to keep my nutrients up. 

 

Here it is growing on various surfaces, as of a few minutes ago.

 

1544416200_Nuisancealgae2.thumb.jpg.0e99a795ef6e32d3a124fd1f13a8fbdf.jpg

 

1022482984_Nusiancealgae.thumb.jpg.fce4c3f0fd3decf83cfc26e31b050f7d.jpg

 

352775457_ChristmasTreeAlgae.thumb.jpg.a1717f9505b7bb312754c7104c1136b0.jpg

 

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billygoat

Oh jeez, that's a lot of bubbles. That screams dinos to me, though I hope I am wrong. Is it possible to suck it off your macros with a turkey baster? That could be another cleaning option that is probably a bit less stressful for your algae. You don't have a ton of corals for the dino to kill so I imagine that once you figure out why it is blooming you'll be able to eliminate it with minimal damage to your livestock.

 

One thing I've noticed in my own system is that biodiversity seems to keep pest algae in check better than any dosing regimen or miracle chemical cure ever could. I'm fairly sure I've had pretty much every possible type of nuisance algae in my tank, and probably still do... but the fact that there are so many different species of macro, micro, and coralline algae all competing with each other for space and resources means no particular species is able to gain an upper hand. 

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Fisker

Yeah... 99.9% sure it's just a variation of dinos at this point. It's not snotty like a lot of people report it to be, but it's got a lot of similarities to what I'm seeing online. Too many to be just a coincidence.

 

So, I basically climbed into the tank earlier (I'm SO glad I went with a shallow tank now), and blasted off as much of the crap I could into the water column. I got quite a bit of it. I noticed that with my G. Hayi, I wasn't having luck with a turkey baster. It digs into that algae too well, apparently. I picked up each chunk, and rolled it around in my hand in front of the powerhead, and that seems to have cleaned all of them up relatively well. Not perfectly, but it worked. My C. Mexicana is already looking pretty rough, although I think that it's been dying back since the tank move. I'm going to trim out any dead/dying areas tomorrow, and try my best to get it into higher flow to try and keep it clean. For my C. Racemosa, I was really confused as to why it was getting hit so hard in that particular area, and why it was a little more "dino-like" there before anywhere else. Then, I realized that is a low flow area. I'm going to try and remedy that tomorrow with a super jank solution that might not work. We'll see how that goes 😂

 

As for the coral, the GSP already has some growing on it. But, it was easily blasted off, and even where I missed bits of the dinos, the polyps still opened fully. It doesn't seem to care much, at least with a small amount on there. The Toadstool has yet to encounter any, and I'm hoping that with it's relatively high flow, that that'll continue to be the case. I'm not sure how much flow really determines where dinos grow, but so far, it seems that higher flow = less of the dinos.

 

You make a great point about biodiversity. I definitely agree, but I also have experience with the bad things that can come with that biodiversity. Ideally, they all settle eachother out, but that doesn't always happen. For that reason, I think I'm going to try to introduce a few things to try and emulate what you might get in some good live rock. I've got some pods, but I'm considering trying to either A) get a good culture from a local aquarist, or B) order a variety pack from somewhere online. I know that's not all I need, but I think it's a good place to start.

 

I'd also like to note that I don't think this will manage to stop this tank in it's tracks or anything. I'm probably going to refrain from adding anything much just for stability's sake, but things are still doing well, as of now. I've got new growth on the Christmas Tree, the C. Racemosa has grown a bit and has DEFINITELY already started claiming part of the tank for itself (which was the plan...), and things look good, under their hairy exterior. I'm hoping to keep things going as well as they have been as I sort this out.

 

As an interesting side-note, I swear that my female clown has grown at least 1/3" of an inch since I got the male. I'm not sure if it's the larger tank or the presence of a mate, or even just the abundance of food (she steals from the puffer...), but she's just getting bulky. 

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Wonderboy

I'm excited to follow along - I love macro tanks, too  :]  Yours is coming along very nicely. That puffer is so cool! This slime stuff phase will end quickly. It looks like cyanobacteria to me; I have seen bubbles collect under sheets of cyano from respirating macros often. Of course, dinos probably can do the same thing. Either way, if you want to limit influence from dosing certain things (ferts or phyto), I suggest regularly dosing rotifers for a little.

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Fisker

Thanks! I hope it does turn out to be cyano. I don't personally mind dosing on a weekly schedule, and suspect I'm going to have to dose an all-in-one fert relatively soon. 

 

It had been mentioned that I should watch at night to see if the bacteria disappears - it does not. I'm really not sure if that changes the ID or not. 

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Tamberav

Certain dinos dissappear at night but common red cyano tends to as well. So far figuring out what it isn't... 😛

 

More flow is always good for pest algae it seems. I cranked mine up as well when I had some nasties.

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Wonderboy
Posted (edited)

Many cyanobacterias fix nitrogen. It's probable that your strain doesn't go motile at night because it doesn't really care about oxygen levels (like dinos do - woo); many filamental cyanobacteria produce heterocysts which are specialized cells to restrict present oxygen and absorb free nitrogen (btw, often there is beneficial symbiosis between these cyanos and your macros - I would still turkey baste the tops of macros clear if any look depleted at all). The heterocysts create mini anaerobic environments where denitrification occurs instead of photosynthesis; this process creates the energy necessary to perpetuate the cyano, so it is also around at night because it doesn't care much about light either (like dinos do - double woo). The bubbles are from both the cyano and the macro as they exhaust oxygen into thick specialized filamentous cyano-cells. I'm pretty sure one or any combination of pods, rotifers, phyto, and increase in flow will quickly keep it under control.

 

edited some stuff, my bad  :]

Edited by Wonderboy
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Fisker

I'll be trying to step up flow today - mainly across the right side of the tank, where it was getting so bad earlier. I might move pumps around to try and get the most spread and try and limit growth as much as I can.

 

As for it being cyano and not dinos, can I get a minion-style woo-hoo?

 

tenor.gif.aa50a14429454efb7928788016eebf5c.gif

 

Forgive me if any of this comes across as misunderstood, as I got about 3 1/2 hours of sleep and am getting ready to go work the morning/afternoon shift at an Italian chain... yikes.

 

So, as I'm understanding it (with my relatively limited understanding of cyanobacteria), causes were basically high phosphate and low-ish flow. Which would make sense, seeing as how I added all this "clean" dry rock (that may have leeched phosphate) a few days before the initial bloom. I tested for phosphates, and the test came back pretty normal for me (0.05-0.1 PPM), but that was after the bloom, so perhaps they were much higher beforehand, and I just missed it. The right side of the tank with the C. Racemosa had lower flow, and because I was using that SUPER blue PAR38, I never even really looked over there much - and when I did, I couldn't see very well. So, I missed the initial signs of the impending bloom until it had started to grow in the higher-flow area on the left side of the tank.

 

Cyanobacteria, unlike dinoflagellates, are fueled by those phosphates - so keeping nitrates elevated just a bit to help my macros and maybe some diatoms/hair algae bring my phosphate down would be best. Manual removal should be decently easy, too, as this particular strain may not be as fast-growing as some I've heard about. That said, after peering into the tank with a flashlight this morning, it does appear that more has popped up since I did all the blasting last night... so can this stuff grow in basically pitch black? It got an hour of light after the blasting, and then maybe some dim ambient lighting from a curtained window for a few hours this morning. Strange. I'll be putting in another pump, too, to hopefully help with flow.

 

As for water changes, they'll be good, as long as I keep nitrates from bottoming out, correct? If so, should I be aiming for my normal 25% weekly, or should I bump it up to like 40%? Or, should I do two 25% a week? Does it even matter?

 

For pods, does anyone know where I can get some cheaper than Algaebarn, or is that basically a going rate? And after I get them, I'm likely to have to feed them to avoid them crashing at first, right?

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billygoat

So cyano and not dinos? I trust @Wonderboy's judgment on this one. If that's the case I would rejoice, because dinos seem to be way harder to beat. I had a cyano infestation for about 2 months as well, but I was eventually able to beat it with a combination of fairly large regular water changes (like 40%), diligent daily manual removal, and the implementation of a dosing regimen that ended up stabilizing my Alk at around 8.5 dKH. Cyano can still survive at elevated levels of alk, and it does indeed still occur in my system in a very limited way (mostly in low-flow areas such as the tank's corners or directly under the powerhead) but raising KH seems to discourage it from blooming massively all over the tank.

 

Anyway I think you should probably not worry too much about it. It's a phase for sure, and as long as none of your macros seem to be melting or receding I think everything will be fine. 😁

 

2 hours ago, Fisker said:

For pods, does anyone know where I can get some cheaper than Algaebarn, or is that basically a going rate? And after I get them, I'm likely to have to feed them to avoid them crashing at first, right?

As long as you don't particularly care what size or type of pods you get, Reef Cleaners sells a mix of small pods for $10 plus shipping. Benthic copepods don't need to be fed as long as you have a good substrate (like a bunch of rock rubble or a few good chunks of macroalgae) for them to inhabit. Adding a few more hardy macros to the mix might help out as well!

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Tamberav

Hermits seem to do the best job at cleaning my macro. They can climb up in places my snails can't get. They clean my gorg well too and if I add a dirty algae rock they are the first on the scene.  Unfortunately your puffer would eat them 😛

 

I got a bag of pods off florida pets, I mostly went for it because it said the pods were likely in the ocean hours before and I wanted a bag of ocean water for all the bacteria and microscopic life it may carry. It wasn't an enormous amount of pods that algaebarn or podyourreef has. I am sure you already have pods in there though even if you can't see them. 

 

There are probably some 4th of july sales going on pods right now at least. 

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Fisker
6 hours ago, billygoat said:

So cyano and not dinos? I trust @Wonderboy's judgment on this one. If that's the case I would rejoice, because dinos seem to be way harder to beat. I had a cyano infestation for about 2 months as well, but I was eventually able to beat it with a combination of fairly large regular water changes (like 40%), diligent daily manual removal, and the implementation of a dosing regimen that ended up stabilizing my Alk at around 8.5 dKH. Cyano can still survive at elevated levels of alk, and it does indeed still occur in my system in a very limited way (mostly in low-flow areas such as the tank's corners or directly under the powerhead) but raising KH seems to discourage it from blooming massively all over the tank.

 

Anyway I think you should probably not worry too much about it. It's a phase for sure, and as long as none of your macros seem to be melting or receding I think everything will be fine. 😁

 

As long as you don't particularly care what size or type of pods you get, Reef Cleaners sells a mix of small pods for $10 plus shipping. Benthic copepods don't need to be fed as long as you have a good substrate (like a bunch of rock rubble or a few good chunks of macroalgae) for them to inhabit. Adding a few more hardy macros to the mix might help out as well!

Gotcha! I'll continue to manually remove what I can and up my water changes a bit as well. As for the type of pods, I couldn't care much less, as long as they aren't going to be harmful and will serve to help my tank rather than hurt it.

 

What hardy macros would you recommend? A lot of the macros I had been considering adding in my next order were definitely on the more sensitive side of the list, so I'll hold off on those. I'm looking at reef-cleaners, and a lot of these macros aren't particularly hardy...

1 hour ago, Tamberav said:

Hermits seem to do the best job at cleaning my macro. They can climb up in places my snails can't get. They clean my gorg well too and if I add a dirty algae rock they are the first on the scene.  Unfortunately your puffer would eat them 😛

 

I got a bag of pods off florida pets, I mostly went for it because it said the pods were likely in the ocean hours before and I wanted a bag of ocean water for all the bacteria and microscopic life it may carry. It wasn't an enormous amount of pods that algaebarn or podyourreef has. I am sure you already have pods in there though even if you can't see them. 

 

There are probably some 4th of july sales going on pods right now at least. 

I've actually got a few hermits in here. My puffer doesn't pay attention to them - he occasionally nips on one that manages to get turned over, but they withdraw into their shells too fast for him to get at them. I may get some more soon.

 

I DO have a decent pod population in here - I see a group on the glass from time to time. I do think that I could definitely have a better population, though... I may go with the reefcleaners solution.

 

I'm going to make a Reef-cleaners order within the next week or so. Some of this stuff may end up as puffer food, but hey, it's worth a shot in my mind.

 

Here's what I'm thinking:

 

Pods+

4 Nassarius Vibex (snails, yes, but maybe they'll have the sense to stay buried where the puffer can't get to them)

3 Limpets (I've heard that smaller puffers tend not to have any luck with trying to eat limpets - we'll see)

10 Assorted Hermits

15 Empty Shells

1 Penny Macro

Laurencia

Mermaid's Fan

Green Agardhiella

 

I may add some to it to get the free shipping, but this is what I'm thinking as of now. Anyone got anything to add? Am I maybe going too heavy on CUC? 

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Tamberav

Red titan macroalgae has always been super hardy for me, no amount of abuse seems to kill it. 

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billygoat
28 minutes ago, Fisker said:

Gotcha! I'll continue to manually remove what I can and up my water changes a bit as well. As for the type of pods, I couldn't care much less, as long as they aren't going to be harmful and will serve to help my tank rather than hurt it.

 

What hardy macros would you recommend? A lot of the macros I had been considering adding in my next order were definitely on the more sensitive side of the list, so I'll hold off on those. I'm looking at reef-cleaners, and a lot of these macros aren't particularly hardy...

I've actually got a few hermits in here. My puffer doesn't pay attention to them - he occasionally nips on one that manages to get turned over, but they withdraw into their shells too fast for him to get at them. I may get some more soon.

 

I DO have a decent pod population in here - I see a group on the glass from time to time. I do think that I could definitely have a better population, though... I may go with the reefcleaners solution.

 

I'm going to make a Reef-cleaners order within the next week or so. Some of this stuff may end up as puffer food, but hey, it's worth a shot in my mind.

 

Here's what I'm thinking:

 

Pods+

4 Nassarius Vibex (snails, yes, but maybe they'll have the sense to stay buried where the puffer can't get to them)

3 Limpets (I've heard that smaller puffers tend not to have any luck with trying to eat limpets - we'll see)

10 Assorted Hermits

15 Empty Shells

1 Penny Macro

Laurencia

Mermaid's Fan

Green Agardhiella

 

I may add some to it to get the free shipping, but this is what I'm thinking as of now. Anyone got anything to add? Am I maybe going too heavy on CUC? 

Seems like a pretty reasonable order to me! When I think hardy macros I automatically think Graciliaria hayi, as it is both very beautiful and very difficult to kill. You've already got that one though.  Other good, tough choices include the various Caulerpas (again, several of which you already have), Halimeda opuntia or incrassata, BryothamnionUlva, Cladophora, and of course Chaetomorpha. Keeping chaeto in your display tank may seem weird, and it makes a bit of a mess when first introduced, but it's essentially unkillable and also makes a great habitat for pods.

 

John at Reef Cleaners will almost certainly update his stocklist a bit later in the week (after the holiday on Thursday is over, I imagine), so keep an eye on that macro page and you might find a few interesting additions.

 

As for snails, if you're interested in keeping a population of saltwater feeder snails for your puffer, RC also sells Zig Zag Periwinkles. These are an invasive species in the Caribbean so no one will feel bad if you feed them to your puffer; in fact the website actually references their potential as a feeder species. Could be neat if you could get them to breed in your tank!

 

Also, have you seen Gulf Coast Ecosystem's macro growing guide? https://www.marineplantbook.com/

It actually lists Laurencia as an "easy" genus, so perhaps you just got a bad specimen last time around!

 

Also also, have you given any thought to keeping mangroves?

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Fisker
14 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

Red titan macroalgae has always been super hardy for me, no amount of abuse seems to kill it. 

I've heard that in many threads - the problem is finding some, and I'm really trying to just make one large order and get all my stuff in from the same vendor, to cut down on shipping costs.

 

3 minutes ago, billygoat said:

Seems like a pretty reasonable order to me! When I think hardy macros I automatically think Graciliaria hayi, as it is both very beautiful and very difficult to kill. You've already got that one though.  Other good, tough choices include the various Caulerpas (again, several of which you already have), Halimeda opuntia or incrassata, BryothamnionUlva, Cladophora, and of course Chaetomorpha. Keeping chaeto in your display tank may seem weird, and it makes a bit of a mess when first introduced, but it's essentially unkillable and also makes a great habitat for pods.

 

John at Reef Cleaners will almost certainly update his stocklist a bit later in the week (after the holiday on Thursday is over, I imagine), so keep an eye on that macro page and you might find a few interesting additions.

 

As for snails, if you're interested in keeping a population of saltwater feeder snails for your puffer, RC also sells Zig Zag Periwinkles. These are an invasive species in the Caribbean so no one will feel bad if you feed them to your puffer; in fact the website actually references their potential as a feeder species. Could be neat if you could get them to breed in your tank!

 

Also, have you seen Gulf Coast Ecosystem's macro growing guide? https://www.marineplantbook.com/

It actually lists Laurencia as an "easy" genus, so perhaps you just got a bad specimen last time around!

 

Also also, have you given any thought to keeping mangroves?

I do want a few other species of Caulerpa (some of the calcified varieties as well as some Red Grape Caulerpa), and I wouldn't be opposed to trying Halimeda again. I'll keep a look out for Bryothamnion as well, as that's one I've been kinda watching from afar for a while as well. How would one grow Ulva in a display? Does it not quickly get eaten by snails, hermits, pods, and torn apart by pumps? Cladophora and Chaeto are both algaes I don't really want in my DT - Chaeto seems like it would take root EVERYWHERE (which is fine with me, I just don't like how it looks), and Cladophora looks to me more like hair algae than anything. I can't immediately find places selling it, though, so perhaps there are ornamental species that look better. I'll keep a look out for new additions on the page! It'll be a bit before I order, anyway.

 

I'm not really trying to get all those snails for food - I'm just trying to see what might work. I might try some of the Periwinkles, though - I just don't know if he'd go around eating them like popcorn before they got a chance to hide or not. He seems to lose interest in foods he can't crack open after a few tries, but anything that fits in his mouth and can be crunched is quickly eaten. Perhaps I could try them - it'd definitely be cool!

 

I actually reference that page often! I have it bookmarked. Tons of very good, very specific info that I can't find anywhere else. It is interesting that they listed Laurencia as easy... although, that entire order kinda sucked. Nothing came in super great. Might have just been conditions on the way to me.

 

As far as mangroves... possibly. My main problem right now would be figuring out how to get them sufficient light. My current lights are just sitting on a glass lid, although I do plan to DIY a hanging stand for my LEDs in the future, once I have both fixtures.

 

That brings up another point... I should be spending the money I'd be spending on this order on a second light fixture. What's more important, right now? Appropriate lighting for the tank, or a bigger CUC and macros to compete with the cyano?

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Wonderboy

It's pretty hard to go to heavy on CUC in a macro tank. Since there's usually enough growing on, it's almost necessary to over stock a little - I like your plan to try different snails with the puffer. I'm quite interested to see how the limpets do; so, my vote is CUC and macros lol. lus, I don't see any chlorosis anywhere but plenty of respirating macros; looks like the light setup you have now is quite sufficient. Zig zags are a great idea, and you ought to try dwarf ceriths, too (breed like crazy and for moore diversity - gotta catch 'em all).

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billygoat
6 hours ago, Fisker said:

I do want a few other species of Caulerpa (some of the calcified varieties as well as some Red Grape Caulerpa), and I wouldn't be opposed to trying Halimeda again. I'll keep a look out for Bryothamnion as well, as that's one I've been kinda watching from afar for a while as well. How would one grow Ulva in a display? Does it not quickly get eaten by snails, hermits, pods, and torn apart by pumps? Cladophora and Chaeto are both algaes I don't really want in my DT - Chaeto seems like it would take root EVERYWHERE (which is fine with me, I just don't like how it looks), and Cladophora looks to me more like hair algae than anything. I can't immediately find places selling it, though, so perhaps there are ornamental species that look better. I'll keep a look out for new additions on the page! It'll be a bit before I order, anyway.

Halimeda has been my most successful species so far, but I think dosing 2 part definitely helps out its growth a whole lot. As for Ulva, it's a mess at first because there will be a bunch of fragments in the shipping bag, but once you get it cleaned up and glued down it will generally behave, I think. Many types of snail will eat it, and hermits will probably also eat it, but it grows so quickly that I don't think that's too big of a deal. The more I think about it though, you should probably just avoid all those flaky, easily breakable macros. I had some Cladophora for awhile and got rid of it because I was sick of picking little bits of it out of my filter socks.

 

6 hours ago, Fisker said:

That brings up another point... I should be spending the money I'd be spending on this order on a second light fixture. What's more important, right now? Appropriate lighting for the tank, or a bigger CUC and macros to compete with the cyano?

I feel like appropriate lighting is pretty important for a macro tank... but so are macros! So maybe you can't go wrong! 😅 If your lighting seems to be doing fine for the time being, maybe just leave it as is? Unless the heavy actinics are driving you nuts, of course.

 

1 hour ago, Wonderboy said:

It's pretty hard to go to heavy on CUC in a macro tank.

This is really true. Most traditional guidelines for clean-up crew stocking are designed for a typical mixed reef tank, where snails have only the rocks, glass, and sand to clean. In a macro tank you've got algae that also need to be cleaned, which means you have a whole lot more surface area that has to get covered, which means you can go really heavy on cleaners and that is generally a good thing. My 18 gallon aquarium is home to somewhere between 40 and 60 dwarf cerith snails, along with a bunch of Florida ceriths, some small nerites , micro-sized planaxis snails, and even a few limpets! Quite a few snails, but so far it's been going pretty well.

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Fisker
7 hours ago, Wonderboy said:

It's pretty hard to go to heavy on CUC in a macro tank. Since there's usually enough growing on, it's almost necessary to over stock a little - I like your plan to try different snails with the puffer. I'm quite interested to see how the limpets do; so, my vote is CUC and macros lol. lus, I don't see any chlorosis anywhere but plenty of respirating macros; looks like the light setup you have now is quite sufficient. Zig zags are a great idea, and you ought to try dwarf ceriths, too (breed like crazy and for moore diversity - gotta catch 'em all).

Cool!

 

I actually did quite a bit of reading as to what CUC I could keep with the puffer before I got him, and answers were pretty all over the place. So far, I've found mine to be pretty gentle, and easily deterred - I think limpets will fair okay, as long as they can withdraw their bodies far enough into their shell. I'll definitely get a couple groups of the dwarf ceriths and zig zags - worst comes to worst, my puffer eats them like I eat Doritos. And I like Doritos.

 

My light set-up is fine as far as intensity goes, it's just that the fixture I'm using actually doesn't light the entire tank. About 1/3 of it is being lit with another random PAR 38. Which, the C. Racemosa is growing over there, too, so maybe it's not such a big deal.

 

5 hours ago, billygoat said:

Halimeda has been my most successful species so far, but I think dosing 2 part definitely helps out its growth a whole lot. As for Ulva, it's a mess at first because there will be a bunch of fragments in the shipping bag, but once you get it cleaned up and glued down it will generally behave, I think. Many types of snail will eat it, and hermits will probably also eat it, but it grows so quickly that I don't think that's too big of a deal. The more I think about it though, you should probably just avoid all those flaky, easily breakable macros. I had some Cladophora for awhile and got rid of it because I was sick of picking little bits of it out of my filter socks.

 

I feel like appropriate lighting is pretty important for a macro tank... but so are macros! So maybe you can't go wrong! 😅 If your lighting seems to be doing fine for the time being, maybe just leave it as is? Unless the heavy actinics are driving you nuts, of course.

 

This is really true. Most traditional guidelines for clean-up crew stocking are designed for a typical mixed reef tank, where snails have only the rocks, glass, and sand to clean. In a macro tank you've got algae that also need to be cleaned, which means you have a whole lot more surface area that has to get covered, which means you can go really heavy on cleaners and that is generally a good thing. My 18 gallon aquarium is home to somewhere between 40 and 60 dwarf cerith snails, along with a bunch of Florida ceriths, some small nerites , micro-sized planaxis snails, and even a few limpets! Quite a few snails, but so far it's been going pretty well.

Gotcha. I'll keep an eye out for some of the less messy species of Halimeda - the species I tried before was a carpeting species, and not only was it kinda fugly, but it came in on the same order as the Laurencia, and it went sexual.

 

I think what I may do is just split the difference between the lighting and macro/CUC order. The insane blue light is annoying me a bit, but that can be easily remedied with a different bulb. So maybe I spend $10 on a decent daylight bulb now, make my order, and save the light for my next big purchase. 

 

One thing that's interesting about this cyano bloom is that it didn't seem to get any worse by the end of yesterday than it was the day before - it spread to about the same point and stopped. Which I guess makes sense, as conditions were basically exactly the same each day. I do have a few questions.

 

Should I reduce my temperature a bit? I usually run the tank at 80. I've heard that cyano grows slower at lower temps - so maybe 78 or even 76 would help slow it down a bit? I've run reefs at room temp before, so I'm not too worried about 76, but I don't know if it's worth worrying about and adding one more changing parameter to the tank.

 

Should I reduce my lighting? From what I've read, Cyano is photosynthetic and tends not to deal with limited lighting very well - usually less well than macros and coral. So perhaps by running my lights at 75% for 6-7 hours a day would be helpful in slowing it down, assuming I keep my macros clean?

 

Should I reduce feeding? I'm a heavy feeder. I don't overfeed, but I like to make sure everyone gets enough. Perhaps I should start only feeding the clowns a couple pellets each day, and the puffer only a snail and tiny chunk of shrimp. Or, maybe I do regular feedings every two days.

 

Or, do I not change a thing and just keep on trucking with manual removal?

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Wonderboy
5 hours ago, Fisker said:

Should I reduce my temperature a bit?

Yes, good idea; this will slow down all metabolisms in the tank which will help if the introduction of nutrients is also less. If you can keep it there, I suggest leaving it on the cool end for too many reasons. 

 

5 hours ago, Fisker said:

Should I reduce my lighting?

Why not? I think it should help; this is often a good idea to slow the uninvited. Good idea - increase it as your macro volume increases.

 

5 hours ago, Fisker said:

Should I reduce feeding?

Most definitely; whenever you see a bloom of anything, it's time to slow contributing influences down. I often stop feeding everything all together until things are starting to operate more "normally". Also, as the temperature is reduced, all chemical processes are slightly slower, so less reactants throughout the experiment is important.

 

Great thoughts on responding to the circumstance. This stuff's getting flanked   :]

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billygoat

Another thing I noticed when dealing with my own Cyano problem was that manual removal was most effective when performed in the evening, ideally during the last hour that the lights are on for the day. Cyano is famous for regrowing within hours of being removed, but cleaning right before the lights go off deprives the pests of the light they need in order to rapidly regenerate.

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Fisker

Okay - so, I turned the heater down to 76, lowered lighting to around 75% on the whites and 60% on the blues for 6 hours a day, and I think I'll begin to feed normally every two days, and maybe reduce the volume I'm feeding if need be.

 

I noticed this morning that some of the C. Racemosa that was getting hit the hardest by the algae was beginning to bleach - not quite clear, not going sexual, but definitely losing color. I moved all of it into higher flow and will make sure to focus a bit more on keeping it clean. I've replaced filter floss once today, and I also went ahead and blew off all the macros and stirred the substrate at around 6 AM this morning. I'll probably do it again tonight before I go to bed, if I see the need for it. That said, lights haven't come on yet, and I can already see quite a bit of it regrowing. Not as bad as it was this morning, but very noticeable. Can Cyano do that with pretty minimal light? The only light the tank is receiving is very dim light through a curtained window (we're talking barely enough to illuminate any of the tank), and the light coming from my computer monitor.

 

I'll definitely keep removal in the evenings in mind - it makes sense! Perhaps I'll have better luck with that. I'm going to be doing a 4-5 gallon water change today, and will probably end up doing one on Monday as well (my next day off).

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Wonderboy
53 minutes ago, Fisker said:

Can Cyano do that with pretty minimal light?

Yes - your strain is most definitely fixing nitrogen as energy for growth. Give the macros more light again to help them pull nitrates, too (compete) - a regular 8 - 10 hour cycle will not make things worse at this point. That cyano is beneficial to rooting macros when it stays in the substrate; more flow and CUC trampling on things will really help break up the exposed heterocysts. You can probably get away with violently rinsing the used floss in tank water from a WC to consistently re-use it; there's plenty of beneficial stuff in there that will help seed and support many populations. Frequent WCs are a safe bet.

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Fisker

Alright, got it onto a 10 hour cycle. I added a really junky internal filter positioned substrate-level to try and get more flow going across the substrate. Hopefully that'll help a bit.

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