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NSReefer902

Cyanobacteria or not? Question answered :)

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NSReefer902

I have posted on a few threads in instead of continually highjacking everyone else’s, I thought I’d post my own with a little update. A few days ago I was getting really concerned with look of my tank and the loss of a couple snails and a hermit. After a lot of questions and with great help from this forum and lots of research I came to the conclusion I had Cyanobacteria. While I wasn’t 100% confident I took a risk and cleaned as much as I could off with a toothbrush and syphon hose, as well as siffted my sand bed with my net. I had my corals removed to a small bucket with a hob filter rigged to it with a heater until things settled. I performed a %50 water change as that’s all I had done up. I got my wife to take a sample to work where her and another coworker under a 1000X (first photo is 400x second is 1000x) microscope confirmed it was Cyano. 🙂 I wanna thank everyone for their help! I think I had a flow problem, as well as was not as diligent on vacuuming as I should have been.  I have since installed two power heads, I am not sure if I’m overkilling it because by the numbers I am pushing like 90x flow rate but when I remove one it stirs things up  bad but with them aiming at one another everything seems to work well. 

 

Anyways here’s a few pictures incase anyone else has a similar problem as it’s hard to tell from pictures. What gave it away for me was the blanket like appearance of it, and my snails and hermits dying 😞 

6FC2E33F-0365-4B38-BCD2-0A4A278AAE2A.jpeg

4CCD1F72-47CF-4B76-8172-1E53DBA7F5D3.jpeg

646661FD-E434-4498-94CF-EB6AB326AED4.jpeg

828C56C4-CD97-4711-8441-1603BCAFBC46.jpeg

EB6E8399-29E9-45E9-B255-21FFE2F7E542.jpeg

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mcarroll

I was reading along up to this part thinking to myself, yeah that's probably right...yeah, good to take some action....then this made me sit up straight:

35 minutes ago, NSReefer902 said:

I had my corals removed to a small bucket

Algae is only rarely harmful to the extent that it would justify needing to remove the corals from the tank.  In all the cases I can think of, simply adding activated carbon would remedy the reason for needing to remove the corals....so I still wouldn't pull the corals from the tank.

 

38 minutes ago, NSReefer902 said:

I think I had a flow problem, as well as was not as diligent on vacuuming as I should have been.  I have since installed two power heads, I am not sure if I’m overkilling it because by the numbers I am pushing like 90x flow rate but when I remove one it stirs things up  bad but with them aiming at one another everything seems to work well. 

Cyano is not caused by a flow problem.  

 

It grows happily on powerheads (max flow) as well as on the sand in dead zones (min flow).  

 

It depends on the right nutrient conditions where it can outcompete things like green algae and corals.  What have your NO3 and PO4 levels been like and what are they now?

 

We want green algae and corals to predominate, but a little cyano never hurt anything and is probably a good thing too.

 

The two pumps pointing at each other is a good experiment as it shows how much of the flow being generated actually gets killed by the other pump.  (Turbulence is how flow is eliminated...kinda the opposite of flow.)

 

If the pumps were controllable or at least flow-adjustable, it's a much better strategy to run one pump at a time, to it's full effect.  After some hours, switch to the other pump so it can run to it's full effect.  This keeps the dead zones shifting so if there's good flow, there's never an accumulation of detritus – just a permanent supply of coral (and skimmer) food.

 

As long as everything is happy with the two pumps you have, I'd probably still keep them.  

 

The main disadvantage after the "waste of flow" is that your dead zones will always be in the same place(s).  Maybe good, convenient places...maybe bad, inconvenient places...so it's worth paying attention so you know where they are under this pump setup.

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NSReefer902
13 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

Algae is only rarely harmful to the extent that it would justify needing to remove the corals from the tank.  In all the cases I can think of, simply adding activated carbon would remedy the reason for needing to remove the corals....so I still wouldn't pull the corals from the tank.

Sorry I should of said, just for when I was sifting the sand and moving my rocks a lot to get things got stirred up... there was a lot of dust in the water from the sifting. I figured an hour in a bucket wouldn’t hurt the little frags... if I was wrong lesson learned :).... 

 

my levels 6days ago where-

ammonia- 0

Nitrites-0

nitrates- 5-7

i don’t have anything to test PO4 

 

3 days ago I removed the bioballs I had put in a HOB filter at the start of this tank before I read about all the disadvantages of them.  

Then yesterday I discovered the dead snail and crab  both a couple days old  and my levels where

ammonia- .4

Nitrites- .05

Nitrates- 10

 

After I might of over reacted about the Cyano and cleaned and did a water change 

I tested this morning and am now at

 

ammonia- 0.8

nitrites-0 Or 0.05 hard to tell on the Red Sea kit

nitrates- 5

 

not sure but with the removal of the bio balls and then me cleaning to much could I have triggered a mini cycle? I’m going to test again tonight and see if the ammonia goes down at all or if it keeps climbing.

 

currently

2- soft corals I don’t know their names

1- zoa 

1 Halloween hermit

3 Cerith snails

 

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NSReefer902

@mcarroll thanks for the info on the power heads! I made a little change in position and The flow seems better now  hitting more places

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Clown79
14 minutes ago, NSReefer902 said:

Sorry I should of said, just for when I was sifting the sand and moving my rocks a lot to get things got stirred up... there was a lot of dust in the water from the sifting. I figured an hour in a bucket wouldn’t hurt the little frags... if I was wrong lesson learned :).... 

 

my levels 6days ago where-

ammonia- 0

Nitrites-0

nitrates- 5-7

i don’t have anything to test PO4 

 

3 days ago I removed the bioballs I had put in a HOB filter at the start of this tank before I read about all the disadvantages of them.  

Then yesterday I discovered the dead snail and crab  both a couple days old  and my levels where

ammonia- .4

Nitrites- .05

Nitrates- 10

 

After I might of over reacted about the Cyano and cleaned and did a water change 

I tested this morning and am now at

 

ammonia- 0.8

nitrites-0 Or 0.05 hard to tell on the Red Sea kit

nitrates- 5

 

not sure but with the removal of the bio balls and then me cleaning to much could I have triggered a mini cycle? I’m going to test again tonight and see if the ammonia goes down at all or if it keeps climbing.

 

currently

2- soft corals I don’t know their names

1- zoa 

1 Halloween hermit

3 Cerith snails

 

When you fully disturb rocks and sand you are releasing a lot of crap into the water column, which can lead to a spike in ammonia.

 

It's good to vacuum sand but when you move the rocks and fully disturb the sand, it can be an issue. It's why we recommend ppl wash their sand bed when they move or transfer a tank.

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NSReefer902
6 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

When you fully disturb rocks and sand you are releasing a lot of crap into the water column, which can lead to a spike in ammonia.

 

It's good to vacuum sand but when you move the rocks and fully disturb the sand, it can be an issue. It's why we recommend ppl wash their sand bed when they move or transfer a tank.

I didn’t know that! Thanks for the info! Really appreciate it!

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Clown79
3 hours ago, NSReefer902 said:

I didn’t know that! Thanks for the info! Really appreciate it!

No problem.

 

Just keep an eye on the ammonia and if need be, sachem prime can detoxify it.

 

I went through the same thing with my 5g when I decided to redo the rockwork

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NSReefer902
5 hours ago, Clown79 said:

No problem.

 

Just keep an eye on the ammonia and if need be, sachem prime can detoxify it.

 

I went through the same thing with my 5g when I decided to redo the rockwork

Thanks @Clown79, at what level should I detoxify it?

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Clown79

You want ammonia 0. The api test results will be inaccurate within 48hrs of using Prime.

 

The seachem ammonia badge works with prime.

 

Test your ammonia tomorrow to see what the levels are, it may have already processed.

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