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Friendofish

Thoughts on bacterial cleaners?

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Friendofish

Hey guys! I was just wondering what everyone’s thoughts were on bacterial cleaners like Vibrant or Microbacter Clean? I recently had an outbreak of what I believe is cyanobacteria (I had finals for summer classes and I admit I fell behind on water changes) and I also have this mystery whitish algae that no one seems to be able to identify that’s been there since I started my tank (it came on the live rock). Has anyone used these products and what were your experiences with them? Also, which one is better? 
 

thanks in advance! 

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seabass
1 hour ago, Friendofish said:

I admit I fell behind on water changes

You've identified the problem, lack of maintenance.  The best solution will likely be proper maintenance.  However, keeping up with maintenance is often easier than dealing with problems caused by lack of maintenance.

 

1 hour ago, Friendofish said:

I recently had an outbreak of what I believe is cyanobacteria

Cyano is most often the result of excessive organics (usually in the sand bed, but could also be on and in between the rocks).

 

Increasing the flow to help keep detritus in suspension, so that your tank's filters can remove it, could help.  You might also use a turkey baster to blow detritus off of the rock before siphoning it out during water changes.

 

You might notice that I didn't really answer your original question.  That's because I feel that you would likely be better off dealing with the problem, versus finding a quick fix for it.

 

1 hour ago, Friendofish said:

I also have this mystery whitish algae that no one seems to be able to identify

Maybe a sponge?  Got a pic?

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Friendofish

Yah. I’m usually really good about doing weekly water changes but I missed like a week and a half and this happened 😕
 

Anyways, thanks for the advice! Here’s some older pics of my rock with the lights on and off.  And another more recent one that’s more zoomed out featuring my fish and new coral. 

A2F26533-A6BE-437B-8F23-AE2AA87F9D32.jpeg

7C59EC7F-E010-4927-8E90-230A68AB3F8D.jpeg

39BC0B0D-49DA-4F7C-900F-9009BE54C254.jpeg

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seabass

Your last pic looks pretty good; nice tank.  I certainly wouldn't want to disrupt the balance by dosing something like Vibrant (which potentially might provide temporary improvement, followed by new problems).

 

Yeah, not sure about the filament growth on the rocks either.  However, it doesn't seem to be affecting things, and even seems to be receding.

 

I wouldn't say you have a maintenance problem (like I assumed above).  Looks like things are progressing along fine.  I'd recommend that you continue to let your tank mature naturally.  A little patience should get you in a better spot than introducing "cures" which may disrupt the balance of things.

 

Oh, and a little cyano isn't necessarily a bad thing.  However, larger patches may be an indicator of a build up of organics, which you can usually address with maintenance (and possibly more flow).

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Snow_Phoenix
13 minutes ago, seabass said:

Your last pic looks pretty good; nice tank.  I certainly wouldn't want to disrupt the balance by dosing something like Vibrant (which potentially might provide temporary improvement, followed by new problems).

 

Yeah, not sure about the filament growth on the rocks either.  However, it doesn't seem to be affecting things, and even seems to be receding.

 

I wouldn't say you have a maintenance problem (like I assumed above).  Looks like things are progressing along fine.  I'd recommend that you continue to let you tank mature naturally.  A little patience should get you in a better spot than introducing "cures" which may disrupt the balance of things.

 

Oh, and a little cyano isn't necessarily a bad thing.  However, larger patches may be an indicator of a build up of organics, which you can usually address with maintenance (and possibly more flow).

I've had this 'fuzzy' growth phase in my large reeftank last year. It eventually went away on its own. Not sure what it is, but it never harmed anything in the tank. Some of my inverts actually fed off it. 

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Ratvan

Looks like what i had on my floating reef at the start. Whatever it was eventually went away on its own. I will admit that it looks particularly ugly as whatever it is traps detritus within it. About two weeks of manual cleaning along with Astrea Snails and mine went away, I did also reduce my lighting schedule t get rid of it too 

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Nano sapiens

Echoing what's been said above, most of these reef aquarium issues can be addressed via a bit of due diligence...and patience.  Disrupting the all important microbiome is always risky and often leads to other issues later on.

 

Using any type of product should be considered a last resort, IMO, when all else has failed to resolve a serious issue.

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Friendofish

thanks for the help everyone! 

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Ratvan

How are things looking in the tank now? Have you made any changes?

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ezreefer73

I just finished using vibrant in both my nano reefs, 20 long and Evo 13.5. I was battling hair algae. The vibrant killed the hair algae, but caused severe cyano blooms. Vibrant acts sort of like carbon dosing. You need a good protein skimmer to get the organics out, or you get the cyano which alot of other people who used vibrant had the same issue. I am now beginning to slowly get rid of the cyano. I upgraded skimmers and now I run a reactor with gfo on the 20 long. Both tanks have Icecap K-1 nano skimmers now, and once they break in they are beasts.

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Friendofish

This is what it looks like now (my lights are slightly different though...I have been waiting WEEKS for my truelumen actinics to come in the mail)! image.thumb.jpg.c87f761a1330b815f02bdb29212d9261.jpg

 

There is still some cyano along the bottom, but I’m planning on doing another water change either today or tomorrow. I think the lights are kinda making weird shadows so it looks better in person than in the pic. Overall though, I think I’m going to steer clear of the bacteria stuff. Water changes seem to be doing the trick for cyano and I didn’t even realize how much better the fuzzy stuff had gotten until I looked back at how bad it was in old pictures. Also, my corals seem to be doing really really well lately and I don’t want to jeopardize that by adding in bacteria which could mess with nitrate/phosphate/etc. levels. Thanks for all the advice! 

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seabass
7 minutes ago, Friendofish said:

it looks better in person than in the pic

Wow, it looks quite good in the pic.

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Friendofish
18 minutes ago, seabass said:

Wow, it looks quite good in the pic.

Thank you! I’ve been working hard to make sure I get rid of the cyano. 

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