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What's the Red and Green Stuff?


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My 10g skimmerless is now 5 weeks old. THis is what I have


10lb LR

15lb sand/aragonite

3 nassarius snails

3 turbos

1 yellow star frag

1 feather duster worm

1 chromis

1 banded coral shrimp

Maxi-jet MP 400

Mini-jet MN 606


Water params zero, salinity 1.023, ph around 8.2 (have a hard time reading Aquar. Pharm. high ph kit), temp 80. I do 10% changes per week.


I only have 20W flourescent on it now. 2x27 pc should arrive tomorrow (i hope) from pls.


I have "patches" of red abd green starting to grow on the subtrate surface. The red one is the largest, about 1" by 1.5". THe green ones are more like specs, but they are starting to show up all over. What is this? Algae? Is this normal in early tanks? What do I do about it? More water changes?


Also, my shrimp has a "cyst" looking thing on his side, tan in color. On the glass there are these white things that look a little larger than grains of sand. THey are also on this plant a guys gave me - it's green, cactus looking, don't know the name. I have a camera is pics would help.

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OK you are going thorugh what I went through.


Red stuff = cynobacteria

Green stuff = algae


If you don't have detrivores get some now.

I suggest turbo snails. Mine love the red stuff.


The white things are copepods. If those disappear then something is going wrong with your tank.


Lastly the white cyst thing on your shrimp is a parasite. I suggest either a freshwater dip or trying to manually remove it.

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Acoustic, is that just dipping him in RO water? How long do I keep him in there? How do I manually remove? I have 3 nassarius and 3 astrea snails. Are you saying that I need more?

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different alges will happen in differnt stages of the tank pretty much until your tank matures

does your red stuff look like this cyano if so it can be very diffucult to get rid of with my luck nothing ate it.

how is water flow in the tank? it can form in dead spots.

your tank is pretty new old lighting can be a cause

how are your nitrates? over feeding?

how often do u do water changes?


using a turkey baster can help you pull it out of the tank but wont rid the tank of it. i used that, used pwr heads for water flow, and started doing water changes once a week eventually it got rid of the cyano. also sand stirrers helped i had nassarious snails and added a conch.


your green alge is it hairy lookin, slimy, hard to scrape? theres a couple different kinds of green alge types. doing the above also got rid of the hair alge.

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I checked the nitrates. It's reading about 5ppm, so I'll cut back on the feeding. I just did a weekly 10% water change 2 days ago. Shoud I change more? Also, I've redirected one of the PH's so that the red stuff gets a bit more flow (it does look something like the picture, although mine seems a little "redder" and is on the subsrtate, not the LR). Can I vacuum the substrate? I have a "weak" siphon that I can use. I can't get a good look at the green stuff, It's only a spec here and there. But the color is like a mint green. I'll try to get some pictures soon, if the stuff doesn't go away. Thanks

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5ppm isnt really that bad i would readjust the pwr heads and give them a chance to see if it clears up. cyano can show up on the substrate and lr both i had it all over. you dont ever want to vacuum the live sand just use a turykey baster and suck it off the top of the sand. i get green specs on my tank also its hard to scrape off it might be a base for corraline starting or a type of corraline

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My new lights came today. 2x27 50/50 actinic/10K Will this hurt (as in a FW tank with algae), or will the additional light help? I got a better look at my yellow star polyp frag today. THe rock has greek spikes (early hair?) growing on it. It is a darker green than the stuff on the substrate - it's a bright "minty" green. I'm not real worried, but since this is my first tank, and you all are willing to dole out the info, I'm willing to learn. That's why I love this hobby! Thanks

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Light wise...? your adding more which might actually be more than the algae can use, thus dying off, but it can come back. Spectrum wise it might be worse for the algae too.


I went through my hair phase (knock on wood) 3 or 4 months ago. The conch was my savior. Recently though I've been developing the "pink sand". Afraid it too is cyno. My conch seems to have developed a more discernable palatte. looking for a couple of nass. snails to try out.

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chances are you are gonna have several alges. it actually takes at least 6 mths to a year for a saltwater tank to mature. and part of the maturation is the fact your going to go thru these different phases. thats why most reccomend not doing corals for at least 6 mths and certain fish not be added for this length of time

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