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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, new day, new problem.

I have a 55 gal reef that has been up for about 3-years. About 1.5 months ago I noticed a light covering of brown algae on the floor of the tank. I didn't think much of it as it usually passed after a week or so - but not this time. It is really bad now - covering almost everything, and I have to clean the glass daily.

I put 2 carbon filters on, and am blowing off the rock and floor with a power head a couple times each day. I have also cut back the feeding and reduced the lighting to a couple hours a day.

The load is light, and I have plenty of LR. Light ing is compact florescent and were changed out in Dec.

Parms as follows:
Amm: 0
PH: 8.2
Alk: 2.2
Trates: -10
Tites: 0

Let me know if you need more information. I'll post a pic later - I just blew off all the rock so you wouldn't see much.

Any ideas?

TIA
-Brad
 

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Sounds like Cynobacteria. do a good sized WC and change your bulbs again (every 6 months). I have seen a lot of PC tanks that develop Cyno when it is time to change the bulbs. keep up some good water flow and nutrient export and it should go away. remember you only need to feed every 2-3 days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Twitterbait,
And thanks for the response.

Although this may be a different flavor, I have had Cyano outbreaks in the past, but most have been a reddish maroon in color. What I have is a yellowish brown.

Again, I'll post a picture as soon as it settles back in, but is there such a breed as a brownish yellow cyano?

Thanks again for the help,
Brad
 

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Diatom Bloom
 

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Wow, you are the mushroom man! Looks like a diatom bloom fed by silicates. Do you use ro/di water? I'm dealing with the same thing in my tank, but mine is only 2 months old. Not sure why an established tank would get such a bad case of brown algae. Maybe some of the experts will help you out, but I would recommend a water change with ro/di water and siphon as much of it out as you can.
 

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Yes, it's diatoms, not cyanobacter.

Compact Flourescents should have a lifespan of 12-14 months so I doubt it's that. How long do you run your lights daily? Does the tank get any sunlight from windows nearby?

What brand of test kits are you using to measure your parameters? Could they be old/inaccurate and you've really got more going on there than you think?

Have you done a particularly large water change lately? Sometimes a large water change can throw off the ionic balance and prompt a diatom bloom.

Anything else happen/change recently? Usually the cause can be narrowed down... change food brands, anything like that?

Jenn
 

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i also agree that it looks like diatoms. somehow you have had a huge influx of silicates. either an import from external water, or maybe a sudden die off of sponges in the system. have you done a major reaquascaping lately?

G~
 

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Tagging along.
 

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I had something like that in my 24g I treated it like cyano and just kept siphoning it out. I did end up taking 75% of the sand to make it go away and I added new sand after a few weeks if it stayed away
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
JennM said:
Yes, it's diatoms, not cyanobacter.

Compact Flourescents should have a lifespan of 12-14 months so I doubt it's that. How long do you run your lights daily? Does the tank get any sunlight from windows nearby?
The first lights come on at 7:00 in the morning, and the last lights go out at 7:00 in the evening.

The tank is on the same wall and right next to a large picture window. But I do have vertical blinds on the window, and they are aimed in the opposite direction of the tank. And FWIW, it's been in same location for 3 years without problems.
What brand of test kits are you using to measure your parameters? Could they be old/inaccurate and you've really got more going on there than you think?
I am at home now, and the tank is at my office and I don't remember what brand my kit is, but again, I have been using the same product for years... And all of the chemicals are still ok as far as date is concerned - I'm kind of anal about checking parameters, so they usually don't make it to the too-old-to-use date.
Have you done a particularly large water change lately? Sometimes a large water change can throw off the ionic balance and prompt a diatom bloom.
No, I do a 20% water change every month. I do run carbon, but I change that every 2-weeks.
Anything else happen/change recently? Usually the cause can be narrowed down... change food brands, anything like that?

Jenn
Hmmmm.... the only change that I have made is with the brand of light tubes, but that was back in December.

This outbreak started about 1.5 months ago, and it was pretty subtle coming on.

I am going to try 5% water changes every other day for a while and see if there are any improvements.

As for water, it's not DI, but it is RO, and again, the same RO that I have been using for the last 3 years - and I do keep up with filter maintenance with the RO unit.

Thanks for taking time to help me out!!

-Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
hng said:
Wow, you are the mushroom man!
[flame on] Pleeease, don't remind me! I will NEVER... EVER... put another freakin mushroom in any of my tanks!! I may as well have seeded my rock with aptasia!!

I will probably wind up eliminating my existing rock and starting over when I move everything into the 90 this fall - all because of those &^#@*&^ mushrooms.

Sorry, you hit a hot button.:doh:

[/flame off]
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
hng said:
oops, sorry. I meant it as a compliment :agree:
Hi hng,
No worry - I didn't take offense to your comment.

But those shrooms are taking over my tank. I have tried everything I can think of to get rid of them, but no luck.

Anyway, thanks for the compliment - I think.;)

-Brad
 

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RO by itself is not enough to remove the majority of the bioavailable silicates found in most water supplies, get an add-on chamber and high silicate rejection olor change DI column, or use on of the disposable add on in-line filters, see: http://www.marinedepot.com/md_viewItem.asp?idproduct=RO1155
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Geoff said:
are you on city or well water?

G~
We are in a very small rural community of about 1700 people, and although the water is treated, I probably wouldn't classify it as the same quality of water as in larger cities with better treatment facilities.

But it's the same water and RO that I've been using for 3 years.

I will admit that it's probably time to upgrade my RO unit to one that includes DI and produces more gal's. per day.

-Brad
 

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tdwyatt said:
RO by itself is not enough to remove the majority of the bioavailable silicates found in most water supplies, get an add-on chamber and high silicate rejection olor change DI column, or use on of the disposable add on in-line filters
So Tom, does any ro/di remove all silicates or do you have to use a special di filter? Also, if the TDS reads 0 ppm does that mean no silicates in the water?
 
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