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Lost At Sea
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've spent the last few months battling a cyano outbreak that took over my tank (10 gallon).

With the help of many other posts here I've done a number of things, but I still have some patches of it left and it stills appears to be trying to thrive.

When it first started tank specs were: (3 months ago)
- ph: 7.8
- sal: 1.024
- nitrite: 0ppm
- nitrate: 80ppm - 120ppm (colors were really close)
- ammo: 0ppm
- phos: unknown (no test kit)
- temp: 78deg
- Using treated tap water & salt for changes and top offs

Last month I made the following changes:
- Using only purchased RO/DI water for top offs and RO/DI mix for changes (tested these and 0ppm for nitrate and phos)
- ph: upped to 8.2
- sal: 1.024
- Removed all media in my HOB filter and added premium carbon in a mesh bag, phos-ban in a bag and floss filter I change ever couple of days to help remove particulate matter.
- Hid caeto behind a rock in main tank in a mesh bag
- purchased a phosphate test kit (result: 5ppm)
- Began doing 15% water changes weekly; up from 10%

Last night, after 4 weeks of the changes listed above, results are:
- ph: 8.2
- sal: 1.024
- Nitrate: ~0ppm
- Phosphate: ~0ppm
- temp: 78degree

I understand that while nitrates and phos can read 0ppm, the fact that I still have cyano and some hair algae growth would indicate they are still present in my system. The only thing I haven't tried is a protien skimmer and I've seen one HOB type. I've avoided it because I didn't want the clutter of having too much stuff hanging on the back.

At this point I don't know what else to do! While the amount present is greatly reduced, the fact it is still there and small patches seem to pop up would indicate I am still losing this battle.

HELP???
 

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Lost At Sea
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
AH! I totally forgot about that!!!

I've got a single Oscellaris clown, about 4 hermits, 4 snails and a couple of shrimp.

I also have 2 mushroom corals, and 4 zoa frags.

I feed the entire tank a VERY tiny portion (0 << size of chunk) of the frozen cube food every other day. I would opt to feed less often than this but I am not entirely sure how the clown would fare as most resources seem to agree around several times a day to once every other day.
 

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You can feed everyday, but I recommend not using the frozen food.
Try something like Formula II (available even at PetCo) which is a low phosphate food that has a good balance of nutrition. It will do more for your clown than the frozen will in terms of whole nutrition and will help reduce the cyano in your tank.
Be sure to do weekly water changes too!

You might also consider a little more live rock depending on how much you have the tank may need a little more surface area for biological filtration.
 

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If you are using frozen food make sure you rinse it in ro water first I get a little tub, I put ro water in it and then put the frozen food in a net. Put the net In the water and wait for it to defrost. Then put the frozen food I'm tank and throw the water away
 

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Lost At Sea
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the responses. So I'm assuming my issue may perhaps be the fact I continue to introduce new sources of phosphate.

I'll try the alternate food source for a month and observe the results. I do keep up with my weekly water changes and since switching to ro/di only water/mix I have seen an improvoement - especially with testing.

I currently have about 20lbs of LR in my system. I don't think I could squeeze anymore in!! I think I just needs to manage the amount of new phosphates/nitrates I introduce through feeding most likely then.
 

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Lost At Sea
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No, actually...hearing what you have I totally reverse what I said and say remove some. You need more water in the tank. Try getting it down to about 12 pounds of rock.

A 10 gallon tank is very small and changes to the water effect the water quality very quickly.

Overkill eh? :)

I've now gone down from 23.5lbs to right around 12lbs.
 

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Yup. You have to consider that the rock displaces water so the more rock you add the less actual water you have. The less water you have the more difficult it is to keep clean and to keep the salinity even.

Now that you have removed the rock you will notice a period of time while the tank adjusts to the missing rock so you may have to do an extra water change here and there before it levels out. This is to be expected so if things get a little worse for a while don't fret about it.
 

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Lost At Sea
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Awsome! I think I pissed my little critters off by taking some of their hiding places though - but they'll get over it.

I really appreciate the help. I'll monitor things for a few weeks and report back.
 

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Lost At Sea
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm debating on whether I want to upgrade to a BioCube 29gal. When I started this, I knew nanos (esp. 10 gals and smaller) would be very difficult. I didn't realize just HOW delicate they can be.

I don't have space for anything too large, so I think a 29gal would fit and at the same time provide more water to help keep things a little more stable
 

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I love my BioCube. The older versions didn't have enough light so I had to make upgrades. The new HQI version has plenty. My BioCube is a very stable tank and easy for me to take care of.

You are very right about nano tanks. Really in this hobby a 29 gallon is still considered a nano tank. Since you are limited on room you are limited on choices.

Another option is to remove all fish from your tank and just do a coral and shrimp tank. A nice cleaner shrimp pair can be quite attractive.
 

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Lost At Sea
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I may very well consider the BC then. My 2yr old daughter would be so heartbroken if I got rid of her 'Nemo'. She adores it.
 

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Lost At Sea
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
How old are your lightbulbs?
I have PC's that were changed 2 months ago. I believe PCs need to be changed every 6 months, so those were about that old.

It is a 1x65w PC lamp. I doubt it's providing TOO much light.
 

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Lost At Sea
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You never said if you have a sandbed ?

I have a pretty deep sandbed. About 3+ inches. I used the CaribSea Oolite fine Live sand.

Again, perhaps Overkill?

I do faithfully stir the top layer gently daily to get the particulate floating so the filter (with a floss I change every other day) can catch some. I siphon my tank once a week during the water change.
 

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I have a pretty deep sandbed. About 3+ inches. I used the CaribSea Oolite fine Live sand.

Again, perhaps Overkill?

I do faithfully stir the top layer gently daily to get the particulate floating so the filter (with a floss I change every other day) can catch some. I siphon my tank once a week during the water change.
I wouldn't stir up the sandbed that's probably why your having problems with cyano by releasing the detrius and trapped particulate back into the water colum. just siphon clean this will remove the waste directly from the tank.
 
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