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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 90g reef aqaurium, it has been set up for about 3-4 months now. I have had experience with saltwater tanks for about 7 years now(My father had them and i loved it so i thought i'd invest in one)we had 200g bowfront,72g bowfront, and 54 corner at his house. To cut to the problem i have cyanobacteria in my 90g and it is only on the sand. I have about 100lbs of live rock(including refug) and a 35g refug, to total about 110g of water. I perform a water change once a week of 10-15 gallons(sadly using water from faucet) and i top off daily with fresh gallon jugs of water. If the problem is the water changes i will resort to RO/DI which i plan on getting in the future. I rely on mainly biological filtration and need a skimmer for my last filtration step.

Cyanobacteria on sand/gravel..... started over the last week or so. It looks light brown with some areas dark brown/black maybe with some red tint. Want to know how to stop or get rid of it. Also anything else i should test for or add to the tank is very helpful! Just looking for some insight, thanks

Ammonia: 0ppm(undetectable)
Nitrites: 0ppm(undetectable)
Nitrates: <10ppm
Calcium: 440
PH: 8.3
SG: 0.0255(Very religious on top offs)
dKH: Unknown at the moment
Temp: 79.5-82

Corralife 72" 3 Metal hallides(150w) and 4 Actinics
1 Hallide is centered the other 2 are on the edgeish of the aquarium

Lighting hours:
Main tank: 11am-7pm
Refugium: 11pm-7am

I use seachem salt
Add iodine weekly
Add Amino acids and Vitamins weekly
Add seachem reef fusion1 and fusion 2 to keep calcium levels balanced

1200GPH pump
2 hidden powerheads
5 baffle refugium
5 Filter bads total 8 inch filter baffle
a micron filter bad around the pump
2 Carbon bags in refugium(ive heard good and bad)

I have some Montipora species, australlian reds, some accros, and one piece of candy coral. All are doing well and growing with no problems. I also have 2 Saddleback Clowns, Powder Blue Tang, Flame Dwarf Angel, 3 Clown Gobies, and a yasha goby. Also have 2 skunk cleaner shrimp. 2 dozen snails and 2 dozen crabs. Everything is doing very well, Montis and accro has shown significant growth, fish all have great beautiful color and never stop eating. Shrooms are HUGE everyday, and have spawned new ones.

Any help is appreciated as i know that i am considered new to everything, although i am new i read constantly and am very intrigued by the hobby although it has eaten paycheck after paycheck :D

Premium Member
5,051 Posts
Welcome to TRT! It sounds like you already know what you need to do. The cyanobacteria is just a sign that you have too much nutrients in your tank. A good quality protein skimmer and using ro/di water will likely fix your problem. It takes time though, there will be no easy overnight fix. IME, even though it is not pretty, cyanobacteria won't really hurt anything in the short term. You can also siphon off the stuff you see, that will help decrease your nutrients and any silica that is being bound by the algae.

2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the welcome and the information!

Yeah i think i'm going to order a nice skimmer today, and get that RO/DI unit for my next water change, and hope for the best. From what i read i have not seen anything on it being bad to things in the tank. Ill probably just end up sucking the bacteria up until it all clears up after using the RO/DI.
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