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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys I need some help identifying this growth on my rocks. I had my 40gallon tank set up in July 2011. So it's almost 5 months old. I'm currently using only one power head (hydor koralia evolution 750mpg) to create movement in the water. Infact I test my water today and it's within normal limit except Nitrate is in the 40ppm, which is HIGH in my opinion. I'm gonna go another water change on Friday to remove some of the nitrate as much as possible (5gallon water change).

I feed twice a day for my (Maroon clown, chromis, Scooter Blenny, and 6 Line wrasse), mostly Pellets and mysis shrimp for my blenny. Occasional live blood worms for blenny.

Anyways can anyone help determine which this stuff is on my rocks.

It's the black icky stuff that I'm taking about. Doesn't look like coraline algae.......???

Not sure if that is Cyanobacteria, red algae, diatom?




Here's a video of it.
 

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Sponge was my first thought, dead algae was my second. That's why I ask about texture. Encrusting sponges are common and come in various colors, white, orange, red, black and yellow are all commonly seen.

If it is dead algae, it can cause nutrient problems in your tank which can harm your livestock depending on how bad it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
From my inspection it looks like dead algae to me. I remember I didn't have it at all, but once I put using the power head to blow at the live rocks the thing started to grow. I try to use my siphon tube to take out as much as possible but there is still some on it. I'm consider taking the rock out and give it a scrub.


It was initially all over the rock but I was able to get the most of it off the top of the rock without touching the aquascaping.

BTW, it does NOT have any texture to it. Kinda freak me out because I thought it was coraline algae at first but then as it got worse i knew it was not coraline algae.


Do you guys still recommend I siphon all of it out or leave it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would siphon it out. If it easily comes off the rock that can mean it's dead or that it's a slime algae etc.

I would still like to see a close up photo.
It definitely comes off pretty easily. I was able to use my turkey baster and blow it off. I'll upload a picture of it on friday when I do my water change.

At this point i'm not sure if i should start growing coral or wait it out a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I had extra time so I went ahead and took out the rock and try to clean it as much as possible.


This must be Red slime algae??

Here's the black icky stuff I was talking about... boy does it looks nasty!




So what you guys think it is?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Looks like red slime. How are your phosphate's? Not sure about the black substance. Probably die off of some sort.
I have no clue because I usually dont test for Phosphate. I should start to now... I use RO water not tap water for water change and top off.

I'm gonnna go back to weekly water change of 5gallon a week. Hopefully that will help out. The light i'm currently using is T12 which is very weak. Not sure if decrease the amount of each day would help decrease this algae.

Also I"m have elevated nitrates, not sure what is causing it. I usually clean my filter media (in sump) once or twice a month.... too little?
 

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The low lighting is going to help with the algae. You might try some phos remover.

I have had dealings with this before and it was due to some die off in my tank. (lost some corals). But the phos remover I do not remember the name but it was a pad like a dense floss. Took out heavy metals, phos, nitrate and so on. That 20% water changes and cutting the light time, took about 2 weeks to clear up. But it did clear up eventually.

I would say though your initial problem could have been the low light. May have not been enough to support algaes/sponges and additional growth on your LR. Triggering die off and elevating your nitrate and phosphate levels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The low lighting is going to help with the algae. You might try some phos remover.

I have had dealings with this before and it was due to some die off in my tank. (lost some corals). But the phos remover I do not remember the name but it was a pad like a dense floss. Took out heavy metals, phos, nitrate and so on. That 20% water changes and cutting the light time, took about 2 weeks to clear up. But it did clear up eventually.

I would say though your initial problem could have been the low light. May have not been enough to support algaes/sponges and additional growth on your LR. Triggering die off and elevating your nitrate and phosphate levels.
Hopefully with water change every week, clean filter pad, and less lighting can help lower the nitrate.

Hm... I didn't think low light would cause harm since I thought the algae feed on light and with low light they would grow/develop less. You did bring up a good point where the light i have now can't sustain them and cause them to die off, which definitely make sense.:beer:

Anyways I 'm upgrading to a Coralife T5 Lunar very soon, just waiting for it to ship to my house.

I'm afraid with the new light more bad algae will grow in my tank. I'll definitely start of with 4 hours a day and slowly increasing it to 6-8 a day, with 2-3 hours of LED lunar to finish the night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Seeing the new photos It's cyanobacteria, known as cyano, or red slime algae.

Pretty easy to get rid with water changes. You just have to make sure the tank isn't overfed or overstocked as well or it will keep coming back.

Phosphates contribute to it, but it likes nitrates a lot too so both have to be low.
Darn, I hope it was not the cyano but I only feed my fish twice a day. Anyways there this new LFS that sell RODI water for .25cent a gallon so I'll give that a try since I'm already paying .20cent for just RO water.

I'll definitely keep up with the water change. Again thanks for all those who helped I really appreciate it. It's people like you guys that make this hobby such a joy by sharing and help others.

Thanks again guys. :beer::beer:
 
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