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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I've had my refugium setup in a 50 gallon reef tank for about 2 months now and it has totally eradicated EVERY single microalgae in my main tank. However, the refugium is showing up with cyanobacteria (brown slime that sway with the water motion). The odd thing is that only the baffle area is showing up with the slime. This baffle area is the ONLY place anywhere in my system that has this slime growth. It is not spreading, just sitting there on the acrylic. Here's how the refugium is setup:

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The baffle is the small chamber to the right and those two sheets of acrylic that form the baffle is the ONLY place that has the slime growing there. This area is also where the water circulation is the highest within this refugium, so why is it growing only in this area?

By the way, coralline algae is also growing the most in this baffled area within the refugium and I have never had a cyano/slime algae problem ever, even when I didn't have the refugium and had lots of hair algae and diatoms (tank has been up for more than 2 years now).

What is going on here??? BTW....Sorry for the long post.
 

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Summer and Alyssa's Daddy
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Actually it isn't really a bad thing, just a diatom buildup I am guessing by the color. I dont' worry about much in my refugium as long as it stays out of the main tank. It just seems like the same crap I clean out of my pumps once every two months or so. It seems like a slime coating maybe. Every tank will have algaes. it is just how well we control it is the factor. I am wondering if your refugium is just compromising with this brown stuff.

Ray
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey Ray,

Thanks for the reply. However, I'm sure it's not diatoms because they are not just a flat coat of dusting. They are actually slim and they sway back and forth with the waterflow. I'm quite sure it is cyano because when you spray it off the acrylic with the inlet hose, it comes off in small patches stuck together like a bed of moss. Odd thing is that it only shows up in that two pieces of acrylic.

Any other ideas?
 

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Ughhh.. Dinoflagelettes..
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I think the cyano is building up because the way you have the baffle set up, the water on the bottom is stangant.... Water comming in from the inlet is just flowing over the top and nice circulating the water in the bottom....

I'd suggest getting a Mini-Jet 404 or a tiny power head and put it in the bottom of that chamber or find another way to create more circulation, ot a better flow pattern....
 

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It could also be nitrifying bacteria. I used to get a slimy brown coating on my bio-wheel on my f.w. tanks. That bacteria would love the oxygenated water pouring through.
 

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GTSR350Z said:
...I'm quite sure it is cyano because when you spray it off the acrylic with the inlet hose, it comes off in small patches stuck together like a bed of moss...
Curious, why are you so sure that it is a sp of Cyanobacteria??? The growth form that you have described is one of the morphologies used by many many many microbiological organisms, and although it may be a sp. of Cyanobacteria, I would be more inclined to think of it as some other organism. A photomicrograph would be useful.

How much light is the bottom of the sump area receiving? In high current biotopes with low light, the organism is more likely to be heterotrophic, receiving food/nutrients from the water flow. I can think of a few marine spp of Cyanobacteria that may do this as well, with this colony morphology, but it would be unusual.

This is prolly nothing to worry about. If the fish, corals, etc. are doing well and it doesn't detract from the overall water quality or appearance of the tank, I wouldn't sweat it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey tdwyatt,

Thanks for the reply...I have had too many bad experience with diatoms in the past and none of the ones I have ever seen looks like this coat of slimy, hairy "thing" stuck to those two pieces of acrylic. I also don't think it is hair algae because this stuff does not look like troll doll hair but slimy. I do have a 6500K 65Watt CF pendant on top of the refugium. If it is the light, I would think that it is not because only those two pieces of acrylic sides have the stuff growing there while everywhere else is completely spotless. What do you think given these extra info?
 

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Ughhh.. Dinoflagelettes..
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I still think it's stangant water... there's nowhere for the water at the bottom of that chamber to go...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey Buzz_Hog,

I did double check my setup. Sorry, my drawing was throwing your off. In reality, the inlet sprays a high pressure stream of water straight down into the front of the baffle area and I can see the air bubbles caused by the spraying of the high pressure stream of water all the way down to the bottom and back up it goes. The bottom is also clear of the slime too, so it is not stagnant water at the bottom. Couldn't be stagnant waterflow on the side of the baffle acrylic pieces could it??? I couldn't imagine so...What do you think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Side View of the refugium

Hey guys and girls,

Sorry for the mixup on my part. I drew the water flow on the original front view of the refugium incorrect. Here is the side view of how the waterflow is REALLY.

I hope this will help you all.

Thanks in advance.
 

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heh, wonders of the use of the english language... :D

Pix would be better, both for the design and the lighting, etc. What throws me off is the description of the biomass as Moss-like...very uncharacteristic for cyano, epecially on an area with flow and not on a sandy or gravel substrate (or rock), not impossible, just too many things that are not characteristic for cyano. Vertical surfaces cut down on the amount of light available to a colony, it could happen, but one more u8ncharacteristic description. I have seen it happen, but not with all the other oddities. There are many algae that could be doing this as well, and some cyano, but not what would characteristically be such.

Just some idle musings, none really anchored in documentation.:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hey tdwyatt,

Sorry about the english...I'm not perfect. I'm not worthy...I'm not worthy. =P

Well, I'll try to get a picture of it. Don't hold your breath, but I'll try to get a picture.

Thanks for all your input.

Happy reef'n.
 
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