Help!! What is this?

Discussion in 'Tips and Techniques' started by Bryson, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. Bryson

    Bryson New Member

    I have had a red algae slime looking substance in my tank for months now and can't seem to get rid of it. It covers my sand bottom and rocks. My Coral Beauty fish appears to eat some of it off the sides of the tank but my clean up crew doesn't seem to be eating any of it. I cut back on the time my tank light is on to about 6 hours a day. It's a 40 gallon tank and I do weekly water changes of 3 gallons. How can I get rid of this stuff?? I can attach pictures tonight if needed
  2. beth

    beth Administrator Staff Member

    That is cyanobacteria--a type of marine bacteria. Not so easy to get rid of. You need to ensure that you have good water flow throughout the entire tank--every corner. What is your water source? Are you using RO/DI? What are you feeding your fish and how often? Does food go uneaten? What type of tank do you have and what is your lighting?
  3. Bryson

    Bryson New Member

    I do use RO/DI water most of the time. When the pet store isn't open then I mix my own from tap but I always use the chemicals to make it safe. I have one power head on the side opposite of my filter. I feed once a day (no more than they can eat in 20 seconds) and they eat all of it. I have 5 fish and 2 hermit crab looking things (not sure what they are called). The light is just a basic tube light that came with the tank. I can provide more details and pictures tonight when I get home. Thanks for your help!!!
  4. beth

    beth Administrator Staff Member

    Not enough flow with only one powerhead. You need to get flow all over, including in the lower part of the tank. Keep your light off for the time being except for maybe an hour around feeding. You can use room lights so your fish aren't in the dark. Get a new light bulb and old lights produce poor quality light spectrum which can contribute to the problem. Are you feeding dried foods? If so, stop that and use frozen foods. Dried foods can contribute to the nutrient levels in the tank which is a food source for the cyrano. Instead of doing 3 gal water changes every week, do daily 1 gal change. You need to be sure not to use tap and also be sure to use well mixed salt water. That means mix the salt for min. 24 with a pump. You can also syphon off the cyrano, but unless you improve tank maintenance and water quality in the tank, the problem will continue. Do you use live sand and live rock?

    What chemicals are you referring to? Dechlorinator? Can you post your nitrate and phosphate levels?
  5. florida joe

    florida joe Well-Known Member

    I am a person who has gone to battle with cyano many times. I have has great flow on areas that contained cyano and it still multiplied. It may be time to use a chemical agent to kill it.
  6. Bryson

    Bryson New Member

    Unfortunately, my local pet store is only open on fridays, so I will go then and buy a new light and take in a water sample. I am kind of new to this so I'm still learning. I purchased the sand and rock from the store, but was under the impression it would eventually turn into live rock/sand after a while. Is that correct? The tank has been up and running for about a year
    And yes, I use a dechlorinator when I use tap water
  7. Shilpan

    Shilpan Member

    The dechlorinator is great for removing chloride ions. But unfortunately it doesn't remove phosphates and nitrates which are often in city water supplies.

    Hence Beth is suggesting one possible issue is that there maybe excess nutrients coming from the tap water.

    Yeah it will turn live over time :) as you add fish and corals to the tank they bring in microfauna which populate your rocks (along with the bacterial filter which slowly develops).

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