Algae ID

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Pêcheur

Kole Tang
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So my tank has been cycled for about 5 months now. I had a bout of either diatoms or cyano for about 2 weeks at the 1 month mark.
I have something that’s a reddish/rust color that grows on the back glass, but it doesn’t really extend beyond the glass.

Other than the above, I haven’t had to combat any nuisance algae. Today I notice two spots on my rock where there’sa green looking slime with bubbles in it. ID?

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clsanchez77

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I had a bout of either diatoms or cyano for about 2 weeks at the 1 month mark.
Sounds like diatoms to me. Brown color and kind of dusty? That is a good sign to have during the cycle and the time frame sounds right.

I have something that’s a reddish/rust color that grows on the back glass, but it doesn’t really extend beyond the glass.
Is it slimy or dusty? A picture of that would be helpful. The rust color tells me we are likely talking dinoflagellates. If you have any thick areas, see if it starts to develop strings or bubbles.

Other than the above, I haven’t had to combat any nuisance algae.
Honestly all tanks have them. Being able to control them is a sign of a mature tank and a mature hobbyist.

Today I notice two spots on my rock where there’sa green looking slime with bubbles in it. ID?
Again, I'm a vote dinoflagellates.


There are a couple of things you can do to control this. First, counter-intuitively, is get your nutrients up so that algae and corals can outcompete them. This does not mean broad feed the tank with a sack of seafood. This is playing the long game where it takes very minute adjustments consistent over the long term. Second, I think you need to increase the circulation flow in your tank. Dino (and cyanno) can only really take hold where the flow is stagnant and aerobic conditions are poor. Compounding it further is that detritus is likely collecting in these areas, favoring the nuisance algae/bacteria/protist populations at the expense of macro algae and corals. So get your tank flow circulation way up.

Normally, people will ask what your nitrates and phosphates are at this point....But if I am right and its dino, then I personally don't think it matters. Get the flow circulation up so detritus is swept out of the tank and you don't have any pockets of stagnant flow for the various slime algae to develop. Once you get there, you will start having pockets of green hair algae....then we can talk about all the other details.

In the meantime, I would remove as much of the gunk as you can. The growth rate of these suckers is exponential so any day you let your guard down is a head start for those populations to really take over. Siphoning is the best way to do it. Where you have to scrape off the glass, use one hand to hold the siphon near and the other to scrape the glass. A credit card is good enough if you don't have a sharp razor handy.
 

Pêcheur

Kole Tang
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Pêcheur said:
I have something that’s a reddish/rust color that grows on the back glass, but it doesn’t really extend beyond the glass.
Is it slimy or dusty? A picture of that would be helpful. The rust color tells me we are likely talking dinoflagellates. If you have any thick areas, see if it starts to develop strings or bubbles.
I’ll post a photo later today, but I’d say it’s slimey, if I scrape it, it bunches up in a slimey mat.

There are a couple of things you can do to control this. First, counter-intuitively, is get your nutrients up so that algae and corals can outcompete them. This does not mean broad feed the tank with a sack of seafood. This is playing the long game where it takes very minute adjustments consistent over the long term.
I have been battling low nutrients, but have gotten nitrates up to around 6 -10, PO4 still reading 0ppm.


Second, I think you need to increase the circulation flow in your tank. Dino (and cyanno) can only really take hold where the flow is stagnant and aerobic conditions are poor.
It’s a peninsula tank so all flow is generated from one side. I have my return pump, Vectra S2, at 100% coming out of 2 nozzles in the center and I have a Nero5 one one side and a Nero3 on the other. The tank has a lot of flow, but it does decrease on the far side of the tank, which is where this green slime is, but I’m not sure how to increase flow over here.
 

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Kole Tang
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I don’t think it’s a flow issue, the algae in question is right next to these acans, on the right side of the video. The algae seems to have diminished since yesterday as well with no attemp to physically remove it.
 

Pêcheur

Kole Tang
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It’s very hard to photograph, but here’s the back wall with the rust color algae I described, it never gets out of control and sometimes seems to die off and leave a white biofilm, or that could maybe just be bacterial along side it.
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clsanchez77

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If you could zoom in and focus, a big if, would you describe the algae as fuzzy/hairy, slimy/bubbly or powdery? The white film leads me to believe this is bacterial. If so, make sure your skimmer is working well and see if you cannot pull more out of it.

I don’t think it’s a flow issue, the algae in question is right next to these acans, on the right side of the video. The algae seems to have diminished since yesterday as well with no attemp to physically remove it.
View attachment 22557

I think this looks great. All tanks have a natural ebb and flow of nutrients and leads to various algae, bacteria and protists to come and go. If this video is representative of your tank, you do not have a problem IMO. All reef tanks will have some sort of patch of algae and/or bacteria in the tank, unless the hobbyists already has a system to mitigate it. When dealing with algae in patches like that, your best bet is consider some sort of carbon dosing to fight the algae with bacteria, or use an algae scrubber, chaeto reactor or some kind of macro algae in a refugium so you can fight algae with algae. It seems you may already be dealing with both, so I would first focus on your skimmer and make sure it is operating at its best.
 

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Kole Tang
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If you could zoom in and focus, a big if, would you describe the algae as fuzzy/hairy, slimy/bubbly or powdery? The white film leads me to believe this is bacterial. If so, make sure your skimmer is working well and see if you cannot pull more out of it.



I think this looks great. All tanks have a natural ebb and flow of nutrients and leads to various algae, bacteria and protists to come and go. If this video is representative of your tank, you do not have a problem IMO. All reef tanks will have some sort of patch of algae and/or bacteria in the tank, unless the hobbyists already has a system to mitigate it. When dealing with algae in patches like that, your best bet is consider some sort of carbon dosing to fight the algae with bacteria, or use an algae scrubber, chaeto reactor or some kind of macro algae in a refugium so you can fight algae with algae. It seems you may already be dealing with both, so I would first focus on your skimmer and make sure it is operating at its best.

it’s definitely more fuzzy/lumpy, I wouldn’t say hairy. If it gets scraped it disperses evenly into the water column.

I’m currently skimmerless. I took down my oversized skimmer prior to the storm because I couldn’t detect any nutrients. I’ve still got the upglow algae scrubber working, although it’s not producing a lot of algae. I do still use a mix of TM carbon dosing salt mix blender with AF reef salt.

Im 99% certain that the green film algae I originally inquired about in this thread was cyano. I left it alone until yesterday when I used a toothbrush to physically remove it from the rock and siphoned it from the tank. It never really grew fast and only increased in biomass the last day or two, but even then not significantly.
 

clsanchez77

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I’m currently skimmerless. I took down my oversized skimmer prior to the storm because I couldn’t detect any nutrients. I’ve still got the upglow algae scrubber working, although it’s not producing a lot of algae. I do still use a mix of TM carbon dosing salt mix blender with AF reef salt.
ok, sounds like you are in the middle of changing systems over, then I would not worry about it right now, your system is adjusting.
 

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Kole Tang
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If you could zoom in and focus, a big if, would you describe the algae as fuzzy/hairy, slimy/bubbly or powdery? The white film leads me to believe this is bacterial. If so, make sure your skimmer is working well and see if you cannot pull more out of it.

Here’s a video of the white film. It’s definitely fuzzy/hairy


 
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