is this a common thing in most tanks and does it have to do with the lighting? do most fishes feed of it or is it a nuisance?
Looks like it might be cyano. This is bad algea, and usually forms when nitrates are high and there is little flow in the area.
A water change and the addition and/or movement of powerheads should help get rid of it.
Also you might want to get some phosphate remover if that's high as well.
the thing is, i use stresszyme weekly to remove phosphates an nitrates....
stresszyme doesn't remove nitrates and phosphates. Saltwater tanks shouldn't use tap water anyways (not saying you are, just a general point), because of the high level of phosphates, silicates, and other stuff in city water supplies. R/O water is the way to go for saltwater tanks. If you ARE using tap water for your tank, that's almost definitely why you're getting some cyano growth.
The only real way to remove nitrates from a tank are (A) water changes, or (B) special bacteria thats grows in the depths of a deep sand bed (~4" depth) and deep inside large liverocks in mature tanks. The only ways to remove phosphates are (A) water changes with phosphate-free water (e.g. R/O water), or (B) use of phosphate-absorbing filter pads and media. I've never used the phosphate absorbing stuff in my filter, so I can't speak to it's effectiveness.
But I hate to break the news to you, if you have been relying on stresszyme to remove nitrATEs and phosphates, that's not what it's for :-(
Hard to tell from pics, but may coralline. As long as it does not come off as a slime when you shoot some water on it using syringe, would leave them alone.
Cyanobacteria refers to blue green algae (cyano=blue) if I remeber collectly.
Do check on your water as other have mentined which definitely help you in understanding water chemistry and having successful tank.
If tank is well established and/or has LR, loose the stresszyme for good, IMHO.
cerianthus, while you are probably technically correct on the meaning of cyano, I believe the most common form of cyanobacteria is red (though it can come in other colors as well). I know I had a little bit of cyano growth when I set up my first saltwater tank, I mistakenly filled it with tap water for the initial fill-up of the tank. I very quickly started using R/O water only for it on water changes, but it was too late and I ended up having a hard-fought battle before I was able to get the cyano to go away.
My cyano was red like in his picture, and most other cyano-related threads/questions I've seen on this board seem to revolve around red cyanobacteria as well.
If we can get some tank info and history from the initial poster, that would help out a bunch!
Try Chemiclean it works pretty well and also sucking most of the algae out manually works to help it from growing. And lots of water movement.
I would highly discourage the use of any chemical treatment of cyno. The goal here is to eliminate cyno from the system today and to prevent future outbreaks. You need to identify the cause, rather than treat the symptom.
The very fact that cyno is present tells us there is something not quite right with the system. You probably have areas of very low water flow for starters. Systems with proper water flow and adequate skimming rarely experience cyno outbreaks. Make sure that you have power heads moving water in all directions. A simple way to evaluate your water flow is to feed crushed up flake food, releasing the food under the water, and watching the flakes move about in the water flow. You should find dead spots, likely near the areas of cyno, and can then takes actions to correct.
Another common mistake is the incorrect use of mechanical filtration. Any filter pads used in a reef system should be cleaned DAILY. If you allow organic molecules to attach to the filter pad, they molecules will become biologically active. The result is a buildup of phosphate and nitrate, and strain on your carbonate buffers. This discussion could go on forever, but the end result is a weaker balance of alkalinity, calcium, and magnesium. Bottom line, clean your filter pads daily. Personally, I do not use filter pads on a continuous basis. I only add a filter pad to my system after I scrape algae from the glass. I generally remove the filter pad the next morning.
Finally, take a good look at your calcium and alkalinity levels. I would keep your calcium above 400ppm and alkalinity between 10 and 12 DKH. These levels will encourage a nice growth of coraline algae, which makes it difficult for cyno to take hold.
Oh yes, cyno is typically purple or red in color, as it occurs in a marine aquarium.
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