HELP I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THIS SLIMY ALGE PLEASE - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-04-2008, 04:52 PM Thread Starter

I have a 30 gallon reef tank that has been running for about a 6 to 7 week now. But just recently the live rocks have been forming this slime like alge that is like strands coming off the rock. It seeme to get worse after I treated my tank for Red slime Cyano-Bacteria with Chemiclean my LFS sold me. Below is everything in the tank and parameters

SG 1.025
Temp 79 degrees F
Nitrate 10ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Ammonia 0ppm
Ph 8.4

2 Clown
Bullet Goby
Neon Dottyback
Flame Goby
Yellow tail Damsel
2 Emerald crabs
2 Turbo snails
Fire shrimp
5 red leg hermit crabs
Sand sifting star fish

Black sun coral
2 torches
had polyps but they went last night
and a bubble tip anenome that looks like its on its last leg

Here are some pictures of the slime and one of the anenome PLEASE HELP I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO

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post #2 of 10 Old 10-04-2008, 06:59 PM
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well, first off, what kind of water do you use?
if it is tap water it most likly is high in phospates

secondly your system by no means was stable enough to add all of that livestock over a 6 week period, not to mention an anemone. the sand sifter will prob. die due to insufficient food supply and the anemone looks exactly how you said it, on its way out- people if they do choose to add an anemone do it months if not years into tank progression to ensure tank stability. your anemone is most likely going to die and nuke the tank. prob. killing everything. im unsure about the "chemiclean" being dosed into your system as i personally choose to be chemical free. usually do more harm then good. the nitrate levels in your tank seem harmful as well. when was the last waterchange/what kind of filtration are you running.
honestly its good that your asking questions but doing tons and tons and tons of research is priceless. i recommend reading any marine books you can get your hands on at your library and cruising the web as much as possible.
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-04-2008, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
Well I did a 5 gallon water change on monday after my the chemiclean treatment like it said. But i going to make a extra trip to the LFS tommorrow to get some more answers. And the water I buy is from from petco its the boxed ocean water which i always check the parameters of just encase.
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-04-2008, 08:19 PM
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lfs dont always offer the best advice, its usually advice to make a sale- and petco has a rep. for being one of them..

( i wouldnt even consider petco a LFS, its more like a Chain Store )

and you check the water for Phosphate (sp?) levels?
if anything thats the most suspect.
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-04-2008, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
ok thanks and my Lfs is exotic fish and coral on the post rd in ct not petco I just get the water there
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-05-2008, 07:08 AM
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This is such a complicated situation i'm not sure where to start. There are several things at play here. Before we go on, I also want to caution you when it comes to dealing with an LFS. There are good ones out there, no doubt, but the large majority of LFS do not have employees who have enough experience with saltwater systems to help you properly.

There have also been some mistakes made with your system, which it sounds like came under the guidance of this LFS. You added your live stock WAY to fast. I mean WAY fast. Your system has to have time to mature. This isn't a freshwater tank. Testing for Ammonia and Nitrite, and calling a tank "cycled" when they both reach zero... this is not a method to consider on a saltwater system. Obviously, ammonia and nitrite need to reach zero, but this is not the "test" of stability that we need to feel confident. Having patience and allowing a tank to mature is critical. What I find most frustrating is the inclusion of an anemone in a tank this young. It is down right irresponsible for anyone to suggest you make that purchase. It makes me furious to hear about these situations.

There are a gazillion links on google which discuss cynobacteria. With an aquarium only 2 months old, cyno is not uncommon, and is almost predictable. We don't have to go into a lot of depth. But here are a few points to consider. When dealing with cyno you have to look for places where your system is not in balance and for places where excess nutrients are being introduced. Here are a few tips:

1 - make sure your system is set up properly. If you have a sand bed, it needs to be an extremely thin layer, or should be a minimum of 4'' in depth. Anything inbetween tends to result in nutrient buildups leaching into the aquarium. This is more of a long term issue than short term.
What type of filtration are you using? Using any type of man made biological filter on a reef system will result in nutrient buildup. You want to rely on the live rock and a good protein skimmer as your only methods of filtration.

2 - Do you have filter pads? If so, they must be cleaned daily. This includes sponge filter outputs on a protein skimmer, as well as filter pads inside of a canister filter (which I wouldn't use on a reef). Filter pads accumulate organic particles which need to be removed from the system before they become biologically active, resulting in nutrient input.

3 - Water flow, water flow, water flow. You need to be turning that tank over 20-30 times per hour at minimum. Sometimes increasing water flow alone is enough to prevent the spreading of cyno. In a 30 gallon tank, i would run 3 power heads in addition to your skimmer. Place the powerheads at different levels within the water column and angle them in such a way to prevent dead spots.

4 - Test for alkalinity and calcium. Dose supplements as needed to maintain your alkalinity between 8 and 14 DKH and calcium between 400ppm and 500ppm. Normally one of these levels will be on the upper end of this scale and the other will be on the lower end. This step is critical to allowing coraline algae to grow. After coraline takes hold, it is very difficult for the cyno to spread. (During a cyno outbreak, i would suggest keeping alkalinity at the higher end of the recommendation, say 12 to 14 DKH, especially for systems that have difficulty pushing calcium above 420ppm.)
This bullet point is so important that I almost skipped everything else and only discussed the relationship between alkalinity and calcium and how important they are to overall tank stability. If you are not testing for both Alkalinity and Calcium, you are going to struggle long term. Folks, this applies to fish only systems as well!!

As i mentioned, this is complicated. Cyno outbreaks are best avoided by being extremely patience and allowing your system multiple opportunities to mature as you add livestock. My current reef is only 6 months old and I have less livestock than you have. You should never add further livestock unless the current livestock and overall system is showing great signs of success. Even then, more sensitive selections, or selections which feed on copepod and amphipod populations, should be avoided for the first several months.
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-05-2008, 07:17 AM
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In picture number 3 above, is that an Arabian Dottyback? These guys are awesome fish, super hardy if tank breed, and EXTREMELY TERRITORIAL in small tanks. Adding addition fish in the future is going to be almost impossible. Luckily your current selections are capable of holding their own, but I would suspect long term problems with this fish and its tankmates.

Also, be aware that this fish will eat small shrimp. You may have difficulty adding a Banded Coral Shrimp, Peppermint Shrimp, or Cleaner Shrimp. If they are large you could get away with it, but it is a coin flip.
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-05-2008, 07:21 AM
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Another question. "Black sun coral". This is also known as Tubastrea coral. These corals have to be hand feed. They are not photosynthetic. This is another horrible selection for the beginning reefkeeper. Were you aware of this fact when you made the purchase?
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-06-2008, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
right now I am runing a cascade 700 canister filter with activated carbon and a water purifier and a packet I believed was called algiegone I and yes I did know about the sun coral having to be feed I feed it mystic shrimp through a eye dropper
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-06-2008, 09:00 PM
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