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I am running into a constant red slime issue. I have a 24 gal salt water tank that is 1 year old in April. We are maintaining 4 fish along with an emerald crab , turbo snails and hermit crabs. Things have been good up until 3 months ago. Here are some facts:

1) PH - maintained at 8.3

2) Salinity - 1.023 to 1.024

3) Diet - frozen Brine Shrimp and blood worms (this diet is required by the Rock Hopper.

4) Fish - Rock Hopper (red Dragonet), Cardinal Bengee, firefish, and a sand sifting goby.

5) Temp is maintained at 80 to 82 deg F

6) Lighting is a 100 wat metal Halide, which is on for 8 hours per day. then the Blue/white LED Moon lights are on for the other 16 hours.

7) The water used to set up and maintain the tank is Distilled water.

8) We have 2 colonies of Zooanthus that are thriving ( I am keeping a vigilant watch over the envireonment daily.

9) I do a 20% water change once a month after treating the water for the red slime. I have removed several living rock that seemed to overly infected with the red slime.


Any thoughts and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Tom in Camden Maine.:ISh_the_Fish:
 

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Most likely the Cyanobacteria's source is due to overfeeding and uneaten food accumilating. It has been a year and you might have to add some replacements to the clean up crew. Some do perish and they need replenishing. I have had this problem in the past as well. Just do a 20% water change, add some phosphate remover (phosban, phosguard, or phosphate removing sheets), decrease feeding. I use 1/2 cube each between my 55 gallon and my 90 gallon. It is more than enough. It will be a constant battle if you don't treat the source. I also have a serpent starfish that gets all the stuff in the nooks and crannies that others can't get to. Add a few more blue legs, a few astrea, and a few other varieties of snails like nassarius are great additions. Also add some more flow so things do not settle in certain areas that are dead spots. Good luck we all have delt with this. I have more than I would like to admit. When every thing else fails I use chemiclean red slime remover. It works great and my inhabitants have not ill effects.
 

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Tom,

Are you running a protein skimmer ? If you can adjust it to run a little more "wet" It may help. Maryg is correct, there is something feeding the cyano bacteria (red slime) and without removing the source of nutrients, you are not going to eradicate it. I also would recommend a clean up crew that includes sand stirrers (Starfish, Nassirus Snails etc..)
 

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remove all carbon before useing chemiclean if you use any and the chemiclean does work i have to use it in my 135 gallon tank
 

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you can scrub as much as you can and suck it out with a pipe and then go buy some mexican red leg hermit crabs they love red slime i got it once in my old cube i did the same thing it worked good..I tryed the chemiclean dont remember the name and what it douse is that turns the slime brown and maby if your lucky it would go away for a while ...i recomend all natural get your self a good cleanup crew my .02 good luck bro
 

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I am running into a constant red slime issue. I have a 24 gal salt water tank that is 1 year old in April. We are maintaining 4 fish along with an emerald crab , turbo snails and hermit crabs. Things have been good up until 3 months ago. Here are some facts:

1) PH - maintained at 8.3

2) Salinity - 1.023 to 1.024

3) Diet - frozen Brine Shrimp and blood worms (this diet is required by the Rock Hopper.

4) Fish - Rock Hopper (red Dragonet), Cardinal Bengee, firefish, and a sand sifting goby.

5) Temp is maintained at 80 to 82 deg F

6) Lighting is a 100 wat metal Halide, which is on for 8 hours per day. then the Blue/white LED Moon lights are on for the other 16 hours.

7) The water used to set up and maintain the tank is Distilled water.

8) We have 2 colonies of Zooanthus that are thriving ( I am keeping a vigilant watch over the envireonment daily.

9) I do a 20% water change once a month after treating the water for the red slime. I have removed several living rock that seemed to overly infected with the red slime.


Any thoughts and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Tom in Camden Maine.:ISh_the_Fish:
Cayno does not need phosphates to survive once you have it uses photocintisis to make its own food as bacteria I have read that the best way to cure it is with an antibiotic such as myacin I WOULD DO MY OWN RESERCH BEFORE I TRYED THIS METHOD but again as I said it seems to be the way to go

this is just my experience with Cyano.

Cyano bacteria lives on nutirents that are trapped underneath the mat.
To get rid of them we need to remove the nutrients and the source of the nutrients.
As we understand nutrients in this context they can and do come from a number of different sources.
Water, food, livestock waste, rockwork, substrate, flow.
Sound like you are going to address water quality and that feeding and livestock waste is not an issue.

Let's then invstigate the rockwork and sand. Live rock and live sand can and do come to us with nutrient and nutrient potential alread there. The rocks as the tank cycles will naturally have die-off. This die-off or detritus will stay on the rock and will also be shed from the rocks. This is an ongoing process and will continue to "generate" detritus. To remove this, in this case expecially from the affected areas in your tank there are a couple of things to do. First at water change and or any time you get the urge take a pc. of airline or other hose and siphon the cyano off the affected area. You will see that it come up very easily almost like a blanket being sucked. Then if at water change time take a turkey baster and blow the rockwork off. You will be amazed at the amount of detritus this stirs up. This gets it into the water column for removal by your filter and the water change itself. Remember 10% + per week religously to get the upper hand here. The same procedure goes for the affected area of the sand only instead of the turkey baster get a chopstick or something like that and gently stir only the affected area, again to get the detritus up and into the water column. Small areas only here, don't want to stir up a quarter of the sandbe or anything like that.

Then finally the flow. You did not metion what type and how much flow tou have you may have enough flow, but may be doing nothing if the flow is not affecting the areas where the cyano is. There is a need to get enough flow over the affected area so that the detritus cannot settle there in the first place. This does not mean a hurricane that stirs up such a cloud that you can't see, but enough to see that the water is moving well over the area.

Kind of long winded but cyano is really an easy thing to beat if you understand what fuels it. It takes a while to beat but it is not indestructable.
 

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I use a turkey baster once a week and blow off all the detritus off the rock and corals and let the filter get the rest. Might have to do more frequent water changes as well with a smaller system.
 

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If the problem is severe many people have been successful by keeping the lights off for 3 days, I tried it and it worked. However, it will come back if the conditions in your tank are meeting its needs so all of the above advice is very important.
 

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Could just be me but 8 hours seems a little long too. 100 watts is pretty bright for a 24 (good news), but could be backed down a few hours. Also there is really no need to run the moon lights the rest of the time. I think (and have been told) that some good old fashioned "dark time" is a good thing. Also I agree you could try a couple days of no lights to just slow it down.
 

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+ 1 to soulsigma's reply is pretty much spot on.

Cyno is a straight up Nutrient rich condition in your tank. Anything you do that does not adress the root cause is a waste of time and effort. It might go away for a few days but it will be back!

The anti-biotic thing does work. But thats the problem it works too good, cuase it kills off the good bacteria as well as the bad bacteria. Not a good thing to be doing in a reef tank, especially in a tank with a pretty good bio-load already. But if thats the route you wanna go it will work.

While increasing the Clean up Crew has some solid merit to it, no go on the Sand Sifting Starfish. It will quickly deplete the home aquariums sand bed of sand bed fuana and then slowly starve to death, die and rot and contribute to the problem in the end.

Again this is just my opinion and thoughts on this subject, so take it for what it is...
 

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Dosing Vodka would not be useful as adding additional (nutrients) ie. sugar will just give the cyano more food. Blow the stuff off as much as you can, eliminate any dead spots where the cyano may be lurking and don't over feed.
 

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My solution to my cyano problem after trying everything i could think of was to turn my lights off for about 4.5 days never turning them on just using the lights in the room to feed. turned them back on abotu a week ago. No cyano to be seen so far. *w3 *w3
 

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My solution to my cyano problem after trying everything i could think of was to turn my lights off for about 4.5 days never turning them on just using the lights in the room to feed. turned them back on abotu a week ago. No cyano to be seen so far. *w3 *w3
Bingo and a big +1

This thread IMHO has taken the classic how to fight cyano path.

Yet the solution was as simple as killing your lights.

IMHO what happens is everything goes fine for months. Nitrates finally drop. corals look great, fish happy etc etc etc.

then all the sudden and very very quickly here comes the cyano.

Cyano can get its nitrogen from the nitrogen gas in the tank vrs the nitrates which feed the macro algaes and anaerobic bacteria in the sand.

So what happens at some point nitrates drop down and starve the macros. they slow down and consume less phosphates.

then at the sand bed, rock surfaces you have carbon dioxide, low nitrogen, and phosphates.------ the perfect conditions for cyano.

the cyano spreads further starving the macros and algae (even corraline).

so the tank rapidly switched from a coral/algae dominated tank to a cyano dominated tank.

But when you kill the lights the cyano dies off much faster then the algae and orders of magnetude faster then the corals. As the cyano dies off it returns nitrates to the tank which gives the algae the upper hand again.

You may have to do the lights out more then once. Or even have to have a blackout every month or so. But the blackout will rebalance the tank. And keep the cyano at bay.

But then whoever thought this cyano problem could be solved by simply killing the lights. that just has to be too easy.



but it is.


Just my ramblings

Worth at most .02
 

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do I have to say +2. OK, +2! Cyano bacteria is present in some amount in just about every tank. It runs rampant when certain conditions are met. A nutrient rich environment and lack of sufficient flow are the usual causes. The bacteria also needs light to survive and thrive. Cutting off your lights for 3 days will knock it back significantly. Increasing flow with additional powerheads is also desired. A final element that often helps is a fuge. The fuge will help to reduce nutrients and starve out the bacteria. A turf scrubber will do likewise but that is a subject for a different time. When you do your water changes try to siphon out any cyano you see. It's a fight that you can win but it will take some time. Good luck.

Dosing Vodka or sugar is a well known technique for reducing nitrate. It works but I'd be sure you know what you're doing before you try it.
 

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Please tell us if you dose kalkwasser.

I dealt with my one and only cyano bout by adding a lot more water flow. This stuff loves stagnent areas. I went with 20 tank turnovers per hour. That is if you have a 100 gal tank, you want the sum of all your watermovement to add up to 2000 gal / hr.

This took care of it for me. I used no chemicals/drugs, no changes to the light cycle and no crabs/snails. BTW animals crap out all the minerals they eat. In otherwords, recyling does not lead to elimination.

Good luck!
 
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