Phosphates and Nitrates SOS

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Hello!

I have a Fluval Evo which holds 52 litres.  I had help setting it up, but I have struggled with first brown algae, and now green and red algae.  I have been away a good bit and so water changes have been sporadic, and I have lost a large coral (can't remember the name of it).  My friend who helped set it up is on holiday.

I tested the nitrates and phosphates today with salifert kits as the one I was using wasn't specific enough.  The nitrates are 1 ppm and the phosphates are 0.5.  I have tried to read around the topic but there is a lot of opinion out there.

I would be very grateful for a guide on what figures I should be aiming for and how to get there.  I did a water change 4 days ago of just under a third of the tank and cleaned the gravel as I was syphoning it off.  I have changed the carbon filter, and have a new biomax to put in.  The skimmer seems to be working.  It could probably do with stronger pump as the water flow isn't great.  I have 2 cleaner shrimp, a boxer crab, an emerald crab, 2 clowns, 3 other small fish I don't know the names of, 2 nasarius snails, 2 hermits, and a mine urchin (which is a nightmare and is going back to my friend once he is home!). I really don't want to lose the fish but am at a bit of a loss.

Many Thanks in advance for your help.

Regards

Sally 
Last Edit: Aug 24, 2021 9:55:31 pm by sallyv092@gmail.com

mightyhatter

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Reply #1

Welcome to ReefBase!

I have set up the same tank for my daughter and we are have been having a nightmare time with red cyano too! (Though like you have been away a lot so maintenance has been a little sporadic)

How long has the tank been running?
As far as parameters are concerned in general terms i would suggest nitrates around 5 and phos under 1 (though dont get to hung up chasing a specific number - stability in a good range is.more important). If you have lots of algae then your readings wont be fully reliable as algae will be using/ storing some

In terms of resolving the issue make sure you have good water movement (especially if there are patches that suffer from cyano in partic). Easiest way to do this is a little powerhead in the tank (then you have current from multiple directions rather tha  just filter return)

Try and remove any cyano when it appears and rinse filter media (daily if you can). Keep up water changes (smaller ones every few days might work better than big, less frequent ones)

Cyano is a bit of a nightmare but as with many pests a natural part of the hobby. If you are still struggling and want to go the chemical route there are a couple of 'red away' products which are meant to be pretty effective

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marine_newbie

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Reply #2

I agree with [mention]mightyhatter [/mention] that stability is the important bit! It sounds like the tank may still be relatively new and often this involves algae. I think your PO4 is a bit high but with good skimming and not over feeding this will probably come down.

Best thing is to remove as much of the algae as you can when doing a water change. Actually the urchin may be your friend in algae removal

You can also try phosphate removal using a reactor or bag (e.g. rowaphos).

Important thing is that it will take time for algae to go, unless you go down chemical route, but I would not advise this just yet.


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Sally92

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Reply #3

Thanks Guys,

That’s a massive help!  Will try all suggestions above and fingers crossed will have a lovely looking time sometime soonish

Thanks

Sally

Ps I love the urchin but he loves to dislodge the coral!

Mike

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Reply #4

Hi, @sallyv092@gmail.com

Welcome to ReefBase. It appears you've created your account using your email address as the username. The username is displayed publicly, and I wouldn't recommend keeping your email address displayed as it'll attract spam.

I can change your username if you'd like to something else, this'll also reset your password which will be emailed to you. Let me know, thanks.
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Sally92

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Reply #5

Hello Mike,

that would be great thanks.  Not fussed on the name Sally and number if you hove it?

Regards

Sally

Sally92

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Reply #6

Hi Guys,

So, I added rowa phos and a tmc pump head which has different speed and wave settings which I have on the default except a little less powerful.

I did another water change and am trying to disturb the cyano and collect it in a net where I can.  After the water change it looked good for almost 24 hours and the cynano stuff is back with a vengence.  It covers everything in a matter of a couple of hours once it starts.  I clean it off and try and catch the big bits and a couple hour later it starts coating the tanks again.

Nitrates are now 0 and phos 0.5.  I don.t have a nitrite testing kit.  Im cleaning the rock with a toothbrush everyday and disturbing the gravel.

Is the cycano algae something to be this worried about?

Thanks

Sally

Sally92

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Reply #7

This picture shows it starting again.  It gets a lot darker and thicker quite quickly

Toper0

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Reply #8

I struggled with cynobacteria for over 6 weeks then just bought this, had to be imported from America. I would say this is a last resort and advised to me by my LFS who claimed to use it in their tanks.

By the way it got rid of the cyno in 2 days and I ain't had it back.

mightyhatter

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Reply #9

As per Toper i jave heard good things about Chemiclean (if you choose to go the chemical route). There is also a Fauna Marin Red X which is similar

Also, if it helps, the photo looks like the cyano isnt too bad (it can easily get like a velvetly rug quite quickly) so dont worry too much. I would keep up the water chnages and filter cleaning for a while if i were you)

Sally92

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Reply #10

Thanks Toper and Mad Hatter, Ill take a look.  I am thinking of trying this as it does become the red velvet blanket you described by the end of a day!

I'm hoping I can clear it and keep on top of it afterwards,

The help is much appreciated,

Thanks

Sally

marine_newbie

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Reply #11

I think the cyano is due to PO4 being high. Ideally you want this 0.1 or lower. In a new tank this takes time and you need other bacteria (cyano are bacteria rather than algae) to fill the space that cyano is currently taking. Good maintenance and water changes help, but it will take time. You can of course take the chemical route, but these tend to also kill stuff you want to keep. Personally I would keep the chemical route for last resort, but is personal choice.


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Mike

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Reply #12

Hello Mike,
that would be great thanks.  Not fussed on the name Sally and number if you hove it?
Regards
Sally

Done. Your username to login remains the same, but I've changed your display name that's shown publicly. 👍🏼
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