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View Full Version : HELP! Need to identify this algae bloom before it kills all my corals.


DKoKoMan
07-13-2017, 02:50 AM
Hey folks,

Looking for help with identifying this nuisance algae bloom which happened within a day. The only thing I have done was switch to AF Reef Salt and add biopellets. I started cycling half and half (Reef Crystals and AF Reef Salt) and now using strictly the AF salt.

My tank was showing good growth and great colour until I started noticing brown stringy bubble tip algae. At first I thought this would die down, within a few days it began covering select corals and I noticed some die off. 2 frags which were Pete rly coloured and growing had the algae present (stringy off of it). I brushed it off but it continued to show up. I lost 2 corals which had RTN due to being covered wth this. I did a large 60g WC and siphoned as much as I could out of the tank.

The algae seems to have the bubbles disappear and then become very visible during the photoperiod. Ughhh so annoying, hoping someone has experienced the same and can Leo with options to combat this. It seems like it slowed down and some corals have dodged the bullet but they are super visible as I type this. Here are some photos from tonight.

Please help! I don't want to lose all my frags to this mess and it's sad to see the purple coralline get replaced with brown goo.


http://i66.tinypic.com/34evjns.jpg

http://i63.tinypic.com/11hc46r.jpg

JamRobo
07-13-2017, 04:05 AM
I also just switched to AF reef salt and have somewhat the same issue except mine is alot more minor then yours. I think its just diatom / cyano kind of mix of the both. Mine is mostly on the glass / sand bed. Ive been doing small water changes twice a week trying to get the majority of it each time.


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JamRobo
07-13-2017, 04:05 AM
Did your phosphate level go up? Whats it at?

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adam84
07-13-2017, 04:17 AM
How strong is your flow in the areas that it is growing, or is it only growing in the lower flow areas?

DKoKoMan
07-13-2017, 04:50 AM
I also just switched to AF reef salt and have somewhat the same issue except mine is alot more minor then yours. I think its just diatom / cyano kind of mix of the both. Mine is mostly on the glass / sand bed. Ive been doing small water changes twice a week trying to get the majority of it each time.


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I have been doing water changes but it doesn't seem to help!

Did your phosphate level go up? Whats it at?

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It went down, it's now at 0.12ppm (I know still high). I had it much higher at 0.25ppm and higher.

How strong is your flow in the areas that it is growing, or is it only growing in the lower flow areas?

It's growing in the high flow areas, low flow areas and doesn't seem to be affected. I literally have to scrub it to get it off and it come right back.

JamRobo
07-13-2017, 05:40 AM
Thats wierd!! Bad batch of salt? Did u start feeding new food? I know when i fed frozen pe mysis my tank would algea up fast!

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ReefMadness
07-13-2017, 06:30 AM
I also just switched to AF reef salt and have somewhat the same issue except mine is alot more minor then yours. I think its just diatom / cyano kind of mix of the both. Mine is mostly on the glass / sand bed. Ive been doing small water changes twice a week trying to get the majority of it each time.

interesting... i've been battling what i can't discern between brown cyano, dinoflagellates or diatoms since starting aquaforest salt as well.
mine collects on the substrate and seems to get worse with water changes.
i'm actually currently ditching the probiotic salt for the standard reef salt in hopes that it calms this down a little.

JamRobo
07-13-2017, 07:10 AM
interesting... i've been battling what i can't discern between brown cyano, dinoflagellates or diatoms since starting aquaforest salt as well.
mine collects on the substrate and seems to get worse with water changes.
i'm actually currently ditching the probiotic salt for the standard reef salt in hopes that it calms this down a little.
Im using regular AF reef salt not the pro biotic, i also dose vitality, amino, energy, and build. Only been maybe 2 weeks now. Seen color boost for sure but its just like you say minor diatoms/ cyano on the sand bed... and it seems like my corals and the algae issue are getting better after i skipped a water change.... also had lots of air bubbles rising from sand and they were sticking to my rocks until i turned up the gyre a bit.


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ReefMadness
07-13-2017, 02:35 PM
Im using regular AF reef salt not the pro biotic, i also dose vitality, amino, energy, and build. Only been maybe 2 weeks now. Seen color boost for sure but its just like you say minor diatoms/ cyano on the sand bed... and it seems like my corals and the algae issue are getting better after i skipped a water change.... also had lots of air bubbles rising from sand and they were sticking to my rocks until i turned up the gyre a bit.
i pretty much have done the same, holding off on water changes, cranked both gyres up and i have stopped dosing my aminos. originally i suspected dinoflagelletes... then diatoms... then cyano, but at this point seeing that others are experiencing the same i'm not sure where i'll go with this next.

kyl
07-13-2017, 03:05 PM
Bubbly, stringy brown snot looking stuff is probably dinos. If you know anyone with a microscope you can tell quite quickly what it is.

WarDog
07-13-2017, 04:36 PM
Everyone who switched to AF Probiotic or Reef salt are having similar results.

Hmmmm.

JamRobo
07-13-2017, 05:44 PM
Everyone who switched to AF Probiotic or Reef salt are having similar results.

Hmmmm.
Yea so it seems! I was reading a post on the aquaforest facebook page of someone having the same issues, and no polyp extension which im also experiencing...
A AF user commented and said uou have to just give it time and give the tank time to adjust to the new change... but its hard to give something time when its causing corals to die!
I dunno you see all these pics of AF run tanks with beautiful colors etc but now the number of troubled AF user posts our number the good ones... where do we draw the line and cut this crap out?

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ReefMadness
07-13-2017, 07:28 PM
Yea so it seems! I was reading a post on the aquaforest facebook page of someone having the same issues, and no polyp extension which im also experiencing...
A AF user commented and said uou have to just give it time and give the tank time to adjust to the new change... but its hard to give something time when its causing corals to die!
I dunno you see all these pics of AF run tanks with beautiful colors etc but now the number of troubled AF user posts our number the good ones... where do we draw the line and cut this crap out?

how long does that change need to take place is the big question then? i've been running aquaforest's entire lineup (probiotic salt, dosing components and a few additives) since January and this has been an issue since. its hard to imagine balance taking so long to achieve.

sobe
07-13-2017, 08:08 PM
Hmm i just switch to AF salt as well just on last water change 2 weeks ago and noticed these as well matter of week it grow, it spreads fast. I was coming from IO salt too which i didnt have this problem. The bubbles are from gas being produced and its trapped in inside. The end stage is where it lifts off and "melts" away. It mostly grow on sandbed and walks over anything on its path that have rock or calcified structure., zoa on a sand bed attached to a rock is unaffected and it was just arround it. My acan i had to move them off the bed and into a rockwork.

I noticed that i directed a power head on it and end stage seem to go faster.

Lps seem unaffected still has polyps open. But yea they blanket anything they touch.

Im affraid water changing with the same salt that is producing this will just make matter worse?

WarDog
07-13-2017, 08:15 PM
I think it boils down to that good old saying, 'nothing good happens fast... except bad things'.

I honestly think that if you take your time transitioning into Aquaforest (or Zeo for that matter) rather than switching to it overnight, you can achieve amazing results. These 'advanced' methods are just that though, designed for advanced and experienced reefers in mind. You really need to have an understanding of your tank and how your corals react.

That being said, the only AF product I use is the reef salt, and I've experienced the same snot. I am planning to switch back to IO on my new tank.

As for your tank, I don't really have a solution.

ReefMadness
07-13-2017, 10:21 PM
I think it boils down to that good old saying, 'nothing good happens fast... except bad things'.

I honestly think that if you take your time transitioning into Aquaforest (or Zeo for that matter) rather than switching to it overnight, you can achieve amazing results. These 'advanced' methods are just that though, designed for advanced and experienced reefers in mind. You really need to have an understanding of your tank and how your corals react.

That being said, the only AF product I use is the reef salt, and I've experienced the same snot. I am planning to switch back to IO on my new tank.

As for your tank, I don't really have a solution.
i can't disagree with this at all.
admittedly, i bought new salt almost immediately when it became available and didn't take any special measures to integrate it. add to that, inside 2 months i also switched out of tropic marin 2-part into aquaforest's balling method.
i definitely can't complain about how aquaforest colours up sps but i'd sure like to get around this bloom and have it settle into balance again.

DKoKoMan
07-14-2017, 04:22 AM
I'm struggling to identify these bubble things or algae. I have started a 3 day lights out period with the tank being completely covered. I'm starting to panic as I have only went though one bucket of AF Reef Salt and half of it was mixed with RC. I just bought another AF Reef Salt but I'm hesitant in using it...

I'm surprised how many others are experiencing this. Ditched IO RC as I wanted parameters more along the lines of NSW. Any other suggestions?

DKoKoMan
07-14-2017, 04:23 AM
I am scared to look at my tank in 3 days. Thai stuff is invasive and covers sps corals, Lps and Zoas with ease. :sad:

sobe
07-17-2017, 07:14 PM
Any update? Is yours brown or purple "snot"? Mine is more purplish. I have added chaeto on my sump and it seem to have decreased and detaching. Its only on one section of the tank and my clownfish eats when stringy bits detach

DKoKoMan
07-18-2017, 04:16 AM
Any update? Is yours brown or purple "snot"? Mine is more purplish. I have added chaeto on my sump and it seem to have decreased and detaching. Its only on one section of the tank and my clownfish eats when stringy bits detach

Posted an update on my build thread. Haven't saw anything eat this stuff!

DKoKoMan
07-20-2017, 06:46 PM
Now the slime appears to be purple/ maroon in colour.

somafish
07-20-2017, 10:21 PM
What's your bio pellet set up like? They can cause algae blooms

hunggi74
07-20-2017, 11:54 PM
OP the algae you have is Dinoflagellates. I had/have the same issues and also use AF Reef salt. My nutrients were not in balance as my NO3 was anywhere between 10-50ppm but my PO4 was consistently low at 0.028.The worst thing you can do right now is water changes. The algae thrives on the trace elements in salt mix. I also used Comp123 and that has trace elements in it. My corals were being suffocated by the Dinos like yours are. I tried first a 96 hour blackout but that didn't faze them and only made my corals pale and my fish delvelop ich. I ended up getting some Dino X and dosing as per instructions. 21 day treatment max and then you have to stop dosing for a week. During that treatment time you syphon out visible dinos in tank and reduce your photoperiod to max 5 hours a day. So far after first full 21 day treatment my dinos have been reduced significantly. I still see some, but I'm hoping to be able to rid them by manually syphoning and by balanced nutrient reduction. I have done one water change since last treatment using the AF salt I have remaining. I don't dose Comp123. In fact, I don't dose anything now into tank except Alk. I don't want to do another treatment phase of dino x as I think my corals wouldn't be able to withstand another agggressive round of dino x. I lost a handful of pieces and the remaining corals are all brown to browner. Hoping to color them back up over time. After reading this thread and hearing horror stories about AF salt, I too will be using either IO or RS henceforth. Hope this helps you or anyone else going through the same issues.

crimper
07-21-2017, 02:29 AM
That's exactly what happened to my frag tank. Got smothered by Dinos, after dosing Component 123 for about 3 months. I think its the accumulation of trace. I tore it down after loosing most of my SPS colonies. I restarted with the same Reef Salt but only dosing Kalk this time. Its been 3 months now, so far so good. I might go back to dosing bulk chemicals when dosing Kalk isn't enough.

DKoKoMan
07-21-2017, 09:25 AM
OP the algae you have is Dinoflagellates. I had/have the same issues and also use AF Reef salt. My nutrients were not in balance as my NO3 was anywhere between 10-50ppm but my PO4 was consistently low at 0.028.The worst thing you can do right now is water changes. The algae thrives on the trace elements in salt mix. I also used Comp123 and that has trace elements in it. My corals were being suffocated by the Dinos like yours are. I tried first a 96 hour blackout but that didn't faze them and only made my corals pale and my fish delvelop ich. I ended up getting some Dino X and dosing as per instructions. 21 day treatment max and then you have to stop dosing for a week. During that treatment time you syphon out visible dinos in tank and reduce your photoperiod to max 5 hours a day. So far after first full 21 day treatment my dinos have been reduced significantly. I still see some, but I'm hoping to be able to rid them by manually syphoning and by balanced nutrient reduction. I have done one water change since last treatment using the AF salt I have remaining. I don't dose Comp123. In fact, I don't dose anything now into tank except Alk. I don't want to do another treatment phase of dino x as I think my corals wouldn't be able to withstand another agggressive round of dino x. I lost a handful of pieces and the remaining corals are all brown to browner. Hoping to color them back up over time. After reading this thread and hearing horror stories about AF salt, I too will be using either IO or RS henceforth. Hope this helps you or anyone else going through the same issues.

I definitely think you hit it on the head. I did a bunch of large WC which added fuel to the fire IMO. I tried the blackout which didn't seem to have any effect on these dinos. I may need to acquire a test kit to measure my silicates as this could be different with AF Reef Salt.

It seems to have mellowed out a bit and died off of the coral tips. That being said it is definitely still present in more of a purple hue. I plan on doing biweekly WC's again with the AF salt. Once I'm done this bucket I will reevaluate and possibly transition back to RC.

The weird thing is my tank looked like it was thriving and *bam* within a day this came out and took a hold. It is definitely not as stringy and more on the LR with bubbles. That being said I'm not sure when or if it will break out again. I reduced my photoperiod from 12hrs to 9 hrs with only 6 hr max intensity. The other gots account for sunrise and moon lights.

Has your tank shown any growth recently? Did the dead tips recede or eventually grow Over? Thanks for the information.

DKoKoMan
07-21-2017, 09:27 AM
That's exactly what happened to my frag tank. Got smothered by Dinos, after dosing Component 123 for about 3 months. I think its the accumulation of trace. I tore it down after loosing most of my SPS colonies. I restarted with the same Reef Salt but only dosing Kalk this time. Its been 3 months now, so far so good. I might go back to dosing bulk chemicals when dosing Kalk isn't enough.

What a pain in the @$$. Seeing what it did to my sps frags and some larger heads of lps that would not be pretty. What were your water parameters at when dino broke out?

crimper
07-21-2017, 03:56 PM
My nitares shoot up to 50ppm then did lots of WC. Phosphate was ideal 0.03. then after i got it under control i think the bacteria kicked in and stripped my nuteients that caused stn on almost all my sps colonies. What's worse is it happened when i was away for 2 days. 😂

DKoKoMan
07-21-2017, 06:10 PM
Ugh that's brutal. My nitrates go between 10-25ppm and phosphates are 0.03 (Hanna). I am carbon dosing right now to try and drive the nitrates down instead of WC. My guess is the large WC were encouraging the dino growth with the extra trace elements. What were you dosing for your carbon source?

crimper
07-21-2017, 07:02 PM
What were you dosing for your carbon source?

None at the moment, I remove most of my fish and transfered them on my fowlr. I only have one wrasse and a pair of clowns left on my frag tank. I have a pretty low nutrients at the moment. If I need to, I will try NOPOX or maybe biopellets.

ReefMadness
07-23-2017, 06:45 AM
i'm at the point where i just want a positive ID on what exactly this is and why aquaforest salt/dosing components seem to have fueled it . it shares qualities of diatoms, dinoflagelletes and cyano which doesn't help either.
currently i'm just doing a weekly 15% water change, i've stopped dosing any carbon products and have opted out of using probiotic salt in favor of just normal reef salt. i turkey baste corals that are looking stressed from the algae but i try not to disturb it so as not to spread it any further.
hoping to create a slide this week to establish exactly what it is.

DKoKoMan
07-23-2017, 09:33 AM
i'm at the point where i just want a positive ID on what exactly this is and why aquaforest salt/dosing components seem to have fueled it . it shares qualities of diatoms, dinoflagelletes and cyano which doesn't help either.
currently i'm just doing a weekly 15% water change, i've stopped dosing any carbon products and have opted out of using probiotic salt in favor of just normal reef salt. i turkey baste corals that are looking stressed from the algae but i try not to disturb it so as not to spread it any further.
hoping to create a slide this week to establish exactly what it is.

IMO... I would suggest biweekly water changes for a while. I found that this has really kicked back the bloom in addition the RedSea NOPO-X has seemed to help. I have noticed that the algae has receded and doesn't appear to be showing bubbles as much in the photo-period. I will keep you posted as things progress.

This is definitely a PITA!!! For the record I am still using AF Reef Salt, so if it continues to bloom I will be changing back to the IO or RC.

ReefMadness
07-23-2017, 02:53 PM
yea probably not the worst idea. i wish i could say it's relieving to hear others are struggling with this as well but this stuff is hideous and i wouldn't wish it on anyone.

DKoKoMan
07-24-2017, 02:49 AM
If your like me... it's worth trying because that nasty stuff takes over fast. It got to the point where I was like nothing to lose attitude.

hunggi74
07-24-2017, 07:45 AM
Can we agree that we all were/are using AF salt of some sort? And we all have this outbreak of dinos? This community is very small and if we are all experiencing this then something is definitely up with the salt. I have been using AF Reef for almost a year now. I do biweekly 25% wc. I also dosed Comp123 and Strontium and Potassium and Flourine... My NO3 are high at 25-50ppm on Salifert but PO4 remains low at 0.02-0.04 on my Hanna. I thought it was the imbalance of nutrients that caused the dinos but now I'm not so sure.
I hope you can keep them at bay without having to use chemicals. Dinox will work but it's hard on SPS especially ones that are affected by the dinos. I read that Vibrant works on dinos as well but didn't see any results when I dosed it.
Any one successfully beat the dinos and have their corals make it through unfazed?

DKoKoMan
07-24-2017, 08:03 AM
I am convinced I'm dealing with dino or diatoms and they appeared when I started doing weekly WC wth AF Reef Salt.

ReefMadness
07-25-2017, 01:26 AM
i'm following another thread where a couple of guys are having luck with using a uv sterilizers to assist with nuking whats suspended in the water. i'm almost considering trying it myself.

DKoKoMan
07-25-2017, 05:29 AM
Keep me posted. My nitrates are now 2-5ppm and 0.00 on phosphate using the Hanna. If this comes back strong I am starting to think it may be indestructible.