I'm losing the battle with red slime please help.

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Gozer_1

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My 50 is in it's first stages of early maturity, lots of algae and such. When things started to grow I noticed a "really cool" red algae. It started out slow, didn't spread fast at all, even started turning green. So, I decided that it was just "really cool" red algae and let it grow. OOOPPPPPPSSSSS. This turned out to be Red Slime Algae, and eventually went rampant. I started vacuuming it out once a week but that wasn't enough so I turned to "Red Slime Control". The powder keeps it at bay if I do a 25% change every 4 days. If I go a whole week the red is back in force. I only have one small wrasse, 20 Nassarious snails, and 3 Turbo Grazer snails. I don't overfeed, I use RO/DI water, I have an Aqua C Remora with the Mag 3 and skimmer box, a Rena Filstar xp2, and an xp3, and one Powersweep Powerhead. I use SeaChems Purigen, Seagel, deNitrate, and Matrix, as well as BioStars. I just don't know what else to do. Help with cleanup crews would be most helpful I think. I have looked through packages online but all have one or two animals I am unsure of. One has Queen Conchs, one has Arrow Crabs, both have Sand Sifting Seastars. I don't want a 12" long snail 10 years from now and I am unsure of the Crabs. As for the Stars, I just worry that they will burrow away and die, and I'll have to dig for them.

Sorry for the mega long post, just feeling frustrated.
 

agsansoo

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Now my long answer ... LOL

OPTION 1:
To get rid of the slime or dinoflaglets, turn your tank's lights off for 3 to 4 days. Cover most of the tank with aluminum foil to keep light out. Just leave a window to look in. By the end of 3 days you will probably not have any red slime left, if there is go another day. The tank will look totally red slime free.
Most likely, the slime will slowly start coming back after a couple of weeks. You need to treat the real cause of the outbreak. You have too much phosphates, nitrates or low current in your tank. Fight it by getting a bigger skimmer, more water changes or a refugium and running a PhosBan type phosphate remover. It also helps to run lots of carbon. Use a good quality carbon like Black Diamond. The phos removers helps clean the water up fast. Then, if your skimmer is big enough you won't need to run the phos removers anymore.

The only way to keep the red slime away is to lower your nutrient levels. Shutting off the lights is only a temporary fix. Be patient, and deal with the problem long term. Not with chemicals.

OPTION 2:
To get rid of it take out the rocks that had the slime on them, put them in a bucket of RO water and go at them with a toothbrush. Afterwards rinsing them, that's it. Rocks are left spotless and the slime should not come back if you deal with the real cause.

Good Luck !
 
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Gozer_1

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Awesome thanks for the advice. I think my skimmer is plenty. I use PhosGuard in the skimmer out flow box and Seagel which has a bit of PhosGuard in it. The chemicals were messing with the skimmer, however, so in killing the slime, they allowed the nitrates to rise again. I definitely think it's Nitrate related. I was using regular tap water for a good while. It was one of my first learning experiences you might say, (always test your source first ). My nitrates are down now but only recently as the RO/DI is swapped in with each water change. I have been dreading the ol' rock wash technique, but I may just have too. :-[ A recent local shortage and misinformation at my local shop has left me stranded waiting for salt mix to come by mail. One week since last change and it's trying to be slime city. Bad planning, I guess. DOH. I am thinking about buying 50 gal jugs of Bottled water when I get the salt and just swapping. A mini restart. I have enough established Biological filter media that I think it would have a minimal impact on the bacterial load. Sounds more and more like I may need to do some SERIOUS cleaning.

Thanks again. I'm gonna try the foil and light trick till i get salt mix. Maybe not have to scrub so much. lol.
 
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Gozer_1

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Wow, the foil trick really freakin works. I'm amazed. It works great. Great great. Like wow. Thank you thank you thank you thank you. I don't think I will have to do much rock scrubbing. The stuff really just disappeared. I think the water quality issue will take care of the rest of the problem.
 

agsansoo

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Glad to hear it. ;D How long did you cover your tank ?

As for water quality ... your not alone. I'm still fighting high nitrates. LOL. I think I'll try a DSB bucket next, since the refugium isn't helping that much. Though I have little to no algae in my tank.
 

JGoldinger

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Is your tank near a window?
 
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Gozer_1

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agsansoo said:
Glad to hear it.  ;D  How long did you cover your tank ?

As for water quality ... your not alone. I'm still fighting high nitrates. LOL. I think I'll try a DSB bucket next, since the refugium isn't helping that much. Though I have little to no algae in my tank.
In 2 days I saw a huge difference. After 4 it is mostly gone. I have been cleaning the filter pad everyday with some pretty good gunk comein out. I have my skimmer skimming pretty aggressively as well. As for Algae, me too. I really don't have an Algae problem. I just had this red slime patch show up and let it get out of hand.
 
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Gozer_1

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JGoldinger said:
Is your tank near a window?
No, although I do have a mighty light. It is what was recommended. 48 inch Orbit with I wanna say 300 watts of PC flourescent and actinics, and 4 white led lunar lights. I am pretty sure this problem erupted from my own error. I didn't test my tap water first. It was loaded with silicates and phosphates. Gave me one heck of a diatomacious algea problem. I have been recovering from that slowly. Then my own lack of knowledge kicked me where it hurt. I should have recognized the problem before it was a problem.
I need more clean up crew too.
 
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This tank is now clear. My water quality had gotten very good but I needed to kill off the remaining slime. The cover trick was a life saver. 6 days covered and the slime is under control.
 

armadillo

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That's great news. Once again, BettaCouple saves the day! 8) I'll certainly take a note of the alluminium trick.
 

agsansoo

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They did ? ... LOL
 

sgould

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To get rid of the slime or dinoflaglets, turn your tank's lights off for 3 to 4 days. Cover most of the tank with aluminum foil to keep light out. Just leave a window to look in. By the end of 3 days you will probably not have any red slime left, if there is go another day. The tank will look totally red slime free.
I am guessing you would not want to go this route with corals involved?
 
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Gozer_1

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sgould said:
I am guessing you would not want to go this route with corals involved?
Couldn't tell you.
 

sgould

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Just did a 2 day black out. The Xenia really didn't care for it, but seems to be snapping back fairly quickly. Not sure I would push a 3rd day.
 

agsansoo

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sgould,
So how did it work ? Next time try day 1 actinic lights only, then two days no lights. Then 4th day actinic only again. Day 5 normal light schedule.
 

sgould

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It definately put a dent in the algae and red slime, though I still see a few red spots. I think one more day would have done it, but the Xenia was really starting to look sad, so I didn't want to risk it. Once I opened the tank back up, I did a water change right away and vac'd the bejesus out of about half the substrate. I'll do the other half in a couple days. Interestingly enough, I have some macroalgae that came on the rock with the starburst polyps that seems to have actually grown a bit while the tank was covered up.
 

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sgould said:
I have some macroalgae that came on the rock with the starburst polyps that seems to have actually grown a bit while the tank was covered up.
Good to hear it helped. As for the macroalgae, growth could be from the red slime die-off. Extra nutrients in the water. I never noticed this before. I have only had one outbreak of red slime so far. Though it looks like it wants to come back, noticing bubbles forming on my substrate.

Everyone should remember that even on a reef in the wild, there are cloudy / rainy days. So a few day without light, shouldn't hurt.
 
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agsansoo said:
Everyone should remember that even on a reef in the wild, there are cloudy / rainy days. So a few days without light, shouldn't hurt.
Kinda what I was thinkin'. Stormy seas and such. lol Gotta be some dark days when the clouds are thick eh.
 

sgould

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That logic is exactly what led me to go ahead and attempt it. Had my fingers crossed the whole time,though!
 
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