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Help me identify this Rusty Slime?

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by Apprentice, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. Apprentice

    Apprentice Lifetime Members
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    I currently have an issue with some kind of rusty looking slime on my plant leaves. It is definitely not diatoms. I can rub it off with a little effort. By the end of the week it is coated again. It also develops on my rocks.


    The only other issue I have had is GDA. I tried the wait & scrape approach. First 3 weeks and then 6. No joy. Now I am trying a vigorous daily clean glass, 33% water change, 2ml h202 dosing and a couple of hours U.V. sterilizer and re-dose ferts. So far so good on the GDA.


    I still seem to be getting the rust buildup on the plan leaves. Mainly the Bacopa Moneiri , Hydrocotyle , Bolbitus, and Anubius.


    My well water has hydrogen sulfide and I suspect high iron. I run the water through a carbon filter and even water I have stored in jugs show no signs of rusty deposits. My non co2 ¼ gallon shrimp bowl has no issues.


    I have scoured the web and can't find any similar posts or photos. I just need some help in identifying what the issue is. Say before investing in an R.O. unit and changing my water parameters only to find it doesn't fix my problem. If for example it is ferrous iron that is oxidizing and depositing on the heterotrophic bacteria built up on plant leaves? I have included some photo below along with one shot of the tank when it is cleaned up.


    Is this some by product of the GDA or something in my water?


    Any help identifying this would be greatly appreciated.


    Tank Specs:


    4 Gallon Schuber Wright


    5 x 3 watt Cree LED DIY fixture with variable potentiometer set at 55 micromols PAR.


    9 hour photoperiod.


    Substrate:. Activ-Flora floracor black.


    Pfertz Root tabs.


    E.I. dosing daily via 2 B.R.S. dosing pumps.


    Filter Aquaclear 20 with D.I.Y. skimmer.


    Filter media Fluval Pre-filter sponge, 2 Aquaclear sponges, Purigen and Seachem Matrix.


    P.H. from well water tap degassed 7.8.


    GH 9


    KH 9


    Ammonia 0


    Nitrite 0


    CO2 Equipment: Milwaukee regulator and P.H. controller. 20 oz. Paintball tank and adapter. Diffused thru filter using bamboo chopstick.


    CO2 on 1 hr. before photo-period . PH 6.4 at start and maintained thru photo-period.


    Flora: Hemianthus Calithemoides, Fissidens moss, Eleocharis Parvula, Hydrocotyle Sibthorpioides,


    Bacopa Moneiri, Bolbitis heudelotii and Anubius Nana Petite.


    Fauna: 4 Cardinal tetras.


    Maintenance:


    Weekly: 75%water change. Light substrate vac. Clean Pre-filter sponge. Remove damaged leaves. Clean glass and rocks. Trim plants.


    Monthly: Clean filter media and change Purigen. Inspect and or clean motor well. Inspect and or change bamboo diffuser.


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    #1 Apprentice, Mar 12, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2015
  2. jerrybforl

    jerrybforl Lifetime Members
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    Kinda hard to tell from the pics. Maybe if you can add a few pics of what it looks like in your tank.
     
  3. Apprentice

    Apprentice Lifetime Members
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    Thanks for responding JJ. Here is one shot I just took. You can see it best on the lower leaves of the Bacopa. It's kinda of a yellowish brown. Resembles dried spicy brown mustard. After I clean leaves of plant during weekly maintenance it re-appears mid week. I can take more ( possibly better) shots tomorrow. Just fading and don't feel like breaking out the tripod right now. Let me know if it's good enough. If not I'll take more


    .


    Regards, Rob




    .jpg

    IMG_4702.jpg
     
    #3 Apprentice, Mar 12, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 12, 2015
  4. Apprentice

    Apprentice Lifetime Members
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    Anyone have any ideas? Thought? Questions? Anyone?


    Bueller.....Bueller........Bueller....
     
  5. Apprentice

    Apprentice Lifetime Members
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    OK! So I finally got sick and tired of hand rubbing individual plant leaves. I went to RO/DI water from my local grocery store. About .49 cents a gallon. So far so good. No more rusty slime on plant leaves! :D Maintenance was a breeze this week.


    Also changed hard scape. Noticed KH and PH climb with softer water. Vinegar and weak acid tests I have determined to be useless for testing rocks. Placed old hardscape rocks in DI water 24 hours. Raised KH by 1 DKH. Now using volcanic rock which I actually like better. Pictured below.





    My current water parameters:


    KH 3


    GH 5


    PH 7.3


    I am probably going to buy a portable RO unit for my tank and drinking water. Since I am not sure what I am drinking?


    Still if any one reading this has had a similar experience, please post. Even though I found a solution it just drives me nuts not knowing the cause definitively.


    Any thoughts, experiences or opinions welcome.


    Regards, Rob

    View attachment 10183

    View attachment 10184

    IMG_4809.jpg

    IMG_4812.jpg
     
    #5 Apprentice, Apr 5, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2015
  6. lee3

    lee3 Lifetime Members
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    Looks like diatoms, that light tan colour, rubs off easily.... mine did similar, only about 100x as much, stopped after a few weeks.....
     
  7. Apprentice

    Apprentice Lifetime Members
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    Thanks for the response Lee. Not diatoms though. Tank has been cycled for a few years. This stuff more of a film, unlike diatoms that can be easily siphoned off. Takes a bit of effort to rub off. If I leave it on a leaf it eventually changes from a rusty color, to brown and then black. Eventually the leaf will die if algae/bacteria? is not scraped off.


    I rent and have well water. The water definitely has hydrogen sulfide in it (rotten egg smell and why I use a carbon filter) and I believe high iron from the rust stains I see in toilet bowl and shower.


    Toilet tank also gets a black slime algae that other posts on-line say is an iron reducing bacteria? I use bleach to get rid of it temporarily.


    Hoping to find someone who has had similar circumstances. Most forum searches lead to diatoms or cyanobacteria. I have ruled out both of these. Cyanobacteria and diatoms are both algae that I have had plenty of experience with and can eradicate easily.


    This stuff has hung on for over a year. Only changing water supply has worked.


    Regards, Rob
     
  8. lee3

    lee3 Lifetime Members
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    Take a look at the pics in my post from yesterday - does it get like that??
     
  9. Apprentice

    Apprentice Lifetime Members
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    Hey Lee. Looked at post " Brown Fuzzy Algae". Unfortunately pictures are not displaying. Did you select upload attachments and then select insert (Thumbnail Small, Medium, Large, or Fullsize) ?? You should see image in draft after selecting size. Maybe you did all that after making original post and forgot to hit post reply again??





    I read from your description it says fuzzy. The stuff I had was not fuzzy. More slimy . Let me know when you repost photos and I will look again.


    Regards, Rob [h=2][/h]

    View attachment 10185

    IMG_4833.jpg
     
  10. lee3

    lee3 Lifetime Members
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    I did have trouble with those pics, but they seemed to go through.... I've redone them now, and added more info, hopefully they will show up....
     
  11. Apprentice

    Apprentice Lifetime Members
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    Lee I can see photos now. Also posted on your thread.

    Not exactly. It would get to that color if I left it on long enough. But it was more of a thin slimy coating with a slight griity feeling when I rubbed it off leaf.


    I ruled it out as cyanobacteria 6 months ago by treating whole tank for 10 days with erythromycin. No effect on it. Also if cyanobacteria I don't believe going to RO water would have eradicated it.


    Would be interested in seeing the microscopy image on your post. Pretty cool to have a wife that can do that for ya!


    Regards, Rob
     
  12. Javajawa16

    Javajawa16 Guest

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    I have been dealing with the exact same issue. I assumed it was diatoms as most descriptions I've seen state that you need to rub it to remove the film. My shared photo shows how my Red Tailed Shark likes to nibble at the film so it looks spotty. If given the chance I'm sure it would take over my My nerites don't venture up onto my stemmed plants but all the substrates rock/gravel/wood is clean.


    I have a finnex ray 2 on a similar 10hr photoperiod on a 55gal


    I have tested silicates to be very low (0.0-0.3ppm)


    Flow is excellent turning +8x volume an hour.


    If you find something that works let me know. I've not been able to do a true black out and I've seen pretty conflicting posts on why that would or would not work since diatoms are not true algae. But, all my reading could be for naught if this is not actually a diatom issue.


    Cheers,
     
  13. Apprentice

    Apprentice Lifetime Members
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    Hi Javajawa16. Sorry for the delayed reply. Haven't been checking forum as of late. Definitely not diatoms. Diatoms can be easily brushed off or siphoned off leaves and hard scape. Looks some what similar to what I had. A little more red in color.

     


    Curious, is you water supply city or well water? Does house have old iron pipes? (Possible source of iron bacteria). Any rotten egg smell to water? (Possible signs of hydrogen sulfide).


     


    As far as what worked for me it was running my well water through a RO/DI unit and reconstituting with equilibriium for GH and Baking soda for KH. My well water has iron and hydrogen sulfide bacteria, This I assumed was the cause. Not 100% conclusive. But the use of RO/DI water fixed the problem.


     


    Regards, Rob
     
  14. jbs47

    jbs47 Lifetime Members
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    Sounds like my well water in Cent Fl. RO/DI cured my problems with hat I always assumed was rust bacteria in the well...
     
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