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  • cyanobacteria

    Heya guys/gals, I have a bit of a mystery on my hands. In my 77g I have an outbreak of Cyanobacteria. I have read to combat this pest, you should reduce photo-period, cut back on food and make sure you have enough water flow. I went on vacation for a week, and during that time my lights went from 10hr period to 6hrs, and my fish were fed 1/8 tsp food everyday. Before I left I did a 40% water change, being careful to get as much of the bacteria as I could (even gently wiped the leaves and scrubbed the driftwood) I am running a Ehiem pro3 filter, with outflow pipe in the middle of the tank, with half the flow going right and half going left. When I came back the bacteria had resurfaced, and it doesn't look much better then when I left. Not running co2 and have not been adding ferts for 3 weeks (when the bacteria first showed up). I picked up some new plants, but don't want to add them until I have this problem sorted out.
    Fish- 2x angels, 6x lemon tetra, 4 otos
    Temp- 78
    Nitrites/ammonia- 0

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
    Nobody believes the fat man til it's too late

  • #2
    How are you on nitrate? This is one of those measurements that can go low or high but that should never be zero.

    Also, how is your flow pattern throughout the tank? I've had success with making sure I have lots of flow strafing the gravel line. I usually use a powerhead unless it is a small tank, then I just put an oversized filter on it and that sorts that out.

    This plays into another important point, do you have plenty of dissolved oxygen? And by extension, lots of fast growing plants? Lush plant growth, even?

    Also, is the tank getting any direct sun at all for any length of time?
    "You are much better off with no numbers than meaningless ones. The minute you believe numbers uncritically, that is, without understanding how they're calculated and how well they measure whatever they're supposed to measure, you will generate a breed of employee who will produce numbers and not results. Your data-processing system will then serve not to describe reality but to lie about it."

    -Micheal S. Montalbano

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    • #3
      I don't have a nitrate test, will have to see if I can find one. Hmm the strafing substrate sounds like a good idea. Currently I am using the outflow pipes that came with the filter, with half pointing right and half pointing left (from the center back wall of the aquarium). I have the entire back wall (~46") filled with Hygro, planted 1/2 inch apart and 2 rows deep. Midground and foreground were dwarf hair grass, but the Cyano seems to have suffocated and killed 3/4 of them. I don't have an airstone, so other than the plants I don't think I have lots of dissolved O2, my fish aren't gasping though either. No direct sunlight, I have blackout curtains in my office.
      Thanks for the response
      Last edited by Isaisbreetai; 07-11-2015, 01:47 PM.
      Nobody believes the fat man til it's too late

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      • #4
        It sounds like the you might not be getting enough oxygen to your plants' roots so the BGA has exploited this to their own ends. I bet that's what's going on.

        So yes, nitrate and get some circulation down there by the gravel. I know it's odd to think that plants need oxygen, but it's their roots that respire like us.

        BTW, what kind of substrate are you using?
        "You are much better off with no numbers than meaningless ones. The minute you believe numbers uncritically, that is, without understanding how they're calculated and how well they measure whatever they're supposed to measure, you will generate a breed of employee who will produce numbers and not results. Your data-processing system will then serve not to describe reality but to lie about it."

        -Micheal S. Montalbano

        Comment


        • #5
          using Fluval Stratum (sp?). I was just reading, some people are suggesting increasing co2(which I could do with diy), and ferts to combat it as well, thoughts?
          Nobody believes the fat man til it's too late

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          • #6
            I also agree with this for the simple fact that decreasing your nutriment, including light & CO2, would make the plants weaker and give the BGA and other algaes a better toehold.

            I know it seems counterintuitive, but the best thing to do is to give the plants what they need like before, help them bounce back and dominate while you combat the algae.

            I looked up Fluval stratum and it looks to be a Japanese volcanic soil, like akadama. Is it crumbly and a bit mushy? If so, another strategy might be to aerate the soil, poke some holes in it with a chop stick. This is just a band-aid of course, but it's something more you can try.

            If push comes to shove, you can vacuum up or otherwise collect the BGA. Your nuclear option would be penicillin, namely erythromycin, but that comes with a lot of risk to your biological filter. Your filter bacteria are also gram-positive like BGA.
            "You are much better off with no numbers than meaningless ones. The minute you believe numbers uncritically, that is, without understanding how they're calculated and how well they measure whatever they're supposed to measure, you will generate a breed of employee who will produce numbers and not results. Your data-processing system will then serve not to describe reality but to lie about it."

            -Micheal S. Montalbano

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            • #7
              Doesn't seem crumbly, but slightly mushy. Thanks for all the advice, you are awesome.
              Nobody believes the fat man til it's too late

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              • #8
                Just an update, I have got this under control now. I increased the circulation in the tank, by adding a small submerged filter, replaced some old stem plants with new versions of the same, and planted my new mid and foreground plants. Anytime I have seen any BGA crop up I have vacuumed it up right away. Thanks for your help Ukamikazu
                Nobody believes the fat man til it's too late

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                • #9
                  Cool and you're welcome.
                  "You are much better off with no numbers than meaningless ones. The minute you believe numbers uncritically, that is, without understanding how they're calculated and how well they measure whatever they're supposed to measure, you will generate a breed of employee who will produce numbers and not results. Your data-processing system will then serve not to describe reality but to lie about it."

                  -Micheal S. Montalbano

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                  • #10
                    Another tank rescue gone well.
                    The Planted Aquarium Blog

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