Cyanobacteria Primer

KathyC

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Let me get this straight. You are using pond chemicals in sw?
Ponds are not much more than large FW 'tanks'...lol And was Warren said, it can be used in FW or SW. I mentioned 'pond' supply places as they frequently carry the entire line of Microbelift products, including the Special Blend.
I think The Pet Barn in Franklin Square carries it and I know that Dee's Nursery in Oceanside has it too.
 

Awibrandy

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Ponds are not much more than large FW 'tanks'...lol And was Warren said, it can be used in FW or SW. I mentioned 'pond' supply places as they frequently carry the entire line of Microbelift products, including the Special Blend.
I think The Pet Barn in Franklin Square carries it and I know that Dee's Nursery in Oceanside has it too.
Ha ha K, I think that I pretty much know that ponds are nothing more then glorified FW tanks as I have had both within the past 36 yrs. as you already know;)
My ? to pecan2phat was solely on the products use with SW, since when I went to Microbelift's site I saw no indications that any of their products are to be used in SW. Heck I couldn't even find the "Special Blend". Even through their search feature what came up was a special blend of food for pond fish if I recall correctly.:)

Thanks for the info. on The Pet Barn carrying it. If my fowlr gets hit with the slime again. Which I sincerely hope it does not. I did end up dosing it with "RedSlime Remover" on Sunday, and so far the tank is clear of the darn plague... Only time will tell. I had used the stuff many many years ago, and it worked then so I expect it to work now as well.
 

PolandSpring

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im confused with how you siphon the water through the filter sock...do you put that water back in the tank after? and then just clean the filter sock with all the cyano inside it?..I am just having an outbreak in my tank for the second time in about a month and a half and i just want this gone. It is the ugliest thing to look at!
 

prattreef

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Siphon the water through the sock into the sump and then clean the sock. This way you can work your way through the tank without the water level dropping. If you don't have a sump I guess you could siphon through the sock into a bucket and pour the water back in.
 

18oreefer

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Thank you for getting all the short fixes rite on how they do not address the root cause. Letting the cyano grow for a little while and then siphoning it out is the same principal as a turf scrubber. I scrape off a cup and a half of hair algae every week. That has to be pulling some kind of nutrients out.
 

jayuws

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I'm surprised that no one mentioned snails. I have golden astrae snails that love cyano. In fact they have gotten rid of almost all of it in my tank. The only problem is they seem to go for it when it's dense and don't bother with it if it's just starting. But this is the first time that my cyano is controlled. Of course this means that hair algae or some other nitrate eater will start to be a problem. But I love going the natural way of getting nitrates out of my tank. I'd rather pull clumps of algae out of my tank rather than possibly not feeding my tank enough. But that's just me. My dream tank will have a fully stocked refugium that completely turns all detritus and excess food into plant food and then house plants. How awesome would it be to have a mature mangrove as a houseplant. ...Sorry,,,I was fantasizing again.
 

jaa1456

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I have a question, On the part about turning your lights off for 3-5 days to kill the cayno and then turning them on and running carbon and you GFO, because of the dying bacteria releasing the nutrients back into the water. Why would they release the same nutrients back in? They feed off of the nutrients and should remove them as they feed. And also why not run the carbon and GFO from the very start to help keep the nutrients minimal to begin with? Although in a new tank those nutrients do not start to appear till the end of a cycle anyways. And just my 0.02 cents I do not do any water changes for the first 2 months, to allow all the nutrients to be used up. No nutrients equals no food, no food equals death. that is if you add no livestock within this time period that way you are not introducing any food to the tank.
 

jaa1456

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Beerfish, The water changes remove the waste yes, but also there are trace elements in the new salt, you might have heard of them. Which are nutrients and are foods for certain bacterias besides just corals. So yes it does make sense. And not only that doing a water change may affect the tanks cycle. possibly slowing it down or what ever else it might do.
 

mcarroll

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Very good article! (And from 2008!!)

The concept of farming cyano is the only real gap, IMO. (...and understandable given the timeframe of writing.)

Farming cyano (from the original post) is based on cyano's various abilities at conserving and fixing nutrients from its environment.

Especially certain species' ability to fix N2 from the atmosphere. Assuming all other non-nitrogenous nutrients (macro, micro, trace, et al.) are available as necessary (which you don't assume in practice), then you wind up with "fertilizer-worthy" cyano mats to harvest.

The key here is that cyano is bringing something (N2-nitrogen in the farming example) to the table, so to speak, that other "better" algae like coralline cannot bring and which allows cyano to monopolize available nutrients. (ie bloom)

Availability (ie excess) of micro and trace nutrients along with a deficit of macro nutrient(s) is why cyano blooms.

If we can supply that component which the cyano is furnishing (often a lack of simple N or P due to one or both running down due to an imbalance in the system) then we shift the competitive environment in favor of (e.g.) coralline algae, or at least green algae, and away from "more competitive" algae like cyano (or worse).

IMO...add this to your cyano solutions list:

Part 1: The excess micro and trace nutrients can be cut back by avoiding dry/processed foods that have vitamins or other supplements added as much as possible. (I.e. feed whole, natural foods as much as possible. Live is best. No surprise, right?) Dry, processed foods are extremely useful in certain circumstances, so use your judgement...not calling for a ban on flake food or anything like that. ;) I do recommend conservative use of an auto-feeder, however, to make sure additions of dry foods are carefully controlled.

Part 2: The ecosystem niche that cyano exploit can be closed by correcting the macronutrient situation by testing/dosing potassium nitrate and/or potassium phosphate as needed to maintain minimal, non-zero, non-limiting levels of N and P.

Other thoughts:
Of course corrections like this can take weeks or even months to take effect at a visual level (4-5 weeks seems typical, but not universal)....so manual cleaning like scrubbing and siphoning still can't be beat for what they do....and patience is a must.

Water changes should be consistent. Very-infrequent water changes might support algae blooms by supplying small spikes of micro and trace nutrients rather than being a source of stability. Algae will be the benefactors of (high or low) nutrient spikes or other disturbances where corals will be the benefactors of stability. I would suggest constant (automated) or weekly water changes if at all possible. If you don't do water changes, then I'd probably keep not doing water changes.

Having lots of bare rock or sand provides a large area for algae settlement as well as a natural phosphate source....cover your rock as fast as possible....with coral or coralline algae, ideally. Starting with totally dead rock (100% naked aragonite) seems to throw a lot of favor toward pest-algae settlement, for what it's worth. (Aragonite is an excellent phosphate binder, BTW...but that's another topic.)
 

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