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Cynobacteria/Red Slime Algae: A Success Story (Long)



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 6th 04, 02:25 AM
Bobby Bhamra
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Default Cynobacteria/Red Slime Algae: A Success Story (Long)

Well, I spent years fighting what seems like a loosing battle with
consistent Cynobacteria battles (I always seemed to have perfect levels of
nitrite, ammonia, phosphate etc.). It used to get everywhere in my tank
spreading like wildfire. After 3 years its seems to have finally gone. Heres
how I done it, hopefully it may help some of you out!

The following seems to have made no difference:
- Cleaning; Removing the rocks and scrapping the crap off. Helped but always
returned within hours
- Frequent water changes; Even though I used RO and a gravel cleaner, it
never seemed to help
- Silica/Phosphate remover; complete waste of money
- Good water chemistry and quality

What I believe had no affect to significantly reduce the problem (but helped
a little):
- Different lighting; every combination of T8 lighting tubes
- Live sand bed; added at an expensive cost. Had to remove more then three
quarters of the sand.
- Increased water circulation; added 2 power heads
- Aggressive cleaning to remove all traces of it in the tank.
- Using a poly filter and high retention carbon

So what I believed helped most:
- A powerful skimmer; I bought a Deltec MC500 ... absolutely awesome. The
crap it took out of the tank absolutely stank! (its been in there for 2
months prior to the tank being cured)
- Better water circulation and increased water drain/return through sump;
Add a second drain pipe to my overflow box and adjusted the powerheads.
- Washed the food (after defrosting in tank water) with clean fresh water
i.e. not putting in the tank the water that had defrosted with the food (the
fish dont seem to mind)
- purchased a sand shifting goby

the above seemed to help alot, but it still came back in small patches.

So ... What finally got rid of the stuff?
Using different salt!

I had read about this and finally tired it. I always used TMC salt and
pretty much swore by it. What really changed my mind to try something
different was when I went to my LFS one day and saw that their tanks had
outbreaks of Cynobacteria (and had never had before) . They used to sell a
couple different salts but had recently changed to TMC only (so you have to
assume that's what they used in their system). I managed to source some Reef
Crystals salt. First water changed made no difference and I could see my
sand taking on that familiar tint of pink. I made a second water change
after a week or so and the stuff hasn't returned since (and every day I
could see it reduce). I also read that changing the salt mixture every 6
months should help it as well (something about the bacteria not liking
change!)

So in summary, if your having problem with Cynobacteria try ...
1. Get yourself a better skimmer
2. Wash your frozen food
3. Use different salt (and change brands every 6 months)
4. Significantly increase water circulation and flow
5. Do frequent water changes with RO

Trust me with a little patience it will go!

HTH

Bob


  #2  
Old April 6th 04, 02:54 AM
John N. Gretchen III
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Default Cynobacteria/Red Slime Algae: A Success Story (Long)

Great post Bob! I have been contemplating adding a second drain pipe to
my overflow box. Thanks

Bobby Bhamra wrote:
Well, I spent years fighting what seems like a loosing battle with
consistent Cynobacteria battles (I always seemed to have perfect levels of
nitrite, ammonia, phosphate etc.). It used to get everywhere in my tank
spreading like wildfire. After 3 years its seems to have finally gone. Heres
how I done it, hopefully it may help some of you out!


John N. Gretchen III
Port O'Connor TX
http://www.tisd.net/~jng3

  #3  
Old April 6th 04, 05:20 AM
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Default Cynobacteria/Red Slime Algae: A Success Story (Long)

Ditto, Great post, I'm looking at getting a better skimmer, and some
Tunze Turbelle's (if I can ever get some in stock)

home.comcast.net/~fish.tank


On Mon, 05 Apr 2004 20:54:46 -0500, "John N. Gretchen III"
wrote:

Great post Bob! I have been contemplating adding a second drain pipe to
my overflow box. Thanks

Bobby Bhamra wrote:
Well, I spent years fighting what seems like a loosing battle with
consistent Cynobacteria battles (I always seemed to have perfect levels of
nitrite, ammonia, phosphate etc.). It used to get everywhere in my tank
spreading like wildfire. After 3 years its seems to have finally gone. Heres
how I done it, hopefully it may help some of you out!


John N. Gretchen III
Port O'Connor TX
http://www.tisd.net/~jng3




http://home.comcast.net/~fish.tank/
  #4  
Old April 6th 04, 04:46 PM
Phil O'Connor
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Default Cynobacteria/Red Slime Algae: A Success Story (Long)

Always had cyano problems, and more recently dinoflaggelates. The cyano seems
reduced, but the dino is going strong.

-I've always run an excellent skimmer (AquaC Remora, on my 46 bowfront)
-I alwasy thaw frozen food in fresh RO water, never tank water
-Always use Instant Ocean.
-Have tons of water current.
-Frequent water changes with RO.

So the only recommendation I havent tried here is the salt. And I gotta say,
I'm skeptical. I'm not saying you're not right, I'm just saying I see no basis
for that doing anything. Who knows, tho.

One thing that made my blood go cold when reading your post is about your sand
bed. I'm planning to switch from crushed coral to DSB shortly, and I was under
the impression cyano wont adhere to sand. You cant vaccum a sand bed so how
in blazes do you clean it?!?!? Now I'm thinking I'm just gonna be buying into
more hassles of having a sand bed thats 10 times harder to clean than my CC.
*sob*

You didnt mention what your nitrates have been thru this. All recommendations
on helping my tank (none of which have worked) are geared towared reducing
nitrates. But,ya know, my nitrates are around 20-40ppm. Thats not excessive.
Although I will say my dinoflaggelates showed up shortly after my nitrates
tested off the scale when I noticed erratic fish behavior, so I did a quick
emergency 30% water change. (and nitrates have held at 20-40 ever since).

Well, maybe someday, I'll get to post a success story like this myself :-)

Bobby Bhamra wrote:


So in summary, if your having problem with Cynobacteria try ...
1. Get yourself a better skimmer
2. Wash your frozen food
3. Use different salt (and change brands every 6 months)
4. Significantly increase water circulation and flow
5. Do frequent water changes with RO

Trust me with a little patience it will go!

HTH

Bob


  #5  
Old April 7th 04, 12:13 AM
Kelly
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Default Cynobacteria/Red Slime Algae: A Success Story (Long)

Have you found salinity or water temperature to effect the cyno at all?


  #6  
Old April 7th 04, 12:36 AM
Bobby Bhamra
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Default Cynobacteria/Red Slime Algae: A Success Story (Long)

Like I said Phil it was the only thing I was skeptical about too ... and it
took me 3 years to change my mind. I do truely believe that it was a
combination of a few factors, however the change of salt seemed to be the
only thing that finally stopped it coming back. I would say its well worth a
try (but it took a couple of water changes to take effect).

my nitrates tend to be in the 20-40ppm as well ... it doesn't really bother
me that much as i dont keep any inverts (or plan to) ...

I still plan to switch back to a live sand bed ... during my Cyno attacks, i
ended up "peeling" the stuff of the sand using a tank vacuum. Needless to
say, a layer of sand would come up with it. there was nothing i could do
about it! Very expensive!

"Phil O'Connor" wrote in message
...

So the only recommendation I havent tried here is the salt. And I gotta

say,
I'm skeptical. I'm not saying you're not right, I'm just saying I see no

basis
for that doing anything. Who knows, tho.


John I would strongly recomend this! And you dont need to clamp the starter
line as the water flow keeps it going (smart!). I've got a Eheim 1060 which
I am able to use without "shortening" in my sump

"John N. Gretchen III" wrote in message
...
Great post Bob! I have been contemplating adding a second drain pipe to
my overflow box. Thanks



  #7  
Old April 7th 04, 12:48 PM
Happy'Cam'per
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Default Cynobacteria/Red Slime Algae: A Success Story (Long)

Hello Reefers
FWIW
I have not got a marine tank (yet) but I do have experience with planted
tanks and Cyanos. According to a plant mailing list I'm subscribed to it
seems that cyano appears in tanks that are nutrient defficient. There is a
tight bond between NO3 and PO4. Phosphate is needed in order for plants to
take in Nitrates. If either of these falls below a certain level thats what
opens a window for the BGA to thrive, high DOC coupled with low nutrient
levels can be disastrous. I have tested this myself and with optimal levels
of NO3 & PO4 (and excellent water quality) the BGA is 99% gone. Maybe you
reefers can apply this same principal to your setups?? Just a thought
I really doubt that Cyano is related to bad salt mixes.
--
**So long, and thanks for all the fish!**


  #8  
Old April 7th 04, 01:42 PM
Marx
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Default Cynobacteria/Red Slime Algae: A Success Story (Long)

Many belives, that exccesive PO4 causes cyano, and there are advices to
put DI filter after RO to reduce it (?)

  #9  
Old April 7th 04, 01:48 PM
Rod
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Default Cynobacteria/Red Slime Algae: A Success Story (Long)

Many belives, that exccesive PO4 causes cyano, and there are advices to
put DI filter after RO to reduce it (?)


that was a few years ago.. here is a post made by Eric borneman, after he
attended the NCRI.. th ethought is that cyano is not fueled by PO4. It is
heavily related to nitrates, temp salinity and current.. here is the link (the
cyano part is about 2/3s down the page..
http://www.reefs.org/library/article/e_borneman4.html
Rod Buehler
www.asplashoflife.com
  #10  
Old April 7th 04, 02:40 PM
Happy'Cam'per
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Default Cynobacteria/Red Slime Algae: A Success Story (Long)


I'm not sure I explained myself correctly, so here's an "in other words"
version
Lets say you have a reef setup with a sump. You are growing Caulerpa or
macro alga in order to get nitrates down, caulerpa is a photosynthesizing
plant that needs NO3 and PO4 in order to produce the sugars that are needed
for survival. The caulerpa will only take up no3 as long as there is po4 in
the water column. Once all the nitrates get used up that leaves po4 in the
water column for all sorts of algae to thrive on (algae can survive on very
little no3). BGA will show up, but, if you ADDED more nitrates (say
10-15ppm) then the nutrient balance is restored and the bga will start to
dwindle away. this works vice versa with no3 & po4. You need to have the
nutrients in a specific range ALL THE TIME. For freshwater plant tanks the
perfect ratio for N&P would be 10:1. You need to focus on nutrient balance
in the water column and to grow good plants, don't focus on the algae. Give
the "ECOSYSTEM" what it needs and it will thrive. PO4 can cause BGA but not
directly, it will only cause BGA if there are no more nitrates!

I can imagine that alot of you run into this problem where you add a sump to
grow macro algaes in order to combat unwanted algaes in the display tank.
The macro algaes thrive in the sump for a while as there were nutrients in
the water column for it to feed on. But as the macro algaes grow and
nutrient uptake demand becomes higher eventually you will either run out of
po4 or no3, in which case its time to start adding those missing nutrients
back to the water column, unless you have a high fish load or do heavy
feedings. I suppose the optimal system would be a perfect balance between
fish poops and plant nutrient uptake. I think seldom would any of us have
this perfectly balanced system, it would need our divine intervention

For those of you with BGA problems, get your test kits out and see what the
ratios are for n & p in your setups. It will be interesting to see the
results. Dosing the water column with ferts would only be needed if the
balance between fishload, and fish feeding was out of whack, but this is
logical.
--
**So long, and thanks for all the fish!**


"Rod" wrote in message
...
Many belives, that exccesive PO4 causes cyano, and there are advices to
put DI filter after RO to reduce it (?)


that was a few years ago.. here is a post made by Eric borneman, after he
attended the NCRI.. th ethought is that cyano is not fueled by PO4. It is
heavily related to nitrates, temp salinity and current.. here is the link

(the
cyano part is about 2/3s down the page..
http://www.reefs.org/library/article/e_borneman4.html
Rod Buehler
www.asplashoflife.com



 




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