Cyanobacteria in the brackish shrimp tank
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Old 01-15-2013, 03:24 AM   #1
Rob in Puyallup
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Cyanobacteria in the brackish shrimp tank


I have a colony of "blue green algae" in my new opae ula tank. Wondering if there is a safe way to remove it before it takes over.

I only feed powdered bluegreen algae (a coincidence?) to this tank and do so maybe twice a week.

I have adult and a few larva opae ula in this tank along with some MTS and a couple pipipi snails.

I've read that erythromycin is safe for fish and the beneficial bacteria, just curious if it is with everything else.

Thanks!
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:25 AM   #2
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Erythromycin should not harm your invertebrates, but will wipe out the BGA quite readily.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:04 AM   #3
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Guess I'm a bit of a worry wart when it comes to medicines in a tank. Think I'll try lowering the light levels for starters.

Water movement can help, too, or so I've read, but with that the shrimp hide.

Decisions...
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:17 AM   #4
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If I'm not mistaken bga is actually a bacteria , and not an algae. It won't respond to a lower light schedule.

I know that the easiest and safest way to get rid of it is to just dose erythromycin which is an antibiotic.
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Old 01-16-2013, 01:47 AM   #5
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Yup, it's a bacteria, but a photosynthetic one.

I think.

Have you used erythromycin with shrimp, Liam?

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Old 01-16-2013, 02:08 AM   #6
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Been Googling "aquarium antibiotics", seems, (according to one source, anyway), that some antibiotics won't work in aquariums containing high pH water, that they bind with calcium. It further states that erythromycin can wreak havic with the nitrifying bacteria in the filter bed.

Hum.

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Old 01-16-2013, 04:07 AM   #7
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cyano is a bacteria that is photosynthetic. its most limiting factors are phosphorus, iron, molybdenum, in that order. it is capable of nitrification and denitrification, so it will grow in the presence of ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite, but can also survive with only dissolved atmospheric n2. it is only capable of fixing nitrogen at about 10% of its maximum capacity during periods darkness, so although a blackout usually will not kill it by itself, it usually will stop it from spreading.

black outs work best at night because the stratification that occurs between different saturation levels of different gasses. at the bottom where most cyano is, the oxygen gets used up while the cyano uses it, while there is more oxygen at the surface, where dissolved gasses can exchange with atmospheric air.

removing phosphorus will slow it down dramatically, since it needs phosphorus to produce the lining of its cells. also, if you can find anything that removes molybdenum, it will prevent it from spreading as fast. molybdenum is used in special cells called fix nitrogen, which also happen to be the fastest reproducing cell. they also have a thick encapsulating layer around them, which helps to prevent oxidation through the cell membrane.

removing iron works just like it would with any plant. no iron, no chlorophyll. i dont think i need to explain that one.

if you want more information on cyano, look into getting Wetzels book, "Limnology, Lake and River Ecosystems" third edition. chapter 15 deals with nothing but algae and cyanobacteria.
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:56 AM   #8
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Thanks for that, Auban,

I just stopped at Petco and found a product that removes phosphates and silicates. Will try that... Will remove as much of the cyanobacteria as I can by hand first.

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Old 01-18-2013, 12:36 AM   #9
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Decreased the lighting. Removed the LEDs, down to just a comparatively dim 50 /50 fluorescent.

Removed as much of the cyanobacteria by hand as possible. Still some attached to bits of live rock and on the sand in places where my meat hooks couldn't reach.

Have a phosphate test in the mail, will test the tank before adding the resin.

Shrimp doing great in the shade.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:22 AM   #10
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Got the phosphate test kit. The problem isn't elevated levels, test barely changes color.

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Old 01-20-2013, 04:43 AM   #11
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After lowering the light levels in the tank, the growth of the remaining bits of cyanobacteria seem to have slowed and they are no longer "pearling".

Seems that's good news!

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Old 01-20-2013, 05:26 AM   #12
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I am in the middle of a huge issue with this bacteria. So far I have been using

http://www.amazon.com/Ultralife-Reef...algae+aquarium

with great success in my 55 gallon turtle tank.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:00 AM   #13
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Ummm... Not sure something safe with turtles is safe for inverts.

I have noticed, since cutting way back on lighting, that the new cyanobacteria is actually blue green instead of green brown.

Not really a step in the right direction, I'm sure.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob in Puyallup View Post
Ummm... Not sure something safe with turtles is safe for inverts.

I have noticed, since cutting way back on lighting, that the new cyanobacteria is actually blue green instead of green brown.

Not really a step in the right direction, I'm sure.
I am a bit confused and I don't mean any offense but if you had taken the time to follow the link you would have read in the description

Quote:
Ultralife Reef Blue Green Algae Remover UltraLife Blue Green Algae Remover is a revolutionary time tested product, that will effectively and safely remove Blue Green Algae quickly from all Freshwater Fish, Plants and Invertebrates. UltraLife BGR contains natural cellular matter, select biological accelerators and special supplements proven effective in removing Blue Green Algae from Freshwater Fish, Plants and Invertebrates and is Safe for desirable macro-algae, nitrifying bacteria and fish.
I have used both Ultralife and Maracyn (Erythromycin).

The Ultralife in just my turtle tanks and the Maracyn in both my turtle tank and my shrimp tank. They both worked but I found the Maracyn took a lot more doses (about 6 -7 days worth) and it came back a few months afterwards and the Ultralife only took 2 doses 48 hours apart. The Ultralife was far more economical for the 55 gallon, not sure if that is an issue. To dose 55 gallons of Maracyn for 7 days it took me 6 packets each day which is around $1 dollar per packet. The ultralife got rid of it so far with only the 1 tube that I bought (only $14).

Either way you should have all the information you need from this thread. changing the photoperiod will only strengthen the cyanobacteria in my experience. The only way I was able to get rid of this stuff is with dosing.

http://www.amazon.com/Mardel-Freshwa...ywords=maracyn
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:39 AM   #15
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I did read it, and found little information on what the product contains, except that it doesn't contain erythromycin.

I will do a Google search on it to see what others have to say.

Thanks!
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