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Old 02-29-2012, 07:06 PM   #16
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Also, I wonder if different species behave differently? I mean, spirulina is from two species of cyanobacteria....
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:14 AM   #17
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I fought it for the better part of a year. I finally listened to Tom Barr's advice and performed a multi-pronged attack, details of which I captured in this post:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/al...ml#post1706838

Good luck with it. Once you have it, it's hard to get rid of!

Will

Last edited by willbldrco; 03-02-2012 at 04:45 AM.. Reason: Corrected misspelling
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:37 AM   #18
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Because cyanobacterial blooms often develop in eutrophic lakes, it was originally
assumed that they required high phosphorus and nitrogen concentrations. This
assumption was maintained even though cyanobacterial blooms often occurred when
concentrations of dissolved phosphate were lowest. Experimental data have shown that
the affinity of many cyanobacteria for nitrogen or phosphorus is higher than for many
other photosynthetic organisms. This means that they can out-compete other
phytoplankton organisms under conditions of phosphorus or nitrogen limitation.
Toxic Cyanobacteria in Water: A Guide to Their Public Health Consequences, Monitoring and Management; World Health Organization; edited by Chorus and Bartram, 1999. Section 2.2.4
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Old 03-02-2012, 04:59 AM   #19
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Good point, Canuck. However, it DOES NOT state that high phosphates DO NOT contribute to cyanobacteria blooms. It states that cyanobacteria in nutrient-deficient conditions will out-compete other organisms for available phosphorous, and no where have I stated that high phosphorous concentrations were required. There are any number of examples in the scientific literature that support my assertion that high phosphates in a body of water triggers cyanobacteria blooms, with run-off from agriculture being the primary cause. This is a world-wide problem.

Even in nutrient-deficient situations it is not as simple as saying “the cyanobacteria get all the available phosphorous”. There are too many other factors affecting uptake: photoperiod, pH, alkalinity, temperature, etc.

The real failing in this as an argument to my point is that an aquarium is a closed system and nutrient-deficient aquariums are seldom the rule, no matter how hard we strive for that state. Food, metabolic wastes from fish, fertilizers, leaching from wood/rocks/ornaments, nutrients suspended/dissolved in water from water changes, and other factors all contribute to the nutrients in an aquarium. By nature, aquariums tend to be nutrient-rich environments.

After 20+ years I’ve learned that applying my professional knowledge/experience to my hobby isn’t always a straight across affair. I hafta analyze what applies to the hobby and what does not. Anyways, methinks a pithy quote would have been premature.

The important thing for the aquarist in terms of cyanobacteria is the following:

"Phosphorous is the major nutrient controlling the occurence of water blooms of cyanobacteria in many regions of the world, although nitrogen compounds are sometimes relevant in determining the amount of cyanobacteria present. However, in contrast to planktonic algae, some cyanobacteria are able to escape nitrogen limitation by fixing atmospheric nitrogen.. The lack of nitrate or ammonia, therefore, favors the dominance of these species. Thus, the availability of nitrate or ammonia is an important factor in determining which species are present.”

Toxic Cyanobacteria in Water: A Guide to Their Public Health Consequences, Monitoring and Management; World Health Organization; edited by Chorus and Bartram, 1999. p. 6.

I realized several posts back I should have used "excess" rather than high, or “excess and /or high”. Regardless of wording, the end deduction is the same: phosphates must be available to promote cyanobacteria growth. If all the available phosphorous in the aquarium is not being used by plants or algae, the cyanobacteria has a foothold for growth. Limit the source of the phosphates and ya limit the cyanobacteria.

Cheers,

WYite
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:22 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Wyomingite View Post
Doesn't really matter whether ya believe me or not, Plantbrain. The literature tells the story.
Poorly applied literature references tells a story, but does not support your claim. Was there shallow dense submersed vegetation in each study? No.......

Was this an aquarium? No........

Misapplied references do not offer support.

Particularly when we have many many aquariums where folks dose KNBO3 and KH2Po4 at 20ppm and 2 ppm respectively or higher, and have for many years(going on 2 decades now).

Those results falsify your claim.
There is not and, buts or maybes about it, it does not say WHY BGA forms, blooms, grows well etc........it merely states what cannot be the the cause independent of other factors.

For your claim/hypothesis to be correct, we'd have to see most folks getting BGA, but that is simply not the case. In natural systems lacking dense wetland plants, loading N and P can cause algae blooms. If you add fertilizer to a dense submersed plant lake, you get more weeds.

Quote:
I'd hafta say ya don't have phosphates in excess of what yer plants are using.
I have 3-7 ppm as PO4 at all times. Clearly quite non limiting to any and all BGA and any and all algae. This is NOT something new either, I've had high PO4 and have suggested folks to dose it since 1996 in articles.

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Yer plants are well-established and ya have enough light to keep growth at a pace that keeps algae and cyanobacteria blooms under control. If yer also dosing CO2, then the plants have enough carbon to use up the phosphates, leaving nothing or little left to promote a cyanobacteria bloom.
Plants(macrophytes, this will include Chara and Nitella) are not competing with algae or BGA for nutrients. Light perhaps, but not CO2 or nutrients. The point where P becomes limiting is roughly 3ppb for most algae and BGA, for submersed plants, it's around 50ppb. This is over an order of maginitude.

CO2 is even a larger factor.

Plants do quite well if the focus and their needs are met, that is the goal here, not to limit or outwit algae/BGA.

Here is a much better study that supports what we see in aquariums:

http://lakewatch.ifas.ufl.edu/LWTEAM...macrophyte.pdf

These lakes actually have aquatic submersed plants in them.
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:24 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willbldrco View Post
I fought it for the better part of a year. I finally listened to Tom Barr's advice and performed a multi-pronged attack, details of which I captured in this post:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/al...ml#post1706838

Good luck with it. Once you have it, it's hard to get rid of!

Will
Focused on the plants, good CO2 etc.
Not the algae.......
Algae can be annoying though.
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:45 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Wyomingite View Post
Good point, Canuck. However, it DOES NOT state that high phosphates DO NOT contribute to cyanobacteria blooms. It states that cyanobacteria in nutrient-deficient conditions will out-compete other organisms for available phosphorous, and no where have I stated that high phosphorous concentrations were required. There are any number of examples in the scientific literature that support my assertion that high phosphates in a body of water triggers cyanobacteria blooms, with run-off from agriculture being the primary cause. This is a world-wide problem.
I agree that BGA will have a lower threshold of limitation for P and N than algae or plants. This makes biological sense. There are some larger BGA's and then some really small phytoplankton algae, so you might have some crossover if you went to extremes.

You have mentioned PO4 a lot, and say high amounts, but you have not stated once what those amounts are curiously.

I have.

I've shown one aquarium(I got plenty more where this came from) where I've dose 5ppm 3x a week of PO4, this is far beyond limiting concentrations/dosing for any plant or algae or BGA.

Here's another one of my tanks:



This tank has had this same dosing routine going on 6th year.
No algae issues. I've had a tiny bit of BGA below the gravel on the glass every so often, but it's never been any issue.

So where is all my algae if what you state is true?
I'd like to know.

I think this hypothesis that limiting PO4 cures algae was lost in this hobby starting about 1995 and it was toast by 1997.

Quote:
Even in nutrient-deficient situations it is not as simple as saying “the cyanobacteria get all the available phosphorous”. There are too many other factors affecting uptake: photoperiod, pH, alkalinity, temperature, etc.
So perhaps it has little to do with PO4 after all
In other words, BGA/algae are not caused directly, independent of other factors, but say 1-5ppm of PO4 from KH2PO4 dosed 1-3x a week.

Quote:
The real failing in this as an argument to my point is that an aquarium is a closed system and nutrient-deficient aquariums are seldom the rule, no matter how hard we strive for that state.
I agree, so why fight it, embrace the plant's needs and focus on what makes them thrive, algae are rarely an issue if this is done. Why that is.....is another matter, but where plants grow well/best, they have ample ferts, ample CO2, ample light. If their growth suffers, then epiphytic algae can attack and cover the plants.

Healthy plants define the system where there's 30-50% coverage or more, not the nutrients. If there are no plants in the system, then these smaller algae and BGA will define the system.

Quote:
I realized several posts back I should have used "excess" rather than high, or “excess and /or high”. Regardless of wording, the end deduction is the same: phosphates must be available to promote cyanobacteria growth. If all the available phosphorous in the aquarium is not being used by plants or algae, the cyanobacteria has a foothold for growth. Limit the source of the phosphates and ya limit the cyanobacteria.

Cheers,

WYite
So why do my tanks after close to 20 years grow like mad, 300-400 species all thrive, grow as healthy if not more healthy than the best examples in the hobby?

This is not one or two tanks for a week or two, these are 50+ tanks, 1600 gallons down to 1 gallon, over decades time spans.





A good myth is hard to kill.
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:51 AM   #23
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Well, a little offended, Mr. Barr? Misapplied references do not offer support, eh? Well the reference you supplied isn't an aquarium either, and is just as misapplied then. My sources focused on the biology of cyanobacteria, which will be consistent in any environment.

http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/algae.htm#blue-read the section on BGA.

http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_...xcyanchap8.pdf - read the section about limiting cyanobacteria growth through phosphorous control, and the very first paragraph about competition with aquatic plants.

I'll quote this again:

"Phosphorous is the major nutrient controlling the occurence of water blooms of cyanobacteria in many regions of the world, although nitrogen compounds are sometimes relevant in determining the amount of cyanobacteria present. However, in contrast to planktonic algae, some cyanobacteria are able to escape nitrogen limitation by fixing atmospheric nitrogen.. The lack of nitrate or ammonia, therefore, favors the dominance of these species. Thus, the availability of nitrate or ammonia is an important factor in determining which species are present.”

Toxic Cyanobacteria in Water: A Guide to Their Public Health Consequences, Monitoring and Management; World Health Organization; edited by Chorus and Bartram, 1999. p. 6.

Bottom line is cyanobacteria are phosphorous dependent. Period. No one is yet to dispute that. This is not a hypothesis, nor a theory. This is clearly stated in the literature, in more than one source. Quote your source stating cyanobacteria aren't phosphorous dependent or drop it. Seriously.

The presence of excess phosphorous doesn't guarantee that a cyanobacteria bloom will occur, I never stated that. But cyanobacteria blooms do occur when there is excess phosphorous. Disprove that. That it hasn't happened in your tank does not prove that excess phosphates and excess nitrates are not the cause of cyanobacteria blooms. Thats like saying that I drive above the speed limit and haven't had an accident, so no one who drives above the speed limit can have an accident. Your references to overdosing do not falsify my "claim". And please quote your source that BGA does not compete with plants for nutrients. Anytime two species utilize the same resource, they compete (also see above link.)

The problem stated by the OP was continual cyanobacteria blooms. I didn't offer speculation that it could be low O2 or some other cause. I offered actual conditions that are conducive to cyanobacteria blooms and suggested remediation. What was your reply? Something along the lines of we can't be sure what causes that.

I'm done with this topic. I've obviously upset the apple cart and offended the "in-crowd" and it seems some people aren't willing to keep an open-mind or willing to accept somebody else may have something different to contribute.

Cheers,

WYite
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Old 03-02-2012, 05:45 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyomingite View Post
Well, a little offended, Mr. Barr? Misapplied references do not offer support, eh? Well the reference you supplied isn't an aquarium either, and is just as misapplied then. My sources focused on the biology of cyanobacteria, which will be consistent in any environment.

http://www.thetropicaltank.co.uk/algae.htm#blue-read the section on BGA.

http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_...xcyanchap8.pdf - read the section about limiting cyanobacteria growth through phosphorous control, and the very first paragraph about competition with aquatic plants.

I'll quote this again:

"Phosphorous is the major nutrient controlling the occurence of water blooms of cyanobacteria in many regions of the world, although nitrogen compounds are sometimes relevant in determining the amount of cyanobacteria present. However, in contrast to planktonic algae, some cyanobacteria are able to escape nitrogen limitation by fixing atmospheric nitrogen.. The lack of nitrate or ammonia, therefore, favors the dominance of these species. Thus, the availability of nitrate or ammonia is an important factor in determining which species are present.”

Toxic Cyanobacteria in Water: A Guide to Their Public Health Consequences, Monitoring and Management; World Health Organization; edited by Chorus and Bartram, 1999. p. 6.

Bottom line is cyanobacteria are phosphorous dependent. Period. No one is yet to dispute that. This is not a hypothesis, nor a theory. This is clearly stated in the literature, in more than one source. Quote your source stating cyanobacteria aren't phosphorous dependent or drop it. Seriously.

The presence of excess phosphorous doesn't guarantee that a cyanobacteria bloom will occur, I never stated that. But cyanobacteria blooms do occur when there is excess phosphorous. Disprove that. That it hasn't happened in your tank does not prove that excess phosphates and excess nitrates are not the cause of cyanobacteria blooms. Thats like saying that I drive above the speed limit and haven't had an accident, so no one who drives above the speed limit can have an accident. Your references to overdosing do not falsify my "claim". And please quote your source that BGA does not compete with plants for nutrients. Anytime two species utilize the same resource, they compete (also see above link.)

The problem stated by the OP was continual cyanobacteria blooms. I didn't offer speculation that it could be low O2 or some other cause. I offered actual conditions that are conducive to cyanobacteria blooms and suggested remediation. What was your reply? Something along the lines of we can't be sure what causes that.

I'm done with this topic. I've obviously upset the apple cart and offended the "in-crowd" and it seems some people aren't willing to keep an open-mind or willing to accept somebody else may have something different to contribute.

Cheers,

WYite

I think this hobby and this site needs people like you to contribute your experience and not shy away when others may not agree with what you say. This hobby is far from being completely understood and is ever evolving. There is nothing wrong with questioning the majority. Tom of all people should know this as I'm sure what he was trying to prove with his EI dosing was going against the mainstream when it was first introduced. Everyone needs to contribute their experiences good and bad and make this a hobby that shares information which each other. I have had experiences with BGA and never quite figured out what the cause of it was as everyone always says the same thing about low N and not enough flow. Is the low N the cause of the BGA appearing or is the low N that is present in the system because the cynaobacteria has used up all the N thus resulting in low N?
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:16 AM   #25
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Bottom line is cyanobacteria are phosphorous dependent. Period. No one is yet to dispute that. This is not a hypothesis, nor a theory. This is clearly stated in the literature, in more than one source. Quote your source stating cyanobacteria aren't phosphorous dependent or drop it. Seriously.

The presence of excess phosphorous doesn't guarantee that a cyanobacteria bloom will occur, I never stated that. But cyanobacteria blooms do occur when there is excess phosphorous. Disprove that.
This is my tank right now. The substrate is Akadama Double-Red. I have zero ppm of phosphate. I dose nothing right now except for a very minimal amount of N and K. I am currently experiencing a cyano outbreak that's on just about everything. So, it is absolutely possible for cyano to thrive without the presence of phosphates.

Now... how to actually get rid of it in my tank. The problem is that I can't just load up on nutrients to make the plants happy because the TDS will shoot up higher than it needs to be in a PRL tank.

Anyone with any ideas?

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Old 05-09-2012, 05:17 AM   #26
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Most of those plants are lower light, so you can reduce the light and thus the nutrient demand and dose, but dose light, but not for the algae/BGA, rather, for the plants.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:34 AM   #27
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In research, you MUST HAVE aquatic plants present to suggest nutrients and algae blooms within planted aquariums. Not doing so.... skews the research and does not support your contention. Many studies suggest N and P induce algae blooms, but such systems lack submersed aquatic plants at 30-100% coverage. You need around 30% or more to have the plants define the system from the top down, not bottom up control like with nutrients.

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Bottom line is cyanobacteria are phosphorous dependent. Period. No one is yet to dispute that.
Well of course. That is why it is called an essential element. Why is this even stated?

I stated that higher concentrations of PO4(eg non limiting to both plants and any algae/BGA) do NOT induce BGA in aquariums, if they did, everyone that doses EI would have a lot of BGA, but that is not the observation or the case.

This is independent of any other factors.

So higher levels of PO4 do not induce BGA/algae. You cannot get around this specific planted tank observation. Where there are a high % surface coverage of plants, there is no correlation between nutrients and algae.

I suggest a good read: Bachmann 2002.
http://lakewatch.ifas.ufl.edu/LWTEAM...macrophyte.pdf

What is a limiting range for BGA?
What is the specific species that infest our tanks?
Oscillatoria:
http://133.25.19.145/pdb/images/Prok...ria/index.html

This is about the only genus we have issues with.
So the rest of those species are not particularly specific to aquarium.

The South Florida water management district has a periphyton group, they study BGA crust in the Everglades. Shallow well planted regions. To restore the Everglades back to it's functional state, they need roughly under 10 ppb BILLION, ideally around 3-10ppb or so as I recall. Submersed plants around 50ppb, so you will limit and hurt plants long before you limit BGA via dosing.
It's like trying starve the mice while also feeding elephants at the same time at the same troft.

Quote:
This is not a hypothesis, nor a theory. This is clearly stated in the literature, in more than one source. Quote your source stating cyanobacteria aren't phosphorous dependent or drop it. Seriously.
Here's the disconnect: Equate non limiting values with a required essential element. No one is debating whether P is an essential element. Where did this come from? I never once brought that up.

I simply have siad that at higher concentrations, in the 1-10 ppm range for PO4, 2-3 orders of magnitude higher than the limiting range, that BGA is a non issue due independently from dosing KH2PO4 and KNO3.

You are suggesting that there is dependency.

Above 10-20 ppb, they are independent, it's only when you get well below the limiting values for plants, can you start to limit BGA with P. Few test kits even have decent accuracy and measurement this low, it can be done, but error values of 3ppb and a range of 10ppb or under are extremely tough for the periphyton group, I think aquarist will have a tough time.

Quote:
The presence of excess phosphorous doesn't guarantee that a cyanobacteria bloom will occur, I never stated that.
You suggested it does. Now you want this both ways?

Quote:
But cyanobacteria blooms do occur when there is excess phosphorous.
Right there.

Quote:
Disprove that. That it hasn't happened in your tank does not prove that excess phosphates and excess nitrates are not the cause of cyanobacteria blooms.
Actually it does. Here's the rub: INDEPENDENT of other factors. You do not get to say it is independent and dependent, it is on eor the other, it cannot be both for the same system.
If you have dependency on other factors, of which there may be many, then why even worry about N or P being at a higher level? Non limiting is non limiting regardless.
That's why they use non limiting nutrients to study other factors like light and CO2 for plant growth. It's no longer dependent when you dose that way.
Or if they want to study say just P, they provide all other factors at non limiting nutrient values, thus only P is the dependent variable. The experiment typically has an upper bound(eg non limiting) and a lower bound(DI water etc, no ferts) and then a range of concentrations in between.
Adding more will not induce BGA. If there was dependency independent of the other factors, we would HAVE to have a high % of aquarist who dose KH2PO4 and KNO3 at say 5ppm PO4 and 15-20ppm a week have BGA, that is simply not the case. This clearly demonstrates that adding "excess" PO4 or NO3 does not induce algae or BGA. It's repeatable and has been for about 15 years now in the hobby.

This is not a new thing.

Quote:
Anytime two species utilize the same resource, they compete (also see above link.)
Not if they occupy a very different niche both spatially, temporally and in size. I guess mice and elephants cannot coexist since they are both herbivores eh? Light is about the only thing algae and plants really compete for and this is even much more reduced for the genus that pesters us.

Until you get insanely low values, you are not going to have any competitions and if you do, it'll be the plants that die/stop growing long before the BGA.

Quote:
The problem stated by the OP was continual cyanobacteria blooms. I didn't offer speculation that it could be low O2 or some other cause. I offered actual conditions that are conducive to cyanobacteria blooms and suggested remediation. What was your reply? Something along the lines of we can't be sure what causes that.
I can only be sure of what I can falsify, we can never be 100% certain of cause and aquariums in the little glass box is a very different issue than a lake, or a stream, or the middle of a gyre in the Pacific. We deal with one genus(maybe a couple more, but they are rare) of BGA and controlling it is fairly straight forward.

Mostly through growing plants, not trying to outwit algae.

Paul Sears and Kevin Conlin long ago proposed this:

http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/Fertil...rs-conlin.html

It's just a hypothesis, so I dosed more and waited for algae, instead, I had awesome plant growth and no algae.

Conclusion, the hypothesis must be false(this next part is important)... independent of other factors. It does not say that removing all essential elements is not dependency

Paul even made the statement we need some PO4...and that 0.00ppm is bad and will limit plant growth as well. What I showed was that it need not be in this tight narrow range say +/- 0.1 ppm and a target of 0.2ppm.

I have had high PO4 for the last 15 years and I have many many examples of some nice planted scapes and plant growth, so have many others.

Research is a good place to start, but it does not imply that the same principles work in aquariums. There needs some corroboration in what we see in the field and aquarium. Bachmann's study does that. In a lake without much plant growth % cover, I agree adding ferts will likely increase algae total concentrations and diversity. The key is % plant coverage. Same in our tanks and even in the pond hobby. If you have say 30-50% or more coverage, you likely will have a plant defined system.
Why this is I can only speculate. I do not know much, but I do know that adding a specific non limiting range of nutrients does not induce any algae.

Final note, do not take things personally. This is a discussion about plants, stick to that.
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Old 05-09-2012, 03:55 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by youjettisonme View Post
This is my tank right now. The substrate is Akadama Double-Red. I have zero ppm of phosphate. I dose nothing right now except for a very minimal amount of N and K. I am currently experiencing a cyano outbreak that's on just about everything. So, it is absolutely possible for cyano to thrive without the presence of phosphates.

Now... how to actually get rid of it in my tank. The problem is that I can't just load up on nutrients to make the plants happy because the TDS will shoot up higher than it needs to be in a PRL tank.

Anyone with any ideas?

What's your test kit? Some, such as API's, can detect only orthophosphate
(inorganic phosphate). Cyanobacteria can use organic phosphate.

Just when you type "Cyanobacteria organic" in Google.
The word "phosphorus" will follow automatically...

IME, I've found stopping adding KH2PO4 "helps". But I've to control also
organic matter to get rid of it. When I resumed KH2PO4, it came back again.

I think we're dealing with multifactorial problem. That's why adding
high load of PO4 doesn't create problem for some, including me in the past.
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Old 05-09-2012, 04:01 PM   #29
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Cyanobacteria can enslave other algae to get phosphate.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkeI0LntI9w
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:34 PM   #30
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I've had a problem with cynobacteria in my dwarf hair grass (feels funny saying that). It is really difficult to remove from this plant. However, using the multi-pronged approach suggested earlier in this thread (origins point to Tom Barr) and very maticulous manual removal, I have had a severe decrease in cyno over the last week. I think purchasing another filter for added flow really stopped the spread of it while the other actions have decreased it. For manual removal I shake the plant which detaches the cyno and use my water syphon to suck it up. I originally was using hydrogen peroxide but it harmed the grass so now I'm just using excel. I dose using the EI method and have not decreased my ferts during this time period. I've attached a crummy picture of how the cynobacteria looks in the dwarf hair grass.
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