How can I get rid of cyanobacteria? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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How can I get rid of cyanobacteria?

Hi, I keep a 10 gallon planted aquarium with only shrimp and snails.
It is a low tech tank, and I don't have any special lighting. In fact, the only source of growing light that my plants get is from a large window. Nevertheless, my two different types of plants (one of which I believe is pearl grass, and the other is some type of small sword), were growing quickly and thriving.

Recently, however, my tank started growing cyanobacteria at an alarming rate. I followed some instructions I found online and cleaned the tank, mechanically removed all the bacteria I could, and then left the lights off for three days. I also had the blinds on the window closed during this time. But while stopping my plants from growing, this did not stop the bacteria at all. Whenever I remove the stuff, a few of my plants are always strung with it the next morning.

Is there any way I can stop it for good? If not, I will just have to remove it every day to keep it from poisoning my shrimp.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 02:33 PM
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How can I get rid of cyanobacteria?

Ultralife Red Slime Stain Remover Cleaner. Simple two dose process that has been shown to be safe for pretty much everything. $15 at Amazon chewy petco etc

BTW darkness does little good. It is a bacteria and not an algae as we know it.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diverjoe View Post
Ultralife Red Slime Stain Remover Cleaner. Simple two dose process that has been shown to be safe for pretty much everything. $15 at Amazon chewy petco etc

BTW darkness does little good. It is a bacteria and not an algae as we know it.

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I have used blackouts to clear out BGA. 2-3 days with no lights, an air stone, and algicide with blankets over the tank for complete black out. A multiple day blackout with the product listed above seems like a great idea! BGA needs photosynthesis to survive, so adding a blackout should help with total eradication.



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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-08-2019, 03:04 AM
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I've come to think that cynobacteria is the result of high nitrates and phosphates. Perhaps increasing the volume/frequency of water changes may address the root cause.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 04:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diverjoe View Post
Ultralife Red Slime Stain Remover Cleaner. Simple two dose process that has been shown to be safe for pretty much everything. $15 at Amazon chewy petco etc

BTW darkness does little good. It is a bacteria and not an algae as we know it.

Spot on - it's a bacteria, not an algae. Darkness will have no effect on it - only plants and algae.


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I've come to think that cynobacteria is the result of high nitrates and phosphates. Perhaps increasing the volume/frequency of water changes may address the root cause.

Agreed - I had cyanobacteria in my 5 gal once, and an increased frequency of water changes got rid of it.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 04:57 PM
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[QUOTE=Quicksilver2299;11183311]Spot on - it's a bacteria, not an algae. Darkness will have no effect on it - only plants and algae.

Cyanobacteria is photosynthetic like algae. Darkness may work, but it can affect plants negatively too.

Increase flow (you can go to 10X), make sure plants get all the nutrients they need to outcompete it. Remove manually regularly. Water changes may help, like Quicksilver says.

General and regular maintenance, cleanup filter regularly with water from the tank, vacuum gently over the substrate, don't let the organic matter accumulate too much, water changes.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 08:03 PM
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msjinkzd (Rachel O'Leary) recommended chemiclean to me when I mentioned my cyanobacteria issue while we discussed sale of endlers.
"I actually like using chemiclean (its for red slime algae which is a sw cyano) for dealing with cyano in my fw tanks-it works great and doesnt kill your biofilter."

I've used it on 2 of my 3 infected tanks. Did about a week of treatment following directions-dose, after 2 days do water cahnge, repeat. So far it has cleared up the cyanobacteria nicely. No issues with my fish, plants, beneficial bacteria, or my 'pest' snails (i like them for diatom control). Started doing my 3rd tank today (had to wait to free up the spare air pump to run an extra air stone during treatment-the extra aeration/water movement noticeably helps with treatment).

Due to photobuckets new bs cost for use of images on forums I have deleted all photobucket accounts. I apologize if you enjoyed or found my photos helpful.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 06:53 AM
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Your bioload isn't heavy enough to keep the cycle going. BGA produces it's own nitrogen and can be a sign your tank is deficient in nitrates. Shrimp and snails might not be enough to keep your biological filtration going. If you're doing large water changes that could lower your nitrates further. Chemiclean isn't fixing the root of the problem. 5 day black out would clear it up. The bad thing about BGA is it releases toxins when it dies. It's also toxic to people so don't handle it. Add fish cut back on water changes and make sure you have enough flow and biological media in your filter. Your biological filter needs waste from the fish to sustain itself. 5 day black out clean what ever is left manually. You can get a syringe from the drug store and spot treat with peroxide. Look up online on how to spot treat with peroxide in the aquarium. It can harm your livestock if you overdose so be careful.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Wantsome99 View Post
Your bioload isn't heavy enough to keep the cycle going. BGA produces it's own nitrogen and can be a sign your tank is deficient in nitrates. Shrimp and snails might not be enough to keep your biological filtration going. If you're doing large water changes that could lower your nitrates further. Chemiclean isn't fixing the root of the problem. 5 day black out would clear it up. The bad thing about BGA is it releases toxins when it dies. It's also toxic to people so don't handle it. Add fish cut back on water changes and make sure you have enough flow and biological media in your filter. Your biological filter needs waste from the fish to sustain itself. 5 day black out clean what ever is left manually. You can get a syringe from the drug store and spot treat with peroxide. Look up online on how to spot treat with peroxide in the aquarium. It can harm your livestock if you overdose so be careful.
If its lack of nitrates that's amusing (for me) as my tanks that got cyanobacteria are ones with only my slow growers (anubias). Guess I need some large snails to poop in there.

Due to photobuckets new bs cost for use of images on forums I have deleted all photobucket accounts. I apologize if you enjoyed or found my photos helpful.

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 04:40 PM
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Uhm...disagree - blue green algae thrives in nutrient rich water. I had it once when my nitrates were very high! You might use chemi-pure or some other adsorbant (prolly even activated carbon would help), but I still think a few water changes would be very helpful.
Blue green algae in the aquarium

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Last edited by AbbeysDad; 03-13-2019 at 04:43 PM. Reason: update
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 06:13 PM
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Something you might pick up locally:

https://www.apifishcare.com/product....1#.XIlIGBNKiRs
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 10:04 PM
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ERYTHROMYCIN will kill cyno but for the same reason it kills lots of other things. It is a broad spectrum antibiotic. Chemicleqn and the other I mentioned up top do not jank with the bacteria bed


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 02:30 PM
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So, maybe an ignorant question, but I am confused here. Is cyanobacteria the same thing as BGA? I thought they were different.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsMeow View Post
So, maybe an ignorant question, but I am confused here. Is cyanobacteria the same thing as BGA? I thought they were different.
Same, Blue Green Algae is another term for cyanobacteria.

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