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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My high-lighting 30 gallon jungle aquascape is always struggling with cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) and I am really getting sick of it :angryfire. It is being caused by almost 0 nitrates (I am not sure why but most of my tanks are like that) and am asking the common and terrible question: how do I get WORSE water quality? I have really know experience with adding nitrates so I am just wondering where to find it, how it is done, how much I need, what dosage, for how long, etc. Just the basic instructions.I would just use the The "One-Two Punch" Whole Tank Algae Treatment, which I love and works great on cyano, but it keeps killing my vals which I am currently selling. So, how does the nitrate treatment work?

Any advice, experiences, or tips are welcome :grin2:!
 

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To raise nitrates you can start dosing nitrogen fertilizer.

Just an FYI, in my 5 gallon betta tank I was able to kill cyanobacteria using hydrogen peroxide. And I also increased the amount of nitrogen I dosed. And it hasn't come back since.

My main tank got some because I moved a plant from the other tank and it had some on a few leaves. I thought it would just go away because the nitrates in my main tank are around 20ppm. But after a few weeks it spread to half the tank. I couldn't use H202 because the shrimp did not like it. So I ended up getting chemiclean and it worked great and everyone was happy during the treatment.

Here is a link to the product:

http://www.bigalspets.ca/chemiclean-aquarium-treatment-2-g.html

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nitrogen ferts? Could you go into more detail? I'm not quite sure what those are, or where to get them...although it is probably pretty obvious knowing myself :grin2:.
 

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Nitrogen ferts? Could you go into more detail? I'm not quite sure what those are, or where to get them...although it is probably pretty obvious knowing myself :grin2:.
Consider Calcium Nitrate..
Plant Foods - eLawnGarden

i'll let the more chemically inclined to yea or nay it..
 

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KNO3 dry powder many sites sells it. It does K and N.

I had cyano almost 1 year in 2012. When i started dosing N only, it remained. When i started dosing N and P, cyanobacteria lessened a lot the week after, and disappeared completely after many months, without using any chemicals, but patience and normal tank maintenance.

Michel.
 

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Just got done reading this article and thought of your problem

Some organisms, such as Cyanobacteria, purple bacteria and Heliobacteria, can make use of the unusable light discarded by the plant kingdom, in this case, light outside the PUR range required by plants, which is why Cyanobacteria thrive in lighting conditions that include more yellow light energy.

Reference: Red Slime Cyanobacteria

*For further reading (references) about PAR:
*Photosynthetically Active Radiation
*http://www.aquariumpros.com/articles PDF/lamptypes.pdf
 

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I use potassium nitrate, bought from a chemical supply house. You can also buy it from people selling it here in the For Sale forum, or from places like Amazon.com. (Amazon sells it as a hydroponic fertilizer.)

Once you get rid of the nitrate deficiency, the cyano should fade away.

If you don't want to wait, try this stuff:

Amazon.com : Ultralife Blue Green Slime Stain Remover : Aquarium Treatments : Pet Supplies

Gets rid of cyano in a few days, and is safe with plants and inverts. (You must fix the nitrate deficiency, though, or it will come back.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Both Potassium Nitrate and Calcium Nitrate (the two ferts suggested) have an extra mineral in them (Potassium, Calcium)... what are the effects of these minerals in the tank? They won't raise hardness will they? Also, how much would I need to dose to get my Nitrate to about 20 ppm? Sorry for the noob questions; I have had no experience in this area!
 

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BGA is the easiest algae to deal with for me. Just use a blackout method. I did mine for 60 hours and it was totally clear after that. It will not harm your plants or critters.

I think the 1-2 punch is more for dealing with BBA and GDA. Actually I don't even see the point of 1-2 punch if your tank is balanced well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Alright, I just did some more research and now I am really confused... almost every website said that cyano feeds on nitrates and that low nitrates is one way to prevent them? Have
I been miss informed?

Bump:
Yes they will raise hardness over time, especially calcium nitrate.

Did you get a chance to read my post about light color and cyano above ?
The link doesn't work...

Bump:
BGA is the easiest algae to deal with for me. Just use a blackout method. I did mine for 60 hours and it was totally clear after that. It will not harm your plants or critters.

I think the 1-2 punch is more for dealing with BBA and GDA. Actually I don't even see the point of 1-2 punch if your tank is balanced well.
I am afraid that this would only treat and not cure the problem... how long should the blackout be if this was a treatment I used? I am afraid that if it was to long, it would hurt the plants. Also, how would I feed the fish?
 

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During the blackout, you need aeration. No feeding, no lights, no peeking either. The fishes will be fine, and the shrimps too. Plants may suffer a bit if they are unhealthy, but they will bounce back.

Recommended blackout is 72 hours, but I did mine for only 60 hours - but it was just as clear as there was nothing left. Do a WC after this.

Yes, this treats only the symptoms. It resets the tank but after that, you get to start over. BGA are caused by 0 to low nitrates. Put some nitrates or stock it with lots of fishes. If your bio filter is working well, they will convert it to nitrates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Alright, I just did some more research and now I am really confused... almost every website said that cyano feeds on nitrates and that low nitrates is one way to prevent them? Have
I been miss informed?
This is still confusing me... can someone explain?
 

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According to this, a short read.

When Nitrates become to low cyano reverts to acquiring its own Nitrate by dissolving N2 and uses light to carry the process further to ammonia. From there it converts to nitrate.

With this in mind to ellimenate cyano, a reduction in nitrates will cause the cyano to revert to producing its own nitrate for growth but it has to have a light source to carry this out, reducing nitrates and a black out period should do the trick.

=================

Cyanobacteria have a remarkable ability to store essential nutrients and metabolites
within their cytoplasm. Prominent cytoplasmic inclusions for this purpose can be seen
with the electron microscope (e.g. glycogen granules, lipid globules, cyanophycin
granules, polyphosphate bodies, carboxysomes) (Fay and Van Baalen, 1987). Reserve
products are accumulated under conditions of an excess supply of particular nutrients.
For example, when the synthesis of nitrogenous cell constituents is halted because of an
absence of a usable nitrogen source, the primary products of photosynthesis are
channelled towards the synthesis and accumulation of glycogen and lipids.
Dinitrogen fixation is a fundamental metabolic process of cyanobacteria, giving them the
simplest nutritional requirements of all living organisms. By using the enzyme
nitrogenase, they convert N2 directly into ammonium (NH4) (a form through which
nitrogen enters the food chain) and by using solar energy to drive their metabolic and
biosynthetic machinery, only N2, CO2, water and mineral elements are needed for growth
in the light. Nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria are widespread among the filamentous,
heterocyst forming genera (e.g. Anabaena, Nostoc) (Stewart, 1973). However, there are
also several well documented examples of dinitrogen fixation among cyanobacteria not
forming heterocysts (e.g. Trichodesmium) (Carpenter et al., 1992). Under predominantly
nitrogen limited conditions, but when other nutrients are available, nitrogen fixing
cyanobacteria may be favoured and gain growth and reproductive success. Mass
developments (often referred to as "blooms") of such species in limnic (e.g. eutrophic
lakes, see Figure 2.2 in the colour plate section) and marine environments (e.g. the
Baltic Sea) are common phenomena world-wide.
Many species of cyanobacteria possess gas vesicles. These are cytoplasmic inclusions
that enable buoyancy regulation and are gas-filled, cylindrical structures. Their function
is to give planktonic species an ecologically important mechanism enabling them to
adjust their vertical position in the water column (Walsby, 1987). To optimise their
position, and thus to find a suitable niche for survival and growth, cyanobacteria use
different environmental stimuli (e.g. photic, gravitational, chemical, thermal) as clues.
Gas vesicles become more abundant when light is reduced and the growth rate slows
down. Increases in the turgor pressure of cells, as a result of the accumulation of
photosynthate, cause a decrease in existing gas vesicles and therefore a reduction in
buoyancy. Cyanobacteria can, by such buoyancy regulation, poise themselves within
vertical gradients of physical and chemical factors (Figures 2.3A and 2.3B). Other
ecologically significant mechanisms of movement shown by some cyanobacteria are
photomovement by slime secretion or surface undulations of cells (Häder, 1987; Paerl,


Complete article here

http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/resourcesquality/toxcyanchap2.pdf


I would also think if you have the ability to change the wave length of your light from yellow greens to blues it would keep them from regrowing. Cyano apparently has the ability to utilize all of the visible wave lengths but it has to go through an adaptation period to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
According to this, a short read.

When Nitrates become to low cyano reverts to acquiring its own Nitrate by dissolving N2 and uses light to carry the process further to ammonia. From there it converts to nitrate.

With this in mind to ellimenate cyano, a reduction in nitrates will cause the cyano to revert to producing its own nitrate for growth but it has to have a light source to carry this out, reducing nitrates and a black out period should do the trick.

=================

Cyanobacteria have a remarkable ability to store essential nutrients and metabolites
within their cytoplasm. Prominent cytoplasmic inclusions for this purpose can be seen
with the electron microscope (e.g. glycogen granules, lipid globules, cyanophycin
granules, polyphosphate bodies, carboxysomes) (Fay and Van Baalen, 1987). Reserve
products are accumulated under conditions of an excess supply of particular nutrients.
For example, when the synthesis of nitrogenous cell constituents is halted because of an
absence of a usable nitrogen source, the primary products of photosynthesis are
channelled towards the synthesis and accumulation of glycogen and lipids.
Dinitrogen fixation is a fundamental metabolic process of cyanobacteria, giving them the
simplest nutritional requirements of all living organisms. By using the enzyme
nitrogenase, they convert N2 directly into ammonium (NH4) (a form through which
nitrogen enters the food chain) and by using solar energy to drive their metabolic and
biosynthetic machinery, only N2, CO2, water and mineral elements are needed for growth
in the light. Nitrogen-fixing cyanobacteria are widespread among the filamentous,
heterocyst forming genera (e.g. Anabaena, Nostoc) (Stewart, 1973). However, there are
also several well documented examples of dinitrogen fixation among cyanobacteria not
forming heterocysts (e.g. Trichodesmium) (Carpenter et al., 1992). Under predominantly
nitrogen limited conditions, but when other nutrients are available, nitrogen fixing
cyanobacteria may be favoured and gain growth and reproductive success. Mass
developments (often referred to as "blooms") of such species in limnic (e.g. eutrophic
lakes, see Figure 2.2 in the colour plate section) and marine environments (e.g. the
Baltic Sea) are common phenomena world-wide.
Many species of cyanobacteria possess gas vesicles. These are cytoplasmic inclusions
that enable buoyancy regulation and are gas-filled, cylindrical structures. Their function
is to give planktonic species an ecologically important mechanism enabling them to
adjust their vertical position in the water column (Walsby, 1987). To optimise their
position, and thus to find a suitable niche for survival and growth, cyanobacteria use
different environmental stimuli (e.g. photic, gravitational, chemical, thermal) as clues.
Gas vesicles become more abundant when light is reduced and the growth rate slows
down. Increases in the turgor pressure of cells, as a result of the accumulation of
photosynthate, cause a decrease in existing gas vesicles and therefore a reduction in
buoyancy. Cyanobacteria can, by such buoyancy regulation, poise themselves within
vertical gradients of physical and chemical factors (Figures 2.3A and 2.3B). Other
ecologically significant mechanisms of movement shown by some cyanobacteria are
photomovement by slime secretion or surface undulations of cells (Häder, 1987; Paerl,


Complete article here

http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/resourcesquality/toxcyanchap2.pdf


I would also think if you have the ability to change the wave length of your light from yellow greens to blues it would keep them from regrowing. Cyano apparently has the ability to utilize all of the visible wave lengths but it has to go through an adaptation period to do so.
I use 4 23 watt cfls that are 6500K...that is on the blue/red side of the spectrum.
 

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Thats the same bulbs I'm getting ready to use. I was doing some reading on removing the yellow-green portion of the spectrum just in case I run into a cyano problem myself.
 
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