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cyanobacteria-blue/green algae - expert help needed
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pankis
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: 2003.09.03(Wed)20:22    Post subject: cyanobacteria-blue/green algae - expert help needed Reply with quote

I've got a 75 gallon planted discus tank. No ammonia, nitrite, or nitrates to speak of - it's been well established for about three years now. I've got a reverse flow undergravel filter with two powerheads, as well as a magnum 350 doing more filtration. I leave the lights on for 11 hours/day, there are 3 watts per gallon, I inject CO2, and do around a 45% water change once a week. The pH is 6.7, water temperature 82 degrees. My plants are doing pretty good, with no algae problems with normal alage like hair, black, spot, etc.

Cyanobacteria on the other hand...about 10 months ago I was overrun with it, and it totally smothered some of my plants. Someone suggested I treat with maracyn, so I did. It worked like a charm, killed it all off, and I didn't see it again in my tank till this last week. So, I treated it again, the same way I did before, however, this time it didn't even faze it. I'm now faced with what appears to be maracyn-immune cyanobacteria starting to cover my plants and gravel.

My question is this: What the heck do I do now?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

-Travis
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Waffleman
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Joined: 23 Mar 2003
Location: Buffalo, NY

PostPosted: 2003.09.03(Wed)21:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

What caused the algae the second time around? Did you add new plants, fish?
Are you sure it is BGA ?
I had very good success with the Maracyn. Don't know what to use/do next.

I would check "the Krib" at http://www.thekrib.com for more info.

Keep us posted.

Waffleman
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pankis
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: 2003.09.04(Thu)11:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure what happened the 2nd time - it just came back, I didn't add or take anything away from the tank. I'm positive it's BGA - slimy, smelly, fish won't eat it, smothers plants, doesn't grab on, so it's easy to slime it off the leaves....

I'm doing more water changes in an effort to get rid of it. I read mike's post from awhile back where he got rid of it with a blackout for awhile - any comments from people that have tried that? How does a blackout affect plants like ruben swords, hygro, etc?

-Travis
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naclh2ofly
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Joined: 07 Jun 2003
Location: MD's Eastern Shore, USA

PostPosted: 2003.09.04(Thu)19:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Travis,
The blackout will not effect your plants..... they will bounce right back.

Make sure to do a water change before the blackout and remove as much of the BGA as possible. Keep the tank totally dark, wrap blankets or towels around it and do not feed your fish or even peek. Once the blackout is done do another water change.

Good luck
Fred
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Huntress
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Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Houston TX

PostPosted: 2003.09.04(Thu)19:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it just me or am I the only one wondering why there are no nitrates in a planted tank? Just a thought....
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naclh2ofly
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Joined: 07 Jun 2003
Location: MD's Eastern Shore, USA

PostPosted: 2003.09.04(Thu)20:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for pointing that out Huntress..... I must of glossed over that bit of info.

Travis, you need to up your nitrAtes to 5~10 ppm. No or low levels of nitrAte can possibly cause BGA as can very high levels.

Fred
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revengeishere
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Joined: 23 Jul 2003

PostPosted: 2003.09.04(Thu)20:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is what I did when I had BGA 5 weeks ago:

I changed 20% water like I usually do. Black out for 4 days. It is a planted tank(lightly though), too. After about 4 days, the BGA was gone. Did another 20% water change. And added more plants, this time, the BGA has yet to return. And yes, the plants will bounce back. Thats why this method works. The BGA are good at adapting at low nutrient levels, and over taking the tank, but the higher plants, because they are more complicated, can tolerate this up to a certain point. I have bright loving plants in there too, but they didn't die, and still growing.

I dunno about nitrates. I'd rather have mine below 0-10ppm, and minimal artificail filters. I rely on my plants to do the filtration for me(Plants prefer ammonia over nitrates, this is the reason our terrestrial fertilizers are moslty urea).

Good luck.
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pankis
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: 2003.09.05(Fri)15:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does a blackout affect the fish at all? - I'm thinking especially of my Discus. Food as well...would going without food that long hurt them?

If I raised the level of nitrates, might I get rid of the BGA that way?

-Travis
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revengeishere
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Joined: 23 Jul 2003

PostPosted: 2003.09.05(Fri)18:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, it should not affect your fish. I don't know about discus. I don't know if they are really that sensitive like what most people think(I think the discus only looks sensitive and the fact that its expensive makes it even look more "sensitive"). I won't count on my opinions though, I'll leave thius to discus experts....
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naclh2ofly
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Joined: 07 Jun 2003
Location: MD's Eastern Shore, USA

PostPosted: 2003.09.06(Sat)6:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Travis,
I've not fed my fish for up to 10 days while on vacation, no ill effects. No ill effects with being in the dark for 3~4 days. Be sure to reintroduce the light gradually though.

Adding nitrAtes should keep the BGA from returning, if that is the sole cause for your BGA. Simply adding nitrAtes may not be enough to kill it off though. You want to try and maintain your nitrAte levels 5~10 ppm. Your plants are using up all available nitrogen(regardless of form)and you may need to supplement.... try KNO3 or Flourish Nitrogen.

Fred
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