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Old 07-20-2008, 12:58 PM   #1
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Location: Iowa City, IA
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Cyano victory!

I would like to share my victory over the dreaded cyanobacteria.

I started my 29 gal tank in April. I have 130W of CF lighting on for 12 hours daily, a Seaclone skimmer, two modded HOB filters serving as refugia with chaeto and LR rubble, maybe 50lbs of LR, and a 4" DSB. I use only RO/DI water I refill from my local grocery store.

At first my levels were very good, but after a while I noticed a large infestation of the cyanobacteria despite ideal levels of nitrate, phosphate, nitrite, and ammonia. I would remove the slime manually from the sand and within hours it would be regrown.

I changed two things which completely eliminated the cyanobacteria:
  • I improved flow all around: I pointed powerheads back into corners to force flow through the backs of the LR, and also introduced a much stronger powerhead which at first seemed like overkill but now is dispensible. In my 29 gal I have a weak powerhead on the left side pointing to the back to force flow through the LR, I have a strong 380gph powerhead forcing flow from the left to the right of the tank, I have a wavemaker powerhead on the right pointing mostly to the back but also to the right, the discharge of my seaclone emptying into the top right, and the HOB refugia emptying into the back center of the tank.
  • I purchased 2 tiger conchs. These guys are amazing, churning the DSB better than the nassarius snails I have in my tank. They gobbled up the cyano on the sand and now voraciously feed on the algae on the LR. They allow me to feed at a high level, which I feel comfortable doing. I realize that I may have to give one or both of these guys away if I don't think they are getting enough algae to eat.
I did not want to reduce my photo period because I have a condy anemone, palythozoa, and mushrooms which all are healthy but are likely to the low end of their lighting needs in my tank.

I did not want to try antibiotics because I did not want to introduce any additional toxins to my tank.

I hope this may help some of you struggling with cyano.

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Old 07-20-2008, 06:55 PM   #2
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Awesome! I usually don't like to add extra meds to my tanks either. Antibiotics aren't such a great solution since the cyano is bacteria and so is the beneficial bacteria that converts ammonia to nitrates.
Age is relative, you are only as old as you act....of course, this works in reverse....

Questions loved, heeded advice greatly appreciated!

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Good reading about:
Nitrogen Cycle
Fishless Cycling
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