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Old 10-23-2004, 09:21 AM   #1
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How to get rid of cyanobacteria?

Hello,

How does one eliminate cyanobacteria in a reef aquarium? I don't have a quarantine tank to remove the fish and corals.

Are there any solutions or natural remedies to fix this?
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Old 10-23-2004, 09:45 AM   #2
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Have you checked you water for phosphates and nitrates. How is the water flow in your tank and how old are your bulbs. Are they NO of vho bulbs
How much LR is that in pounds???
Cyno caused be excess nutrients low water flow and wrong spectrum lighting helps it grow. Test the water and get back to us...
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Old 10-23-2004, 06:53 PM   #3
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My last test which was a week ago showed:

Amonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 0.1
Phosphates: 0.25

It would be quite possible that there isn't sufficient waterflow in this particular area. My lights are about 2 months old. The amount of live rock I have is 99 pounds. I have in fact had this problem for about six months. I got a Dragon Wrasse which churned up the sand and removed a lot of the problem, but I don't want any in there.

Btw. Those results above have been consistent for the past 6-12 months. I will retest to confirm, but I think you can safely assume they will be the same.

Any suggestions on how I can fix this?


Thank you.
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Old 10-23-2004, 09:36 PM   #4
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I had some Cyno starting to spread on my sand bed and LR.

I blasted the Cyno anywhere I saw it.
I would never give it a chance to really get a good hold on anything for long.

I picked up a wave maker and enough PH to make sure I had good water movement everywhere.

Reduced my MH lighting from 10 hours to 8 hours per day

Ensure my canister filter was cleaned.
A few water changes with salt mixed RO water.

Havent seen any Cyno in weeks.

you should shoot for zero Phosphates
Have you checked the Phosphates in your Top off's and water changes and do you use RO water?

Also dont over feed.
you need to eliminate the source of your Phosphates.
That will help greatly

Just stay on top of it.

Good Luck
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Old 10-23-2004, 09:55 PM   #5
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I have been fighting the same problem. Cyno ussually means an excess of nutrients in the water. This is usslually in the form of nitrates or phosphates. Your phosphates do not look too bad. I just purchased a wave maker for my power heads and started using Chemi-clear by Boyd Enterprises, Inc and the problem cleared up in 24 hrs. It is important to find the cause of the problem however.
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Old 10-23-2004, 10:03 PM   #6
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I have the same problem as you and I'm starting to use a tap water filter, leaving the lights on for a shorter period of time, feeding the fish less, and today I added some Chemi Clean which is supposed to get rid of the Cyno. I'll let you know if it works or not! If you find anything that works for you please post it because it really seems to be a very common problem for a lot of people!
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Old 10-23-2004, 10:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flanque
My last test which was a week ago showed:

Amonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 0.1
Phosphates: 0.25
Its the PO4 .25 is definitely enough to feed a cyno outbreak. You need to find the cause and eliminate it.
1. Do you use RO water? If not your should make the switch and work on doing some water changes. If you already use RO water, test your source water. You may need to add a deionizer to it. This is the most important step.
2. Siphon as much of it as you can. Breaking it up only helps it to spread. You need to do this as frequently as possible.
3. Review your feeding habit. Are you overfeeding? Do the fish eat what you put in at feeding time within a few minutes, or is there food lying around the bottom after? Also, if you use frozen, make sure to drain the as much of the packing juice as you can before adding.
4. Do you have adequate water movement? Any dead spaces in the tank? Cyno has a harder time setting up in a system with brisk water movement.
5.Do you have a skimmer? If so, is it producing daily amount of dark thick "skimmage'? Adding or upgrading a skimmer may help.
You can also run a PO4 sponge which will help, but you need to address the other underlying causes.
These are few of the key things that feed a cyno outbreak.
HTH
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Old 10-23-2004, 10:28 PM   #8
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What helped me out to was to raise the calcium levels which were low in my tank, plus to make sure the alk. / hardness where up to the right parameters.
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Old 10-24-2004, 02:13 AM   #9
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Okay there was a lot of help here which I appreciate, so I'll try to answer all the queries at once:

1. I typically use ocean water captured from the ocean, and purchased at my local LFS. I measure amonia, nitrites and nitrates, ph, KH and calcium and they all seem "okay".

2. I am about to try tap water, which I have conditioned to remove chlorine and chloramide?? I haven't tesed it for anything else yet, but I will and buffer as required. Is this what you mean by RO water?

3. I put in a phosphate pad which hasn't seemed to do much for the levels. It's been in there for aboug 1.5 months with consistend phosphate levels of 0.25. I am not sure what to do in this regard.

4. My fish do eat a lot. I give them frozen food which I just disolve the block of food in a cup of marine water and slowly pour in as they eat whats in there. I think I might start draining this as much as possible from now on.

5. I am getting a wave maker for my power head next weekend so that will be a good experiment to see what happens.

6. There isn't any "dead water" that I know of. The effected area is open and just down from the suction out hose so there should be water movement. However it would be reasonable to see that it is not a lot though. Perhaps once the wavemaker is in I can get another powerhead to mix it up a little more.

7. I do not have a skimmer because 1) I don't have the room and 2) they're $250 which I cannot afford really. Plus I have read many success stories without one. Advice in this regard would be much appreciated.

8. I did lack on the water changing aspect for a while there. It's been 2 months since I did one and I am only to blame for this. I will be doing one in a couple of hours once the water heats up.

9. The same goes for changing the pre-filter pads. They were filthy and that's all my doing. I will be changing them once a fortnight until this is fixed up. The canister filter smelt like crap - as if something was dead in there, and the pre-filter was a very very deep brown - filthy.

10. This chemi clean seems interesting. I would like to know where to buy this in Australia as no LFS that I know of carry it. Any suggestions where I can get this? I tried to import a wave maker from Fraser and Smith but they wanted $75US to ship a $40US item which is insane.

11. I am always keeping a close eye on my KH levels, however I think my CA levels may be off a little. Depending on what light I look at the resultant test colour I get different results. What's the "best" light to view these test results under? It seems if I use the aquarium light, I reach the colour goal faster than if I use other light sources. Why?


I think once this thread has resolved everyone's problems I might write up a summary article and offer it to anyone having the problems. It seems very common in my experience.

Thanks in advance for the answers.


Cheers.
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Old 10-24-2004, 08:46 AM   #10
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Reverse osmosis water. Look on ebay, lot of etailers selling them on there. They remove most of the unwanted elements from your source water. Tap would may make it worse, even if you dechloranize it.
Phosphate pad loose their ability to absorb after a relative short period of time, most actually start to leach PO4 back into the system. I would bet thats what yours is doing. Would for sure replace. Same with the prefilter pad, that is surely a source for nutrients.
People that have great success without a skimmer usually have a "large" amount of natural filtration such as live rock. Maybe you could find a used one at your LFS or ebay.
More water changes are good, but in order to help the source water need to be lacking the elements that feed the cyno such as PO4.
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Old 10-24-2004, 09:17 AM   #11
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Why would tap water make it worse? Isn't that what they provide these checmicals for to produce ocean water from tap water?

The instructions on the salt bag say to treat the water for chlorine and chloramide, buffer the PH then add their salt and wait for it to be fully absorbed.

Their claim is that it is almost impossible to distinguish it from natural ocean water, plus it has the benefits of trace elements being present.

Is this wrong??
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Old 10-24-2004, 09:26 AM   #12
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Generally, tap water contains PO4, wich is then introduced to your tank. PO4 is a main cause of cyno. Using RO/DI water can greatly reduce the PO4 in the water. A DI unit is suppose to take it out completely.
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Old 10-24-2004, 09:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lando
Generally, tap water contains PO4, wich is then introduced to your tank. PO4 is a main cause of cyno. Using RO/DI water can greatly reduce the PO4 in the water. A DI unit is suppose to take it out completely.
Yup, adding a DI to my unit was a big part of curing my cyno problem.
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Old 10-24-2004, 11:34 AM   #14
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If a FO tank how long do you have your light on for? As others have said I would cut back on your lighting time also. What type of bulbs are you using? And what kind of lights... Just curious.
There are a lot of good fixes the others have mentioned.
As mentioned PO4, low flow and lighting spectrum all help it grow. That PO4 is a pain in the butt.
Good luck in the battle.
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Old 10-24-2004, 11:40 AM   #15
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I myself have had to deal with cyano in my fairly young 40gallon. I did run a skimmer, but it was a junky one. I upgraded to a cpr bak-bak 2, and within a week 90% of my cyano had dissappeared completely. I have a little patch remaining in a back corner which has very little flow.

I do realize that reef's can be skimmerless and successful..however a skimmer will make life so much easier. $250 isn't cheap, but looking at the rest of your setup, $250 shouldn't break the bank. 99lbs of live rock (at least for me to get ahold of) would easily be $350-$400. So don't rule out a skimmer for your setup. Save up, drop hints to family since christmas is coming up soon.
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Old 10-24-2004, 06:50 PM   #16
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Now I know that the cyano is a red to maroon kind of slimy covering type of materail, but what is the burnt orange/red filmy stuff that covers my sand and the walls of my fuge? How slow would the flow have to be to be considered a dead spot because all of this bacteria/algae waves in the water like my macro everywhere it is at. From my last test results All my readings are 0 even P04. And I use RO/DI water everytime I do a water change. Any ideas would be appreciated.
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Old 10-26-2004, 04:45 AM   #17
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I have reduced my light times by 2 hours. I hope this doesn't adversely harm the corals too much?

I am getting a wave maker this weekend and I think I might buy another smaller powerhead to help remove some of those dead spots.

I think a skimmer would be great as a Christmas present actually. What a perfect idea!
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Old 10-26-2004, 08:56 AM   #18
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I just picked up the Natural Wave wave maker from Aquarium Systems. It has three cycled timers, two that alternate and one that goes on and off at a slower speed then the alternating ones. Plus three normal outlets. I added a third Maxijet 1200. I am now thurning over 1600 gal/hr on a 72 gal tank. Trying to eliminate the dead spots. The Chemi-Clean took care of all of the cyno on the sand and most of it on the rocks in less then 48 hours. I just doesed it again to finish the job. Victory will be mine!
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Old 10-26-2004, 11:09 AM   #19
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The chemi- clean by Boyd will clear it up, BUT you have to retreat often if you don't fix the root cause. I have been battling it for months and have treated with chemi-clean three times and since I can't find the main problem obviously I still have it. I have changed the bulbs, added powerheads, and started making my own food. I guess the only thing left is to start buying my replacement water. What a pain in the old A@#. It has cut way back since I started making my own fish food though. By the way, I bought my chemi-clean on Ebay.
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Old 10-26-2004, 11:25 AM   #20
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I used chemi-clean about 3weeks ago for my cyano problem, its still gone and I also feed less.
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