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Old 11-18-2007, 05:53 PM   #1
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Blue-Green Algae - HELP

Aquarium Advice:

Once again, I need your help with blue-green algae, or cynobacteria. I have had a severe infection since summer. I vacuum out what I can, wipe what I can off of the glass, clip away dead and infected leaves. I do a 50% water change weekly. Although I missed last week (first missed week in months) and this week my tank is severe again. A few weeks ago, I did a week long black out which seemed help a great deal.

I have a 125 gallon tank, 384 watts of light with 1/2 x8 hrs and full x4 hrs per day, two Rena XP3 cannister filters, two additional small power heads, UV light filter with small water pump, community fish, sword plants, annubis, crypts, some sagittaria, and a few freshwater clams.

Here are my current chemistry levels and dosing:

pH: 6.6
NH3: 0
NO2: 0
NO3: 20
PO3: 2
GH: 6
KH: 3
CO2: 22

Watson's GH Boost: 1.2 mL upon water change
CaCO3: 7.5 upon water change
Excel: 30 mL
StressZyme: 30-60 mL upon gravel disruption
API Water Conditioner: 60 mL with water change

Following are every other day (5 mL = 1 oz) and are dry ferts:
KNO3: 1.2 mL
KPO3: 0
KSO4: 10.0 mL
Trace: 2.5 mL
Fe: 1.2 mL

My test kits are API and I have tested my NO3 and PO3 kits with SeaChem and they are consistent with each other. Everyone says my NO3 ought to be much, much lower with the low dosing, but no one seems to know.

What do I do now??? HELP!

I have read about treating a tank with Eryrhtromycin antibiotic, but have not wanted to chemical or medication treat, if not recommended. But I am running out of options.

Recently one advice was to treat with Excel at 5 times the dose for blue-green algae for 2 or three weeks. I can try that. Should I do another black out with it? Am I getting to antibiotic treatments? HELP!!!

I also had a shipment of fish from liveaquaria.com recently and most all have died soon after arriving, but not other fish deaths. Fish overall look good, although one has an injury healing on his back/head for some time.

Thank you all for your time and advice.

Rupret.
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Old 11-18-2007, 06:00 PM   #2
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Re: Blue-Green Algae - HELP

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupret
I have read about treating a tank with Eryrhtromycin antibiotic, but have not wanted to chemical or medication treat, if not recommended. But I am running out of options.
I am not going to go into your way of business as I have seen how well you treat your tank.

I just wanted to comment on the Eryrhtomycin. I did a couple of black outs on my 46 gallon tank and even though it worked wonders for the BGA, it ALWAYS came back. I ended up dosing the medication and it has NEVER returned. It's been over 8 months now.

I would just start at 1/2 the recommended dose and go from there. I never saw any negative side effects of using this medication.

Granted, medicating your tank should be the LAST thing you try.

Hoping all goes well, Randy.
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Old 11-18-2007, 09:06 PM   #3
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I am one for medicating a tank only when absolutely necessary. I don't recommend medicating for ich (no matter what species the fish are) or a lot of other diseases. Clean water and temperature increases work wonders.

That being said, I love how well maracyn (erythromycin) works on blue-green algae. I've done this on tanks at work, planted or not, with great results. I've not used this on my own tanks *coughs* because I've never had it personally. Friends of mine have, and used maracyn and it has worked for them as well.

My method:
50% wc
removing as much of it as you can
treat with 1/2 dose

FWIW, it seems like the cyanobacteria like to colonize in areas of minimal water movement, and can creep into other areas.

I don't know how critical that is, but it's been my observation.

Is it by chance growing in 'dead spots' in your tank?
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Old 11-19-2007, 10:56 PM   #4
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Thanks guys!

I bought some Erythromycin today and will start a treatment. I just did a 50% water change yesterday, so I'll start night wtih a 1/2 dose and start going from there. I wasn't sure if anyone had used it before, had any results, or recommended/dis-recommended it. Thank you very much for the recommendation. I don't plan to use it, except as a last resort. I try do take care things naturally.

As far as I know, I think there are any significant dead spots in the tank. My rear corners seemed dead but the additional two powerheads seem to have really helped.

Randy, thanks for the compliment on my tank. You have been a huge help to me for quite a while as I have gotten the plants set up, green algae, and now the blue-green algae. Your efforts are extremely appreciated. The tank looks great when all is clear and well. I have tried to repay the help by helping others when I see an issue that I have experienced.

Thanks again!

Robert.
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Old 11-25-2007, 03:33 PM   #5
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Hi,

I was going to start a new topic for my outbreak of the same thing but this one basically covers it.

I've been getting it since i sorted my EI dosing out and replanted my tank.

Stupidly i had it in my head that it was caused by excess nitrogen so had cut back my dosing. But now i actually checked online its saying it is caused by low levels!

So i'm doing a big clean up tomorrow and upping my dosing again.

Any other causes I should address?

And this medication mentioned above, does it harm shrimp?

Thanks,

John
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Old 11-25-2007, 04:28 PM   #6
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Alot of people recommend black outs for Cyano, but when I had it, I didn't want to do that. I don't like using meds, especially in my planted tanks, but I've read about the success with Erythromycin with Cyano, so i gave it a try. Its like a miracle! It works so well and I've not had it return after using the Maracyn.

Good luck getting rid of yours!
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:27 AM   #7
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Doing a bit more reading before i go and medicate to address the cause of this cynobacteria i've read it can be caused by an excess of trace elements.

Has anyone else read this or can back this up?

My trace element mix is probably the least accurate of all my dosing as I didnt work the calculations out directly like the dosing for nitrogen, potassium and CO2.

John
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