View Full Version : Cyano - Overrunning a River Aquarium

02-18-2009, 08:34 AM
So here's the scoop.

Around the beginning of January my GF got herself a 55gallon aquarium to move her beloved Burmese Boarder (Polkadot) Loaches into. I'd talked about doing a river manifold system (a la loaches online) and we ended up getting all the bits to make her 4' tank into a small planted river.

Power for this thing comes from a trio of King 2A pumps, each rated at 400gph, a return pump from the sump she was using before bringing a modest 130gph, and a ZooMed 501 which was also used on her previous setup. So all said and done, this tank is exchanging (theoretically) nearly half of the water in the display tank every minute. There are few "dead spots" in this tank.

However, despite this lovely water movement, and me artificially maintaining the NO3 levels at 10-15ppm. Cyano is covering, literally, every surface, including floating through the water column and covering the intake sponges for the manifold system. Photo period is 11hr/day with 160Watts sitting over it. Inhabitants include a smattering of Zebra/Leopard Danios and Rams Horn snails, a score of RCS, and, at present, a loan pair of extremely small (and lonely, they've been hard to find here as of late annoyingly enough) loaches with some crypts and Vals rounding out the group.

Other Parameters
Temp: 78F
NO2: 0ppm
NH4: 0ppm
NO3: 10-15ppm
pH: 7.2

Cyano removal occurs every 3 days (WC) and the tank is largely scrubbed/vacuumed clean of most of the stuff and it just keeps coming back for more. Barring a medicated nuking of the tank, what else can be done? I've never had Cyano this bad in any aquarium I've ever kept. We do have another 96Watt fixture we could throw on the tank but I don't know that more light will solve this problem since we tried just giving the tank direct sunlight for a while to see if that wouldn't curb the stuff. It didn't.

This is doubly curious because both tanks are in the same room and effectively get the same ambient light. Her tank has a Mylar backing on it to block out the light from the window behind it when the blinds are open and mine has an exposed edge to that same window. I did have a brief stint with Cyano in my tank but that was quickly mitigated after the addition of NO3 and it was a small patch to begin with.

02-18-2009, 03:34 PM
man i hate to hear that , i had cyano in my 55 pretty bad. tried vaccing it out, scrubbing it off everything..someone mentioned leaving the lights on for longer periods as cyano doesnt like it. nothing worked, i tried raising the no3 also. finally broke down and did 1/2 doses of maracyn for 4 days that worked.. but i do have to say it thru my tank for a loop that took me weeks to clear up, i lost probably 10 fish over time but its finally stable and not a sign of BGA.. sorry bout the long post

02-18-2009, 04:01 PM
Oh, man, I'm sorry to hear all this.

I wouldn't know what to advise you other than using something to kill it. Maybe H2O2? or an antibiotic? erithromicine, maybe? Sorry man, that sounds horrible!

02-19-2009, 11:08 PM
well, the solution for all this has fallen into my lap, so to speak. There was an introduction of Ich into the tank (we don't have a QT unfortunately) so I happen to have some medication that'll kill the Ich and Cyano in one shot while leaving the Nitrobacter and plants alone.