Would dosing aquarium salt help fight cyanobacteria?
I've had blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) for many months now. I am able to fight it to the point where I think it's gone for several days, but it always has come back strong.
I've been reading about the causes. Lighting, phosphates, electrolytes, and water flow seem to be the most major contributors. I only have a 10 gallon tank, which I plan on upgrading in the near future, so I'm trying to solve this in a way that doesn't involve purchasing new expensive lights that I won't be able to use after I get my new tank.
Anyway, aquarium salt supposedly increases electrolytes. Having low levels of electrolytes is one of many contributing factors to cyanobacteria. Based on the reasoning alone, it seems like adding aquarium salt to the tank would help fight it.
I'm wondering if anyone with more experience than myself thinks that would actually do something? I've searched many hours on the internet and I'm yet to find someone who actually tried it. Perhaps this is wishful thinking on my part.
Any input is appreciated.
electrolytes also comes in fresh water changes. How often do you do water changes? Read the red stickie at the top of this page about algaes.
In trying to get rid of the cyanobacteria I have been doing an excessive number of water changes. Usually I do about 20% a week, but I've been doing 10% a day for the last week.
I've read the sticky and it suggests buying brighter lights, which I said is something I don't want to do. I'm not going to be using this 10 gallon tank much longer so I don't want to go spend $20 on better lights. Right now I have 2x 5100k lights, and I read that I need 6500k to remove the cyanobacteria. They already run 12 hours a day so I don't think increasing the time would do much. When I upgrade my tank I will definitely be buying better lights, but for now I'm sticking with what I have.
I'm trying to solve this issue without buying anything. Any money spent on this would be better spent on a new tank.
I think that your nitrates in the tank might be high - water changes 30% every other day for a week and then 50% once a week might cure the problem (hopefully, your tap water is not high in nitrates, in which case this will do little.) That is the only 'spend' no money that may help.
If your small tank hood uses standard light bulbs, try switching to a proper color CFL bulb. These are not very expensive and work very well.
Last edited by Cermet; 04-22-2012 at 10:46 AM.
Knowledge is fun(damental)
A 75 gal with eight Discus, fake plants, and a lot of wood also with sand substrate. Clean up crew is fifteen Sterba's Corys. Filters: canister w/UV, in-tank algae scrubber that removes phosphates and nitrates! Also, a highly dangerous commercial nitrate removal unit from hell
For Stocking Questions see: http://aqadvisor.com/AqAdvisor.php?
For Fishless cycling:http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aqua...ead.php?t=5640
With my frequent water changes, the nitrates are at about 5 ppm. Maybe a little less. That is with no visible cyanobacteria at the moment.
You say that you are planning on breaking down and upgrading the tank in the near future,
If so, why don't you just try to control instead of eliminate the cyanobacteria for now and
when you upgrade just make sure you sterilize all gravel/decorations/plants before you put them in the new tank. Won't that be easier?
Actually I was referring to the article that says manually remove as much as you can, allow the nitrates to increase, increase the waters flow and try to do a tank black-out for several days. I've also read that antibiotics will kill it (but it will also kill your beneficial bacteria.) I would tolerate it until that new tank is good to go, I believe.
How long are the lights on the tank each day? I've never had cyano "yet" and run one tank with nothing but shop lights and also have very low nitrates. I keep my lights on only 8 hours a day tho so perhaps I've just lucked out.
Last edited by Lady Hobbs; 04-22-2012 at 04:09 PM.
The lights are on 12 hours a day.
And yeah I am thinking I'll just deal with it until I get the new tank. How would I go about sterilizing the plants so that they don't bring it into the new tank? I've heard of people dipping them in bleach solution, but that's not something I've ever done before.
Well you got me on that one. I thought cyano only grew on the hard surfaces so shows what I don't know, huh?
Seems to me if antibiotics will kill cyano, why couldn't you put your plants in a tote and treat the tote? No worry there about the filter losing it's bacteria.
I have dipped numerous plants in a mild bleach solution. Ludwigia, rotala and anubias was fine. Other plants were not.....like the sword plant, spiral crypts and others. Even at that, I hung onto the roots and just switched them around a bit in 19 parts water to one part bleach. And rinsed them like a mad woman.
It grows on pretty much everything. It tends to harbor itself in crevices. Particularly driftwood, rough patches on rocks, and deep in the gravel. I believe the cyanobacteria was introduced to my tank in the first place when I purchased the driftwood (it came with anubias attached). My biggest worry would be that driftwood carrying it to the new tank too.
I was just reading on using bleach in aquariums. It says the plants should be fine, but it specifically said not to do it to the driftwood because it would soak it up.
One piece of anubias is pretty solidly attached to that piece of driftwood. I could probably separate them. Dip each plant, take the driftwood out and let it dry out for a week. I'll be using new gravel in the new tank, so that takes care of everything I'd be transferring. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Last edited by Zander; 04-22-2012 at 08:10 PM.