How do most of you guys battle cyanobacteria and other algae

Discussion in 'Other Reef Talk' started by gabloo, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. gabloo

    gabloo Supporting Member

    Hello Guys,

    I have my 55g tank setup for about 4 months now. I already have diatoms but it went away by itself. Now, I have Cyanobateria all over my tank. I am wondering

    1. How do you guys battle cyanobacteria. I have seen many good looking tanks without cyanobacteria and I am wondering what are their secret.
    2. What do you guys usually do to prevent other algae to taking over in your tank?

    According my research most of the algae issue are caused by
    1. over feeding
    2. not enough flow
    3. High phosphate
    4. High Nitrate

    I am not quite sure how to solve my over feeding issue. Since I have copperband in my tank, I like to make sure he has enough food to eat. He usually like split out 1/3 - 2/3 of the food so they end up everywhere. Is there anything I can do to solve this issue without reducing the amount of food I put in there?

    I have two PP 8 that creating enough flow for the tank. I am planning get Bio-Pellet, GFO and carbon reactor to help me out with phosphate and Nitrate problems.

    Any comments are welcome

    Thank you!
    zeeGGee likes this.
  2. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Good research. Those are the 4 big items.
    For Cyano, I would really work on getting those phosphates down.

    It is not just how much you feed, but when, how, and what.
    My guess is you would really benefit from much smaller feeding, but done more often.
    So overall less, but MUCH less per feeding, and many more feedings.
    You may need an auto feeder. But yes, difficult with that fish.
    And make sure food is low in phosphate.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  3. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    I admit that one past iteration of my 58g tank, I gave up and dosed the tank with that powdery stuff (can't remember what it's called) that just killed it all off. I fought it for months. However, in other iterations of the tank, I had none of it. Oh yeah "Chemi-clean" is the powdery stuff. BUT use it as a last resort.

  4. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Yes, if you are desperate with the Cyano:
    Step 1: Manual removal of most of it.
    Use a small 1/4 airline tube on a siphon to a bucket, slurp the Cyano up.
    Take some sand with it if needed. You can always replace a bit of sand.
    Step 2: Chemiclean
    This will kill it, but is only a temporary measure. And is risky.
    Step 3: Massive water changes.
    You need that any way for chemiclean, but keep doing it to wipe out the phosphates.
    Step 4: Fix the root cause
    Feed less, add GFO, more water changes.
    Otherwise you will be back to step 1 in a couple of months.

    One thing NOT to do is go crazy on Nitrate removal. In fact, adding Nitrates can help reduce Cyano in some cases.
    Not that I am recommending that.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  5. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    Honestly, the only tjree things that worked for me for cyano and other algae:

    - feed less
    -- reduce feeding and other nutrients
    - Daily removal
    -- Suck all of it out into a sock that gets filtered back into the water. Do this daily
    - GFO

    I've never had algae that I couldn't fend off.
  6. sjbro

    sjbro Supporting Member

    I haven't run into Cyano problems. I battled hair algae for almost 2 years in the past. what worked for me was:
    - keep the livestock stable. Adding new fish or crabs & snails was a risk for me. New fish meant more food and more waste and some don't acclimate, then specially snails were hard to acclimate, resulting in low survival and more waste/nutrients released in the water by their demise.
    - added bio-pellets and increased the skimming. I preferred bio-pellets to GFO because of the easier maintenance.
    - patience, once nutrients were in the rocks, sand, and water, it took some time for their level to decrease. WCs help reduce the nutrients in the water, but in my case the rocks and sand had plenty to leak back.
    - manual removal of algae periodically. My fish, snails and crabs would not touch long algae, but they would nip on the short one. One the algae growth slowed down, they were able to wipe out the short algae from rocks.
    - extreme measures such as sea hare or chemicals were at best temporary solutions. in long term, the problem just got worse.

    I also agree with the earlier comment on nitrate. AFAK, the bacteria needs nitrates in order to process the phosphates. So the aggressive reduction of one will cause an imbalance on the other.
    spurgeon.eric and Coral reefer like this.
  7. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    I find that cyano is usually a phase a tank will usually go through at the beginning, however with not enough flow and excess nutrients it will continue to linger.

    Simple solutions are to siphon out what you can with water changes, stop feeding so much. And of course check your nitrates and phosphates.
  8. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Make sure photoperiod isn't too long and lower phosphates. Gfo and water changes are your friends
    Geneva likes this.
  9. monkeybiz

    monkeybiz Guest

    ive been seeing a lot of post online about Vibrant. It's some kind of algea treatment you dose your tank with. Seems that a lot of people like it, but they have not disclosed its active ingredients. It's from a company called Underwater Creations Inc.

    Maybe give that a shot and let us know if it works :)
  10. gabloo

    gabloo Supporting Member

    I tested my water today, this is what came out. Seem like my nitrate and Phosphate is high. Should i get GFO, bio-pellet or both?I ordered red slime remover from amazon. I will give that a try. Do you guys have any experience with that product?

    ALK : 8.64
    CAL : 445
    MAG : 1250
    Nitrate : 25
    Phosphate : .13
  11. tankguy

    tankguy BOD

    I tried Vibrant and for me it did not work. I contacted them and they said 4-5 doses should do it. It didn't. My final solution was to pull the infected rock out , hook up my gfo and increase water change. What was left my naso tang went to town on.
  12. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    I tried almost everything. Carbon dosing with vinegar/alcohol, with NoPox. All kinds of CUC. Nothing really worked fully. Carbon dosing kept it in check but didn't really cut back.

    Also target fed fish. Used a turkey baster and squirted a little food in front of the fish and made sure they ate before giving more.

    Loaded up on cuc. Had over 50 dwarf ceriths, 10 turbos, 50 hermits etc. Also added urchins and chitons. Did help knock some of it down.

    I also took the rocks out and scrapped the hair algae off the rock. Then dipped/dripped peroxide on affected areas.

    But what I think really did it for me was getting the chaeto in the sump to really grow! When that took off, the algae in the DT went away.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  13. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    What are you feeding your fish and corals?
  14. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Long story short he is saying reduce your phosphates!
  15. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    .13 isn't bad, but if that's what's reading after the cyano has used a bunch for food then yeah, go w gfo and manual removal w/ water changes. If you can setup a refugium w a nice tumbling ball of chaeto that will certainly help you out as well. I would really not go w the chemicals. Gotta remove carbon. Turn off skimmer, then do at least one or two big water changes. Might as well just add gfo and donthe water changes.

    How long are your lights on for?
  16. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    That phosphate is really high. In fact, it is likely worse than you think. The Cyano is eating a lot of it.
    GFO would be a good idea.
    Nitrates are high as well. Many methods will work, and you will find there more opinions than methods.

    Suggest reading this:
  17. gabloo

    gabloo Supporting Member

    Since i have 7 anthias, i have auto feeder that feeding pellets and flakes 4 time a day. feeder is set at lowest setting so the amount is very little. I mainly feed chopped raw shrimp and clams two time a day.

    I have a 30g refugium with Chaeto. However, I have read that refugium should have low flow so water move is very minimal in that tank. Should I add power head in there?
    My lighting schedule was T5 from 3 - 12 pm, MH 5 - 8 pm, blue led 12 - 1 AM. I reduced to two hours for T5 and MH now.
  18. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    The reason for the tumbling is to get light to all sides of the chaeto so you don't get die off on the underside that doesn't get enough light when it gets large.

    I went about it a different way. I got a really powerful LED growlight off eBay. My chaeto doesn't tumble (it can't, too big) but I get no die off on the bottom. If anything I get bleaching on the top! It's 300w and cost me $80.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  19. sjbro

    sjbro Supporting Member

    I started growing chaeto in a sump_refugium in which the drain was pouring straight into the refugium section. So entire flow from the return pump was through the chaeto. I had good growth, no algae in the tank, all was good.

    Later on when I upgraded my DT, I also changed the sump. That sump had the drain entering the skimmer room, then on a return pipe it was a T with one line going into DT and one line going into the refugium, the flow of water to refugium being controlled by a valve. In this setup I never had good chaeto growth.

    Now, on my 3rd generation system, the sump I use is similar to the first, the entire flow of the drain goes in my refugium. The chaeto likes it, I get good growth. To give you an idea of the flow, I am using a Jebao DCT 6000 at 80% for return pump.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  20. RandyC

    RandyC Supporting Member

    I have something similar to your second setup. Drain to skimmer to return teed to fuge and I have 2x growth of chaeto and algae every 6-8 days.

    Did you have the same light in all three setups?

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