Cyano bacteria everywhere!

Discussion in 'Algae' started by SwimsWithFishes, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. SwimsWithFishes

    SwimsWithFishes

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    So I'm freaking out, my tank has been great then just within the last week i have cyano bacteria growing crazy! I have some coral, star poylps, button poylps, mushrooms, and a Kenya tree. The Kenya tree isn't looking too good either, its slumped over and the trunk has a shriveled appearance. How do I fix this!?

    I just did a water change this past weekend. I use Marineland LED lighting and I have a protein skimmer. Is there any invertebrates, fish, or other creatures that help get rid of this?

    I only have a sand sifter Gobi and a Bangaii Cardinal.

    Thanks for the help
     
    SwimsWithFishes, Feb 23, 2012
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  2. SwimsWithFishes

    R3verb Time to add some coral!

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    The tiger sand conch will eat cyano. They are really cool snails too. I have 2 and love them. They keep my sand bed nice and clean. They wont do much if you have a ton growing on the rocks though ;-/. Are your phosphates high?
     
    R3verb, Feb 23, 2012
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  3. SwimsWithFishes

    little_fish Moderator

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    Just do water changes and suck out as much of the cyano as you can. Also that is totally normal behavior for leathers, your kenya tree will be just fine! And its highly unlikely its connect to the water quality issues.
     
    little_fish, Feb 23, 2012
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  4. SwimsWithFishes

    SwimsWithFishes

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    Thanks all, I was so worried when I got home. I try to get whats on the sand off with a small water change. Maybe I will try to get some of those snails too. Would Nessarius snails help with cyano too? and do i need to worry about the cyano on my live rock?
     
    SwimsWithFishes, Feb 23, 2012
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  5. SwimsWithFishes

    R3verb Time to add some coral!

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    Nass snails won't eat the cyano. They will dig up the sand a bit which may hide the cyano but as far as getting rid of it, no. At least that is what I have experienced.
     
    R3verb, Feb 23, 2012
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  6. SwimsWithFishes

    SwimsWithFishes

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    Great, thanks R3verb. I'll go by LFS and see if they have the tiger sand conch =)
     
    SwimsWithFishes, Feb 23, 2012
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  7. SwimsWithFishes

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    Cyano is usually directly related to lack of nutrient export. You listed the inhabitants of your tank, but no water tests. What are your nitrates and phosphates testing at? Do you use tap water or RO/DI?
     
    Northstar24, Feb 23, 2012
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  8. SwimsWithFishes

    Amba Ol' Salty VIP Member

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    +1 North right on the money, def. run phos and nitrate tests. Tap water can be saturated with nitrates as well so if you don't use RO/DI water you can be adding food for the algae right into your tank.
     
    Amba, Feb 23, 2012
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  9. SwimsWithFishes

    SwimsWithFishes

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    Just checked my water parameters this
    pH- 7.8, NH3/NH4- 0ppm, NO2- 0ppm, NO3- 20ppm.

    My pH is low and my nitrate spiked! Ugh. I'm doing a water change today, it is way too high. I don't know what my phosphates are, i don't have that in my test kit. Im going to brig water to my LFS to check that.
     
    SwimsWithFishes, Feb 23, 2012
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  10. SwimsWithFishes

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    Nitrate and Phosphate are both limiting agents in cyano growth. If you are seeing cyano is possilbe that you wont detect the phosphate because the cyano is pulling it out of the water.

    Do you use RO/DI or tap water? I would test your source water to see what it reads for nitrates and phosphates
     
    Northstar24, Feb 23, 2012
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  11. SwimsWithFishes

    SwimsWithFishes

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    Oh sorry forgot to add that. I use RO water
     
    SwimsWithFishes, Feb 23, 2012
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  12. SwimsWithFishes

    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    RO water should be free of nitrates and phosphates, but I'd spend the 5 minutes and test it to eliminate it for sure
     
    Northstar24, Feb 23, 2012
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  13. SwimsWithFishes

    beeguiles they call me fish geek ;p

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    Another thing is not having enough flow. Cyano loves to grow where there is not a lot of flow. I added a couple powerheads to my tank and did a blackout and haven't had cyano since.
     
    beeguiles, Feb 23, 2012
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  14. SwimsWithFishes

    SwimsWithFishes

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    Thanks northstar24, I will check te RO as well.
    Beeguiles, I have 1 powerheads in my tank right now. I do have another one that I can also add to help.
     
    SwimsWithFishes, Feb 23, 2012
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  15. SwimsWithFishes

    beeguiles they call me fish geek ;p

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    I would add the other one. Can't hurt any.
     
    beeguiles, Feb 23, 2012
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  16. SwimsWithFishes

    saline Reefer

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    Just had the same problem. Only my water params were perfect. The tank is about 3 months old. Just could not get rid of it.Tried frequent and large RODI water changes, scraping, even went so far as to remove all the rock during a water change and scrubbing{In the removed water} to no avail.It was a plague.I know It's a fix, and I'm sure to get bombed for this, but I found the answer...ChemiClean. I've heard that once the bacteria is in your tank, No matter what your params are, it's almost impossible to rid yourself of the brown scum. ChemiClean cleared it up in 3 days, with no reaction whatsoever to fish, corals, or inverts..
     
    saline, Mar 9, 2012
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  17. SwimsWithFishes

    saline Reefer

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    Mine was getting outta control, while everything tested perfect. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Tank is spotless now!
     
    saline, Mar 9, 2012
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  18. SwimsWithFishes

    andysgirl8800 Blenny Badlands

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    you can also try a blackout period, which can slow down the growth, allowing you to catch up on the clean up efforts.
     
    andysgirl8800, Mar 9, 2012
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  19. SwimsWithFishes

    little_fish Moderator

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    You can get cyano under control, you just have to work at it. Many people want an overnight fix, but when it took a few months to get into the position where cyano will go wild, it will take a few months to undo the situation.

    Also a word of caution about the chemiclean. It can crash a tank. Even when you follow the directions perfectly or even if you have used it in the past with success, there is always a chance is will end up crashing. So just keep that in mind if you chose that route. Another thing to remember is that the chemiclean stuff is basically an antibiotic, so any cyano that survives the chemiclean is basicallly resistant to the stuff and it becomes much harder to get rid of it if you continue to have problems.
     
    little_fish, Mar 9, 2012
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  20. SwimsWithFishes

    saline Reefer

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    I tried blackouts multiple times. Have extensive CC. Everything I tried did not work. Just saying, sometimes its worth the risk if all else fails. I really don't know what else I could have done. All parameter were spot on.
     
    saline, Mar 9, 2012
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