How does Chemiclean kill Cyanobacteria but not Beneficial bacteria?

SpeedyFish

I've been dealing with Cyanobacteria for the past couple of months. I've tried everything natural from doing 50% water changes every 3 days, to physically trying to remove them from my tank, but they continue to come back. Haven't tried the blackout method because of my plants. I decided to use the chemical route and found a product called chemiclean. I read it kills, cyanobacteria, but will it also kill my beneficial bacteria?

How can a product that can kill one type of bacteria, but not another type of bacteria? Is it safe to use?
 

SouthAmericanCichlids

Well, they are completely different organisms. Like how certain berries are poisonous to humans but not to deer.
 

mattgirl

I was battling this stuff too. I didn't use Chemiclean. I used Ultralife Blue Green Algae remover. It worked perfectly and didn't affect the ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria. I used it the recommended two times in both my 5.5 and 55 gallon tanks. It didn't harm fish, plants or bacteria. It simply put a stop to the cyanobacteria.
 

Redviper

I was battling this stuff too. I didn't use Chemiclean. I used Ultralife Blue Green Algae remover. It worked perfectly and didn't affect the ammonia and nitrite eating bacteria. I used it the recommended two times in both my 5.5 and 55 gallon tanks. It didn't harm fish, plants or bacteria. It simply put a stop to the cyanobacteria.

Fighting the same war here in Illinois. I decided on UltraL after cyano and blue/green just went crazy for me. Now algae cleanup is easy and fun again. A great plus for the entire issue is that it made me step up our game.
 

SpeedyFish

Silly question. Do you clean your tank and then use chemiclean right away or you clean the tank a day before and use it? I tried to look for that info, but most folks don't mention that part.
 

RayClem

Chemiclean is an antibiotic. If used as directed, it should not affect your nitrifying bacteria. If you wish to remove your filter media to a separate container while treating your tank, you may do so, but when the filter media is reintroduced, you might also reinfect your tank if the media has any cyanobacteria trapped, which is likely.


Clean as much of the cyanobacteria from the tank as you can mechanically. Then do a water change of at least 20%.
Remove any chemical filtration such as carbon, Purigen, Chemi-Pure, etc. Then treat your tank using 1 scoop per 10 gallons. As the cyanobacteria are killed, they will consume oxygen, so you need to maintain good filter flow and adding an airstone is recommended as well. After 48 hours, do a water change of at least 20%.
Add a fresh batch of activated carbon to your filter to remove any remaining medication.

If necessary, the process can be repeated.

I have only had a significant problem with cyanobacteria on one occasion. It was in a 125 gallon saltwater tank with fish and live rock. The Chemiclean was effective in eliminating the problem and the tank was not adversely affected.
 

SpeedyFish

Chemiclean is an antibiotic. If used as directed, it should not affect your nitrifying bacteria. If you wish to remove your filter media to a separate container while treating your tank, you may do so, but when the filter media is reintroduced, you might also reinfect your tank if the media has any cyanobacteria trapped, which is likely.


Clean as much of the cyanobacteria from the tank as you can mechanically. Then do a water change of at least 20%.
Remove any chemical filtration such as carbon, Purigen, Chemi-Pure, etc. Then treat your tank using 1 scoop per 10 gallons. As the cyanobacteria are killed, they will consume oxygen, so you need to maintain good filter flow and adding an airstone is recommended as well. After 48 hours, do a water change of at least 20%.
Add a fresh batch of activated carbon to your filter to remove any remaining medication.

If necessary, the process can be repeated.

I have only had a significant problem with cyanobacteria on one occasion. It was in a 125 gallon saltwater tank with fish and live rock. The Chemiclean was effective in eliminating the problem and the tank was not adversely affected.
Thanks. I'll try to physically remove as much cyanobacteria as possible before using chemiclean.
 

mattgirl

Silly question. Do you clean your tank and then use chemiclean right away or you clean the tank a day before and use it? I tried to look for that info, but most folks don't mention that part.
I change out 50% of the water in each of my tanks each week. I didn't do anything extra when using the ultra life. Either before adding it or after adding it. I followed the directions. It said nothing about removing filter media nor did it recommend extra water changes. It was such a simple process. Just add it and it gets to work. Although it may not have been necessary, since as far as I could tell it had already worked, I did the follow up dose 48 hours later. That was about a year ago. The cyanobacteria has not come back.

From what I have read chemiclean should work basically the same. I can't say for sure though since I've never used it nor read the direction for using it.
 

Redviper

One of the changes I've made was to swap out 1/2 tank volume (salute to mattgirl) weekly. Secondarily, we've started to clean the foam in both filters monthly. My ultimate goal in the "war on algae/cyanob" is having a chemical-free, semi-natural environment where neither is a issue I can see.
 

JavaMossMan

Hi Speedyfish,

I had cyanobacteria in my 10 gallon tank and had just used chemiclean about two weeks ago to get rid of the cyanobacteria. It killed all of it. You need a air pump and air stone when using chemiclean as per manufacturer directions. The manufacturer stated that the treatment would take up to 48 hours to work. It took about a week and a half for my tank but it got rid of everything. I didn't clean anything before and I have yet to do a water change. I would recommend getting this product.
 

RayClem

Hi Speedyfish,

I had cyanobacteria in my 10 gallon tank and had just used chemiclean about two weeks ago to get rid of the cyanobacteria. It killed all of it. You need a air pump and air stone when using chemiclean as per manufacturer directions. The manufacturer stated that the treatment would take up to 48 hours to work. It took about a week and a half for my tank but it got rid of everything. I didn't clean anything before and I have yet to do a water change. I would recommend getting this product.
If you have gone more than a week without a water change, you are overdue, even if you have not used Chemiclean.

When the cyanobacteria are killed, the decomposition products are left behind. Since you used the antibiotic longer than normal, you must have had a bad case. Thus, it would be a good idea to use a fresh batch of activated carbon to remove the medication and organics and also do a couple of large water changes.
 

JavaMossMan

If you have gone more than a week without a water change, you are overdue, even if you have not used Chemiclean.

When the cyanobacteria are killed, the decomposition products are left behind. Since you used the antibiotic longer than normal, you must have had a bad case. Thus, it would be a good idea to use a fresh batch of activated carbon to remove the medication and organics and also do a couple of large water changes.
Yea I am going to do one soon. I was waiting to make sure all of it was dead and then my plants started taking off. I think it may either be the air stone I put in as part of Chemiclean treatment or they are using up all the nutrients released by the cyanobacteria.

My tanks are set up where I normally do a water change every few months. Lots of emersed/floating plants and fast growing plants.

The reason why I got the cyanobacteria is because I had jungle val in this tank and they grew until they packed the whole tank and then stopped growing because there was no more room. I didn't bother to trim/remove some of the jungle val to allow for more growth.

Cyanobacteria comes from neglect. Just a warning to others.
 

RayClem

Yea I am going to do one soon. I was waiting to make sure all of it was dead and then my plants started taking off. I think it may either be the air stone I put in as part of Chemiclean treatment or they are using up all the nutrients released by the cyanobacteria.

My tanks are set up where I normally do a water change every few months. Lots of emersed/floating plants and fast growing plants.

The reason why I got the cyanobacteria is because I had jungle val in this tank and they grew until they packed the whole tank and then stopped growing because there was no more room. I didn't bother to trim/remove some of the jungle val to allow for more growth.

Cyanobacteria comes from neglect. Just a warning to others.

In the opinion of many forum members, doing a water change "every few months" definitely qualifies as neglect.

Even if your nitrate levels are not high due to the plant growth, there are many contaminants building in the water that can only be analyzed using expensive testing equipment. Weekly water changes remove contaminants that you do not even know are there.
 

mattgirl

Cyanobacteria comes from neglect. Just a warning to others.
Not necessarily. I don't neglect my tanks and I still had to deal with cyanobacteria. I used UltraLife Blue-Green algae remover and it cleared it up within 48 hours.
 

JavaMossMan

In the opinion of many forum members, doing a water change "every few months" definitely qualifies as neglect.

Even if your nitrate levels are not high due to the plant growth, there are many contaminants building in the water that can only be analyzed using expensive testing equipment. Weekly water changes remove contaminants that you do not even know are there.

Plants are water purifiers. Healthy plant growth and pruning removes contaminants. My fish breed regularly and do well in my tanks. It depends on what kind of setup you have and what your method is.

Check out youtube videos of Ocean Aquarium recommended by aquariumcoop. The owner has not done a water change in years (I think 15+ years) for his tanks if I remember correctly and his tanks are amazing. I'm not recommending to anyone that they don't do a water change for that long. The owner has a particular setup using deep substrates.

Here is a thread discussing tanks set up for no water changes:
A "no Water Change" Aquarium | Freshwater Aquarium Builds Forum | 353671

Not necessarily. I don't neglect my tanks and I still had to deal with cyanobacteria. I used UltraLife Blue-Green algae remover and it cleared it up within 48 hours.
Let me change my statement. Cyanobacteria problems generally come from neglect. I had some of the cyanobacteria from my infested tank somehow get into my other tank. It simply died off by itself after a few weeks. Never got a foot hold because the tank is balanced. No algae and not much water changes. Fish are breeding like crazy.
 

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