Is This Cyanobacteria?

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JRS

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I have been noticing that our tank has algae in it. It seems to be spreading a lot more than I have experienced in the past. I recently did a wc and cleaned the algae off and it seemed to come back quicker. I think it is cyan0bacteria as it came off in sheets. Though it looks like the dragon has a blue green beard and nose. You can see a sheet of it on the leaf below the pink fish and a bunch on the moss ball.

I also just tested the water and go 0/0/<5. The last test I did was 10-20 nitrates. Did the algae eat up the nitrates?

I am wondering if you guys agree that it is cyanobacteria? Also if it is or is something else what to do about it? I read about peroxide, but I really didn't understand how to use. I would also rather avoid the anitbiotics if possible as I treated the tank recently for parasites with API GC and it had an antibiotic in it.

Thanks!

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Paradise fish

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Definitely could be, or it could be green beard algae. Either way the treatment is the same.

How big is your tank, how long has it been running, how many fishes do you have, what kind of plants do you have, what is your substrate, and how long do you have your lights on?
 

Mrsoctober

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That appears to be Cyanobacteria to me (hateful stuff :yuck you’ll know it by it’s gross smell.

There’s seems to be a lot of conflicting info on using peroxide. I prefer to spot dose it by turning the filter off and using a medicine syringe to dose directly on to the area, wait about a half hour and then vacuum it up and do a water change. You can dose directly into your tank by using a 3% peroxide solution and dose 2-3mls per gallon. You will need to remove your moss ball either way as that can kill it. However, if you don’t find the root cause of the Cyanobacteria it may come back, the peroxide will slow it down quite a bit though. I’ve heard good things about blue- green slime stain remover, but I’ve never used it.

It’s all about finding balance in your aquarium with light and nutrients. I kinda just lucked into a solution with my lighting, so I can’t help too much there.
 
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Definitely could be, or it could be green beard algae. Either way the treatment is the same.

How big is your tank, how long has it been running, how many fishes do you have, what kind of plants do you have, what is your substrate, and how long do you have your lights on?
It is a 30 gallon, been running for about 7 months, there are 3 harlies, 4 black neon tetras and 5 glo tetras (trying to get the schools up but keep running into different issues), there , the substrate is sand. there is an amazon sword, 2 java ferns, a moss ball and an anubias, the lights are probably on too long - lately they have been on when my son gets up for school so about 6 am to about 11 pm.
 

Mrsoctober

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JRS said:
It is a 30 gallon, been running for about 7 months, there are 3 harlies, 4 black neon tetras and 5 glo tetras (trying to get the schools up but keep running into different issues), there , the substrate is sand. there is an amazon sword, 2 java ferns, a moss ball and an anubias, the lights are probably on too long - lately they have been on when my son gets up for school so about 6 am to about 11 pm.
It definitely could be a lighting issue. You can get a timer and cut back your lighting to 6 hrs a day. If the algae/ bacteria doesn’t come back, you can start upping the time on your lights by a half hour every other week. When you start seeing it return then go back to the previous time and stay there.
 

Paradise fish

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17 hours is 9 hours too long. Anything over 8 hours and the light will feed the algae more than it'll feed the plants.

Like mentioned above, use a medicine syringe to spray it directly with peroxide. Use as much to dose 1-2 ml/gal (so up to 60 ml). Turn off your filter when doing this. After most of the bubbling have stopped, you can turn the filter back on. You don't have to do any water change as peroxide (H2O2) will turn to pure water (H2O) within 24 hours or less. Also leaving it in will kill other algae as well. Therefore, you can treat the tank every 24 hours.
 
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Paradise fish said:
17 hours is 9 hours too long. Anything over 8 hours and the light will feed the algae more than it'll feed the plants.

Like mentioned above, use a medicine syringe to spray it directly with peroxide. Use as much to dose 1-2 ml/gal (so up to 60 ml). Turn off your filter when doing this. After most of the bubbling have stopped, you can turn the filter back on. You don't have to do any water change as peroxide (H2O2) will turn to pure water (H2O) within 24 hours or less. Also leaving it in will kill other algae as well. Therefore, you can treat the tank every 24 hours.
I will cut back on the lighting. I had it on a timer, but my son likes to use the remote that came with his tank light to turn on the tank in the morning. His light switch isn't near his bed. For a while this wasn't causing a problem but I should have known better. I think I can set the timer to go on before he usually wakes and then he can use the remote to turn it on, then the timer can be set to go off mid day for a while and then come on at night when is going to bed as a nightlight. I can shut off with remote before a I go to bed. I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner!

I will give the peroxide a try to rid the tank of the current algae.

Thanks for all your help.
 
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So I have set the timer so the light comes on for a bit in the morning and at night for a little while.

I did a major manual cleaning of the tank and decor. I did use peroxide on the decor in buckets and scrubbed them. I did a 50% WC while vacuuming. There is still a bunch of crud on the bottom from the algae. I guess every few days I will do a vacuum to see if I can get it looking good again. I am sucking up as much sand as dead/live algae though.

I have used a little peroxide in the tank, but it is making me nervous. I know you guys said it would be safe but for whatever reason it is freaking me out a little. So it really is ok to use and it won't hurt the fish? Obviously following the directions above.
 

Paradise fish

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Peroxide kills things by oxidation. Kind of like rust. Free floating oxygen wants to bind to things by taking chucks off other materials, like from hydrogen to make water. It does the same thing to germs, killing it.

The protective slime coating on your fish will protect them from this effect
 

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Just found this thread, I know you are battling this algae, how is it going?
 
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Well, I have taken all of the items out of the tank except the gravel, sand, heater and filter. I have the plants in separate containers and am treating them with peroxide and changing the water every few days. Also, removing by my fingers any algae that I see/feel on them.

I bought this fabulous little vacuum. https://www.amazon.com/KollerCraft-Cleaner-Battery-Operated-Gravel/dp/B003OYOPNW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515704143&sr=8-1&keywords=kollercraft+tom+mr.+cleaner+battery+operated+gravel+siphon

I have been using it daily to vacuum up any algae or other waste. I took all the decor including the little dragon filter out of the tank and am letting them stay dry until the algae is beat in the main tank. I figure any algae on them is already dead at this point. I have treated the tank with peroxide but probably not enough times.

I think my next step it to remove the gravel. There is very little as it was more a decoration in the corner. The gravel seems to make a good home to this particular algae/cyanobacteria. I may just replace this with new gravel after the tank is clear.

It was so aggressive trying to get rid of it with all the decor and plants even with the peroxide seemed like it would be impossible. Now that there isn't really any place for it to hide, I think I should be able to remove it as it grows and treat with peroxide and beat it. After I have not seen any for a couple of weeks, I will begin to put back the decor. I will also return the plants, if I don't see any growing on them again also.

Seemed drastic, but it does seem to be the easiest approach.

That little vacuum is fabulous. It picks up the mess and filters it into a fabric bag. I just rinse it out. I can do this as much as I want and not drain out the water in between water changes.
 
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I also have left the lights off except when cleaning the tank.
 

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That vacuum thing is fascinating. Is ther a lot of gravel? If it seems to hold onto the algae, maybe switch to all sand?
 
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There is only a small area of gravel. I have been debating removing it all together. Not sure. I am moving very slowly with this. Tomorrow I hope to pull out the gravel to dry it out. Hopefully I don't kill the plants by the time I am ready to put them back in.
 
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