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Monday, 21 October 2013

Cyano Problems

Ive been a bad aquarist as of late, and have neglected both of my tanks. Thankfully the Reef Tank is currently in a semi mothballed state, but my Planted Tank has been a little less fortunate.

Unfortunately, personal, health and work issues have all cropped up over the last 3 months so its been a bit tough trying to concentrate or spend quality time with my aquariums.

As a result cyanobacteria or blue-green algae has taken a hold in my FWP Tank and looks horrid as a result.

Im putting its rise down to neglect, but that neglect has bought on poor control for water changes, maintaining nutrients (including an diminishing CO2 supply at one point) and substandard feeding regimes. 

So here are a few horror shots...

A mat of green snotty slime covers the substrate...

Freshwater Cyanobacteria 26

My moss ball has been adorned with a toupee of the same sludge...

Freshwater Cyanobacteria 30

And my "moss wall" which had been doing so is riddle with it...

Freshwater Cyanobacteria 35

Very nasty to look at and enjoy...

As a bonus… it hasn't really got hold of the mother java fern which is now growing at a rate of knots and constantly budding new plantlets...

Java Fern 44

So to try and solve the problem, i have decided to go down the black out route, maintain nutrients to some degree and cut feeding for a few days.

Starting with a 50% water change, followed by buffers and some potassium nitrate, i siphoned out as mush of the slime as possible. The stuff on the substrate was easy, and even the moss ball faired well and didn't come apart. My moss wall however lost a few bits as it was easier to just siphon out chunks of the moss at the same time to clear as much of the cyano as possible. Luckily its hardy, and grows quite readily so it should continue to bloom afterwards and be back to where it was within a few weeks.

One of my sources for this method is from James' Planted Tank, a website that i have simple to follow and understand and valuable at the same time for learning several quite important factors surrounding planted tanks. From reading this i also realise i need to take a little more care with the filtration in this tank. The floss pad gets heavily soiled over the course of 7 days between water changes, which does seem oddly excessive considering the reasonably low stocking in this tank at the moment. Again i may need to be more strict with feeding which i need to experiment with, but having a dirty filter will not be helping.

I didn't do the silly thing and get rid of or end up damaging the original Lido light unit and flaps when swapping out for the Radion that is currently installed above it, so replacing all that has worked nicely to cut out the light going in through the top...

Cyanobacteria Blackout 47

With that, using a black, thick towel… and two tins of bins… i made a cover/curtain for the exposed glass...

Cyanobacteria Blackout 59

Fingers crossed my plants won't suffer too much, my the cyano will!

I shall update later this week with the results!

And to finish on a nice picture, one of my Amano Shrimps was digging around during the water changed and duly posed for a photo.

Armano Shrimp 19

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