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CThompson

Blue-green Algae Remedy - 2

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CThompson

Jack Dempsey

Posts: 248

(12/11/03 8:21)

Reply | Edit Blue-green Algae Remedy?

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In a planted tank in the past, I remedied blue-green algae by increasing the amount of nitrate in my plant fertiliser. In the past I have also used the antibiotic Furan-2 with a successful outcome.

I have blue-green algae in my Tropheus tank, and don’t want to put nitrate in there for obvious reasons, and though I have some Furan-2 on hand, would seek and alternative method of removal.

I am wondering if anyone has had any other successful eradication methods to remove blue green algae?

Craig

Edited by: CThompson at: 12/11/03 8:22

jaz1986

Firemouth

Posts: 71

(12/11/03 9:40)

Reply Blue-green Algae Remedy?

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Try adding some freshwater mussles to your tank... they suck out algae pretty damn well... I had 2 in a 300L tank that was like pea soup... and they sucked it clean within a week... Although... be warned... they will dig into the gravel... and are strong enough to re-arrange features

thanks

jared

CThompson

Jack Dempsey

Posts: 249

(13/11/03 8:08)

Reply | Edit Re: Blue-green Algae Remedy?

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Blue-green algae or, cyaneobacteria, is a bacteria and not plant life as with algae. It is also fixed to surfaces, and not free floating as with green water, where the filtering action of mussels would have impact. You can’t get ride of blue-green algae by increasing the nitrate or adding Furan-2, which is an antibiotic.

Thanks for your suggestion Jared, but the mussels will have no impact.

Craig

MagicaDiSpell

Forum Veteran

Posts: 1029

(13/11/03 13:24)

Reply

Re: Blue-green Algae Remedy?

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Hmm, blu-green algae doesn't sound to good, Craig. Are you sure your filter is running ok? Oh, and adding Furan is not really a good idea. Anti-biotic agents should only be used to cure diseases (not to disinfect kitchen surfaces or to get rid of a nuisance in the tank). Overuse of antibiotics creates resistant strains (and I do word this intentionally, apparently these mutations are not quite as random as the older school of evolutionary teaching would have led us to believe), resistant strains create great trouble later on.

I only ever encountered blue-green algae problems in tanks, where the filter was crashing. I would suggest treating the cause, rather than the symptom, and your fish will thank you as well.

In the end, we will conserve only what we love, We will love only what we understand, And we will understand only what we are taught. (Baba Dioum, African Biologist)

CThompson

Oscar

Posts: 257

(14/11/03 13:42)

Reply | Edit Re: Blue-green Algae Remedy?

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G’day Sabine,

It is my understanding that BG algae is found in association with tanks that are either poorly maintained (hinting at your suggestion of cleaning out my filters), or with low/zero nitrates. When my planted tank was up and running, as now with my Tropheus, poor maintenance is not an issue. My planted tank problem was solved as mentioned above by increasing the amount of nitrate I put into my fertiliser (PMDD).

In this case, I have a nitrate filter (filled with about 10 L of Denitate) in operation on my tank, and adding nitrate is not an option. The filters themselves were cleaned about five weeks ago, they are two large Ehime (2229 and 232 filters. The tank is 400 L and there are only 15 fish in there. Even though Tropheus are messy buggers, I feel confident that my filters are not an issue.

My understanding is that when one has a BG algae problem, one has an infection, and not an imbalance in the tank that algae itself would indicate. I also agree, one shouldn’t reach straight for the “antibiotic”, and that is the reason I posted looking for an alternative to Furan-2. Resistant strains of bacteria will come about through misuse of antibiotics. To me, “misuse” implies not eradicating all of the bacteria you are targeting, leaving individuals that begin to build up resistance to antibiotics. If one uses antibiotics and destroys all of what you are targeting, you are not creating a resistance build-up in the bacteria.

It is my thinking that my “cause” as you put it, is zero nitrates. My tank gets regular 1/3 – 2/3 water changes, and the change water has Tanganyikan salts, KH generator added to it, water ager, pre-heated, pre-filtered, and aged by one to two weeks. I think you’ll agree that the lack of maintenance side of things is not the issue.

I appreciate your response Sabine and you have given me food for thought in regards to my filters needing changing, and I will see to that this weekend. You are a very cluey person, so further thoughts on blue-green algae from you would be welcome. Please feel free (as I’m sure you will) to contradict anything I may be erroneous about written above.

Craig

CThompson

Oscar

Posts: 261

(18/11/03 13:36)

Reply | Edit Re: Blue-green Algae Remedy?

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Okay, I cleaned both filters on the weekend, and apart from the propellers and magnet area that I obviously missed last time I cleaned them, they were both clean (clean enough).

Any more suggestions Sabine.

Craig

Willy wombat

Red Terror

Posts: 495

(18/11/03 16:35)

Reply Re: Blue-green Algae Remedy?

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Craig - isnt it generally an excess of phosphates in your tank that is the problem? The cyanobacteria can use the phosphate as a food source in the absence of nitrogen, unlike normal algae?

What are you feeding the fish? - there are some low phosphate foods available on the market - but these are probably not suitable for your tropheus.

Tricky problem mate - i cant think of any good ways to control phophates in your tank? Do you know anyone that can test the amount of phosphates in your tap water - these can be quite high in some regions.

I know that green keepers on golf courses have big problems keeping cyanobacteria off their greens (which form crusty mats - not good for putting you see.) They use a combination of some fungicides and phosphate controls to overcome the problems, but you dont really want to be putting fungicides into your tank.

Im stumped - never has that problem. Best of luck with it

Willy

MagicaDiSpell

Forum Veteran

Posts: 1031

(18/11/03 18:01)

Reply

Re: Blue-green Algae Remedy?

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If I remember my plant physiology correctly, cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) are able to live on forms of nitrogen other than nitrates. That was the reason why I suspected a filter crash. If the nitrogen cycle is somehow not quite working, then the likely symptom is a blue-green algae outbreak.

Even though blue-green algae have been lumped in with bacteria (because of the absence of a nucleus), I would not regard them as an infection. They are unsightly, I agree, but I doubt that they would harm your fish. They are not a pathogen and therefore I would not recommend the use of antibiotic agents. By the by, if you use an antibiotic on the tank, you will also harm the bacterial flora elsewhere in the tank (the filter and the fish), so think about if that is really what you want to do.

Hmmm, is there any chance that you might have been tooo fastidious in cleaning the filter. Maybe the nitrogen cycle has been interrupted by the loss of some (or sufficient) bacteria in your filter.

Craig, you were obviously pretty successful with a planted tank, so why not put that experience to some good use and add plants to your Tropheus tank. You know - some Valisneria or similar - that way you remove nitrates (cut down on your waterchanges), phosphates (which may contribute to your problem), add oxygen (that is always good, especially with the warmer weather starting), adds some interest for fish in a confined space (who wants to stare a furniture all day ) and brightens up the tank (what more can I say?). I know you used to add nitrates, but considering that you are keeping Tropheus, maybe a cutdown version of your previous planted tank would be a good idea. I.e. add your plant supplements without the CO2 (or even with some) and without nitrate.

Just food for thought.

In the end, we will conserve only what we love, We will love only what we understand, And we will understand only what we are taught. (Baba Dioum, African Biologist)

CThompson

Oscar

Posts: 262

(19/11/03 12:17)

Reply | Edit Re: Blue-green Algae Remedy?

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Willy and Sabine,

a total pleasure to read your considered responses.

I feed my Tropheus Sera Flora, I don't know how it goes with phosphate levels, but I do have a test kit for this, and will test it due to your suggestion. I am not sure if phosphate has any bearing on blue-green algae however. With my water changes (I usually do a 1/3 water change weekly for a month to five or so weeks, then do a 2/3 water change), I doubt that phosphate would get to any levels that would have detrimental effects, and with the algae I have growing in there (it gets a hard time from the Tropheus), I expect it would soak up what ever phosphate is there anyway that is left behind after water changes. I feed my fish 3-4 times a day, all food is eaten, and it is fed sparingly, which would also reduce the amount of phosphate I am adding.

Sabine, I don't understand your explanation of your not regarding them as a bacteria because of the absence of a nucleus. I learned that stuff back in high school, which is too many years ago for me. I take your point though. However, I have read that when one has blue-green algae, your tank has an infection. I do agree that they will not harm the fish, at least, I have never seen it do so, and yes it is unsightly, in the extreme. But one negative impact it does have, is that it covers surfaces that the algae would be growing on. My fish eat the algae, and with blue-green in there, there are less places algae can grow. When I had it in my planted tank (eradicated by increasing the nitrate in my fertiliser), it was so covering, that I lost species of plants that were previously doing so well that I was selling the excess off to aquariums.

I am not concerned about Furan-2 affecting the nitrifying bacteria in my tank, as it has never done so in the past. I also used Furan-2 in the past on my Tropheus when they had bloat (partially successful) following recommendations from Tropheus experts (the reason I still keep it in stock). However, if I used it now the fish are healthy, I am concerned how the bacteria in the gut of the Tropheus will be affected. When used on Tropheus in the past with bloat, I was on a no-lose kind of situation. But now that there is no problems with the fish, will adding Furan-2 wipe out the beneficial bacteria in their gut that is doing what it is meant to do? This is a big reason why I am looking for another answer to the blue-green algae situation.

I don't believe one can be too fastidious with tank maintenance (I am definitely not in this category by the way) provided one looks after the bacteria (and to a lesser degree water parameters such as pH). I also have an Ammonia Alert in this Tropheus tank, and it has NEVER had any reading, even when the tank was first set up as I added more biological media to my system tank three months in advance, and added this to the filters the day I put the Tropheus in the tank.

I don't want to add plants to the tank, as that will not be biotypically correct. There are no plants other than algae in their native biotops, and it would not look good aesthetically to my eyes. I believe any benefits that the higher plant forms can produce, algae can do also, which is why I have 5 NEC Triphosphore florescence on the tank promoting algae growth. Having just a few plants in there (my substrate is not correct for plants anyway), will not have enough impact I believe to make a difference to the oxygen levels, I definitely wont get oxygen saturation as I did with my planted tank. And in any case, when the tank was a plant tank, absolutely chocker-block with plants, they had NO effect on the blue-green algae, so adding plants to my Tropheus tank will make no difference to the current blue-green algae, other than increasing the surface area blue-green algae may attach itself to.

I use an Ehime Surface Suction Extractor on this tank, which skims the surface of the water leaving it completely free of scum, which creates great surface exchange for oxygen. I do have an airstone in there, but it is not on very hard as I bleed most of it off. Do you think increasing this will have an impact on the blue-green algae? I don't see how myself.

It has occurred to me to use my PMDD on the Tropheus tank to promote the algae growth, as its growth has reduced as the fish have gotten larger. But I don't feel that I am experienced enough with Tropheus to know how adding such ingredients as nitrate (in particular) will have on the fish. Or if I add it minus the nitrate, wether or not this will be beneficial to the algae. I also don't see how this can affect the blue-green algae as it is not a plant.

To sum up; I will check my phosphate levels, which I expect to be zero.

I really feel that my tank has been infected with blue green algae, and it is surviving for the same reason it did so in my planted tank - that is, no nitrate, and probably lots of light is helping it too. I believe my tanks turning over of the nitrate cycle is so successful, including the eradication of nitrate, that this is the route cause of why the blue-green is surviving and increasing.

Having written all that, it has just occurred to me, that if I turn all my tank lights off for a couple of weeks, being photosynthetic, this should wipe out my blue-green algae? My algae will suffer as well, but I guess this could re-establish itself at a later date. I think I just answered my own question, as I 'm sure this will work! Your suggestions Sabine definitely helped, how long do you think I should leave the lights off for?.

Craig

MagicaDiSpell

Forum Veteran

Posts: 1034

(19/11/03 23:09)

Reply

Re: Blue-green Algae Remedy?

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Craig, you must have misunderstood. I didn't say that they weren't bacteria, but rather that I would not regard them as an infection, i.e. a pathogen. Not all bacteria are negative either.

When I mentioned that you might have been too fastidious in cleaning the filter, I thought maybe you removed too much of the bacterial population for the filter to function properly. The ammonia alert, by the way, only picks up ammonia, but not nitrite, which I would suspect to be the culprit here. Have you got a nitrite test kit? Might be interesting to measure that.

Oxygen levels should have no noticable effect on the growth of blue-green algae.

I probably woudn't add any nitrate to a Tropheus tank. They don't like that very much. But if you are really keen on doing that, why not scale back your waterchanges a little in frequency.

Hmm, not so sure about turning off the light. Green algae (my guess is they are the ones that you want to grow) need quite a bit of light in order to thrive. I am not so sure about the pigments in blue-green algae, but I think you might be giving them the advantage in a low-light environment.

Mind you, sounds like you are at the point where you will try anything. You could always remove some of the algae you want to grow and keep them in a bucket outside for the duration. I am not sure how long you leave your lights on. You could start by switching the lights off for a couple of hours during the day (in some plants and algae is has been shown that it is day-length, rather than total light-duration over 24 hours that determine the success or lack thereof of plants).

Good luck with it Craig. Keep us up to date.

In the end, we will conserve only what we love, We will love only what we understand, And we will understand only what we are taught. (Baba Dioum, African Biologist)

CThompson

Oscar

Posts: 263

(20/11/03 8:20)

Reply | Edit Re: Blue-green Algae Remedy?

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I have blue-green algae. I don’t want blue-green algae. To get rid of it, these are my known choices;

1. Add nitrate

2. Use the antibiotic Furan-2

3. Turn the lights off

Nitrate will not be good for the Tropheus.

Furan-2 will not be good for the Tropheus gut bacteria (?)(with potential long term problems for antibiotic resistant blue-green algae)

No light will not be good for the algae.

I see choice three as the one doing the least harm, so I turned my lights off last night, and they will remain off for a month or for as long as I can stand it. Tropheus will get by without algae for a bit (they don’t survive on algae, but on the food I put in there), and it will regrow once I turn the lights on.

I know my tank has no ammonia, and I believe I have no nitrate (with a large nitrate filter, and in addition, the blue-green will support this). I can’t have nitrite without nitrate or ammonia. I will test this tonight though as I have all these test kits.

I have two efisubstate filled baskets in my Ehime filters (one in each) they are rinsed in water from the tank whenever the filter is cleaned. The bacteria will remain unaffected by this, as you’ll agree.

I'll get back to you.

Craig

Edited by: CThompson at: 20/11/03 8:21

YeW2001

SCP Webmaster

Posts: 3521

(20/11/03 8:27)

Reply Re: Blue-green Algae Remedy?

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Craig -

Have you added any rocks to the tank recently? I've found in the past that some rocks appear to contain partially soluble/soluble minerals which contain either nitrate or phosphate (or chemicals which get broken down by other microbiological processes to these substrates).

Just thought I'd mention this in case you've recently added a "nice rock" - which may be the source of the problem.

-- YeW | ICQ: 259452

Edited by: YeW2001 at: 20/11/03 8:28

Willy wombat

Red Terror

Posts: 499

(20/11/03 10:24)

Reply Re: Blue-green Algae Remedy?

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Hi Craig -

Tested your phosphate levels for me yet? These blue green algae are pretty clever - their ability to pull atmospheric nitrogen from the water is a big factor that makes them difficult to control, once they get into your tank.

I have attached some interesting articles for you to peruse at your lesuire.

interesting reading

archived articles

Really in terms of controling algae or cyanobacteria you need to control either

1. light

2. or nutrients.

If you use antibiotics it will treat the symptom but wont solve the problem in the long run.

This products (im not sure if it is available in Australia? - but it probably is) may be able to help you:

possible non-antibiotic cure

Anyway let us know how it all goes.

Cheerios

WW

CThompson

Oscar

Posts: 265

(21/11/03 8:12)

Reply | Edit Re: Blue-green Algae Remedy?

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Yew, I have not added any rocks or anything new to the tank for months. All rocks and substrate are of the same volcanic origin, basalt.

Willy wombat – phosphate level is 1.0ppm. Ammonia = 0 and nitrate the same, 0.

Thanks for the links you sent me, they were very comprehensive, but one part stayed with me written in “interesting reading”; “I try to remember this gift of atmospheric oxygen, when I'm siphoning the slimy cyanobacterial sheets off my gravel, and I try to feel grateful. But that was then, and this is now.”

It mentioned reducing the photo period, but didn't say turn the lights off. I will have to go back and read at greater leisure

Craig

merjo

Feeder fish

Posts: 5

(21/11/03 19:30)

Reply Re: Blue-green Algae Remedy?

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Sabine's advice is correct - at least that's what she taught me at Uni!!! Drop us a line Sabine and find out what your favourite star pupil is up to now!!!......Shoooooooosh!!

Andrea

merrileebrennand@bigpond.com

MagicaDiSpell

Forum Veteran

Posts: 1036

(22/11/03 10:44)

Reply

Re: Blue-green Algae Remedy?

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Craig,

I think you might have your nitrogen cycle backwards there. Ammonia is converted to nitrite and that is converted to nitrate. So, yes you can have nitrite without nitrate. In fact, if you don't measure any nitrate (without waterchanges and while feeding fish, which is of course not the case here), I would say that is a definite indicator that the nitrogen cycle is not working properly, I wouldn't even have to test.

I can tell that you are getting quite exasperated with the blue-green algae. Are there any catfish that might be able to help you????? Just another thought.

In the end, we will conserve only what we love, We will love only what we understand, And we will understand only what we are taught. (Baba Dioum, African Biologist)

CThompson

Oscar

Posts: 266

(24/11/03 8:17)

Reply | Edit Re: Blue-green Algae Remedy?

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Thanks for all your input again Sabine. I don’t have my nitrogen cycle backwards though, and am very familiar with it and understand fully with your reasoning in regards to no nitrate as you explained.

I tested again a few parameters, ammonia zero, and the same with nitrate. I feel that without those two, there can be no nitrite so didn’t test this area.

Phosphate in water change barrel = zero, in tank 1.0ppm, after another 2/3 water change phosphate dropped to 0.5ppm. Sera Flora has a detailed 1.1ppm of phosphorus. I don’t overfeed so feel a little trapped here.

I turned a light on my tank yesterday to do water change, first time since last Tuesday. There is a dramatic loss of blue-green algae, along with the algae, which the Tropheus have scoured nearly back to rock.

Craig

MagicaDiSpell

Forum Veteran

Posts: 1037

(28/11/03 21:33)

Reply

Re: Blue-green Algae Remedy?

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Craig,

You misunderstand. If for some reason your denitrifying bacteria are not doing their job, you will not get nitrate at all. Denitrifying bacteria convert nitrITE to nitrATE. That is why it is so important to check for nitrite. The nitrate measure would be meaningless in this case.

In the end, we will conserve only what we love, We will love only what we understand, And we will understand only what we are taught. (Baba Dioum, African Biologist)

CThompson

Oscar

Posts: 267

(1/12/03 12:24)

Reply | Edit Re: Blue-green Algae Remedy?

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Without bacteria, you won't get nitRATE, with out bacteria, you won't get nitRITE. Without bacteria you will get Ammonia. If one has no Ammonia, then it must be getting broken down aerobic bacteria break ammonia to nitRITE, they also break it down to nitRATE. Anaerobic bacteria break nitRATE down. I have a fully operational nitRATE filter, which is why I have no nitrate in the tank (coupled with water changes). I have no Ammonia, either in my waterchange barrel (in the tap water) nor do I have any ammonia in my fish tank itself.

If I’ve got no Ammonia (along with no nitrate), and I’ve got fish in the tank (ie, producers of ammonia), then my denitrifying bacteria are doing their job. Unless there is something radical in my understanding that is wrong, I don’t understand what you are driving at Sabine.

If I take it that I am wrong in not only my understanding if the nitrite cycle, but also in my ability to water test correctly, then I would have sick Tropheus, as they will not handle ammonia, nitrite, or to a lesser extent, nitrate. My fish, though still living in the dark (it will be two weeks this Tuesday the 2nd), are fighting fit and hungry. This in itself would indicate a fully functioning cycled tank, yes?

Even though my tank is in a dark corner, last night I put a towel around it to further cut any ambient light that may be helping the blue green algae to hold on, as I noted a few small spots where it had grown back, and they were all close to the front of the tank.

Stopping the light in the tank seems to be doing the job, so if anyone else out there has blue-green algae, this is a drug free method, that so far seem to be able to get ride of cynobacteria.

Craig

Edited by: CThompson at: 1/12/03 12:32

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Yew told me I could copy and past the above from the old forum, so I hope I have done it correctly.

I have turned the lights back on my Tropheus tank, and all but a few tiny spots of the blue-green algae have gone.

I have come to the conclusion, that while turning off the lights has dramatically helped the situation, it is not the cure, as I have come to the opinion that the problem has initially been caused by high phosphate levels. Before the lights were turned off, they were 1ppm. After two weeks, and now three weeks without light, and the drop in algae, my phosphate has gone up to 3ppm. I imagine the algae helped to reduce phosphate in the tank, and turning off the lights, reduced the algae and increased the phosphate... :p:

The lights have been back on for two days now, and I can already see an increase in algae growth. The fish look great, it is good to see their activity again, and seem none the worse for living in the dark for that time.

I will have to look at ways to reduce/eliminate phosphate in this tank, and have been considering some sort of resin. Do any Tropheus keepers out there use this in there tank?

Craig

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Hi Craig - it is good to see that you have been able to control the growth of the algae. It was very interesting to hear your report on the rising phosphate levels in your tank.

Did you manage to get your hands on any of this product?

Phosguard ??

Let me know if you manage to find it anywhere? Perhaps one of our helpful forum sponsors will be able to order it in for you if you cant get it down at your local LFS.

:p:p

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Thanks for the imput and link Willy Wombat.

Copied from the link;

" PhosGuard™ is a high capacity and high efficiency filtration product for removing phosphates and silicates from marine or fresh water aquaria. Unlike competing products, PhosGuard™ is bead-shaped for optimum flow characteristics and has an exceptional porosity for enhanced capacity. PhosGuard™ has a working capacity to remove 20 to 60 mg/L phosphate in 100 gallons with a similar impact on silicates."

I am not familiar with silicates. What impact do they have in a tank, and what happens if they are removed?

I use Seachem salts, will PhosGuard have an impact on its make-up?

Craig

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Craig -

Without knowing what is in seachem salts (which we don't)... it is impossible to say what effect removal of silicates would have.

I would guess that removal of silicates wouldnt be a problem for the fish - although it will lower the gH.

HTH

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Hi Craig ,

I dont think that silica removal will have a large effect on your fish - i would say from an osmoregulation point of view silicates are fairly inert. Yew is correct that the silica salts do have an effect on gH int he tank though - so there will be a slight reduction there. The only problems that i can see is a reduction in the growth of diatoms (type of algae) in your tank - which require silica to reporduce.

see this link for more info

If the algae that you are trying to grow for your tropheus includes diatoms you might have problems. (This is unlikely)

Cheers

WW

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osmoregulation?

Now there's a word! Have no idea what it means. It sounds great, though it went straight over my head :)

Thanks guys, your imput has been fantastic.

Craig

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CT

Sorry - i can be a bit like that sometimes - osmoregulation is concerned with how fish balance the salt levels in their bodies. For their cells to function properly fish require the level of salt to be within the normal range. Too much is bad, just like too little is bad. osmoregulation refers to how fish balance the "osmotic" levels of salts and other dissolved materials in the fish's blood.

Blood is the substance that controls the level of salt in the fish's cells. Becuase fish live in an enviornment that is either not salty enough (freshwater) or too salty (marine) they have to find ways of maintaining the balance. If you were to pour a whole heap of table salt (NaCl) into a tank for example - the fishes would sh_t themselves because it would upset their osmotic balance because salts would rush into the blood through thin membranes in a fishes gills.

Looking at the example of silicates - If you were to put your phosguard into the water and removed all the silicate salts from the water in your fish tank within a few hours, this could have an effect on the "osmotic"/salt ballance in your tank - but i am saying that these salts are fairly innert (dont do much in fish), so you dont have to worry about it.

Hope that helped to clarrify - let me know if you want me to confuse you some more matey.... :):p:p

WW

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After long observation and testing, I have concluded the phosphate levels in my tank are not a result of using Sera Flora. I changed over slowly with another food, eliminating Sera Flora as a source of phosphate, and my phosphate levels remained the same.

It was suggested that the phosphate may be leaching from the rocks (originally suggested by Yew - good call by the way). Which I couldn't believe as the rocks are basalt, and I didn't think rocks of volcanic origin could do so. However, after some testing, I do now believe that the phosphate in my tank has been leaching from these rocks. I tested after water change, put some water in a separate container, more in another and in addition put rocks from the tank into this last container. I tested at the end of a week, and found that the container with only water was more or less the same as it was the week before, while the tank and the container with the rocks, had risen. It was difficult to tell, as one had to decide between different colours of blue on the test kit.

I have tried using Aquasonic's phosphate remover, but though it brings the phosphate down to .5ppm, it must be removed after only a few hours or you risk it releasing the phosphate back into the tank. I bought on the weekend another phosphate remover, forgotten the name at the moment, but it is one put out by Julian Sprung, who has a really good name so I have high hopes for it, especially as it doesn’t release the phosphate it has trapped, and can remove it down to .015ppm.

My b/g is still nice and healthy, once I put this phosphate remover in I hope this won't stay the same. But in case it does, my next step is erythromycin.

Craig

Edited by CThompson

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very interesting experiment CT - you should qualify for a SCP science award!

Thanks for the update. Let me know how you go with the new stuff.

WW

PS: got any photos of the bga?

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Guest Gutty

Glad to hear you got it sorted Craig.

Lata

Matt

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Thanks for your interest Willy Wombat and Gutty,

I wouldn’t however say I have the problem sorted out though. I have had the new Julian Sprung (PhosBan) phosphate reducer in my tank for two weeks. I haven’t tested it this week (will do so on the weekend), but I tested just before the water change last Saturday, and the phosphate had reduced to .1ppm, which is a huge drop from 3.0ppm (the highest the test kit could measure/indicate).

And the BG? It’s still there! wink.gif If it has reduced, it has done so to such a marginal level, that I am undecided if there is a change or not. I was hoping for a dramatic shift, but that is not to be so, so what I am holding out for now is a slow decline in the BG, eventually sliding down to a point where the levels are not an issue.

What I have also learned about BG (if I can remember it correctly) is that it occurs in three stages/forms. One where it is actively growing (which is when forms mats and we can see it), secondly where it is floating around suspended, and not visible to the eye, and thirdly when it goes into a “cryogenic” mode where it sits out conditions waiting for them to improve blink.gif . This third stage is a worry, as it means that if reducing my phosphate levels to a point where the BG can no longer feed off them, as soon as conditions suit them again, they will be straight back. That implies to me that I will still

need to dose the tank up even if the PhosBan is successful??

I have heard the BG doesn’t like actinic blue fluro, so I might try replaying one of my light tubes once I have a solid conclusion of PhosBan’s effects.

Craig

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I tried the erythromycin route, cleared it up in 3 days. I bought it in tablet form, I added Half of the recommended dose, and it was all but over the first day. My infection was so bad it was covering everything in the tank including the gravel, growing plants and other algea. It was actually produicing tiny little bubbles it was growing that fast. (I have 4.7watts to the Gallon). The fish didnt change there behaviour, Although they are not as fussy as yours.

Just my 2 cents

Anthony

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Guest Gutty

I have a couple of 4ft actinics i'm not using if you don't have any of your own Craig. They can be expensive !!

Only up the road, give me a yell if you'd like to borrow/buy them.

Damn you're patient..........that BG would be giving me the heeby jeebies by now.....

Matt

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Anthony,

Could you please give me more details in regards to the tablet form of erythromycin you used so I may purchase it also. I have been seeking an injectable form of erythromycin as it will not have colours/sweeteners or other additives, but the search is still ongoing. It would be nice to have an alternative that a fellow aquatist has used, if I cannot find it in an injectable form.

I have been told that one can use erythromycin with colours and flavours added to it, but have also been told by another learned individual that they believed that once treated the fish got better but seemed to become a bit more susceptible to other maladies blink.gif

Gutty,

Thanks for the offer. I already have one which I can use, gotten a couple of weeks ago. Haven’t used it yet as I want to know if I eliminate the phosphate, do I eliminate the BG. Once I form an opinion on reducing phosphate and its impact on BG, then I will use the actinic tube if needed.

Patience is one of the requisites of this hobby, and after 30 years, I have a bit for my/our affliction. Other things will set me off like a lit fuse though… sadsmiley02.gif

Willy Wombat,

Forgot to add, I have no photos of the BG.

Craig

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Not a problem, when I am at home I will post the details of the tablets, dont know about the globes though, The BGA was going nuts in my tank and I have 2 x 150w MH @ 10k so These lights are fairly blue based.

Just to confuse you a little more, I havent seen any signs of it returing either. 4 weeks on and fingers crossed

Anthony.

Should be able to post the details tonight.

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If you blasted it with erythromycin, I wouldn't expect you to see any of it. The problem is, whatever conditions that caused your BG to prosper in the first place, will still be there, and it may only be a matter of time before you reintroduce BG (it can come in from the air!) and your problem will restart. If you resort to anti-biotics enough, eventually we will have a BG algae strain resistant to anti-biotics.

What you need to do is sort out why the BG was able to proliferate in the fist place, and you'll find it won't be as simple as having lots of light.

What I learned in the past, when I had a BG algae problem with my 400l planted tank, was that I had no nitrate (the plants sucked it out as a fertiliser). I learned that BG algae problems in planted tanks are often found in association with either poor tank maintenance, or a deficit of nitrate. In my case, I was using PMDD, and it was a simple matter of increasing the amount of nitrate in the PMDD, and I eradicated my BG. I did not use any anti-biotic, and it never came back again in the three years of this tanks life (it now has my Tropheus).

IMHO, one needs to understand why the BG has gotten a foothold in a tank, fix that up, and use the anti-biotic if required, but only once you have fixed the reason why the BG was existing in the first place rolleyes.gif .

Craig

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Water changed and tested on the weekend. Phosphate was still .1ppm, and I do believe there may be a slight reduction in the amount of BG there!

Craig

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Thats good news Craig. Keep us informed of your progress.

Cheers

WW

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After two weeks the phosphate rose from .1ppm to .5ppm. I changed it for new stuff, and added the actinic blue tube in conjunction. There has been an impact on the BG growth, but from what I experienced from the first lot of Phosban I added, it will be only a matter of a few weeks before the effects of Phosban on the phospate fail.

Anthony,

could you please inform me of the details on erythromycin you mentioned?

Name of produce?

Where purchased (chemist?)?

Dosage (you mention "half dose", but I got the impression that what you bought was for human consumption. If this is the case, how do you do a "half dose" when you are mixing it for water capacity?)?

Thanks for your help

Craig

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Hi Craig,

The product I used was called

AQUARI-CYCLINE

Each tablet contains 375mg Tetracycline Hydrochloride

Dose Rate recomended was 1 tablet to 20 litres of water

I used 1 tablet to 40L of water.

Worked a treat.

I got mine from a aquarium in Melbourne... They arnt on the net though.

Cheers

Anthony

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Thanks Anthony.

Does anyone know of where this can be purchased?

Wayne, do you have it or can you get it?

Craig

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I have found another product by the name of Bio-tet, an Aquasonic product, and obtained in my case from Jennifer at Aquamail.

It contains tablets of 375mg Tetracycline Hydrochloride, with a dosage rate of 1 tablet for 20 litres, same as the AQUARI-CYCLINE.

It comes in a bottle size of 25 tablets for $17.95 or 100 for $50.80.

I’ll let those interested how I go.

Craig

PS. My B/G is still a loverly green colour.

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I dosed tank last night. So far the BG dosn't look very happy, but as of this morning, it is still there.

How long did it take you to get rid of your Anthony?

Did you do a water change after 24 hours and redose?

Craig

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