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Barbara - Cynobacteria (Carpet Algae)

Posted By: Leadfoot <leadfoot@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Sunday, 19 June 2005, at 8:30 a.m.

Hi, Barbara,

I seem to remember some time back that you were battling that pain in the a$$ cynobacteria in one of your tanks. Well, over the past 3-4 months or so, I've been battling it in one of my tanks.

I first got sign of this pest in a tank I setup for my daughter, but the addition of two zipper loaches got rid of it, because they actually ate what was there, then their subsequent stirring of the substrate prevented it from coming back.

A few months later, one of my well-established tanks suddenly got it, and it thrived at a rate so high, that the zippers I threw in the tank couldn't keep up. It was so bad I could almost literally watch it grow. I multiplied within hours. The tank is in my office, and if I cleaned it in the morning, by lunch time I could an increase in it!

No amount of water changes, or filter cleanings made any difference; even if I manually removed every bit of the algae I could, it would still come back. For over 3 months, this stuff both plagued and puzzled me. Because I keep plants, I wasn't willing to try alage killers or copper.

Well, last week, I finally tried a new attack. I cleaned the tank of as much as was practical of the stuff, cleaned the filter, and did a 30% water change. Although starving the algae from light never previously helped me combat black brush, black thread or green algae before, even though I used blankets for complete blakouts, I wondered if it might be different for uni-cellular species like cyno.

Thinking I had nothing to lose, I unplugged the light from the timer after finishing cleaning. I didn't completely black out the tank or anyything else, so the fish and plants still got ambient light.

The next day I changed water again. Although the algae was still there, I noticed that the algae that was removed had not come back. I kept the light off for a second day.

On day 3 when I went to perform yet another water change and filter cleaning, I wondered, "Could it be?" It actually looked like the algae was receding! I was so excited after months of struggle, I just HAD to turn the light on, just to be sure my eyes weren't playing tricks on me. Sure enough, the algae was almost completely gone! I immediately turned the light back off, changed water and cleaned the filter.

The next day ALL the algae was gone. I kept the lights off on that fourth day just out of paranoia. :-) On day 5, I let the lights come on for 2 hours; day 6, four hours and still no algae. Today is day 7 and I'm going for 6 hours, but by the looks of it this stuff is finally gone! Yeeeee-haaaaaw!

Just thought you might want to know. :-)

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