11-26-2011, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by flowerslegacy
Thank you Byron. My dieing plants and then losing a fish led me to look towards osmotic shock. I appreciate all your help because I know my post required some research. Along the same lines of water chemistry, I noticed yesterday that I have cyanobacteria starting in 3 of my tanks. One tank had it really bad so I removed the fish, washed off the decorations, removed the plants, turned up the filter and proceeded w/a 4 day black out. Obviously I have some sort of lack in my water chemistry to promote this organism. I baffle my filters and divide my tanks because I have bettas, but I'm aware that some highly planted tanks don't even have filters. Will the consistency of Flourish help maintain proper minerals contents? Along with the proper lighting I now have for my plants? Perhaps this bacteria promoted the death in my plants as well? At the very least I now what cyanobacteria smells like so I'm aware when it's present. Thanks again Byron - as always. I'm worried about adding fish back in to my tanks until I have this bacteria thing figured out.
Cyanobacteria is primarily caused by excess organics--the demise of the plants is a major contriutor to organics. Obviously light has to be present. But other types of true algae will normally appear in excess light, whereas cyanobacteria means more excess organics. I never see it in some tanks, but I have had a couple tanks where it has been unbelievably heavy. Interestingly, tanks with crypts are more prone to it; i don't know why, but Karen Randall mentioned this some years ago in one of her monthly columns and I have noticed that it applies to me. The only exception was getting it very mildly in a tank deliberately sitting in front of a high-light window, and now and then I may see a tiny bit on a floating plant that is directly under the light. I would start with reducing light for cyanobacteria as for any increase in green algae (cyano is not an algae, it is as the name suggest a bacteria, but it is commonly grouped with algae).
In tanks that are new, or those that have had a recent imbalance in the biological system, cyano as with any algae has an advantage, so getting things stabilized (as you've been doing with better light, etc) is the first step. You might want to reduce liquid fertilizer; I went from twice weekly to once weekly with Flourish when cyano was bad, and I believe that slowed it. Removing as much as you can every water change will sometimes suddenly cause it to stop. Providing the organics issue is fixed of course. While the blackout method will usually get rid of it, this is not fixing the cause and it will often return.