Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Hawkfish 08-22-2006 02:35 PM

:Poll: Species that eat Cyanobacteria
Yes i'm new here and don't know a massive amount about saltwater aquariums but my school has been keeping one but it was in such bad shape that everything died except one unknown damsel and three very small anenomes. When me and a freind of mine came in we got haylide bulbs and flourescent bulbs and a few new fish. anyways we are left with a little gift from the previous era which I am sure you all know very well I am speaking of course of cyanobacteria :x well we have been using chemicals to keep it under control but I of course want to get rid of it. I have come across a few things that people have said will help but I would rather talk on a little bit of a more personal level. So far the reccomendations I have gotten include Scarlet reef and Electric Blue Hermit crabs as well as a queen conch. THe conch interests me the most as they grow rather large and do a good job of eating cyanobacteria. The main thing I ama fraid of with them is if they will eat our purple coral which has just started emerging on our rocks. Will they also leave my anenomes alone? I'll just give a list of whats in the tank. The tank is 250 gallons with 1 flame hawkfish, 1 flam angelfish, 1 unknown Damsel and 4 anenomes (one of them split) as well as many unkown snails that I do not know the species of. i have seen a few very very small hermit crabs. one with black and white striped legs and two with red legs. I am afraid I do not know their species either. Well any help would be appreciated. Feel free to elaborate on any other fish you would reccomend as well that would be compatable with what I have. Oh and would cleaner shrimp be compatable int he tank?

Ramirezi160 10-12-2006 07:11 PM

I know how you feel.
Our school has a 240 gallon tank which had a cyanobacteria outbreak that we just got under control. I did a bunch of research, and the only thing that I could find that would eat cyano were tadpoles, which doesn't help much in a SW tank.
A good chemical that helps with the cyano is ChemiClean. I'm not sure if it's invert safe, so you'd have to check on that. You could also try macro algae to out-compete the cyano. When we tried it though, the cyano just coated down the algae and smothered it out.
We ended up doing some aggressive water changes, setting up a refugium for some macro algae, and letting our rock dry out to kill the cyano, but this didn't help a whole lot. In the end, we invested in a diatom filter and just kept up with water changes, and that seemed to do the trick. The tank looks 500% better.

I hope some part of that rant helped. Let me know how you guys make out.

caferacermike 10-12-2006 09:35 PM

Only clean water will help. Cyano lives off decaying organics. When something orgain is left undisturbed long enough the cyano will sproout up.

Chemi clean... Only masks the problem. Trouble is you have cyano for a reason. CC will kill it off temporarily but it will come back. Dead cyano becomes decaying organic material as well, see the chain? Not a good choice in the long run.

Water changes. Significant improvement. Will help very much. Probably nigh nitrates or phosphates in the tank.

Stop feeding. Start feeding everyother day. Feed very little.

Lighting. Your lighting spectrums may be burning out. Bulbs should be replaced at least yearly, not when they burn out. As the spectrums fail lesser organisms thrive.

Clean up crew. You guys are talking baout 240g tanks. You'd need thousands of micro hermits and snails to eat the detritus. A bunch of serpent stars will help scavenge as well. I'd look at getting about 12 or more sand shifting stars. Clean up crews A++ answer. I try for about 10 cleaners (snails or hermits) per gallon of tank.

Flow. Cyano collects in low flow areas. Any area that has troubles needs more flow. Tunze 6080 stream makers or Seio 1600's would be good choices. Would probably need 2 or 3 for those huge tanks. Anytime cyano began to colonize the currents would just wash it away. A++ answer.

bettababy 10-20-2006 02:11 AM

There are a few things combined that will help a lot. When doing the water changes, do a gravel vac in the sandbed around the rock and anemones. Be careful to control your water flow coming out so you don't suck out the sand, but once the sand is cleaned, the cyano will back way off, you'll remove a lot of organic waste. Also, when vac'ing, use the hose to suck the "silt" off of the rocks, as this also feeds the cyano. You can do this and suck the cyano muck right off the rocks at the same time.
Along with that, be careful not to overfeed the tank, and for critters, blue leg and scarlet hermits will help, but in a tank that size you're going to need a lot of them. Nassarius snails, sand stars, brittle and serpent stars, and diamond gobys are all good for keeping the sandbed clean. The trick is to keep the nutrient levels in check and to gather the critters to help do so. Adding more live rock can sometimes help, too.
There are a number of animals you could add, but I'd stick to getting the maintenance crew stocked before trying to add more fish, considering the circumstances.

Tracy 10-21-2006 01:05 AM

Wow. It's all so complicated. My office has a 180 gallon marine/reef aquarium, with about 6 fish in it and a lot of invertebrates I can't identify. does one need a degree in marine biology to keep a saltwater tank?

bettababy 10-21-2006 02:57 AM

No, not a degree, but a willingness to learn and to study/do research before making the attempt is always important. Think about it, you are trying to recreate a natural environment that animals can survive in, doesn't it make sense that to create it you first have to know and understand it? If you don't know it, how will you create it? If you don't understand it, how will you make it work properly? Think of it as free education. When I worked at the store, I used to tease that I got paid to learn... who wouldn't want to get paid to go to school? It's really not a bad thing.

Ramirezi160 02-04-2007 10:27 PM

Stomatella snails are rumored to eat cyanobacteria. Usually come in with soft corals for some reason.

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