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Just when things started to calm down on the noisy drain front; this.

lt started as a few little pink specks in the sand.  I naively thought nothing of it; just another colorful bit to the saltwater aquarium.

yeah.

Now it’s everywhere.  Covering the sand, on my live rock, up the glass.  

I’ve been siphoning and stirring up the sand.  I’ve added filter socks to catch what’s stirred up and then remove and clean them.  I bought a Gyre to increase flow but ended up dialing it back to 10% flow most of the time because more looked like a storm at sea and sent the fish running for cover in the rocks.  I’ve tried to minimize the amount I’ve been feeding them (they always behave like they’re starved but I don’t think they are.  I checked alkalinity and it’s over 8.  Other numbers seem fine.

l’m wondering what the prognosis is.  I assume I’m not the first to go down this road, what did you all do and how effective was it?

Thanks

 

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Hey John...

Cyano is no fun but you are starting off correctly.  Siphon off as much as possible into a filter sock or while doing water changes.  I would do a lights out for up to 72 hours...while not feeding your tank during that time.  If you can increase flow to the most effected areas that can help too.  I would try to keep the filter socks changed out and clean as much as possible.

Cyano is a bacteria.  So even if it appears gone it can be lingering in flirtation etc.  So reducing nutrients during the battle is key as well as lighting and then increasing flow.  Keep at it!  With a couple water changes and siphoning you should make a lot of headway. 

If all else fails you can use cyano clean and follow instructions completely.

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Thanks.  It’s good to know that I’m at least on the right track.  I’m reluctant to go blackout and food free for so long...  the fish look at me with those pleading eyes...  : P

Seriously though, I thought  I read that Cyanobacteria doesn’t respond to low light the way algae does.  Does it still help?

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I have had great luck with using Hydrogen Peroxide! Make sure it is the 3% one, dose 1ml per 10 gal after lights are out. Use daily for two weeks Leaving light out for a few days will help too along with increasing flow.

Here are some interesting articles about it:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1010207314408

http://www.refdoc.fr/Detailnotice?cpsidt=18420025

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On 5/13/2018 at 7:52 AM, MrsBugmaster said:

I have had great luck with using Hydrogen Peroxide! Make sure it is the 3% one, dose 1ml per 10 gal after lights are out. Use daily for two weeks Leaving light out for a few days will help too along with increasing flow.

Here are some interesting articles about it:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1010207314408

http://www.refdoc.fr/Detailnotice?cpsidt=18420025

 

Wow.  That sounds kinda scary, but I'd love to be able to dose this stuff out without hurting the fish.  H2O2 is safe for fish, inverts, coraline, etc.?

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CyanoRX works wonders. Siphon as much cyano out as you can, turn your skimmer off, take carbon offline, and follow the recommended dosage. Leave all that offline until the cyano is gone (usually takes appx a week, depending on how much cyano is present), do a 20% water change. Leave your skimmer off for a couple more days (2-3) to make sure cyano is really gone. Turn your skimmer back on at a low water level setting, because it will overflow some. Observe your skimmer for the next week or so until you get it adjusted to where it's pulling skimmate. Enjoy a cyano free tank. 

Watch the frags you add in the future as if they have cyano on them, even if it isn't visible, you will start the process again. In my opinion cyano is the "best" nuisance to get in this hobby because if you know how to combat it you can beat it back pretty easily. 

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1 hour ago, ryansweet said:

In my opinion cyano is the "best" nuisance to get in this hobby because if you know how to combat it you can beat it back pretty easily. 

Now that's what I like to hear!

Thanks.

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OK, so here's the next question that I want to answer before I do any sort of dosing of the tank:  Over the past few weeks I've taken around a gallon of "top" sand off the bottom, basically trying to capture and remove some of the cyano.  It made a minor dent in the stuff but didn't last long.  Now however, I have a little Easter bucket full of tainted sand.  So do I:

  • Put the sand back and then treat the tank?
  • Treat the tank and somehow treat the sand separately?
  • Toss the stuff and suck it up; it's only a bag of sand!

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On 5/13/2018 at 7:52 AM, MrsBugmaster said:

I have had great luck with using Hydrogen Peroxide! Make sure it is the 3% one, dose 1ml per 10 gal after lights are out. Use daily for two weeks Leaving light out for a few days will help too along with increasing flow.

Here are some interesting articles about it:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1010207314408

http://www.refdoc.fr/Detailnotice?cpsidt=18420025

Does the H2O2 require a post-use water change like the antibiotic treatments do?  Any other special handling/considerations?  I'm thinking I might like to try this first.

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Personally, I'd throw out the sand and add a new bag if you want more. 

In my experience, the peroxide has worked more as a "keep things under control" rather than a "cure". I dosed peroxide for 3 rounds at 2 weeks each and cyano came back within a couple of days of stopping. With the cyanoRX I went for almost 2yrs with no cyano issues, then added a frag from a friend's tank that I knew had cyano, and had to treat again. I then went for just over 3yrs without cyano and added a few different frags that I didn't notice had cyano. I just treated for that a couple weeks ago. 

Another thing to consider is that while dosing peroxide I've noticed that my soft corals don't react well. My zoanthids close up within minutes of dosing and will stay closed for an hour or so. I also think I lost a toadstool from dosing peroxide. It would pull it's polyps in within minutes of dosing and not come out for a few hours. By the end of the second week of dosing (first round of 2 weeks) the leather had shriveled up and I ended up losing it in the second round of peroxide dosing. 

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53 minutes ago, ryansweet said:

Personally, I'd throw out the sand and add a new bag if you want more. 

In my experience, the peroxide has worked more as a "keep things under control" rather than a "cure". I dosed peroxide for 3 rounds at 2 weeks each and cyano came back within a couple of days of stopping. With the cyanoRX I went for almost 2yrs with no cyano issues, then added a frag from a friend's tank that I knew had cyano, and had to treat again. I then went for just over 3yrs without cyano and added a few different frags that I didn't notice had cyano. I just treated for that a couple weeks ago. 

Another thing to consider is that while dosing peroxide I've noticed that my soft corals don't react well. My zoanthids close up within minutes of dosing and will stay closed for an hour or so. I also think I lost a toadstool from dosing peroxide. It would pull it's polyps in within minutes of dosing and not come out for a few hours. By the end of the second week of dosing (first round of 2 weeks) the leather had shriveled up and I ended up losing it in the second round of peroxide dosing. 

Sorry to hear about your corals!

OK.  I'm looking for an actual cure.  Had I realized what this was at the beginning the Peroxide would likely have worked great, but at this point?

I don't have any coral (FOWLR for the moment), so no issues with that either way.  I'll dump the sand, it's not a big deal.

 

Thanks.

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I always do a water change after any treatment.

I've never had soft corals, just lps and sps and never had any problems with them or the fish while dosing peroxide. 

Ever tank is different and what works for some may not work for others. I have not used cynoRX but have used other similar products with not luck. Peroxide is what worked for me. If one doesn't work try another one. 

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Amanda is correct saying that tanks are different and some things work for one and not others. 

I never had issues with my lps, sps, clam, anemones, or any fish. But there is a proven affect on soft corals that you can find if you do a little research. Mostly just an irritant which softies close up, lose color until dosing is stopped long term, and some (though few) losses. So if you don't have any soft corals, you may try peroxide and see if that works.

And please take into consideration that anything I say is only personal experience, others will have different experiences. both good and bad. There are people who have had great luck treating with peroxide long term (I have a friend who doses every day, and has for a long time). There are also people who dosed cyanoRX and saw zero effects, good or bad. And also those who've had horrible experiences with both. 

One thing you can you may consider also, is to make sure it's cyano that you're dealing with. If it is, it's an easy fix with multiple solutions. If it isn't, then we need to find out what it is and go from there. 

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11 minutes ago, ryansweet said:

One thing you can you may consider also, is to make sure it's cyano that you're dealing with. If it is, it's an easy fix with multiple solutions. If it isn't, then we need to find out what it is and go from there. 

Fair point there.  I'm going by descriptions on the internet so...   

This is a magenta colored substance that is covering my sand, and now some of my rocks .  It started out looking like a coloration to the sand, kind of the way coraline colors rocks, but after awhile it got thicker and if left in place it forms a wispy looking dark film on the sand which then begins to creep up the sides of the tank.  When scraped or moved at all it turns out to be very thin and condenses into small strands which are fairly heavy and don't float in the water column very long without a lot of water movement.  It's difficult to vacuum up because of this "weight".  After stirring or siphoning the sand it looks clean except for where these strands land, but within a day it begins to pink up again and spreads rapidly over the sand within a week.

I could take a picture, but I'm not sure how easy it is to ID from a photo on the internet.

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2 hours ago, John Freas said:

I could take a picture, but I'm not sure how easy it is to ID from a photo on the internet.

 

Truest statement ever. It definitely sounds like cyano from your description. The best way to confirm is with a microscope, just to be sure you aren't dealing with dino's, or another form of bacteria. 

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I gave it the first dose of Cyano RX Sunday afternoon.  By the morning things looked a lot better.  There was still some hanging around though, so we'll see what this afternoon looks like.  I may need to do a water change and re-dose.

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Well things are looking really good 48 hours in.  No live Cyano anywhere that I can see.  Some brownish patches that look like dead bacteria but the rest is nowhere to be seen.  Hurray!

 

Thanks to all for the advice.  Tomorrow will be the 25% water change.  I hope there’s no harm in waiting an extra half day, it’s too late to do it tonight.

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Congrats. If it’s any consolation, I leave it around a week before my water change so I’m sure an extra few hours won’t give you any negative results. 

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Good to hear.  Does anyone here know why the water change right after treatment is called for?  Obviously the antibiotic isn't harmful to the occupants of the tank, and it kills the Cyanobacteria, yet what I've read says to do a large water change right after the treatment.  Just wondering why.

1 hour ago, ryansweet said:

Congrats. If it’s any consolation, I leave it around a week before my water change so I’m sure an extra few hours won’t give you any negative results. 

 

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I would guess that the dying bacteria may cause a spike in ammonia/nitrite leading to raised nitrates. So the water change could be necessary to keep those levels in check. It should be such a small spike in ammonia (that’s why they say to siphon as much out as possible) that a mature-ish tank should be able to handle it  

 

Though I’m not sure what cyano bacteria degrades to, so I may be completely incorrect. 

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Just a follow up.  It’s been a few weeks and the tank is still looking great.  No problems with livestock.  Chems are all looking fine.

 

Thanks again to all for the advice.

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LOL, it never occurred to me to post a picture of clean sand :)

I didn't take a "before" picture.  I'll try to remember for future threads, though I hope I don't have to repeat this process any time soon.

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Well, they’re baaaaack...

 

Actually they were back.  I hit them with the CyanoR/X and knocked them down again.  That was last week.

I’m afraid that my nutrient removal is inadequate. I don’t think I feed them too much (once per day, a 1/4x1/2x1/8” chunk of LRS Fish Frenzy) but my skimmer doesn’t seem to be removing anything.  It doesn’t seem to want to produce foam.  It’ll make wet bubbles but the result is almost completely clear.  I can catch stuff in filter socks which I can return to, but that defeats the purpose of the skimmer, no?  Even those don’t seem to stop the cyano.

As promised I took a picture this time.  I didn’t want to let it get too far so this isn’t nearly as purple as it got the last time.

 

9C7F95B1-925A-43E0-BB8B-95C543BC0397.jpeg

E20A5D27-C696-4CE8-9924-EBB09968D763.jpeg

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How has this developed the last week or so?  

Doesn't look like too bad of a bout this round at least.  You could definitely feed every other day while you are battling this also.  

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