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Cyano-killer from Marian Sterian!

Art

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    Marian Sterian îs one of the owners of MasterLine, a European line of fertilizers, and one heck of an aquascapers. His tanks are out of this world.

    This is from one of his posts on Facebook that I thought I would share here. It's good advice on killing cyano at the substrate/glass contact point.

    For bad boys and girls. Neahhh, just kidding
    🙂
    . It's just a way to get rid of cyanobacteria.

    This is a 60 ml syringe with a very long needle that i am using to kill the cyanobacteria that grows between the glass and the soil.
    I fill it with 15 ml MasterLine Carbo and 45 ml water, i insert it between the glass and the soil and i slowly release the Carbo while moving from left to right and vice versa in such way that the entire length of the aquarium is treated. 15 ml Carbo is the daily dose for this tank size. I can use up to 30 ml daily.
    If this is not enough to treat the entire length of the tank, i continue to do it in the following days. I don't want to overdose the Carbo too much.
    The cyanobacteria will die in the following days and the risk of it spreading thru the entire tank will be gone entirely.
    Afterwards, by cleaning the zone between the substrate and the glass at every maintenance, the cyanobacteria will not grow anymore. I just insert the tip of the tweezers to the bottom of the tank and i move from left to right and vice versa. This way, the dirt accumulated in that zone will be released in the water column and removed while doing the water change.
    The reason why cyanobacteria grows there, is the fact that dirt accumulates in the substrate and has access to ambient light and light that reflects from the lamp. The fact that this is a zone with no currents also encourages the growth of cyanobacteria.
    By keeping it clean, you can get rid of the risks for the cyanobacteria to grow.

    Keep your tanks as clean as possible and the algae problems will be minimal.
     
    Hi,

    This post has come at a good time for me. I have a couple of questions if I may..

    Are there other ways to reduce cyanobacteria between the glass and soil?

    Does increasing the oxygen level in the tank help minimise cyanobacteria?

    Is Masterline Carbo similar to Flourish Excel?

    Will treating the whole tank with Chemiclean kill the cyanobacteria between the glass and soil?

    Is cyanobacteria between the glass and soil something that most tanks experience?


    I am experiencing cyanobacteria in my tank, only between the glass and the soil. I don't see it anywhere else.

    I've read that some people use a plastic scraper and slide it down in between the glass and soil so it's not so unsightly. I guess it will keep coming back?

    I'd prefer not to use any chemicals unless absolutely necessary.

    Cheers,
    Joel 👍
     
    Hi Joel -

    So let me try to summarize my thoughts. I trust others will join in with their thoughts.

    I've gotten cyanobacteria in my tanks many times. Usually, I can attribute it to:
    1. New tank instability
    2. I let the tank get too dirty
    3. It was brought in on a plant
    4. I was experimenting with dosing carbon to the tank and I overdid it
    I have not experienced cyanobacteria between the glass and substrate. My guess is that the substrate is too dirty in that spot as a result of lack of vacuuming. It's a lower oxygen environment but I don't think oxygen level is the primary culprit.

    I've dealt with my cyanobacteria outbreaks in various ways but the only ones that really have worked are either dosing with Flourish Excel (similar to Masterline carbo) or erythromycin. I've tried Chemiclean with limited success. Excel contains glutraldehyde that is a type of formaldehyde. It benefits plants in the photosynthesis process but it also can be used as an algaecide.

    Certainly using a credit card or plastic scraper will work. I use it for green dust algae that I do get there. However, it isn't a long term cure.

    Hope that helps.

    Art
     
    Hi Joel -

    So let me try to summarize my thoughts. I trust others will join in with their thoughts.

    I've gotten cyanobacteria in my tanks many times. Usually, I can attribute it to:
    1. New tank instability
    2. I let the tank get too dirty
    3. It was brought in on a plant
    4. I was experimenting with dosing carbon to the tank and I overdid it
    I have not experienced cyanobacteria between the glass and substrate. My guess is that the substrate is too dirty in that spot as a result of lack of vacuuming. It's a lower oxygen environment but I don't think oxygen level is the primary culprit.

    I've dealt with my cyanobacteria outbreaks in various ways but the only ones that really have worked are either dosing with Flourish Excel (similar to Masterline carbo) or erythromycin. I've tried Chemiclean with limited success. Excel contains glutraldehyde that is a type of formaldehyde. It benefits plants in the photosynthesis process but it also can be used as an algaecide.

    Certainly using a credit card or plastic scraper will work. I use it for green dust algae that I do get there. However, it isn't a long term cure.

    Hope that helps.

    Art

    Thanks Art,

    I appreciate your response, and yes, it does help. Cheers

    My tank is relatively new, it's been planted for 3.5 months, post the initial cycling period.

    I do vacuum on a weekly basis, perhaps just not quite deep enough. Yesterday, during maintenance, I vacuumed a little deeper into the top layer of soil resulting in a far better clean. I think locating what areas of the tank accumulate dust and detritus more so than in other areas prove to be key also for a more effective clean.

    Something else I'm trying to improve on is plant placement and trimming techniques. Maybe I could start another thread for that 🤔

    Regards,
    Joel 👍
     
    In the past when I have had cyano against the glass at/beneath the soil line I treat it with 3% peroxide. I use a long syringe just like in Marian's post but I don't dilute it with water. Just straight 3% peroxide. When peroxide dilutes in water, it releases a high amount of o2 which kills cyano fairly quickly. Usually everything is gone within 24hrs so long as the problem is localized to this single area and it hasn't spread.

    In my experience its cause comes down to a couple of compound factors:
    Cyano can thrive along the glass when there is built up detritus in the soil due to infrequent maintenance along with high Co2 injection and high-light. I skipped maintenance the last 2 weekends so I'm starting to see signs of it now after 16 days without a water change. Art's point about the soil being dirty and creating an anaerobic environment is spot on in my opinion. If cyano has spread elsewhere, turn-off co2 and blackout the tank for 5 days. After 5 days do 50+% water change and clean the tank well making sure to remove dead organics. I've had very good success with this method.
     
    Last edited:
    In the past when I have had cyano against the glass at/beneath the soil line I treat it with 3% peroxide. I use a long syringe just like in Marion's post. When peroxide dilutes in water, it releases a high amount of o2 which kills cyano fairly quickly. Usually everything is gone within 24hrs so long as the problem is localized to this single area and it hasn't spread.

    In my experience its cause comes down to a couple of compound factors:
    Cyano can thrive along the glass when there is built up detritus in the soil due to infrequent maintenance along with high Co2 injection and high-light. I skipped maintenance the last 2 weekends so I'm starting to see signs of it now after 16 days without a water change. Art's point about the soil being dirty and creating an anaerobic environment is spot on in my opinion. If cyano has spread elsewhere, turn-off co2 and blackout the tank for 5 days. After 5 days do 50+% water change and clean the tank well making sure to remove dead organics. I've had very good success with this method.

    Thank you, very helpful 😊
     
    I found it interesting that Marian doesn't use hydrogen peroxide because it will also kill the bacteria in the substrate. While I can understand that, the area is so small compared to the rest of the substrate that the bacteria will re-colonize in no time.
     
    Hi,

    This post has come at a good time for me. I have a couple of questions if I may..

    Are there other ways to reduce cyanobacteria between the glass and soil?

    Does increasing the oxygen level in the tank help minimise cyanobacteria?

    Is Masterline Carbo similar to Flourish Excel?

    Will treating the whole tank with Chemiclean kill the cyanobacteria between the glass and soil?

    Is cyanobacteria between the glass and soil something that most tanks experience?


    I am experiencing cyanobacteria in my tank, only between the glass and the soil. I don't see it anywhere else.

    I've read that some people use a plastic scraper and slide it down in between the glass and soil so it's not so unsightly. I guess it will keep coming back?

    I'd prefer not to use any chemicals unless absolutely necessary.

    Cheers,
    Joel 👍
    based on my experience dealing with cyanobacteria.

    im using hydrogen peroxide h202. the one you can buy from pharmacies. 6%.

    you can also use normal syringes.
    to hit those in between glass and soil. fish and shrimp safe.

    15ml maximum on 60cm tanks.

    *vacuum out manually
    *drain water
    *inject h202
    *fill water
    *dose with fresh bacteria starter like stabilty or api quickstart
     
    Thanks, Leo. That's a good writeup of the process.

    I see people using a gluteraldehyde product or hydrogen peroxide most often.
     
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