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Novel non chemical treatment for blue green algae/cyanobacteria

Chris Fellows

New Member
Joined
28 Apr 2020
Messages
7
Location
Cumbria
Hello everyone - I am a relative newcomer to this hobby, and it will not surprise you to learn that I have already encountered many types of algae in my high energy planted tank, including BG algae. Having tried all sorts of alterations to my tank - increasing nitrate, decreasing nitrate, increasing light, decreasing light, snails, otoclinus, armano, increased tank cleaning, etc etc, I was on the verge of using erythromycin to get rid of the stuff, but before I did so I thought I would try one last recommendation which was a three day lockdown on lighting, which more or less eradicated the stuff ( to the point where non was visible when the lights went on again ) until, as expected, it started to become apparent again about 9 days later. I noticed, however, that at this point it was not on the leaves or in the middle of the tank anywhere, but only at the border of the substrate and glass on the two outward sides ( which get direct daylight, but no direct sunlight ) , just creeping onto the substrate. Being a bacteria, I presumed that it might be rather heat sensitive, and so I got a jug of boiling water, and a 20ml syringe, and then, having filled the syringe with the near 100C water, by hand proceeded to inject the water onto the edges of the sustrate where the algae was seen, using about 20ml of the water for every 4cm length of substrate - directed only at the edges. The effect was immediate as the algae lost its bright green colour, and proceeded to die very quickly ( I siphoned it out afterwards ). Early days yet, but two weeks on, not a sign of the pesky stuff. I have no doubt at all that it will be back, but this method, after a lockdown for three days, is very very quick, cheap and appears so far to be effective. I will keep you posted!!
 

rebel

Member
Joined
4 Aug 2015
Messages
2,222
Nice work! boiling water will kill most living things so should work for cyano. It would also be strangely satisfying given how pesky it can be.

I am known to use this treatment for garden weeds.... I usually add vinegar to the boiling water just for kiks n giggles.
 

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
1,717
Location
Nottingham
Nice one @Chris Fellows, I'll have to remember that one. I've always misted BGA with Excel, and it seems to get rid of it in less than 24 hours, but your boiling water technique would certainly be less invasive for the rest of the tank.

The long terms solution to BGA seems to be maintaining high dissolved oxygen levels, which is probably why is often found along the edges of the glass and substrate where DO is lowest.
 

PARAGUAY

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2013
Messages
2,025
Location
Lancashire
Bit of an enigma BGA. As l recall PFK did a article on it a few years back going through all different approaches Think the conclusion that multiple water changes regular filter clean and substrate , debris clean along with water flow seemed the way forward but it was in conclusive:(
 

Tim Harrison

Administrator
UKAPS Team
Joined
5 Nov 2011
Messages
8,380
Location
UK
It is a curious microorganism and not something my tanks have suffered. I only got it once when I made the mistake of placing a fish food feeding block on my gravel. Even then I just syphoned the infected gravel out and it never returned.
 

colmans

Member
Joined
8 Oct 2019
Messages
65
Location
nottingham
I've just used the Ultralife Blue Green removal and it's worked a treat. I tried Blue exit for a couple of months that did nothing. No idea what's in the Ultralife but it's so far solved a big problem as my plants were really starting to suffer. I had to ship it from the US but well worth it.
 

Kezzab

Member
Joined
18 Jan 2016
Messages
1,394
Location
Carlisle
I've just used the Ultralife Blue Green removal and it's worked a treat. I tried Blue exit for a couple of months that did nothing. No idea what's in the Ultralife but it's so far solved a big problem as my plants were really starting to suffer. I had to ship it from the US but well worth it.
Seconded.
 

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
1,924
Location
Bracknell
I tried Blue exit for a couple of months that did nothing.
Hi @colmans

Blue Exit can definitely help with cyanobacteria (aka BGA) if used at the early signs of this Blue-Green Menace. I demonstrated this in the following thread:

https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/cyanobacteria-identification-at-last.60496/

I'm very uncomfortable with using Ultralife BGSSR and other similar products as they may well disturb the biological balance of the tank ecosystem. Some products for eliminating Cyano/BGA contain antibiotics, which are not permitted in the UK without a registered vet's prescription. I believe this is why Seachem will not supply Kanaplex to the UK. I also know of cases where Cyano/BGA grows back if the root problem isn't addressed. The active ingredient in Blue Exit is salicylic acid, which can be extracted from the roots and bark of the Willow tree. Indeed, some aquarists use Willow pieces to suppress the Blue-Green Menace in their tanks.

JPC
 
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