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Posted 03/04/2014 at 11:17 AM by Sk8r

CYANO: how to fix it.
Cyanobacteria AKA cyano is not an algae. It's a bacterial sheet. It's red or brown (according to your lighting) and it has oxygen bubbles in it. This stuff is ancient and ubiquitous (everywhere). It gave Earth its oxygen after the Permian Extinction (before the rock that got the dinos). It is the foundation of the photosynthesis of all green plants.

So forget trying to avoid it. It's probably in every house and pond on the planet.

Every tank is likely to have outbreaks particularly in spring and fall, particularly as the planet's angle shifts relative to the sun and sunlight starts reaching the tank from windows that never used to reach it. Guaranteed cyano outbreak.

Also when your lights are nearing their expiration: MH is good, eg, for about 8 months to a year before it undergoes a spectrum shift and becomes unuseful. Write the date of acquisition or expiration in laundry marker on your lights or in your logbook and you'll never be left wondering if you should make an 80.00 light replacement now or later.

And beginners should NOT use chemical means of ridding themselves of cyano unless you have a monster skimmer. Without a skimmer potent enough to take out the dieoff, you can crash a tank.

The best method for a moderate case is a 3 day lights-out once a month. Won't hurt corals. But a total blackout is NOT good for dragonets, who go profoundly to sleep and can be attacked by, yes, snails. So if you have dragonets or wrasses, just turn the lights out and don't drape the tank.

You MUST have a skimmer to do this efficiently. However, a water change after lights-on can do good. And both are not a bad idea. This exports the dieoff.

When turning your lights on, run only the blue lights on the fourth day, then go back to normal on the fifth. This lets everything wake up naturally, as when cloud breaks after a bad storm.

You must repeat this process several months running to really get rid of the pest. Using a [never used for turkey!] turkey baster to siphon out the red sheets before you start the process is helpful.

You'll generally see your corals emerge undamaged. They mostly suffer from lack of light while covered by the red sheet. The bacteria themselves do no apparent harm.

Remember: patience. Do this no oftener than once a month, for 3 months. With water changes.
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  1. New Comment
    I'm a little confused about what the steps of this process are. Is this what I should be doing?

    I don't have any dragonets or wrasses, so to just clear it up I should start by using a turkey baster to siphon the bigger chunks of the bacteria out and then turn my lights off for 3 days and put a blacker over the tank only to open once a day for feeding. Then on the 4th day I remove the blanket and keep the blue lights on for the time that the lights would normally be on, then on the 5th day I put the light schedule back to normal and then do a water change?

    And are you sure that this will be safe for my Elegance coral, my Hammer coral, my little sea anemones and of course my fish??
    Posted 03/08/2014 at 11:17 AM by TheSWHobbyist TheSWHobbyist is offline
  2. New Comment
    Sk8r's Avatar
    Start without a blanket: just turn the lights out. If this doesn't work, then you may need more protection from light.
    Fish will happily come out to eat, mostly, and if they don't, don't worry.
    Storms on the ocean do this all the time. Yes, your corals will be fine.
    You have the right idea, just no blanket unless you have strong ambient light, and even then don't shroud it completely.
    Posted 03/08/2014 at 12:30 PM by Sk8r Sk8r is offline
  3. New Comment
    boogly's Avatar
    Sk8r if you run lights in your refugium on an opposite schedule, do you need to leave these lights off as well?
    Posted 06/02/2014 at 02:56 PM by boogly boogly is offline
  4. New Comment
    Sk8r's Avatar
    No. Don't, if you have caulerpa algae: that stuff can go toxic in a lights-out.
    Posted 05/12/2015 at 04:01 PM by Sk8r Sk8r is offline

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