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>The hypothesis: I'm wondering if potassium gluconate might worsen a
>cyanobacteria problem. When I add 5 potassium gluconate tablets to the
>tank, most of what I'm actually adding (by weight) is glucose, a simple
>sugar. This has always kind of bothered me. Somebody in the tank has
>to eat up all that sugar, and I'm wondering if maybe it might be the
>cyanobacteria. (You could run an experiment where you try to grow
>cyanobacteria in tank water and glucose with no light I suppose... I
>remember from my days as a microbiology major that lots of bacteria are
>very adaptable in this sort of way.) Anyway, I thought I'd just throw
>out the idea for consideration.
Wouldn't other bacteria/fungus without the ability to make their own glucose
from photosynthesis(like the Cyano's) snatch up the glucose first? They
would need it to survive more than the Cyano's would. Do you add the tabs to
the gravel or just let them dissolve? Adding them to the gravel may help the
bacteria in your substrate a small amount and keep the glucose away from the
Cyano's for awhile. Glucose/K+ is very mobile in H2O so this may not amount
too much but just a notion depending on the speed/rate of the glucose being
> The anecdote: My job briefly got in the way of my aquarium interests,
>and my overstocked, overplanted, undermaintained tank developed pretty
>high nitrates (20+ ppm -- high for me). Cyanobacteria started growing
>along the glass/gravel line.
I hate that job thing<g>! Can ruin a tank fast.
I started adding potassium gluconate and
>the nitrates dropped (I was very pleased about this -- it was right out
>of Conlin and Sears), but the cyanos just kept on growing. (They do
>seem to behave in a somewhat "infectious" manner, in that once they get
>really established, they're much harder to control.) I'm wrestling
>things back under control now, but I can't help wondering if that 500
>gram dose of sugar every week didn't make things worse. Just a
>thought. In any case, I'm not going to finish using that bottle of
>potassium gluconate after all. I'm going back to KCl.
K2SO4 is good too. Try KNO3 later if you need it.