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Re: nuking cyanobacteria (BGA)

Teresa wrote:

>Hi!  At the risk of being thoroughly thrashed by the experts who know far 
>more than me, a newcomer, I will share a tip that I found on the Krib.  I 
>feel like this tip was a lifesaver.  My particular cyanobacteria was a nasty 
>black green slimy thing that grew faster than anything I had ever seen.  I 
>did water changes, I scraped, I siphoned, I tested for nitrates, ammonia, 
>nitrites, I found nothing and nothing I did slowed this stuff down a bit.  I 
>also heard that this stuff fixes its own nitrogen.  It was killing my
>and my fish were not happy either.  It got so bad that it was literally 
>blanketing the entire tank.  I nuked the stuff with 2.5 milligrams per liter 
>of erythromycin and it died almost immediately.  I know that it is
>a bad move by a lot of folks but I was desperate.  I believe that the stuff 
>had grown to the point that I needed a strong weapon to get it under
> I know that it can come back again unless you address the underlying causes 
>and that it can be resistant to antibiotics the second time.  I increased 
>light a little and put in water lettuce (a little easier to control than 
>duckweed) to sop up extra nutrients and so far so good.  I also heard that 
>sometimes it appears in new setups like mine and then disappears as the 
>system matures.  Anyway there it is for what its worth.  If I hadn't heard
>the erythromycin thing, I might have given up entirely.  It was really

I don't think anyone doubts your resolve or responsibility here Teresa.
BGA is some really nasty stufff that will kill fish.  You recognize that
using antibiotics w/o addressing the underlying conditions that cause the
outbreak is wrought w/ potential long-term problems.  

A better short-term solution is hydrogen peroxide dosing (3.0%).  There is
no chance the BGA will develope resistance to it and it doesn't hang around
long enough to threaten your biological filter.  As long as you apply it in
moderate doses you should'nt stress fish.  I've used 10-20cc's added to a
twenty gallon twice every day for a weekend but others recommend higher

Florida Flagfish for Hairalgae Elimination: