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[APD] Re: grey slime

Hi Steve

I'm sorry you have to deal with that stuff.  I still
don't know exactly what it is myself.  At the
convention last year, Claus told me that he thinks
it's a cyanobacteria of some sort, and that seemed to
be the general consensus of other people I've talked
to.  The fortunate thing (if it can be looked at that
way), is that I've only ever gotten it once or twice a

It will show up after a big change in the tank.  It
has shown up after I've put in new light bulbs and put
in a co2 controller (more constant co2 levels).  I
think the end result of those two things is that they
sped up plant growth and bottomed out the nutrients. 
I usually see a tiny bit of regular cyano shortly
before it shows up.  The weird thing is that for the
past two years or so, there has almost always been so
little algae that you would have to examine the tank
for a while just to find any (plant growth has for the
most part been very good).  So, I don't think you're
necessarily doing anything wrong.  At least not right
now.  Once it gets going, it is nearly impossible to
stop by normal means.  It will grow right along with
the plants. 

How do you get rid of it?  As Tom Connors mentioned, a
UV will work.  The thing that I don't understand is
why Tom's seems to be so much more effective than
mine.  We both have 8 watt Aquanetics units.  His is
hang on and mine inline.  He tells me that his usually
takes about 3-4 days to zap the stuff (is that correct
Tom?).  Mine always took about a week or more.  Then
after the second or third time I had the slime, it
stopped having any effect. Tom's still works just fine
as far as I know.  

A diatom filter is more of a temporary solution. 

Any antibiotics I've tried haven't worked, so if it is
cyanobacteria, it must be really tough.   

The easiest way to get rid of it is to simply unplug
the lights, turn off the co2, and cover the tank with
blankets so it is _totally dark_ for about 4 days. 
Some plants will look really scrawny and some really
sensitive species may not make it (Blyxa japonica is
one), but they should recover.  Remove as much of it
as you can before you do the blackout if you do.  If
you have access to a UV, run it at the same time.  I
wish there was a better way, but I don't know of one. 
It has never once just gone away on its own or after
my correction of tank conditions.

I have never seen it stick to a fish.  

Do you know anyone locally that has it?  Even though
I've never sent anything out when I've had it (and I
send out a LOT), I suspect that the darkness it would
encounter during transit would kill it if it were
present.  I'm pretty sure I must have reintroduced it
somehow because the blackouts really knock it down. 
That or it's in the air.  Take your pick.  I sent some
to Tom Barr via priority mail a while ago, but it
apparently died before it got to him.  I'll have to
find someone around here to identify it I guess (if I
or Tom C. get it again).    

I think I know how to prevent it now (no more very,
very low nutrient levels) and I'll be keeping my
fingers crossed.  

I hope this helps.  Let us know how it turns out. 


PS  It would be helpful if you turned the word wrap on
on your e-mail program.  Otherwise, we have to scroll
side to side to read it (in the archives anyway).   

PS PS  I have a really poor pic of it I can e-mail you
if you like.    


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