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Victory over Blue Green Algae!


I've been plagued for the last nine months with cyanobacteria (BG Algae)
and finally it has waned. I stopped fertilizing the water column except for
occasional KNO3 and MgSO4. I supplemented the soil/vermiculite substrate
with Job's Palm and Fern Fertilizer sticks, but this did not mkes much
difference in the BGA.

The BGA started to retreat when I made change in my CO2 brew. I've been
using two 1 liter bottles on a 29 galllon tank. When I made a new batch, an
inch of brew was left in the bottle to innoculate the next batch. The brew
would take a few days to really get going and CO2 output rate was low but
the bottles would bubble for two months, but with two bottles and
alternating the start dates, I always had a supply of CO2.

With the El Nino rains and nothing else to do, we opened and tried the
bread maker my wife got for christmas a couple of years ago. I found some
pakages of 1992 expiration yeast, and tried making a loaf of wheat bread.
The bread was like lead, the yeast was too slow.

So next time around, I dumped a full packet of this expired yeast in the
brew, figuring at least it would provide nutrients for the yeast from the
previous culture. The brew bubbled up a storm, even overwhelming the
capacity of my  CO2 reactor. Within a few days I noticed the great green
gobs of BGA were not coming back as fast after I scraped them off the
plants and sides of the aquarium. Instead, very thin light gossamer sheets
of BGA were growing on some of the plants. After a few more days, even the
light sheets stopped growing.

After observing the sudden reduction in BGA, I dumped in three capsules of
erythromyacin this weekend. That has accelerated the demise of the BGA and
my tank only has a few small clumps of it left.

My suspicion is that my tank was CO2 limited, and the PMDD fertilizer
regimen that I had been using helped both the BGA and the plants. After the
CO2 increase, the  plants appear to be outcompeting the BGA for nutrients.


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