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Re: Nuking Cyanobacteria

>Date: Wed, 15 Sep 1999 15:13:47 -0500 (CDT)
>From: Scott Slezak <saslezak at theory_uchicago.edu>

>I did not ask previously how to get rid of cyanobacteria in an established
>tank.  I am very aware of how to do this.  Please read the question when
>giving an answer.

>Wed, 15 Sep Ed Street writes:
>however cynobacteria exist everywhere as it's one of the bacteria

Scott, I think Ed realized that the tank was broken down and he was just
trying to point out that no matter what you do, these bacteria will still
exist in your tanks and if conditions are right for them to flourish they
will do so. Even if the tank, gravel, filters, etc were completely

If you still want to sterilize everything to at least reduce their numbers
as much as possible:
I agree with Steve about baking the gravel. Trying to rinse bleach off will
be troublesome. A bleach solution is probably good for ornaments, heaters,
hoses. I'd use alcohol for the inside of the tank IF these bacteria are not
known to be resistant to alcohol (and if I ever wanted to do this which is
unlikely). There's a few other sterilizers commonly used in wine making that
you might want to try (available at your local home wine and beer making
hobby shop - other things too like siphon hoses and hydrometers (for you
salt water people)).

(I hope I get all the product or chemical names right here):
One is called steribrite (or something like that) which rinses away easily
(easier than bleach). The other is SO2 gas made by mixing sodium (or
potassium) metabisulphite in water. This is used directly in wine (and some
gas stays dissolved) to kill bacteria in the wine - it does not kill yeast
though. It is also used to keep containers clean when not in use. Just leave
a cup of the solution in your closed container when not using it and the gas
will keep the container sterile (mostly). Note that it's for closed
containers - but the solution could still be used to clean a tank. Use in a
well ventilated area. Don't use if you are asthmatic or have otherwise
sensitive lungs.
One other product is potassium sorbate which is used to keep both bacteria
and yeast from growing in already finished wine (if you want to sweeten the
wine but you don't want the yeast to re-activate).

If you decide to look into using these products ask the people at the shop
for details on how to use these materials. Why not ask them for
recommendations for the most suitable product while your at it ;-)
Note that all these wine-making products are safe for human consumption
*when used as directed* so residual amounts should be safe for our tanks.

That's enough writing for now, eh?