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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my dad and I have a 90 gal reef that has been overrun with cyano for sometime but we are just now getting serious about getting rid of it. My dad thinks it would be easier just to drain everything and start from scratch but I disagree. I made a bet with him today to give me 3 weeks to try to get rid of it myself and if that doesnt show any signs of promise we are going to reset the tank. Currently in the tank are 2 percula clowns, 3 peppermint shrimp, ~10 astrea snails, and a small frag of galaxia coral with about ~50 lbs of live rock. Any suggestions on how to get this under control so that we dont have to reset the whole tank? I just cleaned the protein skimmer out this morning. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

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How long has the tank been running? What's your maintenance routine like? What kind of flow do you have in the tank? Most cyano outbreaks can be beaten by increasing flow (if it's low) and lots of hard work. I'm rooting for you - I don't see cyano as a reason to start from scratch. It's very possible that whatever happened to cause it this time will just repeat itself if it's not corrected, so just start now. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tanks has been running for years this is the first time we have had a cyano bloom. I just cleaned as much as I could earlier today and am planning on sucking the gravel later tonight. Bi or triweekly weekly water changes with sucking the gravel with hose whenever we have time to. 2 Hydor powerheads on opposite sides blowing about 15 degrees below parallel.
 

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When you say "gravel" do you mean you have actual gravel, not sand? Do you blow off the rocks along with siphoning the bottom with each change? What percentage water changes do you do? What strength (gph) are the powerheads?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I mean sand sorry. Yes I siphon after removing the cyano. 20-30% water change. I doubt it is the flow since these powerheads have been in the tank for a while before the bloom but they are 450gph
 

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That's WAY too low of flow for a 90 gallon tank. Your waste is settling on your rocks and soaking in, that's what's fueling your cyano. I have two 1050 gph powerheads in my 55 just to give you an idea of flow in comparison. In a 90g tank I would want 3150-3600 gph flowing through it. The point of adequate flow is to avoid "dead spots" where waste will settle and soak into rocks and sand - this fuels algae later on. If it remains suspended by flow it breaks down in the water and can be removed by skimming and water changes. Upping your flow will help tremendously.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll try upping the flow with some new powerheads but if that is the problem why did the bloom only happen recently when these powerheads have been in there for a while? We haven't changed anything else out of the norm so that's why I'm confused on how to fix it.
 

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Rocks and sand can soak up a lot before they get full and start "purging". My guess would be that your rocks kept soaking in all that detritus that was landing on them, now they're full and purging what's in there. I'd definitely up the flow, that will help keep this from repeating in the future and help keep new cyano from growing as you remove it. You're doing really well with the amount of water changes you're doing, that will definitely help. Also set your skimmer to skim wet. With those three things and keeping to it for a while you should be able to beat this. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How long would you say before the purging is over, any estimate? I'll try to get some more flow going and change my skimmer if it already isn't set for wet.
 

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Sorry, have no clue. My cyano battle took a few weeks but Phane said in your other thread it may take a few months. The good news is that even if you haven't beaten it in the time frame you gave your dad you should definitely see some improvement in that time, so at least he'll know it's not a lost battle. Good luck! Keep us posted!
 

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Personally I'd suggest two things (not knowing your current situation, maybe they don't apply, but this is what worked for me when nothing else suggested i.e. water changes, lights out, more flow etc. didn't work) 1) if you feed pellets / flakes - get rid of them. I have found in my experience pellets are a great source of food for cyano, I've switched to feeding blender mush that I make myself and it has helped clean up cyano. 2) do LESS water changes. I was doing a 10-20% weekly water change based on everyones suggestions until I came across a claim that doing weekly water changes could actually be the source of cyano outbreaks. Not many people are going to suggest less water changes... but it has worked for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'll try that rininger85, thanks for the suggestion. However with my increased sucking of the sand water change takes place anyways so I don't know if that will hurt rather than help as you said. I'll proceed with with my scheduled maintenance and keep updating.
 

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Just something to consider if siphoning the sand doesn't show signs of decreasing cyano. There isn't a one solution fixes all for everyone... I tried all of the conventional approaches for getting rid of cyano and none of them worked, so I turned non-conventional... my approach now is just letting the cyano run its course... it takes time, but costs less and less work for myself. Could be more stressful on yourself though if you have a lot of corals, I've started holding off on adding corals until after I see a cyano outbreak and clear up now just because I expect it to happen in every tank I set up now.
 

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Reef Boy, are you using RODI water? If not, all your water changes could make things worse instead of better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
One could only hope for the magical cure all for cyano but obviously it doesn't exist. As for letting it run it's course this bloom has been in the tank for atleast a few months I believe.
 

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My work tank I noted in my build thread on 1/27 that I noticed cyano starting. Today is the first day I can say it's pretty much gone... there is still a small amount on the sand, but the rocks are clear of cyano for the first time... so just about 2 months that mine stuck around. The main difference as I see it is my tank is new, your tank is old, so it is quite possible that something changed in your maintenance or water routines that caused the cyano for being in a tank that is "years" old. Increase water changes, disturbing a sand bed that had not previously been disturbed (including adding new critters that might disturb the sand), bad RO/DI filters (not using RO/DI), changing foods, using the same food but the company that makes it changed something, increasing the amount of food you feed, changing your stocking levels... all possible reasons for the cyano outbreak...

That or your sand has reached it's max threshold and needs replaced... sand beds have a life cycle, eventually they need replaced so if your tank is a few years old it might be time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
After removing a significant amount of cyano from the sand bed and rocks, changing our RO filter, changing back to frozen shrimp, and siphoning the sand I believe the cyano is beginning to regress. Some small patches have appeared in the sand but I think the tank is on the right track. On top of all that maintenance, we are finally close to switching over to a radion 30 pro which I believe further help by limiting the range of light usable to the cyano. Yay!
 

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I hated when I had a cyanobacteria in my nano. I went to my awesome LFS and they gave me some of this stuff called "Chemiclean Aquarium Treatment" or something like that. It is made by Boyd Enterprises. It was super cheap, being only about $20. It only took a few days to kick in, and then ALL of the red cyano was gone! You should try looking for that stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
@TheSaltwaterMaster
I'm glad that solved your cyano problem but personally I avoid putting any chemicals into my tank. My outbreak has now been under control for a monthish with a few spots here and there but no signs of coming back, thanks though!
 
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