3-days Lights out to combat Cyano

Discussion in 'Algae' started by OnlyTono, Mar 19, 2014.

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  1. gcarroll

    gcarroll Zoanthid

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    1 - Are there any signs I should watch for in some of the stony corals that would warrant me turning the lights back one - or will they be OK for three days.
    3 days of lights off, they will be fine.

    2 - I have an DYI algae scrubber in the Fuge sump - should I clean it and take it offline for the three days, or just leave it in place?
    I would leave it in place

    3 - I have auto dosers for Alk and Cal - should these continue to run as normal, or should I take those offline as well? My thinking is the corals and coralline will grow less during the 3 days with now light, so they may not need it.
    I doubt leaving it on will make much difference.

    4 - When the 3 days are over, should the lighting schedule/intensity go right back to where it was, or should I ease the tank back into the regular schedule and intensity?
    I would cut back a couple hours for a week or two.

    5 - Are they any other things I should keep in minds and watch for during these three days?
    The tank should be in complete darkness. This means putting a blanket of some sort to block out all light.

    I have always advised people doing this to change out GFO right before doing this. I also advised to siphon the excess cyano just before starting the lights out method. This is best done at the end of your lighting cycle. You may think you dont have phosphate but cyano cannot thrive without it. The GFO will absorb any residual phoshate released by the dying cyano. I also lig to use a larger dose of GFO only during the lights off period. You can return to normal after.

    Also Catalina water is high in silicates compared to water coming off a reef. This could also be contributing to your issue. GFO will deal with that as well.
     
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  3. OnlyTono

    OnlyTono Spaghetti Worm

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    Thanks for the input. The lights are currently off, but the tank is not wrapped. There is still a slight amount of ambient light in the room, but not much. I'll try and find something that can wrap the entire tank.

    For an estimated 147 gallons of total water volume in this tank - what would you suggest is a "large dose" of GFO. I've never run it before and I've done only a little research on it, so I really have no idea.

    thanks,
     
  4. gcarroll

    gcarroll Zoanthid

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    I would do 250ml in a reactor.
     
  5. OnlyTono

    OnlyTono Spaghetti Worm

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    perfect - I'll try and get that up and running either tonight or tomorrow.
     
  6. dsmerf214

    dsmerf214 Fire Shrimp

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    gcarroll pretty much covered it. The only other thing I can think of is manual removal of as much of the stuff as possible. even if your phosphates are reading low it could be a false reading because the cyano is eating them up.
    I went through this recently. I used a turkey baster to blow the stuff off the rocks and a net to grab as much as possible. Paired with gfo it is now gone.
     
  7. OnlyTono

    OnlyTono Spaghetti Worm

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    I've been doing the manual removal things - but it always comes right back.

    I found it interesting yesterday during the first day of lights out, that the cyano actually tried growing on the sand bed just as if the light had come on during the regular schedule. The difference this time though was instead of the forming a mat across the sand, it was more wispy.

    I also observed yesterday around mid-day that my skimmer (AquaMaxx EcoMaxx EM200) decided to stop skimming as if the surface tension had been broken. Kind of like when you feed the tank something oily. It kicked back in about 2 hours later and actually overflowed :confused:

    I'm going to manual remove as much cyano as I can today if it shows up today, despite no lights.

    I was not able to get the GFO installed last night, but I have everything but my hoses, so I should be able to get that up and running today.
     
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  9. oldfishkeeper

    oldfishkeeper Giant Squid

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    good luck on your strategy!
     
  10. OnlyTono

    OnlyTono Spaghetti Worm

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    Just wanted t outdate this thread.

    I was able to install the GFO reactor yesterday afternoon, so we'll see how that goes.

    I decided to let the lights come on today, instead of going the full 72 hours since doing so would hit the normal lights-off schedule, essentially pushing me into a 84+ hour lights off. Is it is, I was a little over 60 hours lights off.

    A few observations:

    Cyano has defiantly been impacted. Very little to no cyano visible on the sand, save for a few small spots, which I sucked up quickly.

    For the most part, Corals have all done fine, which the exception of a chalice frag I had. It appears to have some receding flash. But - this also had a little cyano on it before eth process, so it may just be the areas that had ben affected.

    PH styed much lower than normal during the entire process, dipping down into the 7.9 range, while ORP has stayed much her than what I had been seeing in the tank.

    Right now - lights have been on for about 5 hours, and ORP continues to rise, right along with the PH, which is also somewhat unusual for my tank.
    [​IMG]

    ORP is now hovering in the mid to high 300s. In the past, it rarely reached 310and generally stayed in the high 200s

    If a fish could look happy, mine do now that the lights are back on. most of them didn't care for the constant darkness.

    On the other hand, my pair of Dragonets (male & Female Scooter Blennies), actually may be a bit fatter. They where feasting on all the little bugs that came out because they thought it was night time. No their back to having to hunt for them.

    IMO, the jury is still out on when this worked, but it defiantly has made a change, and so far it appears to be a positive change.
     
  11. OnlyTono

    OnlyTono Spaghetti Worm

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    Just wanted to update this thread.

    So It's been about a week and half since I turned the light back on. Cyano has pretty much stayed at bay. A few small spot here and there but not much to worry about - that was until yesterday. Yesterday I started seeing some signs of it coming back.

    Today's water test also revealed a huge spike in Nitrates - 14ppm, up from 2.5 - 4ish just a week ago. I confirmed the result with three different test kits. Yikes!

    My guess is that the cyano was feeding off the nutrients, and providing a false reading which is kind of what I suspected.

    I've also observed some (not all) of the stony corals either look stressed or bleached to some existent which I think is likely due to the increased nitrates.

    I'm planning a series of large water changes this weekend and into next week to see if I can get this back under control.
     
  12. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

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    Yep, sounds like the cyano was harboring the nitrates(if I had to guess). Have you tested phosphates?