cyanobacteria & purmycin

Discussion in 'Plant Problems' started by AdrianT, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. AdrianT
    Offline

    AdrianT Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    73%
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,804
    Likes Received:
    1,483
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Anybody have experience treating a tank with purmycin? I've got an outbreak of cyanobacteria, presumably from low nitrate levels and potentially ammonia at some beginning stages from the Aquasoil. I hear it's 200mg for 10 gallons (45 litres). Is that correct? Thanks
     
  2. Chongkie
    Offline

    Chongkie Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    23%
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    712
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Pietermaritzburg
    from my understanding, you can "cure" this by doing a black out! but not sure how as I haven't done it before.
     
    AdrianT likes this.
  3. R.C.
    Offline

    R.C. Moderator Staff Member

    • Global moderator
    23%
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    4,399
    Likes Received:
    706
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Think I still have some erythromycin somewhere that I didn't end up using. You should first try manually removing as much as possible, then a blackout and perhaps look into the Redfield ratio. Leave the antibiotics as an absolute last resort.
     
    AdrianT likes this.
  4. AdrianT
    Offline

    AdrianT Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    73%
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,804
    Likes Received:
    1,483
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Shot Sunny, thanks R.C.

    Did some research and found that a blackout for 3 (better 4) days works best. So I'll do 4. Let's see what happens.

    I realise now I made a critical mistake. When algae started appearing I backed off on dosing in the thought that less nutrients means less algae - WRONG. I should have maintained and would have had less, but probably still have had this BGA. Seems a very common thing to happen in new high tech tanks, never picked that up on this forum. I should have been dosing more nitrates for sure. I graciously offer myself up to the school of hard knocks.
     
  5. Lmcloete
    Offline

    Lmcloete Green fingers

    • APSA Member
    9%
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Johannesburg
    Hi Adrian,

    Here is a intense discussion on the topic:
    http://www.tropicalaquarium.co.za/archive/index.php/t-2467.html

    Of particular interest is this:"EM is gram positive. Nitrifying bacteria are gram negative. Cyanobacteria are also gram negative, but seems strangely sensitive to EM. There is hardly a fish dissease which can be treated with EM these days, so the use of this anti-biotic will not cause immune strains of anything in your tank."
     
  6. AdrianT
    Offline

    AdrianT Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    73%
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,804
    Likes Received:
    1,483
    Trophy Points:
    173
    I take any discussion from TASA with at least 10 kg's of salt o_O Read that one already.

    It's quite funny. Here, everyone was saying "dude you have too little light" when I was planning this tank, elsewhere, people are saying, "you have too much light" :sunny::laughing:
     
  7. Lmcloete
    Offline

    Lmcloete Green fingers

    • APSA Member
    9%
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Johannesburg
    Ok, how about this one:
    [F/M]Blue-green algae and erythromycin, a summary. (long 8k)
    by -at-Tony.Clementz.mikrbiol.lu.se (Tony Clementz)
    Date: 7 Feb 92
    Newsgroup: rec.aquaria

    I've followed the postings about blue-green "algae"
    and Maracyn (erythromycin) the last few weeks and the
    following is an attempt to review some facts about
    erythromycin (the active ingredient in Maracyn) and blue-green
    algae, with special emphasise on the use of erythromycin for
    treating blue-green "algae" infections.

    BLUE-GREEN "ALGAE" IS NOT AN ALGAE.

    Thats right. The correct name is blue-green bacteria
    (or cyanobacteria for those latin freaks out there). So
    without going into a lot of details, blue-green algae is a
    bacteria so an outbreak of the stuff in your tank is actually
    an infection.
    It is important to know that blue-green bacteria
    comprise a large and heterogeneus group of organisms. Not even
    the color is the same. Some are green, some blue-green, and
    some are red. They can be found almost everywhere in nature.
    They are usually more tolerant to extreme environments than
    "normal" algae and can be found in hot springs as well as
    saline lakes. Drying your gravel and tank is subsequently not
    an efficient way to get rid of them. Some species can even be
    found in the middle of the dessert. Blue-green bacteria
    efficiently absorbes light between 550-700 nm, which is
    roughly the same as for plants and green algae.
    As we all know, they thrive in warm water, rich in
    nutrients. However, many blue-green bacteria is not dependent
    on nitrite, nitrate, or ammonia, since they can use molecular
    nitrogen (nitrogen fixation). This all leads to the well known
    conclusion - once established in the tank, they are a pain in
    %&#-%&. I wonder how many potential aquarium hobbyist has been
    lost because their first tank became covered in green slime
    within six month.

    GRAM-NEGATIVE AND GRAM-POSITIVE BACTERIA.

    Bacteria can be divided into two groups, either Gram-
    negative (G-) or Gram-positive (G+). This classification is
    based on if the bacteria stains (+) or not (-) in a special
    staining technique - the Gram staining (invented by Christian
    Gram). Positive or negative staining reaction reflects a
    fundamental difference in the structure of the cell wall of
    the bacteria.
    ERYTHROMYCIN IS AN ANTIBIOTIC.
    Erythromycin is more efficient towards G(+) bacteria
    than G(-). It is one of the safest antibiotics, meaning that
    it does not affect plants, fish or animals. Blue-green
    bacteria belongs to the G(-) bacteria but it is a special case
    with respect to sensitivity to antibiotics (i'm on thin ice
    here, but I think I am correct). They are more sensitive to
    erythromycin than other G(-) bacteria. Fortunately, the
    bacteria important for the nitrogen cycle (your biofilter) are
    of the G(-) type and are much less sensitive to erythromycin
    than the blue-green bacteria. So your biological filter is
    "fairly" safe.
    The reason that some tanks experience an ammonia peak
    after treatment with erythromycin is (probably) not because
    the biological filter is non-functional. It is more likely
    that it is because of the high content of protein released
    from the dead blue-green bacteria which is broken down to
    ammonia and/or nitrite by the "good" nitrifying bacteria in
    your biofilter. This boost of protein to be broken down upsets
    the finely tuned balance of different bacteria in your filter.
    (Actually, if you killed of all bacteria in your tank and
    filter, you would never get ammonia).
    In many countries in Europe there are restrictions on
    buying antibiotics. You usually need a prescription. I suggest
    contacting a vet. If he can prescribe antibiotics for a mouse
    I'm sure he can do the same for your tank. Remember, your tank
    is infected.

    WHAT NOT TO DO.

    First a few things NOT to do (my own, very personal,
    experience).

    If you have an established infection, do not try to
    get rid of it by turning the lights of. Most likely this will
    get you into more trouble. Your going to kill of the "good"
    algae and the plants, but the blue-green bacteria is going to
    return when you turn the lights back on (usually more fiercly
    than before).

    Personally I don't like copper. Copper is poisonous to
    everything - plants, fish, and bacteria. At least in Europe,
    most "miracle" treatments you buy contains copper.

    You could try manually removing the blue-green algae,
    combined with extensive water changes. But in my experience
    it's fruitless, unless you spend all your free time with your
    fingers in the green slime. Ever tried to clean the stuff away
    from Cabomba or Java fern? Then you know what I mean.

    WHAT TO DO.

    Of course, tank hygien is important. Regular water
    changes and all that. But for those who has been doing it all
    according to the textbook and still wondering if your doing
    something wrong, don't despair, you have'nt been hit by a
    blue-green curse.
    Me myself, I get an infestation in about every second
    tank (freshwater) I set up. These does not correlate to any
    increase in ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate (I do not keep check
    on phosphate, but I plan to). One exception is tanks with soft
    and acid water. You rarely find blue-green bacteria in these
    tanks since most bacteria, including blue-green, do not like
    acid conditions.
    The followin is my suggestion for battleing blue-green
    algae:

    First make sure that it is blue-green bacteria and not
    the "normal" algae. Remember that erythromycin is ineffective
    on anything but bacteria.

    Day 1.
    Add 2.5 Mg/L erythromycin. If you have a protein
    skimmer, turn it off. I believe it will inactive a lot of the
    antibiotic through coprecipitation with protein. It will,
    however, be very usefull later.

    Day 2.
    Add 2.5 Mg/L erythromycin.

    Day 3.
    Now you should see a lot of dead blue-green bacteria
    floating around in the tank. Increase filtration (a second
    mechanical filter if possible) to get rid of it. If you have a
    protein skimmer, turn it on. The critical thing now is to get
    rid of as much protein (dead bacteria) as possible to avoid a
    peak of ammonia.

    Day 4.
    Most blue-green bacteria should be dead by now. Try to
    clean out as much as possible of the dead stuff. I use a jet
    stream of water from the outlet of a canister filter to remove
    it from plants and decorations. Combined with the second
    mechanical filter, this works fine for me. Let the filter work
    for a couple of hours then make a 50% water change. Add 2.5
    Mg/L erythromycin.

    Day 5-7.
    Wash the mechanical filter at least once a day. Keep
    check on ammonia and nitrite but do not change any water
    unless absolutely necessary. The extra filter can be removed
    as soon as the water clears up.

    Day 8.
    Make a 30% water change. Add 1 Mg/L erythromycin.

    From now on, resume your normal maintenance.

    The concentration I use is in theory a bit high and
    getting up where it should starts having an effect also on G(-
    ) bacteria. When I started using erythromycin I had problems
    using lower concentrations in the tank. It was not very
    effective. It might be time to check it again.

    One word of caution. Only use erythromycin when you
    really need it or you might end up with blue-green bacteria
    resistent to the antibiotic.

    My practical experience of using erythromycin to
    battle blue-green bacteria is limited to my own few tank (and
    some friends). It would be interesting to get some feedback
    from people with experience (good or bad) of battling blue-
    green bacteria (with or whithout erythromycin). I would of
    course post a summary of the response.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Tony Clementz | Email: Tony.Clementz.mikrbiol.lu.se
    Dept. of Microbiology | or
    University of Lund | Internet: biogen6-at-gemini.ldc.lu.se
    Solvegatan 21 | BITNET: BIOGEN6-at-SELDC52
    S-223 62 Lund | Phone: +46 46 104451
    SWEDEN | Fax: +46 46 15783
     
    AdrianT likes this.
  8. AdrianT
    Offline

    AdrianT Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    73%
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,804
    Likes Received:
    1,483
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Thanks for the post, very interesting. What's also interesting is that he says do not do a blackout, but yet every single other source says the blackout is the only way... And he also says your filter is "fairly" safe :rolleyes: What will be will be.
     
  9. Slagter
    Offline

    Slagter Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    • Sponsor
    73%
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,988
    Likes Received:
    915
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Location:
    Joburg
    I've used Eurythromycin to treat Cyanobacteria a few times, with excellent results. I no longer use it, because I no longer have cyano. But I dosed one capsule per 100L of tank water. Following day, big water change. 2 days later dose again. Following day big water change. 2 days later dose again, and last big water change. It solved my issue very well.
     
    AdrianT likes this.
  10. Lmcloete
    Offline

    Lmcloete Green fingers

    • APSA Member
    9%
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Johannesburg
    Jip, in a case like this I tend to go with the Microbiology professor...?
     
  11. AdrianT
    Offline

    AdrianT Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    73%
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,804
    Likes Received:
    1,483
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Someone else was telling me this isn't cyano, but BBA. What do you guys think? It looks nothing like BBA to me!

    I did 3 days worth of Eurythromycin, then a 60% water change and have wrapped the tank totally dark. Do you think I'll be in for a nasty surprise when I unwrap it Friday? Dead fish etc.? Or no change?

    And, do you think 3 x 54 Watts T5's is too much for the tank? When I started it I was adamant 2 x 54 was enough, then later realised perhaps it wasn't. Now I'm confused :eyeroll:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. shihr
    Offline

    shihr Administrator Staff Member

    • Super Admin
    23%
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,863
    Likes Received:
    1,786
    Trophy Points:
    223
    Location:
    Edenvale
    dude, its a new tank, siphon out the cyano as best you can and do a wc every time you see this.. rem to keep ferting and you will see that eventually it will go away.

    i get it, nearly every time i start a new tank.. AS is just very rich
     
    AdrianT likes this.
  13. AdrianT
    Offline

    AdrianT Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    73%
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,804
    Likes Received:
    1,483
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Sweet thanks. Will still do this blackout thing for 3 days then. Massive mistake I made by reducing ferts when I started seeing algae.... Do you think my lights are too much? According to me, I fall into the medium category. Unless I'm mistaken.
     
  14. shihr
    Offline

    shihr Administrator Staff Member

    • Super Admin
    23%
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,863
    Likes Received:
    1,786
    Trophy Points:
    223
    Location:
    Edenvale
    i really dont recommend black outs. your plants suffer more than your algae.

    your lights are fine.. just do them wc and siphoning..
     
    AdrianT likes this.
  15. AdrianT
    Offline

    AdrianT Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    73%
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,804
    Likes Received:
    1,483
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Okie dokes!
     
  16. R.C.
    Offline

    R.C. Moderator Staff Member

    • Global moderator
    23%
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    4,399
    Likes Received:
    706
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Don't make too many changes at once. Stick to manually removing for now. If you feel like you can't keep up, then start looking at one of the more drastic measures. Making too many changes will only result in further imbalance.
     
    AdrianT likes this.
  17. shihr
    Offline

    shihr Administrator Staff Member

    • Super Admin
    23%
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,863
    Likes Received:
    1,786
    Trophy Points:
    223
    Location:
    Edenvale
    oh and only 20% wc hey.. coupled with the weekly 50%
     
    AdrianT likes this.
  18. AdrianT
    Offline

    AdrianT Aquascaper

    • APSA Member
    73%
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,804
    Likes Received:
    1,483
    Trophy Points:
    173
    Shot! Opened it up now (I'm at home sick :crybaby2:) and will do a small water change and siphon off more rubbish.
     
  19. wearsbunnyslippers
    Offline

    wearsbunnyslippers Administrator Staff Member

    • Super Admin
    23%
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Messages:
    6,333
    Likes Received:
    1,122
    Trophy Points:
    223
    Location:
    Johannesburg South
    it is not cyano. it is much worse, to me its as bad as clado..

    it is not BBA but it is in the same family; rhodophyta.

    i have been battling this algae since i got it in cape town 5 or so years ago, still havent managed to get on top of it :(

    peroxide and excel seem to work temporarily, but if i skip a few days, it's back with a vengeance..
     
    AdrianT likes this.
  20. Dylan S
    Offline

    Dylan S Plant menace

    • APSA Member
    10%
    Joined:
    May 10, 2014
    Messages:
    581
    Likes Received:
    349
    Trophy Points:
    73
    Location:
    Cape Town
    Ive noticed that nobody has mentioned flow. I'm no expert but I had some BGA at some points but manually removed it then increased the flow of the filters and redirected the stream so it improved circulation to areas where there wasn't any and where I noticed the BGA was starting. As soon as I improved the flow it never returned.
     
    AdrianT likes this.

Share This Page