Is there a way to use H202 to clean rock without killing bacteria.

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optimisticdingo

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Hello everyone! My tank is currently overran by, what I believe is, Cyanobacteria. This strain of Cyano isn't red and slimey but rather brown and slimey. I've attempted dosing Vibrant and it hasn't done much. I've tried Chemiclean and no avail either. I've considered the possibilities of having Dinoflagellates and have a microscope on order to help me ID. Here are my tank parameters that I took yesterday

pH 8.2
Ammonia & Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate 25 ppm
Phosphate 0.1ppm

Today is water change day so a 20% water change should lower these values. I'm doing 20% water changes weekly instead of 10% to try and lower my Nitrate and Phosphate levels.

I'm trying to find a faster way to combat the algae and I've devised a method but I need some input because I don't want to wipe out beneficial bacteria.

In about a week my CUC comes out of Quarantine and they will be able to help clean up the sand bed a bit, but I need a way to clean the rocks. My idea is to place the rocks into 5 gallon buckets filled with water and peroxide to dissolve some of the algae on the rocks. After about an hour or so I plan on placing the rocks back in the DT and hopefully they are algae free.

Here are some questions I need help answering:

  • What type of water do the buckets need to be filled with? Tap water, RO/DI, or Aquarium Water?
  • At what concentration does the H202 need to be in order to kill the algae but not harm beneficial bacteria?
  • How long should I allow the rocks to soak?
  • Will this idea even work or will it kill all beneficial bacteria and cause my tank to need to cycle again?

Any input is greatly appreciated! Maybe if this ends up working we will have a good way to quickly rid our tanks of nuisance algae.
 
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lapin

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First step is to ID the stuff. If its Dinos then you will need to kill them first before worrying about any other algae
 

taricha

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This is a new tank with early stage growth. Just call it "the uglies", take a deep breath and let it mature. Suck out anything that looks too ugly and bothers you.

but to answer your actual question...
  • At what concentration does the H202 need to be in order to kill the algae but not harm beneficial bacteria?
  • Will this idea even work or will it kill all beneficial bacteria and cause my tank to need to cycle again?
Bad news is that it's not practical to think about an H2O2 soak not killing "good" bacteria.
Good news is that after you kill the bacteria, the tank has plenty more which would re-seed the rock in short time.
 
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optimisticdingo

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This is a new tank with early stage growth. Just call it "the uglies", take a deep breath and let it mature. Suck out anything that looks too ugly and bothers you.

but to answer your actual question...

Bad news is that it's not practical to think about an H2O2 soak not killing "good" bacteria.
Good news is that after you kill the bacteria, the tank has plenty more which would re-seed the rock in short time.
Wouldn't this cause me to have to Re-Cycle again though?
 

Arthur_Dent

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If it's dinos, you probably want to get your nitrate and phosphate elevated, and introduce more bacteria for competition, in addition to running a shorter light cycle (blues only) and UV as well, depending on the flavor of dino you have. No skimmer during the day (or at all, provided you have enough o2 exchange happening on the surface). Let the water get grungy. Dose nitrate and phosphate to get them above 0. I shot for 10ppm no3 and 0.1ppm po4. I also dosed MB7 and MB Clean daily. This is what beat them for me.

If it's not dino, I was able to pull my rocks one at a time, and deal with a really really bad bubble algae issue with h2o2 without impacting bacteria at all. h2o2 is an oxidizer, not an antibacterial agent. I pulled the rocks, sprayed with 3% h2o2, scrubbed with a stiff brush, rinsed in fresh saltwater in a bucket, and dropped rocks back in. The corralline on the rocks bleached, but grew back in about a month. No cycle happened. All algae died.

Hope this helps.
 

taricha

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Wouldn't this cause me to have to Re-Cycle again though?

You would only risk killing your nitrifiers if you did all the rocks and sand at once. If you do them on different days across a week, for instance, your nitrifier population will be fine.
 

brandon429

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at the top here is a sticky of fifty pages of straight dosing into reefs. handy for patterning/no losses

same for external treatments, if you spray some on rocks and kill off a topical invader, we dont have any recycles logged for that action. we have recycles logged when a doser let loose half a gallon of 35% thought into a reef, ouch

but i have never seen 3% crash a reef no matter how its applied, I cant think of one single example. perhaps there are gallon sized overdoses but as a direct application, no losses I know.

spraying onto rocks to kill dinos isn't the most common approach though. if a tank I owned had that invasion, what I'd do is swap out all the dry rocks for true live, rip clean the tank, then it'd be ok.
 

MnFish1

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Hello everyone! My tank is currently overran by, what I believe is, Cyanobacteria. This strain of Cyano isn't red and slimey but rather brown and slimey. I've attempted dosing Vibrant and it hasn't done much. I've tried Chemiclean and no avail either. I've considered the possibilities of having Dinoflagellates and have a microscope on order to help me ID. Here are my tank parameters that I took yesterday

pH 8.2
Ammonia & Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrate 25 ppm
Phosphate 0.1ppm

Today is water change day so a 20% water change should lower these values. I'm doing 20% water changes weekly instead of 10% to try and lower my Nitrate and Phosphate levels.

I'm trying to find a faster way to combat the algae and I've devised a method but I need some input because I don't want to wipe out beneficial bacteria.

In about a week my CUC comes out of Quarantine and they will be able to help clean up the sand bed a bit, but I need a way to clean the rocks. My idea is to place the rocks into 5 gallon buckets filled with water and peroxide to dissolve some of the algae on the rocks. After about an hour or so I plan on placing the rocks back in the DT and hopefully they are algae free.

Here are some questions I need help answering:

  • What type of water do the buckets need to be filled with? Tap water, RO/DI, or Aquarium Water?
  • At what concentration does the H202 need to be in order to kill the algae but not harm beneficial bacteria?
  • How long should I allow the rocks to soak?
  • Will this idea even work or will it kill all beneficial bacteria and cause my tank to need to cycle again?

Any input is greatly appreciated! Maybe if this ends up working we will have a good way to quickly rid our tanks of nuisance algae.
First make sure its Cyanobacteria. Second Chemiclean will eliminate it and not kill anything (in my experience). Third work on the cause of the cyanobacteria.

H2O2 will certainly kill bacteria it comes in contact with. (cyanobacteria is a type of bacteria as well). BUT - unless you soak the rock in H2O2 - I don't think it will call all the bacteria (or Dinos, or algae). Generally when you use H2O2 you do kill bacteria (at least some) when you kill the thing you're trying to kill (algae, etc)
 
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nbooks

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my tank is just about to hit the one year mark and i finally feel like ive beat the uglies (including my entire water column clouding with algae so thick the tank looked solid. shout out to uv sterilizers for the fix on that one LOL).

my BIGGEST lesson learned so far is that if you have any significant amount of algae you may as well throw out nitrate and phos measurements you take immediately. The algae was consuming so much that once under control i have been struggling to get phos to drop below 0.3ppm on a hanna LR. I had enough algae to suck my phos down to zero and cause a minor dino outbreak, I was tricked into thinking i had stable/low nutrient levels.

TLDR - over the last 3 months i have used a combination of 3% peroxide dosing straight into the sump of my AIO as well as straight 3% soaks on algae covered rocks and tank water/3% mixes to dip zoas on plugs that have been over run with algae. My only loss seems to be my 2 rainbow infusion zoas, but i think that was due to waiting too long to clean them off honestly.
 
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