Getting Rid of Cyanobacteria and Algae
with DrTim’s Aquatics Re-Fresh and Waste-Away
Discussion and Directions
Why do you get cyanobacteria and/or algae?
Because there are nutrients in the water and no competitors to remove those nutrients before they are consumed by the cyano or algae.
Who are the competitors and where are they?
They are bacteria and the fact is the unintended consequence of your protein skimmer/UV/Ozone is that they remove bacteria from the water but do nothing to cyano and algae that are attached to the surfaces of your tank. The long-term solution to cyano/algae problems is adding competitors back to your system that can consume the nutrients and then removing those organisms, thereby remove the nutrients from the system. This is not as hard as it may sound.
First, use Re-Fresh that knocks back the cyano/algae then the Waste-Away bacteria will add back competitors that will remove the nutrients. Next, use the skimmer to remove the bacteria thereby removing the nutrients. Regular dosing of Waste-Away (or use of our Waste-Away Time Release Gels) will then result in a tank free of cyano & algae.
In a nutshell: the goal is to convert nutrients into bacteria and remove the bacteria with your protein skimmer.
CAUTION: as mentioned for best results you need a skimmer or filter sock to remove the bacteria that will be produced and to help prevent bacterial blooms that may result in loss of livestock.
So let’s start
Whether your tank is covered with cyanobacteria or algae the directions are the same.
- First, try to manually remove as much of the cyanobacteria/algae as you can.
- Add Re-Fresh to your tank at a rate of 5 ml per 10 gallons. Turn off your UV and skimmer (plus ozone if you have it) for a few hours. NOTE – if the water starts to turn cloudy turn these back on ASAP*. Wait 48 hours.
- Treat with Re-Fresh one more time as above*. Wait 48 hours. At this point if the cyanobacteria/algae are noticeably disappearing than you can start dosing with Waste-Away*. Or you can dose with Re-Fresh one more time. Note — there is no wrong way to proceed.
- When you do decide to start using Waste-Away we STRONGLY suggest you start with 1/4 of the normal dose (or less). Read the back label of your bottle for dosing directions. Turn the skimmer, UV and ozone off for 2-4 hours. But if the water starts to turn cloudy turn these back on ASAP.
- After 48 hours dose Waste-Away again* but increase the amount slightly*. Turn the skimmer, UV and ozone off for 2-4 hours. But if the water starts to turn cloudy turn these back on ASAP.
- Again after 48 hours dose Waste-Away again* but increase the amount slightly more*. Turn the skimmer, UV and ozone off for 2-4 hours. But if the water starts to turn cloudy turn these back on ASAP.
- After 48 hours do a partial water change. Your tank should be looking better but in some cases you might need to repeat the treatment. Also you should think about why you are having this problem: are you over-feeding, is the tank over-crowded, are you over-skimming?** Once clean, we recommend using our Waste-Away Time Release Gels on a monthly basis to maintain a clean, healthy tank.
*Precautions – If at anytime the water turns cloudy TURN ON YOUR SKIMMER. DO NOT add more Re-Fresh or Waste-Away until the water clears. Do not dose both on the same day. Proceed slowly with dosing Waste-Away if the tank becomes cloudy do not increase the amount of Waste-Away. A little bit each day or two is better than a big dose at one time.
Checklist for the Dosing of Re-Fresh & Waste-Away
|Manually Clean. Dose Re-Fresh
|Partial water change or do nothing
|Dose Re-Fresh or add 1/4 dose Waste-Away
|Do a partial water change
|Add Waste-Away Time Release Gel