Friday, May 16, 2014

Well today it finely happened, all my cyanobacteria is gone or just about gone I should say.

Well today it finely happened, all my cyanobacteria is gone or just about gone I should say. Far several weeks now my skimmer has been getting clogged up to the point that it just stops sucking water from the surface. The containment basket is full of what hobbyist call “string algae” and literally clogs up every orifice of the strainer basket. However, that is not the worst of it, my prefilter is also clogging up with the blue-green algae; also known as cyanobacteria.

One way to tell if you have prokaryotic and not just eukaryotic algae is if hydrogen peroxide can easily kill it off. Now, the chloroplasts found in higher order of plants and in eukaryotic algae are said to evolve from cyanobacteria by means of endosymbiosis. But then hears the thing most hobbyist don’t know or understand. Cyanobacteria can be found in almost every aquatic habitat on the planet earth and this also includes every terrestrial habitat too, including deserts. With this information it is no wonder that our ponds get plague with the stuff and evasive action in the form of chemicals or antibiotics has to be used to eradicate it.  The odds are if you think your pond doesn’t have it; then you don’t live on the planet earth because it’s everywhere.

These two photos show how the cyanobacterium has now died down to the point that it will easily break off from the plants stems. It should be noted that just five days ago this same string algae was over two to three feet long (60-90cm) and now it’s no more than 12mm long. Its nice blue-green color has been substituted for a dark muddy looking color. Photos taken with iPhone 5s.

Okay, now back to my story! Today it magically vanished from my pond and this is the first time in weeks the skimmer didn’t clog up from the stuff. The big question now is: WHY? What on earth happened to the stuff that plagues so many hobbyist ponds? My pond water is @ 60°F and is still too cold for really good colonization of bacteria in a conventional filter. Though I have only been feeding my Koi once a day at one large feeding a day, this feeding alone should act as an accelerant for the bacteria’s prolific growth in my AFS. This year has been the worst in 20 years now with the cyanobacteria even spreading into the main pond. The very cold, long and harsh winter in Chicago was not the ideal year for bacterial stability. I have big Koi in a very small pond, so water parameters are easily swayed in the negative direction if anything out of the ordinary disrupts the ecosystems stability.

The good news is that today the 16th of May the AFS finely kicked-in and started making the antibodies that killed off the irritating bacteria. Well it just didn’t start doing it today only, but today was the day the filter finally overpowered the cyanobacteria with enough antibodies to end the plague until this autumn when cooler temperatures and bacteria and plant die-off will prevail once again. The AFS must find its ZONE and then, like natural system will kick into full swing with bacteria to available foodstuff intake using all accessible ions that causes this terrible plague of STRING ALGAE!

There are many wonders in ponding but this magical disappearance of this Bubonic plague cyanobacterium has to be one of the granddaddies of them all when the AFS finally eradicates it. It’s almost as though someone just pored a bottle of hydrogen peroxide into your pond and you didn’t know it. Even the string algae that was in the main pond is now just about gone.

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