Reef Miser

Peroxide saves my Tank! With pics to Prove It!

1,617 posts in this topic

I had been hearing about the use of Hydrogen Peroxide as a way to deal with pest algae, so I figured that I would give it a try. I had a nasty case of bryopsis and had tried everything you can imagine to beat it. I tried new bulbs, nudibranchs, chaeto, a seahare (RIP), Tech-M, new RO filter.

 

I can tell you that I am a firm believer in H2O2!!! This is how it went down.

 

I was really nervous about dosing my whole tank, so I started small. I started by taking out a small rock without coral on it and dipping it in a small bowl of tank water with a couple of "glugs" of H2O2. I let it sit for a couple of minutes and then put it back in the tank. It killed some bristle worms (while in the bowl) and it killed all the algae after a couple of days of being back in the tank, but the coralline algae seemed ok.

 

Next I repeated this with a rock with a shroom on it. Algae died, shroom didn't. Success!

 

Next I tried dosing the whole tank. I started by adding 15mL of h2o2 to the tank (20 gallon nano with ~8 gallons in the sump.) by syringe once a day. I injected it directly into patches of algae. The algae died, but some corals were starting to stress out after a couple of days, so I stopped. This was too harsh.

 

I figured that maybe I could get it under control if I dipped all of my LR. I started with rocks with shrooms and zoas, before dipping my acan lord colony. My procedure has been to use the old water from a water change immediately after the change, add some h2o2 to the bucket and put in a few of the rocks in for a few minutes, then put them back in the tank. The next day, the bryopsis gets white and starts to die off. After each treatment, the bryopsis gets weaker and weaker until it is gone. I don't do all of my rocks at once, because of the amount of die-off. As the bryosis dies (and collateral microfauna damage) all those nutrients are released into the tank.

 

All of the progress I have made has been solely through water changes and peroxide dips. I haven't done any picking or scrubbing of rock. So far the only coral that was lost was xenia. It didn't tolerate the dips.

 

I was so close to breaking down this tank. It is great to see it getting back under control.

 

And now here are the pics to prove it. I am not completely free, but I would say I am well on my way.

 

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IMG_2709 by Reef Miser, on Flickr

 

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IMG_2710 by Reef Miser, on Flickr

 

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P1050252 by Reef Miser, on Flickr

 

5603089807_9d5de8ecc8_z.jpg

P1050253 by Reef Miser, on Flickr

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Very interesting, I've never heard of this before. I would be worried about bacterial losses in the live rock though.

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Wow! huge difference. Looks like it is doing good for you. Where did you hear about using this method, maybe post a link up so those of us who are dealing with heavy bryopsis can learn how this works.

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Great way to get rid of it, but wont it just come right back if you do not get to the actual source of the problem?

Just curious.

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I've used it for spot treating frags, but I've never gone to this extent. I've got some pretty serious algae issues in my 40B, so I might try spot treating and see how that works.

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I got to the root of the problem. My heater shorted out (one of those stealth pros that got recalled recently) but I didn't know it. It was leaking voltage. I ended up having major die off over the course of a couple weeks. I lost a ton of microfauna and several corals before I figured it out. The die-off caused a spike in nutrients and the algae went berserkers. Once it had taken root, I couldn't get rid of it. Now that I have been doing this it is under control, nutrients are in check and coralline is better able to compete for space on the LR.

 

Sorry I don't have any links, but I know I read a little article on ReefBuilders which got me surfing and finding other info on other forums.

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It's scary at the beginning, but once you see that life-sucking bryopsis die, it is totally worth it.

 

You can see by the "before" pics though that I was to a point of desparation. I almost didn't care if I started killing good stuff as long as I got rid of the algae.

 

A lot of what I read stated 100% H2O2 or 50% H202/RO water. I did a lot weaker and still had success. I would guess about 1/2cup in 5 gallons saltwater. I am not big on using freshwater dips on saltwater organisms. I tried it once on a rock with some zoas. It didn't do anything except kill coralline. If it kills coralline after a couple minutes, then I reason it is pretty hard on our corals too. JMO

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It's scary at the beginning, but once you see that life-sucking bryopsis die, it is totally worth it.

 

You can see by the "before" pics though that I was to a point of desparation. I almost didn't care if I started killing good stuff as long as I got rid of the algae.

 

A lot of what I read stated 100% H2O2 or 50% H202/RO water. I did a lot weaker and still had success. I would guess about 1/2cup in 5 gallons saltwater. I am not big on using freshwater dips on saltwater organisms. I tried it once on a rock with some zoas. It didn't do anything except kill coralline. If it kills coralline after a couple minutes, then I reason it is pretty hard on our corals too. JMO

 

Results are very impressive, don't get me wrong. I just figure it would be a good idea to keep up on ammonia and nitrites since the adverse effects on bacteria could be dramatic or nominal. I just figure since H2O2 is an anti-septic they'd probably be dramatic.

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I wonder if aerating the water while doing this procedure would help alleviate potential coral/fish stress...

 

Anybody care to chime in?

Edited by bensanders

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How do you think aeration would change effects on coral?

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Well I'm no chemist but I'm willing to bet something is changing in respect to Oxygen found in the tank water when you go adding H202. I could be totally wrong though :happy:

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H2O2 is a strong oxidizer. Stronger than bleach actually, but as it breaks down it turns into Oxygen and water. In its native state it is dangerous, but the by-products are harmless....unlike bleach or many other antiseptics.

 

I only dipped a couple of a rocks per week because I didn't want too much die off at one time. I usually run skimmerless and knew that I wouldn't be able to pull out all the dying organics at one time if I killed it all at once. Also, dipping a couple rocks at a time allowed more than a week of recovery to each rock, with regards to bacteria and microfauna. All of the anaerobic bacteria are deep within the rock. A short dip can't penetrate into the anaerobic region of the rock.

 

Additionally, there is enough bacteria in the tank to repopulate the dipped rocks. The same bacteria that are on the surface of the rocks are also on the sand, glass, filter, chaeto, everything. They repopulate quickly.

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google bacterial catalase, peroxidase and superoxide dismutase these are metabolic enzymes bacteria unleash that negate the effects of peroxide and other radicals on them. directly applied, the peroxide can burn them sometimes, especially anaerobes (not always aerobic bacteria, its not totally antiseptic or surgeons would wash their hands with it before surgery) but in a tank its been diluted and so won't harm the bacteria.

 

Its neat you got those results on a tank this wide-spread eutrophic, you got a 98% reduction in algae biomass id have lost money on that one, nice thread.

B

Edited by brandon429
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I would only dose the whole tank if you are desparate and/or willing to lose a coral or two. When I dosed the whole tank xenia stressed and shrank. I didn't really care, because my tank was so far gone, but if you have nice colonies that you are worried about, I would start slow and keep a careful eye on things.

 

Thanks for the post though. It is good to see that it works for dinos too.

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Peroxide reacts with ammonia and both molecules break down into something else. I forget what, but it's harmless. This is why Xenia gets stressed.

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Ammonia oxidizes into nitrate.

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Wow, Thats dramatic. I decided to try this yesterday during my water change. My frag plugs have been getting GHA. I still need some HA to feed my sea hare so I left the rockwork alone.

 

I dipped in a small bucket (maybe .5 gallon) for 20min with quite a bit of h202 (almost 1 capful). Frags of zoas didn't even seem to blink. However, the algae turned a blocky white/black color. Within 12 hours the algae had become white and began sloughing off. Then MR. Seahare intervened and ate the rest on the plugs (that he never touched before) so I can't say how much it would've cleared up with just the dip.

 

Im not sure if you could do this to sps? I have GHA growning on the underside of my monti caps.

Edited by Neya

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This is awesome. I'm starting to see small patches of GHA in some places in my tank and I have been curious as to removal procedure. I was running skimmerless for a while which I think let it get there in the first place. Seems like a good way to get rid of the stuff.

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This is awesome. I'm starting to see small patches of GHA in some places in my tank and I have been curious as to removal procedure. I was running skimmerless for a while which I think let it get there in the first place. Seems like a good way to get rid of the stuff.

 

I agree that peroxide does wonders as I've used it on my FW tank. Just remember to try and address the root cause first. If you think it's cuz you go skimmerless, up your wc's or better yet... get a skimmer! :D new toy!

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I heard about peroxide on another forum and have been looking in to it and never found any before and after results. I have to say I am impressed!

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Im not sure if you could do this to sps? I have GHA growning on the underside of my monti caps.

 

 

I have heard mixed reviews about it for SPS. The first article I read about H2O2 said that some acros RTNed on contact of dips and others tolerated it. That was 100% H2O2 though. I'm sure the success rate would have been higher if he dipped in a more dilute solution. The article that was linked on the end of page one said the guy dosed his whole tank. I think it said he had sps in it.

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