Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   blue green algae(cyanobacteria) (

melo 04-13-2008 05:28 PM

blue green algae(cyanobacteria)
How do I control or get rid of blue green algae? It has started on my rocks, and is spreading pretty quick to all my live rock, it's not necessarily ugly but I've heard that it can kill my beneficial bacteria and overrun the tank. Is there a certain fish or invert that can get rid of the bacteria on my rock or is there a medicine to get rid of this?

Pasfur 04-14-2008 05:22 PM

Can you post pictures?

melo 04-14-2008 11:54 PM

yea i had pictures that showed it on the raccoon butterlfy thread, betta baby pointed it out but I can post new ones

The-Wolf 04-15-2008 02:39 AM

cynobacter is precisely that, a bacteria. it is easily controlled using a broad range antibacterial, such as pure acriflavin.

the other cure would be copper, but as you have a marine tank, don't even go down that road. copper as a cure for cynobacter is for freshwater [b]only[/i]

Pasfur 04-15-2008 06:24 AM

I looked at the pictures in the Longnose Butterfly thread, but i don't see it. I only see coralline algae.

I disagree with the simplicity of the cure given in the above post. Cynobacteria has been a plague to the marine hobby for decades. You can't simply dismiss the problem by suggesting a medication as a cure. You have to identify the source of the problem and practice proper aquarium maintenance to prevent reoccurring outbreaks.

One common cause is the overuse of particulate filtration. In other words, not cleaning your filter pads frequently enough. In cases of a bad outbreak, you should be cleaning your filter pads several times per day, even if they look perfectly clean. Better yet, remove them from the tank completely and use routinely. Why? The effect of mechanical filtration is similar to having a buildup of detritus at the bottom of your aquarium. As water flows thru or around detritus, a byproduct is the buildup of phosphate, which contributes to your cyno outbreak.

Another place to test is your alkalinity and calcium levels. There is a correlation between low alkalinity levels and rapid growth of cyno. You should be testing alkalinity weekly and adjusting as necessary.

Another source of problems is lighting. If you are using florescent tubes, these should be changed every 9 months. Otherwise the spectrum of light is not ideal and could be contributing to your cyno issue.

Lack of water flow is also a common problem. Melo - if i am looking at the correct picture (the one with the Foxface and Longnose Butterfly), you could benefit from additional water movement, especiall along the bottom rear of the aquarium.

Like every problem in any marine aquarium, we can't get to the actual cause of the problem without water tests. Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, pH, Alkalinity, and Phosphate are necessary in this case.

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