Blue Green Algae (BGA) - Aquatic Eden - Aquascaping Aquarium Blog

Cyanobacteria; Blue Green/Red Slime Algae in Aquariums & Ponds
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Once blue-green algae is established, it is difficult to get rid of without a complete break-down of the aquarium. I have, however, on occasion, managed to rid a of blue-green algae through frequent gravel vacuumings and partial water changes. I also take extra care to ensure that excess food and/or leaf-sheddings from the plants are removed. Surprisingly, my experience shows that Cabomba is frequently associated with the start of blue-green algae blooms.
Blue-Green Aquarium Algae
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Despite its algae-like appearance, cyanobacteria—a.k.a. cyano, blue-green algae (BGA), or slime algae—is, as the name implies, a form of bacteria. It commonly forms slimy, loosely attached mats on the rockwork, , and other surfaces in the aquarium (including corals). Bubbles may form within these mats and can eventually cause them to detach and rise up in the water column. In saltwater systems, cyano commonly appears in some shade of red, but it comes in a variety of other colors, as well, such as dark bluish green, purplish, and even black. Blue Green Algae Aquarium (How to remove Part 2) - YouTube
Photo provided by FlickrHow to kill blue green algae cyanobacteria in aquarium
Photo provided by FlickrBlue Green Algae Aquarium (How to remove Part 3) - YouTube
Photo provided by Flickr
This is not an uncommon occurrence, nor are these actions unreasonable, given the information that most aquarists have. For all intents and purposes, this seems to be some sort of algae outbreak. Even its name, "blue-green algae" says so. However, it isn't an algae. It's actually a strain of bacteria known as (its name derived from its vivid color, which would be beautiful if it didn't signal so much trouble for an aquarium). In addition to blue-green, cyanobacteria can be black or even red.This video shows the progression of my 55 gallon freshwater aquarium from being covered with blue green algae to its removal and the various steps along the way. It includes my understanding of what can be done (and what I did) to prevent the blue green algae from returning.
Which algae do you have
Aquarists will encounter four main types of algae. These are diatoms; red algae, a group that includes brush algae and hair algae; green algae; and blue-green algae, more properly known as cyanobacteria.This menace is none other than Cyanobacteria, often referred to as blue-green algae in freshwater tanks or red slime algae in marine tanks. Cyanobacteria is one of the oldest living things on the planet with fossils dating to 3.5 billion years ago in the Achaean rocks of Western Australia. This is one resilient life form, but why has it been so successful? Simple, it makes use of the light waves that are discarded by higher plant life, lives in a wide range of temperatures, and subsists on organic waste materials including dissolved phosphates and nitrates. What do all of these things have in common? They are readily available in the artificially constructed environment of the home aquarium. Although it is not dangerous to the inhabitants of a freshwater or marine aquarium, Cyanobacteria can become an unsightly mess that can cover every surface of a tank in a matter of days.I've decided to try and eradicate the Blue Green "Algae" in my Black Ghost Knife Fish Tank. Cyanobacteria is ubiquitous and can easily get into any aquarium, but is easy enough to treat with Ultra Life Blue Green Stain Remover.
I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor ()
Option 2: Raise or reduce lighting levels; restrict lighting duration
Being photosynthetic organisms, the more light they receive, the faster algae can grow. Blue-green algae in particular often appears in tanks that receive direct sunlight, in which case moving the aquarium should help fix the problem (as well as physically removing infected plants or substrate).
However, controlling algae problems is more complicated than simply reducing the amount of light the aquarium receives. Surprisingly perhaps, increasing the amount of light may help fix persistent algae problems. All algae types do best in tanks where plant growth is slow or non-existent. The addition of fast-growing plants will suppress the growth of algae, but fast-growing plants need strong lighting, typically 2 watts per gallon, or even more. So to use that solution, you may well need to add an additional light or two to your hood!