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Cyano, , 19

Origin:descrBlue-green algae (BGA) are not true algae. They are cyanobacteria. If objects in the tank are coated with thick sheets of slimy, bright-greenish blue algae, it may be blue-green algae. It commonly grows in tanks with too many nutrients. Scrubbing it off and then doing a 50% water change should help. Do frequent large water changes until it goes away. Reduce the quantity of fish or food added. The treatment with antibiotics may kill some or all of the blue-green algae but could also kill good bacteria. When the treatment is ended, the blue-green algae may return. This stuff is nasty! It is a beautiful green but slimy and coats everything once it takes over.
My forty gallon tank became infested with this algae in March of 2001. Natural light was hitting the tank in the spring so despite 50% weekly water changes and gravel vacuuming, it took over. I tried the treatment of erythromycin (I used Maracyn by Mardel Products). After treatment was done (five days), the blue-green algae was definitely knocked back but it was not all gone. By the following week, it was completely dead. I get occasional spots in my 40 and 50 gallon tanks but as long as I remove the little spots, it does not seem to spread. After a while, it does come back bad again, and I have to use the Maracyn again.
The following animals are supposed to eat blue-green algae but I do not know if they work: American flag fish (Jordanella floridae), butterfly goddeid (Ameca splendens), Procatopus, and red ramshorn snails. I do not know anything about the last three animals nor have I ever seen them.

Cause: There are over a 100 species of cyano-bacteria, some thrive in different environments that others. A speaker at a meeting once mentioned that he had two aquaria, with exactly the same setup(Light, heater, same shelf, soil, plants, no fish). One of them developed a blue-green algae plague, the other one was crystal clear. Still, in aquariums that have been running for a while without problems, the occurence of blue green algae is an indication that something is wrong.

Description: Blue green algae can be seen in the picture(s). Besides that you can distinguish them from all other algae by their smell. It's a very distinct smell, which some people find nauseating, while others don't mind it or even like the smell.

Treatment: The first thing to do is to remove the algae, as much as possiblecrIt's one of the hardest algae to get rid of. Even if you do get rid of it, as soon as something is remotely off in the tank, it will reappear from spores.

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