Cyano Algae

By · Sunday, August 16th, 2009

Cyano Algae

The cyanobacteria or red algae, Slime has been a problem for almost all marine aquariums at one time or another. I am presenting this article in response to my frustration with some of the advice I see on the sites of the aquarium across the web. Normally I just see the tips to increase the flow as the only measure needed to control proliferation of cyanobacteria.

Although I consider to be a rookie I reef aquariums, I have kept marine aquariums in and out of more than twenty years and I can assure that the increased flow alone is not going monitoring of cyanobacteria regardless of the hundreds of threads posted daily world wide, (quite a statement in itself). One of the most important factors, often neglected, for the control of cyanobacteria, algae and other nuisance is the limit of the dissolution of nutrients available in the water. Here are my suggestions for keeping your tank, rock and sand bed clean of cyanobacteria.

Providing drinking water free of nutrients to water intake SEA New and makeup for evaporation.

* Use water filtered by reverse osmosis and demineralization.

* Use an accurate Total Solids Dissolved (TDS) meter to monitor filter effluent. In my opinion, handheld meters are more accurate and reliable than less expensive line in meters. I'm not saying-meters dont work online though, I'm more confident in the market are adequate. Check the meter TDS regularly in a known source of liquid water quality calibration.

* Replace filters and membranes when recommended by the manufacturer or when water quality decreases. Usually recommended after an increase of 2.3 recorded in the TDS meter.

Provide a means of reducing nutrients in the aquarium

* Employ a protein skimmer quality to remove phosphates and other compounds dissolved air assets. I think the slider classification should be twice the size of the water system, such as IMO, most but not all, skimmers are exaggerated in terms of its actual capabilities.

* If using granular activated carbon in a passive mode in a sock filter, and if a sump point in a powerhead for flow to meet in a chemical reactor or fluidized for help in removing dissolved organic waste.

* Better yet IMO using a chemical reactor fluidized with an iron-based medium such as phosphate absorption Phosban or ROWAphos, I can recommend Kent or Two Little Fishes flow reactors provided by a powerhead as a Maxi-Jet 400. I think one of the media from three or four parts water is right for the media for turning making sure everything is in contact with water. I would suggest replacing the media every two months at a maximum clean system. Despite the rumors, in my opinion, not be effective for long in a tank that has high levels of phosphate, which could be ineffective and inefficient, after a time as short as one week or less. Ive seen the film of algae in my tank after a week only when I've added a media Phos.

* If you have the means, using a control system with nutrients such as macroalgae or algal refuge Turf filter to promote growth of algae in a controlled area of the tank instead of the screen.

Keep the aquarium and the equipment to minimize the accumulation of dissolved nutrients.

* Keep your protein clean skimmer, I have been surprised by the number of cups of skimmer I see on the web that are two to three inches of dark skimmate smell them. A clean slide is much more effective in the export of a neglected.

* If Cyanobacteria started to become evident consider brushing wet, aggressive skimming extra help to remove phosphate, and other dissolved organic wastes. If you do, make sure you keep an eye on your salt as a salt water will be removed. IMO I recommend replacement of carbon every two weeks to avoid saturation of carbon from the leaching of nutrients in the water and the production of nitrate when bacteria colonize aerobic carbon.

* I also personally recommend 10-15% water changes, weekly for small / medium and all tanks two weeks for larger tanks. Keep the tank free of debris and uneaten food by means of regular soda rocks and sand bed. eliminate cyano manually as much of the sand bed as can be when the water change.

* Keep debris suspended in the water column using a turkey baster in your live rock so it can be removed by mechanical filtration and keep the glass clean to prevent algae from getting a foothold.

* Change the light bulbs before that its intensity decreases and changes the spectrum. in my opinion, with lighting, low light intensity and redder spectrum can help nuisance algae establish itself as more desirable macroalgae require adequate spectrum and a greater intensity of light to compete with more aggressive nuisance algae. I found this over several years in every aquarium and I think that is the case.

* Always keep feeding their prized fish to a minimum. I just think they can consume in a minute or thus. regardless of the rumors sources are better than small channels that lasts 5 minutes as some manufacturers suggest.


The main cause of algal growth is the excess of dissolved nutrients, usually nitrogen and phosphorus basis. To ensure your aquarium is still pleasing to the senses and all parameters are kept within prudent limits, be sure to carry out regular farming practices with the aquarium. Regardless of all the advice you will see on the web on the contrary, one of the best and most effective ways to help your aquarium will remain clean and attractive is by periodic changes partial water with high nutrient free water quality.


These are my opinions and experiences with trying to overcome and win the battle against the cyanobacteria, I am not suggesting that these forms are the only ways, but have worked for me. I think patience and pure water without getting defiled their hands in the tank regularly to maintain the cleanliness is important and will help us win the ongoing war against cyanobateria.

For further information, visit me at

Lago de Atitlan – Cyano blooming Dec 4th_Introduction

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