Tropical Fishes - The Hassle With Algae Eater.

By: Daniel Holman

Blue-green algae isn't technically an algae not in the true sense of the word – it’s really a form of bacteria, called cyanobacteria, which is a bacteria capable of photosynthesis.

Cyanobacteria is one of the oldest organisms in the world, and is thought to have been around for at least 3.5 billion years!

It looks like a slimy coating in a number of greenish-blue shades, and the wastes it releases can actually be toxic to your fish – another good reason to keep it to a bare minimum.

The good thing...

The good thing about aquarium algae is that it’s easy to remove manually: usually, it forms ‘sheets’ of hanging matter in the water, which can easily be scooped out.

The bad thing...

The bad thing about it is that it’s pretty resistent,: even after a thorough removal, it’ll usually have returned by the next day

This algae is usually caused by low levels of nitrates (usually in combination with high levels of phosphate), and an imbalance of bacteria in the water.

How to get rid of this persistent eyesore:

* Block all light for a week, and get rid of the dead algae out of the tank each day. Your plants will be pretty sad by the seventh day, but they usually recover just fine.

* Add new bacteria pellets after every water change. You can purchase bacteria pellets for this express purpose from your pet store and aquarium supply dealer. Ask for bacteria pellets that remove ammonia and excess protein from the water.

* Be stringent with your tank maintenance: keep everything clean, check the filter for clogging, make sure the lights are working adequately (blue-green algae needs light to survive, but good fluorescents are necessary to maintain an adequate balance of bacteria and plant life in the tank).

It's not impossible to cure the problem of algae if you are persistent. Just keep at it and you will achieve your goal.

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