Cyanobacteria or "Red Slime Algae" is a form of algae that forms in saltwater marine aquariums. Ever wondered how it occurs and how to eliminate it from your aquarium?
Lets start with what it is and how it cccurs ...
The name "cyanobacteria" literally means "blue-green" algae. Despite the name, only about half of these organisms are actually blue or green in colour. Most forms found in saltwater are other colours, ranging from blackish-green to blue-green, from orange-yellow to reddish-brown, and even deep purple to fully black in colour. Starting out as small patches, it rapidly spreads, forming a thick covering.
It can occur for many reasons, mainly due to poor water quality and excess DOCs (Dissolved Organic Compounds) which have accumulated in the aquarium, resulting in nitrate (NO3) problems. However, nitrates can also be introduced in the same manner as phosphates, and because it is the final by product of the nitrogen cycling process, it can naturally build to high levels due to the lack of proper aquarium care. Another contributor to DOCs/nitrate problems is when new live rock is introduced, as the curing process can add nutrients when some organisms on the rock die off.
From personal experience in my own aquarium, Red Slime Algae is tough and grows quite rapidily if left untreated, posing a real threat to livestock (including corals).
So how can it be elminated?
There are many ways to eliminate this red pest including regular water changes, keeping subtrates clean, reducing feeding/amount of food given at a time, and generally performing a good level of maintenance on your aquarium and filters.
However, from my own experience I have found Tropic Marin Elimi-Phos really useful in eliminating this problem as it will eradicate phosphates and other pollutants that can cause algae growth.This product is supplied in sachets which are placed in your filter system to help draw out phosphates. It's an aluminium-based product which means its granules do not clump together and will remain porous, allowing water to pass through. Furthermore it does not promote bacterial growth, and is suitable for use in both fresh and salt water aquariums.
Click here to read more about Elimi-Phos