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The Fight Against Cyanobacteria

It is possible to get rid of blue-green algae in your aquarium — but it’s not easy.

By Radek Bednarczuk |

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They appear in lakes, rivers, seas and everywhere in between, including on moist flowerpots, on bare rock, in deserts, on icebergs and even on the fur of polar bears. They are cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae. Not surprisingly, these organisms can sometimes plague our aquariums. Cyanobacteria are among the oldest, simplest organisms that inhabit the Earth — the most ancient fossils of them are 3 billion years old.

These organisms were once known under another Latin name, Cyanophyta (phyta meaning plants), and were then classified as algae. At present, cyanobacteria are classified as bacteria. The first part of their name (cyano) is inextricably linked with the characteristic pigment that gives them their unique coloration, namely the blue phycocyanin, while the second part (bacteria) relates to their belonging to the domain Bacteria.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the July 2010 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

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