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Cyano Siphon

Aquarists can beat back blue-green algae outbreaks by implementing this simple do-it-yourself solution.

By Scott Vallembois

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We all face the dreaded cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae (I’ll use BGA from here on out), at some point in our journey in the hobby. Some argue it is just part of nature and normal in marine aquaria. Well, it is to some extent. But the fact is if we are not careful, it can easily take over.

It is unsightly, downright gross in some cases, and can be a real pain to get rid of. Like the name cyanobacteria implies, it is more a bacterial infestation than a problem with algae. Blue-green algae lacks the organized nuclei or bundled photosynthetic material that would make it a true alga. Either way, it can be treated as algae. The factors that fuel it are the same. Blue-green algae can manifest itself in a rainbow of colors and forms. Typically, BGA is a red to brown slime in the tank. But it can look like green hair algae or even the coralline algae we all so desire.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the May 2010 issue of Freshwater And Marine Aquarium, or subscribe to get 12 months of articles just like this.

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