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21 Blue-green, slime or smear algae




Description

This article is from the Aquaria: Disease, Algae and Snails FAQ, by Elaine Thompson, Thomas Sasala and George Booth

21 Blue-green, slime or smear algae

Grows rapidly in blue-green, slimy sheets. Spreads rapidly over almost
everything and usually indicates poor water quality. However,
blue-green algae can fix nitrogen and may be seen in aquariums with
extremely low nitrates. Sometimes seen in small quantities between the
substrate and aquarium sides. Will smother and kill plants.

This is actually cyanobacteria. It can be physically removed, but this
is not a viable long term solution as the aquarium conditions are
still favorable for it and it will return quickly. Treatment with 200
mg of erythromycin phosphate per 10 gallons of water will usually
eliminate blue-green algae but some experts feel it may also have
adverse effects on the biological filter bed. If erythromycin is used
for treatment, ammonia and nitrite levels should be carefully
monitored.

 

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