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Re: Cyano Preliminary Results

>From: "Adam R. Novitt" <novitt at javanet_com>
>Subject: Cyano Preliminary Results/long
>As you may or may not be aware I've been doing some research on 'green
>water' or Cyanobacteria.

The title of this survey may be a bit misleading. While some green water
_can_ be caused by Cyanobacteria (unicellular species of blue green algae),
there is also green water from green algae, dinoflagellates, golden and
yellow-green (incl. diatoms),etc. Wetzel says most BG are filamentous, but
most planktonic BG are members of one family -the coccoids (e.g. Anacystis,
Gomphosphaeria and Coccochloris). If the water is green and smells bad,
then BG is a candidate. BG algae including the first 2 mentioned are very
sensitive to copper. Thus, people who have a moderate amount of copper in
their water may be less prone to these and other algae.

If BG algae is the suspected culprit, a small dose of Erythromycin might be
an antidote. It might be interesting to test a small amount in a gallon jar
with a proportional amount of mycin (~20mg). I don't advocate erythomycin,
but have used it to get rid of oscillatoria and lyngbya (the stuff which
forms sheets).

>1. When did the bloom occur?   .....This would indicate to
>me that an elevated ambient or water temp can be a factor in establishment
>of the bloom.  

This may not necessarily make sense for BG algae -- BG blooms in nature
occur in autumn (because of change in nutrients)... but still might be a
factor because of increase metabolism. Coincidentally, I just had a "green"
water explosion in my 125g tank after treating it for ich and raising the
temp from 76 to 85 deg F. Actually, the water wasn't green, but the tank
was not a cystal clear as it way before. I got rid of the algae by running
a diatom filter for 4 hours. It was nice to see the hazy appearance
disappear as the tank got progressively cleaner and more constrasty.
Sometimes, the diatom powder will become coated with a brilliant green
color and after it stops running, the water in the filter will be a
beautiful bright green. This time, however, the coating was golden
brown.... indicating a different type of algae.

> Some contacted
>me to say they'd kept planted tanks for decades and never once had the
>"aquatic clap" and it must be the unseemly habits of the less virtuous
>aquariest that brought it on.  

I have been keeping planted tanks for over 3 decades and have had green
water for the same amount of time.  Despite all my experience and
knowledge, I even seem to see it more over the last 10.... but I also keep
more planted tanks now.<G>  Green water might be avoidable if aquarium
conditions are perfectly stable. This is one of the reasons that new tanks
may get it. However, I am not perfect and sometimes it occurs from abuse
(e.g. stiring the bottom which introduces some phosphate ladden
particulates into the water column), or when plant growth slows due to
neglect of one thing or another (e.e. less frequent water changes).