Taking the mayhem out of marine fish keeping

Common problems with a marine tank



Almost everyone will suffer from this at some stage or other, also known as red slime algae, it can cover everything in the tank at an alarming rate. It is not actually an algae but classed as somewhere between an algae and a bacteria.


It's identified as a velvety carpet that usually starts on the sand bed but can occur anywhere within the marine tank.


Like all problems in the marine tank cyanobacteria has a cause and if you can keep the causes at bay there is no reason why you should suffer a prologed period of cyanobacteria although you can expect to get a least a little during the life of your marine tank.


The main food source for cyanobacteria is nitrate and phosphate although lighting seems to play a part as well. Again it's all about balancing parameters which is often why cyanobacteria tends to be more apparent in a new system or if an existing system has gone through a big change.


The main parameters resonsible for controlling cyanobacteria are nitrate and phosphate. You can actually have high readings of both of these yet as long as they are in balance you still wont tend to gey any trouble



Helpful tips



If you plan your new marine tank carefully and do your research you may be able to reduce the amount of problems you encounter


If you do start to encounter things like algae or cyanobacteria don't panic and start throwing 'miracle cures' into your tank without being sure of the cause of the problem in the first place

Cyanobacteria - in a nutshell

Many problems can be encountered during the start up phase of your marine aquarium, many are solved easily but might take some time

Always try to get to the root cause of the problem rather than treating the symptoms

Remember that marine fish and reef keeping involves a lot of chemistry, it helps to understand the interactions of all these elements in order to successfully solve some of the problems

Cyanobacteria is commonly encountered an almost all marine aquariiums and can quickly take over the tank, it is identified as a red, vevelty carpet that often receeds after lights out only to return with a vengence the following day

Diatoms and dinoflagellates are an ugly, snotty brown algae that can be associated with excess

silca in the system

Green hair algae is common, particularly in new set ups or systems where the nutrient load is high, this looks like a 'fluff'y' carpet which can quickly take over your tank if not dealt with quickly