Green Goo – My Algae Problem

By: Kevin | November 10, 2011

Green Goo.

For reasons unknown to me, as soon as I arrived at my new home, my tank began to break out with this green cyno bacterial algae.
Crazy stuff! It grows faster than gun slinger and is removed extremely easily in what appears to be flakes…think Gold Member…but green. So, I’ve consulted the aquarium elders and received the following recommendations:

1: increase water flow

2: check phosphate levels

3: lower temp from 78-80 to 72-74

4: change water daily or weekly

First, I ran to Iowa Pet in West Des Moines to get my water tested for phosphates (since I don’t have a kit for that just yet). I was banking on this being the problem, however, to my dismay the phosphate reading came back at a whopping zero. Although this is a good thing, I was secretly hoping it would be my issue.

Next, I attempted to increase my tank water flow. Now, coming from fresh water, flow was never really an priority or even a need due to the filtration system which naturally caused a slight current. Thinking back, I remembered that when I visited my fellow saltwater fish/reefers friends, they generally had a TON of current in their tanks – it almost looked as if it was too much. How can the fish possibly swim in there? Well they do; even though it kind of looks like they just shook the crap out of a snow globe! Apparently flow is a must. I managed to scrounge up two old power heads and have placed them in the tank — I haven’t noticed an immediate improvement to the algae problem, but my little piece of coral appears to like it A LOT!


I decided to lower my tanks temperature as suggested by the pet store management. The manager mentioned that he has a similar problem with a setup of his own and lowering the temp a few degrees clears it right up. After a couple days of doing this, the green goo appears to have gotten lighter but is still very present.

I turned the tank light off over the weekend in an attempt to starve the algae of some light. This didn’t appear to have any effect either.

In reality, I think I need to pick up the pace and just get some water changes going on a more regular basis. I’ll check back soon.

Keep on keeping on, my friends!