Battling the Blue: Tackling Cyanobacteria with PURE Reef Balance

Cyanobacteria can have major detrimental effects on the water quality and functioning of aquatic ecosystems and is a common issue for most reef keepers.

Do you want to know how our PURE Reef Balance product can help? Read on...

What is PURE Reef Balance?

PURE Reef Balance is our unique combination of live marine-specific bacteria and enzymes, contained within a unique delivery method. This ensures a population of live bacteria that will instantly colonise filters, substrates and décor, tank water and other internal surfaces.

PURE Reef Balance is suitable for both fish-only and reef aquariums and gets straight to work digesting waste as well as converting ammonia  and nitrite.

What is Cyanobacteria?
Cyanobacteria are prokaryotic microorganisms capable of photosynthesis. They possess characteristics such as:

Photosynthetic Pigments: They contain chlorophyll-a and phycobilin, which allow them to capture light energy for photosynthesis.
 Nitrogen Fixation: Some species can convert atmospheric nitrogen into a form usable by other organisms.
Habitat Versatility: They can thrive in diverse environments, from oceans and freshwater lakes to soil and extreme habitats like hot springs.



Why is Cyanobacteria Bad for Aquariums?

Aesthetic Issues
Cyanobacteria form slimy, often foul-smelling mats that can cover substrates, rocks, plants, and even the aquarium glass. Their presence can make an aquarium look unkempt and unpleasant.

Oxygen Depletion
During the night, cyanobacteria consume oxygen through respiration. Large blooms can significantly deplete the oxygen levels in the water, which can be detrimental to fish and other aquatic organisms, potentially leading to suffocation and death.

Toxin Production
Some cyanobacteria species produce toxins known as cyanotoxins. These can be harmful to fish, invertebrates, and even humans if they come into contact with the water or consume contaminated water.

Nutrient Imbalance
Cyanobacteria thrive in nutrient-rich environments, particularly where there is an excess of nitrogen and phosphorus. Their rapid growth can lead to nutrient imbalances, which can further promote algal blooms and disrupt the overall health of the aquarium ecosystem.

Competition with Plants
Cyanobacteria can outcompete desirable aquatic plants for light and nutrients, stunting plant growth or even killing them. This can destabilize the ecosystem within the aquarium, as plants play a critical role in maintaining water quality and providing habitat for aquatic life.



Cyanobacteria bloom can occur in your aquarium for various reasons.

High Nutrient Levels:
Cyanobacteria thrive in nutrient-rich environments. Uneaten food, fish waste, and decaying organic matter contain high levels of phosphates (PO4) and nitrates (NO3), which can fuel their growth.

Poor water circulation creates stagnant water zones where cyanobacteria can rapidly multiply.

High levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) have a significant impact on cyanobacteria, as it serves as a vital carbon source for their photosynthetic metabolism.

Cyanobacteria possess the ability to perform photosynthesis. Cyanobacteria generally grow in moderate to high light-intensity conditions.


How does Pure Reef Balance help?

Pure Reef Balance's selected microorganisms utilise phosphate (PO4) as a source of phosphorus for various metabolic processes. By doing so, Pure Reef Balance can outcompete cyanobacteria, thus limiting their growth and proliferation.

Additionally, Pure Reef Balance produces a diverse range of antimicrobial compounds, enzymes and surfactants, which can disrupt cyanobacterial biofilms by breaking down the matrix and dispersing cyanobacterial cells.

This ultimately leads to the elimination of cyanobacteria.

Remember this will not be instant, but improvements will start to show as the bacteria establish.