Does Cyanobacteria Have To Smell Like Cyano? Question

Discussion in 'Algae' started by angelcraze, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. angelcraze

    angelcrazeWell Known MemberMember

    Sometimes I get a bit of cyano that pops up here and there, but my nose is so super sensitive to the odor, I can smell it right away and I'll never forget that odor.

    Anyway, last night I cleaned one of my tanks I was sure was covered in cyano. I was putting it off (bad idea) and was definitely expecting a big discussing cyano odor in the whole fishroom, but there absolutely was nothing, not even smelling the algae/bacteria directly. It smelled like nothing really. The same as the algae in that tank has ever smelled.

    It was goobery, blueish green (but the light is 10000k) with no discernable odor at all. It covered parts of the gravel and my filter extension which was very close to the light. It was all over the walls and on plant some leaves.

    It all washed clean easily in one cleaning and like it wasn't even there.

    Sorry I didn't get a pic, it wasn't pretty but I wish I had. What do you think?
  2. Feohw

    FeohwWell Known MemberMember

    It doesn't always cause a bad smell. The smell is usually strongest when there is a whole lot of it though it might not always smell. When it begins to die off the smell can also get particularly bad.
  3. OP

    angelcrazeWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks! But I smelled it all directly and no odor at all? Like no odor? How do you know when it's dying off?

    I had brown stuff before this, some of it was stlll brown, but the brown stuff never smelled. Very odd. Just cuz all the other green cyano I had smelled really strong even a little speck of it.
  4. Feohw

    FeohwWell Known MemberMember

    My tank didn't smell at all at first when I had it. They release chemicals that smell, so the more there is the more it'll smell. I believe there are different types as well. Some likely smell worse than others. When it dies off it begins to turn darker and drier. I just looked it up to make sure I'm right and here's some things I found:

    "An earthy, musty or sulphuric smell may accompany high levels of blue-green algae, however high levels of blue-green algae may be present when there is no obvious smell at all."
    "fresh blooms smell like newly mown grass; older blooms smell like rotting garbage" verde .Cianobacterias.htm

    Then there's also this:
  5. OP

    angelcrazeWell Known MemberMember

    Thank you so much. I think the brown guck and blueish green stuff is related then. It might have smelled a little like grass. I have yet to read the links, but thank you so much for them. So I guess I had only fresh blooms. I had no idea.

    Edit: Interesting. My manicipality uses phosphates to increase pH. High phophates cause cyano. I knew there had to be an issue with my water because it doesn't matter how many water changes I do, it presents itself in almost every tank at one point or another. I rarely have bad cases because I keep them cleaned, but I feel the bacteria is in my tanks all the time and I have to watch them that it doesn't explode.

    I find it really difficult to distinguish between bacteria and true algae. I've seen many similar issues with others too. If the brown stuff I see is cyano, I'm going to say if it's gelatinous and thick, it's cyano.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019