View Full Version : DOM: acetate and cyano mats

10/06/2004, 02:07 PM
I find your articles especially usefull and am glad you take the time to prepare them.
The addition of vinegar to limewater has been correlated with the growth of what appear to be bacterial mats in some aquaria. Presumably, the bacteria thrive on the acetate provided by the vinegar. I've also experienced this. Specifically, addition of acetate (in limewater) seemed to be the event that started a long period of cyano mats on the sandbed that persisted weeks after the acetate additions were stopped.

My notion is that the acetate is not, directly, food for the Cyano mat. I think that other bacteria use the added organic carbon, and in the process take up available N. This may set up a low N:P situation where N-fixing cyano can compete well in competition for nutrients. I also think that the formation of the cyano mat may restrict penetration of O2 into the sediments, dropping the pH, and liberating additional P. So, once the mat starts to form, it could be a self-feeding process.

Randy Holmes-Farley
10/06/2004, 07:48 PM
Very interesting. Thanks for posting it. :)

I'll cross reference it to this related thread that you might find interesting:


I find your articles especially usefull and am glad you take the time to prepare them.

Thanks very much. :)

10/07/2004, 03:06 AM
Some time ago a few folks with a freshwater aquarium background posted in the Dutch forum about N:P ratios in an aquarium and the occurance of cyano at certain ratios.

It could be corrected by either adding nitrate or phosphate.

I had looked briefly in the literature and IMO they might have made some valid points.

IIRC I was not in favor of adding phosphate to correct the ratio if nitrate was high for obvious reasons.

If there is interest I can spend some time and find posts, references and comments back. :)

Randy Holmes-Farley
10/07/2004, 07:29 AM
I'm interested. :)

11/03/2004, 07:11 AM
I have directed one of the guys in Holland who came up with it to this thread, I don't know if he can write english and has time: