Bacterial blooms are caused by heterotrophic bacteria naturally present in aquariums which feed off the various wastes produced by the fish. These free floating aerobic bacteria can reproduce very rapidly, and an increase in available nutrients can trigger these blooms, usually described as a milky cloud in the aquarium. A build up of organic wastes, over feeding, or changing the gravel in the tank can all cause bacterial blooms. While the bacteria themselves are not dangerous, they can be a big drain on the oxygen content of the water.
A bacterial bloom is a sudden exponential growth of bacteria, usually associated with bodies of water. In addition to affecting aquariums, this is common in lakes and oceans as well. Naturally occurring cyanobacteria, or “blue-green algae” can bloom when conditions are optimal, and is toxic to humans or pets who ingest contaminated water or animals from the water source.
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