Eutrophication is considered the most important water quality problem in freshwaters and coastal waters worldwide promoting frequent occurrence of blooms of potentially toxic cyanobacteria. Removal of cyanobacteria from the water column using a combination of coagulant and ballast is a promising technique for mitigation and an alternative to the use of algaecides. In laboratory, we tested experimentally the efficiency of two coagulants, polyaluminium chloride (PAC) and chitosan (made of shrimp shells), alone and combined with two ballasts: red soil (RS) and the own lagoon sediment, to remove natural populations of cyanobacteria, from an urban brackish coastal lagoon. PAC was a very effective coagulant when applied at low doses (≤8 mg Al L−1) and settled the cyanobacteria, while at high doses (≥16 mg Al L−1) large flocks aggregated in the top of test tubes. In contrast, chitosan was not able to form flocks, even in high doses (>16 mg L−1) and did not efficiently settle down cyanobacteria when combined with ballast. The RS itself removed 33--47 % of the cyanobacteria. This removal was strongly enhanced when combined with PAC in a dose-dependent matter; 8 mg Al L−1 was considered the best dose to be applied. The lagoon sediment alone did not promote any settling of cyanobacteria but removal was high when combined with PAC. Combined coagulant and ballast seems a very efficient, cheap, fast and safe curative measure to lessen the harmful cyanobacteria bloom nuisance in periods when particularly needed, such as around the 2016 Olympics in Jacarepaguá Lagoon.