Has anyone ever tried using magnets/magnetism to kill algae?

ER9

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Oct 29, 2008
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at work today i met a couple of guys working for an oil company on an interesting technology to extract oil from algae. i wont go into specifics as i'm not too sure how much they might want me to. from that conversation though we talked a bit about algae and aquariums and one of them mentioned that magnets could be used to kill algae. one of them said (forgive my explanation as i'm sure i'm butchering it) that a magnet would ionize the water molecules. in doing so it would kill algae and/or bacteria in some way. i asked if it had to be an electromagnet and one of them said no....just any good quality magnet...even a small one at that tossed into the tank would do. i then asked if it would kill beneficial bacteria as well and it was unknown but they said possibly. so i wonder if anyone is familiar with this principle and/or ever experimented with it?
 

SuperColey1

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Feb 17, 2007
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How big magnets are we talking? I think those of use with Koralia1s would suggest (if any of us have algae cos I don't lol ;)) that the magnet on the Koralia is massive and both sides of the glass. Maybe some algae will grow on/around the magnet to settle the theory?

AC
 

ER9

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Oct 29, 2008
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SuperColey1;32289 said:
How big magnets are we talking? I think those of use with Koralia1s would suggest (if any of us have algae cos I don't lol ;)) that the magnet on the Koralia is massive and both sides of the glass. Maybe some algae will grow on/around the magnet to settle the theory?

AC

good question but it sounded like a small one would work. but now you mention the koralia i just realized my nano has a decent size magnet and i have plenty of algae, some even growing on my nano. must be more to it than just having a magnet ionize water unless i really mis understood what they said.
 

ER9

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Oct 29, 2008
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SuperColey1;32291 said:
Are they talking standard magnets or electromagnets?

AC

standard...i specifically asked that as well and they said no...regular magnets. i then asked if a small (and i gestured the size of a quarter) rare earth magnet would do and they said yes. wonder what i missed?
 

Tom Barr

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They would be correct based on that product:)

I have some rather large magnets for 1.5" thick glass, they are very large(and about 120$ for them for the massive ones) and I can tell ya, algae grows well on them:eek:

So that should be rather telling.

What the folks failed to tell you is the magnetite and Alum they add to the solution to get removal, also, most folks do not realize any difference between phytoplankton and epiphytic species of algae:cool:

It's old news.........

Removal of algae from Florida lakes by magnetic filtration. -- Bitton et al. 30 (6): 905 -- Applied and Environmental Microbiology

Wiley InterScience :: Session Cookies

Seems you need more than just algae, think about the X Men movie where Magneto kills the guard by removing all the iron from his blood.

He needed it doped up so there would be enough iron.

Same type of thing here.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Tom Barr

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Now of course some aqua schister will misread this, think to add some whacked notion about ionized water and sell it to the aquarium industry for 59.99$ for some dinky tube with a cheap Chinese made magnet inside claiming it removes and kills algae.

Happens all the time.

You have enough people that want to believe that it is true and will try it. Even the slick sales guy selling and making might have no clue themselves(often the case, they have convinced them self it works or worse, they know better and still support it and don't tell) They really do not think critically about it, or ask the question: "Gee, if this works as well as they guys claim, why has it not been done and looked into more?" Even if you do not know the techy stuff or can figure anything else out, that is a basic red flag question that should pop right up.

Generally there's a good reason and a significant trade off in practicality.
That's the part they do not tell you;)

Same deal with Diet pills.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

VaughnH

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Jan 24, 2005
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All powerheads have not only a strong magnet in them, but an electromagnetic fleld that rotates! None of us should have any algae. Those of us so inclined also generate masses of brain waves as we look closely at our tanks, wondering why we still have algae - and that never seems to kill it either.
 

ER9

Junior Poster
Oct 29, 2008
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VaughnH;32305 said:
All powerheads have not only a strong magnet in them, but an electromagnetic fleld that rotates! None of us should have any algae. Those of us so inclined also generate masses of brain waves as we look closely at our tanks, wondering why we still have algae - and that never seems to kill it either.

haha....in my case iv'e exerted so much contemplating my algae issues its a wonder anyone on the western coast has algae at all.