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Identification

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by jure, Jul 20, 2006.

  1. jure

    jure Junior Poster

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    Hello...
    I have a feeling I have different types of algae in my aquarium. How would I go about identifying them? Any information is greately appreciated.
    Greetings from Slovenia.
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Identification

    Green hair algae, Cladophora mainly.
    The leaf has Odegonium.
    There may be some staghorn in there also(Compsopogon).

    CO2 related(not enough) or you did not fertilize for a week or so, you need to be agressive in removing it manually and adding some amano shrimp, rosey barbs etc will help a great deal.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Identification

    This won't help with your algae (tom did that) -- but its great to see nice clear pictures, you can really see the problems in them -- helps the rest of us -- good job.
     
  4. defdac

    defdac Lifetime Members
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    Re: Identification

    Yes I agree with quenton. Very good and clear pictures, thanks jure!
     
  5. robin adair

    robin adair Junior Poster

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    Re: Identification

    I was also impressed with the clarity of the photos. I was also impressed by Tom's ability to identify the algae. How did he learn how to do that??

    It made me think how good it would be if there was a Barr Report devoted to the classification and identification of the more common tropical freshwater algae. What families they occur in, what the diagnostic features are etc and perhaps what water parameters bring on outbreaks. It would be a handy report for those that want to look a bit more closely at the most undesirable of all aquarium plants......before they get rid of them. :cool:

    Robin
     
  6. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: Identification

    Yes yes :)
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: Identification

    Robin, each month I get closer to doing such articles.
    Algae have long been used in environmental assessment, The EPA has various algae used as standards for various pollution ratings.

    Algae tend to be much wider spread in aquatic systems, more sensitive to various changes, short lived, making them ideal for bioindicators.

    I've monkeyed with parameters in our tanks for many years.
    There are a few other potential issues, these tend to be very minor in our context, but the main issues for various algae species are pretty clearly defined.

    Like plants, algae grow and bloom for clearly definable reasons.

    Being able to induce algae specifically is a very good way to see what causes algae.

    This is a far superior method than folks that see algae, then try and test 20 things to see what correlation might be there.

    Correlation does not equal causation.

    Example:: So and so says high PO4 = algae.
    There is a correlation with high PO4 and algae because the plants are not growing and not taking up the PO4. Say the algae is BBA.

    Many have long said this myth, and unfortunately even 10 years later, folks still keep saying this, we know it's CO2.

    We add good CO2 and other nutrients, then we add lots of PO4 and wait and see.

    No algae, BBA.........well then that hypothesis that algae is caused by high PO4 cannot possibly be true, rather, that was just a correlation.

    So what is truly causing the algae?
    You go down and try and rule out other potential issues this way.
    It's easy to see if PO4/Fe/light etc causes something like algae.
    Many make such claims on line and in books/mags etc.

    All you have to do is make sure everything else is in good shape, then add/delete what it is they claim is causing it.

    Do this a few times or use several tanks. Ask others to do it and see.

    Then you will know.

    Someone claimed high K+ caused Ca++ blocking and thus their poor growth.
    I have low Ca++ and high K+, I know that cannot possibly be right, but......... "Tom Barr must be wrong, clueless, negative, does not know everything, because when I add K+ I have stunting."

    Then I explain it, they still do not get it, then I offer other folks that have very high K+ with the same species of of plants they have and I try it out yet again, and then suggest the folks that have been dosing forn over 10 years never had an issue, I still get poo pooed.
    Ho hum. Personal attacks rather than debates.

    Folks just do not get this part sometimes.
    Some do but it takes them a long time to come around.

    The other issue is someone will to induce algae to an otherwise stable healthy well growing tank. Most folks have tried to analyze their algae issues from a messed up tank prespective.

    This is terrible way to do it.
    It';s much easier to see what causes algae by adding/deleting something to a healthy system.

    But....the hobbyists are too chicken to do this once they get there to a good healthy tank.

    Those that do not yet have the tank in the shape they want, have many issues controlling their parameters anyway, who knows what all they are doing wrong.

    That is much more difficult.

    Algae have clearly defined conditions to bloom, unlike test kits, the algae do not need to be calibrated and are a quick rapid assessment. The algae does not lie about what is happening.

    Test ktis and many multiple issues with someone who already has issues with algae and controlling things is a far worse method to solve such riddles.

    Plants, unlike algae, tend not to have sexual stages in the tanks, so this makes a big difference also for blooms.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. TommyBoy

    TommyBoy Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks Tom, but I'll also 2nd Robin's recomm. So I (too) look forward to that Barr Report you are getting closer to doing. :)
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    In due time there will be.
    I've threaten to go through and do most all species and I may very well yet do this.

    I like micrographes, these are required for good ID, so they need to be included, you need a scope to ID many algae, few have them but many have access to a scope.

    But after you have seen and drawn and ID enough aklgae enough times, you know what they are or very6 likely between 2-3 species what's what.

    Later next year there will be a several part series on each general group.

    While interesting, it is less critical to know which species and more critical to learn to grow plant, then algae ID is seldom ever brought up.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I think we all know that there are thousands of algae species, many of which might possibly appear in our aquarium. However, there are only a few, or a few general types, which regularly do appear. Here is a website that does a great job of identifying those, using the nomenclature we all tend to use: Aquarium Algae. Personally, I have a hard time remembering the latin names of all of the plants I try to grow or want to try to grow, or know I have failed to grow. So, I doubt ever being able to remember the latin names of a few thousand algae, or even a few dozen, for that matter. So, my preference for Tom's report is that it cover the general categories of algae we run into constantly, BBA, GSA, GDA, etc., with latin names of the species which fall into those categories, along with the probable causes and best corrective actions to take for each.
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    There will be a general overview of each group and then as much specifics as is available on the one's that bother us and any relevant research that might be of use.

    There's no sense in going into every species and obscurity.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    I guess the solution to the phosphate- (and nitrate-)caused algae blooms in Chesapeake Bay and other bays is to get more plants to grow?

    Also, I wonder if a way to control green water might be to encourage the growth of more filter feeders, such as clams and mussels? I have used mussels to clear gray cloudy water from bacteria blooms and they work quite well. One can always eat them when they have finished.

    Bill
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, macrophytes, seagrasses and mkacro algae will do well if there's enough nutrients, overloading them will drive the system over the edge.

    The comparison is like apples and oranges, they are very different than a shallow weed infested lake, if you add more nutrients there, namely N and P, you get more weeds.

    In the Fllrida everglades we do not have algae from adding PO4/N, we have more Typha instead of Calidium, we have more emegernts instead of periphyton algae mats and that changes the entire dynamics of the system.

    So adding N and P, depending on the system, can go either way, more weeds or more noxious algae.

    If there are no weeds/plants etc, then you will get more algae, something will grow there, but folks have a choice of what that is in the aquarium(and in many cases in natural or outdoor systems).

    The bay you speak of would be very nice indeed if they placed buffer zones full of wetlands and Riparian forest between the Agricultural and city runoff, this will sequester the nutrients and denitrify the NO3 into N2 gas.

    I saw a model for the MS river system, they could reduce 40% of the nutrient loading with a small amount of wetland recliamation and a price tag of about 150 million, not bad really in terms of cost for such a massive project.

    With rising oceans, these lands will not be worth much later and they are flood zones to start with, so the folks living and building in such areas are being subsidized with federal flood insurance, so we are already paying for the land but not getting anything fair out of the deal like a healthy river, bay etc, that translate into more productive fishing and habitat for the folks living near such regions, everyone likes to live near a nice park, and that increases property values and saves tax payer $ in the long run.

    These bozos here in CA have built all over the Delta, it cost far more to subsidize these developer's and fund the flood insurance than it does to foruce them to build in more $$ land that does not require levey systems(at ther taxpayer's nickle) and flood insurance that private insurers would not cover for obvious reasons(On the taxpayer's nickle again).

    We have lost 96% of the wetlands in CA, they have lost 50% in Florida.
    But still, they want more, because swamp land is cheap once the Fed's and state come in and drain it for them.

    This is not environmentalism, this is reality. Hopefully it'll change.
    Restoration projects are actually very successful for places like Ichetucknee river, river wetland buffer zones and other projects.
    Takes some time, buit the end result is better for everyone, the tax payers need to subsidize developers? Those guys are not poor. They have incintatives to redo urban blight areas on the tax payer nickle(among other issues that the taxpayer picks up, schools, roads, sewers etc) already as well as many other more suitable areas.

    I do not mind some of it, but they are very piggish when it comes to tax payer hand outs. We see it a lot here in CA, likely elsewhere. Slower growth and better planning is the solution. Short term profits are not in the interest of your kids and their future.

    Sadly, most don't see things that way.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  14. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    This isn't really an aquatic gardener subject, but I would like to see governmental bodies that approve building in any areas be held responsible for whatever easily forseeable natural disaster occurs, when that disaster could have been prevented. For example, the areas of Sacramento that were just recently heavily developed, but are in flood zones protected by poorly build levees. If those levees fail and wipe out all of those thousands of houses, I want the Sacramento County, which approved the zoning allowing the building to pay for the repairs. A policy like that would put a damper on the building in vulnerable areas. Of course we taxpayers would end up with the bill, but we should.

    You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.
     
  15. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    I think the people who build in areas that are prone to flooding, etc., should bear the full responsibility for their losses. If there was no demand for property in sensitive areas, there would be no building there. Eliminate government-subsidized disaster insurance, too.

    I see no sense in making the taxpayers the payers of last resort. As long as the law makes it legal to build in dangerous places what can they/we do except lobby to get the laws changed? And there are always other viewpoints that have to be considered.

    One thing that they/we can do is to join organizations that work to protect sensitive areas. That can have considerable impact, particularly at the local level.

    Bill
     
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