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number20121

Algae identification help?

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I recently came across some posts on the internet about certain types of algae being toxic to fish. Being the paranoid person I am, I tried to figure out if all this algae in my main tank is actually fine for my guys, considering they are nibbling on it all day long (thus posting in the Goldfish Food sub forum).

I know I have a bunch of green algae, some brown algae, and where the light from my table lamp hits the tank, I also get some a fine dusting of blue green algae/cyanobacteria.

But I also have this stuff that I can't really identify so much. It grows on top of some of the green algae. My fish eat it all the time.

It has a dark olive color and seems a bit more velvety than the green algae. I tried googling for something similar but the search results are kinda crappy. Could it be black algae? Here is where I read that black algae is toxic/deadly to goldfish, others say it's perfectly fine.

I did find the same results with blue green algae as well, but my goldfish babies grew up eating tons of blue green algae in their baby tub with the ultra bright light :lol

So I wonder which is true.

Anyway, I took some pictures. I know the algae isn't exactly pretty, but my fish really seem to like it, being able to nibble on something all the time. Just seems very natural.

I also tried to take photos with and without flash.

Any info is welcome.

Most of the tank's back and sides covered in algae.

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Tank drained. This shows the texture of the algae better

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(The left side looks very orange due to the table lamp there being on)

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The filter intake keeps growing thicker "tufts" of this dark fluffy algae. I had cleaned it off a couple days ago, but you can see the first spots growing to the left of the Minimum Water Level.

The fish do not really seem to eat this kind though, because I always have to scrub it off during water changes

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This shows the different layers of algae.

A thin, very bright green first layer. This is actually very hard to scrub off.

Then another thin layer of deep green algae. This is what the fish seem to like eating the most

There is dusting of brown algae over some of it

As an example, straight down below the filter intake on the back wall you can see some of this darker, olive colored algae. (not the green algae slightly off to the left).

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WoW!! You have a regular Algae Museum goin' there!! I have had it before, but lately I have been removing it with water changes. I also have to clean out the intake tubes now & then.

Since they have been eating it for awhile I am sure it is fine. When I had it mine grazed like COWS!!!!

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WoW!! You have a regular Algae Museum goin' there!! I have had it before, but lately I have been removing it with water changes. I also have to clean out the intake tubes now & then.

Since they have been eating it for awhile I am sure it is fine. When I had it mine grazed like COWS!!!!

Grazing like cows sure describes their eating habit perfectly :lol

They eat a lot more of it lately too. The very first photo (full view) is from one week ago. To the left of the left filter intake is only a tiny spot without algae. The very last photo is from today and now there is a rather big bare spot to the left of that filter intake.

All that in only one week. If they continue eating it like that, the tank will be algae free in a couple months :rofl

The non-flash closeup photo of the filter intake also shows how green their poopoo is. They haven't gotten any veggies in a week but only brown pellets, so the green color definitely comes from the algae.

Edited by Oerba Yun Fang

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I can never tell algae apart. But if they've been eating it and are fine, I wouldn't worry.

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Wow... umm... and I thought my tanks were bad. ^^;;

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Wow... umm... and I thought my tanks were bad. ^^;;

Screw the aesthetics! :rofl

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The algae that are toxic to fish that I am familiar with float in the water and only cause problems during huge blooms in which the water is colored. Typically, organisms produce poisons to avoid being eaten. This works best if the poison tastes nasty and causes a quick effect -- like inducing spitting or vomiting. Your fish are very unlikely to eat something toxic.

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The algae that are toxic to fish that I am familiar with float in the water and only cause problems during huge blooms in which the water is colored. Typically, organisms produce poisons to avoid being eaten. This works best if the poison tastes nasty and causes a quick effect -- like inducing spitting or vomiting. Your fish are very unlikely to eat something toxic.

Thanks a lot, I was hoping you'd chime in! :)

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I wish I could grow useful algae! The only thing my diatoms do is feed the nerites. :C

I've had the tank covered in diatoms for about a year and a half before it started developing first some blue green, and then the green algae.

I love it though because it is free, fresh, nitrate absorbing veggies in the tank, 24/7. :lol

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It looks like slime to me. After my pond scum (duckweed) dies out in the pond, the pond lining is covered in bright green slime (looks velvety) the secondary growth after this was string algae (which I still grow in the basement).

I honestly don't know what the scientific terms for 'slime' is.

ETA: There is information on slime algae on google but I've yet to see anything that doesn't conflict with itself (like most algae postings) or any scientific documents from reliable sources.

Edited by bodoba

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It looks like slime to me. After my pond scum (duckweed) dies out in the pond, the pond lining is covered in bright green slime (looks velvety) the secondary growth after this was string algae (which I still grow in the basement).

I honestly don't know what the scientific terms for 'slime' is.

ETA: There is information on slime algae on google but I've yet to see anything that doesn't conflict with itself (like most algae postings) or any scientific documents from reliable sources.

IKR? The internet can be so confusing.

Isn't slime algae cyanobacteria?

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That's what google seems to think, I'm beginning to believe that CBA is presents in all forms of algae just in different concentrations which is why it has so many colours and stages and forms. this is just a theory:lol

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That's what google seems to think, I'm beginning to believe that CBA is presents in all forms of algae just in different concentrations which is why it has so many colours and stages and forms. this is just a theory :lol

:rofl

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