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Green Beard Algae


Niki

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I'm not sure if this post in in the correct section or not.

 

I have a piece of driftwood in my tank that has a full carpet of green beard algae (at least that's what I think it is) and I quite enjoy the look of it. I was wondering if it is harmful in anyway? Should I be trying to reduce it? (it also covers a plant that I have in the tank, I don't care if the plant dies, as long as it doesn't harm my fish).

 

any suggestions or ideas about it being there much appreciated!

 

 

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If you could post photos, that would help us to determine if that's what it is or not.

 

Normal green hair algaes are not detrimental to tanks at all. In fact, goldfish love to munch on it. 

 

However, there are some harmful 'algae' that can cause issues with fish. That's why I would be happy if you could take photos so we can make sure it's just plain old algae.

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yea, I can take a photo of it later when I get home from work. Might not be a great photo as my Iphone camera isn't working very well and puts a haze over some pics.

 

I actually have noticed that the fish in this tank is growing much faster than a couple of fish in a different tank with no/less algae....

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If you could post photos, that would help us to determine if that's what it is or not.

 

Normal green hair algaes are not detrimental to tanks at all. In fact, goldfish love to munch on it. 

 

However, there are some harmful 'algae' that can cause issues with fish. That's why I would be happy if you could take photos so we can make sure it's just plain old algae.

What are some of these harmful algae?

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If you could post photos, that would help us to determine if that's what it is or not.

 

Normal green hair algaes are not detrimental to tanks at all. In fact, goldfish love to munch on it. 

 

However, there are some harmful 'algae' that can cause issues with fish. That's why I would be happy if you could take photos so we can make sure it's just plain old algae.

What are some of these harmful algae?

 

'Algae' (the little marks there are important, since some of these fall into the diatoms are brown algae category you love so much. :teehee )

 

things like... 

 

Blue-green Algae (Cyanobacteria)

Black Beard Algae 

 

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I know this Algae is not black beard or Blue-Green (though I might  have one small spot of Blue Green on my galss, its pretty brightly colored and I was going to clean it off tonight during my water change) I wasn't worried about this spot bc I was going to remove it, the other one I am inquiring about it bc I want to keep it.

 

the algae Im going to post a picture of is a really pretty green carpet evenly spread over the wood.

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They were blue-green algae when I first met them, and kept that name for decades after they were re-classified as bacteria.  I still am inclined to call them bl.... cyanobacteria.

 

If cyanobacteria are harmful to goldfish, my fishies are very active zombies.  They chew the stuff off the sides of the pond all day.  The cyanobacteria that produce toxic blooms in natural bodies of water are all planktonic, not surface growers. I've never heard of a bloom of toxic cyanos in a freshwater aquarium.  

 

I know black beard/brush algae is a terrible nuisance, but I haven't heard that it was harmful to fish.

 

Niki, any algae that makes a pretty green carpet is a good one.

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Sharon,

 

Everything I have heard about cyanobacteria is "THIS IS BAD GET IT OUT OF YOUR TANK!" There was a lot of mentioning of specific names, like Oscillatoria and Anabaena. Not sure if that's a fresh or salt water phenomenon.

 

And with the black beard algae, I recall reading that it causes problems with the cycle if it gets too bad, which in turn hurts the fish. Then again, I haven't had to deal with it so I haven't really read up so much on it. 

 

 

Niki, 

 

That sounds beautiful. 

Edited by ChelseaM
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I can't really see anything clear enough in that photo, but green feathery tufts is more than likely green hair algae. It's caused by an excess of light.

I've never ever heard anyone say algae is harmful either. A nuisance if you don't want it yes, but never harmful.

Edited by dan in aus
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Sharon,

Everything I have heard about cyanobacteria is "THIS IS BAD GET IT OUT OF YOUR TANK!" There was a lot of mentioning of specific names, like Oscillatoria and Anabaena. Not sure if that's a fresh or salt water phenomenon.

And with the black beard algae, I recall reading that it causes problems with the cycle if it gets too bad, which in turn hurts the fish. Then again, I haven't had to deal with it so I haven't really read up so much on it.

Niki,

That sounds beautiful.

Things like this quote below (source: fish lore) is mainly what you find when you search it, but I have never seen it personally DO what they scare us with. :hmm

I am in no way challenging the information entirely, I don't doubt there are strains of cyano that can kill, as is true with bacteria in general.

What Is Cyanobacteria?

Some cyanobacteria is beneficial, being an important part of the nitrogen cycle. Spirulina, which is hailed as a "superfood," being rich in all of the amino acids, as well as other important nutrients, is a form of cyanobacteria. Others, however, produce various forms of neurotoxins, hepatotoxins, cytotoxins, and endotoxins. All forms of cyanobacteria seem to be somewhere between plant and bacteria. They have a gel-like cell wall (cell walls are usually reserved for plants) and are fed partially by photosynthesis. They also possess bacterial traits. Some are free-floating, some form threads, or sheets, or even hollow spheres. Thankfully, it seems that most of the harmful cyanobacteria take the form of brilliant sheets, making it easy to identify.

Edited by Chai
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I can't really see anything clear enough in that photo, but green feathery tufts is more than likely green hair algae. It's caused by an excess of light.

I've never ever heard anyone say algae is harmful either. A nuisance if you don't want it yes, but never harmful.

So I should be fine if I keep it?

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They were blue-green algae when I first met them, and kept that name for decades after they were re-classified as bacteria.  I still am inclined to call them bl.... cyanobacteria.

 

If cyanobacteria are harmful to goldfish, my fishies are very active zombies.  They chew the stuff off the sides of the pond all day.  The cyanobacteria that produce toxic blooms in natural bodies of water are all planktonic, not surface growers. I've never heard of a bloom of toxic cyanos in a freshwater aquarium.  

 

I know black beard/brush algae is a terrible nuisance, but I haven't heard that it was harmful to fish.

 

Niki, any algae that makes a pretty green carpet is a good one.

So the only thing I am getting from what you said is the wishful thinking that you have zombie goldfish...and I want one :D

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Things like this quote below (source: fish lore) is mainly what you find when you search it, but I have never seen it personally DO what they scare us with. :hmm

I am in no way challenging the information entirely, I don't doubt there are strains of cyano that can kill, as is true with bacteria in general.

What Is Cyanobacteria?

Some cyanobacteria is beneficial, being an important part of the nitrogen cycle. Spirulina, which is hailed as a "superfood," being rich in all of the amino acids, as well as other important nutrients, is a form of cyanobacteria. Others, however, produce various forms of neurotoxins, hepatotoxins, cytotoxins, and endotoxins. All forms of cyanobacteria seem to be somewhere between plant and bacteria. They have a gel-like cell wall (cell walls are usually reserved for plants) and are fed partially by photosynthesis. They also possess bacterial traits. Some are free-floating, some form threads, or sheets, or even hollow spheres. Thankfully, it seems that most of the harmful cyanobacteria take the form of brilliant sheets, making it easy to identify.

 

 

 

OMG.  Somebody deserved an F in microbiology.  While the nitrogen fixation of some cyanobacteria is useful, they are all photosynthetic, and oxygen is kind of useful.  

 

Cyanobacteria are simply aerobic photosynthetic bacteria, albeit, large and complex bacteria.  They are not at all like plant cells, but rather they  appear to be related to the chloroplasts in plant cells.  Like all bacteria (with the exception of a few pathogens that live within the tissues of multicellular organisms) they have cell walls. 

 

I am unfamiliar with those bright colored sheets of toxic cyanobacteria.  Our local blooms in polluted waters are scums like these.   The water containing these blooms can cause skin irritation in people stupid enough to swim in it, and if they also swallow quite a bit it can make them feel sick.

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Sharon, I recently read of the issue with pets dying after drinking from Lake Chabot, and they think the cause is that algae you linked. It sounds disgusting.

 

Niki, That's a beautiful piece of wood. The algae on it looks like hair algae to me and shouldn't be an issue. Makes me want a carpet of it again even more! 

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What Is Cyanobacteria?

Some cyanobacteria is beneficial, being an important part of the nitrogen cycle. Spirulina, which is hailed as a "superfood," being rich in all of the amino acids, as well as other important nutrients, is a form of cyanobacteria. Others, however, produce various forms of neurotoxins, hepatotoxins, cytotoxins, and endotoxins. All forms of cyanobacteria seem to be somewhere between plant and bacteria. They have a gel-like cell wall (cell walls are usually reserved for plants) and are fed partially by photosynthesis. They also possess bacterial traits. Some are free-floating, some form threads, or sheets, or even hollow spheres. Thankfully, it seems that most of the harmful cyanobacteria take the form of brilliant sheets, making it easy to identify.

 

 

I have been reading this too, in more than one place. There has been a lot of mentioning of the kinds that can produce the toxins. 

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Sharon, I recently read of the issue with pets dying after drinking from Lake Chabot, and they think the cause is that algae you linked. It sounds disgusting.

 

Niki, That's a beautiful piece of wood. The algae on it looks like hair algae to me and shouldn't be an issue. Makes me want a carpet of it again even more! 

Yea, I don't think I would let my dog drink from that lake! eeeeewwww *shivers* blah

 

Thank you Chelsea (love your name BTW, It is my cars name hahah) I thought hair algae was longer? do you think it is kept short bc my little porker is grazing on it?

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Cyanobacterial blooms occur where water is polluted by sewage or fertilizer run off.  If you dump sewage or lawn fertilizer in your tank, you should worry about blooms of toxic cyanobacteria.  

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Is that really the only times, Sharon? Not trying to be difficult, but that seems like a very narrow scope. 

 

 

Thank you, Niki :blush: The length is dependent on a lot of factors, your fish grazing on it could definitely be one of them. And it's good that the little piggy does, because it is a great snack. 

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