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Algae has overtaken the fish habitat of our aquaponic system! We are planning on purchasing a plecostomus with hopes that it will take care of our problem...has anyone else encountered algae in their tank? any suggestions on how to be rid of it?

Note: The pipe shown in this picture is plastic and the "corrosion" that people discussed in the comments is actually just hard water.


(see attached photos )

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No particular reason. Just that cyanobacteria blooms are very, very common and most people call then "algae" even though they technically are not. (Though in most practical terms they might as well be).

They do actually come in all sorts of colours...it's just that the very first ones humans were aware of happened to be blue/green so they all got stuck with that name (previously called "blue-green algae"). They do still perform oxygenic photosynthesis like algae, and can be dealt with by blocking out any excess light hitting your system water (just like algae). Again, just like algae, they can cause diurnal pH swings...So it's easy to see why these photoautotrophic bacteria get lumped in with algae. That and while I was in Ca last week helping to teach a course with Jon Parr, I was given a really good book (by a really GREAT and knowledgable guy named Paul Holowko) all about lichens...so I've got fungus, algae and cyanobacteria on the brain now, thanks to Paul...

Check it out with the microscope. Explore...have fun :)



Pacifica HS said:

Someone did mention bacteria, yes. What characteristics did you draw from the pictures we posted that made you think Cyanobacteria? Just curious... I know you didn't state that that's actually what you thought it was, you just asked because Cyanobacteria gets its name from its blue color..our tank is an orange color though which could possibly be why it is appearing brown. So we will scrape some off the side of the tank today. Maybe we will check it out under a microscope to figure out what it is exactly.
Thanks!


Vlad Jovanovic said:

Just out of curiosity...was it suggested that what is in fact growing in your tank is some sort of cyanobacteria?

Hi Pacifica HS,

Most probably regular algae IMO. Cyano likes high PH ranges above 9 and closer to 10. Shading will remove the problem also.

OK, Sorry.............

I'm confusing it with something else. Cayno can grow in a range of PH's. Can you collect a sample and contrast it over a white background to see the color, the shade of your FT is slightly biased enough to observe this.

...and if the cells have nuclei, then it's not cyano...

We took a sample of the "algae" and viewed it under a microscope. I have attached a picture.
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Hi Pacifica HS,

I'm impressed with your efforts! I can't make out the color from that photo, can you tell what the color is? Is it bright green or dark? Or is it blue, brown or red? I'm uploading some information i have on cayno. Look in the appendices for identification. Of course, testing is the only sure way of knowing

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Thank you again for the time you have contributed to helping us research!
The color is definitely not a bright green or blue..it truly has more of a brown appearance.


Harold Sukhbir said:

Hi Pacifica HS,

I'm impressed with your efforts! I can't make out the color from that photo, can you tell what the color is? Is it bright green or dark? Or is it blue, brown or red? I'm uploading some information i have on cayno. Look in the appendices for identification. Of course, testing is the only sure way of knowing

Hi Pacifica HS,

So, brown algae is fairly common in FT's. They like low light conditions, poor oxygen, and low volume water movement. You can use a soft broom to brush it away. It can go to the GB's. Think about increasing water turnover(second or larger primary pump). With more water movement you'll be increasing your O2 levels at the same time.

Thanks! We'll be sure to take your advice into consideration:)

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