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A plague on algae?

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#1 mattknepley

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  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 01 January 2014 - 01:43 PM

I have something going on with the green algae in my tank I haven't ever seen before. Normally, I'm not too worked up over even fairly large layers of green algae coating the glass and other surfaces in a tank of mine because I figure it has its healthy purposes like many other "surprise" forms of life that pop up in aquaria. If it gets thick enough to prevent me from enjoying the tank, I scrub it off, and if no plants are present I might even bomb it with some chemical from the lfs.

So, my 55 has been acquiring a modest layer of green; moreso on the back because I have wiped the front down a couple times. A large mass of java moss and a few rooted plants keep the left side of the tank much less algae populated. But now it appears they are getting help of some kind keeping the green stuff at bay. The algae started to develop patches of white rings in different places. Usually there is a brown ring outside the white one, but not always. Closer observation reveals the ring is actually an area of algae dieing and turning white. A thin clear film almost fills the inside of the ring. There is no discernible algae remains within the film, and in the bigger rings the film has torn and clear glass remains where it had been coated previously. The rings are starting to run into each other, forming patches and some of the algae appears to be stressing, turning a brown color before a ring actually gets to it.

It's gotten to where it is distracting enough that I'll be dealing with it soon. But just what am I dealing with? Is this a disease? Is it a natural seasonal pattern of algae I just haven't seen before? Is it something else? Do I just scrub it off and let the filters clear it up, or is it likely something more malicious than that, that needs another approach?

This is the best picture I could manage of the stuff. The back wall is much more affected than the front; not sure why that would be.Attached File  DSCF3727.JPG   152.71KB   0 downloads
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#2 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

Guest_Erica Lyons_*
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Posted 01 January 2014 - 03:17 PM

This is chemical warfare. Something is attacking the algae.

It reminds me of Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin, or Dr. Zheng Cui's discovery of cancer killing granulocytes. You have a model (a sheet of algae, a plate of bacteria, a mouse that always gets cancer when injected) and one day, the model's different. Your sheet of algae has little dead spots. Your plate of bacteria fails to grow. Your mouse doesn't get cancer. These serendipitous events could simply be overlooked. "A model doesn't work every time" or "I don't know". But what makes the big names and the big discoveries is going, "Huh. Why?" and figuring out the cause. We're only home aquarists, so we don't have the tools. But it's probably another organism secreting something that is killing the algae. Maybe it's Poly {oxethylene (dimethyliminio) ethylene (dimethyliminio) ethylene dichloride, the active ingredient in Tetra Algae Clear. Maybe it's something else. You're lucky, you have something warring with the algae. A lot of people would pay to have that.

#3 Guest_gerald_*

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 09:56 AM

It's Gollum in green camo - careful putting your hand in.

#4 Guest_Kanus_*

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 10:35 PM

You should take a swab of it. If you can culture whatever it is, you could make millions with a new novel algicide without the use of harsh chemicals!

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