What kind of algae did i grow?

MissNoodle

Member
Set aside a jar under a very bright horticultural light... within a week I grew some algae. Growing it for a food source for an algae eating specialist...

But unsure if I grew green water algae or cyanobacteria lol it scrapes off in bits, rather than as a slime...

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John58ford

Member
Is that knitting mesh? What did you use to start the growth and feed it? Aquarium water or something more specialized? You have me curious about what you grew too. If it doesn't look slimey or smell bad it's probably not cyano. Cyano loves phosphates and nitrogen so I guess if you juiced it with just exactly the wrong ferts maybe you could have grown some. If you just used tank water you likely would have grown whatever is common in your tank.

You could put it under a microscope and identify it to a very high degree of confidence to see what type of alae you grew. I found some slide pictures from a research paper and used a cheap 300x microscope last time I didn't know what I had. I still haven't found any cyano personally though. There's a water drop test you can do to prove it's not cyano if your worried. In shallow water Cyano spreads more like jello covered in food coloring. Other water suspended algaes typically dissolve/drift more naturally. I again I haven't had a confirmed cyano so I haven't seen the jello behavior at home but in research it seems a common identifier. Also, fish won't usually eat cyano so you could just let them tell you ;)

Cool science project you grew though, which algae specialist are you trying to feed?
 
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MissNoodle

Member
John58ford said:
Is that knitting mesh? What did you use to start the growth and feed it? Aquarium water or something more specialized? You have me curious about what you grew too. If it doesn't look slimey or smell bad it's probably not cyano. Cyano loves phosphates and nitrogen so I guess if you juiced it with just exactly the wrong ferts maybe you could have grown some. If you just used tank water you likely would have grown whatever is common in your tank.

You could put it under a microscope and identify it to a very high degree of confidence to see what type of alae you grew. I found some slide pictures from a research paper and used a cheap 300x microscope last time I didn't know what I had. I still haven't found any cyano personally though. There's a water drop test you can do to prove it's not cyano if your worried. In shallow water Cyano spreads more like jello covered in food coloring. Other water suspended algaes typically dissolve/drift more naturally. I again I haven't had a confirmed cyano so I haven't seen the jello behavior at home but in research it seems a common identifier. Also, fish won't usually eat cyano so you could just let them tell you ;)

Cool science project you grew though, which algae specialist are you trying to feed?
Knitting mesh, yes. Was hoping to grow some soft algae and hang a piece for my farlowella vittata pair. Added some small twigs as well after that photo.

When disturbed, the green water sorta swirls, you can see it if you stirr the water a little bit.

I used tank water that's dosed with standard dose of Seachem Flourish. Nothing crazy.

My tank has some green spot algae and some slight hair algae (I welcome the dense fuzzy green algae, its neat on rocks). But no green water.

These are my two farlowella vittata. Both on the same branch. Theyre my algae specialists...
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John58ford

Member
Those are pretty cool, I've never kept anything like them. I honestly haven't ever done an algae growth experiment without starting with a sample. I remember back in highschool doing it with an algae scraping collected from a rock in the river. We left a chunks of it on coffee filters sunk into a jar and used various light sources to see what worked the best. Maybe algae without a "start" so to speak starts out free floating and will eventually collect and form the way you would like it to. I really don't know lol. The only way I would guess you could identify exactly what it is would be with a microscope.

Have you found a write up on harvesting your own algae or done something similar before? I do love to learn.
 
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MissNoodle

Member
John58ford said:
Those are pretty cool, I've never kept anything like them. I honestly haven't ever done an algae growth experiment without starting with a sample. I remember back in highschool doing it with an algae scraping collected from a rock in the river. We left a chunks of it on coffee filters sunk into a jar and used various light sources to see what worked the best. Maybe algae without a "start" so to speak starts out free floating and will eventually collect and form the way you would like it to. I really don't know lol. The only way I would guess you could identify exactly what it is would be with a microscope.

Have you found a write up on harvesting your own algae or done something similar before? I do love to learn.
Ive seen recommendations to leave a rock or such in a jar in a sunny window and rotate out the algae covered rocks as a supplement for otos and such. I went a step up and put it under a light, like right right under the light. The water is super warm from it too.

I wanna keep some pebbles in this jar too for my nirites in my nonplanted tank. I think the right kind of algae would be beneficial to the tank I can't plant. (I have apple snails in the tank who eat everything, including anubias!)
 

John58ford

Member
I think if I ever do a pond for myself I might try Apple snails, everyone likes to look at my ramshorns floating around then as soon as they see the mysteries they ask me if they're real because they look so big. I couldn't imagine the reaction if I showed them one the size of a softball lol.

I'll stick around in this thread for sure, maybe someone will come up with something for you and revolutionize the algae growing hobby :)
 
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MissNoodle

Member
So its def not cyanobacteria. Smells good, grassy. And is now kinda chunky on things. The first algae stick was ready to be dropped into the tank.

The first to check it out isn't even an algae eating fish lol
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This is the set up to grow it. Tank water in a jar with knitting mesh and sticks under a metal mixing bowl (so I don't have to stare at the light lol) beside one of my tank lights.
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John58ford

Member
So about 10 days? Not a bad yield at all. Do you run the light 24/7 under the bowl? How hot do you think it gets in there? I have some GE par38 bulbs that might do very well at that but I imagine they would get pretty hot, they have their own heat sinks. We use them in cheap clamp lamp fixtures to start outdoor plants that need a longer summer than we get in the spring.

Very cool project you have going indeed.
 
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MissNoodle

Member
John58ford said:
So about 10 days? Not a bad yield at all. Do you run the light 24/7 under the bowl? How hot do you think it gets in there? I have some GE par38 bulbs that might do very well at that but I imagine they would get pretty hot, they have their own heat sinks. We use them in cheap clamp lamp fixtures to start outdoor plants that need a longer summer than we get in the spring.

Very cool project you have going indeed.
I only have it running 8-10 hours a day. That's how long I keep the tank light on (which is actually dI'm in the actual tank). I'm good with letting algae grow in the tank the lights over, since its not planted and I got snails and barbs who will like to eat some algae. Free food source and gives oxygen. I welcome some algae. Even in my planted tanks I like some on the hardscape or back glass. I got some fuzzy hair algae growing on a rock and I love it. It adds to the tank. Green spot algae though, not a fan on the front glass lol and my nirite in my 46g is lazy.

The water temp, I took with a food grade thermometer, it read 98F last I looked lol, so toasty. The light does get pretty hot, ive used it as an emergency incubator before.

It casts a nice light on the tank, brings the reds out on the cherry barbs. Since its dimmer, I find the fish come out of hiding more, they seem to like it better than the proper light.
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MissNoodle

Member
The pigs ate it all
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