How bad really is algae?

PotteryWalrus

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So like, I sense that this might be stirring the pot and I apologise if this is a contentious issue -

But how bad really is algae? I understand that if it grows overmuch on plants it can block their photosinthesis, and the brown stuff can be unsightly, but also I read so much about shrimp, snails, and fish eating it, so surely at least some of it is helpful to a working, balanced ecosystem?

I'll admit that I'm not overmuch bother by the idea of having a perfectly trimmed manicured aquarium, and I kinda like the look of algae growing on back and side walls honestly! Is that a sin or is it just something I should be attentive in curbing?
 

Nick72

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Algae is one of the signs of a healthy ecosystem in an aquarium, unfortunately most people find it unattractive.

Certainly excessive algae will harm plants, as most things in excess are unhealthy.

But there is nothing wrong with a balanced tank that includes some algae.

I wish I could enjoy it, but I can't. If you can consider yourself fortunate and enjoy the more natural look of your aquarium.
 

jaypeecee

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Hi @PotteryWalrus

You've raised a good question. For me, the problem with algae is the rate at which it can grow. Possibly quicker than the plants. So, if it gets a hold, it can be very difficult (and very time-consuming) to keep it under control. 'Plant heavily' is advice that I keep hearing and there is good (scientific) reason to believe that this should work. Note that I say 'should' because I still haven't mastered this! But, some UKAPS members seem to have this under their control.

JPC
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
But how bad really is algae? I understand that if it grows overmuch on plants it can block their photosinthesis, and the brown stuff can be unsightly, but also I read so much about shrimp, snails, and fish eating it, so surely at least some of it is helpful to a working, balanced ecosystem?
That is pretty much where I'm coming from, just call it <"aufwuchs or periphyton"> and enjoy it.

From <"FLUVAL LED...">



cheers Darrel
 

MirandaB

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I can't get conditions right for Thorea hispida but Caloglossa appeared in some moss in one of my small low tech tanks and to say it's thriving is an understatement :lol: I love it though.
I'd better not post my hillstream tank as that is covered in thick algae on purpose,I just keep the front pane clean lol
 

Onoma1

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...

What more could you possibly ask of a microbe?

cheers Darrel
To smell like the aroma of baking bread rather than ... BGA :D Well...you asked ...

More seriously, I am starting to recognise that we need some algae in tanks if a. we want to ensure that our 'clean-up crew' are healthy and b. we want to create a biologically diverse environment. Some of the most innovative aquariums on the forum seem to have featured lots of algae...

https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/toms-bucket-o-mud-the-end.14521/
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
More seriously, I am starting to recognise that we need some algae in tanks if a. we want to ensure that our 'clean-up crew' are healthy and b. we want to create a biologically diverse environment.
My guess would be that is where we are.

I know that some of the <"really good aquarists"> I've met, people who have <"bred really unusual fish">, fish that I would have struggled to keep alive, have had what the average fish keeper probably would have regarded <"as "messy" tanks">.

cheers Darrel
 

jaypeecee

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Hi Everyone,

This nicely illustrates the old idioms 'Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' and 'One man's meat is another man's poison'. All are absolutely fine. There's no 'right' or 'wrong'.

JPC
 
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jameson_uk

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I saw a beautiful wall of BBA in a large display tank at a LFS. Had a shoal of Boesemani Rainbows. Actually looked better than some of the coiffured moss I have seen in beautiful tanks.

My few tufts here and there doesn't really cut it.
 

rebel

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Is that a sin or is it just something I should be attentive in curbing?
Is it a sin was last asked in a classy manner by Elvis. Your question reminded me of his song....

Some have even attempted algae scapes.

Some have wondered about what causes it.
https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/what-exactly-causes-bba.36674/

Maybe many of us will fall in love with the algae.

And no one can pretty much reliably grow it on demand. Algae decides when it wants to grow and sometimes won't listen to you.
 

PotteryWalrus

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19 Jun 2020
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West Yorkshire
Man, I love all these responses. It sounds crazy, but now I can't wait until my tank is mature enough to start growing the fuzzy green stuff! And yeah, even if cyanobacteria ain't great for fish health, you gotta still appreciate the fact we wouldn't be here as land dwelling organisms without it :D
 
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