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Very nice start! I like your descriptive categories. Some categories include additional algae genera not listed. "Green water" for example could include many other genera from several orders. Phormidium is another of the common slime-forming BGs, nearly identical to Oscillatoria. "Long" and "short" categories may overlap, since flow, nutrients, hardness, season, and other factors can influence growth form. Whether it helps or not in getting RID of algae, I like knowing what's growing in my tanks and tubs. This will be a useful guide. Here's another interesting site that might help: http://www.keweenawalgae.mtu.edu/
 

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"I am NOT a biologist." I disagree; that's just not your paid job. Nice microscopy work, and your research and observational skills and healthy skepticism of conventional claims are on par with many good biologists. Aquarium-grown algae can sometimes have different growth forms, colors, and even cell morphology compared with wild-collected ones of the same kind. There's a few easy-to-ID algae groups, like Audouinella, Chara, and Oscillatoriales (if you're willing to settle for Order level) that are recognizable based on color, growth form and texture, and hundreds of others that are really tough to ID without a good microscope and Phycology books. I had one intro Phycology class 30 yrs ago; wish I knew more.

Agree with "most likely Oscillatoria" (or at least Ocillatoriales order) for the stuff on the leaf above above. Oscillatoria crumbles easily to dust when you rub it, unlike many filamentous Greens. But there's also filamentous diatoms that do that.
 

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I did not know there are blue-greens with sturdy filaments (roll into a ball, rather than crumble when rubbed). What are the features of your "beard cyano" that tells you it's a cyano? Are short cells (like stacked disks) a cyano feature?
 

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That's a good husband. I suggest you keep him. I'm always amazed how Oscillatoria seems to crawl around in a container after I peel sheets of it out of my tanks. Does your book explain HOW it does this?

Here's a few free downloadable Freshwater Algae ID references (if you don't have Bucha's book):

https://www.researchgate.net/profil...ation_of_the_most_common_freshwater_algae.pdf

https://www.researchgate.net/profil...download/Algae+Identification+field+guide.pdf

https://www.researchgate.net/profil...2292839186/download/keys_freshwater_algae.pdf (Bellinger & Sigee 2010)
 

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Don't go bashing blue-greens without knowing their full story ... (this is the "beard" one Bucha found on the plastic plant).

"Scytonema is an example of one of many genera of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that are classified as free-living nitrogen fixers. Considered to be one of the most primitive autotrophic organisms on the planet, they are credited with converting earth's atmophere from an oxygen-free to an oxygen-rich environment, and thus setting the stage for the evolution of aerobic organisms. Embedded within the dark filamentous portion of the blue-green algae pictured to the left (see white spots) are heterocysts: structures devoid of oxygen to allow the enzyme nitrogenase to fix atmospheric dinitrogen (N2) into ammonium (NH3). Heterocytous cyanophytes can flourish in environments limited in nitrogenous compounds in that they can supply their own fixed nitrogen (Schlesinger 1997). It has been demonstrated that nitrogen fixed by free-living, heterocystous cyanobacteria bacteria is transferred to higher plants, and in an experiment using labelled 15N (see following diagram for details), Bentley and Carpenter (1984) demonstrated the transfer of fixed nitrogen from epiphyllous cyanobacteria colonies to the host leaf in a Costa Rican forest. "

https://web.archive.org/web/2010061...e.edu/bio265/Archive/1999/czcf/scytonema.html
 
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