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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Actually, I am making a LED light fixture. To make a fixture that discourage algae growth, i am looking to learn about algae photosynthesis, so scientific names are needed. Below I tried to compile the list of common algae names + scientific names + descriptions. Will you please check and correct this list. It will be greatly appreciated.

I took the general organization of the list from
http://maksimov.com.ua/vodorosli-v-akvariume/vidy-vodoroslej-v-akvariume
and did changes and corrections, so just giving the credit to this Ukrainian site.

1. Coatings of dust or mucus

1.1. Diatoms = Bacillariophyceae, Bacilariophyta. Do NOT belong to Brown Algae
Dense coating of brown or brown-black dust on soil, plant leaves, glass, is easily shaken off by fingers or a toothbrush.

1.2. Blue-green algae, BGA = Cyanobacteria = Oscillitoria splendens, Lyngbya, Anabaena? Aphanizomenon?
Coating is similar to a thin film that may completely cover leaves or soil. It is separated as a whole mucus-like layer, with a specific unpleasant odor. Color from light green to black with a purple tint.

1.3. Green spot algae = Xenococcus kerneri sp., Cyanobacteria; Coleochaete orbicularis sp., Charophyta
Very strongly attached, round, light or dark green spots on the glass, leaves of slowly growing plants, and decorations.

1.4. Green dust algae = Chlamydomonas Genus, Chlorophyta; Protococcus Genus, Chlorophyta
Green, thick, slippery to the touch dust coating on the walls of the aquarium. Initially appears close to the lamps or aeration. Leaves of plants mostly remain clean. Easily removed by a scraper.

2. Long (over 5 cm) thread-like algae

2.1. Silk algae, Water silk = Spirogyra Genus, Charophyta
Long, non-branching, light green, very thin, filaments that can extend from the tops of plants through the entire aquarium. It expands quickly, forming dense cotton-like bundles that feel slippery and slimy to the touch. Outside the water, they appear as a continuous homogeneous mass, easily crushed by fingers.

2.2. Horse hair algae = Pithophora Genus, Chlorophyta
Very long, coarse, dark-green, brownish-yellow or brownish-green threads, solitary, or as a bundle with a texture of steel wool. Each thread is attached at one end, the threads seem to be growing from a single point. Easily removed on pulling. On the longest threads, there are noticeable single thickenings ("beads"). Outside the water you can see individual threads that are very hard.

3. Short non-branching filaments

3.1. Hair algae = Oedogonium Genus, Chlorophyta
Thin, short, green threads covering plants, stones or driftwood and giving them a special fluffy appearance. Each thread is attached separately, but overall it looks like a rug.

3.2. Fuzz algae = Rhizoclonium Genus, Chlorophyta
Short, very soft, slippery to the touch, light green to brown filaments bunched into bundles that resemble cotton wool. Outside the water they become a homogeneous mass. First appear on the ground or on ground cover plants.May look similar to Spirogyra, but the threads are shorter.

4. Short branching filaments

4.1. Black beard, Black brush, BBA = Audeuinella Genus, Rhodophyta
Branching, sufficiently large, very fast growing, gray-green or black filaments first appear along the edge of the leaf from a single origin, then spread along the entire leaf blade, and quickly hit new leaves and substrate in the aquarium. Rarely on glass.

4.2.Staghorn algae = Compsopogon caeruleus sp., Compsopogon iyengarii sp., Rhodophyta
Black or very dark-green, 0.5-2 cm relatively thick and hard semi-transparent strands, growing as bundles from a single origin, first along the edges of the leaves, then rapidly assemble and form a solid black mat. Rhizoids grow into cells of plants damaging them.

4.3. Blanket weed = Cladophora Genus, Chlorophyta; C. glomerata sp.?
Threads branch strongly and visibly, bushy growth resembling moss. Usually grows on the substrate and wood, can form free-floating mats, may attach to slowly growing plants. Outside the water, the structure is quite stiff, rough, has a specific smell.

5. Floating algae
5.1. Green water = Microcystis Genus, unicellular cyanobacteria, and green Euglenophyta
The water in the aquarium becomes green, while plants and soil often remain clean, but may develop a touch of green and feel slippery to the touch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Some of most unpleasant algae are Rhodophyta and Cyanobacteria, the last do not even have Chlorophyl B! So it IS possible to control them with lighting, I will be posting details soon on Lighting post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you, everyone!
I went to a neighborhood aquatic store, asked for an anubia leaf with algae that looks like BBA to me. Attached are a photo of the leaf and microscope photos at 2 magnifications. It is definitely Audeuinella, Rhodophyta. But the algae does not turn red in acetone or alcohol. It it a myth that BBA should? Also, does it look like BBA to you or like Staghorn or anything else?

Administrator: why my HTML code is off? I can not make "bold" fonts, enter pictures in the text... I wanted to post some useful graphs about lighting...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Also I collected dome definitely Green Dust Algae from my tank and attached below a photo with maximum magnification possible on my very old cheap microscope. It does not look similar to photos of Chlamydomonas (Chlorophyta) OR Protococcus (Chlorophyta) that I can find. In my tank I MAY BE have some Actidesmium. Does not mean that others are wrong, there may be several species. I an NOT a biologist. Now I have just put a microscope slide in my tank and hope to grow some Green Dust on it, hopefully it will allow to make a better and undisturbed photo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK, I have found some Green Spot in my second tank and it is DEFINITELY Coleochaete! The question now is which of 22 known Coleochaete species...
Never expected to actually be searching for algae in my tanks :)

Attached are:
1. A photo of Green Spot Coleochaete with some yet unidentified Green Dust (growing it, will post if successful) on the sides, so you can compare the sizes.
2. The same slide let to dry for 15 min without moving it, the resolution seems slightly better.
3. Baby Coleochaete to prove that the Green Dust cells on the previous pictures does not belong to Green Spot algae natural assembly in the middle.

DuthMuch: I am just lucky because my husband works on a lathe, so we took our old cheap Kodak EasyShare C913 and machined it to fit the microscope on the top of ocular.
Gerald: thank you so much for the link, it will help A LOT!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I went to a very greedy aquatic store. I gave them a beautiful Bucephalandra with >10 leaves, they gave me half a leaf. I was asking for a whole leaf...
Two photos of the front and side of this half-leaf are attached, as well as three microscope photos at two magnifications.
In 99.9% when people think that they have made a discovery, they are mistaken. However, the only identification I could propose for this case is Cyanobacteria from Family Oscillatoriaceae. According to Algaebase this family has 3 major Genus: Oscillatoria, Lyngbya and Phormidium.
After hours at the microscope I did not find a single branching or a single sporangium (a sack with spores), so it could not be Audeuinella. It is to small and, again, not branching for Compsopogon. All filamentous Chlorophyta seems to have visible walls between cells, I could not see any. So while looking like a "beard" this algae very much resemble filamentous cyanobacteria, most likely Oscillatoria. Yellow Beard Algae?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Guys, you are too kind! It is the first forum I have ever joined, and people are just nice!

Here comes some beautiful Staghorn = Compsopogon caeruleus. It is HUGE under microscope, the branching is easily seen with naked eyes. Probably the easiest way to distinguish it from BBA is this visible branching. The very tip of the largest branch on a close-up is a little broken by me, still the overall shape of the bulge on the tip is visible. Will try again tomorrow.

I have found a store in Denver with wonderful people, they give me whole leaves and actually help to search for algae in their store, so more photos are coming!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have found another filamentous cyanobacteria resembling a beard. The first (half a leaf) and this one are found in aquatic stores 30 miles apart, in two cities, which get their tap water supply from different sources.

This may be very important, because unlike red algae (BBA and Staghorn), cyanobacteria may be possibly killed with antibiotics from Petsmart. Several years ago I had to throw away a 7-years-old tank, with filter and everything (just saved the fish) that was infested with what I thought was BBA. May be it was not BBA? Twice in my life I got very bad standard slimy cyanobacteria films that were gone in a week killed with erythromycin. These "new" strands may be resistant to erythromycin, but it is worth trial!

Both the half-leaf-one and this filamentous cyanobacteria have no smell we grew to associate with blue-green slimy films, they do not "crumbles easily to dust" in my fingers (a try that Gerald suggested), instead they prefer to roll in a tight ball. I could not find any branching for the first one. This one sometimes has two types of cells in some filaments, and pseudo-branching (VERY rarely) in filaments with cells type 1. From the attached files you can see:
1. General view on a PLASTIC plant.
2. Two types of cells in the same filament and pseudo-branching of cells type 1
3. Close-up of pseudo-branching of cells type 1
4. Close-up of cells type 1
5. Close-up of cells type 2 with a unique "bend" found very rarely
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
My husband gave me a book as a present: Freshwater Algae of North America, 2nd Edition
https://www.elsevier.com/books/freshwater-algae-of-north-america/wehr/978-0-12-385876-4
From the photos in the book it seems to be filamentous Cyanobacteria.

About my "half-leaf" identification: it is indeed Oscillatoria. Yesterday night I put it on a microscope slide in a dark room and shined a strong light beam from a flashlight on the side of the slide. After 10 minutes of wait, the filaments began to slide over each other moving toward the light. To the best of my current knowledge, it is a unique property of Oscillatoria.

I failed to see any movement of filaments in the same experiment with this new algae, but will try again tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Yeah, have kept him for 30 years, since we were very young, through thick and very thin...

I have not found the explanation for the moving in the book yet, the language is very Phycology-academical, so I am still learning it. I have written to several Phycology professors I could find online, including one who is responsible for http://www-cyanosite.bio.purdue.edu/images/images.html
So far I got only one reply "I do not have knowledge to help, buy I believe X can help", which I think was a very kind and wonderful reply. So I will write to X today.

I have also posted the last photos on
http://www.microbehunter.com/microscopy-forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=6171&e=1&view=unread#unread
but no one replied.

I tried again and failed again to see any moving for the last specimen...
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I would love to! But I do not have them now (my otocinclus love to clean them, probably tasty to them) and could not get decent samples from stores. If you send me some, I would definitely try my best to get decent photos and post them here. I am in Colorado.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
mistergreen: yes, please
Gerald: thank you, I will try

Everyone: I got a reply from the author of "Filamentous Cyanobacteria" chapter from "Freshwater Algae of North America" book. He says about the CyanobacteriaX photos posted previously: "I think this is a tropical species. It is certainly Nostocales." He also thinks that most likely "The alga is in the Scytonemataceae", the genus may be Scytonema

To organize it:
Phylum: Cyanobacteria (4,637 known species)
Class: Cyanophyceae (4,637 sp., of which 65 sp. identification is uncertain).
Subclass: Nostocophycidae (1,472 sp.)
Order: Nostocales (1,472 sp.)
Family: Scytonemataceae (180 sp.)
Genus: Scytonema (130 sp.)

Yes, we do have an least two types of bearded Cyanobacteria in our tanks! May be they can be controlled by lighting and antibiotics? I will investigate this and post on my light thread. Should this algae thread, indeed, be "sticky-ed"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
I have made a mistake, the "half-leaf-alga" is not Oscillatoria, it is actually Lyngbya (a closely related blue-green alga)! This explains why it rolls in a tight ball, while, as Gerald pointed out, Oscillatoria probably should turn to dust in your fingers. As a professional pointed out: "They (Lyngbya) look like Oscillatoria, but have distinct sheaths, evident in your pix where the cells have retracted or broken out of the sheath."
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Gerald is also right about the nitrogen fixation by many cyanobacteria, namely those belonging to order Nostocales.

A very interesting thing happened. A professional has looked at my Scytonema pictures and noticed the bunches-like branching at the top of the picture named: "Two types of cells in the same filament and pseudo-branching of cells type 1". He told me that Scytonema is a non attached alga, and these branching on the top of the photo belongs to Tolypothrix. So I washed the piece of this plastic plant, got rid of non-attached black-cotton-ball-like Scytonema, and there was Tolypothrix actually attached to the plastic of this artificial plant! Another Black Beard! So the photos of Tolypothrix are below. The false branching in Tolypothrix occurs at one or more heterocytes (formerly "heterocysts"), which are the sites of nitrogen-fixation that Gerald wrote about. You can easily see them (bright green) in the last photo. On the second photo you can also see a tiny (reddish-colored) piece of Scytonema for comparison of these two algae.

An easy way to subdue any nitrogen-fixating Cyanobacteria is to keep nitrates above 20 ppm for two weeks. I tried this twice in my life it and it works. Also, Cyanobacteria does not like 1 ppm of Manganese, which does not bother the rest of aquarium habitat. So finding the third cyanobacteria-beard is good news
 

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