Did you know the early environment of the earth has no oxygen? What? How can that be possible and how then do we oxygenic humans have evolved? We all know that plants give us oxygen for our survival but how do they produce oxygen?
It has been answered by one of the breath-taking discoveries of the 17th century by Jan Ingenhousz. The process which gives oxygen as a by-product and takes carbon dioxide. It is none other than “Photosynthesis” which has occurred for the first time in an eukaryotic organism which is known as “Algae”.
Algae, the green, brown, or red colored vibrant organism. They are autotrophs that need sunlight to form their organic matter/food. Algae may be floating on the surface or dwell at the bottom. They have a cell wall. Being an aquatic organism, water is the necessity of this class.
What Is Aquarium Algae?
Ever seen an aquarium and was shocked that pebbles are actually green in colour. Or how many diverse colorations of life exist inside it? The aquarium is the mini version of a closed habitat of aquatic organisms, counting from fishes, molluscs, snails, corals, and photosynthetic organisms (algae and plants). The green coating over pebbles or the brown and red carpet of the aquarium is most commonly a symbol of algal growth.
Algae grow very easily in aquariums, as they just need light, warm water and main nutrients like nitrates and phosphorus to grow. They are very diverse ranging from unicellular like diatoms to a multicellular thread like hair algae. Now let me introduce you to some of the aquarium algae.
Below are some of the algae types-
- Blue-green algae-They are not algae, how can that be possible? Well, it is bacteria, considered as the ancestor of algae. Commonly known as cyanobacteria. They do perform photosynthesis. Their presence indicates the poor quality of water.
- Green algae– This algae indicates the good water quality.
- Brown algae or diatoms– Most commonly observed, when a new aquarium just sets up, at the bottom of the aquarium. They are single-celled organisms.
- Brown slime algae or dinoflagellates– Most common algae that can be brown, white, yellow or different shades of green.
- Black beard algae– Most common inhabitant on aquarium plants, red in colour.
- Staghorn algae easily grow when water circulation is not proper, with low CO2 and high nitrate levels in aquariums.
- Fuzz algae– Fish normally eat these algae and keep its growth in limit. They are short green algae.
- Ever thought of a moving plant? It is Euglena, the evolved green algae or a single cell organism having chloroplasts and flagella. It is not a true algae and can be a heterotroph when light is not present.
The algae, we can keep in our aquarium, as it has many benefits like-
- Providing oxygen for the other organisms in the aquarium with the help of light.
- Some organisms eat algae as a source of food and nutrients.
- Keep the aquarium clean, as it acts as a filter for the water, also it converts waste of other organisms into organic matter via photosynthesis.
- Make the aquarium look natural and attractive via its colorful bright pigments like an ecosystem.
Is Aquarium Algae Bad? Let’s find out
So algae are too good or have no negative impact on aquariums. Though not so true. When they find abundant nutrients, light or less carbon dioxide in water, they grow profoundly taking each corner up to the surface as well as over the motor thus poor oxygen and water circulation. This growth led the other organism to become deficient in nutrients or die. Thus it is very important to control their growth.
Let’s keep in mind, algae are good when growing optimally in the aquarium while their outgrowth can be a disastrous situation for the other aquatic organisms. So keep your aquarium healthy for all the organisms living inside it.
Do let me know in the comment section, which algae do you love to see in the aquarium for its beautiful color.