Algae Control

Algae can be quick growing, unsightly and potentially harmful to both humans and pets.

The good news is, controlling algae in bodies of water can be simple - let’s take a look at what types of algae you might be dealing with...

What are the main types of algae?

There are two main types of problematic algae. These include:

1. Macro Algae, or ‘Filamentous Algae’. This type of algae is often green in colour but can appear brown when exposed to sunlight. Macro Algae can be found floating on the surface of the water, nestled among submerged rocks or in the shallows of dams and lake edges. This type of algae is stringy in appearance - this can be a tell-tale sign that the nutrient load in the water is high. IF not properly dealt with, this kind of algae can develop a rotten-egg smell and cause some serious eye-sores in your water. What’s worse, is that Macro Algae can develop into a full-blown algal bloom if left to its own devices.

2. Micro Algae, or ‘Blue Green Algae’. With the appearance of a blueish-green oil slick or a paint spill on the water surface, this type of algae can pose some serious health problems for those in contact with it. When in contact with people or animals, it can cause a serious health concern - those most in contact with your water source must take extra caution. Collecting at the edges of dams and lakes (often downwind) Micro Algae is a serious concern, but can be easily identified.

Here at Aquatic Technologies, we offer a wide range of expert-led services and the latest science-backed products to combat all types of algae.

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Macro (or filamentous algae)

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Micro (or Blue Green algae)

What are algae? Bacteria or plant?

Algae (singular: ‘alga’) are often described as plant-like organisms that contain chlorophyll and various other colouring pigments. This combination allows algae to trap light from the sun, which it uses to produce its own food. That’s right - algae also use photosynthesis, just like regular plants.

Algae can exist as both single-celled and multicellular organisms. Occurring in freshwater, saltwater and on the surfaces of soil and rocks, that signature ‘slimy’ feel of algae, wherever you find it, is caused by pectin and cellulose that make up its structure.

Not sure what kind of algae you’re dealing with? Click the link below and upload a photo of your algae and we can identify it for you.

Did you know?

Most seaweeds are actually algae and some types of giant kelp seaweed actually form structures that service an entire ecosystem!

Other Types of Algae

Although often referring to aquatic plants, the term ‘algae’ is today broadly used to describe a number of different organism groups. To be exact, there are seven divided groups or organisms that count as algae.

  1. Euglenophyta (Euglenoids)
  2. Chrysophyta (Golden-brown algae and Diatoms)
  3. Pyrrophyta (Fire algae)
  4. Chlorophyta (Green algae)
  5. Rhodophyta (Red algae)
  6. Paeophyta (Brown algae)
  7. Xanthophyta (yellow-green algae)

The grouping of these depends on the following:

  • The type of pigment they use to photosynthesise
  • The makeup of their cellular walls
  • The type of food they store for energy
  • The types of flagella (hair-like appendages) they use to move around

Many types of algae appear green because of their concentrations and pigments of chlorophyll.

Sunlight and Algae

Using a process called ‘autotrophic growth’, algae use the sun’s energy to photosynthesise. This process creates what’s known as ‘biomass’, allowing algae to expand its size and grow indefinitely. 

Did you know?

Some types of algae can grow in the dark - this is called ‘heterotrophic growth’. They do this with the help of sugar or starch.

Reproduction

Algae can reproduce in a number of different ways: asexually, sexually and by vegetative methods.

Asexual reproduction involves the creation of a motile spore, while simple vegetative reproduction happens when cells divide through mitosis. The latter is how algae can create colonies of identical offspring. Finally, sexual reproduction in algae happens through the union of gametes - these are created by each parent individually through what’s known as ‘meiosis’.

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