Has algae taken over your water body? Struggling to find a solution? Look no further!
Aquatic Technologies has the right solution for you. We specialise in algae identification, quick solutions, long-term treatments and management; each tailored to suit your specific needs. Rest assured your water health is just as important to us as it is to you. With a certified scientist at the helm, you can feel confident that you will receive the best advice and ongoing support to help you manage any and all algae problems.
Not sure if it’s algae? We offer free algae identification. Simply send us an email with closeup photos of your algae.
Types of Algae
In freshwater, there are two main types of algae commonly encountered. These can be broadly categorised as Macroalgae and Microalgae.
Macroalgae (Filamentous Algae)
Filamentous algae is green in appearance and sometimes brownish in colour if exposed to strong sunlight. It appears floating on the water’s surface, amongst submerged rocks or in the shallows of dams and lake edges and is stringy.
Microalgae (Green Algae, Bluegreen Algae)
Microalgae is a much broader group of algae. It can vary from flecks through the water column, to the water turning entirely green, to what looks like oil slick or paint across the surface. It is important to know the difference between green and bluegreen algae as bluegreen can be toxic.
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 mulitcellular organisms. Occurring in freshwater, saltwater and on the surfaces of soil and rocks, that signature 'slimy' feel of algae, whether you find it, is caused by pectin and cellulose that make up its structure.
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.
- Euglenophyta (Euglenoids)
- Chrysophyta (Golden-brown algae and Diatoms)
- Pyrrophyta (Fire algae)
- Chlorophyta (Green algae)
- Rhodophyta (Red algae)
- Paeophyta (Brown Algae)
- 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.
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’.