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Re:Algae overview

> Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2001 10:53:31 -0500
> From: Robert Ricketts <rtricketts at erols_com>
> Subject: Re: Algae samples and overview
> Tom:
> Would you share with us your suggestions on algae references
> of utility to FW tanks?  Obviously you are doing some close
> observations and taxonomic tracings.  My ref. materials do
> not go past hobby in this area, and it is time they did.

Prescott is a standard Key. You will not find it to useful without knowing
what to look for and a microscope for ID-ing. I'm taking a grad class this
spring in phycology. I should learn lots.
You may not find much in ref material to help you, .....yet. I have
something in the works but realistically it could be awhile but I'm in the
beginnings of it. An ID book for common aquarium algae and strategies for
control, growth and ID-ing. Pictures and all. Many keys don't have pictures
and many structures look the same etc. Another problem with some types of
algae is seeing them at the right angle(s) in a microscope. Orientation an
be rather difficult. Most folks don't have a microscope laying around so
good closes up and what the pesky things are will help. You can forget about
the unicellar algae as they are almost impossible to ID without going to
molecular level testing in many cases. I will try sometime to get a decent
group of photo's up on the Krib and also put out small book of ID's of
common aquarium algae.
Here's some info in talking to a very well known person who got me into the
APD way back when. I hope he don't mine. He's a known algae buff as well.
We both took some of the same painful algae ridden paths in the past.

Neil asked:

>> How are you ID'ing the algae. I have a few interesting varieties of hair
>> algae that I keep around for fun. I could send them if you really can get
>> them ID'd.
> Yes, I think hair algae represents one of the more interesting groups of tank
> algae. I use a 20000$ microscope with a photo attachment, digital drawing
> board and one of the foremost experts in algae from Germany:) She's here post
> doc-ing and they are trying to keep her. Basic keying and lots of experience
> is the best way to learn. So she got me a paid position to do sampling! She
> likes my ideas and notions. Good person for references.
> We have an electron microscope and one of the best water analyzers here also.
> Only a few folks know how to use them here. She is one such person and will be
> helping and training me to use them. Not a bad deal in every way!

>> For these "macro" algae, a ID photo book would be nice. I would even be
>> willing to get a new macro lens for this type of project.
> I have a nice Nikon now and have a bunch of macro equipment. The microscope is
> nice also for even closer samples. But yes, a nice book of all the algae of
> tanks would be nice with some clearer ID's and solutions and strategies.
> I would like a book some day and also get something for Erik's web site.
> I was quite amazed that every sample had BGA. Even the vernal pools and other
> samples we looked at. They had many more genera though of BGA. An interesting
thing was that    > many BGA also attach to other algae with little
footholds also. I found some very good examples   > of this and clearly show
this to be the case. The post doc was wondering about
> this as well and seemed surprised some by this.

> Regards, 
> Tom Barr