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Re: blue green algae

     >It says that blue-green algae is very toxic and can kill everything in a
     >water system like a river or a lake.
     >The problem is that a lot of different blue-green algae is known and a 
     >part of this is not toxic. So I was trying to understand what kind of 
     >blue-green algae we usually have in our aquariums, I was searching for the 
     >scientific name.
     As you live in Italy, and I live in Texas, it is highly unlikely we have 
     the same species (and strains) of blue-green algae in our aquaria.  
     However, the slimy, gelatinous sheets of blue-greens that often cover our 
     aquaria is most likely Microcystis sp., of which some species have been 
     reported to be toxic.  Other common filamentous blue-greens (free-floating 
     and attached) include Anabaena, Nostoc, Gloeocapsa, Oscillatoria, and 
     Gloeotrichia (forms "tufts", especially at the tips of plants).  There are 
     thousands of species of blue-greens, so it is difficult to make any broad 
     Never fear, though, for if it were toxic my right arm would be eaten up 
     from the elbow down.  I don't drink my aquarium water, although there WAS 
     that one New Year's Eve party where... ;-)
     The toxicity of certain blue-greens has been known for years, but it is a 
     mystery, as a species can have several strains, some toxic, and some not.  
     Some online articles can be found at:
     A very curious health food fad now is the consumption of small amounts of 
     dried blue-green algae, Spirulina, in capsule form.  Surely, they must have 
     some serious quality control measures in place for that industry, much like 
     the eating of Fugu, in Japan (poisonous puffer fish liver).  An article on 
     Spirulina can be found at:
     Hope this helps, and try not to worry too much.
     Kind regards,