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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
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.