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Re: Algae question

     >A related question ,I guess, is how exactly does thread algae spread 
     >itself?  Is it by spores, free swimming microbes, or what?
     Algae have numerous sexual and asexual reproductive strategies:  1) 
     fragmentaion-where fragments of the parent plant can grow to new 
     individuals; 2) spore formation-green algae, esp, form special spores 
     called akinetes, which is essentially a single algal cell with 
     thickened walls and is able to withstand dessication and other hostile 
     conditions; 3) zoospores-which are flagellated spores that can swim; 
     and 4) sexually-where an individual can bear both male and female 
     gametes and are said to be bisexual, monoecious, or hermaphroditic, 
     depending on the species.  Others are dioecious, where the male and 
     female gametes are produced on different individuals.
     Common green filamentous algae found in aquaria (e.g., Pithophora, 
     Cladophora, and Spirogyra) reproduce asexually by fragmentation, 
     zoospore and/or akinete formation, and sexually.
     Bleach would kill practically everything, although it would not 
     surprise me to hear some akinetes could survive a bleach treatment.