Algae (Anabaena)

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Anyone for a pool party? These guys are always ready to show up! Learn who you're swimming with before you dive in.
  • Perfect for people with pools or fish tanks
  • Fun gift for professional and amateur biologists and nature enthusiasts

FACTS: Much of the muck you see in slimy green water is composed of blue-green algae! (Blue-green algae is the common name for cyanobacteria.)

Cyanobacteria are found worldwide and in many different habitats. They grow in fish tanks and swimming pools, as well as innumerable marine and freshwater environments. They are also found in soil, houseplants, and as symbiotes in animals and plant-life. They can be solitary or colonial and can form large mats and filaments visible to the human eye.

Cyanobacteria are not related to any of the other algal groups; they are actually bacteria that photosynthesize. Anabaena is a type of blue-green algae that likes to form filamentous colonies of green slime. They smell bad, taste worse, and can cause nausea if ingested. (Prolonged exposure can also cause skin irritation.)

Blue-green algae like light and warm stagnant water, so improving water circulation helps to control their numbers. Live plants can also reduce algae populations by providing shade and competition for nutrients. Certain animals, such as tadpoles and algae-eating fish, can disrupt algal communities. And where ecological sensitivity is not required (e.g., in swimming pools) chlorine and algicides provide definitive and categorical results.

 

FACTS: Much of the muck you see in slimy green water is composed of blue-green algae! (Blue-green algae is the common name for cyanobacteria.)

Cyanobacteria are found worldwide and in many different habitats. They grow in fish tanks and swimming pools, as well as innumerable marine and freshwater environments. They are also found in soil, houseplants, and as symbiotes in animals and plant-life. They can be solitary or colonial and can form large mats and filaments visible to the human eye.

Cyanobacteria are not related to any of the other algal groups; they are actually bacteria that photosynthesize. Anabaena is a type of blue-green algae that likes to form filamentous colonies of green slime. They smell bad, taste worse, and can cause nausea if ingested. (Prolonged exposure can also cause skin irritation.)

Blue-green algae like light and warm stagnant water, so improving water circulation helps to control their numbers. Live plants can also reduce algae populations by providing shade and competition for nutrients. Certain animals, such as tadpoles and algae-eating fish, can disrupt algal communities. And where ecological sensitivity is not required (e.g., in swimming pools) chlorine and algicides provide definitive and categorical results.

NAME Anabaena got its name from its migration habits. On warm days, the algae rises up to the surface. It comes from Greek roots “ana-“ and “bainein”, which means to rise up or walk up.
ACTUAL SIZE The cells are about 2-10 micrometers and grow in long chains. Under a microscope, a single filament looks like a string of beads.
WHERE IT LIVES Anabaena is a genus of blue-green algae, called cyanobacteria. It’s found in lakes, ponds, and gulfs all over the world. They thrive in places that have lots of sun, nutrients, and little wind or tide.
SYMPTOMS Some species produce toxins that can cause irritation in humans, such as rashes and dizziness.
HISTORY The first documented case of toxic blue-green algae happened in 1878. Livestock and pets to became sick and died around Lake Alexandria in Australia.
FASCINATING FACTS They were among the first photosynthetic organisms on earth. Without them, there wouldn’t be enough oxygen available to sustain early life!