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The FAQ contains a good overview of algae types and prevention.

General and Miscellany

A general article by Karen Randall.
Is algae actually a bad thing?
Competition with Plants, some scientific data.
General Descriptions
The best way to prevent algae is to have control over the nutrients in your tank. Read about this in the Fertilizer section
[ILL] A couple years ago, I took a set of microscopic video stills, just for fun.
Here's a little anecdote about why not to use pH-down in your tank.
An interesting discussion on algae, nutrients, balance and the like.

Specific Algae

Here are some descriptions, pictures and specific remedies for...
Red brush algae: an article by Neil Frank and discussions. (Make sure to also check out Liisa S.'s article on algae-eating carps and the older discussion on the siamensis/flying fox in the fish species section),
hair or filamentous algae (see also Ameca splendens as possible algae eater),
green water,
blue-green algae (Cyanophyta).
Brown (Diatomic) Algae
That greasy surface scum stuff
Cladophora, the infamous "algae balls" (aka the "good" algae)


A warning about any chemical treatment: use only as a last resort. If misused, and in many cases even if properly used, they will kill your plants and fish as well as the algae!

Build your own Algae Scraper
Potassium Permangenate, a nasty oxydizing chemical sometimes used as a remedy.
Bleach is a more effective means, though it can also destroy your plants in the process.
Simazine is a herbicide which can be used as a last resort.
August Eppler brought up Hydrogen Peroxide as a possible "spot treatment". Read the semi-private ensuing "peer review" by some of the gurus.
Barley Straw is cited as a natural algae preventative. Debate rages on as to why. Is it because barley releases hydrogen peroxide?
Flocculants are sometimes used to bind together small particles (such as green water), so they can be removed mechanically by the filter. However, this may cause trouble with the fish's gills.
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