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Fields of algae

magnetic fields
  [vote for,

I attached a stack of magnetic stones half in half out of the side of my smallest fishtank. It's eye-catching and the fish don't seem to mind but as I'm cleaning the tank for the umpteenth time since I stuck them in there I noticed that they have absolutely no algae growth. Might be that I mean cyanobacteria, <shrugs>, I always called the greenish gunk algae.

A quick webternet search shows research being done using magnetism to promote algae growth but perhaps field strength or configuration can inhibit algae growth as well.
Magnetizing the filter intake or adding magnetic granules to the charcoal might prolong intervals between cleanings.


       [+] you could also feed the fish iron filings to make removing them from the tank easier.
FlyingToaster, Jan 01 2012

       Drop a few cow magnets in your filter and post your findings. I'm always looking for chemical-free algae deterrents to use in my, um, fishtanks.
Alterother, Jan 01 2012

       I suspect it's likelier that the algae don't like the mineral content of your "magnetic stones".   

       What exactly are they? Are they pieces of magnetite? Or plastic rocks with magnets in them? Or what?   

       If they are not plastic and will take the heat, you could try heating one over a gas flame which *might* demagnetize it; you could confirm this by seeing if it will attract a paperclip, and then (if it is now demagnetized), see if it grows algae.   

       Or take a strong magnet, put in inside a closed jam-jar, and see if algae grows on the outside of the jar.   

       [+] because it's experimentally accessible.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 01 2012

       Sounds like an attractive idea. [+]. Interested is seeing the follow up results. If you put a magnet on the outside of the glass could you move the inside magnet around to scrape algae off the tank walls?
AusCan531, Jan 01 2012

       Magnetic algae scrapers are well baked, but that's a different matter.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 02 2012

       Somewhat off-topic:   

       //       I suspect it's likelier that the algae don't like the mineral content of your "magnetic stones".    //   

       There are certain types of plastic that algae and aquatic bacteria don't thrive on. I don't know what types specifically, or why, but some of the pieced of submerged equipment in my 'fishtanks' never attract colonies. I think that noteworthy, especially considering that the micropests I encounter are a particularly resilient bunch.
Alterother, Jan 02 2012


       No idea what kind of magnets. Shiny, rounded, garage-sale, inukshuk type magnets. I assumed neodymium.   

       Once the underlying mechanisms are understood this is going to be quite a thing.
Totally sweet.

       <toodles off to look up effect of magnetism on cell division...>   


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