Tetra has been carrying out extensive algae research for decades, having launched its first anti-algae agent, AlguMin, as far back as 1968. The leader in the aquatics market has once again invested heavily in algae research and was equipped with a state-of-the-art algae laboratory at the beginning of this year, meaning that the company is now even better positioned strategically within the industry. This laboratory is used to grow and study a wide variety of algae species. The work involves targeted development, improvement and testing of new and established anti-algae products. Tests carried out in the algae laboratory can thus be seen as the first steps towards use in aquariums and ponds and provide new opportunities to consistently apply this specialist knowledge to research and development work.
"The primary aim of our work is to make aquarium and pond products that are easy to use, effective and safe," explains Dr. Gerd Großheider, Director of Quality Management and Regulatory Affairs. "It’s important to us that we constantly develop and improve our range of products, particularly in the field of algae, as they can cause so many different problems in aquariums and ponds. This is why we want to offer our consumers specialist products that provide the best possible support, to ensure that the hobby remains enjoyable."
The algae laboratory facility forms part of Tetra's Biological Quality Assurance. "Our algae laboratory gives us a great opportunity to concentrate on looking into specific problems and to use this technology to make significant progress in research and development," adds Barron Benno ter Höfte, who is Head of Biological Quality Assurance and in charge of the algae laboratory. "Overall, this means that the algae laboratory is a wise addition to our aquarium and pond facilities and, furthermore, it bridges the gap in our close cooperation with specialist university departments. In particular, we cultivate algae in pure and mixed cultures, which we have come across time and time again, in some cases for decades, whilst studying ponds filled with algae." Examples of these species of algae include Scenedesmus, Botryococcus, Cosmarium and Haematococcus, amongst others. It is not only their appearance under the microscope that distinguishes each of the species from the others, but also their differing growth behaviour and specific characteristics. "The first stage of this new challenge has satisfied our expectations and is highly intriguing," says ter Höfte, summarising the first few months of work.