Blue-Green Algae

Blue-green algae (BGA),  also known as cyanobacteria, can range in colors from blues, greens, reds, and black. BGA can reduce nitrogen and carbon in water, but can also deplete dissolved oxygen when overabundant. Monitoring BGA is important because they pose a serious threat to water quality, ecosystem stability, surface drinking water supplies, and public health through toxin production and the large biomass produced in algal blooms.

YSI measures blue-green algae in real-time through the in vivo fluorometry technique. This method directly detects the fluorescence of a specific pigment in living algal cells and determines relative algal biomass. The BGA sensor does not receive interference from chlorophyll or turbidity.

Algae Measurement Options:

Handheld Sampling with ProDSS

New! ProDSS Total Algae-Phycocyanin (Freshwater) Sensor

New! ProDSS Total Algae-Phycoerythrin (Saltwater) Sensor

Long Term Monitoring with EXO Sondes

Continuous Monitoring with Buoy Profiling Systems


Essential Blue-Green Algae Posts on the Blog

Harmful Algal Blooms | Everything You Need to Know

How Online Monitoring of Algae Leads to Data-Driven Decisions [Webinar]

Harmful Algal Blooms | What's in Your Source Water?

Online Cyanobacteria Monitoring in Source Water Treatment

The Basics of Chlorophyll Measurement in Surface Water

Real-Time Water Quality Monitors Gauge Florida Lagoon's Health

Why Monitor for Algae

The amount and type of algae can tell you a lot about the health of that system. But first, let’s cover what we’re referring to as algae. In simple terms, algae are photosynthetic organisms like plants. We can separate out the macroalgae, such as the red, brown, and green algae – sometimes referred to as seaweeds. Let’s instead focus on the microalgae, or single-celled algae.

Blue-Green Algae Monitoring Applications

Featured Blue-Green Algae Products

EMM68 Buoy

Robust Monitoring System in a Small Compact Design

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EXO Total Algae PE Smart Sensor

EXO Total Algae Phycoerythrin Digital Smart Sensor - Saltwater


EXO2 Multiparameter Sonde

Multiparameter Water Quality Sonde for Unattended Monitoring (7 sensor ports, including a central wiper port)

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EXO Total Algae PC Smart Sensor

EXO Total Algae Phycocyanin Digital Smart Sensor - Freshwater


EMM350 Pisces

A Pontoon Platform for In-Situ Characterization of Environmental Systems

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ProDSS Total Algae PC Sensor

ProDSS Total Algae PC Phycocyanin Freshwater Smart Sensor


ProDSS Total Algae PE Sensor

ProDSS Total Algae PE Phycoerythrin Saltwater Smart Sensor