If you have ever had an aquarium with fish, you are probably aware that algae can be a problem that if not controlled can kill off everything else in the tank. In these tanks, you can sometimes use a chemical to control the algae along with more frequent water changes, but the best ways to control the algae in your tank is by having algae eaters. Algae eaters can be a variety of snails and fish in fresh water aquariums and hermit crabs in salt water aquariums.
But have you ever wondered how algae is controlled in the open ocean?
Algae requires sunlight which means that it is generally found in the shallower parts of the seas and oceans such as coral reefs. Coral reefs are one of the most diverse habitats in the world. Hundreds of different plants and animals inhabit coral reefs. If the algae that grows on the reefs grow out of control, it would kill off the coral and many other organisms and result in the death of reef.
In His infinite wisdom, God designed a variety of algae control systems to help keep the coral reefs healthy.
A number of crabs, especially hermit crabs, travel across the reef picking off small pieces of algae on which they feed. Watching them clean the coral reef is kind of like watching someone in line at one of those all you can eat buffets. They just slowly move along, picking and eating everything they see.
There are also a variety of snails that graze on the algae like cattle and sheep in a pasture. Sometimes you can follow the path of some of the larger turbo snails as it looks so much cleaner than the rest of the area around them.
But in the case of the corals, cleaning the algae off of them can be a little more difficult so as to not harm the delicate soft tissue of the coral. This is where God really revealed His marvels of design when He created a variety of fish that have special teeth perfectly designed to eat the algae off the coral without damaging the coral itself.
One of the most popular and effective groups of algae eating fish is a group known as surgeonfish. There are over 80 different species of surgeonfish which includes tangs and unicornfish. If you have ever seen a salt water aquarium, perhaps in a doctor’s office or at the zoo, Sea World or major aquarium, you have probably seen some of these fish in action.
Tangs come in a variety colors with some of the more beautiful ones being the yellow tang, the black and orange Achilles tang and the fluorescent blue and yellow regal tang.
Unicornfish have that name because they have a spike-like growth that protrudes from the forehead, although some of them have more of a soft fleshy growth instead of the spike.
One of the things that helps to identify this group are one or more sharp spines located on either side of the tail. These spines can be razor sharp and are used for defense against other fish, such as rival males and predators. The family name, Acanthuridae – ‘thorn tail’ is derived from these sharp spines.
All of the members of this family of fish have small specially designed teeth that make it easy to clean the algae off the coral without damaging them. If their teeth were any larger, they would destroy the coral as they eat the algae. If the teeth were any smaller, they’d have a difficult time getting the algae off of the coral surface.
So the next time you have a chance to see a coral reef on TV or at Sea World or some other aquarium, watch for the hermit crabs, snails and surgeonfish that are helping to keep the coral clean and healthy. And if possible, share what you’ve learned about keeping the coral and reef clean from algae with those with you. Tell them about how perfectly designed the snails, crabs and beautiful tangs, unicornfish and other surgeonfish are to do what they’re doing and then tell them who it was that designed them that way. What a wonderful way to witness to your family and friends about God’s creation.
By Design: Evidence for Nature’s Intelligent Designer–the God of the Bible
At last, a definitive work on design by a leading biblical creationist…
Today, the ID (intelligent design) movement is capturing headlines (and igniting controversy) around the world. But in the process, many are coming to think that a credible challenge to the dominant Darwinian naturalism of our time means backing away from a clear stand for the truth of the Bible.
Now creationist heavyweight Jonathan Sarfati, whose Refuting Evolution has the most copies in print of any creation book ever, challenges this mindset head on. In the process, By Design is set to become a classic of the creation movementin the same vein as Dr Sarfatis comprehensive Refuting Compromise, which is arguably the most powerful biblical and scientific defense of straightforward Genesis in existence.
Paperback, 150 pages