As a hobby, I’ve been trying to “grow” crystals of from supersaturated solutions of aluminium potassium sulphate.

I noticed that my solutions are also rather successful at growing a type of fungus.

The fungus grows bigger and bigger in the saturated solution and leaves behind yellow spores as the salt solution evaporated (see photos).

I’ve always thought that salt is antifungal and anti bacterial, and I’m surprised to see that there is a fungus actually growing bigger in a supersaturated salt solution.

I have tried boiling and filtering (with tea mesh filter so the spores probably got through) the salt solution, but the fungus keeps coming back, so the spores survive boiling too, unless there are spores floating around my room.

Is there a way to identify what sort of fungus it is? What sort of fungus is it likely to be? Have I bred a type of super fungus? Is my life in danger by allowing this to grow?

I live in Sydney, Australia if that helps with identifying the fungus.

fungus growing as a cloudy ball at the bottom of a supersaturated salt solution

yellow and grey spores, and also a grey fungal ball still growing in the solution on the left

  • $\begingroup$ It looks like an algae which of course grows very well in sea water. Possibly , in some respects your salt solution is similar to sea salt. $\endgroup$ Jan 26, 2020 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE! Do you have access to a microscope — I'm pretty sure your question is unanswerable without more information and (assuming sequencing is unavailable) a micrograph would seem to be the best bet. To test @blacksmith37's suggestion, see if keeping your experiments in the dark stops the growth. ——— Please also take the tour and then go through the help pages starting with How to Ask questions effectively on this site and edit your question accordingly. Thanks! 😊 $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    Jan 26, 2020 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, I’ll keep them in the dark to see if that stops the growth. $\endgroup$
    – Louis Pan
    Jan 26, 2020 at 23:43


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