Cladophora appears as tough filaments or green turfs in areas of high light and poor flow. They are tougher than ordinary types of 'hair' algae and do not break apart as easily as other filamentous green algae. They can be identified by their distinctive smell. This is a higher level algae that is not deterred by healthy plant mass - although larger, more robust plants will out-compete it by shading it out. Mosses and fine carpets, and slower growing plants are more vulnerable as a whole. Over-crowded areas with old growth are also vulnerable.