Algae identification

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Fishfinder1973

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The algae is a dark green colour,though it looks brown in the photos.This stuff is growing in small tufts.
Any ideas what it is and do fish eat it e.g plecs,otos.Another way to describe it is it’s like short fur.
Answers appreciated thanks.
 

Byron

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There may be two species of algae here, can't quite tell. But one is definite, and that is the "fur" that is certainly visible on the right branch in the second photo, and it is black brush algae. The other which I cannot say for certain is the odd circular spots on the foreground wood right in front of photo 1, but this may be the same, just an odd angle and I've not seen it in spots like this.

BBA is actually a red algae, but in tanks it is generally very dark green, dark grey, even more brown-black. Like most problem algae (as opposed to common green algae or diatoms even) fish that are said to "eat algae" won't touch this, with two exceptions but that is not the road to go down anyway. Dealing with the cause is how you resolve it, and that involves the light/nutrient balance. You want this in sync for the plants, but not more as that is when problem algae takes advantage. I've never bothered with this algae on wood, only when it appears on plant leaves.

The light involves intensity, spectrum and duration. Nutrients must then balance this--but for the species of plants which have differing needs. This does not look like a new setup, so assuming this, I would start by reducing the duration of the light photoperiod. I have battled this algae a few times over the years, and once I got the balance some six years ago, this algae did not increase and it is basically gone now. Even the extended daylight and brighter daylight entering through windows in summer can affect this.
 
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Fishfinder1973

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There may be two species of algae here, can't quite tell. But one is definite, and that is the "fur" that is certainly visible on the right branch in the second photo, and it is black brush algae. The other which I cannot say for certain is the odd circular spots on the foreground wood right in front of photo 1, but this may be the same, just an odd angle and I've not seen it in spots like this.

BBA is actually a red algae, but in tanks it is generally very dark green, dark grey, even more brown-black. Like most problem algae (as opposed to common green algae or diatoms even) fish that are said to "eat algae" won't touch this, with two exceptions but that is not the road to go down anyway. Dealing with the cause is how you resolve it, and that involves the light/nutrient balance. You want this in sync for the plants, but not more as that is when problem algae takes advantage. I've never bothered with this algae on wood, only when it appears on plant leaves.

The light involves intensity, spectrum and duration. Nutrients must then balance this--but for the species of plants which have differing needs. This does not look like a new setup, so assuming this, I would start by reducing the duration of the light photoperiod. I have battled this algae a few times over the years, and once I got the balance some six years ago, this algae did not increase and it is basically gone now. Even the extended daylight and brighter daylight entering through windows in summer can affect this.
Thanks Byron,here’s another photo to see if you can make it out better.The algae doesn’t look too bad,it makes the wood actually look a bit better in my view,as long as it’s harmless.I could wipe it off if it gets too much,that’s really why I was asking if the fish would eat it as I wouldn’t want to wipe off potential munch for them.

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Byron

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Thanks Byron,here’s another photo to see if you can make it out better.The algae doesn’t look too bad,it makes the wood actually look a bit better in my view,as long as it’s harmless.I could wipe it off if it gets too much,that’s really why I was asking if the fish would eat it as I wouldn’t want to wipe off potential munch for them.

View attachment 154756

Yes, that's also black brush. Still odd in spots, but that only means I have not had it like this...it certainly has all appearances of BBA.

You won't have much luck wiping BBA off. You need to basically scrape it, and I would not do this. Once I got mine under control, it was really thick on chunks of wood, but not on any plant leaves, and that is the balance you want. We sometimes forget that algae is part of a healthy aquarium; a tank so clean there is no apparent algae is most likely not all that healthy. But keeping it under control is a good idea. Fish will browse through mats of BBA looking for microscopic food; Corydoras do this a lot, making some think they are eating the algae, but they are not, it is the tidbits of food they are after.
 
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Fishfinder1973

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Yes, that's also black brush. Still odd in spots, but that only means I have not had it like this...it certainly has all appearances of BBA.

You won't have much luck wiping BBA off. You need to basically scrape it, and I would not do this. Once I got mine under control, it was really thick on chunks of wood, but not on any plant leaves, and that is the balance you want. We sometimes forget that algae is part of a healthy aquarium; a tank so clean there is no apparent algae is most likely not all that healthy. But keeping it under control is a good idea. Fish will browse through mats of BBA looking for microscopic food; Corydoras do this a lot, making some think they are eating the algae, but they are not, it is the tidbits of food they are after.
Thanks Byron,your conclusion is in line with my views too,algae is part of a mature and healthy aquarium.
The algae is only growing on the inner side of the wood that receives most light,the rest is clear,meaning this could actually look quite nice.
 

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