Green algae has attacked my favorite plant

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BobbyZee

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I have never been very good with plants, but recently bought a big Madagascar lace from a local. I’ve never heard of this plant before and really love it. It is pretty big over 13 inches high with many large leaves. The previous owner did not use CO2 and neither do I. it is in a tankful of Angelfish and other plants which do not seem to be affected by the algae growth.

I tried rinsing the plant under running water yesterday. It may have helped a little, but some leaves were damaged. I cannot add anything to this tank because of the fish, but I can pull the plant and treat it in another tank if I knew how to do it. a few years ago, I tried treating plants with a dilute bleach solution and it did not turn out well. Not sure if I was too aggressive or what. I paid a lot of money for this plant and would hate to lose it. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thank you so much.
 
Hello. Algae takes advantage of the dissolved nitrogen from the fish waste. There are a couple of ways to deal with it. You can start removing and replacing more tank water and more often. When you change the water, you reduce the nitrogen level. You can also introduce more aquatic plants. Aquatic plants will use the nitrogen in the water faster than algae. So, by adding plants, they'll deprive the algae of its main food source.

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I think I have enough plants in that tank, the Madagascar Lace isn’t alone.
I have 4 young ML next to it, along with other plants. The big ML is the only plant troubled by algae. I’ve been doing a 50% water change twice a week. I think my biggest problem is getting the best light levels. I’m using a Fluval Aquasky, the kind with 4 colors easily set via Bluetooth.
Maybe I should change the water more often?
IMG_2671.jpeg
 
The madagscar lace plant fell out of popularity because it is finicky, and because it seems to get choked by algae very easily. There must be specialist places online for people who keep them, and I would find them. It's like orchid problems being advised on by daisy keepers - experience with one may not translate to the other.

At one point Madagascar Laces were in every pet store around here, but by the mid 2000s, people had stopped buying them. The planted tank people in our club wouldn't touch them, though one or two people had great success with them. It's a fantastic plant, but that algae issue in tanks...

I think the solution may lie with water changes and fast water powerheads and strong filtration. But I just listened to the plant experts - I've never even come close to being an aquatic gardener.
 
I think you have to be right, Gary. I never saw any of them or heard of this plant before someone advertised his for sale in a local Facebook group. he had four shoved into a 13 betta tank that took up all the space. he sold three smaller ones for $25 each and had only the biggest one left at $40 when I saw his post. I think it’s a coolest plant I’ve ever seen, short of some of those red CO2 plants. At the time I regretted not having seen his post sooner or I would’ve bought all four. From what I’m seeing now glad I didn’t.

People are telling me to add liquid CO2 to the tank or pull the plant and dip it in Hydrogen peroxide. I tried that liquid CO2 stuff a few years back and found it to be useless. But I do recall reading. It’s good at killing algae. I have always hated to add anything to my tanks and this particular tank contains hundreds if not over $1000 worth of P.scalare. of course I wouldn’t want to whack even an inexpensive Fish, but I could not afford to quickly replace what’s in there now. They came from top US breeders and had high overnight shipping prices.

Do you think removing the plant to another tank and adding hydrogen peroxide or the liquid carbon would help?
 
Hello again. I think some type of floating plant will take in more nutrients than those that need to be planted in the bottom material. Floaters take in nutrients directly from the water, where those that need to be planted take nutrients from the soil.

10
 
I tried that liquid CO2 stuff a few years back and found it to be useless.

We have a different experience on that, I found that using CO2 supplement does a great deal helping to have a complete nitrogen cycle with invertebrates aquariums making the plants use everything before it can create nitrates. I'm sure that CO2 injection is top class, but liquid is far better than nothing.

Without it I'm sure that my shrimp tank would have raising nitrates and would require a lot more water changes.
 
I have had many lace plants but not had algae issues. They like water fertilization, strong light and some current. I have had them with swords, anubias and crypts. The anubias were the algae trouble plants. Add something like hornwort or water sprite to help with the excess nutrients and check the water parameters, do any water changes to get your numbers down. Also trim any worse affected leaves. Plants can take some trimming and bounce back with new growth.

You can use Seachem Excel in a syringe to spot check some algae in tank, but certain plants don't take well to that. Can do the same with peroxide with same caution. Spot only and not a lot.

Algae is hard to get control of, takes patience.
 
Hello again. I think some type of floating plant will take in more nutrients than those that need to be planted in the bottom material. Floaters take in nutrients directly from the water, where those that need to be planted take nutrients from the soil.

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I think that’s a great idea if I can figure out how to pull it off. I had duckweed or something like that in the past and all it did was clog the filters. I did see pictures of people containing it in some kind of loop or whatever. Angelfish feed at the surface and I would not want it blocked off with a bunch of plants. Can you suggest a floater? I saw some really cool ones at the local pet store, don’t know what they were, but the owner said they can only be kept in a tank without a lid. I can’t do that with any of my Fish. I think one of them is capable of jumping out and I need to retain heat.
 
I have had many lace plants but not had algae issues. They like water fertilization, strong light and some current. I have had them with swords, anubias and crypts. The anubias were the algae trouble plants. Add something like hornwort or water sprite to help with the excess nutrients and check the water parameters, do any water changes to get your numbers down. Also trim any worse affected leaves. Plants can take some trimming and bounce back with new growth.

You can use Seachem Excel in a syringe to spot check some algae in tank, but certain plants don't take well to that. Can do the same with peroxide with same caution. Spot only and not a lot.

Algae is hard to get control of, takes patience.
Yes, I’m getting the impression they are fussy plants but I still feel like an idiot because the guy who sold him to me had them going for over a year and looking great. So I am feeling like a bit of a loser here
 
We have a different experience on that, I found that using CO2 supplement does a great deal helping to have a complete nitrogen cycle with invertebrates aquariums making the plants use everything before it can create nitrates. I'm sure that CO2 injection is top class, but liquid is far better than nothing.

Without it I'm sure that my shrimp tank would have raising nitrates and would require a lot more water changes.
I don’t know anything about keeping invertebrates so I’ll take your word for it. I can only say it was useless for my plants.
 
I have had many lace plants but not had algae issues. They like water fertilization, strong light and some current. I have had them with swords, anubias and crypts. The anubias were the algae trouble plants. Add something like hornwort or water sprite to help with the excess nutrients and check the water parameters, do any water changes to get your numbers down. Also trim any worse affected leaves. Plants can take some trimming and bounce back with new growth.

You can use Seachem Excel in a syringe to spot check some algae in tank, but certain plants don't take well to that. Can do the same with peroxide with same caution. Spot only and not a lot.

Algae is hard to get control of, takes patience.
Actually, I did trim off the ends of the ML today, they looked the worse. I continue to think my primary issue is too much light and even though I have a nice Fluval Aquasky, I’m not using it properly. How many hours a day do you keep your plants under the LED?
 
Actually, I did trim off the ends of the ML today, they looked the worse. I continue to think my primary issue is too much light and even though I have a nice Fluval Aquasky, I’m not using it properly. How many hours a day do you keep your plants under the LED?
So don't turn the ends of the leaves trim it all the way down to the base of the plant.

If you're looking for a floater I would go with the frog bit not duckweed. Duckweed is almost impossible to remove one to have it established even dried up and dead it will come back to life like a cockroach or the Malaysian trumpet snails.
Just remember as the floaters take off on the top of the tank they reduced the light for the plants at the bottom of your tank. The plants that I mentioned before the wisteria and the horn work are fast growing plants that will do the same thing as floaters but will not cut down on the light coming through from the top of the tank. Yes you canceled them but you can also plant them in your substrate I let them do their jobs and then just toss the plant once you have the algae under control.
 
I do have some thriving wisteria in that tank and will buy some hornwort. Always like HW. Last time I had it the fish ate them. Those were different cichlids, not Angelfish. I can see the angels nibbling at the algae on the lace plant, but I guess they can’t nibble fast enough. Many people who do Angelfish biotope tanks allow algae to grow as a food source. But then they don’t have ML either. Usually not many plants at all, but a whole bunch of nice looking wood, often roots.
 
Gourami love algae. I have on 125 gallon with a snakeskin gourami a moonlight gourami a gold gourami and a smattering of Honey Grammys and anytime I have a plant that is riddled with algae (usually anubias) I just put it in the tank and they clean it off for me better than any snail, pleco or otto could. Bonuses they just eat the algae, or duckweed I would have duckweed in one of my tanks that would explode on occasion and I would clean the tank off and throw all the duckweed in the 125 and that was the only tank that I couldn't keep duckweed in because the Gourami would eat it all to the last little plant.
 

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