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Is this an algae?

Discussion in 'Algae in Planted Tanks' started by kevfiz, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. kevfiz

    kevfiz Fish Fanatic

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    What is this black stuffgrowing on my stone? I take it it's a form of algae. My tank has been algae free for about a year now. Is this one of the more serious ones? 20190607_064726_resized.jpg
     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    black beard algae and it's a pain in the blank.
     
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  3. kevfiz

    kevfiz Fish Fanatic

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    It is only on that stone will it end up on everything? I will take stone out tonight and scrub it
     
  4. Moony42

    Moony42 Fish Fanatic
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    No,don't scrub it off. gently pull it and wipe with your fingers
     
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  5. kevfiz

    kevfiz Fish Fanatic

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    Ok. I recently put my light onto a timer switch from 3pm for 8 hours do you think I should reduce the amount of hours for light?
     
  6. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Herder
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    Yes, if you don’t use any light for about 3 days, it should go away. :)
     
  7. kevfiz

    kevfiz Fish Fanatic

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    I was thinking more like instead of 8 hours light maybe reduce to 5 hours per day. That's after I have cleaned the stone
     
  8. PheonixKingZ

    PheonixKingZ Fish Herder
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    That sounds good. :)
     
  9. kevfiz

    kevfiz Fish Fanatic

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    Happy days. I will give that a go
     
  10. Byron

    Byron Member

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    That is, as Colin noted, black brush/black beard algae. On decor like wood and rocks it can be attractive and contribute to a natural aquascape. The danger is when it begins to spread and increase on plant leaves, eventually killing the leaves then the plants.

    In tanks with live plants which from the first photo I take this tank to be, you need to find the balance of light/nutrients to benefit the plants but disadvantage algae. Light intensity and light spectrum both factor in, because plants have specific requirements (depending upon the species) for intensity and they need a specific spectrum to drive photosynthesis. If either of these factors are out, algae will take the advantage because it is not as fussy as higher plants.

    Reducing the light duration may help, but remember thee plants need this light. You need to review the light intensity, ensure the spectrum is correct, and then balance that with sufficient nutrients for the plants but not beyond. I have battled this algae a few times over 20+ years, and restoring the balance has always stopped the spread.

    Removing the existing brush algae has no positive effect, I would leave it; it will spread no more or less either way and getting the balance is the only way to deal with it. It can increase (spread) with too much light, too little light, too much fertilizer, too little fertilizer.
     
  11. kevfiz

    kevfiz Fish Fanatic

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    Ok I will reduce the time the light is on and I will also monitor the algae. There is probably enough natural light getting in during the day without direct sunlight hitting the tank to make up for the few hours less the tank light is on. Anything else I should do to help?
     
  12. Byron

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    Now that you have mentioned daylight, we can go a further step.

    I have had this algae increase solely due to the increased daylight (brighter and longer hours) in summer months. So ambient light such as daylight will be a factor.

    However, daylight is not going to help your aquarium plants at all, it is no where near strong enough to replace the overhead tank light (I will leave the exception, it is not really relevant to the discussion). So you would be better to limit the daylight and control the tank lighting. The latter has to be sufficient for the plants. I run my tank lighting for eight hours now, and with blinds and drapes over the window closed i have no issues in summer any longer. In rooms that you live in this may not be an option, but reducing the brightness of the light in the room is a key factor here.

    You can reduce the tank lighting period to seven hours and see if this works, or then to six hours; I would not go below that. This "daylight" tank lighting period must be continuous and during the same time each 24-hours; this is because of the circadian rhythm in all fish, animals and plants.

    In post #1 you mention the tank running for a year with no algae problem, so that makes me wonder if the lighting may have weakened and need replacing. I don't know about LED light which I think is different, but all fluorescent (T8 or T5) and screw-in bulbs (CFL or incandescent) do weaken with time, to the popint where the intensity is so much less the plants struggle and again algae will take advantage. Fluorescent tubes and bulbs should be replaced every 12 months without fail. I let one of mine deliberately go a few years back to see what would happen, and sure enough, algae began increasing, Replacing the tube solved it, so this is a significant factor. Plants in the tropical areas have basically consistent light (duration, intensity, spectrum) from the sun all year round.
     
  13. kevfiz

    kevfiz Fish Fanatic

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    Ok I will replace the tube over the weekend
     
  14. kevfiz

    kevfiz Fish Fanatic

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    Can I boil anything that's covers in algae provided it's safe to boil of course?
     
  15. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I would not do this. Wood and rock should not be boiled (rock may explode, wood will rot/disintegrate much faster plus you remove beneficial bacteria/tannins to fish).

    Once you have the balance restored, the existing algae will either die off or remain; either way, it is not harmful and not a problem. Even if it is living, it will not increase if the balance is there.

    Sounds like this was a lighting issue, very common.
     

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