Not sure if this is algae or something else

steelo

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Hi everyone,

I apologize for not having pictures at this moment, but I've noticed a grayish 'fuzz' growing on my plants and what looks to be like fuzzy 'pods' growing on the side of my tank. It doesn't look like typical algae, in fact it almost looks like mold that grows on food. I think it's harmless as my fish seem to be doing quite well, but it is pretty ugly. I have the algae scraper magnets but they seem pretty ineffective. I also have a small pleco and he seems to be completely ignoring whatever this is. Any ideas? Thanks!
 

Moony42

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From what you said, looks like tank matter. Gently rub off with your finger
 
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steelo

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can't help without pics.
I googled images and it looks A LOT like black beard algae. In fact, I am 98% sure that's what it is. I'm curious how would I kill it off without harming the plants?
 
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Byron

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I googled images and it looks A LOT like black beard algae. In fact, I am 98% sure that's what it is. I'm curious how would I kill it off without harming the plants?
You cannot. We still need a photo to be certain, but from what you have already described I would agree that black beard/brush algae is likely the issue, as this is a common and stubborn algae. But the only way to deal with it is to find the balance of light/nutrients so the plants are benefitting and the algae is disadvantaged. It will then stop spreading, and that is the goal. Any method to actually kill it will harm the fish let alone the higher plants.

This is the only problem algae I have ever had to deal with over my 25+ years in thee hobby. And I can tell you that it (this algae) will take advantage of many things, from too intense lighting to too weak lighting (for the plants), increased daylight entering the room in summer from the longer and brighter days, too much fertilizer, too little fertilizer, the wrong spectrum lighting, and I don't know what else.

Knowing more data of your tank will help us. A photo of the tank itself so we can see the plant species/numbers is especially useful, along with one of the algae to confirm, and data on the lighting (type, duration, etc).
 
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steelo

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You cannot. We still need a photo to be certain, but from what you have already described I would agree that black beard/brush algae is likely the issue, as this is a common and stubborn algae. But the only way to deal with it is to find the balance of light/nutrients so the plants are benefitting and the algae is disadvantaged. It will then stop spreading, and that is the goal. Any method to actually kill it will harm the fish let alone the higher plants.

This is the only problem algae I have ever had to deal with over my 25+ years in thee hobby. And I can tell you that it (this algae) will take advantage of many things, from too intense lighting to too weak lighting (for the plants), increased daylight entering the room in summer from the longer and brighter days, too much fertilizer, too little fertilizer, the wrong spectrum lighting, and I don't know what else.

Knowing more data of your tank will help us. A photo of the tank itself so we can see the plant species/numbers is especially useful, along with one of the algae to confirm, and data on the lighting (type, duration, etc).
Once I get home, I'll take a picture of my tank. I've tasked my wife with feeding the fish twice daily as she enjoys watching them swarm the food. I believe she does feed them way too much but I give the aquarium a good vacuuming once a week. The fish are becoming very plump since she took over feeding duties...LOL

Tank size - 45 gallon located in a front foyer with 2 windows with blinds in front about 8 feet away
Lighting: LED, set on timer from 6 am to 7:30 pm (maybe I can cut off a few hours to help prevent further algae growth?)
temperature - remains a consistent 74 degrees
7 neon tetras, 6 raspboras, 1 pleco (can't remember exact type but it doesn't grow over 3-4" long) 4-5 plants (can't remember the exact types)
 
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Byron

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Once I get home, I'll take a picture of my tank. I've tasked my wife with feeding the fish twice daily as she enjoys watching them swarm the food. I believe she does feed them way too much but I give the aquarium a good vacuuming once a week. The fish are becoming very plump since she took over feeding duties...LOL

Tank size - 45 gallon located in a front foyer with 2 windows with blinds in front about 8 feet away
Lighting: LED, set on timer from 6 am to 7:30 pm (maybe I can cut off a few hours to help prevent further algae growth?)
temperature - remains a consistent 74 degrees
7 neon tetras, 6 raspboras, 1 pleco (can't remember exact type but it doesn't grow over 3-4" long) 4-5 plants (can't remember the exact types)
I'll wait for the photos but right off I can see a couple things...light duration should be probably be cut back [depends upon the intensity and spectrum which I don't know, but more than 8-9 hours is often problematic]. Lights on a timer so they are consistent is good, as this will improve fish and plants and disadvantage algae a bit once we get the balance worked out. And feeding fish twice a day is probably twice too much, and this is not only unnecessary for the fish but it is producing twice the nutrients to feed the algae (if plants are not able to use it).
 
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steelo

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I'll wait for the photos but right off I can see a couple things...light duration should be probably be cut back [depends upon the intensity and spectrum which I don't know, but more than 8-9 hours is often problematic]. Lights on a timer so they are consistent is good, as this will improve fish and plants and disadvantage algae a bit once we get the balance worked out. And feeding fish twice a day is probably twice too much, and this is not only unnecessary for the fish but it is producing twice the nutrients to feed the algae (if plants are not able to use it).
My wife took over feeding after we noticed the fish losing weight (there also seemed to be an outbreak in the tank, causing the fish to wither away) Since the outbreak has been resolved and she took over feeding, the neons and raspboras are quite plump. I can maybe start by asking her to feed the fish only once a day and cutting 3-4 hours off of the lights.
 

Byron

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My wife took over feeding after we noticed the fish losing weight (there also seemed to be an outbreak in the tank, causing the fish to wither away) Since the outbreak has been resolved and she took over feeding, the neons and raspboras are quite plump. I can maybe start by asking her to feed the fish only once a day and cutting 3-4 hours off of the lights.
The weight loss may well have been something else unrelated to feeding. My fish are certainly not skinny, and some would say I feed less than enough but obviously it is enough or the fish would not be still swimming around after 10 years (most of them). A normal sized tetra only needs less than one small flake of food to be in very good health.
 

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