What's new

Please help with this....

Silverwings

New Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Location
United Kingdom
Hi, I've got a relatively well established tank, but all of my ornaments and artificial plants are covered in a dark brown film, almost like dirt/slime. Comes off in chunks. I've got loads of filtration, limit the light, do regular water changes and careful with feeding. I'm out of ideas, can anyone help?
20200326_131646.jpg
20200326_131707.jpg
 

PheonixKingZ

Fish Gatherer
Pet of the Month!
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
6,062
Reaction score
2,346
Location
Lawrenceburg KY.
Hello and welcome to the forum! :hi:

How much do you feed and how often? It might be leftover food that fell on there and then decayed. Have you tried to take them out and clean them? If you do, don’t use soap. Use hot water and scrub it really well.

Are the plants you got specifically made for aquarium use?
 
OP
S

Silverwings

New Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Location
United Kingdom
Thank you.

Yeah it does clean off with a lot of scrubbing and effort. Yeah the plastic plants were sold from a reliable store, so I don't doubt their suitability. I feed once per day, and all the food is eaten in the 2-3 mins as suggested. Using flake food and literally break one big flake into much smaller little bits for 9 smallish fish. Is that over feeding do you think?
 

PheonixKingZ

Fish Gatherer
Pet of the Month!
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
6,062
Reaction score
2,346
Location
Lawrenceburg KY.
Thank you.

Yeah it does clean off with a lot of scrubbing and effort. Yeah the plastic plants were sold from a reliable store, so I don't doubt their suitability. I feed once per day, and all the food is eaten in the 2-3 mins as suggested. Using flake food and literally break one big flake into much smaller little bits for 9 smallish fish. Is that over feeding do you think?
A lot can happen in 2-3 minutes. Food can get stuck in places you may not want them. I say try to get all of the black stuff off of the plants/decor and see if it comes back. How many hours a day do you leave your light on for? (I just thought it might actually be black algae)
 
OP
S

Silverwings

New Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Location
United Kingdom
They are on for 6.5 hrs a day. I've cleaned this off numerous times now. Maybe 6 times over the last year.
 
Last edited:

Byron

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
12,514
Reaction score
3,181
Location
CA
The algae is a form of black brush. Like all problem algae, it is caused by an imbalance of light/nutrients. Filtration has nothing to do with it, in fact I have always seen this on the filter intake/return spray bar where the flow is the strongest. I assume this is because the water flow is bringing more nutrients, but the point is that filtration is not behind this.

Usually it is too much light, either intensity, or duration, or both, or inappropriate spectrum. Higher plants are fussier than algae. But I have also seen is increase from too much planty fertilizers. But it is all balance.

Knowing data on your lighting and fertilizing will help sort out the specifics.
 
OP
S

Silverwings

New Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Location
United Kingdom
The algae is a form of black brush. Like all problem algae, it is caused by an imbalance of light/nutrients. Filtration has nothing to do with it, in fact I have always seen this on the filter intake/return spray bar where the flow is the strongest. I assume this is because the water flow is bringing more nutrients, but the point is that filtration is not behind this.

Usually it is too much light, either intensity, or duration, or both, or inappropriate spectrum. Higher plants are fussier than algae. But I have also seen is increase from too much planty fertilizers. But it is all balance.

Knowing data on your lighting and fertilizing will help sort out the specifics.
Thanks for the info. I have the lights on for 6.5hrs a day on a timer. Room does not get a lot of natural light, and certainly no direct light. I don't add any nutrients, as all of the plants are artificial. Pics of the built in lights:
20200326_212741.jpg
20200326_212752.jpg
 
OP
S

Silverwings

New Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Location
United Kingdom
I had black beard algae before, as in the little individual bushes that looks like the picture below, but what I have now is quite different. Is there different types of this algae?
Beard_Algae_Kai_Schreiber-58a479d23df78c47586ff2c8.jpg
 

Byron

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
12,514
Reaction score
3,181
Location
CA
OK, this helps. The light is the main issue. Since you do not have live plants--and by the way, some floating plants would help a lot here because they are high users of nutrients and they would somewhat shade the light--the light will cause algae no matter what you do. Nutrients from the fish being fed feeds algae. All this is natural. But it is possible to control this more, and that brings us back to the light itself.

No idea of intensity, but the spectrum being cool (white and bluer, with very little red in the white I suspect) is going to encourage algae. Mind you, any light would in the absence of live plants as there is nothing else to use the nutrients.
 

Byron

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
12,514
Reaction score
3,181
Location
CA
I had black beard algae before, as in the little individual bushes that looks like the picture below, but what I have now is quite different. Is there different types of this algae? View attachment 99930
Yes. Here are two photos of the two types most frequently seen, I've no idea if there are others. I have had both of these, in different tanks, a few times.
 

Attachments

OP
S

Silverwings

New Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Location
United Kingdom
OK, this helps. The light is the main issue. Since you do not have live plants--and by the way, some floating plants would help a lot here because they are high users of nutrients and they would somewhat shade the light--the light will cause algae no matter what you do. Nutrients from the fish being fed feeds algae. All this is natural. But it is possible to control this more, and that brings us back to the light itself.

No idea of intensity, but the spectrum being cool (white and bluer, with very little red in the white I suspect) is going to encourage algae. Mind you, any light would in the absence of live plants as there is nothing else to use the nutrients.
So some floating surface plants would help then you think? Any in particular that you would recommend?
 

Byron

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2009
Messages
12,514
Reaction score
3,181
Location
CA
So some floating surface plants would help then you think? Any in particular that you would recommend?
I prefer substantial floating plants, like Water Sprite (Ceratopteris cornuta), Amazon or Tropical Frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum), or Water Lettuce (Pistia stratiotes). Some stem plants left floating can be very effective, plants like Pennywort. The smaller floating plants (Salvinia species, or even duckweed) can be effective at using nutrients but they will provide little shade to discourage algae.
 

utahfish

Member
Joined
May 5, 2004
Messages
1,109
Reaction score
742
Like others have said ,If one doesnt have live plants in a tank then all ones light is doing is growing algae.
Having said that decreasing feeding will also curb algae. Food introduces nitrates and phosphates into the tank, plants need nitrates and phosphates to grow without live plants to absorb those nutrients algae will use them to grow. I feed my fish 3 times a week. Fish are opportunity feeders in the wild, they eat when the opportunity presents itself. They can survive and thrive without food for days even a week, unless theyre fry. Fish food companies tell you to feed them twice a day so youll buy more fish food. Decrease your feedings which will decrease excess nutrients in the water which will decrease food for algae.
 
OP
S

Silverwings

New Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Location
United Kingdom
Like others have said ,If one doesnt have live plants in a tank then all ones light is doing is growing algae.
Having said that decreasing feeding will also curb algae. Food introduces nitrates and phosphates into the tank, plants need nitrates and phosphates to grow without live plants to absorb those nutrients algae will use them to grow. I feed my fish 3 times a week. Fish are opportunity feeders in the wild, they eat when the opportunity presents itself. They can survive and thrive without food for days even a week, unless theyre fry. Fish food companies tell you to feed them twice a day so youll buy more fish food. Decrease your feedings which will decrease excess nutrients in the water which will decrease food for algae.
Thank you all for the advice. Going to get some floating plants and moderate the feeding a bit. Will report back in due course
 

trending

Most reactions - Past 7 days

Top