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What algae is this, and what is my best course of action?

Discussion in 'Algae Removal' started by cambojnr, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. cambojnr

    cambojnr Member

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    tank is 300l, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 10ppm, I do a 100L water change every week, lighting is a aqua one tropicGlo 37W that is on 8 hours a day, I’ve just decreased it to 4. What are your recommendations? as I am awful at identifying algae, thanks.
     

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  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Black beard algae.

    It's a pain in the butt to deal with and once it's in a tank, it's there for good or until you strip the tank and start again.

    What is the plant it is growing on?
    It looks like a Spathiphyllum, which is a terrestrial plant and it could be rotting too. The rotting would be the smooth areas of black leaf. Whereas the black beard algae is the black fluffy stuff along the edge of the leaf.
     
  3. cambojnr

    cambojnr Member

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    It’s a big Anubis that it’s growing on, it’s the only plant I have in the tank, is there nothing I can do to stop it growing?
     
  4. seangee

    seangee Member

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    There is no easy answer to BBA because it is so hardy. You have it because there is an imbalance between light, nutrients and CO2. But its impossible to say which direction the balance is off. Too much, or too little, of any of those things can contribute to BBA. That's why Colin suggested its a PITA to deal with.
     
  5. cambojnr

    cambojnr Member

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    Well I’ve cut my light to 4 hours, so I’ll maybe do some bigger water changes, and try increase surface agitation for gas exchange. I’ve been looking it up since colin identified it a BBA, and apparently flourish excel work with spot treating it, so I’ll look it to any store that might have that.
     
  6. essjay

    essjay Moderator
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    Flourish Excel contains glutaraldehyde, a powerful disinfectant. If it kills algae, it won't do the fish much good. If you do use it, make sure you remove all of it from the plant before putting it back in the tank.
     
  7. cambojnr

    cambojnr Member

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    I’ll try the decreased lighting and water changes first and see if it slows down the growth, I think I’ve had it in the tank before just not as noticeable, as a few months ago I upped the lighting from 5 to 8 hours as I was having brown algae problems, now the to much light might be causing this. I’ll only resort to excel as a last resort.
     
  8. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    You can take the Anubias out and grow it in a garden pot out of water. That will get the algae off the plant :)

    I wouldn't decrease light by 4 hours per day. You only need to reduce by 1 hour a day assuming the light is the major issue.
     
    #8 Colin_T, Jun 23, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2019
  9. seangee

    seangee Member

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    Whatever route works to remove the source BBA won't go away on its own. You have to pick it off and take it out using fingernails or tweezers. Do this daily and once you have eliminated the cause you can get on top of it fairly quickly.

    As others have said I am not a fan of glutaraldehyde, but apart from its affect on fish it doesn't remove the underlying cause so is not a quick fix.
     
  10. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I have battled this algae a few times over the past 25 years. Black beard or black brush (there are two quite visually different forms, you have one of them on the Anubias) is caused as someone said by an imbalance of light/nutrients. Once you establish the balance needed for the plants in the tank, you will not see this algae increasing. And the aim is always to restore the imbalance and prevent the algae increase; there is no harm leaving what is there in there, except eventually you might remove the leaves it is worst on if the plant is growing new leaves that remain free of it. And tyhat is exactly what will occur when the balance is stable.

    Light has two different aspects: intensity and duration. These are not interchangeable, so if the light is say too bright, reducing the duration will have minimal effect (sometimes none, depending), and similarly if the light is not intense enough, increasing the duration will certainly not compensate. Intensity of light is what drives photosynthesis, so it has to be adequate for the plant species. Algae is always able to take advantage of any excess/insufficiency be it light or nutrients, which higher plants cannot do.

    Anubias is a slow-growing plant, and that means it requires less intense light and fewer nutrients. It is very common for this algae to appear and spread over Anubias (Java Fern is another) and it usually means the light is too bright. Floating plants to shade the Anubias can make a big difference.

    Light is the usual factor here, but I have had this algae appear with too much plant fertilizer, too little plant fertilizer (for the plants), too much light, and too little light. I have seen the algae appear solely because the tube was wearing out and I forgot to replace it after 12 months. I have seen this algae increase due to the longer and brighter day in the summer (fully darkening the windows in the fish room solved this).
     
  11. cambojnr

    cambojnr Member

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    Thanks for all that, I don’t use any fertiliser in my tanks so I don’t think it will be that, so I imagine it has to be the light, as I have been leaving the curtains in my room open more, I’ll keep them closed and see how it goes. Fingers crossed I can get on top of it and stop it growing more, thanks again.
     

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