Can anyone Id this Algae?
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Old 05-04-2013, 02:19 AM   #1
Howsie
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Can anyone Id this Algae?


I have recently cycled my tank after a substrate change during which i got lazy and let nitrites and nitrates sky rocket. Now there is and algae growing on my Saggitaria subulata, a little on my substrate and on my drift wood. The cycle seems to be complete as I have had about 4 days of no nitrite readings and have got nitrate at about 20ppm (still pretty high) and am yet to add fish. I dont have many plants yet but am after a low tech tank like before the substrate change. When I added Excel to the algae directly it turned white. Heres a picture but warning Im no photographerClick image for larger version

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Old 05-04-2013, 04:22 AM   #2
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Looks like black bread Algae.
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:29 AM   #3
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+1 on BBA .... Most annoying algae ever lol
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:19 AM   #4
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Ive been told that but also been told on another site it might be Cyanobacteria. Ill try get a better picture tomorow but more importantly how should i get rid of it. I assume the high NO3 is the cause or co2 levels too low? It looks too slimey to me to be BBA and when I add flourish excel it turned white rather than the expected red.
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:45 AM   #5
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It looks like BBA to me, and not cyanobacteria.

I would not say high nitrates are causing the BBA; instead it could be high organic load and/or fluctuating CO2 levels. Fixing these will help eliminate the BBA.

I have found that adding glutaraldehyde (Excel, Metricide, etc) will sometimes turn the BBA white, without the pink intermediary step.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:29 AM   #6
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I hope it is BBA. I have posted this question on two other sites and have had mixed results between BBA and cyanobacteria but am starting to agree with the notion that it is BBA. The reason that I am still unsure is that it looks like sludge and less like fluff. You obviously have studied the picture have a good idea about what your on about but Im still unsure.
I've researched both and am I right in thinking that cyanobacteria grows in high light and low NO3 and BBA grows in lower light and High NO3. My tank has highish NO3 and Low to medium light. To me it looks like Cyano but my tank has the conditions for BBA.
Does that make any sense at all?

Just read what you said again. NO3 not responsible for BBA. but still do cyano grow in low NO3 as this is what i've read.

Scratch that. just tell me why you think it is BBA over Cyano?

Last edited by Darkblade48; 05-04-2013 at 12:57 PM.. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:55 AM   #7
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Default Can anyone Id this Algae?

Smell it, if it smells like dirt and its slimy it's cyano. If its tough to remote and it has a mild tank smell its BBA. The picture is bad and not conclusive. But I am guessing its BBA. By the way in my experience cyano does not turn while when treated, it just disappears while BBA does turn white


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Old 05-04-2013, 08:41 PM   #8
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I tried giving it a wiff but couldnt smell much. Did notice aswell that it was made of the "hairs" that BBA has. Does cyano have any "hairs" at all or is it more of a sludge?
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Old 05-04-2013, 09:28 PM   #9
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Cyano is pure sludge


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Old 05-04-2013, 10:06 PM   #10
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I am 99% sure it is BBA. A simple test to differentiate between BBA and Cyano is to try and remove it. Scrub an affected leaf with your finger. If you can remove 99% of it it's cyano if not it's BBA. As darkblade said it can be caused by fluctuating CO2 levels. Fluctuating CO2 levels can be present in non CO2 injected tanks as well. Many other things besides injection can cause CO2 problems.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:46 PM   #11
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Bba also tastes bitter.
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fplata View Post
Cyano is pure sludge


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Good to know. I think you've solved it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
I am 99% sure it is BBA. A simple test to differentiate between BBA and Cyano is to try and remove it. Scrub an affected leaf with your finger. If you can remove 99% of it it's cyano if not it's BBA. As darkblade said it can be caused by fluctuating CO2 levels. Fluctuating CO2 levels can be present in non CO2 injected tanks as well. Many other things besides injection can cause CO2 problems.
I think you're right. Ithink once the plants are in and i add consistant ammounts of excel CO2 problems should hopefully cease. Would you agree?

Quote:
Originally Posted by puopg View Post
Bba also tastes bitter.
I think I'll take your work for it

I also took another few pics and you should be able to see the "Hairs" that to me close the case.
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If it indeed is BBA its the longest BBA I have ever seen
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Old 05-05-2013, 02:12 AM   #13
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You may very well have BBA as well but those last pictures actually look like dying hair algae. There is clearly green algae in the bottom of the cup.<- This is me back pedaling lol
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Old 05-05-2013, 04:07 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorfox View Post
You may very well have BBA as well but those last pictures actually look like dying hair algae. There is clearly green algae in the bottom of the cup.<- This is me back pedaling lol
Are you on a bike??
So you're saying I may have another algae in my tank. Great. I went out to town and pick up some more water sprite and am testing out some star grass. This, the other plants and water changes should bring down nitrates.
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Old 05-05-2013, 04:20 AM   #15
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BBA, it is.
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