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Old 12-11-2009, 09:00 PM   #16
cjp999
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This thread started talking about "black spot algae", but this discussion only seems to be about GSA and BBA. I also get black spots on my anubias, and I've never seen any algae pictures that look like it. Maybe it is a form of BBA, because it goes away with spot treatment of Excel. However, it is not hairy, and cannot be wiped off. Anyone know what it might be?

As for GSA and phosphates, I always have problems with GSA on anubias and crypts in my low light tanks (standard 15W fluorescent for 10g tank). Raising phosphates never helped (I brought them above 3). I think high phosphates are just one of a few adjustments you may need to make.
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Old 12-11-2009, 09:26 PM   #17
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Is there a difference besides color? I know some algae shifts its pigments to better match the spectrum its being fed. GSA is generally considered to be Coleochaete orbicularis, though it wouldn't surprise me if other Coleochaete spp. get lumped into the mix as well. Is there a specific binomial for black spot?
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Old 12-11-2009, 09:39 PM   #18
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I would have to say it is somewhat similar to the GSA I've seen, but there are differences. They both grow as spots and are very hard to remove manually. However, I've had little success spot treating GSA with Excel, whereas the black spot algae seems to go away quit readily after 3 days of treatement. Also, my BNP eats the GSA but not the black spot algae. Note that I don't see GSA growing in the tank with the BNP and black spot algae. However, I recently moved an anubias with quite a bit of GSA on it into this tank, and it was gone the next day. I'm pretty sure it was the BNP that ate it.
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Old 12-12-2009, 04:42 AM   #19
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I understand that it looks different, but I'm not understanding how anyone is separating morphology from species here. It doesn't seem all that distinct in its growth form, etc. and there's just about zero information on black spot algae vs. GSA. In much the same way "red beard algae" and "black beard algae" are the same species (or at least genus) the only thing people in the hobby usually do to distinguish is look at the color and decide to call it a different species. The truth is that BBA and RBA can be the identical species with slightly different morphology based on growth conditions. *
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:54 AM   #20
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From my experience, the difference between GSA and "BSA" is that:
  • BSA seems to be controllable with Excel, GSA is not.
  • GSA seems to be enjoyed by my pleco, GSA is not.
  • GSA grows in my low light tanks, BSA only in my high light tank.
Problem is as far as I know there is no such thing as BSA. I've never seen it called by this name in any algae FAQ, nor have I seen any documented algae meet it's description. If it is closely related to GSA, it is different enough in its characteristics to warrant it being described separately when it comes to identifying and treating it.
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:39 PM   #21
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Sounds like this is something worth looking at closer then. I could see the differences you've listed as being morphology still; algae changes forms depending on available nutrients and health. Just as a for instance, diatoms depend on silicates for frustule formation; take away the silicates and they break down. In black beard algae I've observed that it turns red when the cell walls are ruptured and the chlorophyll destroyed, but the phycoerythyrin remains leaving it bright red, suddenly otos and shrimp will eat the stuff.

So then if there's a way we can identify and separate one from the other be it by morphology or species, it'd probably make the algae easy to deal with. Besides pictures and microscopes, I'm thinking testing the two and their response to high PO4 levels in a controlled environment is worth a shot. Looking at how to induce them and finding their equilibrium points wouldn't hurt either. This isn't something that I think will happen all at once, but it's at least worth keeping an eye out for related information.
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:25 AM   #22
dromaeosaurus
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I had a type of black spot algae all over my tank, which was definitely different than GSA. It mostly grew on the edge of plant leaves, mainly my anubias and Green Temple Narrow (Hygro Corombosa). I added more phosphates (with New York City tap water, which is high in phosphates), Flourish excel, nerite snails, and otos. I'm not sure which one of those did it, but now the black spot algae is gone.

I've had a bristlenose pleco in the tank for awhile, and he did not get rid of either type of algae. Although its a 75 gallon tank and he grew very quickly, so maybe he just had more than he could handle.
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