I have never seen algae like this! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
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I have never seen algae like this!

Hey everyone,

Can anyone ID this weird stringy algae that grows in a stalking, sort of tree-like manner? I have never seen anything like this before in my experience of the hobby. I added a small powerhead for flow and I saw these some time after that. Looks segmented..

I will throw it under a microscope and post pictures of that tomorrow. Pretty weird stuff!

Thoughts? CO2, aquasky moon, doing ferts weekly, CRS.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Hey all,

Here are pictures of the same algae at 25x and 100x. Interesting stuff. Any thoughts?
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 07:01 PM
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@LeKing I have no idea what that is. I just spend far too long looking through google images, lol! It almost looks like super long staghorn. What kind of texture does it have?
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 07:46 PM
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I get this in my tank - it's greyer than most algae, right?

It only appears in my window tank and I'd hazard a guess at it being in areas with less flow. The tank is only fully lit from 5pm-10pm but receives varying amounts indirect sunlight from about 5am until 9pm. Definitely didn't notice it during the winter, and will see if it worsens as the days get longer. I'm sure it's something to do with receiving too much light as my ferts are pretty minimal. No CO2.

I hope you find out what it is!

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 08:03 PM
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very random guess here but maybe a type of Melosira? i say that because of the "string of beads" look but after looking up microscopic images of several species im not seeing any that look like yours.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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It has a sort of slippery and slimy, gelatinous feel to it when I pull it out of the tank. breaks easily. It does not seem to be fibrous or leafy in texture.

I ordered some Otocinclus yesterday, I am curious if it will be edible to them. The crystal shrimp don't seem to be interested in it at all.

It grows fast!! Hopefully it doesn't take over my tank entirely. When I try to remove it, it breaks up and probably helps propagate it. Probably came in as a stow away on some moss I recently received.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 09:56 PM
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@LeKing any updates on this? Did you manage to fight it off or figure out what it is?
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carlsj2012 View Post
@LeKing any updates on this? Did you manage to fight it off or figure out what it is?
This algae has actually spread quite ferociously, I can only manually remove it.

I find it rooted to my piece of Malaysian driftwood. Sometimes it will be found on my baby tears carpet but much less frequently. I think pulling it off with tweezers is best because you get the whole root portion off. It also appears on a wire for a powerhead in the tank.

Speaking of the powerhead, it seems to like moving water, since it flourished after I added that powerhead I was talking about. i hope I can find a way to combat it better than manual removal, since that is sort of a losing battle. luckily this algae doesn't block light.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 07:12 PM
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[QUOTE=LeKing;11206501I ordered some Otocinclus yesterday, I am curious if it will be edible to them. The crystal shrimp don't seem to be interested in it at all.[/QUOTE]

Did you end up getting the otocinclus? Sounds like they didn't touch it if you did. Supposedly SAE will eat BBA. Wonder if they would eat this stuff too?

Have you tried spot treating with Excel/Metricide or H2O2?
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 08:26 PM
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Have you ever kept Java Moss?
To me it looks like little sprigs of moss.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Red face

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Pupfish View Post
Did you end up getting the otocinclus? Sounds like they didn't touch it if you did. Supposedly SAE will eat BBA. Wonder if they would eat this stuff too?

Have you tried spot treating with Excel/Metricide or H2O2?
I did get the otos, I got 6 of them and they ate everything except this strange algae. I have not tried spot dosing with Excel/Metricide or H2O2. I will probably try this when I get back from vacation in 3 weeks. I hope the tank is in O.K. shape at that time, I am a little nervous.

I do have some java moss in the tank but to me this does not look like an immature version of the moss. This is something else entirely. I have a feeling it isn't ever going to come out of the tank.

Here is a recent photo. It is easy to see it floating off the driftwood, especially against the white background. Any more ideas are appreciated and welcomed.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 07:17 PM
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I too have a similar algae in one tank though mine appears gray like @Thelongsnail described. But your description of the feel and texture are dead on. This one does seem to grow best in areas of flow unlike in his tank. I'll stick some under a microscope this week and compare it to your photos.

Nothing good happens fast in an ecosystem.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 02:37 AM
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I suggest that you test it to see if it is part of the red algae family (most hair algae is). To do this, dip it in the 70% isopropyl alcohol that you can buy at the store for disinfecting. If it turns red, then you have your answer and it is very likely to be annihilated by a glut product (Excel, Enhance, etc.)
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 04:40 AM
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I'm not 100% sure what exactly it is, but I've had it before.

Red Beckford's pencilfish devours it (Nannostomus Beckfordi), I found Amano's to mostly ignore it, as well as ocats. But those pencilfish destroyed the stuff. Best accidental discovery ever.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-03-2019, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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@Francis Xavier
Thank you for the information. I am very inclined to try these out, though I am rearing shrimp in the tank and the fish may decimate the population. They aren't doing so well anyway, so I might just go ahead and give this a shot. Great input, thank you.

@Deanna
I will give this a shot as soon as I can and report back. I'll do the isopropyl test and i will also put some in a cup and put some excel directly into the cup. Thanks for the idea, this would certainly help narrow down the field of algaes. I would love to eradicate it from my tank but I am also very interested to know what it is for future reference or to help others.

@Blue Ridge Reef
This stuff is greenish grey. It definitely looked green under the stereoscope. I look forward to your observations and pictures if you decide to share.

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