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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Everyone,

Both my 55G and 29G planted tanks (but particularly my 29G right now) have this dark green, stringy growth on my plants, rocks, and filter. It's even attached to the walls of the tank itself. See the attached picture, which shows it.

First, does anyone know what this is? Is it a particular type of algae? Second, any suggestions on how I can get rid of it. With the rocks, I've found that I can take them out of the tank but just scrubbing them with a toothbrush doesn't get rid of it entirely (it certainly helps). Instead, I've tried dipping the rocks in boiling or near boiling water, which seems to kill the stuff. Of course, that's a major pain and it doesn't work to get it off the plants.

I've had the problem for a long time with the 55G tank although it seems to have subsided but it's only recently been a major problem with my 29G, which seems to coincide with when I converted the 29G tank into a planted tank - although I'm willing to consider that a coincidence.

Any suggestions are MUCH appreciated! I am stumped.

Thanks,

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm not adding any CO2. The 29G has LED lights (Fluval Fresh & Plant 2.0) and the 55G has twin Dual-Lamp T5-HO AquaticLife lights.

Thanks,

Mike

Bump: Black Beard algae is a pretty appropriate name.
 

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+1 on the BBA.

Usually the presence of BBA suggests that there's too much light for the amount of CO2 available.. This particular algae seems to thrive in bright, low CO2 conditions that higher-order plants can't really take advantage of. It's not always the cause, but usually the cause. The solution is to cut back light, or increase CO2. With no injection going on, you just need to cut back light.

With a total of 4 T5HO's in aquaticlife fixtures that have good reflectors over your 55 gallon tank, you've got *WAY* too much light for no CO2 injection.

Your typical 55 gallon tank is 20-21" tall, which puts you over 110 PAR at the substrate if the fixture is right over the tank. Without CO2 injection it is generally suggested to stay under 35 PAR, unless you're really familiar with what you can get away with and what plants you need to keep algae away in these conditions. Your light is 3 times brighter than it should be. At the very least, cut back to 2 bulbs, preferably well spaced out to reduce the amount of light-overlap.

Your 29 gallon has a fluval led, but there's not much published PAR data on it, however I would expect it is also too strong.


Father Land Descendant has posted good suggestions for killing it off and cleaning it up (although I don't really agree with the philosophy behind circulation in the 1-2 punch). However, if you don't address the causes, it will just come back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks. The background on PAR has been really helpful to understand. I can remove one of the dual T5HO lamps on the 55G but not sure what to do for the 29G. Should I add CO2?
 

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Thanks. The background on PAR has been really helpful to understand. I can remove one of the dual T5HO lamps on the 55G but not sure what to do for the 29G. Should I add CO2?
You don't necessarily need to add CO2, although pumping in loads of gas would help, you need to cut the photo period, raise the light or block some of it with screen or light diffuser. If you can't add CO2 lowering the light intensity is the next best thing.
 

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classic BBA. Deal with it ASAP, it won't go away! I too suggest the one-two-punch.

If you have it in individual places I would suggest a couple days of h202 spot treatment. Get a syringe and squirt a couple ml of straight h2o2 on it for a couple days, then hit it with the punch and follow up with Excel as prescribed.

But if you don't correct your light, it will just come back.
 
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