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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have been having huge issues with the plants in my tank since i switched to soil capped with play sand. all the broad leaved plants have been loosing leaves and dying on me. i assumed it was soil floating up and settling on the leaves. whatever it was came off easily when i was doing water changes but was back again a few hours later. it came off just by swishing my hand next to the plant.

well, last night i had a bit of an issue with my 30 gallon so i took my 7 blue tetras and 5 amano shrimp out and put them in the 20 with 3 emperor tetras and 2 albino cories. and this morning, magically, all the black stuff is off the leaves!

is it possible that the black stuff was algae? i have never heard of algae that comes off so easily. do you think the shrimp ate it? or maybe it was a few more fish swimming around that knocked it all off? the leaves are practically spotless now!

oh, i should mention that my crypts and another broad leaved plant that i bought (i don't know what it is ) were fine throughout all of this. only the plants with stems that had many leaves had the problems. i assumed it was because the crypts are low light so the soil didn't do much harm. i don't know.
 

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I think it's BGA (cyanobacteria) from what you said.
BGA can be in blue-green (of course!), red, brown,
or black color. How does it smell? If it's pungent,
then probably BGA.
 

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Agreed...if its dark greenish/bluish and the "slime" itself smells, you definitely have BGA....check your water levels, nitrates and phosphates (usually it comes through with low nitrates) and look at your lighting issues...could use a bit more detail on what you have in your tank in regards to lights, CO2, fertilizing etc
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks :)

i am not sure if it is smelly. i haven't smelled it. haha!

upon closer inspection i wonder if it is hair algae that has been catching the floating soil. the shrimp are very interested in it.

can hair algae kill a plant? i guess if it is catching soil particles then that will help it kill the plant all the faster.

thanks for your help, guys!

oh, i forgot to say what i have going in my tank...

it is a 20 gallon tank. i don't know what the bulb is like in the fixture, it is fluorescent bulb, long tube. it is an old bulb, i need a new one. i don't have co2. i was doing diy yeast co2 for a bit but not now. it didn't change anything with the algae. i have my light on a timer for 8 hours a day. maybe it is on too long? i haven't done fertilizer for a while because i was told i don't need to since the soil is new. (i am changing the soil over to all sand very soon with fertilizers buried in the sand.)
 

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although I dont know the specifics of your light and stuff...it sounds like you may have a bit too much light going on with no fertilizers and no co2...plants need the co2 and ferts when there is a signficant amount of light....and if they dont have that, then the algae can come in and easily take over and thrive....is your light right on the tank? Can you lift it up save 4-8 inches from the water? You could also try to cut back the light to 6 hours....or do like 4 hours in the am/early pm....then a 2-4 hour black period where the lights are off, then another 4 hours in the early to late pm and see if that makes a difference
 
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