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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone?!

So I'm new here, and its all pretty awesome. So much knowledge. I need some knowledge, im in a bit of trouble here. I have, what i believe is call black brush algae? It's dark green almost black, hair like algae. I posted a picture the quality is not so well, sorry. My question is how can i get rid of and not have it come back. It's taking over all my wood, rocks, and now it started growing on some of my plants:icon_sad: any suggestion or ideas??? Plants were doing great for a while, the algae started growing, now they are not as green or the leaves as broad as they use to be. I mean you can tell there is difference in the plant quality.

I have a 65 gal. Tall
*Well lite 6-8 hrs/day.... Occasionally it will stay longer 10hrs
*No CO2 -at the moment
*fert. Flourish(seachem) once a week
*NO2 - 0
*NO3 - 0
*pH - 6.8 7.0
*NH3 - 0
The H2O is pretty soft. I put peat in one of the baskets of my canister filter. Oh i have like 10 ottos( the little algae eaters), i dont think they consume this type of algae??, dont quote me on that, im not sure.
 

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For small outbreaks I turn off all filtration so there is no water movement and then using a syringe I spray Flourish Excel onto the BBA, leave it 15 min and then turn filter back on, within a day or so the BBA turns purple and dies. I repeat to get any that is left, be mindful not to exceed the recomended dosage of excel for your tank, so you may need to do small sections at a time, then you have to work out what you are doing wrong to get the infestation in the first place, in my tank its when my CO2 levels get too low.
 

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The problem is low co2 levels, you need to inject co2. Aim for 25-30 ppm, there are charts on the Internet you can look up. In my case, I raised my kh to 5, turned my co2 to 2 bubbles per second, which runs my ph at about 6.8, which gives me 25 ppm saturated co2. The result? Bba is gone, plants are growing like weeds, almost too fast. Nothing else worked to keep it gone, I've tried spot treating, bleach dips, etc, the beard algae would always return, cranking up the co2 ended my problem for good
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks!!

:bounce:Hey thanks guys very much appreciate it.

I have a CO2 setup that i got for free off CL, but i haven't been able to find the 4dkh solution locally. Is that a must for the bubble counter, or can i fill it with some other liquid?
 

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:bounce:Hey thanks guys very much appreciate it.

I have a CO2 setup that i got for free off CL, but i haven't been able to find the 4dkh solution locally. Is that a must for the bubble counter, or can i fill it with some other liquid?
4dkh goes in a drop checker. Not in bubble counter.
Any water in bubble counter.

Goodluck.:red_mouth
 

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:bounce:Hey thanks guys very much appreciate it.

I have a CO2 setup that i got for free off CL, but i haven't been able to find the 4dkh solution locally. Is that a must for the bubble counter, or can i fill it with some other liquid?
As mentioned, the 4 dkH reference solution goes into your drop checker.

For your bubble counter, water is fine. Some people prefer to use glycerin or mineral oil since it does not evaporate.
 

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You say the lighting is 6-8 hours then maybe 10... which leads me to assume its not on a timer. Get a timer and put it on the light so it stays consistent and set it to 7 hours. Manually remove as much bba as you can possible see by trimming affected plants and leaves. do a LARGE water change and begin dosing seachem excel as this will help fight the bba you cant see, and work on getting your c02 setup.

What type of lighting is over the tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You say the lighting is 6-8 hours then maybe 10... which leads me to assume its not on a timer. Get a timer and put it on the light so it stays consistent and set it to 7 hours. Manually remove as much bba as you can possible see by trimming affected plants and leaves. do a LARGE water change and begin dosing seachem excel as this will help fight the bba you cant see, and work on getting your c02 setup.

What type of lighting is over the tank?
I have a Coralife T5 HO dual tubes.
One of them is 10,000k 39w
The second one is Actinic 39w
I got this of CL haven't changed the tubes. I know the actinic is probably not the necessary for plants but its been working great, yes you assume correctly they are not on a timer. I'll swing by HomeDepot this week and pick up a timer.
 

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I have a Coralife T5 HO dual tubes.
One of them is 10,000k 39w
The second one is Actinic 39w
I got this of CL haven't changed the tubes. I know the actinic is probably not the necessary for plants but its been working great, yes you assume correctly they are not on a timer. I'll swing by HomeDepot this week and pick up a timer.
I'd prioritize your co2 setup before the timer
 

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There is so much conflicting advice on this matter of beard algae.
Add CO2, don't add CO2. Lower phosphates, increase nitrates, more light, less light ...on and on.

I had bearded algae. I battled and read. I nearly bought an SAE.

I felt that the infestation was vaguely parasitic in nature so I used Sera and Seachem tabs in the substrate. Add Seachem flourish micro nutrients, Seachem potassium and doubled the light to try and get the plants going better. I felt this was part of 'new tank syndrome' where there is insufficient nutrients available for plants. barren substrate. Get the plants going to take up stuff from the algae, esp phosphorous. A guess.

It went away.

Perhaps it also appears in old tanks for similar reasons. Depleted nutrients?
In my new tank I used tabs and liquid from day one. Even transferring cuttings and runners to the new tank did not result in bearded algae.
It's a mystery.
 

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@papwalker

It's not the first thread that goes like this :) I've seen quite a few already. This algae tends to be VERY flexible and there is little accurate information on what's feeding it.

I did battle with it myself and managed to contain it in a very weak form on the substrate and spraybars.

To sum up *my* experience with it:

- grows in high and low current areas
- any light is enough for it
- it colonizes specific plants and dying leaf parts
- CO2 levels do nothing to kill it. CO2 is not a killer but a plant fertilizer
- cleanliness has nothing to do with it
- Otos and SAE will munch the weak, dying algae. They cannot clean it, don't buy them for this purpose.
- Amano shrimp will put a dent in it but they need to be starved
- ferts imbalance or lack will not weaken the algae, plants will die before it
- blackout will do the same as ferts

I do have a suspicion that it's resiliency stems from being able to get it's Carbon from carbonates/bicarbonates (kH) which are present in almost all waters except RO/DI. That's why it tends to grow faster if you increase water changes in an attempt to clean the tank.
 

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I had chronic problems with BBA when I started my 29G tank in 2007. Got it under control by dosing with KNO3 and adding a 3hr siesta light period. My phosphates were high, thus wonder if BBA likes phosphates.

After getting a plant with BBA last year can't get rid of it. Think I will try doing water changes every other week with RO water. Thinking old pipes have leached copper in the water, for this year ferns are melting. I wonder if BBA loves copper. Thus have started using Kordon AmQuel and NovaAqua to treat water, for NovaAqua removes copper.
 

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Have had it multiple times..went blackout for a few days, dosed with Excel via syringe.. Went away, came back a month later repeat steps, same results.. . Started treating with seachem potassium on top of normal root tabs, got Amano shrimp. Haven't seen it back in over a year. Don't use co2 of any form. Dual filter with lots of flow. Over 2 wpg. Also used actinic lights from time to time for night viewing. Have since stopped.
 
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