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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all

I’m trying to identify the furry thing growing on the leaf of a large anubias. (I think it’s an anubias - I’ve never really had plants before. Possibly a crypto?)

Sorry about the photo quality - my camera just won’t focus on the leaf. It’s quite furry.

It first appeared about two months ago. Nothing in the tank wants to eat it (bristlenoses, cory sterbais, lemon tetras, guppies, little snails).

I can’t see it anywhere else in the tank, and I don’t have any algae problems (unless this is algae!)

Should I take any action - cut the leaf off, leave it, other? I'm happy to cut the leaf off if this thing will cause me problems later on.

Ledman
 

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Looks like it could be BBA - black brush (or beard) algae, though it is hard to tell. If it's shortish/bristly hairs, then its most likely BBA. I don't think any species eat it, so that would be why :) You don't have to cut the leaf off! Take the plant out of the tank, hit the BBA with some H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide, the stuff in the brown bottle), then try to wipe it off. That may help get rid of it. BBA grows in my tank as well, just on one plant, my banana plant. I thought it would spread, but it hasn't so far so I'm not overly fussed about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Mrfishybetta

I just ran my thumb hard over the algae to see if it would rub off, but it doesn't at all. I can report that the algae is nice and soft though. It's like a plush carpet, about 1mm / 0.04" high. It's only in that one spot.

Looks like algae is finally on the way in the tank. I also had another post to help ID some small fern-like things that just appeared, and people said it was green hair algae. The tank was established in Oct 2015 and this is the first sign of algae. The tank is low tech, no CO2, 2x20W T8 lights on for 9 hours, 24 gal / 90 litres. Plants are growing slowly but surely (crypts, java fern, anubias, lilaeopsis). Water is a bit hot though - averages about 81F (Australian summer).

Looks like I need to start nerding up on algae cause and prevention. I'll try to save the leaf and look for H2O2 tomorrow.

Cheers,
Ledman
 

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Sorry you haven't gotten many responses. It's probably just that the "algae" you have, doesn't quite look like the common algae everyone is used to seeing.

Here are some common algae ID's
http://www.bubblesaquarium.com/images/home mid_photo/Article on Algae/freshwater_algae.htm
James' Planted Tank - Algae Guide
as you may see, none of the pics quite match the algae you have

If I had to guess, from pic #1, the algae appear to be a fuzzy variety of algae, although it is shorter than what I usually see. Low co2, or more likely low nutrients are the root cause. Given that your plants appear to have a Magnesium deficiency (lighter leaf tissue, darker veins).
I'd bet if you dose ferts, or replaced minerals through water changes (Calcium and Magnesium), then the plants would get healthier and be able to stunt the algae growth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Giday

Those articles were most educational. Thanks Waterlife. Agreed, it's strange looking algae.

I put H2O2 on the leaf for 5 consecutive days (ie treating it as per BBA) and there's been no real change. I think the leaf went a shade yellower though.

I've also got what looks like green spot algae developing on other leaves on this plant now, so my approach is to start thinking about the health of the plants overall, to fight off the algae. This is the first time I've had plants, so it's a learning curve.

I've increased fert dosing (2ml Seachem Flourish) from once to twice a week. I also did a 50% water change. It had been 6 weeks - majority advice for a low tech tank was to minimise water changes so that CO2 levels doesn't fluctuate much. I was hoping to change water about every 2 mths - my parameters are good and fish are happy. But I can do more regular changes if this helps my plants.

General advice on algae in other threads is to reduce the lighting, but I've only got 40W for 24 gal so I'll leave them on (9 hrs daily).

Nothing I can do with CO2; it's a low tech planted tank with x10 water flow, and good surface agitation and plant movement.

I haven't noticed an improvement in algae or plants since the water change and increased ferts, but it's only been a week.

Does anyone know if high water temperature leads to algae growth? I'm averaging 81F right now.

I was hoping to add amano or red cherry shrimps, but amanos aren't available in Australia and quality RCSs are hard to get.

Cheers,
Ledman
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This algae is now gone!

I hit it with H2O2 for 5 days but no change - perhaps it went a shade lighter. I then did a 50% water change and increased the ferts (2ml Flourish) from once to twice a week. After a few weeks the algae disappeared.

HOWEVER, what seems to be black hair algae plus green hair algae (or possibly cladophora) has now appeared and is growing quickly, esp the black hair algae - it's appearing everywhere.

Has increasing the ferts caused this? In which case should I drop the ferts back to once a week (2ml each time)? Or stick with twice a week but reduce the amount? (ie 2ml -> 1ml Flourish each time).

The water temperature has also dropped lately as summer ends (Australia). It ranged from 81 - 85 F during summer, but is now averaging 77.5 (heater set point) to 79 (after the T8s have been on a while). Is it possible that the cooler water has triggered different kinds of algae?

I'm not sure what my next step should be. Please help!

Ledman
 
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