What's this furry algae? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 7 Old 04-22-2011, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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What's this furry algae?

It appears to only live on the top of my driftwood. I'm tempted to remove it because i think it looks gross, but my fish seem to love eating it, which makes me think I should leave it be. But what is it?

I will post a picture in a minute. apparently I can't figure out how to do it from my iPhone so i guess i remain dependent on my pc after all.
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post #2 of 7 Old 04-22-2011, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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This is what I'm talking about... should I remove it or keep it? You can kind of see in the picture that there are bare spots... that's where it's been eaten... I think the bulk of that eating was done by my bristlenose pleco... should I get a couple more of them and let them take care of it?
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post #3 of 7 Old 04-23-2011, 12:19 PM
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That's BBA (Black Brush Algae) and if your BN is eating it I'm surprized! I thought the only fish that would touch it is a true Siamese Algae eater. I also have bits of it in my display tank, which is why I keep an SAE. When I can, I also try to remove it but it's hard to do. What's a little bit anyway, it looks pretty "natural", IMO, anyway.

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post #4 of 7 Old 04-24-2011, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm... yep, the bn pleco is definitely eating it... I just sat and watched him for the past few minutes. One of my mollies seems to really love it, too (he was just eating it alongside the pleco). I've seen a few of my angelfish and loaches take nibbles off of it, too, and sometimes (but much less frequently) the honey gouramis will check it out.
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post #5 of 7 Old 04-24-2011, 03:25 PM
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I would suspect it is more likely that those various fish are picking out food hidden in the mat of algae; tiny zooplankton etc. can be quite prevalent. Many fish will graze algae but not actually eat the algae itself, especially this type. I have it thick on most of the wood, I only get concerned when it starts appearing on plant leaves as the leaf dies shortly thereafter. My pencilfish love grazing through this stuff.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 7 Old 04-24-2011, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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So perhaps the bare spots on the wood aren't due to the pleco actually eating it... maybe it's just getting rubbed off as he forages for other stuff.
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post #7 of 7 Old 04-25-2011, 12:15 PM
If they are really hungry, they may eat some of it, but its a very difficult algae to get rid of. When I had it, it was from a lack of CO2 and excess nutrients. I reduced surface agitation and increased current flow and it slowly went away.
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