Algae ID please help, Pic included - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 05-12-2013, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Algae ID please help, Pic included

Algae ID please help, Pic included
Hi. I need some help identifying this algae but first ill tell you about my tank. It is a 46 gallon bow front aquarium. I have a 2 T5HO bulbs (6500K and 10000K) running for 6 hours a day. I dose with 2.7 grams of kno3, 0.7 grams of kh2po4. I dose around 5ml of metricide a day (equivalent to 8mlof excel). This dosing is high because i recently had lots of BBA in my tank. It is gone now though. All other water parameters are normal. I've had this tank set up for over a year now so it is properly cycled.

My question is, what is this dark brown film that is on my plants. The picture that i have included is of the brown film on my corymbosa. But this brown film is also present on my java fern and amazon sword. It is easy to remove with my nails. In the picture, you can see it comes off revealing the green leaf under it (middle leaf).

If any one could help, it would be much appreciated
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post #2 of 2 Old 05-12-2013, 04:47 PM
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That is a type of brush algae, according to George Booth and others. Below is a pic from him. Brush algae can take many forms.

It is caused by light being greater than the nutrient balance. The nutrient balance itself can also affect it. Recently, the Echinodorus bleherae in my 90g became covered with this in a matter of days; it was so sudden I didn't really notice it building, until I realized every sword leaf was being encrusted. For reasons I won';t go into here, I suspected in this instance that nutrients were the issue and I reduced the liquid fertilizer from twice to once weekly. [I use Flourish Comprehensive Supplement, and had been dosing twice a week for several months.] Within less than 2 weeks, it was gone, which is to say, it never increased on new leaves. I removed the older encrusted leaves week by week to tidy things up.

The balance is obviously out, either within the nutrients themselves, or involving the light, or both. You are using dry ferts, of which I have no experience. But KNO3 is potassium sulfate, KH2PO4 is potassium dihydrate phosphate. Where are all the trace elements coming from? I did another experiment, reducing Flourish Comprehensive from twice to once weekly in my other tanks and adding Flourish Trace once weekly. This has made another improvement. From both of my experiences relayed here, I would say that macro nutrients were being overdosed.

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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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