Black hair algae on plants...
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Black hair algae on plants...

This is a discussion on Black hair algae on plants... within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> what causes this? How can it be removed/prevented? Iv'e cut back on my lights from 10hrs to 8.5 as this was the obvious first ...

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Black hair algae on plants...
Old 06-22-2012, 12:59 PM   #1
 
Black hair algae on plants...

what causes this? How can it be removed/prevented? Iv'e cut back on my lights from 10hrs to 8.5 as this was the obvious first thing to try. It's on all the plants,amazon sword,watersprite,vals,crypts,dwarf sag. I think I may be overdosing with plant food. I have about 15 flourish tabs in my 55g and dose with flourish liquid 2 times a week. Could this be the cause? I do 40-50% water changes weekly 0 amm. 0 nitrite and 5-10 nitrate at all times. I don't want this crap to overtake the tank. Ive been removing what i can with my hand but its hard to do without breaking off a leaf. Also is this harmful to the fish/plants longterm?
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:38 PM   #2
 
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While light is the underlying cause for brush algae, the excess nutrients are feeding it too. In this particular case, CO2 (carbon, an essential macro-nutrient) is probably not sufficient to balance the nutrients and light. Reducing just the nutrients therefore would not matter too much, since the light would still be greater than the total nutrients including CO2. If that makes sense. CO2 is usually the first nutrient to become used up, because it is the one we rely on being present naturally.

You can reduce the light duration further, and I might also consider reducing the Flourish Comp to once instead of twice weekly. But I would like to know more about the light (it might be too intense in which case duration will have minimal effect) and the fish load/water volume.

Floating plants also help, as they reduce the lgiiht entering the aquarium and they use nutrients fast, and they can get CO2 fro the air rather than water.

What is there will not go away unless you somehow remove it. Once the balance is restored and this ceases to increase, new plant leaves will be free of it and the older leaves with the algae can be removed if they are badly covered.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 06-22-2012 at 07:42 PM..
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:15 PM   #3
 
I'm running a double strip t8 over a 55g . A 6700 life glo and a 6500 daylight. My watersprite is not doing great but I Haven't given up on it. It's been in there a couple of months. Also recieved duckweed off the watersprite as a hitchhiker and covered half the tank, but I removed majority of it because it was starting to be a pain (sticking to filter ) I know it's just gonna grow back though. I will reduce to 1 dose of flourish and when it's time for more root tabs not put as many in as I know I went over board with them. Should I possibly skip a dose?
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Last edited by smit3183; 06-22-2012 at 08:17 PM..
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Old 06-22-2012, 08:24 PM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by smit3183 View Post
I'm running a double strip t8 over a 55g . A 6700 life glo and a 6500 daylight. My watersprite is not doing great but I Haven't given up on it. It's been in there a couple of months. Also recieved duckweed off the watersprite as a hitchhiker and covered half the tank, but I removed majority of it because it was starting to be a pain (sticking to filter ) I know it's just gonna grow back though. I will reduce to 1 dose of flourish and when it's time for more root tabs not put as many in as I know I went over board with them. Should I possibly skip a dose?
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That light is not excessive, it is comparable to the dual tube T8 I have over my 4-foot 70g. But this tank for me is the first with algae issues, and mainly brush algae too, due to the higher light than my larger tanks with the same type. As for the tabs, one next to larger swords is all I have, replaced every second month. If you have a lot of substrate rooted plants like swords, crypts, aponogeton, Vallisneria, Sagittaria, etc, they will probably utilize the nutrients fro the tabs and be less needy of the liquid. Once weekly Flourish will probably be sufficient to supplement these plants (some nutrients are only taken up via leaves) and to cover the non-substrate plants like floating.

The former 10 hour period was undoubtedly causing trouble and as i mentioned previously the brush algae now there will not go away. The goal is to prevent it from increasing.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:47 PM   #5
 
My opinion is you need more C02. I didn't read weather you had a pressurized system or not. If it was me, I would get more C02 in there either by a DIY system or pressurized system. You can control it by getting a syringe and spray some flourish excel on affected areas which will kill it. It will turn red by the next day and then slowly die off. You should remove all leaves that has the BBA on them. I've had these problems in past ( even with C02) and it worked for me. Of course I was able to increase my c02 when I discovered it starting. Good luck.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:55 PM   #6
 
Thanks but I think this can be controlled without that. I'm sure Byron would have said something. Anyways I know nothing about adding Co2.
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:56 PM   #7
 
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Thanks but I think this can be controlled without that. I'm sure Byron would have said something. Anyways I know nothing about adding Co2.
Without the Co2 your plants will not uptake all the nutrients you are putting in there thus leaving the excess for algae to get started. I had the exact same problem with a pressurized Co2 system when I first started with plants. After asking questions the answer for me was to increase C02 and it corrected the problem because the plants can increase their uptake. I believe Byron did mention this in his 2nd post. Good luck either way, but try the excel and you can keep it knocked back until you figure out the problem.
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Old 06-24-2012, 05:55 PM   #8
 
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CO2 is another area entirely. I have never added CO2 in any form (diffused CO2 or liquid carbon like Excel). I balance the light with the natural CO2 occurring the the tank and this works. Most of the natural CO2 occurs from the breakdown of organics in the substrate by bacteria. Limit the light to balance, and you're set.

I will not use liquid carbon products because they are toxic. This came up in another thread today, have a read to see what I'm referring to.
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...ifying-105102/

Byron.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:04 PM   #9
 
Interesting article, I wasn't aware it was used for sterilizing items. I guess that would explain why it kills off BBA its sprayed on.. I guess this is why debates are so interesting. The only time I use excel is to knock off BBA when or if it forms. I don't have any algae problems now but I sure battled it in the past as I was learning the whole planted tank idea. I've always been a pressurized C02 nut. IMO C02 can stop a lot of algae problems. I think planted tanks w/o c02 are very nice (especially in the maintenance area. I personally have not gone there yet. Byron, how big are your Planted tanks. Did you heavily plant them from the start. Do you have fish in there. I'm real interested in how you got these started. I got a couple empty tanks I may use to see if I can get one going. Do you use ferts and if so what kind and what system?
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:08 AM   #10
 
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Byron, how big are your Planted tanks. Did you heavily plant them from the start. Do you have fish in there. I'm real interested in how you got these started. I got a couple empty tanks I may use to see if I can get one going. Do you use ferts and if so what kind and what system?
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I have 7 tanks running and all are planted: 10g, 20g, 29g, 33g, 70g, 90g and 115g. Current photos of some are under the "Aquariums" tab below my name on the left. I've always had plants in my tanks, for more than 20 years.

Setting up a tank, I put in the substrate (use sand now, have done fine gravel previously), add wood and/or rock, then plant. Add water. Sometimes I let the tank run overnight just to ensure no leaks, heater and filter are working, etc. Fish go in next day. I fertilize with liquid (using Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement presently) from the start, once a week. Two tanks with larger swords have substrate tabs (Flourish) but otherwise just the liquid.

I also have to add Equilibrium because i have very soft water (near-zero GH) so not sufficient calcium and magnesium otherwise. I keep light minimal; all tanks have floating plants, I consider these mandatory for the fish. I adjust the duration of the tank light to balance, using algae as the guide.
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