Black String Algae
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Black String Algae

This is a discussion on Black String Algae within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> I have a 29 gallon Aqueon power filter 30, heater, 7500 k heater PLanted 2 rams 1 bristlenose pleco 4 panda cories 7 black ...

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Old 11-19-2010, 10:33 AM   #1
 
Black String Algae

I have a 29 gallon Aqueon power filter 30, heater, 7500 k heater

PLanted

2 rams
1 bristlenose pleco
4 panda cories
7 black phantoms
3 blood fins
1 guppy
5 ghost shrimp

I have a black string algae issue. The stuff keeps growing on my plants and killing the leaves of my camboda and wisteria.

I use seachem plant food (the all around, can't think of the name) and root tabs for my plants.

I also have archansis and java moss in my tank that are struggling cuz of this stuff.

is there anything I can do to get rid of this stuff in my tank?

I bought an algae killer to wipe out the stuff, hopefully it will work.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:07 PM   #2
 
I meant a 7500 k light, and a 150 watt heater.

My Anubias hastifolia and Amazon Sword are fine but my Wisteria and cambodia melt away when the algae stuff starts to grow on them. The Cambodia is almost complete striped of its leaves.

pH: 7.4
ammonia 0
nitrate 0

79 F

Light is on for 10 hours.

Fish are healthy, I even have a bristlenose gobbling up the regular algae, but he doesn't touch this black string stuff.

Last edited by PRichs87; 11-19-2010 at 12:21 PM.. Reason: forgot stuff.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:48 PM   #3
 
WEll nitrates = 0 leads me to beleive ur test kit if off, are you using a strip?

Ur light spectrum is also high which would probably be promoting the algae growth. BBA is one of the tougher algaes to deal with, when you see it start, you need to cut off the affected leaves asap and keep on top of ur water changes.

I only know of 1 fish taht will eat BBA, its the siamese algae eater, but they are hard to find.

TO get rid of it, scrape off and cut off all affected areas, leaves, glass, decorations, etc. Start a strict water-changing schedule. This algae thrives in waters that have too much excess nitrates. Some have also indicated that a lack of CO2 helps promote their growth. I used to have this really bad, esp on my anubias plants.

I had to trim almost all my plants down to 1 or 2 clean leaves and bought an SAE, it also occured when i slacked on my water changes so i restarted a weekly water change and i have not seen it since, this was a couple of years ago, my SAE has since then passed, but the algae has not come back.
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Old 11-19-2010, 02:11 PM   #4
 
I just realized u could be talking about staghorn algae, which looks more like string. Causes are similar though and removal is the same.
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:14 PM   #5
 
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It is important to know exactly what type of algae you are dealing with, since treatments can vary in their success for this or that type. I'm attaching a link to a lengthy but thorough work on algae, including photos of each type, so you should be able to identify what you have and use the suggested treatments/preventives. This was written by Dusko Bojic, a Swedish aquarist.

And at this point, I must caution you on treatments. All algae (except diatoms) require light, and an increase in algae beyond what we should consider normal is primarily due to excess light. Higher plants use the light provided there are sufficient nutrients to balance; as soon as any of the nutrients are missing (insufficient) and light continues, algae will take advantage. Provided the balance is not too far out, reducing the duration of the aquarium light often solves the problem. Several times I have successfully stopped a noticeable spurt in the growth of algae by simply reducing the light period by one hour. Having the light on a timer so it is consistent each day also helps, along with maintaining a balance in nutrients.

Your "algae killer" can do far more harm than good; please never use these chemicals. IF they are truly sufficient in strength to kill algae, they will most assuredly harm the plants. And possibly the fish too. Also, a sudden die-off of algae creates another problem, a sudden increase in ammonia and simultaneous decrease in oxygen. Algae control is best achieved naturally.

In the attached article, mention is made under each algae type as to effective controls. In some cases, this or that fish species is mentioned; this should be taken solely as information that if you have the fish, it will help control this algae. One should never go out and buy a fish just to control algae; this runs the risk of adding excessive bioload to the aquarium, and can introduce problems as some of these fish can get large and some can get aggressive as they mature--and generally stop eating algae then. Another control mentioned involves increasing this or that nutrient, such as CO2 (carbon dioxide), nitrogen , etc. This is highly risky. A planted tank has a delicate balance and this can easily be upset with quite disastrous results. The goal is to find that delicate balance which will maintain healthy plants but not provide opportunity for algae to overtake them. The author of the linked article makes that very point in the first section, and it is something I am continually writing about.

Aquarium Algae ID (updated May6th '10 Surface Skum)

Byron.
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Old 11-21-2010, 04:01 PM   #6
 
Thanks Byron, looks like I have staghorn algae. I completely did a through cleaning of my tank and pruned most of my leaves, it looks very bare now.

Think I should add a low budget diy CO2 system? The article seems to mention low CO2 as part of the problem with this type of algae.
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Old 11-21-2010, 07:31 PM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRichs87 View Post
Thanks Byron, looks like I have staghorn algae. I completely did a through cleaning of my tank and pruned most of my leaves, it looks very bare now.

Think I should add a low budget diy CO2 system? The article seems to mention low CO2 as part of the problem with this type of algae.
I would not add CO2 myself. That's what I was getting at when I mentioned not following too rigidly with suggested treatments.

As that aquarist mentioned at the beginning, there is a complex and delicate balancing act going on in natural planted tanks, and it is very easy to tip that balance by just slightly adding this or that. Algae only occurs when light is greater than what the plants can use, since they will prevent algae from becoming a nuisance if they have light and nutrients in balance. Reducing light is always the best way to deal with algae. And generally, the light should always be the limiting factor in plant growth.

On the CO2, there is a lot more in our aquaria than many realize. Fish and plants produce CO2 through normal respiration, but significantly more is produced by all the various bacteria in the substrate. I have had tanks with plants and no fish whatever running for months with reasonable plant growth; obviously the CO2 came from somewhere. CO2 is only one nutrient; keep it balanced with the others.

Byron.
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Old 11-22-2010, 12:28 PM   #8
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I would not add CO2 myself. That's what I was getting at when I mentioned not following too rigidly with suggested treatments.

As that aquarist mentioned at the beginning, there is a complex and delicate balancing act going on in natural planted tanks, and it is very easy to tip that balance by just slightly adding this or that. Algae only occurs when light is greater than what the plants can use, since they will prevent algae from becoming a nuisance if they have light and nutrients in balance. Reducing light is always the best way to deal with algae. And generally, the light should always be the limiting factor in plant growth.

On the CO2, there is a lot more in our aquaria than many realize. Fish and plants produce CO2 through normal respiration, but significantly more is produced by all the various bacteria in the substrate. I have had tanks with plants and no fish whatever running for months with reasonable plant growth; obviously the CO2 came from somewhere. CO2 is only one nutrient; keep it balanced with the others.

Byron.
Thanks, I actually bought a new light for the aquarium the GE Aquarium and Plant bulb. Obviously much lower strength than my past bulb, more of a yellow light which means more reds. Hopefully the light change will help with the algae.
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