Nuisance Algae/Moss, Please Help - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 10-16-2010, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
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Nuisance Algae/Moss, Please Help

I set up a tropical tank last year, and we had a lot of pregnant livebearers, but never any survivours, despite plenty of plants, rocks, wood etc.
So we asked for a clump of moss for the fry to hide in.

We were given an unattractive dark green cloud free of charge. It looked horrible so we put it behind the other plants and that was that.
The fry did start to survive, and the bottom feeders loved it.

Eventually though, it began to spread. At first it just rooted into crevices on ornaments, but eventually everything, including the glass, was carpeted in it.

To cut a long story short, we eventually had to replace everything, which was expensive and inconvenient. We removed all the moss/algae, the only way to get it off the glass was with a razor blade.
We have a sand bottom and it doesn't seem able to grow on that.

It has come back somehow. Its growing on the leaves of new plants, my heater/filter and air bubble things as well as my thermometer are carpeted in it, and Im getting to the point of hating the tank. It used to look lovely and now its awful, we're very tempted to get rid of it.

This plant is no more than 1cm thick were its now growing, but it roots on very wel and tough to remove, even with a blade. Its very thick and dark green, and look like fur. Ive looked at Java Moss and Hair Algae on google. Java Moss doesn't seem to be a problem for others, and the hair algae looks a lot brighter green than what we have here.
I really don't know what to do about it now.

Any tips/help identifying would be much appreciated
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post #2 of 2 Old 10-16-2010, 01:19 PM
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I am not aware of any proper moss being troublesome, it is easily removed and to my knowledge would never attach like you describe to glass. So I am thinking perhaps it is Cladaphora algae which resembles a moss in appearance but is an algae. Here's some info with photos, see if this looks like what you have.

Cladophora is a branching, green filamentous alga, that forms a moss like structure. This algae doesn't appear to be slimy. Threads are very strong and very thin. It grows on rocks and submersed wood exposed to direct light, and in extreme cases will grow on plants also. Usually it tends to stay on one spot, which makes it easy to remove. Comb it and dose more CO2. In a case where Cladophora takes over the grassy plants, mow the plants like the lawn. No algae eater is known to eat this kind of algae.
Photo credit: Dusko Bojic.

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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