small "dotted" algae on glass--is it even an algae? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 3 Old 04-21-2012, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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small "dotted" algae on glass--is it even an algae?

Hey all,

I've got a small layer of "dotted" algae on my glass. I tried using a scrubber but it didn't come off. I have Nerite snails, clown and bristlenose plecos, and otos, but it doesn't seem to be clearing. Any advice (or more info from me needed)?

There's usually been alot of algae that I've had to deal with (aka black beard ><). I have a pretty well-planted tank, but lacking in floating (the black algae destroys it). I'm looking to buy some water sprite so we'll see how that goes.

I can provide more details if needed.

8x Black Widow Tetra
9x Serpae Tetra
3x emerald Corydora catfish
Clown Pleco
Bristlenose Pleco
5x Otocinclus
3x male Platy
7x Amano Shrimp
3x Nerite Snail
Malaysian Trumpet Snails


live plants:

Giant vallisneria
Java fern
Ludwigia repens X Arcuata
Sunset Hygrophila
gymnocoronis spilanthoides
Corkscrew Vallisneria
Cryptocoryne wendtii "Red"

2x 54w Nova Extreme T5HO ("10k Daylight" and "Freshwater")

Fluval 305

2x 150w Heater
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post #2 of 3 Old 04-21-2012, 02:24 PM
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Try dwarf lilies... the floating leaves will probably get killed by the algae, but the rooted base will just shoot up more.

If the tank's glass, you might have to take a razor blade to it. I had the same thing, and a razor is all that worked.

Originally Posted by Christople View Post
^^ genius

Soil Substrates Guide:
Part 1
--------- Part 2

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post #3 of 3 Old 04-21-2012, 05:02 PM
Byron's Avatar
Agree. No so-called algae eating fish will deal with this, but it is normal and nothing to be worried about. It actually is not a true algae; it is a population of diatoms, microscopic animals that secrete a hard silica shell on which green alga grows and that is what we see. So-called brown algae is also diatoms, thus not a true algae either.

Here is some good info with photos from a Swedish aquarist, Dusko Bojic, just to explain it. I would not fuss over the suggested fixes though, in my view this is irrelevant. I will see this sometimes, a couple spots, if I forget to clean the inside glass on the front every water change. The trick is getting it before you can even see it, and just going over the glass with a sponge scraper during the water change will do that.

Green Spot algae

The 3rd photo is made with a macro lens. Those green dots are smaller than 1/2mm.
Green Spot Algae prefer direct light. It forms green spots on aquarium glass and slow growing plants that are exposed to strong light. This algae will appear if CO2 and Phosphate (PO4) levels are low. Since it is very hard, algae eaters can't do much in eliminating this algae. Neritina Zebra snail is the only algae eater known that can, literally, eradicate the Green Spot Algae. It can be scraped manually off of the glass with a razor blade. In a case of an acrylic aquarium use plastic razors only. This algae is considered normal in small amounts.
To prevent this algae keep stable CO2 levels, dose NPK regularly and improve the water circulation throughout the tank for better nutrient transport. Keep slow growing plants in places where they will get less light.

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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