Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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iamgray 04-22-2011 11:09 PM

What's this furry algae?
It appears to only live on the top of my driftwood. I'm tempted to remove it because i think it looks gross, but my fish seem to love eating it, which makes me think I should leave it be. But what is it?

I will post a picture in a minute. apparently I can't figure out how to do it from my iPhone so i guess i remain dependent on my pc after all.

iamgray 04-22-2011 11:25 PM

1 Attachment(s)
This is what I'm talking about... should I remove it or keep it? You can kind of see in the picture that there are bare spots... that's where it's been eaten... I think the bulk of that eating was done by my bristlenose pleco... should I get a couple more of them and let them take care of it?

aunt kymmie 04-23-2011 01:19 PM

That's BBA (Black Brush Algae) and if your BN is eating it I'm surprized! I thought the only fish that would touch it is a true Siamese Algae eater. I also have bits of it in my display tank, which is why I keep an SAE. When I can, I also try to remove it but it's hard to do. What's a little bit anyway, it looks pretty "natural", IMO, anyway.

iamgray 04-24-2011 03:47 PM

Hmmm... yep, the bn pleco is definitely eating it... I just sat and watched him for the past few minutes. One of my mollies seems to really love it, too (he was just eating it alongside the pleco). I've seen a few of my angelfish and loaches take nibbles off of it, too, and sometimes (but much less frequently) the honey gouramis will check it out.

Byron 04-24-2011 04:25 PM

I would suspect it is more likely that those various fish are picking out food hidden in the mat of algae; tiny zooplankton etc. can be quite prevalent. Many fish will graze algae but not actually eat the algae itself, especially this type. I have it thick on most of the wood, I only get concerned when it starts appearing on plant leaves as the leaf dies shortly thereafter. My pencilfish love grazing through this stuff.

iamgray 04-24-2011 09:45 PM

So perhaps the bare spots on the wood aren't due to the pleco actually eating it... maybe it's just getting rubbed off as he forages for other stuff.

SinCrisis 04-25-2011 01:15 PM

If they are really hungry, they may eat some of it, but its a very difficult algae to get rid of. When I had it, it was from a lack of CO2 and excess nutrients. I reduced surface agitation and increased current flow and it slowly went away.

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