Black Brush Algea please help!
Hi everyone first let me say I am sorry I have not been around much I have not had internet at home until this weekend and I have really missed all you guys. Now on to my problem. LOL in my 55 gallon I have had an out break of bba it is growing on my swords, on the HOB filters were the water flows back in the tank as well as the tube that takes the water to the filters from the tank, and on my large piece of driftwood. Yesterday I trimmed off the leaves that had the bba, scrubbed the filters and removed the piece of driftwood as well as doing a 50% water change. What else can I do to try to get rid of this stuff and what could be the cause of it? I can only do my water changes twice a month right now because thats when my husband or mom can help me I can't do it by myself due to my back injury but the nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia have all been staying at the correct levels and fish are all doing well its just this algea that is causeing me trouble. Any help or ideas will be appreciated.
Algae (any of the green or red varieties, and BBA is actually a red algae) occur due to light. Nutrients must be available, sort of, but in any fish tank that will be a given. Balancing the light (intensity and duration) to the available nutrients (carbon as CO2 is a major factor in this) will prevent algae from being troublesome. But if the plants cannot use the available light (due to some nutrient being no longer in adequate supply), then algae will take advantage.
Reducing the light usually works to slow BBA and keep it in check. Algae is naturally, and should be expected to appear in any aquarium. It is interesting that some algae will appear and other types won't, presumably due to some condition in the tank. Rhonda Wilson has written that in her fishroom of 20+ tanks, she will get a type of algae in one tank but no others, and another type in another tank but no others, etc., even though light, substrates, plants, fish load are identical. Just one of those things.
I don't fuss over BBA on wood or rock, or the filter tubes [this is where it often first appears, it like water movement], but as soon as it attacks plant leaves to excess, I reduce the light duration. With respect to the plant leaves, I always note that it grows on leaves that are dying (when I remove the leaf, which I do if it is getting too much BBA, it is always brown at the base indicating demise), though I've no idea if the dying leaf attracts the algae, or if the algae causes the leaf to die.
Regular (weekly) partial water changes would help although this will not prevent BBA if conditions are to its liking; I do 50% weekly and I still see it now and then.
"Treatments" are best avoided as the main cause is light and that can easily be adjusted. I usually reduce the period by one hour. I also find BBA more likely to appear or increase in the summer, and I am certain this is due to the increased ambient light from longer days and brighter daylight.
P.S. Nice to see you back.
The lights are on from 3:30 to 12:30 so will go to an hour less the leaves I trimmed off were very green and healthy I have been doseing flourise two times a week do you think I should go back to once a week? Also while I have your attention in a different tank some of the leaves on some plants a thinning and wilting away they are anubias if that helps.
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Thank you I am glad to be back.
Reducing nutrients (less fertilizer) can often cause algae to increase, because the plants are not getting sufficient to balance the light so algae takes advantage. Light and not fertilization is usually the source of algae issues. But at the same time, if nutrients are being added in excess of what the plants can use due to some other limiting issue, they will feed algae too. The above data will help sort this out.
Hi Byron I will get the pictures for you asap, there are no floating plants and the lights are two 6500 daylight bulbs one on each side of the tank.
I heard that siamese algae eaters eat the algae too, but I'm not sure how well the one I have actually does. Even when I had bba (I think it was), he went for the fish food first. But ya, I noticed that having too many fish and too little water changes definitely does not help. And definitely too much light!! Plants can live on little light it seems, and algae has tended to enjoy light a lot more than excess fertilizer (minus nitrogen from too much fish...) in my experience. I'm not too knowledgeable but though I'd add something. :)
Well adding to the bioload to solve an algae problem is never a good idea unless you want the fish and have the tank space to spare. When i had bba, i spot treated with excel, i remember reading somewhere that low CO2 levels can be the cause of BBA. It worked for me, but adding chemicals to kill algae was probably not a good solution.
I have read that siamese algae eaters can be agressive and I don't like to add fish to my tanks just to fix problems. I am hopeing that the cleaning I did this weekend will help get rid of it. If it was only on the wood and filter I would not mind it but I don't want it to kill my plants.
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