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TOPIC: Black algae

Black algae 2 months 4 weeks ago #68953

  • MarshyMellowFluff
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I'm growing black algae on the backside of a log in my aquarium. It's sorta hairy, I think it might be BBA. The worst kind. I've been trying to manually remove it and sprayed it with peroxide, using Excel directly on the spot, but nothing is helping with the algae and it's getting a lot worse. I'm thinking of removing the log before it spreads to my plants but it's such a nice log it breaks my heart having to remove it. Any suggestions on what I can do? I've got plants attached to the log so I'd like to try to avoid harming them.
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Black algae 2 months 4 weeks ago #68954

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@ Marshy
I'm not an aquatic plant expert but I've studied it some. To grow, it seems like aquatic plants (which algae is one) require the right mixture of:
1. Light
2. Nutrients
3. CO2

How much light are you using and for how long each day? Are you dosing ferts.....what and how much? Are you supplementing any CO2?

If your tank isn't experiencing any significant amounts of algae other than the BBA on your driftwood, my first thoughts would be to consider:
1. How long has your aquarium been set up, with its current configuration, before you started seeing the BBA? Any changes to lighting, fertilizer, CO2 etc...?
2. How quickly is the BBA spreading?
3. What conditions generally cause BBA growth? Is your aquarium fostering any of those?
4. If your aquarium has been online for an extended time period, have you changed anything with respect to the aforementioned three components?
5. Knowing what you know about the aquarium and its history, is it reasonable that the wood could be providing some sort of nutrients that are not offered elsewhere in the tank?
6. Is the light intensity on the backside of your driftwood too high and causing the BBA to be localized in that spot?
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Black algae 2 months 4 weeks ago #68960

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I've increased my light slowly up to 5 hours and I've gone down to 3 since I started to see the algae boom. Dosing flourish and excel after water changes, been doing this since the start. No co2. Tanks been running for ~1 year. I've had this log since the start, and when I first got it I noticed there was a tiny amount of BBA but I thought I could control/eradicate it (apparently not). I increased the light to 5 hours recently and added petrified wood/rocks as decoration, these are the only changes. It's quickly spread since my last attempt at removal, it was smaller then a Canadian dime, now it's pretty much covered the backside of the log in my 10g. The light on the backside of the log is actually pretty low imo, it's very shaded. However, this side of the log faces my window, but it's painted black on that wall... Could light be penetrating through the paint??
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Black algae 2 months 4 weeks ago #68961

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Actually, thinking it might not be the sunlight.. It eventually goes across the entire aquarium in verticle beam through the day if the blinds are open, however they are usually closed. And if it was the sunlight, the entire aquarium would be covered since the sunlight hits all of the tank when the blinds are open.

I really think it might be the log since its been an issue since day one, just never to this extent. It's only ever been on the log and I've noticed it reaching down into the gravel. I might remove the log and some gravel next water change until I find a solution. I hate this stuff :lol:
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Black algae 2 months 4 weeks ago #68962

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Assuming its spread roughly coincides with the additional two hours of light, that may have an effect. Based on what you've shared, I'd clean all the BBA off the log and go back to the configuration you used before the BBA started growing like mad.

Assuming the BBA doesn't take off again, you've at least learned a recipe that doesn't grow BBA - which is good!! If it continues to grow like mad after resetting to the baseline and cleaning, then you'll have learned something has changed but you haven't identified it yet - it could be anything from your perception of what you've been observing to something in your tap water.

Hence the art of aquaponics!! :-)
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Black algae 2 months 4 weeks ago #68963

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What kind of Light do you use? Regular lightings like Blubs, T5 or T8 change there spectrums above several time. FoR this they are get replaced regulary any 12 to 18 Months by plant people.
As i still used Dual T5 42W i had to change them any year while the plant growth reduced mostly very drastical while Alga had gone mad. After i changed the tubes it had stabilized.
Other possible Option could be selicat in your tab water. added by the water plant services.

You also can try to reduce the fettilizers for the alga by fast consuming swimming plants like Azolla or Ricca moos. This ones grow so massive if you once has a stabile Portion that you have to throw any 2 weeks half of it into the dumpster.

Young Alga also gets very greedy eaten by stealhelmet or trapdoor snails.
The first ones can't multiply in freshwater and the other one is a live bearing snail that pops any couple of weeks a Baby snail and they need some time to grow. Stealhelmets even eat blue alga.
Other snails like ramshorns will also do the Job but can become with enough food an Army in a couple of months. But that is not bad at all than your Oscars will love them as a snack.


Maybe this helps.
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Black algae 2 months 4 weeks ago #68964

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I'll add this much, if there was a single sure-fire cure for BBA and I knew what it was, I'd be the richest hobbyist on the planet. :excited:

I eventually reached the point where if you can't beat it, join it, and let brush algae go wild in most of my tanks. It's actually healthy for the fish, despite our annoyance. Planted tanks are a different matter and it's my belief that its all a matter of available nutrients x light x co2. Any one of these gets out of alignment, up or down, you wind up with BBA. The trick is figuring out which of these is not in proper "wack" and get it back in "wack".

Which takes me right back to my opening statement. :confused:
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Black algae 2 months 4 weeks ago #68972

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Is it possible that it came with the log? Like I mentioned, I've always had BBA on this log, it was kinda tucked into a hard to reach crack and its spread its way out. I feel like if I threw away the log it wouldn't be an issue, but I'm not entirely sure.
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Black algae 2 months 4 weeks ago #68976

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Alga always starts as an micro organisem and this ones are very hard to kill off 100% with regular water treatment. Later if nutrients and UV lighting fits they grow.

Even this is off topic. Alga is if it is not in your tank a optical mess a very facimsting Form of premitive life. You find it nearly in any body of water.
Alga even changed the world clima in the so called Azolla event where was a basin of 4 Million square kilometers what is half the size of the USA of alga fern in the today Region of anctartica 50 Mio years ago. ESA and NASA also want to bring Algas to Mars if a manned mission will be once possible to support a usable source of oxigen producing and possible food.
Check it out it is very interesting.
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Black algae 2 months 4 weeks ago #68977

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Could it be the tiny lava rock I added when I bought plants off someone on kijiji? I overlooked it till now, and the boom happened the past 3 weeks (Since adding the lava rock). It's a tiny piece, but it's a small 10G aquarium. Thought of this when Silica was mentioned, was initially thinking about sand, led me to rocks..
Mineralogy
Most volcanic rocks share a number of common minerals. Differentiation of volcanic rocks tends to increase the silica (SiO2) content mainly by fractional crystallization. Thus, more evolved volcanic rocks tend to be richer in minerals with a higher amount if silica such as phyllo and tectosilicates including the feldspars, quartz polymorphs and muscovite. While still dominated by silicates, more primitive volcanic rocks have mineral assemblages with less silica, such as olivine and the pyroxenes. Bowen's reaction series correctly predicts the order of formation of the most common minerals in volcanic rocks.

Edit: Might try running the backside of the log under very hot water and see if that works, seems to have worked for someone else. Maybe boil it if I can remove the plants from it temporarily. But I think I'm starting to understand it a little better.

125G - Two Oscars, X2 Emperor 400W, X2 Ehiem Jager Heater 200W, DIY LED Light.
55G - One Oscar, Ehiem Jager Heater 200W, Emperor 400, Fluval 305, DIY LED Light.
10G- Otocinclus Catfish, Neon Tetras, Aquaclear 30, Aqueon Incandescent Strip Light,
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