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Double Whammy Algae!

Author Topic: Double Whammy Algae!  (Read 989 times)

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Offline Lynne W

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Double Whammy Algae!
« on: April 10, 2019, 07:00:46 PM »
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Hi, I've got a double whammy algae problem, which I'm just about keeping on top of but it's time to take some more positive action rather than just spending quite a few hours cleaning rocks and chopping plants down. Lights are on 6.5 hours and a lot of floating plants, unfortunately the tank does get some natural light from the patio doors, but I do try to remember and keep the blinds down. I don't have any algae eating critters.

Problem one the, I believe, dreaded black beard algae. It was quite bad, but did a lot of scrubbing and cutting affected leaves, (plants are looking quite sad now) but it's back, mainly appears on wood and the leaves Amazon Sword plants.

I read that overdosing with Excel can work, but that scares me as I don't really use anything other than Flourish and some tabs for food. Any other ideas?

Problem two, Brown Algae, this mainly affects the rocks at the front of the tank, nearest the window. It's easier to scrub off but I think actually more unsightly than the BBA. I read that this can also flourish in low light, is my 6.5 too little light? Also see it can be too much phosphate, which I assume might be coming from over feeding? I'm waiting on a test kit so see what it says, but again any ideas?

Thanks

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Offline Littlefish

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Re: Double Whammy Algae!
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2019, 08:08:58 PM »
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Black beard algae can be caused by fluctuations in CO2, low water flow, light, and it's difficult to get everything in balance so the plants are healthy, but there isn't an algae problem. I've got it in a dwarf puffer tank, but as it's not their permanent home I'm not too bothered, and just pick/syphon it out.

Flourish can provide more carbon, but I wouldn't overdose with it. By all means take the wood out and treat it, but I'd be more tempted to give it a scrub and rinse. Some people say that normal dosing of Flourish helps sort out BBA.

The brown algae is probably diatoms. Again this can be caused by light & low flow, and needs to be syphoned as you wipe it off, to stop it from just settling somewhere else.

Can you increase water flow in your tank without disturbing your fish? Perhaps an airstone or something would be useful. It might be worth a try if you can.

I'd suggest that @Matt can give you a more detailed answer on this, as he's very good with plants, etc.

Offline Matt

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Re: Double Whammy Algae!
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2019, 08:57:38 PM »
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Black beard algae doesn't like excel certainly, this is how ive treated it in the past. Removing things and treating them is a good shout. I tend to pour it raw over the affected areas and leave for a few minutes then rinse off. That should be all it needs. Physical removal is ineffective as you have found, it just grows back. I would dose the tank for a few weeks with the recommended dose too after the spot dosing.  Alternatives are boiling decor (But seek advice on what can be boiled), you could also try a total blackout for 3 or 4 days. Only a few large and normally quite aggressive fish species will eat it.

The diatoms are likely due to the natural light. I am suffering with them at the moment too due to the increase in natural light hitting the tank st this time of year. Being strict with thowe blinds is the way forwards here. They thrive in low light conditions... too low for the plants. Otocinclus and draw shrimp will eat it.

Offline Lynne W

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Re: Double Whammy Algae!
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2019, 08:57:09 PM »
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thanks guys, the blinds are staying down, I'll keep persevering.

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Offline fcmf

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Re: Double Whammy Algae!
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2019, 03:45:11 PM »
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Also see it can be too much phosphate, which I assume might be coming from over feeding? I'm waiting on a test kit so see what it says, but again any ideas?
Just to forewarn you, you'll likely get a reading of 2.0 or 5.0 in this part of the world, as I've learned - and that's from the tap too! I'm not using anything to lower it.
I also get BBA on my plants and wood. I did actually see one of my nerites tackling it recently, and leaving a path on the broad leaf of a silk plant where he had been working on it, which was unusual.


Offline Lynne W

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Re: Double Whammy Algae!
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2019, 08:37:59 PM »
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cool good to know, might have panicked! Although unless it says on the packet I wouldn't know what a high phosphate reading was!!

Cheers

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