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Thread: How to control this algae?

  1. #1
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    Default How to control this algae?

    Hi, I've got this combination of black and green algae that is mainly on my Anubias. I can't rub it off with my fingers like I can with other types of algae. The tank is low tech and been running now for about 6 weeks. I dose weekly with a general fert and occasionally with liquid carbon.

    Any ideas how to reduce it, or any critters that will eat it?




  2. #2
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    Looks like GSA and BBA.

    If you are injecting CO2, just increase that. Otherwise, increase phosphate, reduce light by about 20%. When you add liquid carbon, if possible spot dose it in problem areas.

    Addition of Nerite snails and SAE can also help.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the advice. I don't have phosphate, but I'll get some if needed. In the meantime I'll reduce light length and/or intensity and use a syringe to dose carbon near the worst affected leaves. How does that work, wouldn't the water circulation whisk it away very quickly? Would it help to turn off the filters for a few min?

  4. #4
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    turn off filter so water movement is zero

  5. #5
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    Thanks.

    Searching phosphorous in aquariums most references suggest that it promotes algae growth, are they referring to different types of algae?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oakes View Post
    Thanks.

    Searching phosphorous in aquariums most references suggest that it promotes algae growth, are they referring to different types of algae?
    Search for EI method for more information. Also worth checking ADA fertiliser method, Walsted method and PPS for good measure.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by crypticcrpt View Post
    turn off filter so water movement is zero
    I actually found the opposite to be true. I have a pump pointing to my anubius that runs for 5 hours a day. Seems to be enough to keep the leaves clear of debris before anything can form on them.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    Search for EI method for more information. Also worth checking ADA fertiliser method, Walsted method and PPS for good measure.
    I've done some reading, lots of interesting stuff and lots of different opinions. 40 years of fish keeping with the understanding that nitrates and/or phosphates were the limiting factors is hard to reverse, and I note that EI method does not guarantee absence of BBA, but I'm willing to try anything. I'm not injecting CO2 and not sure adding phosphorous is a good idea, but I'll test first. If its very low I'll give it a try. In the meantime I have reduced light and am spot dosing liquid carbon.

    This is a new tank (about 9 weeks) so maybe things will balance out as time passes and algae will be less of an issue. Still best to get on top of BBA early though I think.

    Is KH or GH a consideration for plants or algae? I tested my tap water before setting up the tank and KH was 140ppm, GH 120ppm. Today I tested my tank water and both were 60ppm. I re-tested the tap water and it was the same, so it seems that Council have done something different with the mains water which is now much softer.
    Last edited by Oakes; 03-03-19 at 07:37 PM.

  9. #9
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    Too true. Lots of various opinions and experience.

    Check this out. You will need a few coffees.
    https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/...ses-bba.36674/

    No doubt that reducing light will control most algae.

  10. #10
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    Whoa, that thread will take me a while! Yes I think with so many possible variables we just have to experiment a bit with our own tanks. I have been dosing LC daily and reduced light for about a week. I reduced light duration rather than intensity. I have already noticed a decrease in the extent of some BBA on my driftwood, but no change yet to the stuff on my plants.

    I now have some phosphorous, but still waiting on the test kit. If phosphates are non existent or barely detectable I'll add a little and observe what happens. In any case, if I manage to get rid of the BBA or GSA I'll update this thread with the measures used.

  11. #11
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    Curious to see your results! Tell us if you check your phosphates also.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel View Post
    Curious to see your results! Tell us if you check your phosphates also.
    Will do. I suspect that phosphates are near zero since nitrate is barely detectable. According to AqAdvisor my stocking level is 84% and I only do about 15% water changes once per week since I can hardly ever detect nitrate. I guess my plants are sucking it up as fast as it is produced.

  13. #13
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    I've been spot dosing LC daily for over a week. Minor reduction in some BBA tufts on driftwood but very little change to the black crud on my plants (mostly Anubias).

    There was very little detectable phosphate so I've been adding some Seachem Phosphorous. I've probably added about 20ml over the past week but phosphates still haven't risen much. Tank is about 240L (low tech - inert substrate, no CO2). I use Flourish tabs and dose ProFito weekly. The parameters I am able to test currently are as follows:

    pH: 7.4, Ammonia: 0, Nitrite: 0, Nitrate: 2ppm (negligible), KH: 60ppm, GH: 80ppm, Iron: 0.25ppm, Phosphate: 0.1ppm

    Lighting: 2 x 120cm MML combo tubes with the RGB tube at 100% for 9 hours and the XB2 tube at 50% for 6 hours.

    If there's no improvement after a couple more weeks of adding LC I might just chuck the worst effected Anubias and remove some leaves off a couple of others. Or try a proprietary BBA remover.

  14. #14
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    If you decide to "chuck" the worst affected anubias you could give the bleach treatment a try. I think the correct mix is 20water:1bleach. Only use the non scented bleach. I have done this and it kills the algae Ok but you still need to clean the leaves and it is best to remove the worst. Remember you could remove all of the leaves from the anubias and it generally recovers with new growth. If you have an area outside the anubias can be grown there without putting it straight back into your tank.
    Remember this does not fix any of the factors that might be causing the algae.
    Last edited by godiscus; 17-03-19 at 05:33 PM. Reason: Added

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oakes View Post
    Lighting: 2 x 120cm MML combo tubes with the RGB tube at 100% for 9 hours and the XB2 tube at 50% for 6 hours.
    First of all I am also battling BBA. I hate it. I have reduced it now to just around the edges of older leaves on slow growers like anubias which I cut off. I have followed advice mainly from Rebel. I now have my MMLed down to 60% for 6 hours. Stems grow at a rapid rate but not so red.
    I don't know the power of your lights but maybe try reducing both strength and time.

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