Black Brush Algae

ECST

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Hi, some of my plants - Anubias Nana, Java Fern, dwarf sag started growing black brush algae.

My tank is a 70L tank, roughly 19 gallons. It has a stock 20W florescent bulb and it is on for 10 hours a day. Substrate is 4mm-6mm gravel. I use Seachem Excel once every 2 days and Flourish once a week for the plants.

Is it too much light or not enough nutrient or insufficient CO2? What's the easiest way to get rid of this algae?

Thanks!
 

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Reduce lights to 6 hours and spot treat the algae with the excel.
 

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ECST said:
Hi, some of my plants - Anubias Nana, Java Fern, dwarf sag started growing black brush algae.

My tank is a 70L tank, roughly 19 gallons. It has a stock 20W florescent bulb and it is on for 10 hours a day. Substrate is 4mm-6mm gravel. I use Seachem Excel once every 2 days and Flourish once a week for the plants.

Is it too much light or not enough nutrient or insufficient CO2? What's the easiest way to get rid of this algae?

Thanks!
-Mak- gave you a likely approach at remedies, so I'll just touch on a few other items.

Your problem is insufficient Co2 and/or fluctuations in Co2, but it's likely the length of your photoperiod at 10 hours that is the root of the Co2 imbalance, and can also go hand-in-hand with your Excel dosing routine.

Somewhere in the later periods during 10hrs of lights-on your available source of carbon is bottoming out, and without carbon plants quit photosynthesizing. If your plants are not able and using the available light + nutrients then algae does. While your photoperiod is probably too long, by not dosing excel daily can result in worsening of the problem. One Day 1 when you dose your plants have a source of carbon, 24 hrs later excel has either been consumed or has broken down into a state where it no longer supplements Co2, so on Day 2 the only source of Co2 comes from stocking respiration or the atmosphere (only two sources if you aren't supplementing in some other way) and plants will use available levels, Co2 fluctuates, algae is promoted, and further repeats again if by every 2 days you mean 2 days between in which you aren't supplementing.

Like -Mak- already said, reduce the length of your photoperiod. You can either spot-treat BBA with Excel, or sometimes hydrogen peroxide depending on where it has grown. I'd also go on to recommend dosing excel every day (also, I think the directions say every other day?) and prune any infected leafs of plants covered in BBA as these will not rebound because they are unhealthy and dying/dead. If you have hardscape or other decorations that has BBA it's easiest to remove them and either boil & scrub, or treat with bleach and scrub.

Try to get as much of the BBA out of the tank that can be done easily and begin to follow a remedy to reduce photoperiod and treat any BBA still in the tank.
 
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-Mak- said:
Reduce lights to 6 hours and spot treat the algae with the excel.
Thanks for the reply. I will reduce the light to 6 hours.

To spot treat the dwarf sag, I can only think of uprooting the plant and replant them after treatment. Do you have any other better idea?

Silister Trench said:
-Mak- gave you a likely approach at remedies, so I'll just touch on a few other items.

Your problem is insufficient Co2 and/or fluctuations in Co2, but it's likely the length of your photoperiod at 10 hours that is the root of the Co2 imbalance, and can also go hand-in-hand with your Excel dosing routine.
Excel says once a day or two days. I heard that Excel is toxic to the fish so that's why I only dose it once every 2 days. I have ordered a CO2 kit and it will arrive in a week or so. Hope things will improve after I use the CO2 kit.
 

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ECST said:
Thanks for the reply. I will reduce the light to 6 hours.

To spot treat the dwarf sag, I can only think of uprooting the plant and replant them after treatment. Do you have any other better idea?



Excel says once a day or two days. I heard that Excel is toxic to the fish so that's why I only dose it once every 2 days. I have ordered a CO2 kit and it will arrive in a week or so. Hope things will improve after I use the CO2 kit.
To spot treat you can use your normal dose in a syringe and apply it into the water around the affected plants, preferably with the filter off so the excel stays around longer. It is true excel can be toxic, but in my personal experience I have not had it kill anything but algae. Just don't overdose.
 

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ECST said:
Thanks for the reply. I will reduce the light to 6 hours.

To spot treat the dwarf sag, I can only think of uprooting the plant and replant them after treatment. Do you have any other better idea?



Excel says once a day or two days. I heard that Excel is toxic to the fish so that's why I only dose it once every 2 days. I have ordered a CO2 kit and it will arrive in a week or so. Hope things will improve after I use the CO2 kit.
I would NOT uproot your dwarf sag. If there's a lot of algae on the blades the plant is already in poor health, and this is a plant that recoils when uprooted and replanted, which will only worsen it's health, which will promote more algae growth on it and worse conditions. I'd trI'm and remove any portions of it that are overgrown with algae. If it's the majority of it, remove the worse parts. Then spot-treat as -Mak- explained.

As far as excel -Mak- is spot on. Excel is toxic in general - to fish, humans, plants etc.... as long as you follow the directions on the bottle and recommendations of those who have, or continue, to use it concerning plant and stocking health the health concern is almost a mute point.

By Co2 kit do you mean a pressurized system or one of those DIY systems with mixtures?
 
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Silister Trench said:
I would NOT uproot your dwarf sag. If there's a lot of algae on the blades the plant is already in poor health, and this is a plant that recoils when uprooted and replanted, which will only worsen it's health, which will promote more algae growth on it and worse conditions. I'd trI'm and remove any portions of it that are overgrown with algae. If it's the majority of it, remove the worse parts. Then spot-treat as -Mak- explained.

As far as excel -Mak- is spot on. Excel is toxic in general - to fish, humans, plants etc.... as long as you follow the directions on the bottle and recommendations of those who have, or continue, to use it concerning plant and stocking health the health concern is almost a mute point.

By Co2 kit do you mean a pressurized system or one of those DIY systems with mixtures?
Thanks! I got it! I already trimmed most infected leaves and blades. I will do a water change and then some spot treatments tomorrow.

I bought a DIY CO2 kit and I am going to mix baking soda with citric acid to create CO2. May I know what's the reason for asking?
 

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ECST said:
Thanks! I got it! I already trimmed most infected leaves and blades. I will do a water change and then some spot treatments tomorrow.

I bought a DIY CO2 kit and I am going to mix baking soda with citric acid to create CO2. May I know what's the reason for asking?
Curiosity is all. Haha! I've never used one of those DIY Co2 kits you can find online or in stores. I forget they exist some times, so when I read your post I began to write something about a pressurized Co2 injection system, but realized that probably wasn't what you were referring to.

I've made DIY Co2 systems and used my versions, which were never as sophisticated looking as the kits they have. I know people can have good results if they stay on top of mixing their Co2 solutions and monitoring the solutions. Me? Not so much, but mainly because I didn't like making more Co2 stuff.

It was worse for me than just doing a low-light/low-tech tank because added Co2 meant I could increase lighting, which meant that if I didn't stay on top of mixing solutions or the amount of Co2 produced because of various problems algae came on much faster in higher lighting. It gave me more algae than plant growth, but like I was kind of saying: the problem was more me and my habits than the system. Well, that and I think I was using a hang on back filter and trying to inject Co2 which is like running head-first into a wall, picking yourself up and realizing it was idiotic, then running into again.
 
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Silister Trench said:
Curiosity is all. Haha! I've never used one of those DIY Co2 kits you can find online or in stores. I forget they exist some times, so when I read your post I began to write something about a pressurized Co2 injection system, but realized that probably wasn't what you were referring to.

I've made DIY Co2 systems and used my versions, which were never as sophisticated looking as the kits they have. I know people can have good results if they stay on top of mixing their Co2 solutions and monitoring the solutions. Me? Not so much, but mainly because I didn't like making more Co2 stuff.

It was worse for me than just doing a low-light/low-tech tank because added Co2 meant I could increase lighting, which meant that if I didn't stay on top of mixing solutions or the amount of Co2 produced because of various problems algae came on much faster in higher lighting. It gave me more algae than plant growth, but like I was kind of saying: the problem was more me and my habits than the system. Well, that and I think I was using a hang on back filter and trying to inject Co2 which is like running head-first into a wall, picking yourself up and realizing it was idiotic, then running into again.
In New Zealand, we don't have the luxury to get everything you can get in US. Even if we can get it, it will be expensive as well. For example, the Fluval CO2 kit (88) cost more than USD150 here in New Zealand where Amazon only sells it for USD80. Then some fish and plants are considered pest, for example Koi, so we can't find KoI here and we don't have huge variety of plants here as well. So, this is one of the reasons I want to DIY my own CO2 kit.

You have the point here. Injecting more CO2 might have it's cons in the future. However, I want to try something and learn by doing. I will keep you posted once I receive the CO2 kit.
 

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ECST said:
In New Zealand, we don't have the luxury to get everything you can get in US. Even if we can get it, it will be expensive as well. For example, the Fluval CO2 kit (88) cost more than USD150 here in New Zealand where Amazon only sells it for USD80. Then some fish and plants are considered pest, for example Koi, so we can't find KoI here and we don't have huge variety of plants here as well. So, this is one of the reasons I want to DIY my own CO2 kit.

You have the point here. Injecting more CO2 might have it's cons in the future. However, I want to try something and learn by doing. I will keep you posted once I receive the CO2 kit.
Sounds like a good plan to me!
 

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