Brown to green to black and on my plants.

trinket

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I set up my aquarium in january. Fully cycled awhile ago now.

I have hornwort, java moss and an anubias on driftwood.

I had the diatoms and that seems to be completely gone now. But it's been replaced with some sort of green algae, it looks like beard algae or fuzz algae, hard to tell. I've read that some algae is normal so I've sort of just..let it do it's thing while scraping what I can off the glass every other cleaning. But it's going nuts on my plants now, and I'm noticing black bits.

It seems to turn my hornwort into mush and it's covering the anubias leaves and I'm worried it'll smother it to death. In the java moss there's little black chunks (not fuzzy or stringy), I throw those parts out when I clean but it comes back. Is there a way to clean it off plants?

My cleaning regimen is about a 30% water change a week (sometimes closer to a week and a half). I use Prime for water conditioner and about a quarter dose of aquarium salt. I lightly vacuum the gravel, scrape the glass and sometimes take out the larger things to try and scrub off some of the algae.

I have the lights on for about 6-7 hours a day, I've been trying to cut back to see if that helps but with my work hours, it's been tricky. I've also been feeding a bit less but I don't think that overfeeding was a problem before.

I'm not sure what to do about it all. I know some algae is expected but...my anubias is looking pretty sad, the hornwort is dying, and the black is just ugly.

I can take pictures if that helps.
 

jnm401

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Hmm. Do you have any snails or algae eaters that can help clean the plants up? I got brown algae on my anubias and my snails eat it right up!
 
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trinket

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I used to have an MTS but I think it might have gotten sucked up while cleaning the gravel or something. Before I used to see little trails on the glass from it but haven't in over a month now. Do snails really make that much of a difference?

I was going to buy another one or two a few weeks ago but the guy in the fish section was talking to another customer and was going on and on and everytime I thought he was done, he'd start up again and didn't seem to notice me standing next to him, waiting. So I left. (lkjglsgnlshakjgfmnhg lol)
 

jnm401

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my nails REALLY helped. They cleaned my tank up in a mater of days. They did leave little eggs around, but they don't hatch and they don't bother me. I have two in my tiny ten gallon and they have plenty to eat, so if you have a big tank I would get a couple.
 

proudtobeafarmgirl

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My red cherry shrimp have done an all star job in my established 10 gallon tank, everything is crystal clean and I have to transfer live and fake plants from my other tanks so they have something to eat. It is a win win situation as they get to eat and I get clean plants, except for when I want to put the clean plants back in the other tank as some shrimp are always clinging to the plant and do not want to get off. You must have a stable well cycled tank for shrimp.
 
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trinket

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Well, the black is getting worse. Sort of an interesting cycle, the brown to green to black. But annoying none the less.

I remove what I can with cleanings but it doesn't come off the annubias. And it's all back by the next tank cleaning.

I haven't had the chance to pick up a snail or two yet.

Is black algae a real concern?
 

Butterfly

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Unfortunately slower growing plants like Anubias and Java fern are bad to get algae on them. Keeping up with water changes and keeping the nutrient levels down as well as controling ligh will go along way toward getting rid/ preventing algae. Especially any bright/indirect/direct sunlight.
Trimming the leaves with the most algae on them will stimulate the plant to put on more leaves and get rid of some of the algae.
I know you didn't ask but the salt isn't good for your ADF or your betta.
Carol
 

jclee

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What you're describing sounds like green beard algae and black beard algae. I don't think there are many snails/fish/shrimp that actually eat the stuff, so manual removal might be your best bet.

[Here's an article for you, so you can let us know if I'm wrong about the types of algae: http://www.otocinclus.com/articles/algae.html ]
 
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trinket

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Thank you for the link. It's hard to identify, really.

I went to the pet store to get some MTS but they don't carry that kind of snail. So I got a rubbernose pleco instead. I kept in him quarantine and added him to my main tank just the other night, and he's making headway on that algae! At first I didn't notice any change and thought it might not be the sort of algae they like (I've read some fish are particular) but today there are definitely patches off the glass. It's a relief!

I also bought different lights because the ones I had before had a lower Kelvin rating, so that might also help.

Almost all of my hornwort has died off, I've managed to save about an inch of it and I'm really hoping it'll grow back! It'd died off once before save a few inches and made a full recovery so I'm hoping this little bit will do that too. I think I'll toss most of my java moss though because it's full of algae now. I'll be looking into a new plant once this algae is under control.
 
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jclee

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If it is beard algae, the only animal that will eat it is an SAE. The bristlenose that you've gotten should do away with all other types of algae, though.
 
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