cleaning plant leaves

fresh water
  • #1
I don't have a lot of plants, just a few java fern and a few anubias. The java fern is fine but the anubias leaves seem to get a light coating of a brownish algae on them. I clean them rubbing the leaves with my finger and get about 90% of it off, I don't want to rub to hard and it comes back in 6 to 8 weeks, it seems to spread from the spots I missed, hard to get it out of the vains in the leaves. SO what could I use to wipe the leaves clean and should I clean them in the tank, out of the tank in the air or in a bucket of tank water? Plants are growing seem healthy it just look ugly. Thanks
Fish Monger
  • #2
You're doing the right thing. I started having the same problem after leaving the light on too long. Just rub the leaves gently between your thumb and fingers. Maybe experiment with leaving the light on for less time. Supposedly, frequent water changes help also.
chicken of the sea
  • #3
I had the same problem, I've been advised to use Flourish excel. Apparently adding a capful every other day should help a lot. Last week I did a major water change and cleaned all my plants, I didn't use my fingers/thumb, but brushed the leaves very gently with a toothbrush. I've been watching for that brown slimy algae to reappear and so far so good, I haven't noticed any. I would suggest using this product just because it came so highly recommended when I requested help with my algae issue.

I was also asked if my tank was near a window, since that can promote algae growth. I also considered that maybe I didn't have enough fish to help fertilize the plants, so I added more (keeping in mind I am way below my inch of fish per gallon rule of thumb).

One more consideration, I checked my ph and found it was very very high. I've read that this can also promote algae so I am in the process of soaking driftwood so I can add it to the tank when it's ready, to lower the acidity.

I hope I was able to help, I'm no expert so if someone disagrees with anything I've posted please correct me!
  • #4
Which tank is this and is it under 6 months old? Sounds like Diatoms. A toothbrush works great!

pH has nothing to do with algae. Algae is due to lighting, co2 and fertlizer being out of balance in a planted tank. It also can be promoted by too low of light spectrum. Old light tubes.
  • #5
Catsma has written an excellent article on algae and how to deal with it. I'm doing battle with BBA and fluff atm. I think I'm winning.....
  • #6
Have you considered getting a bristlenose pleco? Mine likes to clean the leaves. Alas she poops a lot, and thus it is a trade of fewer algae but more fish poop, but one that is worth it in my opinion (then again I may be biased).
  • #7
Catsma has written an excellent article on algae and how to deal with it. I'm doing battle with BBA and fluff atm. I think I'm winning.....

At least you're not loosing.
  • #8
You could try some ottos! They stay small, and will clean all the junk off your leaves so fast it's amazing! And, let's face it, they're so cute!
fresh water
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Thanks for all the tips, Sorry about the delay on this thread just got back late Sunday from a fishing trip. This problem is in my 165g tank, I only leave the lights on for 4 hours per day but it does get indirect sun light from the window in the fish room. The tank has 12 adult Angels in it and I do a 50 gallon water change every 10 days. The tank has been cycled for over 1 year. I have 2-4' colour max bulbs that are just over 1 year old as well. I will read Catsma's artical and yes Ottos might be ok
  • #10
2-3 times water changes a week. Use Otto. 6-8 hours of lighting Try to balance your nutrients vs light vs Co2.

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