Help .... Black beard algae has started to appear!

Andrew waterson

Hi all,

I've just noticed the dreaded black beard algae has started to appear in my tank (well established 2-3 year old 165 litre community tank).

I've actually done battle with BBA in this tank when it was 1st established, but I can't recall exactly how I beat it!

I've not changed much in the past few months, other than adding a few extra Cory's (getting my the group back to 8) and 2 honey gouramis, no change in feets or lighting.

I'm going to drop the lights on by 1 hr.
But don't want to use Excel or hydrogen peroxide as I have a big cherry shrimp colony.

Any advice or tips on how to treat/eliminate it?
 

Shrimp42

SAE. I had one and he did an amazing job until I overdosed my tank with levamisole by mistake and killed him. He was around 5-6 inches but didn't bother any fish (including guppy and platy fry). I actually just bought another one today so hopefully he does the same.
 
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Andrew waterson

No co2
It's a pretty low tech set up, I just use ferts once a week.
all seachem, comprehensive, iron and phosphate.

I think I'll drop the phosphate as well as cutting some time off the lights.

Trying to avoid messing with the stocking as I think I'm pretty much at max (think a sae would make short work of my shrimp!!)
 
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LeviS

If was running co2 I could help as been fighting it myself, but have never done low tech. Your probably on right track cutting the lights some. Its definitely an aggravating algae to get rid of. Ive had success with spot treating with excel and peroxide.
Maybe someone who has spot treated and keep shrimp can chime in. The peroxide basically will kill the algae then the shrimp will eat it in its dead form. Spot treating is a low dose, not volume of the tank, peroxide will then essentially convert to water pretty quickly. Maybe something to research if it goes completely out of control. Good luck.
 
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Andrew waterson

Thanks for the tips.

I do like my shrimp, but they make treating the tank much more challenging!!

Hopefully cutting the lights and dropping the phosphate will stop it getting out of hand (will cut out any more obvious leaves with BBA on when I'm doing the weekly water change tomorrow)

Annoying its come back after 2 years, it was ugly last time ☹️
 
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Mandy627

Thanks for the tips.

I do like my shrimp, but they make treating the tank much more challenging!!

Hopefully cutting the lights and dropping the phosphate will stop it getting out of hand (will cut out any more obvious leaves with BBA on when I'm doing the weekly water change tomorrow)

Annoying its come back after 2 years, it was ugly last time ☹
Dont use anything with iron in it for a week or two if you are battling BBA, it will get to it faster then your plants will and it thrives even with small amounts.
 
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Shrimp42

I dont want to say your entirely incorrect about the SAE and shrimp, but for the month or two I had mine he left my Amano and 2 cherry shrimp alone. Now, I'm not saying its a guarantee just my experience.
 
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Pfrozen

You are missing out on N and K with that list of ferts, which probably contributes to your imbalance.. I would lower the lighting and dose only K + trace for a few weeks. N is produced naturally from fish waste and P comes from the decomposition of food. That will give your tank a lean nutrient environment and should help stop the algae in its tracks when combined with Excel dosing
 
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Andrew waterson

Thanks for the advice.
I'll adjust the ferts and lights and hope that makes an impact.

I arrived at the ferts list kind of by accident, basically ones used to battle plant deficiencies over the years that I've just stuck with!
 
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Berryblue

It is good that you spotted the BBA right away! To "nip it in the bud", if the BBA is on rocks and driftwood that you can take out, then I would recommend that you remove them and treat them with excel and H202. Plus I would trim any leaves that are heavily covered with it too. Finally, Amano shrimp have really been the game changer for me with BBA. You could use about 8 to 10 in your size tank.
 
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Andrew waterson

It's seems to only be on plants at the moment, mostly just slightly growths at the edges (1mm sort of length)
I've just cut out the most impacted leaves today.

Just ordered some more nerite snails on ebay, I did have quite a few (10 ish) but they are 2+ years old and think only are 1-2 are left now.

Going to look into some amano shrimp, they look really interesting.
But going to have to wait for LFS to get stock back in, they are all closed or very limited on stock at the minute.
Not sure about getting bigger inverts/fish in post (I have bought cherry shrimp and snails online)
 
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Berryblue

Yes, nerites might help too. I am not a fan of the eggs, so that's I don't use them. I went the amano route (instead of SAE) because I didn't have enough space for that large of a fish.
 
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Andrew waterson

My old nerites have been weirdly neat and conscientious.
They do lay eggs but in nice straight lines down long leave/tank edges or nice circles round suction cups.

It's like they take pride in a neat and tidy tank!
Hopefully the new ones are the same!
 
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