Help, I'm fed up of black beard algae.

GabrielParker

I've had black beard algae in my 125l tank for about 9 months and am so fed up and to top it off its appeared in my other tank. I've tried both boiling and hydrogen peroxide. It's had an impact but it just bounces back after a little while. It just grows all over my wood, decor and plants which I can treat but now is also all over the side of the tank. I'm thinking my last attempt is to use seachem flourite excel but not sure how to use it. There's no way I can spot treat as its everywhere but what if I just tip the flourite in on my filter so It can spread all around the tank. Its a 125l and 60l tank so what dose should I use as I've heard it can be harmful to fish so I don't want to overdose and I'm guessing I should do it daily until it starts to die. I'm starting to lose the magic that I used to get from the hobby because of this algae. All advice is welcome.
 

foxtrot

I've had black beard algae in my 125l tank for about 9 months and am so fed up and to top it off its appeared in my other tank. I've tried both boiling and hydrogen peroxide. It's had an impact but it just bounces back after a little while. It just grows all over my wood, decor and plants which I can treat but now is also all over the side of the tank. I'm thinking my last attempt is to use seachem flourite excel but not sure how to use it. There's no way I can spot treat as its everywhere but what if I just tip the flourite in on my filter so It can spread all around the tank. Its a 125l and 60l tank so what dose should I use as I've heard it can be harmful to fish so I don't want to overdose and I'm guessing I should do it daily until it starts to die. I'm starting to lose the magic that I used to get from the hobby because of this algae. All advice is welcome.
tryu looking at the site fishlab it may help it will take a few days though
 
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GabrielParker

tryu looking at the site fishlab it may help it will take a few days though
OK will do.
 
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GabrielParker

hope it helps!!
Had a look and seems to be good advice. I'm wondering whether I should turn off my filter or not when dosing flourish excel.

I've finally snapped and am going to strip my tank bare and redo it, to rid it of BBA. I'm going to boil the things I can and bleach the centerpiece wood that I can't boil. I might be wrong but I think you put it in with some water and put bleach in there, then leave for 24 hours. Then put it in water with vinegar to kill the bleach? I want to know whether I should get rid of the sponge and other filter media in the filter as it might transfer the bba to the redone tank. Also should I boil my filter or bleach it?
 
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FishBoy101

If you bleach it, you will never be able to have fish in that tank again.
 
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kallililly1973

What size tank? Depending on how bad the BBA is you could try to spot dose with H2O2 or Flourish Excel.
 
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StarGirl

How big is your tank and how bad is it? SAE obliterate it! Plus they are cute!
 
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Sorg67

If you bleach it, you will never be able to have fish in that tank again.
I do not believe that is true. Just rinse it well.
 
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KribensisLover1

How big is your tank and how bad is it? SAE obliterate it! Plus they are cute!
Ugh. My lights are so dim from this. I will say I had tea tree oil In my old twenty long and I used 1/10 mix bleach and put fish in there for so long after all fine. But I rinsed so much and let it sit so a very long time (well days). So that did work.
 
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MrBryan723

If you're going to go through this much trouble, just nuke your tank with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide.
There are other problems i can guess that might need to be addressed as to why you're having the problem in the first place.
I encourage you to do a bit of research into dosing hydrogen peroxide for algae issues and then look into ways to improve the health of your plants or get on a more regular maintenance routine.
 
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GabrielParker

What size tank? Depending on how bad the BBA is you could try to spot dose with H2O2 or Flourish Excel.
I've tried everything. I've had it for 9 months and it's everywhere, all over my decor, tropica aquarium soil and the tank itself. Its indestructible.

If you're going to go through this much trouble, just nuke your tank with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide.
There are other problems i can guess that might need to be addressed as to why you're having the problem in the first place.
I encourage you to do a bit of research into dosing hydrogen peroxide for algae issues and then look into ways to improve the health of your plants or get on a more regular maintenance routine.
What if I remove livestock and then just add bleach to the tank. Leave it for 24 hours then remove everything and scrub, scrub and boil. I will scrub the tank itself with salt and vinegar. Would that work?

How big is your tank and how bad is it? SAE obliterate it! Plus they are cute!
Don't want to go into the trouble of getting one and then it might not have an appetite of it. My tank is 125l.
 
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kallililly1973

Don’t use bleach ! Look up the H2O2 method on YouTube
 
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GabrielParker

Don’t use bleach ! Look up the H2O2 method on YouTube
I've tried, so many times. I could use it when I've removed things. What can I do to get rid of it from the tank side? What about the filter media?
 
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MrBryan723

Hydrogen peroxide. It's super cheap, works very well, and you don't have to worry about residue or byproducts. Dose heavy if you want, but don't use bleach. I'll use hydrochloric acid, but i won't use bleach like you're wanting to. It's no good outside of a plant dip.
 
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GabrielParker

Hydrogen peroxide. It's super cheap, works very well, and you don't have to worry about residue or byproducts. Dose heavy if you want, but don't use bleach. I'll use hydrochloric acid, but i won't use bleach like you're wanting to. It's no good outside of a plant dip.
OK. Thanks. Could I just put the soil in a bucket and dump hydrogen peroxide in?

I've decided not to use bleach but need to know whether to get rid of my filter media from the tank when I clean it. Does the BBA effect it? How do I clean my filter to get rid of black beard algae as well?
 
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Nick72

What is your fertiliser regime?

You can often get rid of BBA by increasing Phosphorus.

If you really want to nuke your aquarium buy SL Aqua Z2. Dose as per instructions. It will kill every plant, algae and any Cyanobacteria in your tank, but won't hurt livestock.
 
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Dennis57

I've finally snapped and am going to strip my tank bare and redo it, to rid it of BBA. I'm going to boil the things I can and bleach the centerpiece wood that I can't boil. I might be wrong but I think you put it in with some water and put bleach in there, then leave for 24 hours. Then put it in water with vinegar to kill the bleach? I want to know whether I should get rid of the sponge and other filter media in the filter as it might transfer the bba to the redone tank. Also should I boil my filter or bleach it?
I had BBA years ago when someone gave me some "FREE" plants.

Just go out and get yourself 2 small SAE ( Siamese Algae Eaters) within days that stuff will be gone.

Yes, now you need to figure out where it came from, but do not rip everything apart and start over.
 
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GabrielParker

I had BBA years ago when someone gave me some "FREE" plants.

Just go out and get yourself 2 small SAE ( Siamese Algae Eaters) within days that stuff will be gone.

Yes, now you need to figure out where it came from, but do not rip everything apart and start over.
OK. But do I need to replace filter media as the SAE won't be able to reach it or will my sponges and biomax filter media be fine to just keep?
 
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Dennis57

OK. But do I need to replace filter media as the SAE won't be able to reach it or will my sponges and biomax filter media be fine to just keep?
You will be fine
 
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GabrielParker

You will be fine
OK. Just need to be very cautious as I'm not sure about the BBA attaching to my sponges.
 
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SnookusFish

I had bba for quite a while and now i think its solved so i thought i would post in this thread to help others. Origionally it was on an aubias leaf so i cut the leaf off but not before it had spread. The small bit ofdriftwood it was on i boiled to kill it but there was a massive piece i couldnt boil and also plants with it. Occassionally spot treating with a half dose might have helped but i think the main thing is balance, addjng fast growers and floaters will at least limit the spread. My bba just turned red and died off without big measures taken, instead of doing the thing where u shut off the lights, just cover the entire surface with floaters for as long as it takes, and a little bit of excel wont hurt either. Hope this helps someone
 
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GabrielParker

I had bba for quite a while and now i think its solved so i thought i would post in this thread to help others. Origionally it was on an aubias leaf so i cut the leaf off but not before it had spread. The small bit ofdriftwood it was on i boiled to kill it but there was a massive piece i couldnt boil and also plants with it. Occassionally spot treating with a half dose might have helped but i think the main thing is balance, addjng fast growers and floaters will at least limit the spread. My bba just turned red and died off without big measures taken, instead of doing the thing where u shut off the lights, just cover the entire surface with floaters for as long as it takes, and a little bit of excel wont hurt either. Hope this helps someone
Thanks for the reply. I've redone my tank to try and get rid of it. If it does come back I'll use your advice. Besides I've now got sand in there and it will stick out like a sore thumb.
 
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deadhead

This worked for me. I did this twice in the last 2 weeks and it's pretty much all gone. I still have a little on 1 anubia but even that is almost all gone. Anything else that had BBA is 100% algae free. I manually removed absolutely nothing. I did lose a rummynose tetra a couple days after 1 application but that's out of almost 50 fish.
 
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GabrielParker

This worked for me. I did this twice in the last 2 weeks and it's pretty much all gone. I still have a little on 1 anubia but even that is almost all gone. Anything else that had BBA is 100% algae free. I manually removed absolutely nothing. I did lose a rummynose tetra a couple days after 1 application but that's out of almost 50 fish.
Thanks. That seems to be very affective.
 
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mattgirl

This worked for me. I did this twice in the last 2 weeks and it's pretty much all gone. I still have a little on 1 anubia but even that is almost all gone. Anything else that had BBA is 100% algae free. I manually removed absolutely nothing. I did lose a rummynose tetra a couple days after 1 application but that's out of almost 50 fish.
I am going to try this. I have done the one two punch where you add hydrogen peroxide, do a water change after 15 minutes and then add excel. It does kill the BBA but before long it comes back. I will try it on my 5.5 gallon tank first and if it works I will do my 55.
 
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Berryblue

This worked for me. I did this twice in the last 2 weeks and it's pretty much all gone. I still have a little on 1 anubia but even that is almost all gone. Anything else that had BBA is 100% algae free. I manually removed absolutely nothing. I did lose a rummynose tetra a couple days after 1 application but that's out of almost 50 fish.

Wow, thanks for sharing this. I think I am gonna try this too.
 
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deadhead

Just be sure to turn your filters off. That way when you spray it will hover over the targeted area awhile. I'm not sure how this affects the bacteria in the filter media. Like the video shows, I did this during a water change. If you have anything that can be removed and sprayed, like hardscapes or anubias, you can spray them heavily then dunk them in a bucket of water. Also, the smaller the spray bottle is the easier it will be to target certain areas in the tank.

It does kill the BBA but before long it comes back.
I expect it to come back using this method as well until I correct whatever imbalance is causing it. Killing the BBA is one thing. Figuring out why I have it is a whole other problem.
 
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deadhead

I am going to try this. I have done the one two punch where you add hydrogen peroxide, do a water change after 15 minutes and then add excel. It does kill the BBA but before long it comes back. I will try it on my 5.5 gallon tank first and if it works I will do my 55.
Did you have any luck with that?
 
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mattgirl

Did you have any luck with that?
I have to be perfectly honest. I've not done it yet. Just adding the Excel daily seems to be doing as much to keep it under control as anything else I've done so I have just continued adding it.
 
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Berryblue

I have tried it with success. It's completely gone from my rocks and driftwood. It turned a redish color over a couple of days and then went away after one treatment. It's also worked on some plants and not others. I continue to trim leaves on a daily basis where I see the BBA, so that means that my underlying issue remains. I continue to tweak my lights down to see if it makes a difference. One thing I learnt is that you shouldn't use it on java moss as it kills them.
 
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FishBoy101

If you bleach it, you will never be able to have fish in that tank again.
I meant if you, idk, bleach it like a maniac. There are much easier ways. It is better to be safe than sorry.
 
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Kade

I am encountering this same problem! I have bleached my rocks and replaced my plants twice. I also bleached the majority of my rocks. Somehow this stuff keeps coming back! My aquarium is perfectly healthy and does not have any water issues. I can tell you this, DO NOT BLEACH!! It is way too dangerous and I have lost several fishy to it. I fell down the same hole. I am very excited about trying these new methods, thank you to everyone who puts their energy into these threads.
 
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mattgirl

I am encountering this same problem! I have bleached my rocks and replaced my plants twice. I also bleached the majority of my rocks. Somehow this stuff keeps coming back! My aquarium is perfectly healthy and does not have any water issues. I can tell you this, DO NOT BLEACH!! It is way too dangerous and I have lost several fishy to it. I fell down the same hole. I am very excited about trying these new methods, thank you to everyone who puts their energy into these threads.
Welcome to Fishlore Kade
I have now managed to get a Siamese Algae Eater and this little guy is doing more to get rid of this stuff than any other thing I've tried. BTW: Bleach isn't dangerous as long as you get regular bleach (no fragrances and not concentrated), rinse really really well and then a final soak in water with extra conditioner in it. Water conditioners are designed to remove chlorine. It will remove the last traces of the bleach.
 
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Mandy627

Welcome to Fishlore Kade
I have now managed to get a Siamese Algae Eater and this little guy is doing more to get rid of this stuff than any other thing I've tried. BTW: Bleach isn't dangerous as long as you get regular bleach (no fragrances and not concentrated), rinse really really well and then a final soak in water with extra conditioner in it. Water conditioners are designed to remove chlorine. It will remove the last traces of the bleach.
From what I remember in chemistry classes, bleach makes carcinogens when in the presence of organics, it's not just about left over chlorides, but also about the amount of unused chems trapped in layers of wood along with byproducts, and chlorine salts. I'm not saying its impossible, I just would just opt for a safer oxidizer that will do same thing with less potential of contamination, such as H2o2.
 
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mattgirl

From what I remember in chemistry classes, bleach makes carcinogens when in the presence of organics, it's not just about left over chlorides, but also about the amount of unused chems trapped in layers of wood along with byproducts, and chlorine salts. I'm not saying its impossible, I just would just opt for a safer oxidizer that will do same thing with less potential of contamination, such as H2o2.
I should have clarified a bit more. I would never use it on wood of any kind but I have used it many times through the years I've been in this hobby to clean hardscape such as resin decor, rocks and plastic /silk plants. I just try to calm the fears some folks have of using bleach when bleach is called for. I will stress, as with most products of this type, care must be taken when using it for any purpose.
 
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Mandy627

I should have clarified a bit more. I would never use it on wood of any kind but I have used it many times through the years I've been in this hobby to clean hardscape such as resin decor, rocks and plastic /silk plants. I just try to calm the fears some folks have of using bleach when bleach is called for. I will stress, as with most products of this type, care must be taken when using it for any purpose.
Yes I agree, I will use it on items that are non porous, and wont absorb it. I wasn't trying to pick! I just wanted to clarify that wood might hold other nasty chem-junk other than chlorides.
 
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Awaken_Riceball_

Greetings, I am also in a BBA battlefield in my 90G. It has flourished so much, it became a moss effect on the spiderwood. I really enjoy looking at 2hrs Aquarist articles because the creator is a master level aquascaper and is exceptionally knowledgeable about the planted aquarium. Google "dennis wong aquascape" and look at his skill level.

In his article, he discusses common causes of BBA such as:

  • Fluctuating CO2 levels in the tank
  • High amount of organic waste/dirty tank
  • Stressed plants/old growth
  • Systemic instabilities that lead to plant stress; poor water quality, harsh use of biocides etc
  • Excessive flow with heavy misting (observe if it spawns in areas that are directly in path of flow), especially on slow growers/moss

The reason I am letting the BBA flourish is simply because I have attempted many things from spot dosing, one punch, two punch, BBA eating fish, wire brush removal, etc and now I am attempting to resolve the issue as naturally as possible.

Here is the article for more details. There are two issues that has me thinking about "Stressed Plants" and "High Organics" which is I use a lot of flourite black sand which is prohibiting or choking root development leading to awful poor growth in some plants and organic waste build up. The solution I have in my mind is looking into a method known as "Substrate Layering." I gave 2hrs Aquarist the substrate layering as a suggested article and received this response:

"Hi [name], thanks for your email.
It is a good idea- we will look into adding this topic- thanks!"

When that article is created, it could be another tactic towards eradicating BBA naturally. I also read Tom Barr who put a BBA infected plant into one of his main display tank and the BBA went away on its own. Tom is a master class along with Dennis Wong, and while Tom Barr does not have much information on it other than showcasing the importance of achieving that idealogy of "Balancing the aquarium," he was able to naturally eradicate the BBA.

Best of luck to you!

Here is a link to 2hrs Aquarist for more information:
 
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mattgirl

In his article, he discusses common causes of BBA such as:
  • Fluctuating CO2 levels in the tank
  • High amount of organic waste/dirty tank
  • Stressed plants/old growth
  • Systemic instabilities that lead to plant stress; poor water quality, harsh use of biocides etc
  • Excessive flow with heavy misting (observe if it spawns in areas that are directly in path of flow), especially on slow growers/moss
In my case it is none of the above. I am just happy my little SAE is helping me out.
 
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