Is This The Start Of Black Beard Algae Or Just Really Bad Diatom Buildup?

elwe1996

My S. Repens got hit really badly by brown/diatom algae, but now I think it might be growing some black beard algae. Can someone help me identify the algae growing on my plants.

I have a Aqueon optibright for lighting and it’s plugged into a timer. It’s set to come on around 8:52 am and to go off at about 7:02 pm, give or take a minute or two. It’s a cheap timer I got from Walmart so it’s not perfect. I was regularly dosing 2 ml of Flourish twice a week, until I added Phosguard to my filter, and the past two weeks I have been adding 10 ml Flourish Excel once a week after a 50% water change.

The other plants I have in my tank are three Anubias, a Java fern, some Water wisteria, Java moss, and what is possibly Hygrophila Corymbosa. Most of these plants are covered in diatoms.

Honestly looking at my tank makes me want to cry.
 

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IceForever

That photo period seems super long doesn’t it? 10 hours?

Try reducing it to like 6-7 and see how your plants do, as well as the algae. I had the same issues when I first started my tank up and it got drastically better when I reduced my photo period to 6-7 hours. Now I run it a bit longer so I can get some decent algae growth for my SAE and snails, but you can find your own ‘sweet spot’ if you just play around w it.

That’s where I would start, anyway.
 

IceForever

Wipe all that off your plants and reduce then see how it does.
 

elwe1996

Reduce the lighting? And what’s the best way to wipe them down? I’ve tried a toothbrush to little effect on such tiny leaves. Would I take them out of the tank and scrub them in a bucket of fish water?
 

IceForever

You could. I always just wiped it off with my fingers and then wiped it from my fingers on to a paper towel or cloth.

Then reduced my lighting and got some snails, shrimp, and a Siamese algae eater and it’s been pretty well under control unless I overfeed
 

elwe1996

Okay I’ll give that a try. Thank you.
 

Algonquin

It looks a little bit 'light' in colour to be black beard algae, but I suppose the colour can vary. If it is bb, it won't just 'wipe off'. It's really hard to remove. I had some in my shrimp tank, and it was awful. Hope that helps (and hope that you don't have bb algae)!
 

elwe1996

I’ve managed to scrape some of it off with my nail, but I’m having a hard time making any progress. The leaves are just so tiny and hard to get a grip on, and when I do get a hold of one they snap off. I’m also very hesitant to remove it for cleaning because that is where all my panda cory fry live.
 

IceForever

I’ve managed to scrape some of it off with my nail, but I’m having a hard time making any progress. The leaves are just so tiny and hard to get a grip on, and when I do get a hold of one they snap off. I’m also very hesitant to remove it for cleaning because that is where all my panda cory fry live.

What about getting some Amano shrimp, snails, or an SAE and seeing if they go after it?

I could swear that’s the same stuff I had growing on my vals when my tank was new, and same thing it started to pop up right after diatoms/brown algae showed up...it really started struggling when I reduced my photo period, and then I threw a bunch more live plants to outcompete it, as well as snails shrimp and an SAE.

The SAE did the best job of cleaning it up, but I have an angel in there so my Amanos don’t like to really expose themselves like that when they can graze elsewhere...they may have done the job if Raat didn’t scare the living **** out of all of them, haha.
 

elwe1996

I have three Amanos in there right now and two nerite snails and I’m going to be adding four more Friday after they finish their quarantine time. One of the shrimps was cleaning my arm while I was trying to clean the leaves. Also don’t SAE get aggressive as the get older and get to big for a 20 long?
 

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IceForever

I have three Amanos in there right now and two nerite snails and I’m going to be adding four more Friday after they finish their quarantine time. One of the shrimps was cleaning my arm while I was trying to clean the leaves. Also don’t SAE get aggressive as the get older and get to big for a 20 long?

Haha that’s awesome.

I will say mine has gotten to be a bit of a tool, but I haven’t had any issues of note...yet...he just chases the rasboras and danios around almost like he’s trying to play with them, and he has started nipping at my angel every now and again but I think he mistakes it for food and stops once he realizes it’s not. My angel never retaliates he just swims away.

I have a 46b, and he is getting to be a decent size, though, so you're probably right.
 

IceForever

See, he thinks he’s a sterbai


9DDE9B8C-836D-4F3F-BEEF-4FDE0600F48B.jpeg
 

kallililly1973

I have three Amanos in there right now and two nerite snails and I’m going to be adding four more Friday after they finish their quarantine time. One of the shrimps was cleaning my arm while I was trying to clean the leaves. Also don’t SAE get aggressive as the get older and get to big for a 20 long?
If it is BBA try a total blackout first for 3-4 days. SAE don't get aggressive as they get older they just get lazy and start eating regular fishfood ,pellets ,and veggies,... But I will say they are the best way to get rid of BBA. I have 2 in my 55 that are about 3-5" long. They took care of the BBA a long time ago. I currently have 2 1-1 1/2" True SAE in my 20 long that wiped out a small outbreak of BBA.. If you use SAE to combat BBA get them very young 1/2-1" long and be sure they are the real deal and not flying foxes. Your tank will be cleaned in 2 weeks... but keep in mind they get pretty big 5-6" so a 20 long will not be the best place for them in the long run. And in the mean time try to find out how it got in there in the first place. BBA usually comes in on plants,fish or decorations.. Good luck!!
 

IceForever

If it is BBA try a total blackout first for 3-4 days. SAE don't get aggressive as they get older they just get lazy and start eating regular fishfood ,pellets ,and veggies,... But I will say they are the best way to get rid of BBA. I have 2 in my 55 that are about 3-5" long. They took care of the BBA a long time ago. I currently have 2 1-1 1/2" True SAE in my 20 long that wiped out a small outbreak of BBA.. If you use SAE to combat BBA get them very young 1/2-1" long and be sure they are the real deal and not flying foxes. Your tank will be cleaned in 2 weeks... but keep in mind they get pretty big 5-6" so a 20 long will not be the best place for them in the long run. And in the mean time try to find out how it got in there in the first place. BBA usually comes in on plants,fish or decorations.. Good luck!!


Lol funny story, my SAE was actually labeled as a flying fox, but is in fact an SAE
 

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