What algae is this

Discussion in 'Algae' started by jamesonuk, Jun 27, 2016.

  1. jamesonukValued MemberMember

    I had no algae during cycling and there is just a little appeared over the last few days since I added fish.

    Just wondering what type of algae this actually is
    It is on the Java Moss attached to my driftwood. It is right at the surface so I guess this is just getting more of the light than elsewhere but just want to check in case it spreads.

    I will be getting some Amazon Frogbit hopefully tomorrow which I believe should suck up some of these nutrients.

    Ammonia / Nitrite are 0 and Nitrates are < 20. Lights are 2 x 45W T5s on for 3 hours in the morning and a further 3 hours in the evening. Tank is 180l.
  2. CoradeeModeratorModerator Member

  3. jamesonukValued MemberMember

  4. jamesonukValued MemberMember

    This is not getting an worse but does not seem to be getting any better either.

    I think this is now also appearing on the roots of the Amazon Frogbit (which tends to get stuck on the java fern on top of the large bit of driftwood where this occurs)

    Best photos I could manage are:
    Problem I have is I can't actually identify what it is. I have not seen anything online that looks or sounds the same so not sure if this is something I need to deal with or whether it will go away on its own?
  5. AquariumQuirksValued MemberMember

    Its hard to tell by the picture but the first thing I think of is blue-green algae (BGA) often associated with (BBA) Black Brush Algae.
    This algae can be hard to control and technically it's not even algae it's a type of bacteria called cyanobacteria. It shows characteristics of bacteria and algae and that can make it hard to control.
    It usually grows in sheets across glass and gravel but can also grow in hair like strands like you see in the picture. It can also be several different colors, it can be mostly or all green, blue, brown, black and even red.
    Sometimes you can simply pull it off but that won't permanently remove it just slow it down. You can kill this off with antibiotics but that will also destroy your bio-filter so its best to avoid that if possible.
    Some of the main causes are low or modulating Co2 concentrations, low nitrates, to much light, introducing it with new plants, low flow in the tank, high phosphate levels etc.
    You can try to get rid of it with frequent water changes (25-40% every other day), killing the lights for several weeks, getting as much of the BGA out as possible, feeding fish less, or with antibiotics (but use them cautiously) you can remove some of your bio media and put it in another tank so you can easily cycle your tank after treatment. A UV filter can help control the spread but it won't stop it.

    Here are some links for further reading
  6. jamesonukValued MemberMember

    It is only on some java fern and frog-bit roots right at the surface so I could just remove these. (Can't see any elsewhere)

    If this is bacterial then could I test that by taking some out and dipping in bleach? Presumably bleach would kill bacteria but not algae??

    Going to clean out filter and do water change today. Interesting point about flow as have another thread concerned about that (https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/showthread.php?t=229161)
  7. AquariumQuirksValued MemberMember

    Bleach will kill everything that you put in it algae included. It's actually a common practice to put plants in a 20 part water to 1 part bleach solution for a couple of minutes to kill algae and other nasties before putting them in a tank.
    As for the water flow I find that having a filter that cycles your tank water 10-15 times an hour is almost always good enough but you can also put in an air stone for additional flow.

    If the plants that have the growth are at the top of the tank it could be that they are getting to much light. I would take these plants out to help isolate the spread and keep them in a dark environment. You can put them in a hospital tank and treat with antibiotics so you only get those plants and don't ruin the bio-filter in your main tank. If you don't have a hospital tank you can use a storage bin as a temporary tank.

    You can also try hydrogen peroxide, I've found it to be a very effective way to kill some algae and bacteria. You can take the plants out and pour plain 3% hydrogen peroxide over them or put them in a 5 part water 1 part hydrogen peroxide mix. You should see little bubbles come from the bacteria, wait for about 5-10 minutes then put them in a bucket or something with de-chlorinated water. You can then add 1-1.5ml per gallon of hydrogen peroxide into the bucket or tank (you can also do this in the main tank but if you have fish in it don't do more than 1ml per gallon).

    You can also do a bleach dip on the affected plants this is more dangerous but more effective. Mix a solution of 20 parts water to 1 part bleach and dip the plants in it for 2-3 minutes if the plants are more delicate do it for less time but java fern and frog-bit should be fine. Then put them in water treated with a double dose of de-chlorinator. You can then put them in a bucket of tank water to monitor the condition of the bacteria it should start to fall off.

    Keeping this as isolated as possible is a good way to stop it from getting very serious so you should definitely take them out until you get it under control.

    Hopefully the hydrogen peroxide will work if not go for the bleach treatment. As long as you don't do it for more than 3 minutes I don't think it will kill your plants though they may have some temporary discoloration or loose a couple of leaves.

    Best of luck! :)

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