What Type Of Algae Is This (and How Do I Get Rid Of It)? Question

Discussion in 'Algae' started by ianinini, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. ianininiNew MemberMember


    My (first and only) freshwater aquarium had been up and running and stable for about a year this January when I started to have an algae problem. There had been no changes (that I know of) since July last year. The problem has got worse and worse since January.

    I have been unable to identify what time of algae it is. Advice on the web to get of algae seems to be mostly about changing the lighting, but I don't know if I need more, or less, hours of lighting. The advice seems so varied.

    I had fluorescent tubes. The manufacturer's notes said these should be changed after a year. So I did this a few weeks ago. I have replaced them with LED lighting (   ) but the problem hasn't gone away.

    I have had to throw away almost all of plants which were covered in the algae (and impossible to clean properly). I change ~30% of my water every one or two weeks and try to remove as much algae as I can from the hard surfaces.

    The algae was almost impossible to photograph properly in the aquarium, so I let it collect for a week or two on one piece of wood and then took that out to photograph in a bowl.
    If anyone could help I would really appreciate it! Do you know what this algae is? (I can try to provide more photos if that helps.)

  2. CaptainAquaticsWell Known MemberMember

    Ok, here is what I would reccomend:
    1. Up water changes to 50% weekely
    2. get some amano shrimp, they should help eat that

    That is hair algae, not many things eat it....

  3. ystroutWell Known MemberMember

    I don't know the algae type. I thought it was Black Beard, but I'm not sure.

    Algae is easy to treat if you do it right, a pain if the changes are drastic enough.

    Simply do this:
    1. Pick off the algae or scrub it with hot water. Just be sure to de-chlorinate the objects before bringing them back in the tank.
    2. 50% water change, then another 50% water change a couple hours later so the fish can acclimate to the new water. This will remove 75% of the nitrate and get some serious traction in the fight on algae.
    3. Do slightly larger water changes than you normally do each week. 5 to 10% more is normally sufficient.
    4. Turn the lights down in strength if possible, and reduce the hours per day. Try leaving the lighting on 2 hours less per day.

    If you don't have shrimp, snails, or crayfish, you can use Algafix. That stuff wipes out algae EASY. It will come back if you don't make these changes though.
  4. ianininiNew MemberMember

    Thanks for identifying it and for your suggestions!

    I will up my water changes. But what am I trying to reduce? My nitrates are as low as I can get them (I "import" my tap water from a different region because the local tap water has quite high nitrates.) I have ordered a phosphate test and a silicate test.

    I guess I've been wary of adding shrimp as I don't want to increase the load on my system (resulting in more nitrates).

    I don't have any shrimp at the moment, though I note that CaptainAquatics recommends I get some!

    You're both recommending me upping my water changes. I'll do that.

    How confident are you on me needing to have the lights on less ystrout? I am happy to do it, but there are many people out there who suggest having more hours of light to get rid of some algae types. The fact the algae normally forms most on upward/sideways facing surfaces and not on underside surfaces does perhaps hint towards the problem being too much light!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2019
  5. ystroutWell Known MemberMember

    Very. All algae uses photosynthesis. Do you have plants you're worried about?

    The 3 things that cause algae growth are:
    1. Excess nutrients. Nitrate and phosphate fuel it the most. This is why we both recommended starting with your water changes.
    2. Too much light. Either light that is too strong or on for too long, or both.
    3. Tank neglect. This ultimately leads to too many nutrients. But not cleaning the small amount of algae that grows on the walls and stuff can lead to increased algae down the line if your nitrates rise because you can't do a water change one week or your light timer breaks and your tank gets 48 hours of straight light.
  6. ianininiNew MemberMember

    Well I've had to throw most of my plants away due to this algae problem.

    Taking your advice, I've turned the lights timer right down (they are not controllable brightness) so they'll be on for about 5 hours a day in the late afternoon and evening.

    The double water change is in progress right now.

    I'll post back on here with an update in a week or two (or sooner if something radical happens).

  7. ystroutWell Known MemberMember

    Perfect. And since you don't have inverts right now, Algafix may be worth a try. I've only ever had great results with it.
  8. goldfishexpertNew MemberMember

    I suspect you need a pleco or a few, was it formed on a rock, if so its hair algae, reduce your light a bit.
  9. GoldieRescueNew MemberMember

    I find this to be the main reason to a Bearded Algae problem. I had that problem once and asked L.R.Bretz's Aquatics on youtube about it. He said it’s from not enough water changes and letting the tank go to long without cleaning it. He suggested to clean it all up manually and just keep up with water changes and monthly maintenance. My tank is in Eco stage now and I got lazy for a few months so he was right and once I cleaned it up and kept up with It I never had a problem with it again. Beaded Algae is a very slow grower so just keeping up with weekly/monthly maintenance is all it takes to keep it away. That’s my experience with it hope this helps :)

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