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will algae fix cure black beard algae


Sarah
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im looking to get rid of black beard algae that seems to have taken over my catfish tank that is full of anubias and java fern, i added some seachem flourish but not sure that will solve the situation, i ve done water changes every 3-4 days, and blocked off the natural light hitting the tank, is there any remedies i can get that comein a bottle , someone mentioned flourish excel

cheers

Sarah

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Wouldn't flourish make the algae grow even more? As it would give the algae more vitamins and minerals etc..

a way of getting rid of BBA is to double dose with flourish excel, i think the reasoning behind has got something to do with plants sucking up all nutirents? sorry im not much of a planted person. also have heard that if you have a syringe, spray the excel directly onto the BBA and that is also meant to kill it.

hth

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Sarah,

Firstly, get a couple of SAEs as they will help with the cleanup and maintenance of this algae.

If you want to use Excel then be careful as it can have adverse affects on some fish if you over dose. That being said, i have used it at 3X recommended dose on a tank with rainbows, corydoras and a handful of peppermints and had no losses. If you add CO2 to the tank already then increasing this a little will assist in the control as well.

To the best of my knowledge it is a compound called gluteraldehyde (similar to formaldehyde) which is toxic to BBA (and fish if dosed too highly). My best success was had by applying directly to the algae with the filter turned off (leave it off for about 5 min after). You should also apply it of a night after the lights are out as this compound is broken down quickly in light and therefore less effective. If you apply directly to patches of algae then you can also lessen the dosage.

You will be able to tell that it is working once the algae turns greyish or white which indicates it is dead or dying. Normally this treatment takes about 7-10 days to complete but you may see results in a few days. Keep the SAEs to act as cleanup because it is unlikely you will fully eliminate this algae from the tank. Also monitor the health of your fish just in case you end up poisoning any of them.

You may also find BBA becoming an issue because you have some reasonable slow growing plants (as opposed to some 'weeds') that have persistent leaves which helps to harbour the algae. Perhaps adding a couple of 'weedy' plants that grow quickly will assist in the battle as they will compete with the algae more aggressively.

I have heard a number of algae 'cures' including one LFS that said phosphates MUST be TOTALLY eliminated from the tank. The problem is that plants and algae have similar needs in general (phosphorus being one example) so limiting the elements required by algae may also harm your plants.

My approach is that algae is a perfectly natural part of a healthy planted tank and control is a far better (read easier) option than eradication. If you can get a tank with a lot of healthy plant growth in it and the right fish to help out then you should only ever have minimal amounts of algae.

End of essay..............

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thanks for all your replies :thumb especially JLL, much appreciated , i shall go with your suggestion of adding some "weedy plants" and SAE'S ironically i had about 10 SAE's till i moved them on late last year, i could possibly when i have time move all the fish to another tank and perhaps treat the tank , i have twigs, longfinned marbles and albinos plus others i dont want to risk harming with medication,do you think direct sunlight could have contributed to my problem, my tank is in the laundery and the outside door is all glass

cheers

Sarah

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Sure, light will contribute to the algae, but it also contributes to healthy plants as well.

If you are worried about the excel cure then try treating one patch directly at a time. That way (with the SAEs etc also) you can get rid of the old hard growth, limit new growth and not have to overdose the whole tank.

Using a range of controls at the same time allows you not have to go full on with one potentially harmful approach only. Personally, my experience is that i am more likely to harm fish by moving them than any other way.

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Flourish excel by seachem

Brush magic by Azoo ( A lot of work for a 50% chance IMO)

Are the only 2 products most likely to help rid black beard algae,

SAE are great at eating the BB algae until they get used to the fish food, then the algae may be ignored.

main causes can be

1. Not enough water changes, - nutrient build up.

2. Too many slow growing plants and not enough of the faster growing types. - To break down nutrients.

3. Fluro's if they are not changed when they are suppose to be. Lose the right spectrum.

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Black Beard Algae (BBA) thrives in situations of high phosphates. Phosphates come from fish waste, excess food The best way to eliminate BBA is to let plants out-compete the algae for the nutrients as has been suggested already.

In heavily planted tanks, BBA will often show up when the plants have used up all the nitrates. This causes plant growth to slow or stop, which leaves the excess phosphates available to the algae. By supplying extra Nitrate to a planted tank, plant growth will continue until all phosphate is consumed.

One way to artificially increase nitrate concentration by adding potassium nitrate into the tank.

SAE are one of the only fish to eat BBA however even these fish won't be able to control it you don't have the phosphate level under control. In tanks with very large amounts of BBA, the BBA covered leaves should be removed once the phosphate level is controlled.

Other means of treating it include "Black Outs" as the name suggest this is where you complete eliminate light from your tank for a period of time although it is likely to return again once you resume allowing light into your tank, not necessarily a good solution in your planted tank though but if anyone else is sufferring BBA this is a good alternative to bottled solutions.

The other possible way to control it is through the use of a UV light although from what I understand this will help reduce but possibly not completley rid you of the problem.

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thanks guys, i think i need to definitely change my light tube, obtain some SAE's and excel, ive been doing water changes pretty regulary at least once a week and since this started twice a week, but i do have a lot of fry in the tank as well as adult cats. Im surprised how quickly BBA takes over, i went from nothing to quite a bit in a week or so it seems, even got it on a corner filter and heater, ive taken the plants not affected out and moved them to another tank, if i move a plant with say an odd couple of leaves affected can it then continue to multiply in another tank

cheers

Sarah

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I would be really careful moving anything to another tank. Even if you cannot spot it, there may be a little attached to seemingly unaffected plants which will spread in another tank.

If you move filters, heaters etc then boil and bleach them to sterilise them. If you are moving plants then you may want to bleach these as well but read up on it first so that you get it right and don't kill anything.

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maybe and maybe not. Just keep a close eye on things.

good luck.

Hi Sarah,

We use algaefix at the rate of 7 mls to 200 litres to kill off black brush algae.

Watch it tho as some of the more delicate plants suffer with any kind of algaecide.

Giz

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