Any Ideas on how I can get rid of Black alge which is growing on my real plants, I have tried to remove the leaves that have it growing on them but it seems to just come back. I asked at my LFS and they suggested I try Algol from JBL it cleared up a little bit but it is still hanging in there. Any Suggestions !
Many Thanks Christian (ch57evy) Remember the only dumb question is the one you don't ask! Especially when it comes to keeping fish <'><
Sound like black brush algae to me which can be quite stubborn
Don?t despair, there is a multi-pronged attack to get rid of/reduce algae problems:
1. How long are your tank lights on for? If you are not already doing it, try a light siesta. Most fish keepers apart from those lucky enough to have no algae problems at all do so. 4 hours on, a few hours break, then another 4 hour period. A domestic timer like the ones B&Q sell fair well. You may be able to up it to 5 hour tranches if you are lucky. You can use blue LED moonlights for times in between or for night time viewing (these replicate the moon) and these don't increase any algae growth. Tanks should never be placed near windows or have direct sunlight on them. If the position of the tank is affected by this, it should be moved.
2. What is your tap water reading for phosphates? You can purchase phosphate testing kits from a good LFS or the internet. Ideally, phosphate levels should be low to nil but some areas have readings in excess of 5ppm. If your readings are high there are phosphate removers you can buy. Commonly used brands are Rowaphos, Phosban and Seachem Phosphate remover. You add this to a little bag (or the end of a stocking) in the filter. Very effective but it does get exhausted quite quickly depending on the levels in you water. Sometimes replacing each month will be needed but the water tests each week will show you when phosphate starts to rise again, if you invest in the tester kit.
3. What are dosing, fert wise? If you are adding plant fertiliser on a weekly basis with the water change, consider switching instead to smaller doses on a daily basis. Dosing a large amount of fertiliser that the plants don't use up in time will be grabbed by the algae. Are you dosing an excess of some nutrients and not enough of others? This is a little ?trial it an see? though.
4. How many real plants are in the tank? If you only have plastic or silk plants, you need live ones. If you have live ones, you probably need more live ones! The more live plants the better to out compete the algae. Give the old ones a good hair cut. Adding more plants doesn?t need be expensive ? lots of nice cheap fast growing stem plants seem to work well (Elodea, Hornwort etc). Throw in a number of moss balls too as these seem to work wonders.
5. What is the water circulation like in the tank? Dead spots and areas of poor water circulation are more likely to be affected by some kinds of algae (especially the BGA kind). Air stones and bubble curtains effectively deal with dead spots, adding an additional power head perhaps on bigger tanks also helps. You should be aiming for some increased gentle circulation though as opposed to an excessive cauldron of bubbles. Too much disturbance will drive off the co2 in the tank which you also need, to assist with plant growth ? see below.
6. Should more co2 be added? Planted tanks do benefit from the addition of co2 but it?s not a route that everyone wants to take.
Steps 1 to 5 have more or less dealt with my algae issues. I use a little bit of Seachem Flourish Excel each day too which is a carbon substitute instead of c02 gas
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