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Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. Question Bizarre black crust algae?


    0 Not allowed!
    Hi there,
    New to the forum and come with a question about something i've never seen before in a tank and neither had the fish guy (who seems to be quite knowledgeable which is a nice change) at my LFS. First the basics:

    40 gallon heavily planted w platys and mollies neons and danios and 3 corys
    Tanks been running 8 months now so its all cycled
    water parameters: NO3 sitting around 5 ppm or less, usually closer to 0 (tested 2x per day for a week and no fluctuations) NH4 is at 0. pH 6.7

    I dose once a week with Flourish liquid fert and every third day with Flourish excel. Plant growth has been awesome. So I felt like everything was going great. Then these small black spots started to show up on one of my swords. over the past month its grown and spread slowly to other plants.

    photo.jpgphoto2.JPG

    As you can see in the picture i can pick it off the leaves and it comes off like flaking paint, in chips and flakes, its crunchy feeling and really ugly. I'd like to try and figure out A) what it is and B) how I get rid of it because im quite proud of my plants and fish and am not enjoying this algae or other unidentified crud growing on the leaves!

    Thanks for any help you can give!
    Last edited by AH22; 08-01-2013 at 11:18 PM.

  2. #2

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I've not noticed the flaking issue, but from the photos this is a type of brush algae. This can occur if something is not balanced between light and nutrients. All green or red forms of algae occur when the balance between light intensity/duration and nutrients is not sufficient for the plants to photosynthesize full out, and algae takes advantage.

    I recently had this in my 90g and solved it by reducing my doses of Flourish Comprehensive from twice to once weekly; within a couple weeks, it was gone. To test, I went back to twice, and within a couple weeks it started coming back. Obviously one dose of Comp is sufficient to balance my light and natural nutrients in this tank, but twice is needed in the other tanks.

    No mention is made of light...what are the specs?

    Byron.

  3. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    My lights are iffy, bought the tank and balast on kijiji. the balast came w bulbs which were supposedly 1 month old and used w a planted tank. From looking at the balast I figure ive got around 2 watts per gallon and a photo period of 10 hours. As for the wavelenghts ect, ive got no clue, but things are growing so it has to be at least adequate.

    I'll try reducing my fert regiment and see if that helps any, one variable at a time.

    Ive had aquariums for most of my life and have never seen an algae like this one, the flaking/crustiness of it is strange.

  4. #4

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    I would not reduce the Flourish Comprehensive, as you are only dosing it once a week and this will probably starve the plants. I think your light may be a bit intense, but I need more data to be sure. Watts per gallon is rather meaningless these days with all the types of lighting that is so energy efficient (= producing more light with less energy, and watts is just the measurement of the power used to light the tube/bulb). The Excel is the stuff to stop, for several reasons I won't get bogged down in here. Reducing the light duration can help; I have controlled brush algae with less duration. Finding that critical balance can take some work.

    Byron.

  5. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Alright well with the information that I have on the lighting thats all I can figure, its got two 48 in flourecent tubes with no markings on them whatsoever. I've lessened the photoperiod and will stop with the Excel and see what happens. I got the excel and comprensive back when I was just setting up the tank and only had plants, ive since added the fish which produce their own set of nutrients for the plants (CO2, N ect) but I understand why the excel would be the one to stop as its only adding a carbon intermediate, not the vast array of micro or macro nutrients the comprensive supplies. Didn't really think that through last night.

    I'll give that a go and hope that things start to clear up in the next few weeks. Thanks for your help!

    Alex
    Last edited by AH22; 08-03-2013 at 12:02 AM.

  6. #6

    Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by AH22 View Post
    Alright well with the information that I have on the lighting thats all I can figure, its got two 48 in flourecent tubes with no markings on them whatsoever. I've lessened the photoperiod and will stop with the Excel and see what happens. I got the excel and comprensive back when I was just setting up the tank and only had plants, ive since added the fish which produce their own set of nutrients for the plants (CO2, N ect) but I understand why the excel would be the one to stop as its only adding a carbon intermediate, not the vast array of micro or macro nutrients the comprensive supplies. Didn't really think that through last night.

    I'll give that a go and hope that things start to clear up in the next few weeks. Thanks for your help!

    Alex
    This adds some data. I will assume with 4-foot tubes that the 40g tank is 4 feet in length, so it is shallow rather than deep. Reducing the light duration is probably a good idea. When I do this I usually go in hours, so I reduce by one hour and wait 2-3 weeks. You won't see this algae that is there disappear, but it should not increase; that is the aim.

    I also assume T8 tubes, as opposed to T5. Is there any printing on one end of the tube itself?

    Byron.

  7. Default


    0 Not allowed!
    Back when i was trying to figure out the lighting I came to the conclusion they were T8, I forgot all about that, sorry. It looked like there was something on the ends of the tubes but the way they hook into the balast it was rubbed off and unreadable. I reduced by an hour and a half. I'll be plenty happy if stops spreading, eventually the leaves its on will age and I'll slowly trim it out.

    I googled the brush algae you mentioned and im not convinced its that, I know my pics were not great, ive got a bit of green brush growing on a rock which I actually kind of like. This stuff is max 0.5mm thick and literally like dried paint, not slimy not furry just there. But either way I think your suggestions will help, in the end brush or not it comes down to nutrients and light.

    Alex

  8. #8

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    0 Not allowed!
    Brush algae, commonly so called, is a red algae in the genus Audouinella. Photos I have seen show it in many different forms, from the most common fuzz or tufts, to the dark spots as in your photos. I have had the longer fuzz, on wood but sometimes it gets on plant leaves, and I have had this dark type like that in the photos on plants as I mentioned. This also occurs on the filter stems, due to the water movement.

    I still haven't figured out how to attach photos, or I would include some. Anyway, I think you're on the right track.

    Byron.

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