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Black Algae on plant leaves

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by eddtango, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. eddtango

    eddtango Prolific Poster

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    There's a lot of hardened black algae or film on almost all of my Anubias and Hygrophila, some on the java fern leaves. The tank does not have CO2 injection and has 4 - 21 watt T5s (3 - 6700K and 1 Colormax). Filters used are two Aqua Clear HOB filters. Is this caused by poor filtration? Or too much nitrate due to overfeeding?

    The leaves of the Hygrophila Stricta are pale green almost light yellow in color. Will CO2 injection help get rid of this black algae?
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    How big is the tank? Without knowing that it is hard to guess what the problems are.
     
  3. eddtango

    eddtango Prolific Poster

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    Black algae

    The tank is 55 gallons.
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    80 watts on a 55 gal could certainly do well with Excel and/or CO2.

    You can do not CO2 approaches, but you will want to read the non CO2 article in the article's section here.

    That will tell you more or less what you need to do.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. eddtango

    eddtango Prolific Poster

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    I've read the non-CO2 articles, I don't do water changes ,just top off for evaporation. I did this tank for a friend but I don't know how much he feeds the fish. The dosing is every 3 days, Flourish excel,Flourish, Seachem Potassium and Nitrogen. I might add CO2 injection but I want to try out the low tech way of no CO2 injection.
     
  6. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    What do you use for phosphates for the plants? For the light level you have, the plants aren't going to grow really fast, but they still need some phosphate. Also, once you get plant leaves infested with algae you almost always have to prune away those leaves before you can get control over the algae. You can kill the algae on the leaves, with a 1.5-2X overdose of Excel, but the leaves will mostly die anyway, which will lead to more algae later.

    My 2.5 gallon nano uses Excel for carbon, no CO2, relatively low light, and the plants in it grow very slowly, but almost entirely algae free. I dose KNO3, KH2PO4, CSM+B traces, and Excel in it, every other day. It has a 27 watt PC desk lamp about 6 inches over the water. So, you should be able to make your tank grow algae-free.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    When you use Excel, you are not doing the non CO2 method even though technically it's not adding CO2 gas, it still breaks down into CO2.

    You can do and should do large weekly or once a month/2week water changes, you need to dose more and a source as Vaughn said, of PO4.

    I'd go 2 weeks and do 50-60%, dose about 1/4 EI(2x a week or 4x every 2 weeks).
    That with a decent fish load ought to do it.

    When you add Excel, it increases the growth about 3x that of a non CO2 tank, so you need to add more nutrients. That means a higher change of build up, so the water changes come back into the process.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. eddtango

    eddtango Prolific Poster

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    Black algae

    So if I really want a non-CO2 low light planted tank, I should stop dosing Excel and just continue with the ferts. I would also not do water changes. Did I get the concept right? I don't dose Phospate,just Seachem Potassium,Nitrogen and Flourish.
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You still need PO4, not much, but some.
    Some GH booster is also par for the course, see the article and stick to the advice contained in the article.

    You'll dose once a week at most and then pretty lightly.
    Add algae herbivores, SAE's would be good, Amano shrimp etc.
    I'd trim off most of the infected leaves, add fresh plants, cheap ones etc till the other's slowly grow back etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. kazooless

    kazooless Junior Poster

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    Is this black Algae?

    Tom,

    After reading this post, I am curious if I have the same thing. I'm posting a few pics. I don't know if you remember from my other posts here, but I am just now getting my tank to where it 'should' be. I made your DIY reactor the other night and installed it. I ordered ferts from Greg, which shipped and should arrive in a few days, I've increased my lighting by OD'ing my two 40 watt t12's plus the single t5 38 watt.

    So, I'm expecting to start getting some good growth finally once this is all started, but I have algea on almost all my leaves, with the exception of the crypt for some reason and the java fern. But the anubias, the sword, and the long tall I don't know what they are in the back.

    Anyway, as I'm writing this, I'll bet I'm going to be guilty of the 'write before you read' sin, so if it's here, just yell at me and tell me to search. But if it's not here already, then what should I do once I get the ferts going? I was assuming I'd let everything start growing strong and then trim away the bad stuff. If I trim now, there wouldn't be much of anything left. So, what do you think? What is this stuff? And how should I attack it?

    Thanks,

    [​IMG]

    This anubias is growing a new leaf right now, though it's not in the shot:
    [​IMG]

    What is this long tall single strand each thing?:
    [​IMG]

    Here's the overall of the tank before the reactor install:
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Two things, you need like 4-8X as many plants and the tank's CO2 was terrible not too long ago, but some decent growth from the stem plants in recent times suggest you may have done some much needed work on the tank there.

    Those leaves cannot be saved, even if the algae came off, they look ratty.
    May as well export the algae that's there, buy a lot more plants etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. kazooless

    kazooless Junior Poster

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    Just to clarify...

    Boy, I can tell I still have a LOT to learn! The stem plants do seem to grow a little faster now in the last few days. Soon we'll be dosing with EI and away we go. I wanted to make sure things started growing well before I bought more plants, but maybe that's the wrong way to think about it.

    Be "export the algae," are you saying get rid of all the plants or at least trim off all the stuff that has algae on it?

    Is it a bad idea to start dosing, let it start growing first, and THEN trim, dispose and buy new stuff?

    (I am reading almost exclusively here on your site now a couple hours a day, so I am trying to put the research effort in, as well as ask some of these questions. It just takes so much to absorb all of this as well as finding it. Love your site. Very glad I subscribed. Definitely expect to become lifetime member.)

    Thanks,
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Try and get the plants first, then trim and clean out the algae that's there, replant with fresh plants,, do a water change, add ferts and good CO2 thereafter.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  14. eddtango

    eddtango Prolific Poster

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    Black Algae

    The algae that's on the Anubias is exactly what my plants have. I better do some plant shopping asap. Probably do a little renovation of the tank.
     
  15. senso

    senso Lifetime Members
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    Black Agae/ Dark Spots

    I am interested in understand the cause and the remedy for this.
    CAUSE
    What is deficient or in excess to cause the dark spots on Anubias. Is it light, CO2, other nutrients?
    Is the cause different in a non CO2 tank?

    REMEDY
    How can one correct this problem. Quantities, period etc
    - CO2 tank
    - non CO2
     
  16. vidiots

    vidiots Prolific Poster

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    Out of curiousity what is that plant in the top background of the 2nd pic, and the bottom forground of the 3rd pic? Is that Creeping Jenny or Money plant?
     
  17. kazooless

    kazooless Junior Poster

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    It's some sort of stem plant that I just don't remember what I was told the name to when I purchased it. I'm sorry I don't know, I just buy they ones that look nice at the store after asking a few questions from them about it. :-s

    jeff
     
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