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What kind of Algae Am I? With Pics.

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Whiskey, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. Whiskey

    Whiskey Subscriber

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    Hello all! I'm the new algae on the block, and I'm trying to find out a little more about myself. Do you know what I am?

    I've been hanging around this tank for about 8 months now, I ONLY grow in areas that receive direct light. I will grow on glass, where I can only be removed by a razor blade, I will grow on plastic like filter tubes where it takes a 4M scrubber to remove me, and I will also grow on old leaves, but only ones in direct light.

    I have never reached epidemic levels, but I've never really gone away either, the amount of me to be found in the tank varies depending on how diligent my owner is at trimming.

    My tank has good CO2, reasonable amounts of light, (around 45 PAR at tank bottom) excellent flow, and is fertilized based on the EI method.

    Here's what I look like on a Java Fern leaf:
    [​IMG]

    Here's what I look like on a different Java Fern:
    [​IMG]

    Here's what I look like on a few Anubias Nana leaves:
    [​IMG]

    And here I am speckled across a few older Crypt Leaves:
    [​IMG]

    Finally - this is the box of water I call home:
    [​IMG]

    Anything you can tell me about myself would me much appreciated!

    Thanks,
    The young algae with an identity crisis
     
  2. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Well At Least You Are Not Pond Scum... Yet.

    Hi,

    You are brush algae, a “red algae” from the division Rhodophyta, misunderstood, generally unloved and well… really kind of ugly and particularly frustrating.:p

    For better identification if you could get someone to do a close up photo, out of the water under a microscope or even a decent magnifying glass. Back-lit is best. Well, actually Kohler illumination... ;) Really anything...:)

    Biollante
     
    #2 Biollante, Jul 7, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2011
  3. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Slow Growing, Shade Adapted Plants In The Light, Hmmm, Could Be A...

    Hi Disgusting Alga,

    Perhaps you would like to know why you act in the despicable way you do?:confused:

    Though since you explained yourself and circumstance well and may already understand.:rolleyes:

    Biollante
     
  4. wearsbunnyslippers

    wearsbunnyslippers Prolific Poster

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    any ideas on getting rid of this?

    i have good flow, good co2, dose ei etc.

    but it still grows on my slow growers leaves...
     
  5. Whiskey

    Whiskey Subscriber

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    Are you implying that I should pass on a message to the person that keeps putting yummy fertilizer's in this tank for me?

    Hmm,.. BBA eh? But I don't look fury like the other pictures I see on the Internet, do I have different forms?

    And as far as why I behave in such a despicable way,.. I don't think I behave at all - I just exist ;)

    Whiskey's stubborn Algae
     
  6. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    GSA. Low PO4, low CO2 or a combination of both. After you alleviate the cause, there's around a two week delay before it stops growing. The old algae won't dissapear, you will have to prune and pick.

    Sorry, I don't talk to algae, I kill it. ;)
     
  7. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    dutchy, terminating algae without as much as a hello. Unless its GDA ;)

    I've had this algae...er..you show up a couple times in neglected tanks, mainly on my pump heads. I had to manually remove/kill it..er you...er your friend..relative... like dutchy, our algae death squad leader, said. This was the wrong place to poke your photosynthetic head. In the future I would recommend leaving tanks that belong to Barr report members alone, its not conducive to survival.
     
  8. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Dutchy, Shawn, You Will Give The Little Guy A Complex...

    Hi Whiskey's Stubborn Algae,

    First of all I want to let you know that in your family Rhodophyta there are three broad groups, the fuzzy longer, beard looking stuff, really nasty looking, there is a “stubble beard” algae, then there is you a really nasty case of Richard Nixon, unrepentant 5 o’clock shadow.:eek:

    Your family lives in fast moving waters, one of the reasons your holdfasts are so well developed. You are associated with poor or unstable nutrient, oxygen, and CO2 levels along with bright light.:gw

    Your host who apparently likes you a lot has provided you with slow growing, shade adapted plants that have no defenses against your “squatters claim” to them.:p

    You are quite vulnerable to oxygen, so things like hydrogen peroxide or worse yet Sodium percarbonate need to be avoided. Of course, you must discourage any talk of dipping plants as Anubias Nana in a strong Potassium permanganate or chlorine bleach solution for 15 minutes though the leaves you have already infected will probably have to go.:eek:

    Was someone to do a large water change sprinkle and rub on Sodium percarbonate, perhaps even take a soft toothbrush to the leaves that could also be devastating? Of course, while 80 or 90% of the water is out, it is a convenient time for someone to clean and scrub the glass and any hard-scape, hoses and so forth.

    Hydrogen peroxide is somewhat less affective and Fleet enemas work as well.

    Then of course, you must not allow anyone to provide shade or reduced lighting for the Anubias Nana or Java fern.

    The thing about treating the entire tank with Sodium percarbonate is that it will knock most of you out of the hiding spaces. (A lot of crude comes up when applying Sodium percarbonate or heavy Hydrogen peroxide.) ;)

    Remember to warn them that other primitive plants may be harmed by these “oxygen” treatments, Tiger lilies, mosses Vals and so forth.

    I will write more later…:cool:

    A little reading Neil Frank’s “Control of Red Algae in the Freshwater Aquarium” http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/Algae/red-algae.html.

    Sort of a nice picture in here http://www.lyretailsaquarium.com/PlantsAndAlgae/BrownAlgae.html.

    Biollante
     
  9. Whiskey

    Whiskey Subscriber

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    Oh no!

    This thread is NOT GOING WELL AT ALL!!

    I come here to find out a little more about myself, and you'all set in giving the owner of this glass box some really TERRIBLE ideas! He's already "Trying out a new scape" which spreads out the stem plants so they can grow taller, and places the Anubis in their shade. Then he took my favorite plant, the Java Fern, and moved it to a low light tank that I don't like one bit. Then he started in on dosing Excel! He says he wants to see what it does, well I'll tell you what it does! Makes me uncomfortable that's what.

    I don't want to be the type that panics at the slightest indication of trouble, but I'm thinking this is not how you treat a friend, you know what I mean?

    Signed,
    The talking algae, that's starting to squirm a little bit
     
  10. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    No Need To Panic Yet Talking Algae

    Hi Whiskey's Stubborn Algae,

    Well you know it is no day in the park being an evil plant monster, neighbors with pitchforks, torches and herbicides!:eek::eek::eek: Thankfully, many of them turn out being rather tasty, toasted.:D

    After all, you are the one who asked; just had to know who you are:rolleyes:, where you came from, couldn’t be satisfied with the good deal you had, oh no, well it is a tough life when you’re a nasty sort with no socially redeeming qualities. :p

    Look, Whiskey's Stubborn Algae, I know you just trying to make a living, fill an ecological niche, you over played your hand and over stayed your welcome. Figure it was nice of him to give you a lovely home for this long. Now scram, adapt or toss him on the barbeque.:eek:

    Face facts, you are not a lovely green alga that comes round trying to help some misguided soul restore balance in their system; sop up a few extra organic compounds, then go away once the job is done.

    • Trust me I know, personal experience; it is a tough life when you are an ugly, generally useless and wanting to stand in the light.

    The Excel dosing is not good news, you are lucky he hasn’t started with the oxygen and “the toothbrush of death,” at least with Excel it is costing him a small fortune and may work in your favor over time should the plant friendly carbon levels vary enough and you manage to hang on. Then you can come back with full force.

    • You are a red algae and not nearly as susceptible to biocides as some of your green cousins and of course that slimy bacteria.

    Moving the Anubias Nana and Microsorum pteropus into lower light is not good news.

    • As long as he didn’t dip the Anubias Nana in a strong KMnO4 or NaClO solution or the Microsorum pteropus in a weak solution,
    • you can probably hold out and plot your return.

    If you can send me (surreptitiously of course:rolleyes:) information on his dosing, I think I see some nutritional deficiencies going on that you are no doubt already exploiting, and can more effectively I am sure.

    • Your family has always had a fondness for low nitrate, low phosphate waters, could it be that oxygen thing, hmmm…:)

    More later…:cool:

    Biollante
     
  11. Whiskey

    Whiskey Subscriber

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    Thanks for the encouragement Biollante! At least that's what I'm calling the latter part of that message; however things might be a little more grim for me than you let on. You see, it's only a 30 gallon tank, so the cost of Excel is not going to be much of a Deturant, and not only that, but most of my buddies are gone now because rather than scrub old leaves, he simply opted to remove them. This tank was never too much of a paridice for me anyway, it's why I was never able to grow like I wanted, and why it took me so long to form on new leaves, but it's gotten far worse than that now.

    I really do hope your right, I really hope I still have a chance, I managed to collect the dosing details you were hoping for. His dosing is loosely based on the EI method, he takes about 4 days worth of EI for his size tank, and mixes that with water, in a container graduated out for 5 days, he then adds a little Iron to the trace one, and instead of dosing it 3 times per week, he doses it 2 - like so:
    Sat - 25% WC
    Sun - Macro
    Mon - Micro
    Tues - Off
    Wed - Macro
    Thurs - Micro
    Fri - off
    Testing has shown that the tank maintains levels of Po4 and No3 with this schedule, while not letting them climb out of control, typical readings are po4 = 10ppm, NO3-20-40 ppm.

    What do you think? What can I do to help me grow?
    Scared algae, hiding in the back of Whiskeys tank.
     
  12. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Stepping Out Of Character

    Hi Whiskey, Wearsbunnyslippers, Duthcy, Shawn, All,

    Stepping out of character and addressing red algae issues. Wearsbunnyslippers and a couple of emailers have asked general questions. I think the aggravating red alga that Whiskey is dealing with is rather a special case example.

    I also believe this particular group of Rhodophyta clan is often misidentified. Actually, misidentification of the whole Rhodophyta red algae bunch is common.:eek: A decent magnifying glass and a good light source would clear a lot nonsense when it comes to various algae.:rolleyes:

    I keep looking at the pictures Whiskey provided and I know I am seeing something amiss, though I have neither the wit nor wisdom to identify it.:eek:
    [​IMG]

    The mammalian prejudice is identifiable, however. It is far better to regard infestations of primitive plants such as alga as single entities rather than a group of individuals as you might an infestation of rats.:gw

    While a biocide such as SeaChem Excel may suppress the red algae for a bit it is unlikely to eradicate it and may even cause enough variation to foster resurgence, particularly as the biocide works against other natural competitors.

    • Should the CO2 levels be wonky the Excel may provide an advantage, low and/or unstable CO2 is one of the main causes of red algae.

    The most effective action taken so far is removing the infected leaves and providing the plants shade.:)

    Certainly the nitrates and phosphates seem high enough, particularly the phosphate.

    I still recommend oxygenation and further mechanical removal. Even if just an 80% water change and a good going over of all hard surfaces with a toothbrush, scrubber what-have-you followed by wiping up with paper towels.;)

    I will give more on general red algae later.

    Biollante
     
  13. Whiskey

    Whiskey Subscriber

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    That leaf your pointing out in the picture there, is actually not an Anubis leaf, but instead a newly developing Java Fern leaf that got mixed into that plant. Does that change your diagnosis of the nutrient deficiency at all?

    I can try the magnifying glass thing if it comes back some - but the only one I have is a hoop light used for working on small mechanical things like watches.

    I have noticed an interesting Phononomonon BTW,.. since I started really dosing Excel (only 2 days) my plants have completely stopped pearling. I may have over done it? But my plants don't seem very happy at the moment, they are not wilting or anything, but they have reacted to the tank change for sure.

    Whiskey
     
  14. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    H2o2

    Hi Whiskey,

    I did realize that leaf was not part of the Anubis; I also note that the uninfected Anubis leaf to the left also appears pale, somewhat yellow.

    [​IMG]
    I know pictures like these can be deceptive but the longer I look, and I confess to a little “image adjusting,” the more convinced I am that you have some underlying nutrient deficiencies, I am almost certain that Potassium levels are low and probably iron and/or magnesium.

    You need to be careful with Excel, though if your CO2 should be low it can help. I would be careful with anything over 3-ml/day, 15-ml with 50% plus water change.

    I am honestly not sure what your dosing is, for weekly totals is it anywhere close to:
    1 teaspoon of KNO3
    3 milliliters of Fleet enemas or 3/16 KH2PO4/K2HPO4
    1 teaspoon Epsom salts
    3/8 teaspoon CSM+B

    I recommend you dose 120-ml 3% hydrogen peroxide, once or twice a day, twice if you can dose in the morning and again in the early evening. If possible, with a turkey baster or a cooking meat seasoning injector, aim the 3% H2O2 at any patches of algae. Your plants will pearl!:cool:

    Biollante
     
  15. Whiskey

    Whiskey Subscriber

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    Hmm,.. Interesting. If I really do have a nutrient deficiency it certainly needs to be addressed, I could go back to full EI dosing for a bit, extra doesn't seem to hurt.

    My weekly totals are something like:
    3/4 tsp KNO3
    3/4 tsp K2S04
    3/32 tsp CSM-b
    3/32 tsp KP04
    7 ML Flourish Iron

    My light levels are fairly low however - only 1 55W PC and a 20W NO more than a foot off the water, and this tank is a 24" tall tank, so I've always kept the dosing on the lower side as well.

    Whiskey
     
  16. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    Would such a treatment be effective against BBA? I have a stubborn patch that I tried direct scrubbing and excel with but it didn't seem to flinch. Is it only effective against brush algae types? what about cladophora ( I have that continually pop up in the same spot among my hairgrass)? Is it harmful to particular plants? anubias are quite hardy compared to many others.
     
  17. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Plenty Of K!

    Hi Whiskey,

    Well it seems you have plenty of potassium!:)

    I am not familiar with KPO4, but the phosphate seems reasonable, nowhere close to the 10-ppm the testing reports. :)

    The trace is going to be very low, I would at minimum double the CSM+B.

    Are you dosing any Magnesium or Calcium?:confused:

    I would be adding at least ½ teaspoon of Epsom salt.:gw

    I do not think lighting is a major issue; there is an imbalance of some sort going on.

    Red algae is generally associated with low oxygen, wonky CO2 levels and/or circulation issues, the slow growing shade adapted plants simply have fewer defenses so those plants that are in the light are going to be the first to be noticeably affected. The 45-umol PAR you reported is not particularly high I have various Anubis in that much light, though they seem to prefer less.

    I keep looking at the pictures and feel as though I am missing something.:eek:

    Biollante
     
  18. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Red Algae By Any Other Name... Sucks Big Time

    Hi Shawn,

    Assuming BBA is for Black Beard (Brush or Bush) Algae, it is a Rhodophyta that is red algae.:gw

    Usually associated with low or wonky CO2, low O2 and these of course can be a result of poor circulation. It is also associated with low nitrates.

    The answer is usually to make sure
    1. CO2 is stable (I like above 300-pp)
    2. good circulation
    3. in non-CO2 tanks good circulation, even adding an air stone can help
    4. nutrients level are non-limiting.
    Rhodophyta are about the most stubborn nasty algae around.:mad:

    Usually red algae has to mechanically removed, I like the oxygen treatments I described earlier. :)

    They are susceptible to oxygen. ;)

    They are also, if all else fails vulnerable to copper.:eek:

    Biollante
     
    #18 Biollante, Jul 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2011
  19. Whiskey

    Whiskey Subscriber

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    Sorry I've been away from this thread for a bit, but my second job has been taking up a fair amount of my time recently.

    Today I ran out of my ferts that I mixed with water, so I went back to dosing full EI for my tank size, and dry dosing it like I did when I first started the tank, if I do have a nutrient deficiency this should take care of it, and if not, it shouldn't hurt anything.

    I'll keep you guys posted.
    Whiskey
     
    #19 Whiskey, Jul 16, 2011
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