Algae ID on Java fern

tiger15

Member
Joined
14 Mar 2018
Messages
507
Location
USA
I have never seen this algae before that recently infested some of my Java fern leaves.

They don’t seem to be fern spores as no baby ferns grow out of them. They are not bba as they are not hairy, not soft to touch, and don’t grow along leaf edges. They are hard and bumpy, deep green, and scattered randomly on the lower and upper sides of the leaf blade.

What are they and how to get rid of them.
 

Attachments

  • 139643ED-36D8-49FE-B24F-E528DF60C0D1.jpeg
    139643ED-36D8-49FE-B24F-E528DF60C0D1.jpeg
    2 MB · Views: 185
  • 72ED513A-24AB-4FBD-AAD1-7C88132330EA.jpeg
    72ED513A-24AB-4FBD-AAD1-7C88132330EA.jpeg
    1 MB · Views: 188
  • 0878AE86-D303-4246-B1E9-E0DA03CF357B.jpeg
    0878AE86-D303-4246-B1E9-E0DA03CF357B.jpeg
    1.4 MB · Views: 184
  • D1098E48-0CEF-423F-A2DC-E0EB8E3F867E.jpeg
    D1098E48-0CEF-423F-A2DC-E0EB8E3F867E.jpeg
    1.5 MB · Views: 160
  • FE6B7D7B-6DA4-403E-8E39-D6781EF1BEDE.jpeg
    FE6B7D7B-6DA4-403E-8E39-D6781EF1BEDE.jpeg
    1.5 MB · Views: 140
Last edited:

tiger15

Member
Joined
14 Mar 2018
Messages
507
Location
USA
Hi all, They look like they might be a <"Nostoc sp., a Cyanobacteria">. I get it some of the trays in the glasshouse,so high light, low nutrients and hard water.

cheers Darrel
Mine look like the green balls in the pics except that mine are less than 1 mm, as opposed to 1 to 2 cm as depicted in your pics. Mine are found only on the leaves, not on the substrate or anywhere else as in the pics. I have mildly hard water, pH 7.6, gH10, kH4, low to medium light, 50 PAR on substrate, and high nutrients since the tank is heavily stocked and and I dose.
 

tiger15

Member
Joined
14 Mar 2018
Messages
507
Location
USA
Still can't figure out what it is. It's very rough to touch and not spherical but more like bba without the hair. It's not bba because it did not respond to peroxide or excel treatment. Could it be some viral mutation and not algae? Presently, it only infested about 5% of the leaves but I am afraid it may spread.

I took some macro pics and hopefully someone can ID it.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_6112.JPG
    IMG_6112.JPG
    49.3 KB · Views: 108
  • IMG_6113.JPG
    IMG_6113.JPG
    53.2 KB · Views: 106
  • IMG_6114.JPG
    IMG_6114.JPG
    73 KB · Views: 110
  • IMG_6115.JPG
    IMG_6115.JPG
    75.4 KB · Views: 107

Hanuman

Member
Joined
4 Jan 2019
Messages
506
Location
Thailand
If you can go under the sun and take a focused pic so we can see the details would be better.
 

X3NiTH

Member
Joined
13 Apr 2014
Messages
1,005
Looks like it could possibly be Fungal Perithecium growth, this would explain why it is only seen on the plants and not the hardscape because it's emerging from within the leaves themselves, possibly acquired if the plant was growing above the water at any stage.

If it's not that it still looks like the plant is responding to whatever is bothering it by making what appears to be galls of a sort.

Still think it's fungal though as I can't think what underwater pest would cause such symptoms.
 
Last edited:

tiger15

Member
Joined
14 Mar 2018
Messages
507
Location
USA
After doing a lot of research, I came to the conclusion that the bumps are not algae, but some sort of systemic infection by bacteria, fungus or virus. The bumps appear on the leaves and rhizomes that lead to deformity, and affect only Java fern, both my broad leaf and narrow leaf Trident. It’s worse than algae, as I can effectively treat algae with glut or peroxide. I have no clue what the infectious pathogen is and how to treat. I have removed as much as 75% of the infected ferns, and dosed glut and ick remedy in the hope that it can root out the infection. At the end, if it doesn’t work, I may lose all the ferns and have to start over.

I have not introduced any new ferns for 2 years, so the infection is not newly introduced from a bad source. I. transplanted the ferns from stock in my other tank, which has no infection. Its possible the infectious pathogen is pre existing but not manefest itself in the other tank. The cultural difference between the two tanks is that I dose glut in the other tank regularly after weekly water change, but not the infected tank until recently.

https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/java-fern-bumps.278300/
 

tiger15

Member
Joined
14 Mar 2018
Messages
507
Location
USA
I have succeeded in defeating the java fern disease despite not knowing what it is.

I discarded all infected leaves and rhizomes whenever I discovered bumps on them over a period of several months. I took the ferns out and sprayed thoroughly with 3% H2O2 followed by dosing the tank water with Glutaldehyde at initial high dosage (2ppm) in weekly WC. I discarded about 90% infected and saved the remaining healthy ferns to restart. After about a year, they have regrown into healthy lush bush to reclaim prior glory with no noticeable infections. I continue to dose Glut thereafter in weekly WC for general disease and algae prevention.

Glut is an all purpose biocide against algae, virus, bacteria, fungus and protozoa according to the label, and apparently it is effective in rooting out whichever pathogen it was causing the disease.
 
Last edited:

Hufsa

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
146
Location
Norway
Very interesting @tiger15 , thank you for your reply.

I looked up fasciation @MirandaB but im not sure, the galls can spring from any part of the plant and not just from a growing tip / point like it seems fasciation needs? Maybe I misunderstood.

My favorite store to buy plants from has gotten this gall "disease" or whatever it is for the second time. Despite my careful inspection of the pots before purchasing, I got two pots of Narrow leaf java fern that contained small amounts of these galls on the inside of the pot. The two infected pots have been placed in a quarantine container in my kitchen, and the galls seem to be spreading rather rapidly. Im tempted to throw some chemicals at them to see if I can reproduce your success. Rhizome plants are expensive for the store to buy and very expensive to have to throw out at a loss, so it would be great if I could offer my LFS a solution. They seem a bit lost about what to do currently.

I could even split the rhizomes out into more containers and try different treatment options, in a semi-scientific manner.. Hm.
 

tiger15

Member
Joined
14 Mar 2018
Messages
507
Location
USA
The chemicals will not cure existing galls, but will prevent spreading of new infection. You have to discard infected portion and restart from healthy portion. This is why I concluded it is not algae as dead algae will change color and disintegrate. It appears to spread by contact, not via water as infection is contiguous and won’t jump to far away plant.
 
Last edited:

Hufsa

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
146
Location
Norway
When I bought the two infected pots, one pot had approx 10% rhizomes and leaves displaying symptoms, and in the second pot almost 50% of the rhizomes and leaves had galls.
All the ones visibly infected were thrown away. After that I plopped the plants into the same container, but with approximately 10 cm of water between the two bunches.
I went through all of them again late on thursday, and found a lot more galls. About 50% of the rhizomes and leaves had galls now, equal in both clusters. Everything with visible infection was thrown out. Entire rhizome even if it had just one gall on one leaf.

They are due for another check today, I will look at them now and report back with my findings.
Im tempted to see if I can get a microscope picture of one of the galls, or something

 

Hufsa

Member
Joined
22 Aug 2019
Messages
146
Location
Norway
Just went through all of them, today no obvious galls. The large amount I had to throw away on thursday may have been because of a delay in the plant, that the thing that causes the galls were already present when i brought them home, but the galls themselves hadnt shown up at that point. Im pretty sure the green lump is something the plant makes in response to whatever this is, it really seems to be a part of the plant and cannot be picked off without tearing a hole in the plant itself.

There were only a few small bumps that MAY develop into galls that I found today, everything that looked even remotely suspicious was seperated and has been placed into a second container.
I may have been a little too efficient with removal on thursday and have managed to clear it out completely, which is almost unfortunate. I didnt think to save any sick specimens at the time, as I was rather annoyed and didnt want to see this disease ever again. We will see if there is still some left that I can experiment on.
 

Similar threads

Top