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Is this algae?

Simmo

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Hi Folks
Tufty stuff on my Java ferns, is it algae? Can’t find a photo the same with a search. Thinking hair algae possibly?
Tank is Juwel Lido 200 litre
Juwel LED lights 6 hrs per day and Biopower 600 filter with 50% singeted glass media
No ferts added
Substrate is 20% gravel, 80% Tropica soil
Tank set up 5 weeks ago
17 juvenile neons, 1 geriatric survivor glow tetra
2 geriatric corys
Averaged 30% water change every other day this past week, 20% the week before
Original Plants are mini sword, Vallis, cryps, Java fern and moss, Amazon swords went in today, water sprite floating went in a few days ago
Thanks 👍😀
 

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jaypeecee

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Tufty stuff on my Java ferns, is it algae?
Hi @Simmo

That looks very much like Black Brush/Beard Algae (BBA). You may want to scan the following thread:


I say 'scan' as it's 28 pages long.

JPC
 

Simmo

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Thanks Guys, will try for a better photo
 

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Simmo

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So looks like BBA, Hmm here I was thinking i needed to do more water changing and James Algae Guide says no change as Co2 fluctuation from water changes can cause it. Given this is a newish low tech tank think I’ll stick to 20% changes every 2 days but dose with Excel to help clear it up and add ferts to encourage Java Fern leaf growth. I had assumed there would be lotsof ferts from theTropica soil but maybe they’re used up. Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate are zero BTW so maybe zero Nitrate supports this opinion? Sound a reasonable plan?
 
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jaypeecee

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Hi @Simmo

In my experience, there is rarely one single cause of algae growth. But, let me ask - are your Java Ferns planted in the substrate?

JPC
 

Simmo

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Hi @Simmo

In my experience, there is rarely one single cause of algae growth. But, let me ask - are your Java Ferns planted in the substrate?

JPC
Good question but no, they’re jammed into cracks in wood etc. They went bananas growing very fast in the first weeks, now they’ve slowed/stopped I am hoping more ferts in the water will boost their growth as the BBA can be found on the edges/tips of slow growers? The Java all have fairly high flow but BBA seems to grow in any flow?
 

Simmo

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It's some kind of BBA type algae.

I think you do need to feed your plants. Particularly given the java fern is an epiphyte.

Id be inclined not to try "treating" it. Just watch for clean new growth and eventually trim away the tatty old growth.
Thanks Kezzab, appreciate the advice, I have started dosing ferts as of 5 mintes ago 😀 In truth I can live with a little algae but if it starts to spread rapidly I’ve ordered some Excel to help keep it in check.
 

jaypeecee

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Hi @Kezzab

I wonder if the Java Ferns are leaching organics/nutrients into the water on the edges of their leaves? And the BBA is feeding on this.

JPC
 

Simmo

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Hi @Kezzab

I wonder if the Java Ferns are leaching organics/nutrients into the water on the edges of their leaves? And the BBA is feeding on this.

JPC
Sounds a good theory, meanwhile I’m pruning the affected leafs; I notice how much detritus is released when I move the plants, probably need to move them more often and clean it up
 

dw1305

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jaypeecee

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I notice how much detritus is released when I move the plants
Hi @Simmo

I'm very much of the view that dissolved organic compounds (DOCs)* are the major reason why we can end up with algae and cyanobacteria in our tanks. I'm currently running experiments and doing a lot of reading to put this hypothesis to the test. This may well be the reason you are seeing the BBA. Moral of the story - remove as much detritus as possible as soon as it becomes noticeable. That's not the full story but it should help.

* from detritus, etc.

JPC
 

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