Need help identifying algae

Ashneon2020

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New to the forum so this is my first post! Would anybody please be able to identify this type of algae covering my plants in my tank. I have looked online and dont seem to be able to match it with any. Doesnt look like blackbeard algae as it's not fluffy and it's been like this for well over a year. Thanks in advance!
20200731_220553.jpg
20200731_220517.jpg
 

Krzysztof 82 (Kris)

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Hi,
Looks like You don't have algae but bacteria. You are looking at cyanobacteria. Check NO3 level, it's probably very low. Vacuum as much as possible with water changes. Raise oxygen level, by setting water outflow moving surface of your tank. It can be done by raising lily pipe 1cm below water surface, for example. Depending on what out flow You have. Also adding good bacteria would be an idea, for example Seachem Stability, Microbe-Lift Special Blend. The last one you can but from Maidenhead Aquatics, very smelly but also very good. Last resort would be using Chemical or Erythromycin antibiotic.
 

Nick72

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Hi,
Looks like You don't have algae but bacteria. You are looking at cyanobacteria. Check NO3 level, it's probably very low. Vacuum as much as possible with water changes. Raise oxygen level, by setting water outflow moving surface of your tank. It can be done by raising lily pipe 1cm below water surface, for example. Depending on what out flow You have. Also adding good bacteria would be an idea, for example Seachem Stability, Microbe-Lift Special Blend. The last one you can but from Maidenhead Aquatics, very smelly but also very good. Last resort would be using Chemical or Erythromycin antibiotic.
I'm interested in your diagnosis @Krzysztof 82 (Kris)

I'm fairly familiar with Cyanobacteria, the stagnant smell that accompanies it, and the blue/green sheets it forms.

The photos provided by the OP don't look anything like the Cyanobacteria that I know.

Although I also have a similar unidentified algae:

6EEF45F2-3229-4D71-9597-B1DF9F0EF1B4.jpeg


I was thinking this was a stain caused by dead diatoms, but I'm not sure.

Do you think the OP and I have the same algae? I note that the OP's algae looks Red where mine looks Black.

Why do you consider this Cyanobacteria?

Do you believe this is active Cyanobacteria or the remnants of dying Cyanobacteria?
 
Last edited:

Nick72

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Hi all,
It looks like a <"Red Algae"> (Rhodophyta). We are somewhere near <"Black Brush Algae">. We have a couple of <"very long">, but inconclusive, threads about these.

cheers Darrel
Thanks Darrel,

I'll increase from 5ml to 8ml of daily Excel and go back to dosing the extra 15ml Excel on water change day,

I'll also push my lights back a little as it's only effecting my carpet at the front of the tank.
 

Krzysztof 82 (Kris)

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Good morning all,

Regarding cyanobacteria, remember that there are so many different types of them, that can be different in different cases. Also, every tank is different from the other. In my opinion mainly it is a problem with biology system and low level of nitrogen. There was mistake in my first answer, I meant Chemiclean, not "Chemical". I was struggling with this invaders for couple of months trying to balance biology and nutrition's in my tank, including removing them with every water change. Could do nothing to stop them and watching how they been covering slowly but surely half of my tank. That was it, I found Chemiclean I used it. Four day and were gone. Unfortunately after some time they came back. I have tried once again Chemiclean, but didn't work this time. So I have decided to use Erythromycin and that helped till now. I do hope they will not come back.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
In my opinion mainly it is a problem with biology system and low level of nitrogen.
We have a couple of <"threads on this">, not all cyanobacteria are <"nitrogen fixing"> and some species are adapted to <"low nutrient conditions">.

We don't actually know why some tanks have a range of algae and some tanks don't.
So I have decided to use Erythromycin and that helped till now.
That isn't actually legal in the UK, due to (valid) concerns about <"antibiotic resistance">.

cheers Darrel
 

Krzysztof 82 (Kris)

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About low nitrogen I'm aware of that, that's why wrote "mainly".
With antibiotics unfortunately it's not easy, but managed to get it from my colleague who's living in France. In my situation it helped. I'm not trying to convince anyone to my theory, just giving example of my case.

Thank you.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
With antibiotics unfortunately it's not easy, but managed to get it from my colleague who's living in France.
I'd strongly discourage people from doing this. We need to act responsibly as a forum.
Can it be one of these?
No, they are anaerobic, you get them in Winogradsky columns.

cheers Darrel
 

Ashneon2020

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Thanks for everybody's input, I've read the rules and learned I should state my tanks profile. I dont dose with any ferts nor do I inject/dose co2, I have low light for 5 hours per day although it does get sunlight for a bit in the morning. The tank is very under stocked and the live plants I have are anubias, java fern, crypto and dwarf sag (which is slowly dying off) the tank has is 100 litres and has a 130 litre external filter on it with another 40 litre in tank filter, the flow is high and disturbs the water surface plenty.
Regarding the algae or bacteria even as some have suggested, I've removed a anubias leaf and there is no odor, nor does it rub of and isnt slimey. It feels soft like cotton.
15962897280617069629407210542760.jpg
I have attached a picture of a close up of the leaf I removed. Thanks again
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I've removed a anubias leaf and there is no odor, nor does it rub of and isnt slimey. It feels soft like cotton.
It is definitely a Red Algae, so "BBA".
I dont dose with any ferts nor do I inject/dose co2, I have low light for 5 hours per day although it does get sunlight for a bit in the morning. The tank is very under stocked and the live plants I have are anubias, java fern, crypto and dwarf sag (which is slowly dying off)
OK. You need to feed your plants and you probably need a <"longer photoperiod"> for low-tech.

Have a look at <"Amazonia, phosphate and ....">. I'm a snail fan, I see you have Assassin Snails so I assume you aren't, but snails <"may help with controlling BBA">.

Can I ask what your substrate is?

cheers Darrel
 
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