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Weird algae spreading...


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Hoping someone can help me out. Some weird algae has made a home in my 4 foot community tank and it's spreading to any and all surfaces. It looks like a furry carpet of around 1 to 1.5 cm long and seems to attach itself easier to rougher surfaces rather than smooth. The pic shows it has colonised the fake rock background, the UG powerhead, the heater head and heater supports.

Does anyone know what it is, and more importantly, a reasonably painless way to get rid of it? Its even colonising the java ferns and val plant leaves. aaarrgg!!

Video came out too dark so all I could get was the below still photo.

I think a video of it will help so I'll try to take one again.

P1010006.jpg

Thanks in advance for any ideas/comments...

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That looks like hair algae to me. I don't think it's particularily dangerous, some fish even enjoy eating it. It is VERY HARD to get off! I used boiling water & a scourer & still couldn't get it off. It's usually caused by having your aquarium light on for too long. The Siamese Flying Fox loves to eat it, might be an idea to get some of them. They are better kept in pairs & they love to eat algae! Personally, I just live with it. I think it looks kinda cool.

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my tank has it, i scrubbed it off the front of the tank and let it stay on the sides, back and the plants etc. My mollies have eaten quite a bit off which is good. And yeah, supposedly siamese flying foxes eat it. Its too tough for bristlenoses that i've tried.

I believe you can get algae-rid from aquariums which MIGHT be ok for this???

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Thanks for your comments. I looked up the Siamese Flying Fox and it looks very much like algae eaters commonly available at the lfs. I remember having these many years ago and found them a little aggressive when they reach full size. Young ones should be ok. I think I'll get at least a pair to try to keep the algae in check. Mollies would be a lovely addition, perhaps a second choice since they require more specific water conditions. I'll back off on the lighting a couple of hours a day and see how it goes.

Thanks again.. Looks like I'm off to the lfs this weekend

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Its not hair algae its black beard/brush algae (BBA)

If you get the "flying fox" make sure you get the real Siamese algae eaters and not the fake chinese ones, they are the aggressive ones.

Alternatively spot dose with seachem excel or dino spit.

Edited by Peter16
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Thanks Peter.

I did research the flying fox a bit yesterday and found what appears to be a good explanation of the different varieties. It indicated the preferred species of flying fox to be Crossocheilus siamensis (clear fins, pointed nose). If anyone is interested in the article, go here: http://www.perthcichlid.com.au/forum/index...showtopic=16238

From what I can find on the web, BBA is largely indestructible. It appears the best I can hope for is to reduce it rather than eradicate it altogether. I found an extensive article on BBA. Here is the link if anyone is interested. http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/Algae/brush-algae.html

I must admit that my tank's nitrate levels have been elevated for the last few weeks due to not finding the time for water changes. A combination of all the advice provided is called for I think.

- weekly water changes for a while. (big water changes are out due to the cold)

- reduced lighting time.

- find a few Siamese flying fox.

- seachem excel or dino spit.

Thanks again all for your comments.

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For a slightly more unusual colourful hair algae eater try the American flag fish,Jordanella floridae.I personally dont have it but members of the Sydney killigroup probably do(see killifish australia forum)Its seen in LFS occasionally

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I ripped my tank apart when I had that, and it really was pretty unkillable. I baked the sand, I bleached the filter, I tossed the organic stuff, and it just sprang back. The bleached white stuff turned green again! I ended up going with no plants, massive manual removal and sunning the contents of the tank for a while. I also tried crossing my fingers (read: gave up hope of an algae-free tank). I'm not sure if it was the SAE, the BN or the crabs, but something in the tank too care of it. Absolute pits to deal with though, very best of luck!

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looks like bba - black beard algae.

essentially, parameters of tank encourage the stuff to proliferate. so in order to remove it, have to either manually remove it, nuke it with chemicals or get something to eat it. even then if you don't change tank parameters it'll keep coming back.

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Thanks all for your comments.

Killiguy:

I had read that the American Flag Fish was a possibility but wasn't sure I'd be able to find them. They sure are a pretty fish! Assuming I can source some, can you (or anyone else) comment on their temperament. From what I can find out they can sometimes be aggressive and also nip the fins of long-finned fish.

Callatya:

From everything I've read, I suspect you're right. I'm gonna have to live with it and control it as best as possible. Hopefully, I'll be as fortunate as you and it'll disappear (with some encouragement).

So far I have reduced the lighting to 8hrs/day and blocked the light from hitting the corner of the tank where the BBA is most prolific. More water changes coming up and of course sourcing some super algae eaters.

Thanks everyone. I sure love this forum.

Edited by Jaime
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