Thread: Black Alge?
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Old 26-06-2006, 04:36 AM posted to rec.aquaria.freshwater.plants
Jim Conklin
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Default Black Alge?

"Bill Stock" wrote in message

"Jim Conklin" wrote in message
I'm having a problem with what I would call 'black alge' on my plants
and driftwood. I have a 55 gallon discus planted tank, 2.4 watts/gallon,
pH 6.2, temp 84-85F, GH 75ppm, KH 120ppm, 0 Nitrite and less then 20ppm
Nitrate. I feed the plants the usual Flourish supplements every few

This stuff is slimy and covers the leaves and back of the tank. It's
almost black and I clean it off with my fingers. I keep the lights on
for no more the 12 hours. Any help IDing it or suggestions on how to get
rid of it would be appreciated. Thanks!

In addition to what Dick said.

Common treatments for BBA (Black Brush Algae) are blackout, trimming
infected leaves, scrubbing followed by a water change, increased water
flow and critters.

I don't remember the suggested blackout (absolutely no light) period, but
I believe it's about a week. Some people have claimed this did not work
for them.

Removal is one of the better options, remove infected leaves, wipe sides
with a paper towel, vacuum gravel and do a large water change after
scrubbing. You should be doing large water changes weekly in any event.
Really seems to help keep the Algae in check.

Dipping infected plants in Hydrogen Peroxide or 20:1 mix of water and
bleach. I found Hydrogen Peroxide useless and went for the bleach mixture.

I also added BBA eating critters SAES seem to be the best. But I'm not
sure they would like your low PH.

What's your water flow like? Do you know where your Phosphate/Iron levels
are? It's possible one of these is too low and limiting your plant growth,
which allows the Algae to thrive.

I have pretty good water flow: a Filstar canister filter working together
with a Marineland 350. Phosphate is very high and always has been so. This
stuff started appearing about a month ago. I've been adding a capful of
Iron supplement weekly with 50% water changes, perhaps I should add more?
I thought I was keeping the tank clean as I have crystal clear water but
perhaps I'm not. I'll try a massive cleaning: 75% water change together
w/ gravel vacuum and trimming off the infected leaves and wiping down the
sides. Does SAES stand for Siamese Algae Eaters? Thanks for the help.