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Old 03-08-2019, 02:59 PM   #1
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What is this black stuff?

I have been fighting this stuff, whatever it is for months or more. I have tried all kinds of things but I cannot get rid of it. I clean it off my fake plants every week, and rub it off my live plants as well.

I have reduced the temp to 72F, reduced the light time to about 10 hours, change the water every week. I use Algae Block which works great on the green algae but allows this stuff to thrive.

I have a UV sterilizer. I have tried PhosGuard Phosphate & Silicate Remover.

I moved the heater over near the OTC filter and the black stuff grows better over there now.
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Old 03-09-2019, 06:48 AM   #2
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Black Beard Algae
I am constantly battling it in one of my tanks, luckily it only has fake plants & rocks so I have settled for keeping it to a minimum with hand cleaning and when something gets too badly covered take the item out and either toss or or give it a good peroxide soak. Only way I ever eliminated it in another tank was to tear the whole tank apart and soak or dump everything that even hinted at having any including the gravel substrate
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:48 AM   #3
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I'll add a few options if it's truly BB Algae. To me it doesn't really appear to be from your pics but I could be wrong.

Pull out everything covered in the algae and soak it in a 10% bleach solution. Even live plants.

Buy a couple of true SAE's (Siamese Algae Eaters).

Double dose your tank with Seachem Flourish Excel.

Turn your lighting down to 7-8 hours a day.
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:13 AM   #4
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It has never shown any filaments like other pictures of Black Beard algae I have seen.

I do soak my fake plants in vinegar for a week to help clean them.

I have two plecostumis but they only seem to like to feed on the green algae and mostly on the rocks.

I do use Aqueon Plant Food and Seachem Flourish Excel. The plants seem happy enough except for this black stuff coating them.

My tank is REALLY old. I have not disturbed the substrate other than vacuuming it for probably 10-15 years. I fear what lurks under there. I don['t have or want a second tank so not sure how to clean that out without risking my fish.
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:24 AM   #5
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To me it looks like diatoms. Especially the first picture.

Have you tried adding Nerite snails. Otos are also an option for diatoms.

I've had diatoms turn some parts of my plants leaves black when I wasn't on top of cleaning it off.
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Old 03-09-2019, 08:57 AM   #6
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I have clown loaches, which if I recall LOVE snails, so I don't think that will work out for me, but maybe I am remembering wrong.

It looks like I would have to mail order an Otocinclus or two, I have never mail ordered fish before, only plants. Does anyone have experience with that? Do they survive well?

I think I have tried solutions for diatoms before but it didn't seem to have any affect but maybe I didn't do them correctly.
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Old 03-09-2019, 09:53 AM   #7
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I second TRUE SAEs they were the only thing that touched the algae on the rock formations.
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:10 AM   #8
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It could be possible some things weren't done correctly. I still haven't mastered plants and algae issues entirely. I have silicates in my tap water so I'm constantly battling diatoms. I know those real well.

Shipping fish has worked out well for me. My advice is to pick a reputable company, don't have them shipped in cold or extremely hot weather, and always do next day air even if it costs a bit of money. It's worth it if it helps out your problem.

Yes, clown loaches eat snails so scratch that. Shrimp will also eat diatoms.
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:41 AM   #9
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LiveAquaria is where I buy my plants but they are out of stock currently on Oto's. I see them at aquariumfishsale and trinsfish but I have no experience with them. I like that the Oto's have a max size of 4" where as the SAE's can grow to 6" and will feed on other things instead of Algae.
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Old 03-09-2019, 12:01 PM   #10
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Otos only get 2 inches.

Here's a business I've had luck with.......

https://www.azgardens.com/product/al...ter-tank-fish/
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