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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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Old 03-09-2019, 01:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayneb64 View Post
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.
Does it rub off very easily or do you have to scrub real hard? It looks like a black fungus I see occasionally on plants at my local Petco. It is removed by hand or you can do a bleach dip to remove it.
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Old 03-10-2019, 04:44 PM   #12
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Cyanobacteria.

The clue is the oxygen bubbles.
Most often a lush green/blue but can also be brown.

Normally this is due to lack of water changes or organic build up within the tank. More water movement is certainly beneficial as it usually forms in dead spots.

If you have clowns......more water movement is a good thing! Cyano should disappear once you resolve the underlying cause(s).
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:09 AM   #13
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I am still waiting on the Oto's I ordered, but the power head did come in and I installed it last night. It was the smallest I could find, only 110 GPH but it seems to have made a huge difference in the water flow in the tank. I placed it at one end of my 30 long half way down the tank. The fish seem more active but I fear they will never be able to 'rest'. Do I need to put it on a timer? Is to much flow a bad thing?

I have two clown loaches, six glo tetras, and a small plecostomus or two.
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:37 PM   #14
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Move the power head up higher in the tank and point it slightly upwards.
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Old 03-14-2019, 06:00 PM   #15
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I have not moved it up yet as I want to be sure it's below the low water line when I change the water, but I did point it up at almost 45 degrees which seemed to help a lot. I will adjust again during my water change this weekend.

I had originally tried the propeller for 'laminar' flow which I had up near the top but it was so noisy I couldn't stand it so now it's using the impeller instead, almost silent but seemingly more efficient.

Why do clowns like water movement?
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Old 03-16-2019, 11:51 AM   #16
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I finally got 1 tiny live Oto and 3 dead ones today, rescued from the post office a day late, $70 wasted mostly shipping cost to the incompetent USPS.
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Old 03-16-2019, 12:15 PM   #17
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Will the business you ordered them from send you out more fish if you receive dead on arrival? A lot of places offer gauranteed live delivery.
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:45 PM   #18
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The site said that but when you go to submit a loss form you have to have pictures of the dead fish within four hours of delivery. I didn't read that until I had already flushed two dead ones. They don't answer their phone and the message says to send a text message, which I did but I am afraid the best case is they give me a few dollars credit for more fish and I will have to pay the massive shipping charges again, which I should not have to because the stupid post office dropped the ball.
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Old 03-16-2019, 02:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayneb64 View Post
The site said that but when you go to submit a loss form you have to have pictures of the dead fish within four hours of delivery. I didn't read that until I had already flushed two dead ones. They don't answer their phone and the message says to send a text message, which I did but I am afraid the best case is they give me a few dollars credit for more fish and I will have to pay the massive shipping charges again, which I should not have to because the stupid post office dropped the ball.
You should be able to file a claim with the post office if it actually is their fault but you know the post office, they will probably reject the claim. Still worth a try.
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Old 03-16-2019, 03:32 PM   #20
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Try to find a business that uses Fed Ex next day delivery in the future.
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