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Old 07-11-2017, 09:21 PM   #1
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Fuzzy algae on java fern and holes in lower stem plant leaves

My java fern is growing crazy black fuzz and my leaves on my stem plants are getting holes and falling off. Also just started getting green spot algae. Does anyone have any advise on what could be causing this. I'm going to move to a 46g in a couple weeks. I use eco complete, substrate ferts, I dose iron and potassium, and use a aqua sky light for my 20g tall. I don't use c02 but use liquid co2. Could it maybe low light? Click image for larger version

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Old 07-12-2017, 09:33 AM   #2
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Crazy black fuzz ='s Black Brush Algae.

Usually a sign of unstable or not enough CO2..

Do you do weekly water changes ??

You definitely have an imbalance somewhere. I don't think your light is too low. More than likely the liquid CO2 is not enough, maybe you need to add some more. I use liquid CO2 and I inject CO2 myself.

I will add that H2O2 treatments are also very effective and can be used in the aquarium itself

Here is some info about using Hydrogen Peroxide. Its not a cure, the cure is finding your imbalance but H2O2 will help you salvage you infected plants for now. I've used it many times on my journey



Also Nerite snails are good addition to an algae eating crew in an aquarium. Won't solve imbalances but they help. They are known to pick at BBA

Here is some info I found that will get you started

Brush Algae, Black Beard or Black Brush Algae - Everything Aquatic

Common Causes
  • Unstable or too little CO2. This has to be the number one cause! When CO2 is in short supply or when it is unstable, plants are not able to use all the fertilizers and available light for photosynthesis. This type of environment leaves the door wide open and Black Beard algae will jump at the chance! In a moderate to high light tank, CO2 supplementation required or you will forever be dealing with Black Beard algae.
  • Low pH. It has been noted by many that African Rift or other tanks with higher pH tend to be free of Black Brush algae. Therefore, our theory is that this algae form does not grow well in these types of environments; however, it thrives in lower pH environments.
  • Overdosing or unbalanced fertilization schedule. Fertilizers, both in the water column and in the substrate, must be balanced with lighting and carbon dioxide supplementation to control algae. A properly balanced tank will have:
    • 10-20 PPM Nitrates (NO3)
    • 10-20 PPM Potassium (K)
    • 0.5-2.0 PPM Phosphate (PO4)
    • 10-30 PPM Calcium (Ca)
    • 2-5 PPM Magnesium (Mg)
    • 0.1-0.5 PPM Iron (Fe)
    • 4+ degrees General Hardness (dGH)
    • 4+ degrees Carbonate Hardness (dKH)
Removing BBA
  • Increase or stabilize CO2 levels. Try to maintain 25-30 PPM CO2 in a planted tank. Just like all living things, aquatic plants require carbon to grow. When enough carbon dioxide is trapped in the water column, plants will grow much quickly. And, this growth also indicates that plants are taking in nutrients and light. You will notice that Black Brush algae will begin to die with enough CO2 available.
  • Spot Treat algae with Seachem Excel, Metricide or Hydrogen Peroxide. Be careful to use these products sparingly as too much can have a negative impact on fish and inverts as well as on plants known to melt, such as Cryptocorynes or Vallisnerias. Stop the water current (filtration and bubblers) or remove affected plants for treatment. Using a syringe, apply product directly on the Black Beard algae. Wait an hour or two before turning on the filter to restart the current.
  • Elbow Grease, Toothbrush, Razor, Magnetic Scrapers, etc. When BBA attaches itself, it is firmly rooted and can be very difficult to separate it from the glass, gravel, hardscape, silicon seams, etc. On the hard surfaces it will take a lot of effort to remove. Spot treat with one of the liquid products above can help to make this job a bit easier.
  • Proper Tank Maintenance and Weekly Water Changes. It is highly recommended to follow a sound weekly tank maintenance plan. Weekly water changes are critical in replenishing the lost minerals and to stabilize the pH-GH-KH system to avoid an overly acidic environment; not to mention keeping the debris cleaned up. Do not overfeed.
  • Bleach Treatment. NEVER pour bleach into an aquarium!!
    • Make a 1:19 parts solution of bleach and water. Works out to a little more than 1 cup household bleach to a gallon of water.
    • Set up a second bucket filled with water that has been triple dosed with a dechlorinator
    • Remove affected plants and non-pourus hardscape items
    • Do not leave plants in the bleach solution for more than 30 seconds. Non-pourus hardscape items can be left to soak longer if wanted. Immediately transfer into the heavily dechlorinated water. Let soak for an hour or two.
    • Rinse with fresh water until no smell of chlorine remains
    • Again soak in another bucket of heavily dechlorinated water, to be safe.
    • Return to aquarium.
    • In a few days BBA should be turning red, telling you that the treatment has weakened the algae

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Old 07-25-2017, 03:08 AM   #3
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Great artical. Going to pin this for a reference point
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algae, fuzzy, hole, holes, java, java fern, leaves, plant, stem

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