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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need an id and cure for the pictured algea. Bushynosed plecos browse it, but don't remove. It is very attached to leaves of sags and vals also. Showed up when added some plants and is only in this tank. Extra dosed excel this morning so might help. Going to get some ottos or sae's this week and need to know if they will touch it either. Took out a couple of the anubias that were just getting it and put in a pail with algeafix and extra excel also this morning. Any more ideas?



 

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That looks like Black Beard (BBA). SAE's will eat it when they are young (until about 3" in length-ish). Excel will kill at 3x the dose, but it will also hurt Vallisneria and fissedens moss if you have those in the same tank.

You can pull the anubias out and do the 19:1 bleach:water treatment for a couple minutes or do the peroxide method (not sure exactly how to do that one). After it's dead you bushy-nose should eat it off, as will SAE's.

-Dave
 

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Id skip the bleach and use spray bottle of excel. There is a recent post from MatPat?!? I think? about this. I've used a pet syringe and spot treated my stubborn algae per Jason's instructions and it worked perfectly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here is what I started tonight.
Took out anubias and spayed them with straight excel and returned to tank. Used a syringe and dosed straight excel on other plants I could not remove. Then dosed the tank with 3 times the normal daily dose and will continue that for awhile. If it begins to turn red soon or looks like dying will ottos and such begin to eat it? I had a lot on some Val leaves so I just cut them back and hope for the best. Let me know if this should work or do I need to do more. Hurry, cause it speading rapidly up to tonight. Oh, I cut back a little on light.
 

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Oto's will not eat it, dead or alive. The only fish that will eat it are Bristle-nose, SAE, and mollies/platy's. SAE and Mollies do the best job at clean up, keeping it in check, and will also eat it when it's alive. Bristle-nose do a better job at cleaning the dead stuff then keeping the live in check (from what I've heard/read).

The excel dosing should work, but it will also hit the Vals (not too bad, but will do some damage).

Also, make sure you are dosing the full regime of ferts and CO2 will help tremendously.

-Dave
 

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Yup, BBA. Nasty algae. Usually caused by either too little CO2 or fluctuating CO2.

All the methods above work fine (never new mollies ate it!), but you want to tackle this one fast.

If you have a spare tank, I'd put everything you can pull out in that tank so you can treat it there until you are positive it's gone. Cut off whatever you can with the plants that remain in the tank. Toss any moss you have or maybe try to put it in isolation with a black out.

I made the huge mistake of infecting my own tank after buying anubias that had BBA. I thought a 2 minute soak in the 1:19 bleach would do the trick. Nope. It was knocked back really well, but some managed to survive, and now it's spread to a lot of my plants.

I have injected CO2. If you do, raise it as high as your fish can handle. Inch it up until you see your fish begin to get stressed, then drop it back a notch. Using a pH controller can help keep the CO2 stable. The CO2 will fix the initial cause of the BBA, leaving then the process of getting it out of the tank.

As far as what will eat dead BBA, I know my amanos have eaten it. I've heard reports of other fish, as well, but I can't remember which ones off the top of my head.

You can also try using H2O2 (regular 3% hydrogen peroxide). It has also been known to work.

As far as your vals, the Excel will knock them back, but not kill them. They'll come right back. In fact, if you were to regularly dose Excel, I've heard of vals building up a tolerance to it. It may be more of an acclimation issue for them.
 

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As far as your vals, the Excel will knock them back, but not kill them. They'll come right back. In fact, if you were to regularly dose Excel, I've heard of vals building up a tolerance to it. It may be more of an acclimation issue for them.
That makes sense because I have Vals and dose excel (at recommended rate) and they don't often show signs of stress from it unless I cut them back. I thought it was because I have a larger tank (50gal) that they were just not exposed to as much of it before it got used by other plants.

So, Glenn, dose away. The Vals I sent you should have a tolerance built up. I sure hope I didn't infect you with my plants. I have not seen any BBA in my tank in several months. I had a big fight with it when I first set the tank up, but everything got bleached and excel'd, and I started my ferts/CO2 regime. Once it all died my fish ate it up (SAE's and mollies) and I haven't seen it since (like 5 months ago).

-Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What I did last night turned a lot of it a lighter color. Looks like a mix of gray or blue. Especially on the plants I sprayed.
Think when you cut back part of a leaf of val that leaf will die back anyhow. I notice when I just trim them back only that part dies back anyhow. Not sure the x3 dosing will help much, but will continue. This is not from your plants Dave, so don't worry. I think it probably came from the sags I got from a lfs. Can't find any sae's here right now, but may pick up some black mollies. The swordtails are doing a lot of browsing on plants and may help a little. I been dosing based on the seachem excel recommended x3 for 40 gallons because although my tank is a 50 gallon I figured with gravel, etc. it probably holds 40. Will increase to the 50 and should be ok.
It says after a water change I should add
25 should I add 75? My two bushynosed should also be eating it soon. All fish are doing fine with the extra excel.

My bushynosed are also known as bristlenosed.;)
 

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In my experience 3x the daily dose does little to combat BBA. Try 3x the water change amount, for 3-4 days. That however WILL melt your vals big time. It did my dwarf vals. Most recently I stopped after two days due to this. Big time melt. But it did kill off practically all my BBA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, when I got home from work the light blue bbg has turned darker with some red. Picked up four black mollies to help. Had to get at petsmart, but they look alive anyhow. Should go well with my red swordtails. LFS got in some new fish yesterday, but won't sell any till saturday until they acclimate them. No sae's, but a lot of bushnosed and ottos.
Not much effect yet from the x3 dosing or the sryinge method. The spraying method worked the best, but hate to take out the vals and sags. Will probably do a 50% water change this weekend and get then spray the tops of the vals and sags along with the upper driftwood which has a little on top. I think I'm getting there. Thanks for all the help. I liked Complexity's method, but will only use this if I have to take it down later. Plants and fish show no signs of stress yet.
 

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One thing, you have to keep the mollies on the hungry side for them to eat it. Feed no more than 3x per week and that should be good enough (that's all I feed my fish anyhow and they all are healthy).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
update: all the bbg in the tank has turned now to a blue or red and the mollies are picking at it and slowly it is diminishing. Mollies on a strict diet as the swordtails keep eating most of what I feed before Mollies find it. Bushynosed plecos are now cleaning it off the vals and other plants. Will continue the 3x dosing and do a big dose after water change tommorrow. Plants or fish not affected by the extra dosing.
 
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