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Diseases and diseases of plants (Overview of algae species)

The review of James Clark is the best at the moment for an aquarium with plants, and indicates the most accurate reasons for the appearance of all kinds of algae. Thanks to this review is an excellent guide to the content of the aquarium with plants in general. Follow these recommendations, and you will greatly facilitate your struggle with algae and accelerate the mastery of the technique.

Algae Guide

This guide on the causes and methods of algae control concerns an aquarium with plants with a high level of illumination and a dosage of liquid fertilizers with water changes in the Estimative Index system. [1]

Low CO2 concentration is almost always the cause of problems with algae in an aquarium with plants with intense lighting, but measuring its concentration can be problematic and misleading. There are three common methods for determining the concentration of CO2

The most common method for determining the CO2 concentration is in the KH / pH tables. It can give false results, especially if you have snags in your aquarium. The results tend to make you think that the concentration of CO2 is higher than it actually is. This is a common reason that you have a reading of 100 mg / l or more.

The pH drop method involves the collection of aquarium water in a beaker and monitoring of the readings after 24 hours. If the pH of the aquarium water is one point lower than in the glass, it is considered that you have a CO2 concentration of 30 mg / l. This suggests that in a glass of aquarium water, CO2 is 3mg / l, which is very rare.

The drop checker method, when a calibration solution with KH = 4 and a pair of drops of bromotymol blue is poured into it. When the color of the solution is green, the CO2 level is good, when blue is too low, when yellow is too high. I like this method. I use it as an early warning system in my aquarium, but it requires getting used to the color changes of the solution.

If the CO2 flow is turned off at night, turn on the supply 1-2 hours before turning on the light. Check the concentration of CO2 to make sure that it is sufficient, and compare the readings in the morning and evening. You need a stable level of CO2 throughout the entire time of the aquarium lighting.

Seachem Flourish Excel ™ has recently been used to combat algae and seems to work very well against certain types of algae. To apply a strong blow to algae, you can dose by instructions, or twice or three times more for two weeks. Excel basically kills red algae (BBA, black brush algae), but it also affects Cladophora, Staghorn, and filament.

Excel ™ adversely affects some plants. I am aware of Egeria densa, Riccia, Vallisneria and Fissidens. Some report on the impact of Excel on shrimp and ototsinlyuksov.

Another trick is to dilute Excel 1: 3 with water and pour into a garden sprayer. Make a big change of water, and while the water level is low, sprinkle the areas affected by algae. Leave for 5-10 minutes and fill the aquarium with water.

Black beard (Black Brush Algae, Black Beard Algae, Red-Brush Algae, BBA)

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Description
It often grows on the edges of a sheet of slowly growing plants, driftwood and mechanical equipment. Sometimes it grows on sections of the aquarium with a rapid movement of water. It grows in beams or in groups of black color, about 0.5 cm long.
Cause
Indicates a low CO2 level in an aquarium with intense lighting, or abrupt fluctuations in CO2 in an aquarium with low light intensity.
Uninstalling
In an aquarium with intensive lighting, you need to increase the supply of CO2. First scrape and cut as much as possible. In the case of the growth of a black beard, I have always found that increasing the flow of CO2 will save you from these algae. SLOWLY increase the CO2 concentration to 30mg / l or more, but make sure that the fish do not breathe too hard. If you have a low-tech aquarium without CO2 supply, stop water replacement. This is because in tap water there is a lot of dissolved CO2, which causes CO2 fluctuations in the aquarium. Algae react to changes much faster than plants. Siamese algae eaten these algae. An increased dose of Excel reliably destroys red algae. [2]

Blue-green algae (Blue Green Algae, BGA)

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Description
It is not algae, but colonies of bacteria Cyanobacteria capable of photosynthesis. Covers all surfaces with a blue / green film. Easily exfoliates but rebuilds very quickly. Publishes a rather unpleasant smell. It often grows on a substrate, especially along the front wall of the aquarium where there is a lot of light.
Cause
Usually, the reason is a very low level of nitrates. Sometimes it appears in new aquariums in the presence of ammonium and nitrites, even with a high level of nitrates. The cause may also be a silted substrate or filter. Poor water circulation.
Uninstalling
The best method is the Darkening method. Clean the aquarium as much as possible from the algae and make a 30-50% change of water. If the level of nitrates is low, add a little KNO3 potassium nitrate to bring the level to 20 mg / l. Turn off the CO2 supply and turn on the aeration. Turn off the light, and cover the entire aquarium so that the light does not penetrate it at all. Leave it for 3-4 days. No peeping and no feeding of fish - he feels great without food. After 3-4 days, open the aquarium and make a 30-50% change of water. Turn off the aeration and switch on the CO2 supply. You should dose nitrates so that the concentration does not fall too low again. Ensure that the substrate and filter are not silt.
Another option is the Maracyn antibiotic. It works well, but it can affect biological filtration. (For additional information see section Cyanobacteria)

Cladophora (Cladophora, Blanket Weed)

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Description
Cladophora is a branching green filamentous algae.
To the touch a little rough and sometimes quite rough.
Cause
Low concentration of CO2. Few nutrients (NO3 and PO4).
Uninstalling
Getting rid of can be quite difficult. Make sure that the dosage of macro-elements (NO3 and PO4) is sufficient, and maintain a good level of CO2. Remove manually every piece that you find until you completely get rid of them. This can take quite some time.
An increased dose of Seachem Flourish Excel ™ can get rid of them.
Sometimes they eat Shrimp Amano.

Diatoms (Diatoms, Brown Algae)

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Description
The plaque is dark brown on glass, substrate and plants.
Cause
It often happens in aquariums with a low level of illumination and a large release of silicates from the new substrate. Often in new aquariums.
Uninstalling
Increase the intensity of the lighting. It is easily sucked off by a siphon and wiped off the leaves and glass with a soft cloth. Usually disappears in a few weeks. They are eaten by otocliniks.

Green Dust Algae, GDA

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Description
Appears on the glass in the form of green dust. Sometimes it's so intense that nothing is visible through the glass.
Cause
Low concentration of CO2. Few nutrients (NO3 and PO4).
Uninstalling
Easily removable by magnetic, etc. Scraper. Often very quickly appears again. Let them complete their complete cycle by leaving them alone for 3 weeks. Through the glass can be nothing is visible, but be patient. Then scrape them off and make a big change of water. Sometimes it is required to repeat, leaving them alone for 4 weeks. It is recommended to slightly reduce the dosage of macroelements (NO3 and PO4). [3]

Green Spot Algae (GSA)

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Description
Forms hard dark green round points on the glass and leaves of slowly growing plants.
Cause
A low level of PO4 phosphates results in the outbreak of these algae.
Low level of CO2. The lighting period is too long.
Uninstalling
Increase the phosphate level by adding potassium monophosphate KH2PO4 to a level of 2 mg / l per week. Check the CO2 level. They can be scraped off the glass with a blade or a good magnetic scraper. 9-10 hours of lighting is enough for plants. If the lighting was longer, a reduction can help.

Flowering water (Green water, Algae bloom)

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Description
These are unicellular algae. Water becomes opaque. Sometimes just a green shade, sometimes - like pea soup.
Cause
High level of NH4 ammonium. There may be a surge in ammonium concentration that the test did not register. Another possible cause may be an imbalance of nutrients.
Uninstalling
Large water changes do not always help. Correct the imbalance of nutrients, and after a while they will disappear. Darkening for three days followed by a large change of water will deal a serious blow to them and can sometimes destroy them. UV sterilizer or diatom filter removes them very quickly and is often the only way.
A new method is to take a one-two-year-old willow shoot about 1cm thick. Place it in the aquarium vertically stuck in the substrate so that a few centimeters stick out over the water. In a few days they will start to take root and the flowering of water will begin to disappear. When it disappears, the branches are removed.
Do not confuse the bloom of water with a bacterial flash that looks like a whitish haze in the water. (For additional information, see the flowering of water)

Thread (Hair, Thread, Fuzz, etc)

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Description
This is a very generalized name for a large number of species of filamentous algae. Usually green, different in length. I listed several types in a separate section on this page.
Cause
A number of reasons including low CO2 concentration, lack of nutrition (little NO3 and PO4) and a surge of NH4 ammonium concentration.
Nothing to do with the elevated Fe iron level, as is commonly thought.
Uninstalling
Sometimes it's complicated. A large biomass of plants and good CO2 supply, a good dosage of macroelements NO3 and PO4, together with the constant removal of algae with time leads to success. Remove the rotating brush with a toothbrush. A higher dose of Excel can help. They often eat shrimp Amano, barbs Puntius (Barbus) conchonius and Mollies.

Oedogonium

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Description
Quite short filamentous algae that give plants a "fluffy" appearance.
Cause
Insufficient CO2 supply, lack of macroelements NO3 and PO4.
Check the concentration of CO2. Bring in the macronutrients. An increased dose of Excel can help.
They often eat shrimp Amano, Puntius (Barbus) conchonius and Mollies.

Rhizoclonium

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Description
Thin green or brownish threads, soft and slippery.
Cause
Insufficient CO2 supply, lack of macroelements NO3 and PO4.
Bad care for the aquarium.
Uninstalling
Increase the CO2 supply and check whether the dosage of the NO3 and PO4 macronutrients is sufficient. Well clean the aquarium.
An increased dose of Seachem Flourish Excel ™ can help. They are eaten by Amano shrimp.
(Note naman: hydrogen peroxide is also very effective against these algae)

Spirogrya

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Description
Strands of fine green algae, sometimes very long. Slippery to the touch.
Under the microscope, the chloroplasts are aligned in a spiral, respectively, the names of the algae.
Cause
It often appears a couple of weeks after the aquarium's anxiety, which causes a surge in NH4 ammonium levels. This can be anything from the restlessness of the substrate to what was not seen during the dead fish. Loves high intensity of lighting.
Uninstalling
They can be very difficult to remove, as they thrive under the same conditions as plants. Remove as much as possible and darken for three days with CO2 off and turn off daily water changes. After substituting water, make macronutrients to restore concentration. I eventually found that the increased dose of Seachem Flourish Excel ™ helps. They are eaten by barbs of Puntius (Barbus) conchonius (Rosy Barb, Red Barb). Try reducing the lighting.

Staghorn (reindeer)

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Description It grows with branching locks. Slightly similar to deer antlers. Black or gray-green, sometimes with a red tinge.
Cause Low concentration of CO2. Aquarium with a lot of silt and overfeeding fish. Dirty filter.
Anxiety of a dirty substratum without the subsequent replacement of water.
Uninstalling Check the CO2 level. Reduce the feeding or the number of fish, brush the soil. An increased dose of Excel usually helps. [4]

[1] The Estimative Index is a system for keeping an aquarium with plants "with water changes and applying fertilizers only to water" for a long time everyone known before giving it such a title by the author of the article Tom Barr who best explained how and why she works and specified many of her moments.

[2] The black beard (Red algae) appears from the removal of organics dissolved in water and organic suspended matter. Very good method helps with riccia.

[3] I had to read about cases of fighting these rare but very unpleasant algae before. Indeed, no (!) Measures help, just leave them alone. Something similar can be observed with the flowering of water - the more water you replace the longer you will fight it. GDA will go through its cycle of reproduction and stop growing (leaving the spores?). If the conditions in the aquarium are optimal for the plants inoculation, there will be no dispute, and they will not appear any more.

[4] As stated in the review of The Freshwater Red algae: Rhodophyta, Barr Report, Volume 3, Issue 3, the so-called "red algae" are advantageously species of Audouinella and Compsopogon. In addition to the so-called. Black Brush Algae (black beard, vetnamka, red algae). Staghorn algae ("reindeer") are also "red algae" (red algae) despite their coloring. The main conclusion of the Tom Barr tests described in this review is an excess of PO4 (1 mg / L) in no way leads to stimulation of the growth of red algae, and a strong restriction of PO4 does not in any way contribute to getting rid of them. For example, in my aquarium there were several beams of Spirogrya, and the complete absence of a black beard (although there were many of them three months before). I do the test: PO4 = 1.5 mg / l (JBL). That is, I slightly overdosed the macro (CO2 was the limiting factor), which did not lead to the outburst of red algae, in spite of the fact that CO2 is fed by fermentation with significantly less stability than the balloon system gives.