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Plant Diseases and Diseases (Algae Species Review)

Review of James Clark is the best at the moment for an aquarium with plants, and indicates the most accurate causes of the appearance of all types of algae. Thanks to this review is an excellent guide to the maintenance of an aquarium with plants in general. Follow these recommendations, and you will greatly facilitate your struggle with algae and accelerate the development of methods.

Algae Guide

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

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

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

The pH drop method involves a set of aquarium water in a glass and monitoring 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 with aquarium water CO2 3mg / l, which is very rare.

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

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

Recently, Seachem Flourish Excel ™ has been used to combat algae and it seems to work very well against certain types of algae. To inflict a strong blow to algae, you can dose according to the instructions, or twice or three times more in two weeks. Excel basically kills red algae (BBA, black brush algae), but it has an effect on Cladophora, Staghorn, thread.

Excel ™ has a negative effect on some plants. I know about Egeria densa, Riccia, Vallisneria and Fissidens. Some report on the effect of Excel on shrimp and otzinclus.

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

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

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Description
Often grows on leaf edges of slow-growing plants, snags and mechanical equipment. Sometimes grows in areas of the aquarium with the rapid movement of water. Grows in bunches or groups of black color, about 0.5 cm long.
Cause
Indicates a low level of CO2 in an aquarium with intense lighting, or sharp fluctuations in CO2 in an aquarium with low light intensity.
Deletion
In an aquarium with intense lighting, you need to increase the flow of CO2. Scrape and cut as much as possible first. In the case of the growth of a black beard, I have always found that an increase in CO2 supply will save you from these algae. SLOWLY increase the CO2 concentration to 30 mg / l or more, but make sure that the fish do not breathe too hard. If you have a low-tech aquarium without CO2 supply, stopping water changes will help. This is because there is a lot of dissolved CO2 in tap water, which causes CO2 to fluctuate in the aquarium. Algae react to changes much faster than plants. Siamese seaweed eats these algae. Increased dose of Excel reliably destroys red algae. [2]

Blue-green algae (Blue Green Algae, BGA)

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Description
These are not algae, but colonies of photosynthesizing bacteria Cyanobacteria. Covers all surfaces with blue / green film. It is easy to exfoliate but is very quickly restored. It publishes a rather unpleasant smell. Often grows on the substrate, especially along the front wall of the aquarium where there is a lot of light.
Cause
The reason is usually very low nitrate levels. Sometimes appears in new aquariums in the presence of ammonium and nitrite, even with a high level of nitrates. The cause can also be a silted substrate or filter. Poor water circulation.
Deletion
The best method is the Fade Method. Clean the aquarium as much as possible from algae and make a 30-50% water change. If the level of nitrates is low, add some potassium nitrate KNO3 to bring the level up to 20mg / l. Turn off the CO2 and turn on aeration. Turn off the light and cover the entire aquarium so that the light does not penetrate into it at all. Leave it for 3-4 days. No spying and no fish feeding - he feels great without food. After 3-4 days, open the aquarium and make a 30-50% water change. Turn off aeration and turn on CO2. You should dose the nitrates so that the concentration does not fall too low again. Make sure the substrate and filter are not silted.
Another option is the antibiotic Maracyn. It works well, but can affect biological filtration. (for more, see the section Cyanobacteria)

Cladophora (Cladophora, Blanket Weed)

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Description
Cladophora is a branching green filamentous algae.
It feels a little rough and sometimes rather rough.
Cause
Low CO2 concentration. Few nutrients (NO3 and PO4).
Deletion
Disposal can be quite difficult. Make sure that the dosage of macronutrients (NO3 and PO4) is sufficient, and maintain a good level of CO2. Manually delete every scrap that you find until you get rid of them completely. It can take quite a lot of time.
Increased dosage of Seachem Flourish Excel ™ can eliminate them.
Sometimes they are eaten by Amano shrimps.

Diatoms (Diatoms, Brown Algae)

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Description
Plaque dark brown on glass, substrate and plants.
Cause
Often happens in aquariums with low light levels and a large release of silicates from a new substrate. Often in new aquariums.
Deletion
Increase the light intensity. It is easily sucked off with a siphon and wiped off the leaves and glass with a soft cloth. Usually disappears in a few weeks. They are eaten by otsinklyus.

Green Dust Algae, GDA

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

Green Spot Algae (Green Spot Algae, GSA)

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

Water bloom (Green water, Algae bloom)

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Description
These are single-celled algae. The water becomes opaque. Sometimes it's just a green tint, sometimes it's like pea soup.
Cause
High ammonium NH4. There may be a surge in the concentration of ammonium which the test has not registered. Another possible cause may be an imbalance of nutrients.
Deletion
Large water changes do not always seem to help. Correct the imbalance of nutrients, and after a while they disappear. Blackout for three days, followed by a large water change will cause them a serious blow and sometimes can destroy them. A 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 sprout about 1 cm thick. Place it in the aquarium vertically stuck in the substrate so that several centimeters stick out above the water. After a few days, they begin to take root and the flowering of water begins to fade. When it disappears, remove the branches.
Do not confuse the bloom of water with a bacterial flash, which looks like a whitish haze in the water. (for more, see water bloom)

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 lengths. I have listed several types in a separate section on this page.
Cause
A number of reasons include low CO2 concentrations, lack of nutrition (little NO3 and PO4), and a surge in ammonium NH4 concentrations.
Nothing to do with elevated levels of iron Fe, as is commonly thought.
Deletion
Sometimes it is difficult. A large plant biomass and a good supply of CO2, a good dosage of NO3 and PO4 macronutrients together with the constant removal of algae over time leads to success. Remove by rotating them with a toothbrush. Increased dosage of Excel may help. They are often eaten by Amano's shrimp, Puntius barbus conchonius and mollies.

Oedogonium

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Description
Quite short filamentous algae that give the plants a "fluffy" look.
Cause
Insufficient supply of CO2, lack of macronutrients NO3 and PO4.
Check the CO2 concentration. Add macronutrients. Increased dose of Excel can help.
They are often eaten by Amano shrimp, Puntius (Barbus) conchonius and mollies.

Rhizoclonium

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Description
Thin green or brownish threads, soft and slippery.
Cause
Insufficient supply of CO2, lack of macronutrients NO3 and PO4.
Poor care for an aquarium.
Deletion
Increase the CO2 supply and check if the dosage of the NO3 and PO4 macronutrients is sufficient. Clean the aquarium well.
Increased dose of Seachem Flourish Excel ™ may help. They are eaten by Amano shrimps.
(approx. naman: hydrogen peroxide is also very effective against these algae)

Spirogrya

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Description
Strands of thin green algae, sometimes very long. Slippery to the touch.
Under the microscope, chloroplasts are arranged in a spiral, respectively, the names of algae.
Cause
Often appears a couple of weeks after the disturbance of the aquarium which causes a spike in the ammonium level of NH4. This can be anything from disturbing the substrate to not being seen at the time of the dead fish. Loves high intensity lighting.
Deletion
They can be very difficult to remove, as they thrive under the same conditions as the plants. Remove as much as possible and darken for three days with the CO2 off and making daily water changes. After water changes make macronutrients to restore concentration. I finally found an increased dose of Seachem Flourish Excel ™ that helps. They eat barbs Puntius (Barbus) conchonius (Rosy Barb, Red Barb). Try to reduce the lighting.

Staghorn (antler)

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Description Grows branching strands. A bit like deer horns. Black or gray-green, sometimes with a red tinge.
Cause Low CO2 concentration. Aquarium with a large amount of sludge and overfeeding fish. Dirty filter
Anxiety of dirty substrate without subsequent water change.
Deletion Check the level of CO2. Reduce feeding or the number of fish, clean the soil. Increasing the dose of Excel usually helps. [4]

[1] The Estimative Index is a system for keeping an aquarium with plants "with water changes and fertilizer only in water" that was known to everybody before the author of the article Tom Barr gave her the name, who best explained how and why she works and clarified many of her points.

[2] Blackbeard (Red algae) appears from the excess organic matter dissolved in water and organic matter. The Ricci method helps a lot.

[3] I used to read about cases of dealing with 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 you change the water the longer you will fight with it. GDA will go through its breeding cycle and stop growing (leaving controversy?). If the conditions in the aquarium are optimal for the inoculation of the plants, there will be no dispute and they will not appear again.

[4] As stated in the review of The Freshwater Red algae: Rhodophyta, Barr Report, Volume 3, Issue 3 the so-called "red algae" are mainly Audouinella and Compsopogon species. In addition to the so-called Black Brush Algae (black beard, vietnamese, red algae) Staghorn algae ("antler") are also "red algae" (red algae) despite their color. The main conclusion of the Tom Barr tests described in this review is that an excess of PO4 (1 mg / l) does not in any way stimulate the growth of red algae, and a strong restriction of PO4 does not contribute to getting rid of them. For example, in my tank there were several bunches of Spirogrya, and the complete absence of a black beard (although three months before there were a lot of them). I do the test: PO4 = 1.5mg / l (JBL). That is, I slightly overdosed macro (CO2 was the limiting factor), which did not lead to an outbreak of red algae, despite the fact that CO2 is supplied by the fermentation method with much less stability than the balloon system gives.