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Black algae in the aquarium

maintenance, care, compatibility

An aquarium with a black beard is a big problem that is not so easy to get rid of. The second name of the parasite is “Vietnamese”, the scientific name is Compsopogon coeruleus, the kingdom of Crimson.

In an aquarium, a black beard can be seen when black threadlike growths 20 mm long appear that grow and resemble moss. The parasite lives on slow-growing plants, so its destruction should take into account the parameters of water and features of the host plant.

Vietnamese algae got this name due to the fact that they were brought from Southeast Asia along with thermophilic tropical plants. It means that they love warm water, in which they actively develop. It is known that Compsopogon coeruleus is a very long-lasting algae, which penetrates the plant tissue, firmly attached to the soil substrate, to the walls and equipment of the reservoir.

From a biological point of view, it is not a parasitic species, however it causes significant damage to the plant, destroying its tissues, shading the leaves, preventing the absorption of useful substances. In the literal sense, the diseased plant is “choking”.


  1. Algae “black beard” are removed by chemical preparations – boric and brown acid, antibiotics. The first two tools are very effective, but will harm fish and other broadleaf plants.
  2. The biological method is to run into the tank of fish that eat black algae: Labo, Siamese seaweed, Catfish antsistrus, fish of the family Karpazubye. They clean the diseased plant from the parasite, but do not completely destroy it.

Look at how Stiphodon graceful eats “Vietnamese” algae.

  1. Changing the parameters and conditions of water in the aquarium – after this process, harmful algae can not live. The hardness of the water should be brought to the level of 8 dGh. In order for the new water that you add during the replacement to be exactly like this, 2 ml of calcium chloride solution should be added to 1 liter of water. The pH can be adjusted to alkaline: this will help 1 gram of food soda per 5 liters of water. The conditions of the water must be changed gradually so that the living creatures will not suffer, or temporarily transfer them to another aquarium.
  2. Get rid of excess organic matter – food debris provides the basis for the development of a harmful environment. Keep the bottom clean, do not overfeed fish, remove excess food with a net or siphon.
  3. Replace water in a timely manner – 20-30% of old water should be replaced with fresh and clean water once a week. These methods will not immediately give a result, but you will notice that in 2-3 months the number of black beards has decreased.
  4. Coal dust will help destroy the Vietnamese algae in a matter of days. Add this powder to the water, stirring until the dust settles. In a few tricks, the beard will completely disappear. Fish should be deposited from the aquarium with coal dust.
  5. If the indicated methods did not produce results, do daily 10–25% of water changes. New water should be free of chlorine, ammonia, phosphates and nitrates. Determine its parameters using instruments with indicators. Nitrates and phosphates – a nutrient medium for all types of algae.


Blackbeard in the aquarium, hydrogen peroxide.

Blackbeard – a weed algae that covers the leaves and trunks of underwater plants, stones and other objects in the aquarium. Blackbeard grows in aquariums, where water is rarely changed, this plant covers even the walls of the tank.

Blackbeard is the thinnest plexus of black and dark green villi that envelop everything around like fluff.

Blackbeard can live in any aquarium, but it progresses in growth and development only with a lack of proper care. Blackbeard can grow in the wrong light, with a lack of oxygen, as well as if you are overfeeding fish.

Here are some of the main reasons why black moss can live in your tank.

  1. If you rarely wash an aquarium and almost do not change the water in it, you can confidently expect the appearance of a black beard in your possessions. If you decide to start a fish – pay more attention to your pets and their home.
  2. Blackbeard can get to your aquarium with new underwater plants. If you bought a plant, you need to lower it into the aquarium and move it from side to side. If the plant is infected with a black beard, small black hairs will visibly sway. You can not make such a plant in a healthy environment. The same applies to decorative elements, kryag.
  1. If you have not changed fluorescent lamps for a long time, their light gradually loses brightness. Such dim lighting is a breeding ground for a black beard.
  2. If you give fish a lot of food – the remnants of this food can be the cause and growth of algae in aquariums. Some fish feed on a black beard, but will not do so if you feed them with a more attractive meal.
  3. If you have too many fish in an aquarium, some of them need to be removed. Fish are sources of nitrates and phosphates, which stimulate the development of a black beard.

This alga does not cause any harm to the fish living in the aquarium. However, black beard harms plants, especially slow-growing plants.

This weed envelops the grass, and to remove the alga, you have to throw out the plant completely or most of it.

The main reason many aquarists struggle with a black beard is the aesthetic side of the issue. After all, who wants to see nasty growths that look like mold in the well-kept underwater world?

Blackbeard Alga

In this blog, I would like to share my own experience as I defeated the black beard of alga. This nasty thing came to me from the store when I bought a wonderful and very beautiful Kobomb plant. After 15 days, my plants were covered with black hair, the alga prevents the plant from developing by absorbing light, there are many ways to combat algae, but I chose 3% hydrogen peroxide .

I remember as a child in the Soviet Union, this method was quite effective. Before using peroxide, you need to reduce the diet of aquarium fish to stop feeding, do not change the water, do not add fertilizer to aquarium plants.

Reduce the light day of the watch for two, then I did the following, removed all the plants from the aquarium where I could clean the black beard using the blade, then poured 500 grams of water from the aquarium into the plastic bowl and added 20 ml of hydrogen peroxide there and the whole thing stood 20 minutes, after this not complicated procedure, I changed the water, poured it clean and for another hour

. After that I didn’t see a single beard hair. At once I would like to draw your attention to the fact that aquarium plants with soft and tender leaves can suffer from such procedures, but plants with hard leaves and resistant stems tolerate peroxide with a bang. Over the next 5 days I continued to add to the aquarium at 20 ml

I did this in a 100 liter aquarium; I took a syringe and poured it under the roots of aquarium plants. It is very important to understand that the calculation goes 20 ml per 100 liters, 10 ml per 50 liters should not be overdone, with the right dosage the fish feel great.

But it is also not superfluous to say that before you fight with algae, you must find the cause of the appearance of a black beard and only then proceed to the treatment of the aquarium.

The reasons can be a huge variety of this strong lighting or weak, bust with fertilizers, as well as a general violation of the biological balance. Yes, and get in the aquarium a couple of saetheses, they are algae.

There is another option. He is recognized as the most environmentally friendly of all, however, for its implementation it will be necessary to invest money and own time in search of inhabitants who would eat a black beard. The only fish that feed on this type of algae are Siamese seaweed and antsitrus.

They are able to cope with all existing volumes in about a couple of weeks.

However, there is another side to this method. Blackbeard is not the most delicious plant for fish. To seaweed or antsitrusy got to them, they can not be fed.

This cannot be done while there are other inhabitants there. Yes, and they will not begin to fight harmful algae immediately, while in the aquarium there will be younger, green and succulent plants, these fish will eat them.

Another type of inhabitants of the aquarium, capable of coping with the nuisance – snail ampulyaria. They need a lot, about a hundred of the smallest individuals.

The smaller they are, the more effectively they fight a beard. Ideal if they do not exceed the size of a match head.

After they have cleaned everything in the aquarium, they should be selected and removed. If this is not done, the kids will start to grow and completely eat up all the green things in the pond.

Blackbeard algae in the aquarium.

It grows quite rapidly, and the struggle with it takes a lot of time. Even special chemicals and reduced illumination give only short-term results.

To defeat a beard, you need a whole range of measures, time and attention. bba1 (1) So, let’s start with water, it will have to be changed regularly, in especially neglected cases it will have to be done every day, replacing from 10 to 25% of the liquid.

And the water that you will pour also should not contain phosphates and nitrates. You will need to control their level using ion exchange filters.

Despite the risk of green algae, it is necessary to increase the light level somewhere up to 0.5-1 W per 1 liter of water at 12 hours per day of continuous operation.

It will be necessary to clean the soil from the remnants of food, and to remove dead leaves from plants. Also, it would be nice to have certain types of fish and snails that help in cleaning the aquariums from unwanted waste products and algae.

Algae in an aquarium, how to get rid of and fight with all their species


An algal flash is a visual indication of a violation (absence) of a biobalance in an aquarium. This is the loss of any link in the balance!

Finding out what link fell, you need to return it to its place. What a newbie to do is hard!
Here are the main reasons for the loss of the biobalance link:
– excessive amount of daylight in the aquarium or wrong aquarium lighting mode. Accordingly, it is necessary to reduce or adjust daylight hours.

Or in general, if possible, turn off the light for a couple of days, as a preventive measure.
– lack of daylight or the use of “wrong” lamps with a “wrong” spectrum. Accordingly, it is necessary to increase the light day or remove the lamps with a “bad” spectrum and you need to buy lamps for the spectrum or purchase lamps for the missing spectrum.

Read more Lighting aquarium and the choice of lamps and Lighting aquarium do it yourself.
– the presence in the aquarium of excess dead organic matter and dirt (dead plants, fish, food residues, kakul, etc.). Simply put, the aquarium does not have time to cope with so much “garbage” and the only way out of our beloved, living aquarium, is a call to help algae, who happily gobble up all this byaku.
Accordingly, it is necessary to remove all the “garbage”: siphon the bottom of the aquarium, clean the walls, decor and equipment, mechanically try to remove the algae, as well as make more frequent and more complete water changes for fresh, eventually, pour aquarium coal into the filter compartment.
– The following reason follows from the above and is a destructive continuation of the “dirt” in the aquarium. All dead organics are decomposed by beneficial bacteria and fungi, and removed from the aquarium. If this dead organic matter a lot and it accumulates, the microorganisms do not have time to process it!

In the aquarium, poisons begin to accumulate – decomposition products: ammonia, nitrites and nitrates, which leads not only to the appearance of algae, but generally ruins all life in the aquarium.
In addition to the above measures for thorough cleaning of the aquarium, you need to apply the following aquarium chemistry:

A) Zeolite. Sold in pet stores or other places.

For example, a mixture of zeolite and coal is ubiquitous. Fluval Zeo-Carb.
On a note: you need to know that aquarium coal is not effective from poisons and only ion-exchange resin – zeolite removes them. Read more …
B) Preparations of bio-starters, as well as preparations promoting the increase of colonies of beneficial bacteria. Simply put, these are drugs that contain the very bacteria that decompose poisons.

A lot of such drugs, for example, are popular: Tetra Bactozym, Tetra NitratMinus, Tetra NitrateMinus Pearls, Sera bio Nitrivec and others.
3. A large number of plants in the aquarium.

No one has scientifically proved that plants suppress algae, but the fact remains that in an aquarium with live aquarium plants (1/2, 2/3), there are no algal outbreaks, except greenish dots sometimes appear, and then from strong illumination.
Here is an example from my own experience. I had a herbalist for growth (I grew plants for the future of an aquascape), there were many different plants.

The time has come, I made my scape, spread out plants and flooded some algae (algae) in it, and this is all because the aquarium is young, the plants have not gotten stronger after transplantation, and their number has decreased. The time passed, the plants grew stronger and took over the lower ones and the thread disappeared.
Therefore, if you have the opportunity to provide plants with proper care: LIGHT, CO2, PLE – surely plant beds!

4. There are useful fish that fight – eat algae and algal plaque:
A) Siamese Algae Eaters – tireless workers of the aquarium, sometimes it seems that the only meaning of their life is the insatiable desire to kiss all the plants, suck all the stones and walk through all the aquarium decorations. They can still be found under the abbreviation SAE, which stands for Siamese Algae Eater and translates as Siamese algae. There are also KAE and IAE – Chinese and Indian algae.

Effective from algae “black beard”, “filament” and “deer horns”, etc.
B) Ototsinklyus – no less effective fish. Due to the structure of its mouth gently and well remove algae from plants, decor and walls.

Copes with green, brown (diatoms), etc.
B) Ancistrus– also helpful. But, unlike the aforementioned fish, adult antsistrus individuals are lazy.

And they say that in addition to algae, they chew and plants.
D) The whole family is also a good helper in the fight against algae. petsilievyh – guppies, swordtails, mollies, patcilia and others.
D) All possible clams. – apularias, coils, fizy, etc.
5. And finally, the aquarium chemistry will come to the rescue, the overwhelming algae. In pet stores sold a lot of these drugs, as a rule, in their name they contain the word “Algo” (alga), for example, Tetra AlgoStop Depot.

Use these drugs should be carefully, wisely and according to the instructions. I recommend Tetra products precisely because they have the mildest effect.

With proper applications – taking into account all the circumstances in the aquarium, Tetra preparations do not adversely affect the plants.

So, we have examined the main causes of the appearance of algae in the aquarium, as well as dismantled the main methods of dealing with them. Finally, it should be noted that, as a rule, “algal trouble comes in a complex”, and therefore it is necessary to deal with it in a complex, i.e. not one method, but several at once, if not all at once.
Algae in the aquarium – know the enemy in the face!

Alga Edogonium
photo of thread in the aquarium

This is the most common type of filamentous algae that attack an aquarium. At first it looks like green down, then like long green strings. When they occur, it is recommended to apply the above described methods of control.

As well as in the literature it is noted that this alga appears due to the lack of macro elements. Surprisingly, in particular, phosphates and nitrates (of which everything is derived).

There is a positive effect when adding them. In advanced cases, algicidal preparations are used.

Kladofora (popularly known as Kladofora thread)


It has branching and does not have long strings. As a rule, it appears in aquariums with poor filtration, poor water flow and the presence of stagnation zones, where it “blooms”.
It is possible to get rid of it by eliminating negative factors, by mechanical means (by hand) and algicide.
Spirogyra
This seaweed is very nasty and not only because it is slimy and green, but also because it grows with a geometric progression. It is difficult to withdraw – neither algaecide, nor SAE will help. It is difficult, but you can defeat it mechanically: by manual selection, by rubbing it with your fingers (it is fragile), by pulling out from the bottom.

As an additional measure of struggle helps: killing the light, fish and algae shrimp.
Rizoklonium

It can also be attributed to filamentous algae, because has a filamentous structure. As a rule, it appears in young aquariums, where the biobalance is not yet set up, which can be identically called the nitrogen cycle.

This is not such a terrible seaweed! It actually disappears after the establishment / restoration of the biobalance in the aquarium. Applies to it, all common methods of struggle are effective.

Most effective: water change and algaecide.

The most radical method is the chemical one, which provides for the use of such agents as brown and boric acid or antibiotics. The tool is effective, but it inevitably harms fish and useful plants, which can even be expressed in their death. The next way is biological, which is to run into the aquarium of fish that feed on this alga: the black beard in the aquarium is afraid of live-bearing carpsit, antsistrusov, labo.

They can significantly clear the aquarium from the thickets of harmful plants, but they will not be able to completely overcome it.

The best way to fight is to change the conditions in the aquarium.

Other ways to deal with a black beard in an aquarium

On how to get rid of a black beard, there are many recommendations aquarists. If the above methods did not help, you should try to act differently. It happens that the aquarium is very neglected, so at first it may be necessary to change from 10 to 25% of water every day.

In the water, which is designed for an aquarium, there should be no nitrates and phosphates, which are an excellent nutrient medium for different algae, and black beard is not an exception.

There should be a sufficient number of fast-growing plants in the aquarium. So that they develop normally, you should feed them with fertilizers.

Fertilizers should not contain phosphates, and the percentage of nitrates depends on the number of them in the aquarium. In addition, potash fertilizers are essential for plant growth.

They need to make a lot, but within reason – to the growth of algae, they will not lead.
You can prepare a mixture for fertilizer on your own, which allows you to perfectly match the ratio of all trace elements. It is worth paying particular attention to the percentage of nitrates – ideally, their content should be at the level of 5 mg in 1 liter of water. If there is no nitrate in the water at all, then the plants stop absorbing phosphates, which can lead to the development of a black beard in the aquarium.

To the process went faster, run into the aquarium fish that feed on algae: antsistrus, Siamese algae.

Extremely unpleasant disaster is a black beard in an aquarium. This is an extremely harmful algae, which gives a lot of problems to both beginners and experienced aquarists.

For fish and other inhabitants of the aquarium, it does not pose a danger, but for aquarium plants, this is a real deadly threat that almost eats them alive. Having noticed the first signs of the appearance of a black beard in an aquarium, it is necessary to act promptly to get rid of it.

Before you fight a black beard, you need to understand what is the reason for its growth. The main catalyst for the growth of algae becomes an excess of organic matter.

This may occur due to several factors.

  • The neglect of the aquarium. This seaweed adores stagnant water and sludge on the ground, flavored with constant filtration and aeration. Organic matter and oxygen create an optimal environment for the development of a black beard.
  • Overpopulation aquarium. Every inhabitant of the aquarium eats and leaves waste. A large number of fish and other inhabitants in the same tank create the best conditions for the development of algae.
  • In addition, to bring a black beard into the aquarium environment is possible with other plants. Always be attentive to newly acquired specimens from other people’s aquariums.
  • Blackbeard grows progressively with a high concentration of phosphates and nitrates – salts, which are formed during poor care of the aquarium and are often found in fertilizers for plants.

A fish that eats a black beard is placed in an aquarium. These are antsistrusy, labo, and girinohailu. Other fish-cleaners and snails with a beard will not cope.

Having started the cleaner, reduce the amount of feed: if the fish eats a lot, the alga will not interest it. The fish will visibly clear the aquarium from the black beard, but they cannot completely destroy it.

Algae – this is not all that grows in the water. So called lower, primitive photosynthetic organisms, often consisting of a single cell or several cells collected in colonies or filaments.

They live everywhere in the aquatic environment. They are distinguished from higher plants by the absence of developed organs: stems, leaves, flowers, and also the fact that throughout their history they lived exclusively in water, while the plants were formed on land, and only after that some of them returned to the water .

Higher flowering plants (as well as several species of moss and ferns) are planted to decorate and revitalize the aquarium, while algae, with the exception of a single species of decorative importance, enter the aquarium without our participation and reproduce in it just when the balance is knocked down and balance is broken. They form a suspension in the water, causing its turbidity or discoloration, or stick around all the surfaces in the form of fluff, bundles and balls of yarn, plaque, mucus and the like.

It is clear that their presence does not contribute to the beauty of the aquarium.

Diatoms are unicellular organisms that have a silicon shell in the form of a box, many of which are capable of movement. The significance of diatoms in natural marine ecosystems is simply colossal, since they constitute a significant proportion of plankton and form a huge part of the organic matter of the earth (about a quarter), and their shells after dying are the basis of sedimentary rocks.

But in artificial reservoirs they, like their counterparts from other departments of lower plants, are unwanted guests. Brownish or brown algae in an aquarium, forming a slimy coating, especially in poorly lit places, often near the bottom – these are, as a rule, diatoms. (By the word “brown” – we mean only color, not systematic belonging, since Brown Alga proper is a separate department of highly developed marine organisms with large bodies, thallus).

Their reproduction contributes to a pH above 7.5, high water hardness and a high concentration of nitrogen compounds. An outbreak of diatoms can cause an excess of sodium in water, which occurs, for example, after treating fish in a common aquarium by adding salt.

According to its structure, they are closest to higher plants. They form fringing fouling, bunches, balls and strands of thin threads or films of different shades of green color on aquarium glass, soil elements, plants, stones, snags, decorations or a green suspension, from which water becomes cloudy and changes color (the so-called water bloom).

In addition, the appearance of filamentous forms of green is often caused by the lack of macroelements – salts of nitrogen and phosphorus. The growth of higher plants in such cases slows down or stops completely, and the aquarium draws in greenish mud.

When describing the algae divisions, we intentionally described in such detail what conditions the representatives of each of them need in order to breed in an aquarium to a significant amount (there are always a small number of these organisms in the aquarium, but they do not spoil the beauty and do not interfere with other inhabitants). Obviously, in order to cope with the invasion of crimsons, diatoms, or their brethren, these conditions in the aquarium must be changed. And the most important thing is to plant a large number of living higher plants and create conditions under which they can successfully compete with algae and thereby control their numbers.

The following steps will help change the balance of power in favor of the plants.

The introduction of CO2 into an aquarium with the help of various devices provides the plants with a source of carbon and, in the presence of good lighting, can significantly change the balance of forces in their favor. In addition, carbon dioxide acidifies water, which also usually adversely affects the lower flora and beneficially – on the higher.

In addition to these basic measures aimed at improving the conditions for plant growth and normalizing the overall situation in the aquarium, for the fight against algae are used:

  • mechanical removal from surfaces using a scraper or toothbrush;
  • settling algae fish in an aquarium (ototsinklyuy are effective against diatoms, CAE against purple bug and filamentous chlorophyte, labo and hirinoheylus – against scale greens) or, in the case of water blooming, branchy daphnia crustaceans;
  • in rare cases (for example, an outbreak of cyanobacteria or blooming of water) the use of chemical methods of control – antibiotics and algaecides, as well as an ultraviolet sterilizer is justified.

It must be said that the mass development of cyanobacteria is the reason for taking emergency measures: in addition to the already mentioned complete darkening and use of the antibiotic and sterilizer, it is necessary to deprive algae of nutrients as much as possible. To do this, stop feeding the fish in the aquarium (it is generally better to remove the fish for a while), set the filter power to a minimum, at the same time turning on aeration, do not change the water.

Already after the death of most of the blue-greens, general cleaning of the aquarium with a deep siphon of the soil and the replacement of most of the water is carried out.

But such measures to destroy algae give only a temporary effect, which quickly passes without normalizing the overall balance of the aquarium. Therefore, with all due respect to the ancient origin and the enormous ecological role of algae, let us try to create in our aquarium such conditions under which not they, but those for whom we start our indoor ponds — higher plants and fish — will feel comfortable.

Most novice aquarists for some reason believe that plants for the underwater realm bring only additional worries and troubles to the owners. But this is a serious misconception that we will try to dispel in this article.

We will present you the popular algae for the aquarium. The photo and name of the plant you like will help you make the right choice for your pond.

Now there are many very different plants for the underwater kingdom. There are among them those that really care is not easy.

But along with them there are plants that do not require special care.

Algae for an aquarium are the simplest plants, although sometimes they belong to the kingdom of protists (Protista). Blue-green algae even belong to the bacteria.

They can range in size from single-celled microscopic organisms to 70-meter grass.

These are the most ancient inhabitants of the Earth who carried out the first photosynthesis more than three and a half billion years ago. Algae can breed in all water bodies: with salty, fresh, clean, turbid, fast flowing or stagnant water.

This species forms a rather dense layer covering the soil and plants. Blue-green algae in the aquarium develop due to excessive lighting.

Promotes their appearance and high levels of phosphates and nitrates. Blue algae in the aquarium are able to release substances harmful to fish. Even algae often refuse to eat them because of bad taste.

Ampoulaia will be able to slow down their growth, but one should not hope for them. In this case, you need serious treatment.

It is necessary to completely turn off the lighting and darken the aquarium for a week, combining this with massive water changes.

And now tell you what to do if you find black algae in the aquarium, and how to deal with them. This species forms small black spots on plants.

Unfortunately, the reason for their appearance has not yet been established precisely, but excess light and nitrates may contribute to the further spread of stains.

To cope with this species is not easy, experts recommend a radical way to deal with it – the complete removal of diseased leaves.

These algae indicate that the amount of organic waste in the aquarium has increased dramatically, which serve as food for the beard. These algae are often located on the plants and the walls of the aquarium.

It is a thick, disgusting-looking black carpet. How to deal with it?

The first step is to reduce the level of organic matter. After cleaning the soil, changing the water and filtering it, the growth of the black beard slows down. In addition, this species settles in places with a strong flow: on the surface of filters, on their tubes.

The current provides the beard with abundant nutrition, organic debris is deposited on its surface. Therefore, we recommend to reduce aeration in the aquarium.

To reduce the nutrients in the water, in addition to cleaning, should be planted fast-growing plant species: nayas, elodeyu.

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