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Black algae in the aquarium how to fight

maintenance, care, compatibility

How to get rid of a black beard in an aquarium. Blackbeard in aquarium

What is black beard? Compsopogon coeruleus is a multicellular alga in the form of black and brown fine threads that can reach a length of 5 cm.

It usually affects higher plants, but can attach to any surface.

This alga breeds at a high rate and can cover all the plants in the aquarium. From it is very difficult to clear the snags and ornaments.

Methods of dealing with a black beard in an aquarium can be different, but it can be completely difficult to get rid of it completely.

Black beard in an aquarium usually appears after buying new plants or decorations. Therefore, it is very important to prevent the appearance of this trouble.

Spores of this algae do not spread through the air.

After buying new plants, they need to be kept in quarantine for several days. With the appearance of black bloom on the leaves to use such bushes are not worth it.

Also, new plants can be treated with solutions of bleach, potassium permanganate or hydrogen peroxide. Keeping the plants in a disinfecting solution needs only a few minutes (for delicate species, the time can be shortened), then rinse them in cool running water.

Of great importance is the condition of the aquarium. If the biofiltration is violated in the tank, the owners neglect the rules of care, do not change the water, do not siphon the soil and overfeed the fish, then the risk of the appearance of a black beard increases. In an aquarium with a balanced balance, algae will not multiply and quickly disappear on their own.

But in the problematic beard will appear again and again.

Therefore, it matters not only how to get rid of a black beard in an aquarium, but also how to prevent its recurrence.

Blackbeard – black algae, consisting of numerous thin filaments. Most often it is found on higher plants, but periodically occurs on any surfaces. Worst of all, it is able to flood the entire space in the shortest possible time.

It absorbs everything in its path. Clean the snags and decor from it is very difficult.

Today, there are many methods of dealing with this disease, however, many of which are not able to finally overcome the spores of the plant.

Its appearance is often associated with new, recently brought algae and ornaments. You need to carefully monitor the condition of your tank and periodically carry out preventive actions.

Algae spores are not able to spread through the air, which greatly facilitates the process of care.

If you have just bought a new alga, then do not rush to put it in the general aquarium. Hold the new thing in quarantine for 2-3 days. To do this, the usual pot will fit the size of the plant.

If after this time a black bloom appears on them, in no case should these bushes be used without disinfection. Infected new plants must be treated with potassium permanganate, chlorine solution or hydrogen peroxide. Wiping plants is not effective, it is necessary to make an amount of solution in which you can dip the alga completely.

Soak the plant in it for a couple of minutes, if the plant has delicate leaves, one minute is enough. Rinse each leaf and stalk under running water.

Send the plant a few more days in a new jar of clean water.

Other causes of black beard:

  • Disruption of biofiltration;
  • Neglect of care;
  • Rare water change;
  • Missing soil cleaning system;
  • Overfeeding dwellers.

If you are careful in caring for your pets, then the risk of a black beard in your miniature reservoir is practically reduced to zero. Otherwise, there may be numerous problems that will lead to the death of all living things.

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.

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.

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.

Algae in the aquarium are a sign of an established biobalance. They appear on plants, stones, glass walls, and even on equipment. However, their rapid growth means that fundamental changes are taking place in the aquatic environment.

In an aquarium where there are a lot of plants, algae will not appear in large quantities. Good aeration and water filtration will stop their growth.

Timely removal of food residue and dirt contributes to the purity of water. If you notice that brown formations appear in the reservoir, it means that brown algae have settled in it.

How to get rid of kelp and suspend their reproduction?

The origin of brown algae, symptoms of formation

Brown algae are representatives of the Diatoms Division (Bacillariophyta). They should not be confused with sea kelp (Phaeophyta), which includes kelp seaweed.

In an aquarium, these algae do more harm than good, and you need to fight them.


Diatoms form brown dust on the walls of the tank. It appears everywhere – and on the ground, and on snags, and on the filter, and on the glass, even on the leaves of plants.

Initially, the formation is almost imperceptible, but later it acquires a dark, saturated shade.

At the initial stage, this type of algae is easily removed with a scraper, even crushed from plants. If you dash through the decoration, then many dust-like particles will fall from it.

Dust can be wiped off with a regular cloth moistened with running water, but without the use of detergents and soap.

Watch a useful video on how to deal with diatoms.

But in a neglected reservoir, the struggle with diatoms will be difficult. Brown particles turn black, grow rapidly, forming a buildup on all surfaces.

The top layer is crushed, and the bottom remains. This is reminiscent of the ground surface, with brown algae almost invisible through the front glass.

The problem is that such diatoms negatively affect the health of plants and fish. Plants can not carry out photosynthesis, almost “suffocate”, and the fish do not get enough water from the water, they can get poisoned.

If you do not deal with the problem in a timely manner, the consequences will be disastrous for all living creatures.


Brown algae spread very quickly, the parasite cells from one plant quickly pass to the neighboring leaves. In addition, brown patina can be a substrate for another parasite – a black beard, which is derived even more difficult.

What to do in order to prevent the growth of algae in the aquarium and destroy them forever?

  1. The aquarium should be lighting 10-12 hours a day, no more. Do not place the tank in place of direct sunlight. Bacteria that are sources of algae multiply easily by light.
  2. The overpopulation of the nursery with fish is a source of nitrates that the plants do not have time to assimilate. If you have a lot of fish, the tank should be spacious.
  3. If there are such fish in the tank as mollies, Siamese algae, antsistrusy, loricaria, catfish ottsinklyusy, then they will help to fight with a brown touch, eating it. Also, algae love snail neretina.
  4. Do not overfeed fish, remove food debris from the bottom with a siphon or a net.
  5. Regularly replace your aquarium water with clean water once a week.
  6. If a nitrogenous cycle is not established in a recently launched aquarium, an algae outbreak is more likely. The process of forming a biological balance lasts 1-2 weeks, at this time do not settle there fish and do not make large water changes. If the water level of nitrates 50 mg per 1 liter, the water should be well filtered and replaced with a new one. Take measurements of water parameters constantly.

See how you can get rid of the brown algae in the aquarium with the help of Theodoxus snails.

If you notice that brown algae appeared in a newly launched aquarium, and they began to spread in large quantities, then the fight with them will be easy. Observe the correct mode of maintenance of the tank, and in 2-3 weeks the problem will be solved.

Carry out regular cleaning of the aquarium, change 20-30% of water once a week. When aquarium plants begin to grow, the algae will disappear due to the large amount of dissolved oxygen.

When an algae outbreak happened in an aquarium with “old” water, it is necessary to replace water already 2 times in 7 days, changing 30% of the volume of water. When replacing it is necessary to thoroughly clean the tank from excess food, waste products of fish.

Use a scraper to clean the glass of the aquarium, wipe the bottom, clean the decorations and plants with a toothbrush or a clean sponge.

Check the degree of contamination of the filter, if the filtration rate has decreased, then the filter is clogged. Clean the filter, but do not change its contents.

Reduce the length of daylight hours to 6 hours a day for several days, and the next 2 weeks bring it up to 10 hours gradually. If the lamps work for 1 year, it is better to replace them with new ones, but not all at once, but in turn.

Brown scurf appears in the tank in a week, and it takes almost a month to fight it.


There are chemicals that can affect diatoms. Some funds worsen the situation, delay the reproduction of beneficial microorganisms, from which the fish will suffer. Drugs that can help with the removal of brown plaque, should be used according to the instructions.

Be careful and cautious – some chemicals can harm not only parasites, but also plants with fish.

  • Tetra Algetten – drug in the form of water-soluble tablets, used for the prevention and destruction of algae. It dissolves gradually over a month, the number of parasitic formations decreases gradually. After 4-7 days, the first changes will be noticeable. Dosage – 1 tablet per 10 liters of water.
  • Sera Algovec – the tool destroys all types of algae in the aquarium. Dosage: 5 ml per 20 liters of water. After applying the drug, it is necessary to slice away all dead residues mechanically, there should be good aeration in the water.

Black scurf on plants can appear as a result of infection with the so-called “black beard”. This is a dark brown alga, which covers the leaf plates of plants, soil, glass and decorations. Thin threads of dark shade on plants does not look aesthetically pleasing.

Blackbeard can damage the plant, causing it to fade quickly.

The alga is rapidly spreading, and it is hard to fight it. Some chemical means and dimming of the light can give a partial result, but do not eliminate the root of the problem.

For the destruction of the beard need to include comprehensive measures. The first thing to do is regularly update the water, from 10 to 25% of the total volume of the aquarium.

There should be no nitrates and phosphates in the water; make measurements with indicators before pouring into the aquarium.

The second procedure, which will help to eliminate black scurf in the aquarium, is to clean the soil from the remnants of food, to clean the dead leaves of plants. Next, you should increase the power of lighting up to 1 W per liter of water, turn on the light for 12 hours.

Additional help will be provided by some species of snails and fish that can clean the aquarium from algae and their livelihoods.

It is important to control the proportions of the feed: if you give the fish more food, then the non-eaten remains will dissolve, the level of ammonia in the water will increase. You can plant in the ground fast-growing plant species that absorb nutrients well. The first sign that the alga dies off – changing its color to faded.

Over time, the affected beard will disappear.

The universal remedy for aquarium black beard is on sale – it is JBL Algol. It in a few days will destroy fouling that formed on the surfaces.

To make the drug in the tank according to the instructions.

This article focuses on the Tetra group of drugs, which are aimed at algae control.

For us, consumers, two things are important when choosing one or another tool:

– how effective the drug is;

– what side properties the drug has;

And here we are faced with a problem!

In the sale of funds from algae a lot, but their compositions are often classified by producers – a trade secret. However, there are landmarks that manufacturers indicate in the annotations to the drugs.

First, manufacturers indicate the extent of the drug’s effects on algae:

– long-term control agent

– agent for the prevention and mild reduction of algae.

Secondly, manufacturers always write what means it is: chemical or biological.

From the above, you can deduce certain guidelines for yourself and buy / apply one or another preparation based on the situation that has developed in your aquarium.

If in your tank, for one reason or another, everything, everything, everything is terribly overgrown with algae: green bloom, black threads (black beard), green threads (thread), etc. You need to use a potent tool!

If you just tortured algae, but you keep control over them, you need a means of a long, but more gentle action. Well, if in the aquarium there are just some small problems with algae and you want to nullify them – you need a mild prophylactic.

You also need to consider the side properties of the drugs that the manufacturer indicates in the instructions!

Tetra Award – The Brand of the Century, which the company received in 2013,

for a huge contribution to the development of the German economy.

Let’s look at the Tetra product line, specially designed for the prevention and control of algae in an aquarium:

For quick response and prevention

– Improved formula (60% higher concentration of active ingredient compared to TetraAlguMin).

– Effectively fights all types of algae and prevents the growth of new ones.

– Active ingredient is released immediately, quick action

– The optimal distribution of the active substance due to the liquid form.

– New: does not stain water.

– Do not expose to sunlight.

– Activated carbon filtration reduces efficiency.

– It is advisable to manually remove dead algae.

– When used properly, the drug is harmless to fish, plants and microorganisms.

For freshwater aquariums.

Volume: 100, 250, 500 ml.

Active ingredient per 100 ml: monolinuron 0.245 g.

Dosage for prophylaxis: 5 ml per 20 l of aquarium water every 4 weeks

Dosage to fight: 5 ml per 10 liters of aquarium water. If necessary, repeat the treatment after 3-4 weeks.

Store in a cool dark place.

Shake before use.

Go to the article about TetraAlguMin Plus.

Gently fights and prevents the appearance of all types of algae

– Improved formula (accelerated release of the active substance).

– Gently struggling with algae.

– With dispenser for convenient use.

– Especially suitable for use in small aquariums due to the optimal dosage of the active substance.

– With a dispenser for simple long-term use against green, brown and red algae.

– To prevent algae growth, replace tablets every 4 weeks.

– The tablets retain their shape, do not dissolve in water.

– When used properly, the drug does not damage the plants, does not cause damage. beneficial microflora and does not cause side effects.

– The effect of the use of the drug is noticeable after 4 – 7 days.

For freshwater aquariums.

Volume: 12 tablets per 120 liters of aquarium water.

Active ingredient per 100 g: monolinuron 0.59 g

Dosage: 1 tablet per 10 liters of aquarium water every 4 weeks.

Note: Activated carbon filtration reduces the effectiveness of the product. All UV cleaners must be turned off during the application process. When using anti-algal agents, aeration is necessary to ensure sufficient oxygen.

It is advisable to manually remove dead algae using a net or during water changes, as they adversely affect water quality.

Go to the article about Tetra Algetten.

Effectively fights with all types of algae and prevents the growth of new ones.

– Continuously fights with all types of algae.

– Long-term action prevents the growth of new algae.

– Fights and prevents the appearance of green, brown and red algae.

– Effectively destroys the “black beard” and blue-green algae, and also prevents their further growth.

– The highly concentrated long acting active ingredient is released slowly and evenly.

– After 4 weeks, the active substance is completely released.

– To prevent algae growth in the long term, replace tablets every 4 weeks.

– The tablets retain their shape, do not dissolve in water.

– Suitable for all aquatic inhabitants, plants and microorganisms subject to strict adherence to instructions.

For all freshwater aquariums.

Volume: 12 tablets per 480 liters of aquarium water.

Active ingredient per 100 g: monolinuron 2.27 g

Dosage for prophylaxis: 1 tablet per 40 liters of aquarium water every 4 weeks

Dosage to fight: 1 tablet per 20 liters of aquarium water. Repeat if necessary after 4 weeks.

Application: Take the tablets directly to the aquarium in a place with intensive circulation of water for optimal distribution of the active substance.

Note: Activated carbon filtration reduces the effectiveness of the product. All UV cleaners must be turned off during the application process.

When using anti-algal agents, aeration is necessary to ensure sufficient oxygen. It is advisable to manually remove dead algae using a net or during water changes, as they adversely affect water quality.

Go to the article about Tetra AlgoStop depot.

Quickly fights hard-to-remove algae

– Highly concentrated instant agent for maximum effect, struggling with all types of algae, due to the high concentration of the active substance.

– Quick help with serious algae problems.

– It acts against green, brown and red algae.

– Struggles with stubborn algae, for example, with a black beard and thread.

– Tablets dissolve quickly, immediately releasing the active substance, without staining the water.

– Reaches the maximum effect, thanks to high concentration of active ingredient.

– Suitable for all aquatic inhabitants, plants and microorganisms subject to strict adherence to instructions.

For freshwater aquariums

Volume: 10 tablets per 200 liters of aquarium water

Active ingredient per 100 g: Monolinuron 1.95 g

Application: Take the tablets directly to the aquarium in a place with intensive circulation of water for optimal distribution of the active substance.

Note: Activated carbon filtration reduces the effectiveness of the product. All UV cleaners must be turned off during the application process.

When using anti-algal agents, aeration is necessary to ensure sufficient oxygen. It is advisable to manually remove dead algae using a net or during water changes, as they adversely affect water quality.

Go to the article about Tetra Algizit.

We offer to visit the official website of the company Tetra – http://www.tetra.net/ru/ru/, where you can find out more information, as well as get expert advice, through the feedback forum.

The German Science Union in 2015 highly appreciated Tetra’s research and development work, and was honored with a prize in the Innovations Thanks to Research nomination.

In the conclusion of the review it should be noted that any preparations and means of algae control are not a panacea: I threw the preparation and forgot about the problem!

No one has yet canceled the proper care of the aquarium, high-quality lighting, timely water changes, testing, as well as aeration and filtration of the aquarium.

Table: The rate of action of drugs against algae

Characteristics of Tetra preparations for the prevention and control of algae:

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