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How to get rid of black algae in an 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 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.

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.

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!

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