If in your aquarium you are faced with a black beard, then there is nothing really terrible about this, but you will have to tinker with the deliverance. What is it? Its scientific name is compsopogon coeruleus (compsopogon).
Often black beard confused with Vietnamese (red beard). But Vietnamese and algae black beard according to the systematics belong to the same department. A black beard in an aquarium is a small black hair on plants or any surface (from the filter to the ground), 0.5-5 cm long, representing the interweaving of black and green threads. For fish, it does not pose any danger.
First of all, slow-growing plants suffer, since their leaves are closed from sunlight, the plant tissue itself is destroyed, which is why plants actually suffocate.
Often, aquarium lovers themselves can accidentally make the appearance of a beard in their aquarium, because the causes of appearance are fairly commonplace. Here are some of the possible:
- Rare water change. Nitrates and phosphates accumulate in the aquarium, which allows algae to start developing if you haven’t cleaned it for a long time.
- Lack of light. If you have not changed the lamps in the aquarium for a long time, their brightness becomes weaker, and in the dim light the algae begin to multiply actively.
- Excess feed. Some fish feed on a black beard, because it is an alga, but they will not do this with an excess of food.
- A large number of fish in the aquarium. Causes – the accumulation of nitrates and phosphates.
- Accumulation in the soil. With strong filtration or when digging in the ground with large fish, the remnants of biomass and food rise to the upper layers. Thus, the hiding algae finds more favorable conditions for further reproduction.
- Settling of infected plants or decorative elements (snags, stones, etc.). To prevent a disease, when buying a new plant or decorative element, move it in the water (just not in the aquarium!), And check if there are fluttering black lint on it. If it is, it is infected.
Finding a black beard is quite simple – the appearance of black-green threads (fluffy processes) on various surfaces or plants. But even if there are no obvious signs, it does not mean that the disease has not already appeared inside the aquarium and is just waiting in the wings.
Black beard on a plant
Ways to combat black beard in an aquarium are divided into biological and chemical methods. The chemical method requires the use of drugs that will most quickly help to remove the black beard, but it can be dangerous for the inhabitants.
So let’s look at all the ways to fight.
From fish, you can add a simple catfish, Siamese seaweed or catfish ancistrus. And also suitable fish from the family karbozubyh. But just because the fish will not eat a black beard, because it is quite hard, during this period it is not necessary to feed the inhabitants, so that they pay attention to the alga.
Of the snails, the only solution is to settle a handful of ampoules. They will do an excellent job with algae, but after that, catch all the snails on the bait and immediately remove them from the aquarium, otherwise they will switch to plants.
The sharing of higher plants of hygrophilic, lemongrass, elodea will help fight the black beard. The horny beard, Indiana, nayas and vallisneria are especially well removed.
The fact is that the black beard attacks primarily on the simplest plants. With a wild growth, higher plants absorb nutrients. But for this you need to buy a lot of seedlings and provide them with suitable conditions (you can buy special fertilizers, in which manganese and iron predominate).
During growth, it is desirable to prune the plants, since the young cuttings more actively absorb nutrients. If the hair of a black beard becomes white, it means that soon they will be completely bred.
A more radical method. It is necessary to move all the fish in a suitable container, to get rid of water from the aquarium.
It is advisable to discard the plants or tear off the blackened leaves, and treat the bushes themselves with a special disinfecting solution and place them in quarantine. The soil must be steamed in boiling water or calcined in the oven.
Stones, snags, jewelry should be cleaned from plaque and disinfected (using hydrogen peroxide, potassium permanganate, chlorine or boiling water). To get rid of chlorine, the walls and bottom of the aquarium can be cleaned with boiling water. After that, you can already restart the aquarium.
Fighting a black beard may not be so easy, so if no other method has helped, this method will be the most effective.
One of the “tricky ways”, which is used by fans of aquarium fish is to use batteries. For this method it is not necessary to move anyone away. It’s simple: from the contacts you need to hold the copper wires, put them in the aquarium and leave for a few days.
Fish and plants – they are not affected, but the alga will not be able to survive due to the effects of microcurrents.
Dilute 3% vinegar solution, remove the damaged plant and drop it there (without immersing the plant root system in it!). Acetic acid will destroy the villi, after you need to rinse the plants in the aquarium water, so that they are cleaned, and plant them back. For fish and plants, the procedure itself is completely safe.
This method is recommended to use to clean the beard in the initial stages, you can also use apple cider vinegar.
Blackbeard closes the leaves from the light
Water hardness can be made up to 8 ° dGH. This is done using 10% potassium chloride (calculated as 2 ml per 1 liter) and 7% magnesium sulphate (2 ml per 1 liter).
We provide an alkaline regime using baking soda (0.2 grams per 1 liter of water). Conditions need to be changed gradually so that the inhabitants of the aquarium will not suffer or be resettled.
Furacilin or furazolidone should be dissolved in aquarium water and left for several days. Water may turn yellow for a time, but there is nothing to worry about.
And also one of the most common ways to get rid of a beard is to dissolve boric acid or borax. All inhabitants need to be evicted and only after a few days have elapsed run back.
If you do not, then the fish, snails, shrimp or plants can simply die.
Such solutions can be purchased at pet stores. One of the advantages – speed in getting rid of the disease. You can use Saydeks, it is absolutely safe for the inhabitants of the aquarium.
According to reviews, he is not always so good can overcome, so many use AlgaeFix. But its disadvantage is that crustaceans are not on friendly terms with it, which, when used, die.
The use of Aldehyde + CO2 can be more expensive, but faster, prevention takes less than a week. But remember: before using any drug, be sure to read its instructions and contraindications!
To protect yourself in the future and not accidentally make a beard in your aquarium – you just need to watch it.
- Do not forget to periodically change the water.
- Provide enough light for the plants.
- Do not overcrowd the aquarium.
- New fishes and plants provide a 14-day quarantine. Plants need to be disinfected. Bicillin-5 (a dose of 15 thousand units per 1 liter of water) or penicillin (5 mg per 1 liter of water) can help. We place new plants in a vessel with water (25-26 degrees, depending on the plant), put the first 2 hours in the shade, then in the lit place. We add a solution for disinfection 1 time per 24 hours, do not forget to replace water before this. Many razvodchiki use bleach, it fights quite effectively, but poorly washed off, as well, it is poorly tolerated by helode, kabomba and anubias. Hydrogen peroxide is sometimes used (20 ml per 100 liters of water once a day).
- Do not allow the level of nitrates to be more than 5 mg per 1 liter of water.
- Do not overfeed fish.
Observance of all these not so difficult rules, will provide hygiene to your aquarium.