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 Name this algae

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Nereus7
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PostSubject: Name this algae   Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:27 pm

So yea I've been slacking on the wipe downs. But on this one rock I like the way it looks so I just want to make sure nothing's toxic, check it out can you name this? I have to figure out how to post a picture, give me a minute.. - N
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PostSubject: Re: Name this algae   Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:33 pm





Here you go, this is the rock, and here's a pic for fun of the screwball that had a NDE but made it back, my little buddy Smile I love him




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PostSubject: Re: Name this algae   Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:34 pm

sorry for the gritty pictures, low dark, cell etc.. Can you name that algae one the rock?

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PostSubject: Re: Name this algae   Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:40 pm

Since I'm playing "picture" here's one of the angelicus playing sniper on the salad bowl turned cave, taking a nap under the down spout I'm surprised he didn't get blown off but that's a loach for you.. he thinks we can't see him




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PostSubject: Re: Name this algae   Fri Aug 31, 2012 8:50 pm

It's on those pvc "beach front properties" also, is that standard algae? - N

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PostSubject: Re: Name this algae   Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:21 am

The algae on the pvc pipes does not appear to be the same kind as the algae on the rocks. Is it? Does it look the same to you?

The "algae" on the pipes seems to be a brownish film, made up of diatoms. Usually this just wipes off. Otocinclus catfish will eat it. The stuff on the rock appears to be some kind of encrusting algae. Is it slimy? Does it wipe off easily in sheets? Can you provide a better photo (in focus)? I can make some obvious guesses but you don't want guesses, you want to know what it is and for that we need a clear photo. Very Happy


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PostSubject: Re: Name this algae   Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:30 pm

You're right deb the pvc algae is more of a brown color, it come's off easy I'll get it on my next w/c later today. What's on the rock is more of a black with green hints to it. It does have a slick feeling and it also comes right off. The pictures are kind of bad, all I have is a cell to take them with. The pvc is no problem, it's the same I think as you can see on some of the leaves. It's been awhile in the making but a good scrub down will get it all taken care of. It's the rock with the blackish appearance that has me worried. Worst case scenario I can spend a few minutes and get it back to white I just kind of like the natural look of it being aged etc. Just a personal preference, it really does look better first hand than it does in the low light pictures. Later today when I do my w/c I'll pull it out and get a good picture under direct light if I can. Again this is months in the making, I had a pleco I had to re-home cuz he grew too big but he kept it clean as could be which makes me think it doesn't fall into the toxic category if he's eating it. Let me know what you think, I'll work on better light, close up pictures - N

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PostSubject: Re: Name this algae   Sat Sep 01, 2012 12:34 pm

Another thing, it's in relation to where the light makes direct contact so my guess is it's light related, it hasn't shown up in the less lit sections. I just want to make sure it's nothing toxic. My nitrates are at 30ppm I put off last weeks w/c, are diatoms related to higher organics in the water? - N

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PostSubject: Re: Name this algae   Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:41 pm

Nereus wrote:
... What's on the rock is more of a black with green hints to it. It does have a slick feeling and it also comes right off.

This description of the color, and the fact that it is slick and comes off easily, makes me think it must be cyanobacteria, or "blue-green algae" (BGA). BGA does not have to be the vivid alien blue-green only, but can also be black, red, or purple in freshwater. It varies.

If that's what you have - and it sure sounds like it - check the tank for other signs of it growing. If the rock is the only place, then remove it and clean it. Scrub it and soak it in an anti-bacterial agent, such as erythromycin, or a strong salt solution. Erythromycin may be found on the fish meds rack at PetSmart under the brand name of Myacin.

Cyano comes off easily in sheets so you may be able to siphon it out. Usually once it's gone, it's gone. Don't allow nitrates or phosphates to build up in excess. Do you have live plants in this tank? (Can't tell from the photos.)

More than likely, the pleco was eating some sort of good algae film which was growing on the rock. When you took the pleco out, an imbalance resulted and the cyano saw its opportunity to set in. I know exactly what you mean by an aged look on the rock, but this will come about in time with a "good" algae. BGA is not good for freshwater systems and should be removed.

Diatoms are usually related to low-light conditions and excess silicates in the water. Many times they are seen just after a new tank is set up. As the tank matures and becomes balanced, the brown algae goes away.

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PostSubject: Re: Name this algae   Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:14 pm

Uh oh. I might just scrap it and make a new cave. It doesn't come off in sheets you'd have to scrub it but you could run a finger nail over it and cut a line in it. Nitrates are at 30, I don't know about my phosphates but its definatly time for a w/c. I might just scrap the cave. Maybe do a w/c, in a few days, a good wipe down, and follow that up with another series of water changes spaced out by a few days. Yea, they're going to hate to see it go, they'll out of "muscle reflex" keep running to it but yea I should probably just get rid of it. Looks like it's time to sacrafice another salad bowl Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Name this algae   Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:13 pm

Quote :
It doesn't come off in sheets you'd have to scrub it but you could run a finger nail over it and cut a line in it.
In that case, I'm now inclined to say it's short black brush algae, or BBA. BBA is not a bad thing when it's on only one or two objects or surfaces. IME, if you leave it alone and keep a good maintenance routine, it will not spread to other objects. Now I see why the bristlenose was grazing it - BBA is great for grazing as it traps all kinds of goodies and grows micro-fauna.

My advice now is to keep the rock and do nothing. Step up your maintenance, as you describe you will do, and go from there. Nitrates at 30 is not that bad - it's certainly not at danger levels. Over the next couple of weeks try to get it down to 10.

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