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Algae Question

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Posted (edited)

When we got this 40B with our kids at the start of Covid, my kids wanted blue gravel. I recently changed it out with Eco Complete. Since then, all of my Anubias has what I think is black beard growing all over it. Is it just algae growth that I need to treat or is it taking out 4+ year old gravel caused maybe a phosphate spike?  

Just as an FYi, I did half the gravel about a month apart and each time I added a bottle of Fritz Zyme 7 to ensure my cycle didn’t crash. I did a few water changes and cleaned my HOB sponges quite a few times.IMG_3245.jpeg.76035a3d3590abd16ce1be74e8e75600.jpeg

Edited by RyanR
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Posted (edited)

My apologies if this a double post, hit the slider I guess on the screen when scrolling.


Aquarium soil has excess nutrients and needs to be charged.  You change out the water and that removes the excess to a tolerable level and lets the substrate absorb ions from the water.

That being said, eco complete is not soil, it's a type of lava rock and will have things like iron. This will be advantageous to BBA and can cause issues depending on your particular setup.  I had that issue with seachem's clay based substrate (excess iron) and the substrate itself started growing BBA over time.  I got it off the plants, off the decor, off the walls, and then it just said "alrighty then" and started carpeting the ground.

Water changes are your friend.  With BBA you will always need multiple treatments to overcome it.... One weakens it, then you follow up with 2-3 treatments to remove it.

I would suggest trying two methods as a focus in addition to water changes. Keep in mind BBA spreads spores and the goal is to water change the spores out en pace with the BBA trying to fight back.

Method 1: remove the plant, get a small art brush and a bottle of peroxide:

Method 2: full tank dose


Edited by nabokovfan87
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Thanks. I’ve gotten rid of it before in other aquariums using Flourish Excel. Not sure if I want to go that route again or try the Siamese Algae Eater.  I’m sure stiring up almost 5 years worth of mulm threw off my balance. This tank used to be on cruise control. 

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