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Attack of the algae monsters from the planet xoros

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I have a horrible algae problem that is wiping out most of my plants and grows several inches long off my hob that started a few months back when I was running the beamworks light an average of 12-16 hours per day and only using flourish micro but it was pretty minor and not widespread and I actually liked the look, I have since put my lights on an 8 hour timer and started using easy green and easy iron because my nitrates were staying at zero, and I added co2 a month or so back  I have removed the vast majority of my val because cutting it back almost to the ground well below any algae I saw didn't stop it,  I've dipped everything in straight peroxide hoping that would for sure do it and even if I killed the leaves the stems would survive but that also failed because even though there is new growth from the stems of the plants that mostly died the algae came back to them and I'm lost. I'm sorry I cant organize my thoughts into proper sentences without spending the next hour and a half editing this but I'd be very grateful for the advice if anyone can help me save my little buddies.



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Yep, you got black beard algae. Lets begin with treatment. Firstly you are doing a good job in treating it. The photo above showing it turning red means you are killing the stuff. Hydrogen peroxide is a good start. Next you need liquid carbon. Either Aquarium co-op’s Easy Carbon, or Seachem Flourish Excell. Follow the dosing instructions carefully as overdosing can have bad effects on your fish. One of those effects is it displaces oxygen in your tank. This is why i recomend dosing liquid carbon in the morning after you have turned on the lights. Durring the day is when your plants will outgas oxygen, at night they will outgas CO2. Start with general dosing of liquid carbon to the tank for about a week then start spot treating whatever remains with a pipette like this one from the Co-op. 

to spot treat the liquid carbon turn off your filters and airstones for just a bit while you directly squeeze liquid carbon on an affected area. Only spot treat a few spots at a time per day. dont forget to turn your filters and airstones back on after spot treating. As the BBA begins to turn red move on to another spot. Every waterchange you should redose the whole tank again. 
next lets discus some preventative measures. The main 2 causes of BBA in my experience have been low CO2, or wild CO2 swings, and excessive Iron. Lighting is also important to note as this can exacerbate the 2 afformentioned causes. Lets start with the easy one, Iron. I only dose Iron when i see there is an iron deficiency. Most all purpose fertilizers like Easy Green, or Seachem’s Flourish, will have enough Iron for your plants.  If you believe you have a nutrient deficiency start with this little blog to get you pointed in the right direction. 

next, your CO2. All planted tanks have a natural CO2 swing from during the day when they are producing oxygen, and at night they not only stop producing oxygen, but will in fact release CO2 in combination with your fish friends constantly converting O2 to CO2. There are 2 camps of thought on this. Some people say turn your CO2 off at night, others say its better to run 24/7. There are numerous debates and reasons, etc... i will not go into here. My recommendation is to run your CO2 24/7, however i would also recommend at night add an extra airstone for further surface agitation during peak CO2 production hours. This will still keep good CO2 saturation for when you turn your lights on, and soften your natural CO2 swing a bit, to keep it more stable throughout the 24 hour night/day cycle. You also mentioned that your nitrates are at 0, if your test is accurate, as you run CO2 this will super charge your plants to absorb more nitrates, meaning you may need to dose more fertilizer. I would confirm that your nitrate test is accurate first tho, as that particular test is the most likely to have a false reading. Lastly your target lighting time should be about 8 hours. Some go more, but it depends on a few factors. #1 what type of light you use, and whats it’s intensity. #2 what type of plants you have (are they low light, medium light, high light plants). And #3 the amount pf plants compared to you tank size. Obviously 12 hours of light on a single banana plant in a 75 gallon tank is the exact overkill all algae is looking for. Good luck to you, and if you have further questions please feel free to ask. 

Edited by Will Billy
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My nitrates were staying at 0 before as confirmed by the computer checker at the store which is why I started using the easy green because I'm so heavily planted and lightly stocked. I've kept them around 20 since started fertilizing but this week it skyrocketed to 80 but I beleive its because so much of what I treated with peroxide killed the leaves too and they fell on the bottom and rotted in the undergrowth so I upped weekly change from 10-30% and moved a lot of frogbit from another tank to drop it further since 30% is already pushing my comfort zone with neocardinia.


It's a 55 gallon, how much excel would you dose on what schedule for a heavy outbreak with guppies and neo?

My co2 comes on same time as the lights and drop checker starts turning green about 6 hours in with a 2" jraldi diffuser, 4 bubbles per second, 30psi, should I expect that to help reduce the algae that's already here or will it just keep it away after I wipe it out completely? 

My aeration is from a penguin 350 hob and 2 sponge filters with an air stone in them so I think my gas exchange is fairly high. 

I have val, frogbit, anarchis, guppy grass, java moss, java fern, suswassertang, rotala, star repens, some kind of short heavy blade carpeting grass, some kind of super bright pink stuff, cabomba, hornwort, and some stuff I cant identify, I dont have room on bottom to plant more and lots of stuff is floating. Light is a beamworks da6500 I think 60w.

Edited by Jeeperscreepersmyth
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There are specific dosing instructions on the back of the bottle. I cant remember off the top of my head but i think its like 5ml per 10 gal on initial dose, and then 5 ml per 50 gal per day after that. Also liquid carbon is a bit different from actual CO2. Algae cant stand liquid carbon for some reason. Not sure the exact science behind that. With regard to your CO2, keeping it stable will keep it at bay. You mentioned your CO2 comes on when your lights come on. Does that mean you have your CO2 on a timer? If that is the case then i would recommend starting up your CO2 1-2 hours before the lights come on. This will increase your water saturation so your plants are ready to start stealing nutrients from the algae just as soon as the lights come on. Thats what the algae is currently doing to your plants. No need for any more aeration you have plenty. Especially if your CO2 is on a timer of some sort. 

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