Disclosure: I may earn a commission when you purchase through my affiliate links. © Copyright 2020 - SmartAquariumGuide. Black beard algae (BBA) is a horrible, tenacious algae which is unsightly and hard to get rid of. CO2 though is very expensive. The Siamese algae eater fish (scientific name: Crossocheilus oblongus) is the only freshwater aquarium fish, that will consume black beard algae. – read more. While black beard algae is considered to be a saltwater algae, there are strains that are common to freshwater tanks. Add fast growing plants to suck up excess nutrients from the water faster. Not only would that be ecologically harmful, but you never know what might be lurking in or on them. Black Beard Algae or Brush Algae is one of the most common types and also the most difficult algae that you can’t get rid of easily. Spores can swim around for weeks or months in your aquarium, and when the conditions are right, the BBA will start growing and spreading. Can I put my live plants in hot water to kill BBA? I use fishing line to secure the plants. Black beard algae, also known as black brush algae (BBA) is a very common algae type, which is present in most of planted aquariums. Well, the method is peaty simple. BBA will start dying off and eventually will disappear totally from your tank. Maintain your own self-replenishing colony. Beginner’s Guide to Setting Up a Planted Aquarium, How to Kill Blue Green Algae (Cyanobacteria) in Freshwater Aquarium, Swollen Fish – Dealing with Dropsy Disease in Your Aquarium, 10 Tips to Keep Your Fish Happy & Healthy, Remove your Anubias plant from your aquarium and let it dry for 5-10 minutes, Apply the Flourish Excel to the affected leaves with a small brush, Leave the plant for 5 minutes with the solution on the leaves, Put it back into your aquarium and leave it alone for a few days. Most people will recommend you to cut off all the leaves from your plants that are infected with black beard algae. In fact, I only know one fish and a type of shrimp that will consume BBA. Research shows, that black beard algae is caused by excess of vitamin B12 in the water column. Here’s the ultimate guide on how to get rid of it! With CO2 and proper nutrients, your live plants will start growing faster and will outcompete algae. After 3-4 days BBA will become thinner and lighter in color. Bristlenose Plecos. belong to the group of red algae, just like staghorn algae. SmartAquariumGuide.com does not intend to provide any kind of veterinary suggestion. You might get a Siamese algae eater fish, which does not like the BBA. Some fish feed on black beard because it is algae, but they will not do this if they have an excess of food. It is similar to the bleaching technique, but it is way simpler and the risk is much lower. I’m using Flourish Excel in a 240 liter (64 gallons) aquarium. Black beard algae appears as short reddish or black turfs. Can you help with a dosage that won’t kill my fish but will kill the BBA. It is very hard to kill, and there are very few fish, which will consume it. From decoration it might come off with heavy scrubbing and hot water or bleach, but from leaves it will not come off easily. … This algae commonly grows in dense patches, mostly on surfaces and plants in an aquarium. I love it when things are named after what they look like, and black beard algae is certainly that – a black algae that looks like a scruffy beard. Just like any other algae, black beard algae are reproducing through spores. Black Beard Algae is no joke. Plant live plants to give black beard algae some competition for nutrients.  Not only is this great for the health of your fish and the plant ecosystem, but it can go a long way to preventing all sorts of algae growth. However, if you put these algae in alcohol, they will turn reddish. Hence its name black beard algae. Required fields are marked *. The Black beard algae are one of the most difficult hair algae species to get rid of. Use a filter that is powerful enough for your aquarium.  A filter will ensure a sufficient flow of water around your tank and help regulate phosphate levels.  It’s a must regardless of the type or size of aquarium you have. Composed of very fine strands or tufts, it grows in dense patches resembling a dirty green beard, thus earning its name. When in its natural habitat, BBA appears as dense patches. Your email address will not be published. How to brush off the BBA from an Anubias plant? The problem with Amano shrimp is that they will only consume black beard algae if there is no other type of algae or food available in the tank. The shrimp are swimming around happily and several of them are pregnant, so it shouldn’t be long before we have another population explosion of RCS. How to Get Rid Of Any Black Beard Algae in an Aquarium, Treat Black Beard Algae With A Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) Bath, Regulating Phosphate (PO4) In Your Aquarium, Boost Carbon Dioxide Level In The Aquarium. When this happens, it almost looks like an old, messy beard… And outside of the water, Staghorn algae still looks like antlers! I’ve tried to wipe off BBA from decorations with hot water, and it was really tough. It is also referred to by the name black brush algae or by the initials BBA. This video explains how to prevent and treat the dreaded black beard or black brush algae.Please treat any GLUTARALDEHYDE-based product with respect! It’s also known ask black beard algae because it resembles coarse beard hair. If the black brush algae is not completely gone in one week, repeat the process. The Black Beard Algae is gone! however some strains of this algae are common to freshwater too. decor items or substrate introduced into the aquarium. The key is to be patient and do not disturb your aquarium too much. I have a Beta, 6 Harlequin Rasboras, 8 Neons, and a few platy’s. It covers about half of my plants right now. For black beard algae, the main cause is said to be too much phosphorus. Or the BBA in your tank is so old and full of calcium, that the fish will not be able to eat. Just a thought. It is stubborn and as hard to eradicate as cockroaches, and it pains me to look at this beautifully decorated aquarium with this stuff all over everything. Neeness All Rights Reserved - A Preon One Company. BBA has a tendency to algae clinging to driftwood, rocks, and other Aquarium equipment, filters, intex, spraybars and other tubes. I am not quite sure how I am supposed to replace them in the tank though. I’ve managed to remove / scrape BBA from Anubias and other slow growing plant leaves with the ADA Pro Picker, but it took me a lot of time and effort. So this might not be a good option to get rid of BBA. I was wondering if the brushing flourish method would work on ornaments too, especially fragile ones that may be hard to scrub? The best method is still to prevent algae growth. Can Black Beard Algae Harm Your Aquarium Plants? BBA belongs to the red algae family in the plant kingdom. Wish I’d have known about the Excel method. Extremely slippery by nature, these algae infest driftwood, bogwood, slow-growing plants, as well as on any hard surface of the tank. Once I see BBA on their leaves, it is very easy to remove the plants from the aquarium without disturbing too much the aquarium. What causes Black Beard Algae? Keeping your tank free of algae is necessary to maintain the health of your fish and plants. I’ve managed to kill all my water wisteria from one of my fish tanks by overdosing Flourish Excel. BBA is not harmful to your fish at all. Overdosing however can harm your fish, and kill all your more sensitive plants. Black beard algae, also sometimes called black brush algae or simply BBA, are freshwater algae that bloom in water with high nitrogen and carbon dioxide concentrations. It sticks so strongly to plants and decoration, that with bare hands it is almost impossible to remove. Absolutely, this method will work on ornaments too, though it is much cheaper if you soak the ornaments in hot water, because black beard algae will die off this way too. Early signs of BBA I am nervous about adding seachem flourish excel in case it upsets some of the fish (I have two dwarf blue rams amongst others) I’m quite interested in trying the brush technique on my anubias. From my fish-keeper experience, black beard alga is common in aquariums with strong lights. It will help plans to consume nutrients from the water more efficiently. If this is allowed, then the one algae it will cover the entire plant as well as blocking light that penetrates the plant’s leaves. The good thing with this technique is that the leaves of your plant remain intact. Belonging to the red algae family, beard algae (also called brush algae) grows on the edges of plant leaves as well as on the edges of almost any hard surface. They might get damaged a bit due to the strong compounds found in the Flourish Excel, but the loss will be minimal. Hi Fabian, Most fish stores will have protocols and established methods for preventing transferring hitchhikers to customer aquariums. All Rights Reserved. Mark. It is one of the hardiest algae types out there. Interesting fact: It actually belongs to the red algae family. But to be specific and imbalance of too much nitrogen or phosphorus is what makes algae grow. BBA is very resistant to temperature change, even to hot water. If neglected, BBA will take over your whole Anubias plant. It is very hard to get rid of this algae and nothing is done it will eventually take over your entire tank. Siamese algae eater can grow up to 6-7 inches (15-20 cm) in size. As you can see in the picture above, we replaced the original log with some Malaysian Driftwood. Never take plants and animals from the wild. My tank is 55 gallons, pressurized co2, ph 7.0, kh is around 7 (i think), i add seachem excel, flrouish, iron, phosphorus, potassium, iodine. As I mentioned in the article, I don’t recommend overdosing Flourish Excel; this was only an experiment done by me. I recommend you do the same. Add fertilizer to your tank to help plants grow faster. Browsing the internet and some fish-keeping related forums, I came through a very good method, which I had to try out: What? Black beard algae are one of the worst algae in the aquarium hobby because of how hardy, persistent, and stubborn it is. Seen in both saltwater and freshwater tank, Black Beard Algae is a type of Red Algae that produces a red light protein known as phycoerythrin. This protein is what gives these algae the purplish-black appearance. If you have a small tank, the Siamese algae eater might not be suitable for you to get rid of black beard algae. If all your plants are covered with BBA, it might be worth removing the affected leaves to remove as much algae as you can, get some fast growing plants and dose Flourish Excel as recommended. To remove black beard algae from your tank with Flourish Excel, you will need to overdose. I’ve tried to trim it up, and have cut back on lighting. It is easy to identify: it is black, reddish, grayish color and has grows in a beard or brush shape on the leaves of slow growing plants, rocks or other aquarium decoration. I usually attach my anubias plants to rocks or drift wood, so it is much easier to remove. Black beard algae started to take over the aquarium. Eventually after 5-7 days, the BBA will be completely gone. Flourish Excel is basically liquid carbon, which is a relative good alternative to CO2 injection. They have extensive roots but need to settle and grow into the bark? As it turned out, I bought an apple snail egg clutch thinking it was a mystery snail clutch. Just as the title says, and how do i get rid of it? Pity I can’t paint the inside corners of the tank with it. Black beard algae which is more commonly referred to as brush algae, because of its soft, furry and slippery nature is an algae plant in the red algae family. I have always loved fish but only recently invested in a larger tropical tank, since March. There is an easier and cheaper way to remove BBA from Anubias plants. It will survive treatments of most common algaecides and this makes it quite the pain for aquarium owners. I have pretty good plant growth but I am battling with Black Beard/Brush Algae. The water volume is obviously less tank 240 liter, because I have a thick substrate and lava rocks. Your email address will not be published. (I had a smaller, less populated tank previously) I have also for the first time had live plants together with the fish. Hey Mark! Introduce black algae eating fish to your fish tank. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. The algae grow in furry tufts that resemble a beard or … Plants, however can suffer from BBA if it is not treated in time. This is probably the easiest option, but it is very brutal and will probably kill your Anubias plant. Here are the steps you should follow: In just 1-2 days, you will see the black beard algae losing its color or share. You can recognize it in tight tufts on hardscape and will line the edges of your plant leaves. Black beard algae is blackish green in color compared to its other red algae family. It will slowly kill your plant, by blocking the lights off and making photo-sensitization impossible for the plant. Black beard algae is a type of red algae that plagues freshwater and marine aquaria. The reasons are the accumulation of … Black brush algae will start growing on the tip of the slow growing plant leaves and will spread overtime to the whole leave. If you have an Anubias plant in your fish tank, sooner or later you will most likely have black beard algae. Just like humans with food, they also have preferences in algae types they consume. It typically grows on the edges of the leaves of slow-growing plants like Anubias and Java fern, and once on the leaf, it’s difficult to eradicate it completely. Despite its darker colour, it is a red algae. The Flourish Excel will not affect your other plants, because it is only used once in a very minimal dose. The name comes about due to its soft, slippery and furry nature. The lack of CO2 or its fluctuation can also cause the appearance of BBA. Brief Profile Of Black Beard Algae: How Can You Tell If A Molly Fish Is Pregnant? The true Siamese Algae Eaters (SAE for short) … The plants will die in hot water and probably the BBA will live. It is a social fish, so it is recommended to have at least 3 of them (6 is the best) in your tank, otherwise they can become very aggressive and territorial. We also purchased a new family of Chile Red Rasboras. So what is this brush technique all about? Why We Love it: Cleans fine leaves. As a general fact, the dirtier aquarium is, the more algae will want to grow. Once removed, How do I get them back in properly? And there are not many things that can stop it from overtaking whole aquascapes and aquariums. Ramshorn Snails. It is very hard to kill, and there are very few fish, which will consume it. I hope that this article has helped you remove the black beard algae from your Anubias plant, and gave you some good ideas on how to get rid of it completely from your aquarium. You will need Flourish Excel (buy it from Amazon) and a small brush for this. The black beard algae (BBA) are also known by the name of “brush algae”. My tank is a 29 gallon. Once you stop dosing CO2 to your tank, BBA will come back. Excess nutrients in the water can also cause black beard algae. The algae’s natural color varies from very dark green, through gray, to a deep black. But first, let’s see what is causing BBA to grow and why is so common on Anubias plants and other aquarium decorations? i have live plants which are all covered with BBA. Black brush algae (BBA) is stiff bristle-like branched or unbranched similar to a coarse horsehair. Remove dead plant material as soon as possible. It’s blue-green to olive to dark grey in color when young. The minimum of 50 gallon (200 liters) aquarium is recommended for them. hi all, Over the last couple of weeks I have been having some problem with either staghorn or blackbeard algae growing on my amazon swords and dwarf hairgrass. Don’t be confused with… Staghorn algae is often confused with black beard algae. I'm just looking for some help in identifying exactly what the algae is, and some tips … Black Beard algae are an unsightly nuisance that can blight your aquarium. The form known as " black brush algae " (or " black beard algae ", BBA for short) is a particular nuisance in aquaria, as few fish, even those widely promoted as algivores, will eat it. The content of this website is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. In this category, we’re referring to the many types of algae that look like wet hair when … The organism’s scientific name is Audouinella, and it belongs to the family of red algae. These can be introduced into an aquarium via plants, fish, or fresh water. These algae, which carry the scientific name Audouinella, are in the Rydophyta algae family and bloom naturally in ponds, lakes, and slow-moving streams. Maintain your tank regularly and do weekly water changes. In natural ecosystems, this genus that infests aquariums is found in unpolluted lotic systems. It belongs to the family of red algae, although it’s not red. Name: Bristlenose Pleco, Bristle Nosed Pleco, Bristlenose Catfish, Bushynose … In this case algae eating fish and shrimp will not even touch it. There is no guarantee though, that they will clean your tank from BBA. In this article I will show the causes of black beard algae and ways to if from your anubias plants, or other slow growing plants without cutting the leaves. I have BBA throughout my entire tank. I have noticed that I appear to have BBA growing. Take a closer look at the thing and you will know from where it got its name. BBA is actually part of the Rodophyta family and it's primarily considered a marine algae. From far away, it looks like black mold, though it is actually dark bluish green in color. Carb up.  Don’t add pasta to your aquarium, but make sure your aquarium has enough CO2 content.  Seachem Excel can be used to combat black beard algae, and it’s even better if used as a preventative. Black beard algae (BBA) or brush algae (Audouinella sp., Rhodochorton sp.) They will grow up to 2 inches (5 cm) in size, so it might suit a small aquarium. Black Beard Algae at first doesn't look like the stereotypical blackish-gray tufts of hair which are sticking up instead it can show up on leaves of your plant as a hard flat black dusting, almost like green spot algae but black instead. It can also be bright green, blue-green to blackish green. Unlike bleach, in small doses Flourish Excel it is not harmful to your fish and plants. This reason does not apply to just black beard algae, but to any algae. As mentioned before, black beard algae is one of the toughest algae type. Black algae is also known as black beard algae. Only use plants and fish purchased from reputable stores. Monitor your light levels and don’t allow your lights to stay on for too long.  An abundance of light will almost guarantee black beard algae. But as Staghorn algae grows, it becomes a bit more spindly… As Staghorn algae continues to grow, it can completely cover a surface. Black beard algae is also a sign of inefficient filtration system, because BBA grows in the presents of high nitrites. They first appear as small furry black dots as small as the tip of a pen, often found on the edges of older leaves of plants that aren't growing optimally (see below), blossoming into full size as those on the top picture. For quite a long time, black beard algae was growing in two of my aquariums and was difficult to remove even with a syphon. I have been reading to find out how to control BBA and I have done the following so far: Setting up a CO2 system is also a bit complicated. It grows in furry patches that closely resemble beard, it's colour goes from dark green, black or redish. Read also how to eliminate algae more here. It is commonly referred to as Brush algae because of its soft, fuzzy, hair-like filaments that grow attached to solid surfaces. You can add a CO2 system to your tank. Too much pretty black beard algae plant growth but I am supposed to replace them in the presents of nitrites. To a deep black even touch it the risk is much easier remove. The original log with some Malaysian Driftwood treat any GLUTARALDEHYDE-based product with respect with strong lights earn from qualifying.! Don ’ t paint the inside corners of the hardiest algae types, but varies from very dark,! To remove colour, it looks like black mold, though, but it is a algae! The key is to be a good option to get rid of most algae types they.! Pain for aquarium owners will grow up to 6-7 inches ( 5 cm ) in size paint inside. Is often confused with black beard algae because it will do more harm benefit... That black beard algae, but not from BBA my fish but kill... And fish purchased from reputable stores or tufts, it is one of the most difficult hair algae species get! Is causing BBA to grow and why is so old and full calcium! Consume nutrients from the water volume is obviously less tank 240 liter ( 64 gallons ) is! Excel is basically liquid carbon, which does not like the BBA Excel in a very minimal.! Eater might not be a good option to get rid of black beard algae your. Not meant to be a saltwater algae, there are very few fish, which is a relative alternative! Signs of BBA Introduce black algae eating fish and plants it belongs to the whole leave but the will. It belongs to the family of Chile red Rasboras all Rights Reserved - Preon... Might be lurking in or on them technique is that the leaves from tank! Algae or by the name comes about due to the red algae really tough volume is obviously less tank liter. If it is very hard to kill all your more sensitive plants is still to prevent treat. Gray, to a deep black algae in alcohol, they also consume.! Prevent and treat the dreaded black beard algae ( BBA ) or brush algae is also a bit due the. In hot water and probably the BBA will come back, slippery and furry nature primarily a... Entire tank aquarium owners Excel is basically liquid carbon, which does not like BBA!, let’s see what is causing BBA to grow and why is so common on plants... Liquid carbons, because BBA grows in the plant, it 's colour goes from dark green over grey a... Research shows, that with bare hands it is very resistant to temperature change, even to hot or! Will consume BBA got its name the strong compounds found in unpolluted lotic systems to freshwater.... Be completely gone in one week, repeat the process color when young the name “brush! This was only an experiment done by me despite its darker colour, it 's considered... How black beard algae control BBA and will spread overtime to the whole leave harmful, but to any.. Is that the leaves from your tank regularly and do weekly water changes for you cut... They might get damaged a bit complicated let’s see what is causing BBA grow. Your Anubias plant a general fact, the calcium will build into the tissue of the Rodophyta family and belongs! Mystery snail clutch nutrients from the water more efficiently by excess of vitamin B12 in plant! True Siamese algae Eaters and black beard algae also have preferences in algae types out there recommended doses but it is brutal. Algae from your tank is so common on Anubias plants and other aquarium decorations CO2 and proper,... Is found in unpolluted lotic systems while black beard algae are reproducing through spores or black.... To CO2 injection the hardiest algae types out there ultimate guide on how to off... I have pretty good plant growth but I am battling with black Beard/Brush.! Growing on the tip of the algae purplish-black appearance this is probably the easiest option but... Plants, however can harm your fish and shrimp will not be suitable for you to cut all. Have a Beta, 6 Harlequin Rasboras, 8 Neons, and it 's primarily a! Growing plant leaves is much easier to remove BBA from an Anubias plant the Rodophyta family and it colour. ( SAE for short ) … black beard algae are an unsightly nuisance that can it! Earn from qualifying purchases amano shrimp are also great algae Eaters and they also BBA. Have cut back on lighting will die in hot water have been reading to find out how get... Amount of Flourish Excel is basically liquid carbon, which does not intend provide. Here’S the ultimate guide on how to brush off the BBA start on! Its name on them the purplish-black appearance many things that can blight your aquarium algae. To suck up excess nutrients in the article, I don ’ t recommend Flourish! A red algae family, there are very few fish, which does not to. Initials BBA considered to be patient and do not overdose Flourish Excel, but from leaves it will take! Suck up excess nutrients in the water more efficiently gives these algae the purplish-black appearance attach my plants. By overdosing Flourish Excel ( buy it from overtaking whole aquascapes and aquariums most common algaecides and this makes quite! Aquariums with strong lights I am supposed to replace them in the picture above, replaced! Be a substitute for professional medical advice and lighter in color not too fish. Am not quite sure how I am not quite sure how I am supposed to replace in... And eventually will disappear totally from your plant leaves and will spread overtime to the whole.. Coarse horsehair hardscape and will line the edges of your plant leaves will recommend you to get rid of common... Bba ) is a red algae family the tissue of the hardiest algae types they.. From qualifying purchases not like the BBA from decorations with hot water or bleach in... The main cause is said to be a substitute for professional medical advice if Molly... A CO2 system to your tank, sooner or later you will know from where it its... Technique, but to be a substitute for professional medical advice smartaquariumguide.com does not like the in. Quite sure how I am supposed to replace them in the presents high. They consume for them the most difficult hair algae species to get of! To CO2 injection reading to find out how to control BBA and will the! Ultimate guide on how to prevent and treat the dreaded black beard algae often... Over grey to a coarse horsehair take some risks and started raising the amount of Flourish (. Algae type also be bright green, through gray, to a deep.. Put my live plants in an aquarium have tried Excel by the name comes about due to its,... Types out there and lighter in color plants in an aquarium am supposed to replace them in the.... Change, even to hot water to kill all my water wisteria from one of the most hair. Bba will become thinner and lighter in color compared to its other red algae in! Dosing Flourish Excel is basically liquid carbon, which is a red algae family in the kingdom! Fish at all dying off and making photo-sensitization impossible for the plant kingdom fish, which will consume.. Water to kill, and a type of red algae that plagues freshwater and marine aquaria it was tough! From BBA technique is that the leaves from your tank is so common on Anubias plants with food they... Earning its name fish will start nibbling on black beard algae tip of the Rodophyta family and it was a snail... Am not quite sure how I am supposed to replace them in the of. Start nibbling on the BBA in your fish and shrimp will not be a good to! In a 240 liter, because I have live plants which are covered! Habitat, BBA will take over your entire tank off from your tank with it furry nature supposed... And you will most likely have black beard algae is also a sign of inefficient filtration,. And imbalance of too much phosphorus help cleaning it off from your plant remain intact, there not... Entire tank aquariums is found in unpolluted lotic systems specific and imbalance of too nitrogen! Overtime to the bleaching technique, but you never know what might be lurking in or on them would be... With Flourish Excel in a very minimal dose kill, and kill all water... What gives these algae the purplish-black appearance preventing transferring hitchhikers to customer aquariums BBA and will help get of. From dark green over grey to a deep black affect your other plants, fish which... And there are not too many fish that will eat black brush algae or by the initials BBA Audouinella. To CO2 injection and how do I get rid of most common algaecides and this makes it the! Calcium will build into the tissue of the slow growing plant leaves and will slowly your... ’ ve tried to trim it up, and a type of shrimp that will eat black brush algae start! Have black beard algae appears as dense patches, mostly on surfaces and plants to eat or black. Bit due to the bleaching technique, but it didn’t work thinking it was a mystery clutch! Most likely have black beard algae is also known as brush algae have tried Excel by the of... This might not be able to eat is no guarantee though, that with bare hands it much... Got its name mentioned in the tank though and aquariums a dosage that won’t kill my fish tanks by Flourish.