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Need help :( Plants getting covered with black substance
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PaulQ
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Joined: 01 Jun 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ

PostPosted: 2011.06.12(Sun)21:51    Post subject: Need help :( Plants getting covered with black substance Reply with quote

I need help. Over approximately one month, my plant's leaves get covered with this black "gunk." Maybe it's algae? I don't know what to do. Can you help?

About 1/3 of the plants in the tank do not have this.

100g tank, flourite substrate, some natural light during the day plus 4 hours of electric light in the evening (1 T-5 bulb); I use a dose of Excel every three days or so. The black stuff developed even when I was using 2 bulbs.

Filtration: 2 Filstar canisters

I did try using AlgaeFix thinking it was algae but it seems to have absolutely no effect.

This coupled with all the holes in the leaves of my plants is leading me to give up. Sad

Thanks for your advice!


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susankatomerit
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Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Location: Tulsa, Ok

PostPosted: 2011.06.12(Sun)22:59    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like you have a few problems there. The black gunk is algae, BBA I think. The tank is getting to much light for the few plants that you have. IF your going to dose excel, do it daily. Your plants aren't getting enough nutrients either.

I would cut the sunlight time back and add a lot of fast growing plants and dose a good quality fert.
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jsuereth
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Joined: 22 Aug 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA USA

PostPosted: 2011.06.25(Sat)16:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite right that excell should help the problem. I'd also look into some sort of root tab to place in your flourite for the plants. The flourite should absorb the nutrients. If you use RootMetic or osmocote or one of these 'powerful' ferts remeber to re-dose after 6 months when things stop growing quickly Smile

Since it's been a week or two, how's the tank doing now? If you're aiming for a lower-tech tank, you usually have to fight a lot of algae like this in the beginning until the plants grow enough to take dominance. I hope things are going well!
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Cinder
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Joined: 16 Jan 2006
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: 2011.06.28(Tue)19:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just want to give you some encouragement... don't give up! It's worth the great enjoyment when you finally have the balance.

I have fought algae in all my tanks when they were first getting going. It took months; many, many months to finally get a couple of my tanks looking good with almost no algae. I added quite a few low light plants (since I have a low light tank) to help fight the algae with more plants. That does work... it just takes time.

The Excell really does help also.

Keep working at it... don't give up... you will eventually see the results of a beautiful planted tank and healthy, happy fish.
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bignellm
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Joined: 24 Jun 2011
Location: United States

PostPosted: 2011.06.28(Tue)21:16    Post subject: Amatuer Giving Answer Reply with quote

I concur that the black stuff is algae, about 95% sure. My advice, is if you have the tank room to stock a few more fish and have a relatively peaceful fresh water community--look into getting some Oto Cats. I've had only 2 for a couple days and 95% of my plants now look brand new (16 gallon tank). No black gunk, spots, or white string algae on any. They are only about an inch in size and pet shop says won't grow much more. A perfect size to perch on delicate leaves and suck off algae for them. If it's a salt water, maybe a little research for a suitable saltwater cousin could help.

Anyway, keep up the fight and good luck Very Happy
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Cinder
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Joined: 16 Jan 2006
Location: Colorado

PostPosted: 2011.06.29(Wed)9:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

How long has this tank been set up? Sorry, if you posted that and I missed it. Otocinclus are great little algae eaters BUT they only eat soft green algae (not the really hard stuff that you can't scrape off the tank walls) and brown diatom algae; not what it appears you have in that tank. AND, Otos should never be introduced into a tank until it's been established for at least six months or so... they can be tricky to get them to survive. You also would want to have at least 4 or 5 of them together.

However, it's possible that an SAE (Siamese Algae Eater); Amano shrimp or certain snails would help with your issue. You just need to remember that algae is your concern to get rid of by proper tank care... the above mentioned fish, etc. can help you but shouldn't be expected to do the job themselves. Also, if you get an SAE you do not want to also have RTBS (Red-tailed Black Shark) or that family of fish together. And, SAE do best with only one in the tank, although in your size tank you could probably have two if you have lots of plants, rocks, wood, etc. for them to hide in and have their line of sight blocked so they don't see each other and can each establish their own side of the tank.

I hope that wasn't too much of a ramble... I'm really tired.
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