Fish Are Friends, Not Food

Addicted to fish

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Anonymous asked: So I have noticed small amounts of black fuzzy stuff starting to grow on my plants. After researching, I am assuming it's BBA/Black Beard Algea. I can not seem to find if it's harmful to fish at all, which is my main concern, then obviously the best way to get rid of it.






Sounds scary :o I myself have never delt with it, so I can’t advise on how to get rid of it. Followers? low-techtank? (sorry you’re the plant saint)

I believe it pops up due to a phosphate imbalance!

Sometimes with bad water quailty ingeneral. Keep up with water changes and even just pull it off places if you can! I used to get it in my 55 ugh water changes helped a lot.

BBA is totally harmless. Except for your plants as it often grows on the leaves of slow-growing plants and chokes them. I find it prefers dying leaves, so I just remove them. 

It tends to be caused by too low or fluctuating CO2 levels. 

Flourish Excel is considered the typical route, either

- Dose it frequently as a CO2 supplement

- Dose it directly on to the BBA with a syringe

- Paint it onto the BBA when you’re doing a WC (so when the leaves aren’t covered by water) - I’ve found this highly effective.

- Overdose it (most fish are fine with this, I’ve heard of people dosing up to 4x the amount without issues) - typically between 1.5-2x the recommended amount, for about 3-7 days.

- Put plants in an Excel dip - but not worth it with plants prone to melt. 

NOTE that some people have found a sudden increase in Excel melts Val species.

H2O2 can also be used - it breaks down pretty fast so a very low concentration can be applied to the BBA with a syringe. You’d have to google dose rates for this.

Some find that dosing Excel daily and then stopping causes it to come back (you fixed the problem, then unfixed it).

Pressurized CO2 can help in keeping your CO2 levels stable and high enough.

DIY CO2 /can/ help, but I found it was too unstable and just helped the BBA thrive in my tank.

I’ve also read of people aging the water so that the CO2 in it increases as oxygen decreases, before adding it to their tank. Helps a bit in reducing fluctuations.

It’s pretty common and the bane of a lot of people’s existence (esp as maintaining CO2 levels with pressurized is expensive - consider that here in NZ we pay like 5x the amount those in the US pay for Excel, it’s expensive to get rid of).

Super cheap and easy to get rid of in little tanks. A right pain and expensive to get rid of tanks like 200L+ (using like 5-10mL of Excel a day ;_;)

Edited to say that while SAEs are known to get rid of it, in some countries you may have issues with “false” SAEs. They also NEED groups of 5+ and are incredibly social and active. Meaning they need about 200L minimum and are a poor choice to fix this algae.

That said, I LOVE our SAEs and can’t imagine not keeping them. But I often see people complaining about how their lone SAE is aggressive - no crap, lol, of course it is. It’s bored and alone. They’re absolutely fascinating to watch in a group, one of my favourite shoaling fish.

I’ve read that mollies eat BBA too, but don’t know of much actual experience with them. Mollies need very hard water, so typically are unsuitable for most people’s setups anyway.

Edited again to say I’m honestly surprised how little people on tumbles seem to experience this. Our group gets like a daily post from people suffering BBA (doesn’t help that a lot of our pet stores have it in their tanks, which spreads it everywhere). 

And edited again to just mention that it’s a red algae that tends to photosynthesize in the middle of the spectrum (cyans-yellows) but I’ve personally not found it relies much on light and have found blackouts ineffective. I’m still experimenting with light to double check, but unlike most algae this doesn’t seem to care much what your lighting levels/photoperiods are. 

Good information!

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A note to new betta keepers,


Lazy fish, dull colors, and tight fins are not normal. The fish in cups at the store act that way because of poor living conditions. 

A healthy betta will be VERY active.

Lethargic behavior is always a warning sign with bettas. While lethargy and clamped fins are not a harmful condition themselves, it is a sign that they could be suffering from illness, or poor living conditions.

(via crazy-fish-lady)

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