How To Treat Black Beard Algae In Fish Tank:

In a fish tank, Black Beard Algae looks dull & not attractive. Your fish tank can be affected with black beard algae which affects its beauty. In this article I will tell you how to recognize black beard algae, remove it & make necessary measures to avoid it from taking over your aquarium again.

Black Beard Algae is also called Black Brush Algae or BBA. It looks very similar to beard.

BBA usually grows in salt water aquarium but their common forms grow in freshwater aquariums too.

Black Brush Algae has dark green, to browny gray to a highly black color. Even though they are available in different colors but they have the common appearance.

It is very similar to beard in look & characteristics. It starts as little spots of fuzz that attaches itself to surfaces of objects & aquarium glass.

It you do not treat them on time, they will quickly take a dense & brushy form which looks like a fuzzy mess.

Like ordinary algae, BBA takes nutrition from aquarium water. This can let it grow on any surface of the objects of your fish tank including structures, decorations, & even plants.

It is very simple to identify Black Brush Algae in aquarium when it grows on live plants. It usually grows on leaves edges before expanding themselves & taking over them fully.

How To Treat Black Beard Algae In Aquarium
How To Treat Black Beard Algae In Aquarium

How to differentiate Black Beard Algae from Staghorn algae:

BBA seems very similar to staghorn algae in appearance. You can differentiate between them & get more details about early stages & fully grown up black beard algae vs staghorn algae. Black Brush Algae looks more like a tightly packed clusters of bristles you see on a makeover brush. Staghorn algae seems similar to antlers on a male deer & this is the reason why it is called Staghorn algae.

Both Black Beard & Staghorn algae when grows completely, they seem different in appearance. The former looks dense & bushy when grow fully while the latter is sparse & wiry.


Does Black Brush Algae Harms Your Fish or Live Plants:

Black Brush Algae does not harm fish directly. Fish love to hide in them.

BBA does not harm your live plants too. However, it covers the plant & do not allow light to reach leaves. Light is very important for the photosynthesis of plants & hence it is required for the survival of plants in aquarium.

BBA spreads on live plants & it can cover leaves, & hence it is dangerous for them.

BBA grows in fish tank when something wrong is happening which makes aquarium an ideal place for the growth of BBA.

If you do not fix this problem on time, they will spread in the complete aquarium.


Does Black Brush Algae Looks Attractive Too:

BBA seems attractive in aquarium only if you properly maintain it. You can use it for fully covering your decoration for beautiful look. Also it can be used to cover sunken log in fish tank for an attractive look. It can be used to provide a beautiful hiding place to your fish.


Reasons for the Growth of Black Brush Algae:

BBA grows uncontrollably in case your aquarium has the following problems:


Carbon dioxide Fluctuations:

Fluctuations in carbon dioxide is the main reason for the growth of BBA.

In case of very low carbon dioxide levels in aquarium, your aquarium needs high circulation of water, & this is the environment very suitable for the growth of BBA.

In case BBA grows in your aquarium, then it is suggested to lower your carbon dioxide levels to stop it from spreading.

Also in case of a big water change, it fluctuates carbon dioxide levels in aquarium & hence could result in growing black beard algae in aquarium.


Very Bright Light:

BBA grows uncontrollably in excess of light. In case you have lots of light, then it spreads quickly in aquarium. People having planted aquariums usually have this problem. Bright lights not only help plants in photosynthesis which is needed for survival but helps in the growth of algae as well.

If your lights are on for long periods of time, then it could result in the growth of BBA too.

Using a timer is the perfect solution for maintenance of light. It automatically turns on light & turns it off, & hence you can adjust the time you allow lights to be turned on daily.

Lowering this time can either stop or slow down the process of BBA to show up in fish tank.


Overfeeding Fish:

The basic reason behind growth of BBA is adding too much food to fish tank which acts as nutrients for the algae & helps it grow faster.


High Level of Nitrates:

If you are not doing regular water changes then there is a greater chance for the growth of black beard algae in your aquarium. In this case too much nitrates are produced in water which acts as nutrients for the plants & algae is very similar to plants which also welcomes nitrates & grows well when it has enough nitrates. If you have too many fish in aquarium with only few or no live plants, then you can expect the growth of algae.

How To Get Rid of Black Beard Algae In Fish Tank
How To Get Rid of Black Beard Algae In Fish Tank

How to remove Black Beard Algae from Aquarium:

Black Brush algae is discovered in both fresh water & salt water aquariums. It is very simple to wipe out Black Brush Algae from aquarium in just a week or 2.


Step 1:

If you have greater number of BBA growing in aquarium, then we suggest manual removal of algae before you can apply the second step.


Step 2:

If you have removed as much algae manually using your hand & can’t remove any more this way, then we suggest a fifty percent water change, & cleaning of filters & filtration media in the same tank water that you have removed. It is not recommended to clean your filters with tap water because it can wipe out all good bacteria that is growing in filters & filtration media.


Step 3:

Remove if there is carbon or bio chem zorb products available in your filter. Give twenty-four hours to settle everything.


Step 4:

Use Flourish Excel which is available in four common sizes. Measure your aquarium dimensions in centimeters: Length x Width x Height, & then divide it by 1000 & you will get your fish tank liter capacity. You can subtract gravel, driftwood, decorations or any other stuff.


To find out how much Flourish Excel you can add to your aquarium, follow procedure below:

  • Add only 10 ml of Flourish Excel to 40 L of tank water
  • Wait for 2 days
  • Add another dose of the same amount
  • Wait again for 2 days
  • Repeat the same dosage
  • Again wait for 2 days
  • Make a fifty percent change of water & if black beard algae is in water then repeat all steps


It might take over a week to wipe out all black brush algae from aquarium, & usually it takes around 10 to 21 days to fully wipe them out of fish tank.


Note: If you mistakenly add high dose of Flourish Excel then quickly do a fifty percent change of water.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post