Very often in aquariums, even experienced aquarium enthusiasts can find green dots on glass, soil, plants, and decorations. Usually, they are barely noticeable, but in advanced cases can reach 5 mm in diameter. Such spots are hard to the touch, and removing them is not easy. But if the decorations and glass can still be rubbed with a scraper or brush, then it is problematic to remove such fouling from the leaves of living plants, and often with a severe defeat you have to throw the whole plant.
These spots are green algae coleochaete. In itself, it is not dangerous for aquarium inhabitants but can reduce the efficiency of photosynthesis of slowly growing plant species. The appearance of coleochaete is the first alarm bell that indicates to the aquarist that there is an imbalance in the water system, which, if urgent measures are not taken, can cause much greater problems.
Coleochaete (Coleochaete sp.) – a genus from the department of Green algae (Chlorophyta). It is unlikely that there will be an aquarium in which spores of these algae will not be present. However, they become noticeable only when an imbalance appears in the system. Lower plants form bright green dots on hard surfaces. They can be either separate or merge into a continuous coating.
Over time, they form a dense coating that is difficult to remove. Algae has a low growth rate, unlike other species. Therefore, it is almost impossible to detect it on long-stemmed plants. But aquarium plants with slow growth, for example, anubias, suffer from coleochaete most.
Unlike many other algae, coleochaete practically does not compete for resources with higher plants and is often observed in aquariums even with active growth of higher plants.
Why does coleochaete appear in the aquarium?
Most often, coleochaete appears in aquariums with excessive lighting. Therefore, the number and power of light sources must be selected based on the individual needs of the plants in each particular aquarium.
You should pay attention to the amount of carbon dioxide. At a concentration of about 4 mg / l, the growth of higher plants slows down, but it is more than enough for unpretentious algae, and even slow species such as coleochaete start to grow rapidly. In herbal aquariums, it is recommended to maintain a carbon dioxide concentration of 15-20 mg / l.
How to fight
If the coleochaete has already settled in your aquarium, then you must immediately take measures to stabilize the conditions in it.
The biological method common to fight with other algae – the use of fish or snails, unfortunately, will not bring the desired effect. A hard green coating by algae eaters is practically not destroyed.
It is necessary to start the fight with a check of lighting devices. Bright light is the main reason for the appearance of coleochaete in the aquarium. For an effective fight, it is necessary to remove bright lamps and reduce the length of daylight hours to 6-8 hours. Each type of aquarium plant requires a certain illumination, this must be taken into account when selecting the number of lamps or the power of the lamp. Please note that the color temperature of the lamps is 6000-6500 K (cold white light). The use of “yellow” lamps will contribute to the growth of algae.
Make sure that the slowly growing species of plants, on which the coleochaete most often settles, are obscured by the leaves of other plants.
Scraping off glass and decoration
Coleochaete forms a coating on the glass of the aquarium, equipment, decorations, which must be removed mechanically. To do this, you can use a variety of aquarium scrapers – magnetic or with a blade. The latter will be most effective. Decorative stones, equipment, and decorations can be removed from the aquarium and rubbed with a brush.
Add fast-growing plants
A good measure to combat coleochaete is to add fast-growing plants, for example, Vallisneria, Coontail, Elodea, to the aquarium. These unpretentious species quickly take root and grow, thus taking away nutrients from algae and creating additional shading for plants with slow growth.
Using Tetra AlguMin Plus and Tetra AlgoStop Depot
At the first sign of coleochaete, add the required amount of Tetra AlguMin Plus fluid to the water. Its algicide – monolinuron – effectively fights with various types of algae. The drug begins to act instantly, does not inhibit biofiltration and is safe for snails and shrimp when observing the recommended dosages.
In difficult cases, add a Tetra AlgoStop depot to the aquarium after a week – white insoluble tablets with a high concentration of monolinuron, which is released gradually over the course of a month, allowing you to effectively fight even with resistant algae.