Ways to combat a black beard in an aquarium are divided into biological and chemical methods. The chemical method requires the use of drugs, which will most quickly help to remove a black beard but can be dangerous for the inhabitants.
Special fish and snails
From fish, you can add a simple catfish, Siamese algae eater or ancistrus catfish. And also fish from the Pupfish family are suitable. But just like that, the fish will not eat a black beard, since it is quite tough, during this period you should not feed the inhabitants so that they pay attention to the algae. Of the snails, the only solution is to populate a handful of ampularia. They will do a great job with algae, but after that catch all the snails with bait and immediately remove them from the aquarium, otherwise they will go to plants.
To fight with a black beard it would help populating higher plants Hygrophila, Five-flavor berry, Waterweeds will help. Hornwort, Indica rotala, Najas and Vallisneria are especially good at removing black beards. The fact is that the black beard attacks primarily the simplest plants. With vigorous growth, higher plants absorb nutrients. But for this, you need to buy a lot of seedlings and provide them with suitable conditions (you can buy special fertilizers, in which manganese and iron predominate). During growth, it is advisable to prune the plants, since young cuttings absorb nutrients more actively. If the hairs of a black beard turn white, then they will soon be completely removed.
Restarting the aquarium
A more radical method. It is necessary to relocate all the fish to a suitable container, to rid the aquarium of water. It is advisable to discard the plants or cut off the blackened leaves, and treat the bushes themselves with a special disinfecting solution, and place them in quarantine. The soil must be steamed in boiling water or ignited in the oven. Stones, driftwood, ornaments must be cleaned of plaque and disinfected (using hydrogen peroxide, potassium permanganate, chlorine, or boiling water). The walls and bottom of the aquarium are free of chlorine and can be cleaned with boiling water. After that, you can already restart the aquarium. Fighting a black beard may not be so easy, so if no other method has helped, this method will be the most effective.
One of the “tricky ways” that aquarium fish lovers use is to use a battery. For this method, no one needs to be resettled. It’s simple: you need to draw copper wires from the contacts, lower them into the aquarium and leave for several days. Fish and plants – they will not be affected, but the algae will not be able to survive due to the influence of microcurrents.
Use acetic acid
We dilute a 3% vinegar solution, take out the damaged plant and lower it there (without immersing the plant’s root system in it!). Acetic acid will destroy the villi, after which you need to rinse the plants in aquarium water, thanks to which they are cleaned, and plant them back. The procedure itself is completely safe for fish and plants. This is the recommended way to clean your beard in the early stages, or you can use apple cider vinegar.
Increasing water hardness and alkaline mode
Water hardness can be made up to 8 ° dGH. This is done with 10% potassium chloride (2 ml per 1 liter) and 7% magnesium sulfate (2 ml per 1 liter). We provide an alkaline regime by using baking soda (0.2 grams per 1 liter of water). The conditions should be changed gradually so that the inhabitants of the aquarium are not harmed or resettled.
Furacilin or furazolidone must be dissolved in aquarium water and left for several days. The water may turn yellow for a while, but there is nothing to worry about. And also one of the common ways to get rid of a beard is to dissolve boric acid or borax. All inhabitants need to be evicted and only after a few days have passed back. If this is not done, then fish, snails, shrimps, or plants may simply die.
These solutions can be purchased at pet stores. One of the advantages is the speed in getting rid of the disease. You can apply Sidex, it is absolutely safe for the inhabitants of the aquarium. According to reviews, it can not always overcome so well, so many people use AlgaeFix. But its disadvantage is that crustaceans are not friendly with it, which dies when it is used. A more expensive, but faster way may be the use of Aldehyde + CO2, prevention takes no more than a week. But remember: before using any drug, be sure to read its instructions and contraindications!
If you prefer video explanation watch this video. Be careful it has sound!
Reasons for the appearance
- Rare water change. Nitrates and phosphates build up in your aquarium, which allows algae to start growing if you haven’t cleaned it for a long time.
- Lack of light. If you haven’t changed the lamps in the aquarium for a long time, their brightness becomes weaker, and algae begin to actively multiply in dim lighting.
- Excess food. Some fish feed on black beard because it is algae, but they will not do this if they have an excess of food.
- A large number of fish in the aquarium. The reasons are the accumulation of nitrates and phosphates.
- Accumulation in soil. With strong filtration or when digging in the ground by large fish, the remains of biomass and food rise to the upper layers. Thus, the lurking algae finds more favorable conditions for further reproduction.
- Reintroduction of infected plants or decorative elements (driftwood, stones, etc.). To prevent illness, when buying a new plant or decorative element, move it in water (but not in an aquarium!), And check if there is swaying of black villi on it. If there is, it is infected.
It is quite simple to find a black beard – the appearance of black-green threads (fluffy shoots) on various surfaces or plants. But even if there are no obvious signs, it does not mean that the disease has not appeared inside the aquarium and is just waiting in the wings.
To protect yourself in the future and not accidentally make a beard in your aquarium – you just need to keep an eye on it.
- Remember to change the water periodically.
- Provide enough light for your plants.
- Avoid overcrowding your aquarium.
- Provide a 14-day quarantine for new fish and plants. Plants need to be disinfected. Bicillin-5 (a dose of 15 thousand units per 1 liter of water) or penicillin (5 mg per 1 liter of water) can help with this. We place new plants in a vessel with water (25-26 degrees, depending on the plant), put in the shade for the first 2 hours, then in a lighted place. We add a solution for disinfection 1 time in 24 hours, do not forget to replace the water before that. Many breeders use bleach, it fights quite effectively, but it is not easily washed off, it is also poorly tolerated by Waterweeds, cabombaand anubias. Sometimes hydrogen peroxide is used (once a day, 20 ml per 100 liters of water).
- Do not allow nitrate levels to exceed 5 mg per liter of water.
- Don’t overfeed your fish.