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  • Nick Maas

Black beard algae

Also known as black beard/brush algae or BBA for short, can be a real pest if not controlled quickly. So where does it come from, and how do we stop it?

This algae is one the most stubborn types of algae there is to remove by hand. It appears on slow growing plants, hardscape, aquarium glass and even lilypipes. It starts out small, but if not controlled quickly you can have a big problem!


Sadly BBA can appear for numerous reasons including: unstable co2, not enough co2, too much flow or dead zones. Bad maintenance can also lead to BBA so make sure that you not only change the water, but clean the hardscape and try to get out all the dirty stuff out of the substrate.

Cleaning the substrate or reaching between plants can be done by simply attaching a turkey baster on the tube of which you do the water change with. By gently pressing it, it makes the dirt to come up, and then gets carried away with the dirty water through the hose.


Another effective way to kill BBA is spot dosing with hydrogen peroxide 3% or Liquid co2/carbon. I have used this method many times, and with a good clean up crew in your tank to eat the algae, you will have a good chance of beating it!


Even though cleaning and removing BBA can work pretty well, it’s better to find out why it is appearing. Start solving the problem by trying to make small changes in your tank. Monitor your CO2 system and do more small water changes to try and avoid having BBA grow in the first place.


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