7 Causes Of Black Beard Algae In Fish Tanks (& What To Do)

Black algae is a type of cyanobacteria that can often be found in freshwater aquariums. It is a common problem that can be caused by a number of factors. It can be difficult to get rid of once it takes hold in an aquarium, and it can be harmful to both fish and plants. In this article, we’ll discuss what causes black algae, and how to get rid of it and prevent it from growing. We will also share with you the different types of aquarium fishes, snails, and shrimps that helps control black algae growth. So keep on reading!

What Is Black Beard Algae?

Blackbeard algae, also known as Melanophila, is a type of algae that gets its name from its dark color and hairy appearance. This algae is often found in freshwater aquariums, and it can quickly take over if left unchecked. Blackbeard algae are particularly difficult to control because they produce toxins that discourage other forms of algae from competing with them. In addition, this algae can reproduce very quickly, meaning that once it takes hold, it is difficult to get rid of. 

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While there are various methods of controlling black beard algae, the most effective way to prevent it from taking over an aquarium is to regularly clean the tank and remove any dead plant matter or debris. By keeping the tank clean and free of food sources, black beard algae will have a much harder time taking hold. If black beard algae does start to grow, there are a few things that can be done to get rid of it. 

One option is to manually remove the algae from the tank, but this can be time-consuming and difficult. Another option is to use an algae-control product, which will kill the black beard algae without harming other plants or animals in the aquarium. Whichever method you choose, it is important to act quickly when you see black beard algae starting to grow in your aquarium. If left unchecked, this algae can quickly take over and make the tank uninhabitable for other plants and animals.

detail of black beard algae or brush algae (Audouinella sp., Rhodochorton sp.) growing on aquarium plant leaves with blurred background

What Causes Black Algae In Fish Tanks

Black algae is a type of algae that can often be found in fish tanks.Even though it won’t hurt your fish, it can look bad and be hard to get rid of. There are a few things that can cause black algae to grow in your tank, here are 7 of them:

 1. Poor Tank Maintenance

If you don’t regularly clean your fish tank, then algae will have a chance to grow and spread. Black algae thrive in dirty water, so it’s important to keep your tank clean if you want to prevent it from growing. 

2. Too Much Light

Algae needs light to grow, so if your fish tank is in a room that gets a lot of sunlight, it can cause the algae to grow more quickly. Observe your tank throughout the day to see how much light it is getting and consider moving it to a different location if necessary

3. Overcrowding 

If your fish tank is overcrowded, it can cause the water quality to deteriorate, which can lead to black algae growth. Make sure you have enough space in your tank for all of your fish and that they have enough room to swim around so that black algae may not grow.

4. Incorrect pH Levels 

If the pH levels in your fish tank are too high or too low, it can cause black algae to grow. Test the pH levels regularly and adjust them as necessary to keep the algae at bay.

5. Nutrient Imbalance 

An imbalance of nutrients in your fish tank can also cause black algae to grow. This is usually caused by overfeeding, which can lead to excess nutrients in the water. 

6. Lack of Circulation 

If the water in your fish tank isn’t circulating properly, it can cause black algae to grow. Check if your filter is working properly and that the water is flowing evenly throughout the tank. 

7. Use of Certain Chemicals 

Some chemicals, such as copper, can kill algae. However, if you use too much of these chemicals, it can cause black algae to grow.

Black algae is a type of algae that can often be found in fish tanks. While it is not harmful to your fish, it can be unsightly and difficult to remove. There are a few things that can cause black algae to grow in your tank, but by following the steps in the next section, you can prevent it from happening. 

What Does Black Algae Look Like?

Black algae can be a challenge to identify because it can take on many different forms. In general, though, black algae tends to be dark in color and relatively slimy to the touch. It can also have a strong, musty smell. Black algae often grow in patches or clumps, and it can be difficult to remove once it takes hold. If left unchecked, black algae can quickly take over an aquarium, crowding out other plant life and making the water look dirty. In extreme cases, black algae can also release toxins that can harm fish and other aquatic animals. For all these reasons, it’s important to be on the lookout for black algae and take steps to remove it as soon as possible.

 There are a few different ways to deal with black algae. One is to physically remove it from the aquarium walls and decorations using a soft sponge or brush. This is often the most effective method for small patches of algae. For larger areas of growth, you may need to use an algicide or herbicide. These products are available at most pet stores that sell aquarium supplies. Be sure to follow the directions carefully, as herbicides can be toxic to fish if used improperly. In some cases, changing the lighting or removing debris from the bottom of the aquarium can also help to control black algae growth.

Is Black Algae In Fish Tanks Good Or Bad?

Black algae is a type of algae that is common in fish tanks. While it is not harmful to fish, it can be unpleasant to look at. Black algae usually form on the glass of the tank, on rocks, and on plant leaves. It can also form on the inside of filters and pumps. Black algae get its color from the production of oxygen during photosynthesis. 

This type of algae needs light to grow, so it is often found near the top of the tank where there is more light. Black algae can be difficult to remove once it forms, but regular cleaning of the tank and vacuuming of the gravel will help to keep it under control. Some aquarium owners also add chemicals to the water to help prevent black algae from growing.

How To Get Rid Of Black Algae In Fish Tank

If you’re dealing with black algae in your fish tank, there are a few things you can do to get rid of it. Here are 7 of them:

1. Manually Remove It

The most effective way to get rid of black algae is to manually remove it with a soft sponge or brush. This can be time-consuming, but it’s the best way to ensure that all the algae is removed.

2. Use an Algicide

If manual removal isn’t possible or you have a large area of black algae, you can use an algicide. These are available at most pet stores that sell aquarium supplies. Be sure to follow the directions carefully, as algicides can be toxic to fish if used improperly.

3. Change the Lighting

One of the things that black algae need to grow is light. By changing the lighting in your aquarium, you can make it less hospitable for black algae. For example, you could switch to a fluorescent bulb with a lower wattage.

4. Remove Debris

Black algae often form on dead leaves and other debris that has been collected at the bottom of the tank. By removing this debris, you can make it harder for the algae to grow.

5. Vacuum the Gravel

Another way to remove black algae is to vacuum the gravel at the bottom of the tank. This will remove any algae that are growing there.

6. Add Chemicals

Some aquarium owners add chemicals to the water to help prevent black algae from growing. These can be effective, but they should be used with caution, as some chemicals can be harmful to fish.

7. Get a New Fish

If all else fails, you can try getting a new fish. Some fish are known to eat black algae, so this may be the best way to get rid of it for good. Be sure to do your research before adding a new fish to your tank, as some species can be aggressive or may not get along with the other fish.

Black algae usually form on the glass of the tank, on rocks, and on plant leaves. It can also form on the inside of filters and pumps. Black algae get its color from the production of oxygen during photosynthesis. It can be difficult to remove once it forms, but regular cleaning of the tank and vacuuming the gravel will help to keep it under control. 

How To Remove Black Beard Algae From Live Plants

If you’re dealing with black algae in your fish tank, there are a few things you can do to get rid of it. Here are 7 of them:

1. Manually Remove It

The most effective way to get rid of black algae is to manually remove it with a soft sponge or brush. This can be time-consuming, but it’s the best way to ensure that all the algae are removed.

2. Use an Algicide: 

If manual removal isn’t possible or you have a large area of black algae, you can use an algicide. These are available at most pet stores that sell aquarium supplies. Be sure to follow the directions carefully, as algicides can be toxic to fish if used improperly.

3. Change the Lighting:

One of the things that black algae need to grow is light. By changing the lighting in your aquarium, you can make it less hospitable for black algae. For example, you could switch to a fluorescent bulb with a lower wattage.

4. Remove Debris:

Black algae often form on dead leaves and other debris that has been collected at the bottom of the tank. By removing this debris, you can make it harder for the algae to grow.

5. Vacuum the Gravel:

Another way to remove black algae is to vacuum the gravel at the bottom of the tank. This will remove any algae that are growing there.

6. Add Chemicals:

Some aquarium owners add chemicals to the water to help prevent black algae from growing. These can be effective, but they should be used with caution, as some chemicals can be harmful to fish.

7. Get a New Fish:

If all else fails, you can try getting a new fish. Some fish are known to eat black algae, so this may be the best way to get rid of it for good. Be sure to do your research before adding a new fish to your tank, as some species can be aggressive or may not get along with the other fish.

 Black algae usually form on the glass of the tank, on rocks, and on plant leaves. It can also form on the inside of filters and pumps. Black algae get its color from the production of oxygen during photosynthesis. It can be difficult to remove once it forms, but regular cleaning of the tank and vacuuming the gravel will help to keep it under control. 

How To Remove Black Beard Algae From Live Plants

Live plants are a beautiful addition to any fish tank, but they can be a challenge to keep alive. One of the most common problems aquarium owners face is black beard algae. Black beard algae is a type of algae that can be difficult to remove once it forms on live plants.

Soak Plants 

Black Algae on the plants can be killed by soaking them for two to three minutes in a 10 percent bleach solution. But please note that you should never put bleach in a fish tank.

Use a Brush or a Sponge

If the black beard algae are only in a few small spots, you can try to remove it with a soft brush or sponge. Gently scrub the affected areas until the algae come off. Be careful not to damage the plant leaves in the process.

Use Chemicals

There are a number of chemicals that can be used to kill black beard algae. Be sure to follow the directions carefully, as some of these chemicals can be toxic to fish and other aquatic animals.

Remove Affected Leaves

If the black beard algae is too difficult to remove, you may need to cut off the affected leaves and dispose of them. Since black beard algae need light to grow, removing the affected leaves will help to prevent the algae from spreading.

How To Remove Black Beard Algae From Gravel

Black beard algae can also form on the gravel at the bottom of the fish tank. Here are a few ways to remove it.

1. Use a Vacuum

The easiest way to remove black beard algae from gravel is to use a vacuum. Be sure to vacuum the gravel on a regular basis to keep the algae under control.

2. Use Chemicals

There are a number of chemicals that can be used to kill black beard algae from the gravel. Be sure to follow the directions carefully, as some of these chemicals can be toxic to fish and other aquatic animals.

3. Change the Gravel

In some cases, you may need to change the gravel if it is too difficult to remove the black beard algae. This should be a last resort, as it can be difficult to clean all of the algae from the gravel.

Make sure to clean your fish tank often and vacuum the gravel to keep algae from taking over. If the black algae are hard to get rid of, you may also need to use chemicals or change the gravel.

How To Remove Black Beard Algae From Decorations

Black beard algae can also form on fish tank decorations, such as rocks and plants. Here are a few ways to remove it.

1. Use a Brush or a Sponge

If the black beard algae are only in a few small spots, you can try to remove it with a soft brush or sponge. Gently scrub the affected areas until the algae come off. Be careful not to damage the decoration in the process.

2. Use Chemicals:

There are a number of chemicals that can be used to kill black beard algae from decorations. Be sure to follow the directions carefully, as some of these chemicals can be toxic to fish and other aquatic animals.

3. Dip the Decor in Hydrogen Peroxide:

If you want to avoid using chemicals, you can try dipping the decoration in hydrogen peroxide. This will kill the algae and bacteria on the decoration. Be sure to rinse the decoration off well before putting it back in the fish tank.

5. Reduce the Water’s Phosphate Content

One of the main causes of black beard algae is high phosphate levels in the water. You can reduce the phosphate levels by using a phosphate remover or by doing a water change. Be sure to follow the directions carefully, as too much phosphate can be toxic to fish.

6. Remove the Decoration

In some cases, you may need to remove the decoration if it is too difficult to remove the black beard algae. This should be a last resort, as it can be difficult to clean all of the algae from the decoration.

What Eats Black Algae In A Fish Tank?

There are a number of different creatures that eat black algae in a fish tank. These include snails, shrimp, and certain types of fish. In this section, we will list some of the black algae eaters that you may want to consider adding to your fish tank:

Fishes That Eat Black Algae:

1. Otocinclus Catfish

The Otocinclus Catfish is a small algae eater that does a great job of controlling black algae in a fish tank. This fish is very peaceful and can be kept with a wide variety of other fish.

2. Bristlenose Pleco

The Bristlenose Pleco is another excellent choice for an algae eater. This fish is a little larger than the Otocinclus Catfish and therefore, will require a bit more space.

3. Siamese Algae Eater

The Siamese Algae Eater is an aggressive algae eater that will control black algae in a fish tank. However, this fish can also be aggressive towards other fish and should therefore be kept with caution.

4. Black Molly

The Black Molly is a peaceful fish that does an excellent job of eating black algae. This fish can be kept with a wide variety of other fish and will not bother them.

5. Guppies

Guppies are another peaceful fish that will eat black algae in a fish tank. These fish are very easy to care for and can be kept with a wide variety of other fish.

Snails That Eat Black Algae

Nerite Snails

Nerite snails are one of the best snail choices for eating black algae. These snails are very efficient at eating algae and will not bother other tank inhabitants.

Mystery Snails

Mystery snails are another good choice for eating black algae. These snails are a little larger than Nerite snails and therefore, will require a bit more space.

Assassin Snails

Assassin snails are a good choice for eating black algae, but they can also be aggressive towards other tank inhabitants. Therefore, they should be kept with caution.

Ramshorn Snails

Ramshorn snails are another good choice for eating black algae. These snails are a little larger than Nerite snails and, therefore, will require a bit more space.

Malaysian Trumpet Snails

Malaysian trumpet snails are another good choice for eating black algae. These snails are also a little larger than Nerite snails and, therefore, will require a bit more space.

Shrimps That Eat Black Algae

Amano Shrimp

The Amano shrimp is one of the best choices for eating black algae. This shrimp is very efficient at eating algae and will not bother other tank inhabitants.

Bamboo Shrimp

The bamboo shrimp is another good choice for eating black algae. This shrimp is a little larger than the Amano shrimp and, therefore, will require a bit more space.

Red Cherry Shrimp

The red cherry shrimp is another good choice for eating black algae. This shrimp is very easy to care for and can be kept with a wide variety of other fish.

Crystal Red Shrimp

The crystal red shrimp is another good choice for eating black algae. This shrimp is very easy to care for and can be kept with a wide variety of other fish.

Bee Shrimp

The bee shrimp is another good choice for eating black algae. This shrimp is very easy to care for and can be kept with a wide variety of other fish.

Whatever method you decide to use for controlling black algae in your fish tank, make sure to do your research first. Some methods may be better suited for your particular situation than others. What’s important is that you find a method that works well for you and that you are comfortable with.

How To Prevent Black Algae In Fish Tanks

There are a few things that you can do to prevent black algae from growing in your fish tank in the first place. 

1. Keep Your Tank Clean

One of the best ways to prevent black algae is to keep your tank clean. This means performing regular water changes and vacuuming the gravel. 

2. Use an Algae Eater

Another way to prevent black algae is to use an algae eater. Algae eaters, as we mentioned will help to keep the algae population under control and can prevent black algae from taking over your tank. 

3. Use Live Plants

Live plants can also help to prevent black algae from growing in your fish tank. This is because plants compete with algae for nutrients and can help to keep the algae population under control. 

4. Use a UV Sterilizer

A UV sterilizer will help to kill algae spores and can prevent them from growing in your fish tank. This is a great way to prevent black algae before it even has a chance to start growing.  

5. Use a Phosphate Remover

Phosphates are one of the main nutrients that algae need to grow. By removing phosphates from your tank, you can make it much harder for algae to grow. 

These are just a few of the things that you can do to prevent black algae from growing in your fish tank. By taking these preventive measures, you can help to keep your tank clean and algae-free.

Why Is There Black Algae On Fish Tank Glass?

The fish tank glass can be one of the places where black algae commonly grow. There are a few reasons why this might happen.

1. The Tank Is New

If you have a new fish tank, it is not uncommon for black algae to start growing on the glass. This is because the tank is still cycling and the conditions are perfect for algae to grow. 

2. The Tank Is Overstocked

If your fish tank is overstocked, this can also lead to black algae growth. This is because overstocked tanks tend to have high levels of nitrates and phosphates, which are two of the main nutrients that algae need to grow. 

3. The Tank Is Not Clean

If your fish tank is not clean, this can also lead to black algae growth. This is because dirty tanks tend to have high levels of nitrates and phosphates, which are two of the main nutrients that algae need to grow. 

4. There Is Too Much Light

If there is too much light in your fish tank, this can also lead to black algae growth. This is because algae need light to grow, and if there is too much light, they will take advantage of it and start to grow. 

5. The Tank Is Too Warm

If the water in your fish tank is too warm, this can also lead to black algae growth. This is because algae need warmth to grow, and if the water is too warm, they will take advantage of it and start to grow. 

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FAQ

Does Light Cause Black Algae In Fish Tanks

 The answer to this is yes, says Aquarium Sphere. Too much light is the perfect condition for black beard algae to grow.

Recap

Black algae can grow very fast in your fish tank. But don’t worry! There are a few things that you can do to prevent black algae from growing in your fish tank as we discussed in this article. You can keep your tank clean, use chemicals, control phosphate, use live plants, or use a UV sterilizer. You can also try putting different fish-friendly algae eaters. There’s a bunch that you can choose from! If you take preventive measures, you’ll be sure to keep your tank clean and algae-free. But no matter what, don’t forget to enjoy your fish tank!