Remove brush algae and fight effectively

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Pond owners and aquarists know the problem when the brush algae appear and stubbornly stay in the water. The brush algae belongs to the genus of red algae and until today it is not completely clear which factors all together favor the growth of this alga. Nevertheless, there are of course experience and ways to remove the brush algae.
Properties of the brush algae
Generally, the brush algae belong to the genus of red algae, which have a red color. Nevertheless, this alga is rather colored in dark green up to black. The color of the algae depends on the salinity of the water in which it occurs. In fresh water, it grows in a black color and with increasing salinity, the alga has a green color from about three percent salinity in the water. The brush algae have their name because they overgrow both plants and objects in the pond or in the aquarium with small and bristly tufts. The algae also form a reddish and slimy layer that settles on all surfaces within the water and which not only creates visual impairments, but also forms unfavorable conditions for plant growth in the water. Preferably, the plant grows straight in the pond in areas with strong currents. If the aquarium or pond is heavily affected by the brush alga, then it may even be that the entire bottom of the aquarium or pond is overgrown with the algae. Particularly negative is that the fight against brush algae is very tedious, advantageous, however, that the use of a chemical club is not required.
Brush algae - profile

  • is a red algae
  • grows brush-like and overgrows plants and objects in the water
  • forms reddish, for other plants unfavorable mucus
  • grows especially in water regions with current
First countermeasures in brush algae attack
If the algae has occurred, then it is necessary to take quick countermeasures. Important, if you notice brush algae infestation, so is a quick removal and combat. By vigorously wiping the affected objects or careful dabbing plants, a large part of the algae can be removed.
In addition, a reduction of the existing fish stock can be an important help to curb the growth of brush algae. Many excretions cause a lot of nutrients for the algae. For the remaining fish, the feeding should be so moderate that, if possible, no food residues can sink to the bottom of the water and the algae are thus offered no additional nutrients.
First aid with brush algae
  • Thoroughly clean plants and objects in water
  • Reduce fish stock
  • Create unfavorable water quality for the algae
Although it has not yet been comprehensively clarified which conditions favor the growth of this algal species as a whole, it can be said that intensive water flow is a favorable factor for growth and that the carbon dioxide content in the water also influences growth.
It is also important to ensure a low phosphate as well as nitrite content in the water. The nitrate and phosphate content in the water can be favorably influenced by the use of hornwort, because this grows very fast and requires a lot of nitrate and phosphate - thus deprives the water of these substances.
In the second step you should increase the carbon dioxide content in the water. A higher carbon dioxide content in the water promotes plant growth, but harms the brush algae. Many well-growing plants in the water in turn take the brush algae nutrients away. Also, the onset of other fast-growing plants that consume nutrients, the brush algae long-term deprive the livelihood. In addition, it is said by experienced pond owners and aquarists that a high carbon dioxide content can contribute to the dying of the brush algae, as they do not appreciate it. Unfavorable conditions for the brush algae are:
  • low CO2 content
  • achieve low nitrate and phosphate content in the water
  • many competing plants
Target the algae
Heavily affected leaves of plants should not only be cleaned, but completely removed. The best and most important help after superficially cleaning infested objects or plants is to reduce the flow in the water. Especially in ponds, which have an inflow or in aquariums, the reduction of the flow proves to be a useful measure to effectively counteract the algae infestation. Because the algae prefers to settle in water areas around, reducing the flow can make the place for the brush algae unattractive and at least prevent further growth and propagation of the algae. The problem is that the alga is very persistent and that therefore the fight can drag on over a period of several weeks.
Because brush algae can store nutrients for several weeks, a reduction in nutrient enrichment in the water helps only after a long time - namely, when the brush algae has used up their stored nutrients. In the worst case, it can take up to nine months to get rid of the annoying infestation. As a general rule, less fish stock also produces less nutrients through excreta, and replacement with algae-eating fish makes sense. Tip: A temporary 14-day partial water change can reduce the nutrient supply in the water and thus create unattractive conditions for the brush algae.
Prevent brush algae
It is important that the feeding of fish in the future only targeted and moderate, so that no unused nutrients can be solved in the water. As a precaution, it can be said that a long-term low flow in the garden pond can stem growth. It should also be noted that the water - for example, by excessive feeding of fish - may not be too rich in nutrients. In addition, a burden of phosphate and a low carbon dioxide content should be avoided, because these factors are known to stimulate growth. If you start the pond or the aquarium, you should already consider that not too many fish should be used in the basin, so that the excretions and thus the nutrient supply of the brush algae not too favorable for the growth of algae.
Worth knowing about brush algae shortly
Brush algae are very common in aquariums. The most common are the black brush algae, contrary to their name, they belong to the group of red algae, represented. The infestation is expressed by a red, slimy layer on the leaves, slices, stones and other things in the aquarium. Brush algae can be avoided or repelled by taking a few simple steps. The use of the chemical lobe is not necessary in most cases:
  • Already during the design and occupation of the aquarium you can do a lot to prevent brush algae.
  • A first measure is not to use too many fish in the basin.
  • Too many fish cause too many nutrients, which promotes the growth of brush algae.
In order to keep the nutrient balance in balance, the water should be changed every 14 days.
If brush algae have already been affected, in addition to reducing the number of fish, about one quarter of the water should be changed weekly. In addition, you should clean all affected areas well and remove from the plants the infested leaves. To prevent nutrient surplus, care must be taken to ensure that the fish are not over-fed, leaving food that sinks to the bottom and releases the nutrients to the water.
  • Strong plants are also a must against the proliferation of brush algae.
  • A floor heating, for example, promotes the growth of plants, as well as a CO2 plant.
  • Well-growing plants are strong and healthy and can defend themselves so well against the attack by brush algae.
  • In order to reduce the phosphate and nitrate concentration, the use of hornwort is recommended.
A known truth is that light promotes algae growth. It is the same with the brush algae, so you should avoid the incidence of daylight in the aquarium. Also, the artificial lighting should be reduced during the fight against the brush algae. Finally, there are algae-eating fish, which also serve well in the fight against brush algae. The Siamese weevil barb is very popular with aquarists, just like the catfish.

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