How To Get Rid Of A Black Beard Algae In An Aquarium? | Tips & Tricks

Last updated on December 24th, 2022 at 11:05 am

The appearance of black beard algae in the aquarium, which significantly spoils its beauty, is a serious problem. For fish, algae are not dangerous, since their threads are not so long that pets get entangled in them.

black beard algae

Plants suffer from a black beard, as it sucks the juices out of them, leading to death. On plants, the parasite appears first. It is necessary to take measures to combat it as soon as a black beard you find in the aquarium. Algae spores can enter it both with plants and in the stomachs of aquatic inhabitants. If there are no favorable conditions for it in an artificial reservoir, the parasite does not develop.

What is Black Beard Algae?

Blackbeard is a multicellular algae that looks like an accumulation of thin, black threads up to 5 cm long. In addition to plants, with especially strong growth, the parasite also appears on decorative elements of the aquarium: driftwood, grottoes, and filters.

In an aquarium, a black beard multiplies rapidly and in the absence of timely measures, it covers all plants and the decor of the reservoir in a short time.

It is difficult to clean the plants and decor from the black beard, as well as to completely eliminate the problem. Simply mechanical cleaning cannot get rid of the parasite.

Elimination Methods of Black Beard Algae

Reasons For The Appearance Of Black Beard Algae

Before starting the fight against algae, it is necessary to find out the reasons for its appearance. Many factors provoke the rapid growth of a black beard, but the main reasons are:

  • lack of regular water changes – a black beard loves old water, which contains a large amount of organic matter. Also good for algae and silt at the bottom. If it adds aeration, the conditions for the parasite are ideal. Fighting the problem without water purification is impossible.
  • The appearance of new plants in the aquarium – if you do not treat them with an antiseptic before planting in a pond, you can bring in a large abundance of algae spores;
  • Overfeeding the inhabitants of the aquarium – excess food sinks to the bottom and decomposes, which leads to an increase in organic matter; which is necessary for the parasite, and which the aquarium plants do not have time to absorb completely. Also, overfeeding is muddy water.
  • Intensive aeration – If the compressor is too powerful, it begins to lift sludge from the bottom, providing a rich nutrient medium for algae.
  • Rare cleaning of the filter – if the filter element is not clean, excess nutrients appear in the reservoir for harmful algae;
  • Excessive concentration of phosphates and nitrates – substances are part of the fertilizer of aquarium plants and can exceed the norm with illiterate use of funds. Concentration also increases in case of poor quality aquarium maintenance.

Experienced aquarists face a problem if they forget about the rules for maintaining their pond. Newbies settle in with a black beard due to inexperience and ignorance of the quarantine rules for new plants.

Elimination Methods of Black Beard Algae

How to get rid of a black beard every aquarist should know. It is necessary to fight the parasite as soon as they appear. There are several methods for cleaning the aquarium from the parasite:

  • Mechanical;
  • Chemical;
  • Biological.

Chemistry gives the fastest result, but it can harm fish and snails, and therefore remove them during the treatment of the reservoir. Chemical treatment is troublesome. 

With a timely response to the appearance of a parasite, a biological method is enough. Mechanical cleaning is tedious and is only used if there is no other way to destroy the black algae. Depending on personal preference, the owner of the reservoir chooses how to get rid of the black beard in the aquarium.

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Mechanical Cleaning

Mechanical cleaning has a serious disadvantage associated with a complete violation of the established world of the aquarium. Before the procedure, aquarium fish are pre-transplanted from the aquarium into a reserve tank, and then the water is completely drained. Plants should be placed in a bucket of water separately from fish.

The soil is washed and calcined for 1 hour. The decorative elements are washed with a stiff brush (stripes can remain on the glossy surface from it with strong friction) and put in a strong solution of manganese for 15 minutes. The aquarium is washed and wiped with the same manganese solution. Ideally, fill the container with water and dilute the manganese in it until it becomes bright pink. Leave the antiseptic for 3 hours. After that, the washing aquarium, the soil places on the bottom, and pour clean water.

Must treat plants with a solution of hydrogen peroxide, manganese, or methylene blue. The procedure takes 5 to 10 minutes. Delicate plants are kept in an antiseptic for no more than 5 minutes. After that, they are returned to their permanent place. Such a restart of the aquarium is necessary when there is also cloudy water.

how to get rid of black beard algae

Dry Cleaning

Chemical exposure completely destroys even abundant accumulations of black beard. For cleaning, we can use these means – antibiotics, hydrogen peroxide, sidex and furacilin. For fish and molluscs, drugs are dangerous, and therefore they must first be planted. After getting rid of the black beard, the water should be completely replaced before returning the residents. It is also useful to clean the soil and decor before settling.

Baking soda has less dangerous chemical effects. It is added to the aquarium at the rate of 1g / 5l of water. Soda changes the pH, making the algae uncomfortable and disappearing. Some inhabitants cannot tolerate an alkaline environment. Before adding soda, clarify the exactingness of pets.

Biological Cleaning

Biological methods of dealing with a black beard involve the introduction of fish into the aquarium that eat black threads or planting fast-growing plants that actively absorb organic matter. The biological method of control is good for getting rid of the parasite at the beginning of development and for preventing its appearance.

Eliminate the problem of the following fish species:

  • Labeo,
  • Ancistrus,
  • Girinoheilus.

Snails cannot eliminate black threads in a reservoir. It is necessary to keep fish cleaners at the rate of 1 individual per 30 liters.

Popular aquarium plants – plague and Cabomba – inhibit the growth of a black beard. They eliminate the nutrient medium for the parasite, thereby displacing it. How to get rid of a black beard from an aquarium is better to know in advance before the problem appears.

cure black beard algae


It is easy to prevent the appearance of black algae. For this you need:

  • Clean the container regularly;
  • Feed the fish in a volume that fish can in 5 minutes
  • Do not exceed the permissible number of fish;
  • Use preparations for feeding according to the instructions.

Purchased plants are treated with hydrogen peroxide dissolved in water before planting. This helps to clear up spores.

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