Thank you for posting this picture, because with all the beautiful planted tank posts I literally thought I was the only person with this problem.


Ikr? Everyone has such pretty tanks with great lighting and 0 algae then I look at my tank which looks so nasty, I also don’t bother cleaning the algae off the glass which makes it look even worse (I scrape only one side so I can look inside). On the other hand I don’t really care since all my water parameters are great, it’s just giving swamp look.


Have you tried nerite snails? I’ve got three in my 20g that keep it fairly spotless. They don’t breed in freshwater so no overpopulation problem either. When they’re small they’ll clean the leaves of plants but once bigger mine pretty much just stay on the glass. Only downside is they don’t live very long


My problem is these guys spread ugly eggs all over your tank that never go away!


The nerites in my 5g lay eggs but the ones in my 20 never have, not sure why though


Nerites have binary sex. Males don't lay eggs :)


Hah I meant more that I’ve had probably 12 in that tank over the years and none have laid eggs, seemed unlikely they’ve all been males but maybe I’m just that lucky


Or maybe you had fish that ate the eggs? My nerites laid eggs that disappeared shortly after being laid. I must say I've never had anything clean the algae out of my tank like those nerites! I can't imagine having a tank without them now.


Yeah, all male would be 1/4096 chance, pretty unlikely!


That sounds like mystery snails. Yeah, those are terrible. Other snails don’t make that kind of mess. I have a colony of ramshorn and they reproduce without sticky egg sacks drying just outside the water line.


Nerite snails lay individual eggs that kind of look like sesame seeds on various parts of the tank, usually underwater. I had a female nerite that would do it after every water change. They sort of become dull and less noticeable over time, but they're difficult to actually scrape off.


Interesting. I never saw those in my tank. That said I have pea puffers so any eggs probably got eaten. Nothing compares to Mystery snail eggs. Holy crap those sucked.


I find them easier to remove if you crush them with your fingernail first. Then again, I’ve also just learned to accept the look.


Nerite snails lay eggs one by one in a trail. Mystery snails lay a huge clump above the surface of the water.


I just got some and can't wait for them to decide it's okay to leave the safety if theirs shells and actually eat the literal feast my tanks got for them 😅


My nerites are the laziest eaters, I swear!


My nerites always escape the tank so I don't bother keeping them


Get black gravel it'll make your tank look cleaner


I actually keep algae growing on a piece of wood I have inside, with duckweed and quite a crowd of plants, algae don’t even get the opportunity to develop due to everything else sucking up the nutrients, snails and shrimp also help I def struggled for a while and algae growth is totally normal, don’t worry about it! As long as you enjoy your aquarium that’s what matters If you want, you can try finding a very soft toothbrush and lightly brushing the leaves if you want them looking brighter! Don’t overdo it to avoid damaging the leaves tho


>such pretty tanks with great lighting and 0 algae I think a big part of this is they always seem to have *tons* of plants in the tank. I imagine a huge part of their success is simply letting the plants dominate the tank and absorb as many nutrients as possible, so algae has a hard time getting established.


Bladder snails and shrimp will eat this. This is the way normal Java Fern and Swords spore out to create new plants. It's what the plant does. If you want the fish to eat it for you, get platys or guppies. There's nothing wrong with this, but it's going to stay like that until you scrape it off yourself or find something that eats it. It's a biproduct of too much light (these are lower level plants that are usually found with lily pads blocking most direct light.


The beautiful photos with the bright green plants are typically done after a water change. Pro tim: during your water change, use an extra soft toothbrush to scrub the algae off your plant leaves.


Same!!! I hate how bright everyone's tanks are! My levels stay perfectly safe, I haven't had a fish death in over a year and all my plants eventually get this shit growing all over it!


I fixed this by lowering the light.


Fucking hell, others exist! This frustrates me to no end. I use a magic eraser and gently wipe the leaves and stems, but ain't NOBODY got time for that. I've considered ditching the live plants and just using artificial items.


Yess, this literally appears overnight and I’m not gonna be elbows in water everyday to scrape it off damn. I just let that shit grow, as long as plants are giving new leaves and not dying, idgaf.


Every time I do a water change I pull out the anubias and squirt them with peroxide. It's easy to do for these since I don't keep them rooted in the substrate so they don't mind being taken out and replaced. I do the same with my stem plants when I trim and replant them, but this is less often, so algae can get the upper hand. Especially with slower growing plants. I have figured out how to spot treat plants that stay rooted all the time besides pulling off badly affected leaves. Just keep trying to adjust light, nitrate, filtration, circulation to improve little by little each week.


OMG same! Does anyone else get brown growth at the base of the leaf stem where it connects?


Not as much but yes, even on roots sometimes. I think the algae prefers growing on leaves tho as they are closer to light.


This is such a great confidence boost for everyone here who has algae all over there plants


Who else relates? LMAO




I recently went to my lfs and asked about this problem, he send me home with 3 Otocinclus, 2 days later all my algae was gone off plants and decorations. The otos only get to about 1 inch so aren’t much to handle in a smaller tank


Yay for real looking aquarium plants! My secret to nearly algae free leaves, Amano shrimp. They are algae eating monsters, I don't think they sleep, just eat algae 100% of the day. I even have them in my fancy goldfish tank with fantastic results thus far! They hide all day and clean all night!


My ramshorn snails destroy algae. I know people worry about overpopulation with them, but if you have a solid cycle going (and lots of plants to absorb nitrates) then it should be able to tank the waste from all the snails until the algae is reduced enough that it can’t support a large population. I let mine ebb and flow on its own and I’ve never had nitrogen issues, even when I had more snails than I could ever hope to count in my 5.5 gal. It surprises sometimes me how resilient my cycle is as I only have a little sponge filter in there, but I also have a nice thick layer of dirt substrate with a gravel cap so most of my cyclers are probably in there. I also have a plant jungle and duckweed so I pretty much never get above 5-10ppm nitrate lol


I have amanos in a separated tank. It’s easier to keep track on them that way. I had them in this tank before and I haven’t seen them for months and thought they died and one day they just appeared lmao, then I moved them to their own tank.


Its the same for me. The older leaves just look like that if you dont scrub it off. No matter how good your water parameters are.


I had this until I got a couple panda garras, they LOVE cleaning the leaves. Now I plop the plants from my other tanks in with them occasionally so they can get a good cleaning.


Too much light bro, this plant likes shady places


I was thinking the same thing...looks like black hair algae, which love light.


Everyone who doesn’t have CO2 has this I think 🤔


Co2 user here, co2 is not an one-stop-shop for all issues, sadly. Yea it helps with some algae types but I also have this type of algae in my big tank. And I do have co2 injection in that. The shitty part of co2 is that improper use or dosage immediately results in algae or dead fish. It helps plant growth immensely, but takes some time to get right.


Is your CO2 setup completely automated?


As in? PH-controller? No, time switch, yes.


Perfect amount of light. Perfect amount of nutrients. Perfect amount of CO2. Perfect tank. It’s a simple formula for success. I’ve seen it work. I know it’s possible. Only thing I have is a small amount of algae on some of my leaves and it’s not as bad as the pic but it’s still not going anywhere so I need to get CO2 to make it perfect. I have medium flow and excellent filtration in still using flourish because I got a good deal on a bunch of it but I’ve been reading up on better nutrients so as soon as I run out I’m switching. So I know if I can get an automated CO2 system that prevents it from overdosing my tank and keeps the PH in range I’ll see the algae free setup I’m dreaming of.


The concept of perfection differs from tank to tank, person to person. I know a guy who has an iwagumi scape which resembles a river. He uses high turbulent flow and purposely OD’s his tank to make green algae form on the surface of his rocks. So the ratio of nutrients vs light isn’t perfect as per the books. But it is perfect for him and for what he tries to achieve. So I wouldn’t exactly say that all parameters perfect equals a perfect tank. It does help to establish a healthy tank though. I use the all-in-one plant ferts a guy in Belgium produces, which I supplement with iron fertilizer because 9 out of 10 times for me, stunted growth is because of an iron deficiency. Lighting is handled by a simple Phillips Hue smart socket which I automate in Apple’s HomeKit. Same story with Co2, there’s nothing smart controlling the Lights-ferts-co2 ratio. I dose daily, manually and it happens that I forget a dosage. (Which hasn’t affected my tank, yet.) end of week I do a 50% water change, straight from the tap, into the tank, no additives because the tap water we have doesn’t need it. I never test my water parameters (which I should do) but I do use a drop checker as safety device so I don’t accidentally gas my fish.


CO2 is too damn expensive and I’m a broke college student lmao. Other than the algae, the plants seem fine. Even tho anubias is apparently a slow growing plant, mine grows pretty fast. This leaf appeared in one week and you can see 2 small sprouts that appeared. Thanks to that I can just keep pulling those nastier looking leaves once the new ones come out.


Once you get the initial $150 start up stuff (and thats brand new) its only like $10 a year to keep your bottle filled for a small tank. Its super cheap and the rewards are so great, even for low-medium light tanks. I have no idea where this "its so expensive" shit came from.


When you don’t have money, spending 150$ on something that is technically unecessary is a lot. I don’t work, so all my money comes from my parents and I’m not gonna bother them to give me 150$ when they have to pay for my apartment, give me allowance and especially now since the price of everything doubled since the war in Ukraine.


There is no tank that fully balances itself all the time. Just like any garden it needs pruning and cleaning. This is the most important part keeping a tank and best of all it’s FREE.


$150??? Try $450! It’s not a really great idea to not have a completely automated system that has sensors to monitor CO2 level and auto shutoff. $150 gets you a bare bones setup and a real challenge to keep your CO2 levels correct. I have enough on my plate so no thank you. If I get a CO2 setup it’s fully automated or I won’t bother. Perfect light. Perfect nutrients. Perfect CO2 level. Perfect tank! It’s a simple formula.


You have this setup? I could use recommendations on equipment for starting co2


No it’s just what I’ve been looking at look up automated CO2 system they have a CO2 ph monitor electronic controlled CO2 regulator so it doesn’t overdose your tank. It turns off the CO2 when your light goes of since you don’t use CO2 with the lights off. It’s the only way I’d get a CO2 setup since I’ve never had CO2 but I’ve seen a bunch of people learn the hard way. Just look up automated CO2 and you’ll only find 5-6 of them they run around $450 USD and the 5 pound tank is the size of tank I’ve been looking at. Probably get 2 so you have one ready to go when the one you’re using goes empty. That’s another $80 bucks and then you’ll need to get it filled so that’s mo money. So for me to get started with a complete setup it’s around $550. It’s a lot of money and I’ve been running without for a wile now but to go to the next level I will have to get CO2. It’s a matter of time before I get one but it’s not going to happen in September. Hopefully October is going to be a more profitable month. That’s all I know


Thanks for the reply, I'll look into it.


It starts at $150 as you stated. And honestly that's the lowest I've known of per my research and current basket saved on Amazon. I'm anticipating closer to $250 if I'm doing it right Some of us have other priorities that chew that up. Especially when it's not actually necessary. Just a want not a need.


I swear I’m cursed when it comes to growing Amazon swords they ALWAYS MELT 🫠🌱


This has meme potential


Yeah, I try to scrape it off gently


Mr. Clean magic erasers, my friend.


Whhaaa!? Really! Is there nothing they can’t do?


Don't they have chemicals in them??


I have this type of algae in my tank, it’s caused by high silicates in my tap water and leeching from my rocks. They’re called diatoms and are outcompeted by green algae when the tank matures. If a mature tank still has them, it could be because of high silicate levels, like with my tank.


How do you test for silicates?


A friend of mine used [these](https://www.sera.de/us/product/freshwater-aquarium/sera-silicate-test-sio3/) We live in the same neighborhood so we’ll probably have the same tap water parameters.




I gave up on scraping it off since I just end up damaging the leaves and if I don’t do it hard enough it won’t come off (this is mix of brown algae and black beard). I just end up pulling older and nastier leaves when new ones grow.


I have this as well … I assumed it was black beard algae because it has now spread to the rest of the plants as well… and I have CO2 in the tank… adding Seachem excel helps reduce this but when I stopped it came back again


I started using flourish excel and it got even worse, then I was told that I am supposed to use it as spot treatment because otherwise it just gives nutritients for algae to grow even more, but how am I supposed to spot treat when my whole fucking tank is a ‘spot’ lmfaoo.


Take the plant out of the tank and put it in a seperate bucket for a few days...dose it with flourish excel every day. It will at least get the process started.




And leaves covered in algae


They usually rub off…


Forget what that looks like lol. My Buenos Aires tetras love to eat all growth old and new on all my different anubias plants. Don’t touch any of the swords or jungle Val. But anubias and dwarf sag they love


Yes this happens to me too! I thought I was the only one. Does anyone know of any algae eaters which will clean the leaves?


I struggle with green spot algae on my plants, especially the anubias


You can reach down with your fingers and get the algae off the leaves. It really helps the plant to look nicer and to carry out photosynthesis.


Keep it going


I had the same problem with the new anubias nana I got for cheaper price from my LFS cause it was covered with those algae too, then the LFS owner suggest me to soak it with bleach for seconds then rinse it immediately with my tank water. It was kinda extreme but the algae just turning red and fell off!


These guys always die back on me unless I have the tank directly in sunlight. Then I'm always battling algae. I have just reverted back to beginner plants and shallows at this point. The only acception being Java Moss for some reason.


i just recently realized this and started trimming my sword and anubias accordingly with this new knowledge, as i didnt know what new growth looked like, now i have a bunch of new leafs on both sides algae free