5 Facts about Black Beard Algae

1.What is Black Beard Algae?

The name black beard is completely justified by its appearance. Black algae just looks like a shaggy beard.It is also mentioned as black brush algae or BBA. While BBA is considered as saltwater algae, still you can observe it mostly on freshwater tanks.

Black beard algae is a member of the red algae family.  Healthy, black beard algae color ranges from a dark green to a deep black. While its color may vary, one thing remains constant – its look.Just like a beard.


2.Where you can see it?

Much the same as hair, this algae begins as light stubble little spots of fluff that stick to the surface of anything in your aquarium. But if not considered as serious issue it grows into a thick jungle of hair. Black beard algae grow on any surface in your aquarium including driftwood, plants and soil substrate.

To be precise, it can grow anywhere in your tank. Decorations, rocks, glass tank,filter pipes even on shell of snails. Black beard algae is easiest to spot when it grows on plants. It typically grows on the edges of the leaves before expanding and covering them completely.

3.Is black beard algae harmful to fish?

No, black algae is not dangerous to your fish. Your fish can still happily survives in the same ecosystem along with black beard algae. In fact, if you let your black hair algae grow, many fish happily swim and use long flowing hairs as their hide out places.

4.Is black beard algae harmful to plants?

To be frank it is Yes and No case scenario. Black beard algae grow with the help of sunlight and nutrients. Let’s assume black beard algae beginning to grow on the edges of one of your plants. Yes, it won’t cause any harm to your plant.

However, the issue is, as the algae spreads, it blocks out more and more light. And if you are aware of photosynthesis process, light is crucial for most aquarium plants to endure. Without it, they can’t survive.

So yes, an uncontrolled growth of black algae can be harmful to plants in your aquarium.


5.What are the causes of black beard algae?

Just like plants, algae also requires certain conditions to grow. On the off chance that these conditions are met, black hair algae spreads over your tank like fierce blaze.

The major reasons for BBA growth are

i.CO2 Fluctuations – Fluctuating CO2 levels or poor water circulation helps black beard algae to grow.

ii.Excessive light – Black beard algae loves light just like most of the algae’s. The more light it gets, the faster it spreads


Prevention is the best course of action. Once beard algae start growing, it will very rapidly spread on everything in your aquarium.

So stay tuned for next week’s listicle, to learn about different ways to remove/Prevent black beard algae from your tank .


So what fertilizers are you using in your aquarium ?

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Image References:

Fishyaquaria,Myaquariumclub,Dave Millan, Fish Lab,