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Black Beard Algae – the bane of Aquascaping

The persistent black beard (BBA), a nuisance that is well-known to aquarium lovers, can cause a lot of frustration. It is a fast-spreading and unsightly form of algae that can take over an aquarium quickly, taking away all its appeal. Controlling BBA with manual removal or by adjusting the water’s parameters are essential. However, natural predators can also be effective in battling this alga. We will examine the organisms in this article that are capable of consuming black-bearded algae, and help to maintain an pristine aquatic ecosystem. If you want to learn more about what eats black beard algae?, please visit this page.

What is Black Beard Algae?

Audouinella (also known as black beard algae) is a red alga that appears on aquarium surfaces in the form of velvety dark tufts. This algae is common among hobbyists because it thrives in many different water conditions. BBA attaches to decorations and plants as well as the glass. It is therefore difficult to eliminate completely.

Predators and their role in nature

Use of natural predators as a means to fight black beard is a bio-based approach for controlling algae. These organisms help to control BBA by feeding on it. It’s vital to tackle the root causes of BBA like imbalances in light and nutrients. However, adding these predators as part of an algae management plan can help.

1. Siamese Algae Eater (Crossocheilus siamensis):

Siamese alga eaters are a great choice to control algae in aquariums. This fish is known for its voracious appetite, which includes black beards algae. Siamese Algae Eaters are peaceful fish that can get along with many tankmates. They make a good addition to community aquariums.

2. Amano Shrimp (Caridina multidentata):

Amano shrimps are famous for being adept at eating alga. These shrimp are known to eat black beard alga and nuisance algae. The shrimp can be kept in any tank and are very low-maintenance. As they grow they can become territorial. Be aware of how they interact with each other.

3. Nerite Snails, also called Neritana spp. ):

They are excellent algae eaters, and they can help you in the fight against black beard alga. The snails are well-known for their unique shell patterns, and they adapt to a variety of aquarium conditions. The snails have a low impact on the plants or decorations in planted aquariums.

4. Florida Flag Fish (Jordanella floridae):

Florida flagfish are less common, but they can be effective in controlling black-bearded algae. The fish is omnivorous. It has a great appetite for the algae. They can be territorial so keep an eye on their interactions with your other fish.

5. Brush-Mouthed Plecos (Ancistrus spp. ):

It is known that certain species of Plecos like the Bushy-Nosed or Bristlenose Plico grazes on Black Beard Algae. These plecos can be kept in most aquariums, and they are usually peaceful.

6. Removing Manually:

You can remove black beard with a toothbrush, or if you prefer a brush. This technique allows you target the specific area where BBA has established itself. To prevent BBA from returning, address the root causes after removal.

Black Beard Algae – Additional Tips:

Balance lighting: Make sure your aquarium lights are balanced. Adjust the intensity and duration of the light. BBA can thrive in areas of excess or inconsistent light.

Watch and regulate nutrient concentrations, especially in phosphorus. BBA can grow faster when phosphate levels are high.

Routine Maintenance: Vacuum the substrate and perform routine water changes to eliminate excess nutrients.

To minimize BBA, consider using decorations that are resistant to algae.


It can be difficult to manage black beard algae, but natural predators can help. Adding organisms to your aquarium, such as Amano shrimps, Nerite snails and Siamese Algae Eaters, can help you combat BBA and improve the health of the tank. Consistent care of the aquarium and constant attention to its water parameters is essential in order to keep black beard alga at bay.