When I spotted some black fuzz on the plants in my community tank, a quick Google search told me it was Black Beard Algae.
I wanted to get rid of it quickly having seen some pretty worrying photos online and was recommended Quantum Black Beard Algae Remover by a helpful Facebook user.
If you’re battling BBA, it can be easy to assume it’s hopeless.
The advice online is to use hydrogen peroxide which is a scary thought, especially for your livestock.
Thankfully, this product saved me from that difficult and worrying process.
Note: this is not a sponsored article or paid partnership, and Quantum have not asked for this review. Nor have I had any contact with them prior to writing this post.
Does Quantum Black Beard Remover Work?
Quantum Black Beard Algae Remover works perfectly and completely eradicated BBA from my tank in around a week. It has also had no negative impact on my fish, shrimps, or snails as far as I can see, with all tank mates behaving normally.
My issue with BBA wasn’t anywhere near as bad as some of the nightmarish images I’ve seen online but I wanted to address it before it got out of hand.
Fortunately, I got some help from the Zebra Snails, Amano Shrimps, and even the fish in the tank to keep it under control. However, I needed chemical intervention to get rid of it completely.
As you can see in the pictures above, the Black Beard Algae has been completely removed from my plants.
The leaves are stained or ‘scarred’, either by the algae itself or because of the efforts of the cleanup crew of shrimps and snails, who were glad of the snack! It’s a small price to get rid of such an annoying form of algae, which made the tank look very unsightly.
Where to buy Quantum Black Beard Algae Remover
If you’re in the US you can get this product for around $20 on eBay, but it doesn’t look like it’s available on Amazon.
UK shoppers can find it here:
It’s worth noting that I haven’t used much of the 250ml bottle and unless you have a serious infestation in a gigantic tank to treat, you shouldn’t either.
There isn’t a smaller bottle available, but at least you’ll have some in stock if you ever have the issue again.
How To Use Quantum Black Beard Remover
The bottle states that the product can only be used in freshwater tanks, presumably due to an adverse chemical reaction when mixed with saltwater.
The instructions state that the product should be diluted with tank water when added directly into the tank.
So I took a jug and filled it with water from the tank before adding the required amount. I mixed it by stirring the water with a spoon and slowly poured the water back into the tank.
I also trickled the treated water into the tank where the filter flow was strongest to make sure the product was distributed around the tank effectively.
The fish didn’t seem concerned by the water being added and didn’t behave differently in any noticeable way. The tank is stocked with Neon Tetras, Guppies, Platies, Kuhli Loaches, Zebra Snails, and several varieties of freshwater shrimp.
Read more: What plants are best for Neon Tetras?
None of the tank mates were affected. However, the bottle advises that if longer treatment is necessary due to the algae still being present, to keep a close eye on your fish and do a 30-40% water change if they show any signs of stress.
In terms of concentration and the amount to be dosed, the instructions advise 8ml (0.3 fl oz) per 100 liters (~26 gallons) for the first treatment, and then 2ml (0.07 fl oz) per 100 liters (~26 gallons) every other day for 1-3 weeks.
The bottle suggests a 30-40% water change before use, but it’s not clear if this refers only to the first dose or to each dose over the course of the treatment. I assume this should be done before each treatment but I didn’t change from my weekly water change schedule (10-20% every Sunday) and there were no ill effects.
I also didn’t follow the instruction to only dose in the morning when the lights are on. I don’t tend to put my tank lights on in the morning so I waited until the evening – it’s not clear why this instruction is important but again, there were no issues with my fish and the algae cleared up quickly.
Is Quantum Black Beard Remover dangerous to humans?
Quantum Black Beard Algae Remover contains polygluteraldehyde and is dangerous to humans in that it causes skin irritation and serious damage if it comes into contact with the eyes. It is also labeled as harmful if swallowed and should be kept away from children.
However, it’s useful to note that according to the bottle, only ‘superior grade raw ingredients’ are used in the manufacturing process and that unlike ‘cheaper alternatives’, toxic formaldehyde is not used as an ingredient.
Is Quantum Black Beard Algae Remover safe for fish?
While the Quantum Black Beard Remover bottle doesn’t explicitly say that it is safe for fish, the instructions mention fish and their involvement in the treatment. The only concern should be if longer treatment is needed, where the advice is to watch for signs of stress.
Common sense says that any treatment for freshwater fish tanks should be safe for fish of all kinds, although the bottle does state that the product is for freshwater tanks only so I wouldn’t risk treating a tank containing saltwater fish.
Is Quantum Black Beard Remover safe for shrimps and snails?
Quantum Black Beard Algae Remover is safe for all invertebrates, including shrimps and snails. My community tank contains Amano Shrimp, Blue Diamond Shrimp, and Zebra Snails, all of which survived the process with no noticeable effects and even helped with the cleaning process!
The bottle specifies that the product is safe for shrimp, but doesn’t mention snails. However, mine were more than happy to help munch down the algae both before and after the tank was treated!
How long does Quantum Black Beard Algae Remover take to work?
A week after I started treating my tank with Quantum Black Algae Remover, all the visible BBA was gone. The bottle advises to treat the tank every other for 1-3 weeks, and knowing that spores can remain I continued treatment for the advised period.
So far no BBA has re-appeared but if this happens, I’ll update this article.
Overall I’m really pleased with Quantum Black Beard Remover. It does the job it was designed to do and there has been no negative impact on my fish, shrimp, or snails.
The plants still show the scars of the damage done by the algae, but I imagine this will improve over time as the plants grow. In summary, I can’t recommend this product highly enough for anyone struggling with Black Beard Algae.