Newbie. BBA Algae. Halp? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-10-2013, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Newbie. BBA Algae. Halp?

*waves* New here! I'm getting tired of trying to do research on how to get rid of this algae issue I'm having because it makes my head spin six different ways since everyone seems to suggest different things. IDK what the heck I should be doing. I was trying to go low tech, but yea---obviously I went TOO low tech.

56 gallon column started 2 years ago. 5Goldfish/1BN plec/4 EMcorycats. I have some Nerite snails too. I know eventually I'll have to re-home 2 GF. Temp stays about 60-62 I try to keep it low. I have 2 CFL's 26w 6500k and one blue CFL for night (not sure on color temp just one of those blue bulbies) I THINK I keep days on 9-12 hrs. Substrate is eco complete (from 2 years ago). Running a Rena Filstar Xp3 (Flow Rate: 175 U.S. gal : 350 U.S. gal/hr ). No C02, no ferts. Everything is covered in BBA particularly my Anubias (of course) and my flow outlet.

If you tell me what I need to do for the size tank I have---I'd love to do it. Starting over is not an option as I will sacrifice my plants for my fish since I've had these GF for quite awhile.

Those floaty things used to be sea mines I had made for the they just look like floaty moss balls. Which is funny becauae I CAN'T grow moss balls.

I also have a 29 set up early last year. Same issue, less severe. I dose with Excel (or have been trying to OD I guess) Penguin 350. Lighting is one 26w 6500k and one 13w 6500k CFLS. No Co2, not ferts except Excel. About 8ish Livebearers/ 2 ottos/ 3 BF tetra /couple of ghost shrimp/nerite snails. Tried to grow moss, all died (I think it was crappy terrestrial moss anyway).

(not sure if this is from snails or another type of algae)

Same thing here. I don't care to buy CO2 I just really need to know what size is appropriate. Dosing, what ferts work the best. etc etc.

I'm stuck with too many options and not enough brain. I'll research options I just need to be pointed in the correct direction. A WWYD with these tanks would be great!

Thanks guys n gals!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-10-2013, 06:02 PM
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Have you tried spot treating with either Hydrogen peroxide or flourish excel?

There is a lot of info on this forum about both.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-10-2013, 06:07 PM
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IMHO, bba is the absolute worst.

Propagates all over the place once established. If peroxide dipping doesn't harm your plants, proceed and treat but treatment will likely damage most. So make amends with bba and decide to either live with it or fight the long hard fight.

No body wins fighting bba... So maybe you might come to appreciate it.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-10-2013, 06:18 PM
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Damn your BBA is really really bad. I have mild BBA and I'm just cleaning out as much as I can, clipping leaves, CO2/Excel and lower photo period.

I don't have much experience in this area but I'd suggest you take that hardscape out and boil it and clip infected leaves. From the photos it looks like most of it is on the hardscape which is good because you can just boil those piece of wood.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-10-2013, 06:22 PM
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Re: Newbie. BBA Algae. Halp?

At this point in time I prefer the BBA that I have in my Endlers guppy tank over the BGA (cyanobacteria) that I have in one of my Opae Ula tanks.

BBA looks pretty the way it waves in the tank current.

While BGA is colorful.

Neither have any real redeeming qualities, really, but I try to remain positive!
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-10-2013, 07:44 PM
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If you are dosing with Excel, continue doing so, but instead of just dosing into the water column, turn off your filter (don't forget to turn them back on when you are done) and let the flow settle down a bit.

Then (in a syringe), spot treat the BBA affected areas with Excel. Let the glutaraldehyde wash over the affected parts for about 10-15 minutes before turning your filter back on.

The BBA will turn red/pink then white, indicating it is dead/dying.

The same technique can be used with hydrogen peroxide.


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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-10-2013, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome thank you guys. I was hoping that it was not hopeless. I have so much in here that it's overtaking and killing some of my slow growing plants.

If I do manage to fend it off---any suggestions to keep it AWAY?? Would a CO2 system/ferts help at all?

And yea I tried the toothbrush method. I'll go for the OD Excel/HP spot treatment method next. Is there ANYTHING that eats this stuff? My Mollies pick at it but they seem to be the only thing. Not even the Ottos will touch the stuff.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 12:14 AM
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Newbie. BBA Algae. Halp?

I can only tell you my experience. I was battling BBA and losing for months and months. I had some green water issues, so I did research. And more research.
My planted, Excel-based tank was getting like 1/10th the needed fertilizers and some missing almost entirely. I began EI dosing (provide enough that the plants want for nothing) and started up a UV sterilizer to resolve the green water issue quickly.
My BBA just DISAPPEARED in a matter of a week to 10 days. Just gone. Yup. Packed up and left town.

If the same works for you, try to get your ferts in line and see how that helps.

Adding Excel to boost growth without the ferts to help them grow is like drinking more water when you're malnourished. It's just not giving the plants all they need. I expect that when you start fertilizing, your hygro will look fuller, too...
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 04:04 AM
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I agree with spot dosing excel/h2o2. Reduce your lighting some 12 hours is way too long, i think 8 is good. Manually remove as much as you possibly can. Trim infested leaves, take about an hour to just do this. Sucks but, when your BBA is that bad, gotta attack it from every corner.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 04:45 AM
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Once you have dosed it with H202 or excel you will see it change color (as DarkBlade said) once it changes color you will notice the Oto's and mollies graze on it.
For the really infected leaves i would simply cut them off and keep spot dosing everyday on 1 or 2 leaves whilst cutting the light to around 6 hours. Im not 100% sure but adding a power head for more circulation may help.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-11-2013, 05:06 PM
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Everyone says to spot dose with h2o2 or Flourish. Am I the only one who's never had that work?

Sure, it kills the algae, but many days/weeks later the leaf it's growing on also dies.

I've experimented with diluting the h202/flourish to many different dilutions down to where it barely kills the algae, and the plant leaf the algae is growing on dies all the time. Not right away, but eventually. And until it dies, it looks awful. I dont know if this is because the algaecide kills it or if the algae itself kills it, but die it does.

So unless the algae is growing on a decoration, I just don't spot dose anymore. It's a waste of time. I just prune the infected leaves. It's easier in the long run.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-24-2013, 02:36 AM
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Originally Posted by dmagerl View Post
Everyone says to spot dose with h2o2 or Flourish. Am I the only one who's never had that work?
I've had varying success with both methods, you just have to be really careful what you treat with the methods. Excel for example seems to melt vals and soft stemmed plants but does well for harder stemmed plants

H2O2 seems to do ok with vals in my experience however it destroys moss....

but yes both I have seen work and ohhhh the feeling when the BBA turns pink....pure joy, until you realize that your vals are melting too LOL live and learn....the big thing is try it on one plant at a time to see if it will destroy the plant
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