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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-15-2012 12:55 AM
rockwood Well, my kH is really high, and GH just slightly high. I'm sure I'm over 200-250 TDS at least. So the idea of watching TDS and adding RO water could be one of the "keys". I have noticed most of the guys who run really high light tanks successfully (Tom, Speedie, etc.) all have pretty soft water. I also know when I was at my parents house with this tank (they have well water and it's reasonably soft too) I didn't have these issues. Both places I've lived with municipal water systems, BBA has been an issue from the get-go. And I haven't done anything drastically different from place to place.

It IS probably time to clean the filters.

I put a large plant mass in within the first week (big order from AP.com) I'm running purigen in the 2217. The 2217 was used to re-establish the bio from the very beginning (it was running on the tank pre-move.)

I have cut back on the lighting, and I got home early enough today to see it. It looks like the BBA is simply holding ground but not spreading like it was. That's good.

I'm having issues with my Ludwiga Glandulosa dropping leaves and having a bare stem at the bottom. What can I do to help with that? I thought that was a light issue and obviously I can't add more light..... so what to do?
11-14-2012 03:11 PM
houseofcards I've seen BBA in indoor KOI ponds with no direct light and no plants. Would raising the co2 help? Point I'm making is BBA can strike anywhere even in very low light situations. If the tank is really dirty you see this quite often. How many times do you go into LFS and see BBA in some very poorly light setups? Keeping the tank clean of organic waste allows much moer flexibility with everything.
11-14-2012 03:40 AM
viwwo "but weekly spot dosing of excel"
really?? doing excel as spot dosing... I must try.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kubalik View Post
I also have two tanks: one high tech with co2 , the other one is low tech with no co2 .
The high tech always have bba , but weekly spot dosing of excel keeps it in check.
The plants in my low tech came from my high tech , so I was sure I was going to have same problem , to my surprise the BBA in my low tech didn't grow till the filter get clogged up while I was away. Once filter was cleaned , bba gave up , till I overstocked the tank. I then invested in TDS meter and started topping the tank off with RO water instead of regular tap water . TDS went down from 220+ to 150 and no more BBA .
I really think cleanliness of the water combined with stable parameters of the water is the key for BBA free tank.
11-14-2012 02:49 AM
Hoppy Reduce the light intensity below 40-50 micromols of PAR at the substrate, and BBA becomes just a minor nuisance. I doubt that we can ever totally eliminate it, so we can ignore its threat, but for reasons I don't really understand, if you can provide all of the CO2 the plants need, and not be stunted from a shortage of carbon, BBA tend not to be a problem. With low light, the plants don't grow fast enough to need much carbon, so BBA isn't a big problem. With high light it is hard to get enough CO2 in the water to meet the plants needs, so BBA is a continual threat.

Someone else will have to figure out why that could be true, but it has been found to be true by a lot of people. When someone comes up with a different way to avoid BBA problems I will be one of the first to offer congratulations. (And, it won't be the first time I was wrong.)
11-13-2012 03:21 PM
houseofcards
Quote:
Originally Posted by kubalik View Post
....
I really think cleanliness of the water combined with stable parameters of the water is the key for BBA free tank.
I agree it's a huge part of it, and if you focus on this as much as you do light, co2, you would be amazed at the amount of wiggle room it gives you.
11-13-2012 03:20 PM
houseofcards
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockwood View Post
houseofcards - What are your suggestions then? Not trying to start a flame war on here, I'm just looking for suggestions. I feel like I've been "towing the line" as far as what to do as a standard guide, but something is off. I think it is beneficial to the community to start looking at ideas and systematically working through them to see what has a serious effect on BBA's ability to grow.

So for now, I've cut my lighting period back and adjusted the "lead in" time for CO2 before lights kick on. When I was doing my 50% WC this week I cut/scraped/trimmed as much BBA out as I could so I can monitor the growth over this week.

Pending results of the changes thus far what would be the most logical next step?
The idea is that you can't relate every tank that has BBA to not enough Co2 in relation to light. No flame wars, I just don't agree with that type of blanket statement, my opinion. Your tank is relatively young, more than likely your BBA issues developed early. Of course light is part of it, but other factors can be equally and sometimes even more important. At startup did you have a lot of plant mass, did you use carbon or other layers of organic absorbent to assist with organic removal before the plants and/or biofilter matured. Did you do regular water changes and cut back on the light duration. Did you use mulm from an established tank to get the biofilter going. If you did all those things, your changes of a clean take 2-4 months out greatly improve IMO. At this point I think your doing the right things. I would personally use carbon/purigen, cut back on light duration and keep up with regular water changes. I would be surprised if your situation doesn't improve.
11-13-2012 03:25 AM
kubalik I also have two tanks: one high tech with co2 , the other one is low tech with no co2 .
The high tech always have bba , but weekly spot dosing of excel keeps it in check.
The plants in my low tech came from my high tech , so I was sure I was going to have same problem , to my surprise the BBA in my low tech didn't grow till the filter get clogged up while I was away. Once filter was cleaned , bba gave up , till I overstocked the tank. I then invested in TDS meter and started topping the tank off with RO water instead of regular tap water . TDS went down from 220+ to 150 and no more BBA .
I really think cleanliness of the water combined with stable parameters of the water is the key for BBA free tank.
11-13-2012 02:58 AM
rockwood houseofcards - What are your suggestions then? Not trying to start a flame war on here, I'm just looking for suggestions. I feel like I've been "towing the line" as far as what to do as a standard guide, but something is off. I think it is beneficial to the community to start looking at ideas and systematically working through them to see what has a serious effect on BBA's ability to grow.

So for now, I've cut my lighting period back and adjusted the "lead in" time for CO2 before lights kick on. When I was doing my 50% WC this week I cut/scraped/trimmed as much BBA out as I could so I can monitor the growth over this week.

Pending results of the changes thus far what would be the most logical next step?
11-13-2012 01:13 AM
houseofcards There are many factors to BBA in regards to any setup. You can't just say there's not enough Co2 for light. Most of these threads the first advise given is raise you co2 and then you look at the OP's tank and there's like no plant mass in there. You can raise the co2 up the yin-yang and it's not going to do a thing.
11-12-2012 08:08 PM
NWA-Planted
Quote:
Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
I'm sorry Hoppy that is really not true IMO and impossible to even say. Are you saying co2 is an algaecide like Excel?
BBA comes about due to a co2/lighting imbalance also fluctuating co2

Its been proven that sufficient co2 in retrospect to your lighting and avoiding fluctuations will greatly reduce your chances of getting it and also can cause it to start disappearing.

Though in my experience i don't think the correlation is what we think... Examples my 125 i had co2 going 24/7 running two 80 Watt bulbs at a time and still got bba even after raising the lighting,my co2 ran out and lost a ballast, still running two so really lighting didn't change and i have little to no BBA

Another example my 10 gallon sponge filter with a small aquaclear, no co2 and a single t8 on top... No bba, or algae of any kind for that matter, yet have dropped random plants in and it grows about anything.... Even dropped a Java Fern with BBA in. The BBA is gone... I can't even begin to speculate

Sent from a dark corner in my happy place
11-12-2012 07:13 PM
houseofcards
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
BBA is nature's way of telling us we don't have enough dissolved CO2 in the water for the amount of light we have. If you have tried doing a really thorough cleaning, and pruning to get rid of all traces of BBA, and it still comes back, you just don't have enough CO2 for the amount of light you have. You can either work on the CO2 or decrease the light.
I'm sorry Hoppy that is really not true IMO and impossible to even say. Are you saying co2 is an algaecide like Excel?
11-12-2012 07:05 PM
rockwood Hoppy, what would you suggest to help increase how well CO2 is diffusing into the water? If I'm getting build up into the Cerge reactor then it's not diffusing fast enough correct? So how would you rectify that?

I adjusted all my timers yesterday. With lighting I cut the 4x period down to 2 hours instead of 4 and the total light period to 7 hours vs 8 and the CO2 now cuts on a full 2 hours before the lights (was just 1.5.)
11-12-2012 06:39 PM
Hoppy BBA is nature's way of telling us we don't have enough dissolved CO2 in the water for the amount of light we have. If you have tried doing a really thorough cleaning, and pruning to get rid of all traces of BBA, and it still comes back, you just don't have enough CO2 for the amount of light you have. You can either work on the CO2 or decrease the light.

To get more CO2, without killing the fish, make sure your tank water is very well oxygenated, by setting up the filter outlets and powerheads to ensure having the whole water surface rippled, not splashing, but getting close to doing so. Then, to really be sure, install a wet/dry filter, which does a great job of dissolving oxygen into the water. With well oxygenated water, the fish can live with much more CO2 in the water, making it less of a gamble to increase the CO2.

Don't rely on a drop checker or bubble rate alone to determine that you have enough CO2. You need to slowly increase the CO2 bubble rate, a little bit at a time, then wait while watching the fish and plants to see if the plants respond favorably. If they do, and, of course, if the fish don't show obvious distress, slightly increase it again, and repeat the watching. It works best if you watch the plants for a few days to be sure they are responding. Once you reach a bubble rate, where a further slight increase doesn't do anything for the plants, you have the right CO2 bubble rate. (This can only work if you are dosing more than enough of all of the nutrients the plants need, so only the CO2 and light are determining how fast and well the plants grow.)
11-11-2012 09:13 PM
rockwood mitch_p - I've considered pulling one of the bulbs out and seeing if the fixture will run without one. My only worry is that I'll lose the intensity that some of my plants love so much.

brainwavepc.com - It's a standard 75g - 48"x20"x18"

willknowitall - I've never been completely satisfied with the diffusion of this thing either. I've always felt it was a waste as well. I don't have a bubble checker (my gf's dog actually chewed it up....) but I'm at similar settings to what I've always used which put me at bright green/yellow. I need to get another bubble checker and I'm considering going to a different type of CO2 set up. Maybe a different reactor or switching to a pH monitor to do 24/7 injection control.

kevmo911 - I have plenty of flow. I'm running a 2262 for bio and a 2217 for the heaters/reactor/extra mech filtration. I do the 50% WC each week. I imagine I'll need to spot treat this coming week to keep it from spreading any more. I just think that's a stop gap and don't want to rely on spot treating for the length of this set up. I think the K2SO4 is according to the EI suggestions here on TPT, but I'll look into it and back it off if not. At this point I'm willing to give anything a fair try, because I've consistently had an issue with it cropping up the same way every time I set the tank up.
11-11-2012 07:16 AM
kevmo911 Sometimes algae just happens. But with that in mind, there are a couple things to make sure of first.

at 14-15" above the water, your light probably aren't *too* bright. However, your bubble count is useless to anybody else because of all the factors involved. So how's your drop checker? If it's at least solid green, pushing toward yellow, you're probably fine. And your ferts are probably fine as well.

Also, how's your water flow? Any powerheads on top of the canister?

And, while you dose EI, do you do 50% water changes weekly, as per EI? Just checking - a clean tank definitely helps.

I've had excellent success with spot-dosing Excel using a syringe (available at any pharmacy for a couple bucks). Just turn off the water flow, squirt a double dose on trouble areas, let it sit for 15 minutes, and turn the flow back on.

API Algaefix is also an algaecide that some folks have had success with.

You're probably overdoing it with the KSO4, but I'm not sure that's a cause of algae - just unnecessary for most folks.
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