Originally Posted by Curare
So it goes red when it's starting to croak?
Is it possible that we're actually making things a lot harder than they have to be?
I mean, take a look at what Tom Barr has proscribed in the past.
B/G algae - low-no nitrates
G/W - high levels of ammonia.
green algae - increase phosphates
Surely then we must assume that BBA is a sign of some other water parameter not being right, right?
What does excel contain that's helping the fight?
What levels are over the top or limitng plant growth?
I think this is the proper way to address the algae situation don't you?
Tom Barrís prescription for BBA is high CO2 levels, so for a CO2-injected tank, BBA control is accomplished by maintaining 30ppm CO2. In a non-CO2 tank, this canít be done, but lower light levels and healthy plants help to keep things in balance.
Keeping the CO2 high prevents BBA from growing. It is a very persistent algae, and there are stories of aquarists removing infested driftwood and placing it in the dark for 6 months and having the BBA come right back after it was returned to an aquarium. Physical removal is part of the routine for getting rid of this stuff, and that includes infected leaves on plants. Excel will kill it, and possibly save your plants. Also, bleach will kill it (chorine or peroxide) but those methods are a bit dicey. Some aquarists have reported good success controlling BBA outbreaks by using Excel, and itís a better option in some cases.
DIY CO2 tanks are especially susceptible to BBA because (and this comes from Barr- Iím no plant scientist) BBA can take advantage of the fluctuating levels of carbon in the tank, whereas plants are less successful. So fluctuating CO2 is a condition that will favor BBA. For this reason, Tom Barr advises not to do regular water changes on non-CO2 injected tanks. Tap water generally has high levels of dissolved CO2, and regular water changes can actually trigger BBA because it will temporarily raise CO2 levels.