getting rid of black brush algae
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:36 PM   #1
mr hyde
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Default getting rid of black brush algae

My tank's been infested with bba for the last 6 months. I've been reading the advice on the board off and on and kept my nitrates and phosphates at the recommonded ratios for 5 months straight with no change. My last attempt I added a large mass of fast growing floating type plants to consume nutrients but it didn't seem to slow the growth of bba down at all. In the last 3 weeks I thought I'd try to starve the algae of phosphates and stopped dosing it bringing the levels down to .1 for the last 3 weeks. The algae still thrives, no better or worse. Nitrates are still between 5 to 10 and the plants are all growing really well but so is the algae. BBA is really the only algae problem in the tank.
46 gallon
3 watts per gallon
pressurized co2 at 30ppm
nitrates between 5 and 10
I dose 5 ml flourish iron twice a week
5 ml plantex twice a week (1 tbsl per 500 ml)
1 teaspoon pottasium at water change
1/3 water change once a week
ph 6.8
gh and kh on the low side
I've heard a few people mention that using flourish excel seemed to get rid of their bba and was curious about that. I have some on order and will probably try it. I need to find some siamese algae eaters also. The only algae eaters i have are ottos and amano shrimp. I've heard of the bleach dip method but it would be very difficult to dip everything in my tank, the algae spores are probably everywhere. I also have considered the copper treatment. I've tried to order the azoo brush algae killer but it is only sold in australia. I really just dont have many more ideas and would certainly appreciate any advice anyone has on getting rid of it.
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Old 02-11-2005, 07:45 PM   #2
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I feel for you, man, because I fought the same fight for YEARS. Brush algae is just too resilient. Blackouts won't kill it because it can survive in complete darkness for WEEKS. It's nearly impossible to starve it because it can also survive in sterile water for weeks at a time.
If anyone has actually defeated Brush algae without SAE's, I will bow down!
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Old 02-11-2005, 09:11 PM   #3
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I too had a tough time with BBA.....some say it infests tanks with high carbonate hardness.....

in the end....I gave up and left it alone.....as as my plants grew like gangbusters.....they mysteriously dissappeared...I still have a few here and there growing on rocks....but at least its under control right now...
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Old 02-12-2005, 01:42 AM   #4
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Keep the CO2 at at least 30ppm if you can go higher without stressing the fish, do it.

Also, you have given no information of your phosphate levels.

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Old 02-12-2005, 04:29 AM   #5
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Mike
The phosphate levels were kept between .5 and 1 for quite a few months. Just here lately in the last few weeks I've stopped dosing phosphates completely and the level has been .1 in a desperate attempt to starve it out.
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Old 02-12-2005, 11:05 AM   #6
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You're dosing schedule is a bit on the wacked side bro..
I am really pressed for time this morning, but look over this, this is how I dose my 46...very effective
http://www.triplexclan.com/Aqua/reg.jpg
You will not starve algae by limiting plant uptake..period.
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FISA View Post
I too had a tough time with BBA.....some say it infests tanks with high carbonate hardness.....
I have low carbonate hardness. Still struggling with it. When I started the tank, 29G, 4years ago tap water was soft with ph 8.6. Read that this meant the tap water was treated with phosphates. Dosed more with KNO3 and had a 3hr siesta period.

Now tap water ph is soft with ph 7.6. BBA is attaching my ferns. Still struggling with it. Next step is to take ferns out and dip them in diluted seachem excel.

I have always been told low Co2 is the culprit. Mr Hyde has good Co2 which proves my theory that is an imbalance of some sort.
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:53 PM   #8
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I want someone to give me a definitive confirmation to the following statement:

"Sufficient Co2 will hinder the growth of BBA."

If this is true isn't the path to success with this algae ensuring a constant flow of 30 to 45 ppm Co2? I mean add in some SAEs to boot but this seems too simple for this algae to cause the discussion/hatred that it does...

Someone confirm or deny please

cheers,
Abe
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrium View Post
I want someone to give me a definitive confirmation to the following statement:

"Sufficient Co2 will hinder the growth of BBA."

If this is true isn't the path to success with this algae ensuring a constant flow of 30 to 45 ppm Co2? I mean add in some SAEs to boot but this seems too simple for this algae to cause the discussion/hatred that it does...

Someone confirm or deny please

cheers,
Abe
If other things are out of balance, you could have all the co2 in the world and you'd get bba.

My tank runs over 40 ppm of co2. Close to 50, I'd guess(if I add fish to the tank without long acclimation-weeks they die in less than an hour....). I still get bba in this tank.

also, this thread might be one of the best grave robbings I've ever seen.
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:17 AM   #10
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I have a consistent amount of co2 at 30ppm, and my BBA flourishes on one plant that's directly in the filter flow. I think it's more complex than constant co2.
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:35 AM   #11
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This thread has been resurrected from 1995, LOL. I guess it's true that BBA is one tough son of a ....

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I have a consistent amount of co2 at 30ppm, and my BBA flourishes on one plant that's directly in the filter flow. I think it's more complex than constant co2.
Definitely more complex. The co2 is a stock answer that relies on a certain amount of plant mass to have an effect on BBA. Why would co2 in itself fight BBA?
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:48 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by houseofcards View Post
This thread has been resurrected from 1995, LOL. I guess it's true that BBA is one tough son of a ....



Definitely more complex. The co2 is a stock answer that relies on a certain amount of plant mass to have an effect on BBA. Why would co2 in itself fight BBA?
2005 /= 1995.....

And the answer to what causes algae is simple: Too much light, too little co2, and too little nutrients.

Identifying WHICH of those three is your problem can be tricky.... but when in doubt blame too much light. Or not enough co2. Or not enough nutrients.

Crap.
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Old 05-13-2011, 04:00 AM   #13
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Alright, allow me to explain and... thank you for the hijacking comment . I mean they weren't using it anymore and I didn't see the need to start another one when I could dust this perfect thread off right here.

I have a problem with bba but it is a problem that persists. I will only allow the tank to get so bad before I tear it down, bleach it, and replant everything. I have heard the same, what I consider truth, story over and over regarding each type of algae. Bottom line, there is something out of whack be it lighting, ferts, or Co2. Let me give my tank bio and we'll see if the experts can give me a hand.

Lighting:
My lighting is a true story of live and learn. I had 60 watts of T8 6500 over my 125g tank and I couldn't grow anything. It is a 125 long and given the depth of my substrate I got about 19" of water that my lighting has to penetrate. Tired of having plants wither away I bought a light fixture that I knew would grow plant life -- a 6 x 80W T5HO light fixture... thats right baby 480 watts of luminescent heaven. Now on top of buying the equivelant of a rectangular search light I also put it approximately 4" above my tank. So in short... I grew plants alright and everything else too. There wasn't a type of algae that I didn't have so I took some steps:

Following this thread I thought I would put Hoppy's theory into practice mostly because I don't have a PAR meter and I trust the work that this man does and here is the result:

First off here is a shot of only 4 of the lights on, 2 x 6500 and 2 x 10000 and this is what we can get. See the glare and the obvious over intensification of the lighting due to both light strength AND placement of the fixture. Notice my home made screens on display above the tank.


I know someone wants to comment on how sparsely the tank is planted but I assure you there is a plant at least every 2 sq. inches. After my last bleaching because of bba I had to mow a lot of leaves off of my stem plants to trigger new growth and that is what you're looking at right here.

Now, this is after I turned another light off. So I'm running on 2 x 6500 and 1 10K bulb AND I have the screens in place:


Ferts:

I have yet to find a location locally that sells the raw material that I need to dose dry ferts, lord knows that I would love to. I guess I could buy them online but unfortunately I am my worst enemy here because I don't want to take the time to learn a schedule that works for the tank. However, I do fertilize my tank daily with a blend purchased here. I do dose religiously and I do a 50% change at the end of each week which besides providing the reset I believe my fish & inverts really enjoy the large infusion of fresh water. I dose according to their directions but I will admit that as the plants get larger my dosage gets larger because I suspect the amount dosed should mirror what the surface area of each plant can absorb... I could be wrong on this.

Plants:

I have my fast growing stems, floaters, heavy root, and so on and so forth. Most improtantly is that the tank is PLANTED. Not semi or moderately but heavily. I will admit that the photos don't show to what degree the tank is planted so I snapped a couple more shots:

My struggling carpet


My giant vals are sprouting daughters and growing, excuse the Crinum thaianums I just picked those up today


My ball of java moss that I call shrimp manor is actually moss completely covering some mopani, the side is hygro and mermaid


Sprouting nana, I think


The point is that she is well planted and the plants are absorbing what I am giving them, the light is turned down, Co2 is high so what else could I possibly change in order stop bba from growing? Do I need to wait until the majority of my plants are larger and therefore can produce a larger uptake of nutrients and ultimately knocking bba down?

Lemme know,
Abe
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:59 PM   #14
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Well, firstly you have a very thinly planted tank of mostly slow growers. (BTW is that Java Fern planted in the substrate, cause that's a no, no.)

You have way too much light for that type of setup even with only 4 bulbs.

The high light, slow growth and thin planting will most defintely cause problems. Again this tank is a good example of even if you throw 100ppm of co2 your still probably gonna have problems. It simply doesn't have the plant mass, growth factor to support the other variables.
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:55 PM   #15
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ok so I have pretty much no more substrate that I can disturb to plant anything. All of the plants are small. I'm aware that the mass isn't there because everything is small I can't accelerate the growth of small plants to make them large to add to the mass.

If I'm "thinly planted" what am I suppose to do when there are plants everywhere, create another layer of substrate to start planting in? I'm sorry to sound sarcastic but you pretty much are saying that I don't have the plants needed to produce the needed effect. I have about 90 vals, amoung other plants, in the tank ranging from giant to cork screw to regular and each produce a runner and about an inch of growth a day. I have floating lettuce that is unstoppable as far as duplication. The rotala is creeping along the substrate and up just fine.

Maybe you need to be more specific because you make it sound like I'm doomed unless I stuff the tank full of egeria densa and wisteria.... If I'm truely lacking fast growers give me some ideas on what I can throw in there to fill the minimal amount of gaps I have. Also, there needs to be a distinguishing factor between thinly planted and mowed down. I have the same plants in the tank that I have in the tank in my signature. The only difference is that I had to remove a lot of the leaves.

So, what are some good fast growing plants?

Cheers,
Abe
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