BBA starting -- how to fight?
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:07 PM   #1
TexasCichlid
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BBA starting -- how to fight?


Well...BBA has started up in my tank out of nowhere. Been fighting it for about a week.

Tank background -

Ray II LED on for 7 hours a day
EI dosing everything except nitrates. Using two test kits to verify I have sufficient nitrates. Phosphate levels are acceptable as well.
~50% WC once a week
CO2 comes on an hour before the lights, and turns off 30 minutes before lights out - this is with a reactor. Do I need to turn on the CO2 sooner?
Drop checker shows bright yellow, have been upping CO2 but drop checker has always been lime green or better
Flow has been good, but I just changed out some media in my canister and gave it a good cleaning last night increasing flow even further. This is an Eheim 2028 full blast on a 60p
Double dosing Excel equivalent on a daily basis


I first noticed it on a rock. Pulled the rock out, H2O2 dip and scrubbed it clean, then another H2O2 dip and put it back in.

Then I noticed it on leaves. Mostly on my carpet, not on my blyxa. So every day I hunt the tank and clip leaves off that show signs of BBA. I am confident that I am removing all leaves that show BBA on a daily basis, but it continues to return. I clip maybe 5-7 leaves on my tropica 49 a day, not much at all. Now to clarify, this is not big bunches of BBA. This is a sole, singular tuft here and there that if I was not OCD, would probably go unnoticed. I literally get a magnifying glass out.

My goal is for it to stop before it gets worse. Aside from what I am doing, does anyone have any tips on how to improve on what I am doing?
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:21 PM   #2
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It's yellow and the fish don't freak .

On water changing day, it directly squirt excel on the BBa with the recommended dose. It works and I don't have to stress out the fish.
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:28 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
It's yellow and the fish don't freak .

On water changing day, it directly squirt excel on the BBa with the recommended dose. It works and I don't have to stress out the fish.
I have been slowly increasing my CO2. Fish seem fine so far but every day they are fine, I crank the CO2 up slightly.

I don't have any BBA in the tank to squirt, really. When I see it on plants, instead of treating chemically I just physically remove the entire leaf. I had a tuft or two on the glass that I hit with H2O2 with the filters off and let sit for 20 minutes. Then I scrape it off and suck it out with a syringe.
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:41 PM   #4
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I was battling with for a long time. Remove affected leave, fix co2, and direct squirting of excel was how I got it under control. It's still around but excel takes care of that.
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Old 10-24-2012, 02:52 PM   #5
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Sounds like I will keep on trucking the way I am doing it now. Hopefully it resolves itself after a bit.
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Old 10-24-2012, 03:16 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistergreen View Post
It's yellow and the fish don't freak .

On water changing day, it directly squirt excel on the BBa with the recommended dose. It works and I don't have to stress out the fish.
I Can take a picture of mine. mine is yellow daily, and fish dont freak

yellow is not the end all be all for fish death. green is just a starting point in terms of drop checker color

and yes my fluid is appropriately 4 dkh. its turning yellow in a 5 dkh checker as well just not quite as bright yellow, more of a greenish yellow

good surface agitation and Low BOD keep oxygen levels sufficient for higher co2 levels safely,
my rainbowfish spawn frequently as well
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:05 PM   #7
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Crazy...you and I have nearly the same set-up/issue.

I run the Finnex Ray2 on a 36G for 7 hours per day.
EI dosing, but my Nitrates run high so I add a little less KNO3.
50% weekly water change. I turn my CO2 on 2 hrs before light, but that is only because I either have a leak (that I can't find) or a very innefficient reactor. I'm running a freaking stream of CO2 to get my DC to a yellowish lime green. I turn the knob a bit more every couple days, but the BC is totally useless as a gauge in my case.

I check each evening and remove any leaves with even the slightest strings of BBA. I have only seen it on my Blyxa and my Acmela Repens stems. They are on opposite sides of the tank from each other. One is in a high flow area and the other not so much...this seems odd to me.

I had been running the light for 8 hrs and it was definitely worse then. I hate to cut to 6hrs as it feels like the kids and I hardly get to enjoy the tank as it is. I'm tempted to step down to the FugeRay. I could probably run the light for 10hrs a day, but some of my plants may not be happy with the lower output.

Anyway, hopefully one of us figures out a solution that the other can benefit from.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:47 PM   #8
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if it helps syn.. i run a stream into my 29 gallon to keep the DC bright yellow, and i have a buttload of light.
algae is always ready to take hold, this is the dilema with high light, one slip and its there

keep trimming, adjust co2, keep it steady and eventuall plants will grow in and black algae will quit growing, anytime u get an unhealthy leaf though, guess what's gonna show up
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Old 10-25-2012, 10:57 PM   #9
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Any reasons why you don't dose NO3??? For me, I tried to scrap them off if possible and then to siphon them out. I find that spot treating with Excel would tend to damage the leaves too. Same with H2O2. I simply just remove the affected leaves at the right time when there are a lot new ones growing. I also make sure CO2, ferts, and light are all balance. I mainly increase the CO2 by a bit, until the drop checker is yellow within 2 hours at the beginning of the light cycle. I have a 40g with a HOB filter and it takes a lot of CO2 to get to yellow by noon. I also do 3 40% WC per week. Using Purigen as well.
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Old 10-26-2012, 02:06 PM   #10
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I don't dose NO3 because my nitrates stay at 5-20ish ppm throughout the week between my aquasoil and feeding.
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Old 11-19-2012, 06:24 PM   #11
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Just an update. I have to trim about 10-15 leaves a day as it pops up. Also pops up on my glass. CO2 is waaaaay beyond the yellow point on my drop checker. Been dosing Excel at 5+mL per day every day before the lights come on. Been spot dosing the stuff on the glass, scraping off and siphoning when I can see it floating as a result. Getting a little frustrated.

Photoperiod is 6 hours now. Flow has slowed down so I am beginning to think that may be the culprit. CO2 is high enough now that it is overcoming my reactor and soda bubbles are showing up in the tank.
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:37 PM   #12
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take into account, if its still their, it can still reproduce. it can still grow on the slightest bit of unhealthy plant tissue...

water changes will help remove baby spores

organic objects that are inert are a great growing point for algae, these settle on elaves, hardwood, rocks,, etc.. even if u have a healthy leaf, if this stuff settles on a leaf for too long it can be the start of algae that eventually roots into plant tissues
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:42 PM   #13
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Plantbrain has added wet/dry filters to all of his high light tanks, because they do a great job of dissolving O2 into the water. That could be a good next step for you. With increased dissolved O2, the fish can tolerate more CO2 in the water, so you can raise the bubble rate even more.

One problem with drop checkers is their very slow response to changes in CO2 in the water. When it takes hours to get to a yellow DC, that isn't because it takes that long to raise the concentration in the water, but because it takes that long for the DC to show it. If you have a good method of diffusing CO2 into the water it shouldn't take more than an hour, if that long, to reach the desired concentration of CO2 in the water. Perhaps a pH probe would react much faster?
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoppy View Post
Plantbrain has added wet/dry filters to all of his high light tanks, because they do a great job of dissolving O2 into the water. That could be a good next step for you. With increased dissolved O2, the fish can tolerate more CO2 in the water, so you can raise the bubble rate even more.

One problem with drop checkers is their very slow response to changes in CO2 in the water. When it takes hours to get to a yellow DC, that isn't because it takes that long to raise the concentration in the water, but because it takes that long for the DC to show it. If you have a good method of diffusing CO2 into the water it shouldn't take more than an hour, if that long, to reach the desired concentration of CO2 in the water. Perhaps a pH probe would react much faster?
My lily pipes is 1/4 above the water line, so there is a lot of churning for O2 exchange. Wet/Dry is out of the question for this particular application. Drop checker has been yellow by noon for the past 3 weeks and I have been slowly increasing CO2 past that, daily, since then.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:17 PM   #15
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During my battle with BBA, I had the CO2 running 24/7 on a reactor and a bright yellow drop checker. The CO2 was so high that I lost every single invertebrate in the tank and unfortunately some fish, too.

The BBA was rocking at the end - seemingly unaffected by the high CO2.
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