pH Swing BBA Problem Need Help
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:13 AM   #1
tylergvolk
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pH Swing BBA Problem Need Help


The BBA in my Fluval EBI RCS Tank has been progressivley getting worse over the last few months. It was suggested to me to stop with the water changes because the swings in co2 was triggering the BBA; therefore, I've completely stopped water changes.

In my home, we do not have central air. I have a fan over the tank and the heater holding the temperature stable. Needless-to-say, there is a lot evaporation going on; therefore, I do water top offs daily with aged water.

The pH of my tap water is very high, but if I let the tap water sit for a few days then the pH lowers to better match the tank water.

See my pH tests:

Straight Tap pH: 7.6+
Aged Declorinated Tap: pH: 7.2
Tank Water: 6.8

But it is extremely hard to read the stupid API Test Kits. I'd say those number are approx. and use those numbers loosely. The color when I tested the tank water was lightly more green, and the color of the tap was slightly more blue.

In conclusion, I've diagnosed my problem, but need help fixing it. My tank suffers from daily ph swings due to water top offs and as a result... this BBA is getting worse. Before I go in and try any eliminate it completely VIA various methods, I want to fix the source of the problem.

Please reply with some advice.

Thanks.
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:10 PM   #2
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Are you injecting CO2? If not, there aren't much CO2 fluctuations with or without doing water change. I normally do my water change at the end of the light and CO2 cycles.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:17 PM   #3
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I am not injected co2.

If that is true, then I wonder what is causing the BBA...
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:28 PM   #4
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Tap water high pH = low CO2
Aging it, lower pH = it is gaining CO2 from the air.
To off gas the gas in the tap water, or to incorporate more CO2 faster:

Set up a bucket of water with any sort of pump or bubbler.
If you use a fountain pump set it at the bottom middle so the water shoots up through the bucket, then sheets out toward the sides. This pattern is called a flume. By exposing the water to the air and circulating it you are making it do the gas exchange faster.
You can also incorporate any other water treatment and be sure it is well blended. For example: Are you keeping black water fish? Add a nylon stocking with some peat moss.

Are you adding Excel or related product?
You could try adding it via syringe, aimed right at the BBA. Do not overdose, use just the labeled amount, but aimed right at the algae will create a temporary very high level locally, and will start killing the algae. Turn off any water circulation (pumps, filters...) so the concentration stays there for up to half an hour.
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylergvolk View Post
I am not injected co2.

If that is true, then I wonder what is causing the BBA...

CO2 does not cause BBA. You are getting BBA because of your lighting period, too long or too strong. Second, imbalance water nutrients. Do you dose ferts? If not, that's your problem. Lack of ferts and strong light with long lighting period. You all sorts of algae. BBA is one.
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:58 AM   #6
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Tank: Fluval EBI 8g
Lighting: x1 13w cfl
Period: 10 hours
Substrate: Fluval Stratum


No ferts, no excel, no co2.

My tap is has super high pH, and the substrate buffers my pH at 6.8.

Thanks for the co2 tips Diana.

Tetra, I think your right. I need to lower my photoperiod down to 6-8 hours. I'd rather not dose in this tank but I have dry ferts, flourish and excel.

Hmm, trying to keep this rcs tank low tech as possible.
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Old 07-09-2013, 02:43 PM   #7
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actually co2 can cause BBA, i have seen it happening, once co2 become stable then BBA stop growing and sometime fade away by it self, but it might require H2O2 or excel to kill it completely. .
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Old 08-04-2013, 06:40 PM   #8
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Since my last post the BBA is receding. The solution was a combination of things:

1. Minimal Water Changes (1or2/mo.)
2. Water top offs at night right after the light go out.
3. Age all water to let co2 escape.
4. Focus on plant growth
5. Added a little Ferts
6. Trim Regularly
7. Reduced Lighting Period
8. Patients


Thanks everyone for your help/input.
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