selective BBA on my Lileaopsis and Valisneria?
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Old 01-19-2014, 03:57 PM   #1
materializer
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selective BBA on my Lileaopsis and Valisneria?


Hi All,

Thanx for having me here, I just joined.

I have been running a planted tank for half a year now and all seems fine. It's just that for a month or so now Black Beard/Pencil algea started manifesting itself on two very distinct places and plants. One place is in the top section of my Valisnerias, the other near the bottom, and just on the Lilieaopsis NZ.

Most (all?) other plants seem to stay fine and clean, however minor spreading seems eminent now. So I decided to ask here for advice and maybe someone could point me in the right way to approach this issue.

I'll add some pics that show the problem and below also my water values and such.

Any hints and info would be greatly appreciated, aswell are links to threads that might have allready covered this issue, I just cant seen to find my way yet in the vast amounts of topics and info here. So searching as yet means getting lost

Overview:

Locations of BBA:

Detail on Lileaopsis NZ: (I think it is this plant at least)


Water values etc:

NH3/NO2,3 =0
PO4 =0
PH =7,5
KH =8
GH =11 Although a JBL strip test suggests 8 ?! Dunno??

I add weekly 30ML of 'Ferropol', and dayly 4 drops of 'Ferropol 24'
+_40 bubbles CO2, temp 24 degrees, 180 l tank, large ext filter, about 15 Platys, 4 algea eaters, 5 shrimps
water changes:30% every two weeks. My water is always clear as glass.
Lighting standard tubes, 1 Blue-front, 1 yellowish in the back and , for about 8hrs
CO2 also for about 8hrs

Thanks in advance to anyone picking this up!

Regards,
Kor
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:52 PM   #2
Zapins
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The exact cause of BBA is under debate, and the hobby does not 100% know what causes it. The algae can be difficult to remove if it gets bad. The usual advice is to buy flourish excel and spot treat the BBA using a baby formula syringe, but you do not want to do that. Unfortunately excel seems to kill/damage vals which you have growing in your tank.

You can either prune the leaves the BBA is growing on if it is not all over the place, or you can try using peroxide spot treatments (maximum 3 mL/gallon of tank water / day). Peroxide is less effective in my experience, but should work if enough applications are given. The BBA will turn red within a day and then a dull gray color and finally rot away over a week or so.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:18 PM   #3
ChadRamsey
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overall cleanliness plays a HUGE roll in the presence of BBA
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There are 2 types of people on this forum. Those that have algae, and those that lie and say they don't.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:20 PM   #4
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Zapins, indeed my whole backline is Valisneria. But there is a but: I was thinking of taking them all out as it bothers me that they grow so thick and bushy. I wanted to replace them with a 3D decorative backwall. So florish excel could be an option then. Although i have to admit i will have to study on what kind of stuff florish excel is? Never had to bother getting to know it you see..

Peroxide I heard about, but think I remember hearing about some downsides.. Getting it should be no problem. Dosing will be okay too, but I dont exactly get what you mean with spot treatment with peroxide?

Pruning will not be possible as it means ripping litterally all Lileaopsis out of my tank.

Last thing; spot treatment with syringe excel? Hold the syringe under water and spray onto affected leaves? Same for peroxide?

Thanx for your reply Zapins!
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:27 PM   #5
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Chad,

I try to keep my tank super clean, never feed to much, remove every single bit of dead plant and wipe windows regularly. But still, okay it bothers me the dosed food (small grains) for the platys ends up in the grit/substrate. It doesnt float so the fish have time to eat it before it sinks.. Anyways, i do my best to keep the water clear and for now it works as it is super clear with (2) weekly 30% water changes. Which actually i dont know how neccesaire they are as the water never gets dirty and levels are perfect.. (right dose of co2 actually i dont know as it is allways debatable ofcourse)

Thx! Kor
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:01 PM   #6
Hardstuff
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Hi Materializer: I have the same BBA growing on my Lilieaopsis as well . I feel your pain. My tank overall is doing well & is pressurized . I am now experimenting on switching over to a spray bar pointing a little at the surface but I have still not dialed in my CO2 correctly.
That being said I notice what looks like pea gravel in your tank. My tank has some mixed with Flourite but the pea gravel can be coated killing the CEC so your plants will have some trouble exchanging nutrients from the substrate. But Your gravel may not be coated. I have blamed part of my trouble on my substrate but stable CO2 seems to play a role as well.
My other tank which grows the same plants had a problem with BBA as well but in the last few months the tank is doing extremely well! The bba is down 99% at the moment. I let the plants grow emergent & PRONE LESS. Some have said that cutting the plants causes excess organic PO4 release into the tank triggering BBA bloom.
That being said that tank does not have any livestock meaning lower DOC's but it does contain Flourite & Laterite which means it has a higher CEC than the other tank with the problem.
From my experience excel helps but if the underline problem causing the BBA to grow is not found it will come back. I also KNOW the excel stresses the fish & is not good for them from my experience using the stuff.
If you have the bad coated gravel I would tare down the tank! Improve your CO2 & keep an eye on it & your macros are extremely low. You need to feed your plants better & not sure what's going on with your trace either???
I have seen the biggest blooms after trimming , so there could be something about letting more plants become emergent & less cutting . Find a balance. When we cut plants they become injured & do not grow as well. My 3 cents
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:24 PM   #7
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Hardstuff,

You said something that woke me, my algea problem started when I really had to start trimming my Valisneria! And I have to admit that I dont trim at the root but at the top.. Inalready had the idea the Valisneria did not really like it as the tops started to discolor a bit.. Other than those I dont cut any plants. So there might be a truth there as Inhave to trim the Valisneria a lot! I might have to go through with my removing all Valisneria plan then.. And place my long whished 3d backwall..

The gravel I use I suppose is clean, just normal course river grit/sand.. And since all other plants have no problem growing at all I figure (for now) the gravel/grit is okay. Work on Co2 levels? Its fully automated as is light.. You suppose I might have to dose more?

Last thing: is there a abreviation list on this forum? As you mentioned so many expert terms and abrevs I lost count )

Last last thing, anybody, how can it be mostly/only my Lileaopsis is affected?? And waht could it mean for a probable cause? Could there be a variable/value that only Lileaopsis is more vulnrable to?

Tnx!
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by materializer View Post
Although i have to admit i will have to study on what kind of stuff florish excel is? Never had to bother getting to know it you see..
Flourish excel is basically stabilized gluteraldehyde - a disinfectant. It breaks down in water to CO2. It has anti-algae effects when dosed on certain species of algae like BBA. It is safe when dosed according to the instructions. If you over dose on it then it can cause fish to breath quickly and kill off filter bacteria, but not at the recommended dose. Again, it will stress/kill vals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by materializer View Post
Last thing; spot treatment with syringe excel? Hold the syringe under water and spray onto affected leaves? Same for peroxide?
Yes that is it exactly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by materializer View Post
Last last thing, anybody, how can it be mostly/only my Lileaopsis is affected?? And waht could it mean for a probable cause? Could there be a variable/value that only Lileaopsis is more vulnrable to?
As I said there are a lot of theories on what triggers BBA, the cause is not known for sure. Many believe it is dissolved organic carbon (DOC or TOC) that causes BBA. Cation exchange capacity (CEC) is a term used for describing how well a substrate absorbs/releases cations (mainly + charged particles like nutrients). This term is used with another theory lurking on the forums that it is better to have a substrate that has a high CEC value. To give you some perspective activated carbon in your filter has a very high CEC value. Perhaps it is helpful, but I am not convinced that any of that is absolutely necessary to maintaining a nice tank as most people do not have high CEC substrates or low DOC values and many have nice tanks.

If you are interested in reading the most current thoughts and tests on what causes BBA then you should read through this thread:

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...-analysis.html

While you aren't adding any nutrients to the tank like nitrates or phosphates it seems your plants do not have deficiencies. So I suspect you have found some sort of balance. Perhaps your water source has some nitrates/phosphates in it which are keeping the plants healthy.

You mentioned that you don't know if water changes actually help with anything since your tank is doing well. They do. Water changes replace nutrients and remove DOC and other wastes that build up in the water which can't be seen by the eye. It is a good idea, and good practice, to keep doing them.
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