getting rid of black brush algae
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Old 02-11-2005, 08:36 PM   #1
mr hyde
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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, 08:45 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, 10:11 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, 02:42 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.

Mike
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Old 02-12-2005, 05:29 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, 12:05 PM   #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 02-12-2005, 08:00 PM   #7
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Listen to wolfy. He knows his EI dosing. I adapted one of his dosing schedules for my 75 gal High light tank and the plants are responding very well. Make sure your co2 is up to at least 30ppm with his schedule and you'll see great results.

Marcel
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Old 02-12-2005, 09:53 PM   #8
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when doing diy CO2, how do you test for CO2 ppm? i look at the bubbles as they come out and by the "eye-ball" method, there seems to be 1 bubble per minute...how do i know what that translates into??
thanks
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Old 02-13-2005, 12:19 AM   #9
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If you have BBA then I highly doubt you have 30ppm of CO2.
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Old 02-13-2005, 04:43 AM   #10
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thanks craig!
you are the man with all the answers!
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Old 02-13-2005, 05:57 PM   #11
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Haha, I wish I had all the answer's.. But thanks!
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Old 02-13-2005, 08:18 PM   #12
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I've kept the co2 at 30 ppm or a bit higher for the last 3 months. I use the co2/kh chart and keep my ph at the right level to achieve the 30ppm. I also have a lamotte co2 test kit I occasionally use to double check my levels. Having high co2 levels was one of the things I had read about early on when I had this problem so I've kept a close eye on that one. My plants all do well, usually the water looks like a glass of 7up with everything pearling and growing well. Nitrates between 5 and 10ppm, phosphates between .5 and 1ppm. My nitrate kit is a lamotte, I use a red sea phosphate kit and have double checked my phosphate kit with another red sea kit to verify results. As far as I can tell everything is in order and this stuff should be clearing up but it just goes on growing on about everything. I trim the bba coated leaves every week and vacuum the fallen algae from the gravel. There is no trouble with any other type of algae, even my glass stays pretty much algae free.
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Old 02-15-2005, 07:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr hyde
I've kept the co2 at 30 ppm or a bit higher for the last 3 months. I use the co2/kh chart and keep my ph at the right level to achieve the 30ppm. I also have a lamotte co2 test kit I occasionally use to double check my levels. Having high co2 levels was one of the things I had read about early on when I had this problem so I've kept a close eye on that one. My plants all do well, usually the water looks like a glass of 7up with everything pearling and growing well. Nitrates between 5 and 10ppm, phosphates between .5 and 1ppm. My nitrate kit is a lamotte, I use a red sea phosphate kit and have double checked my phosphate kit with another red sea kit to verify results. As far as I can tell everything is in order and this stuff should be clearing up but it just goes on growing on about everything. I trim the bba coated leaves every week and vacuum the fallen algae from the gravel. There is no trouble with any other type of algae, even my glass stays pretty much algae free.
So is it still growing or not?
You need to remove what's there.
The high levels of CO2 wills top the growth, it will not remove it.
You can prune it off easily and then replant.

But you claim it's not and it's still growing, unlike test kits, algae never lies, add more CO2 than you are. Ignore your test for a little while, slowly add more. If you have a little surface movement, that's ideal. Turn CO2 off at night, that will prevent high levels from building up and allow a chance to off gas at night.

Add more KNO3/KH2PO4/CO2 and traces.

Regards,
Tom Barr
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Old 02-16-2005, 05:56 AM   #14
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Thanks Tom
I'll try upping the co2. Your saying that bba can't reproduce when there are high co2 levels? I'm sure now that it can't be starved of phosphates. I'm sure you knew that already but i was out of ideas at the time. I'll continue to dose everything like always with a little more on traces.
Hyde
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Old 02-16-2005, 11:53 AM   #15
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The CO2 does help slow down the growth (very good) but does not stop it completely. I went through a month long campaigne of sitting in front of the tank every morning and afternoon and removing it by hand. I trimmed and trashed plants that were infested and removed individual pieces of flourite with tongs (my tanks 30" tall and I can't reach the bottom). Now every once and a while a piece of it will show up and I just pull it out, so I guess your never rid of it. The up side is, if there's ever a Aquarium tong competition I will definitely be in the running for first place, good luck.
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