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Old 11-11-2011, 06:27 PM   #1
JRMott
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Fighting the BBAttle.


I'm nearing my wits end.

16 weeks ago BBA showed up and hasn't left. 12 weeks ago I hacked back most of the effected plants, and dosed H2O2 on effected driftwood. It helped, the driftwood stayed BBA free for a while but the new plant growth was quickly engulfed and now the driftwood is effected again.

It's a 30 gal tank, Marineland C-220 filter, Koralia 240 Pump, and has an Air Stone. I'm running pressurized CO2 through a Bazooka Atomizer and my drop checker is yellow by the end of the day. Dosing RootMedic liquid ferts 3-4x week and using RootMedic tabs as well.

Any suggestions?
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:44 PM   #2
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whats your lighting, height from the substrate and photoperiod?

Did you change any of these after you treated the BBA? If you just eliminate the BBA without treating the cause, it will come back.
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:54 PM   #3
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Lighting is 1x Coralife 96W PC (though it is 96w/30 gallon = 3.2WPG, Hoppy's lighting chart indicates this as low light due to the poor/absent reflectors on Coralife PC fixtures). Lighting is on top of tank, so about 15-16" from substrate. 8 hour photo period, CO2 comes on 1.5 hours before lights and shuts off 1 hour before lights out.

From everything I've read, low co2 is the problem. I tried to fix this by adding the Koralia to better distribute co2/nutrients and adding the airstone so I could up my CO2 higher.

Drop checker is brighter than it's ever been.
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Old 11-11-2011, 07:36 PM   #4
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Don't forget to clean out your filter too. It harbors bba.
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Old 11-11-2011, 08:20 PM   #5
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I was starting to get BBA in my low-tech shrimp tank. No CO2, no ferts, 10 hr photoperiod. I shortened the time on the lights to 8 hours and split the photoperiod. 2 hours in the morning, 6 in the evening, 4 hours between them.

That's the only change I made but ever since then the BBA has been receding. I still see a few little tufts of it here and there occasionally, but it's not spreading anymore and doesn't hang around for long.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:33 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blacksheep998 View Post
I was starting to get BBA in my low-tech shrimp tank. No CO2, no ferts, 10 hr photoperiod. I shortened the time on the lights to 8 hours and split the photoperiod. 2 hours in the morning, 6 in the evening, 4 hours between them.

That's the only change I made but ever since then the BBA has been receding. I still see a few little tufts of it here and there occasionally, but it's not spreading anymore and doesn't hang around for long.
That's a good one and how I got rid of it years ago, I'm a big fan of burst lighting and the split photo period, but with good CO2, I would say if you have a effecint reactor it should come on 30 to 45 minutes before the lights and remain on until lights off at a high ppm without gassing the fauna.

At the same time I would try all the manual cleaning you can do by removing affected leaves, removing wood, stones, filter inlets, etc. to be scrubed and bleached, just be all you can be, and good luck.
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Old 11-11-2011, 09:52 PM   #7
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+1 for info on lighting photoperiod, intensity and how close it is to the substrate.. i run 2 x 24 watts 30 inches above my substrate with bright yellow DC if that helps you at all. im still dialing my lights down as i raise them ever higher
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRMott View Post
Lighting is 1x Coralife 96W PC (though it is 96w/30 gallon = 3.2WPG, Hoppy's lighting chart indicates this as low light due to the poor/absent reflectors on Coralife PC fixtures). Lighting is on top of tank, so about 15-16" from substrate. 8 hour photo period, CO2 comes on 1.5 hours before lights and shuts off 1 hour before lights out.

From everything I've read, low co2 is the problem. I tried to fix this by adding the Koralia to better distribute co2/nutrients and adding the airstone so I could up my CO2 higher.

Drop checker is brighter than it's ever been.
Don't use the drop checker to judge the amount of CO2 you have. It is great for getting you into the right ballpark on CO2, but not at all good for determining that you are right where you need to be. Instead, increase the bubble rate very slightly and watch the plants and fish over a day or two. If the plants look better and the fish don't seem bothered, repeat this. Keep going and eventually you should notice no improvement in the plants, or you will notice the fish are bothered. Then you know you went a bit too far.
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Old 11-12-2011, 01:38 AM   #9
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or you will notice the fish are bothered.
I do think I'm at that point as my tiger barbs are quite lethargic. Swimming still at 45 degree angles and breathing rapidly in a group on the right middle of tank not at surface).

So it seems my co2 is as high as it can go and actually needs to go down a slight bit.
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Old 11-12-2011, 02:14 AM   #10
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How's your plants doing? Do they show signs of trace elements deficiency (ie, twisted leaves and small new leaves and stems breaking off easily). What is your nitrate level? I find that BBA and staghorn would attack on plants and individual leaf that aren't doing well or growing well.
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Old 11-12-2011, 03:29 AM   #11
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How about too little light? PC bulbs only last about a year before spectrum and intensity degrades. And you've been running that tank just over a year now. How old is the bulb?

Don't discount the effect of the BBA itself. Once widespread, it creates its own conditions for continued growth, by affecting the health of plants. Trimming, spot treatments, and correction of other initial issues may not easily break the cycle. If you don't have any Excel-sensitive species, try a full tank overdose.

Finally, boil that driftwood. BBA sinks roots deep in it, which H2O2 doesn't effectively reach; so it'll continue to be a harbor for BBA to pop right back out and spread.
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Old 11-14-2011, 04:13 PM   #12
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When you say to overdose the entire tank with excel...

How much is overdosing for a 55 gallon? Also, how do I know if a plant is excel sensitive? I've been treating BBA that has taken ahold of a piece of driftwood wrapped in taiwan moss. I've also treated with peroxide, and increased c02. The only thing I haven't changed is my lighting, but its only 8 hours at 2.9 wpg. Any ideas?
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Old 11-14-2011, 04:29 PM   #13
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I have never seen BBA not respond to a cleaner tank. When I say cleaner I mean the organic levels. If your increasing co2, what are you really doing? Your cleaning your tank of organics by having the plants uptake more. But what if there's not enough plants to make up the difference. If you have BBA IMO your biofilter is just not cutting it for your conditions. So help it out by using Carbon/Purigen in your filter, feeding less if possible and keeping up or increasing water changes for a few weeks and see what happens.
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Old 11-14-2011, 04:44 PM   #14
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I have never seen BBA not respond to a cleaner tank. When I say cleaner I mean the organic levels. If your increasing co2, what are you really doing? Your cleaning your tank of organics by having the plants uptake more. But what if there's not enough plants to make up the difference. If you have BBA IMO your biofilter is just not cutting it for your conditions. So help it out by using Carbon/Purigen in your filter, feeding less if possible and keeping up or increasing water changes for a few weeks and see what happens.
Cool! It makes sense, so I'll give it a shot. I haven't been extremely aggressive about attacking this stuff mostly because no one has decided to pay me a salary to get rid of it. In other words, hehe, I still have to go to work all day EVERY day.... And I've got a pregnant wife at home who thinks I'm going to hate our kid if he's not an aquarist. Hahahaha. So I'm trying to spend more time rubbing her belly at night than elbow deep in my tanks. Oh well. I'll try this out for now. Thanks!
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