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Old 12-28-2012, 03:19 AM   #1
Unikorn
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Pet store infested with bba


The pet store that I work at has tons of bba in every tank. I was thinking of spot treating with h2o2. Excel would be too expensive to use on such a big system. I also dont want to kill the fish or dwarf crawfish. Any ideas as to how I should get rid of the bba?

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Old 12-28-2012, 05:39 AM   #2
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Ugh thats never fun to deal with!
At the store i work at i have never had a BBA outbreak however in one of the large 160 gallon cichlid sump tank setups i had the start of one, i removed as much as possible by hand, took a razor to the sides of the glass, added an enormous amount of pollywool to the filter as well as some algone and clearmax, took out ALL the ornaments and did a good 50% water change weekly till it was gone.
If you have the algae in your regular fish tanks (the rows) i normally empty out one tank and fully clean it, then setup and re-cycle. Do this to one tank a week, i have started doing this even if there is no reason as the gunk of a million fish coming in and out just adds up no matter how many small water changes you do. haha

In all the aquariums you can, stuff with Siamese algae eaters, they clear BBA up fast.

And prevention! Always use a net soak, i have a bucket where all the nets go after each use thats filled with water treated formalin (don't touch it with ungloved hands) and at the end of the day the nets go into a VERY light bleach and water solutions, then air dryed the rest of the night and in the morning let sit in freshwater before begin used again. This way nothing will transfer from tank to tank.
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Old 12-28-2012, 03:48 PM   #3
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Default Black Beard Algae

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unikorn View Post
The pet store that I work at has tons of bba in every tank. I was thinking of spot treating with h2o2. Excel would be too expensive to use on such a big system. I also dont want to kill the fish or dwarf crawfish. Any ideas as to how I should get rid of the bba?

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Hello U...

This type of algae only grows in fresh water. It doesn't grow in salt water, so it doesn't tolerate even a trace of salt in the water. You could dose a little aquarium salt in the tanks. A teaspoon for every five gallons would be low enough not to negatively affect the fish or any plants.

One other thing. Algae is single celled and thrives in water with high phosphates. Most of the dry fish foods are high in phophates. Maybe you could gradually feed less and see how that works.

Just one reporter's opinion.

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Old 12-28-2012, 03:56 PM   #4
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Smile re:

Thanks guys I will share your suggestions with the owner and see what he wants to do.
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Old 12-28-2012, 04:00 PM   #5
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BBradbury: Algae is a loose term and not all are single-celled. That's a myth.

It's also a myth that phosphates are the cause of algae issues in the planted tank. Example: We add tons of nitrates and phosphates via the EI method and don't run into algae problems.

Please stop spreading misinformation. It's not an opinion but misinformation at this point.

And adding salt to tanks with some invertebrates can kill them.

Unikorn: I think Bree has the right idea re: prevention and cleaning. Especially in a shop environment. But maybe you could try spot treating to see how that works for you?
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:09 PM   #6
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@ somewhatshocked

The way I have understood it, phosphates are not a problem if you have a well planted aquarium. But the opposite is true if you don't have a well planted tank. Your example statement would still makes sense in that regard but maybe not in a store environment.

A quote from Tom barr in another thread on the subject
Quote:
when you have more than 30-50% of the entire surface area covered in a subtropical or tropical shallow lake with macrophytes, adding PO4 = more weeds, the lakes in Florida, 7800 are 4 hectarces or larger, are gin clear regardless of the PO4 content in the water column.

You will get algae where the % of surface area is less, or where wind resuspenision or they have removed the plants etc occur.
http://www.barrreport.com/archive/index.php/t-3347.html
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Old 12-28-2012, 05:35 PM   #7
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I hadn't posted in ages but I had to write one when I came across this thread. Some people here are so arrogant in the way they express themselves. It says a lot about the type of person you are! Don't be so sure about what you say is correct because at the end you might just be wrong.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:00 PM   #8
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You'll note that I said "in the planted tank."

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@ somewhatshocked

The way I have understood it, phosphates are not a problem if you have a well planted aquarium. But the opposite is true if you don't have a well planted tank. Your example statement would still makes sense in that regard but maybe not in a store environment.

A quote from Tom barr in another thread on the subject


http://www.barrreport.com/archive/index.php/t-3347.html
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:25 PM   #9
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Just making sure BBradbury's response wasn't entirely discredited since your response would help achieve that. No hard feelings. Its just the way you phrased it. The detail is easy to miss when OP is talking about a pet store environment. Sorry.
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:31 PM   #10
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Definitely no hard feelings. And it's not personal toward BBradbury. Which is why I mentioned the shop environment/Bree's suggestion in response to the OP.

Just has to be occasionally pointed out when the same myths are repeatedly spread across the forum (not just this thread). Many of those myths greatly confuse new members and people new to the planted tank hobby.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:51 PM   #11
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Default Controlling Algae

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Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
BBradbury: Algae is a loose term and not all are single-celled. That's a myth.

It's also a myth that phosphates are the cause of algae issues in the planted tank. Example: We add tons of nitrates and phosphates via the EI method and don't run into algae problems.

Please stop spreading misinformation. It's not an opinion but misinformation at this point.

And adding salt to tanks with some invertebrates can kill them.

Unikorn: I think Bree has the right idea re: prevention and cleaning. Especially in a shop environment. But maybe you could try spot treating to see how that works for you?
Hello some...

If okay, I beg to differ on the use of salt. In freshwater aquariums, the addition of standard aquarium salt, commercial canning salt or Kosher salt can help control many kinds of algae. If the dose is kept low, less than a tablespoon for every 5 gallons of water. I've used a teaspoon, 1/3rd of a tablespoon, for years in my tanks to keep the fish healthier and to deal with forms of algae. The amount is really minimal and even used routinely, wouldn't have a negative affect on the tank, but has many benefits.

Phosphates have sure been an issue with my tanks. My algae problems didn't get better until I stopped feeding flakes high in phosphates. My regular plants didn't use them, but the algae sure did. When I got more selective with the fish food, my algae problems became a thing of the past.

Quite honestly, I wouldn't recommend something I haven't used many times in my own tanks.

Thanks for keeping a sharp eye on my posts. My wife says I do need periodic supervision, so your concern is understandable.

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Old 12-28-2012, 09:12 PM   #12
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That amount of salt can harm some livestock that many people on the forum keep. Specifically dwarf shrimp and even some sensitive fish. Though, some shrimp could handle a quick dip in salt.

Depending upon the specific salt used, it could drastically increase Total Dissolved Solids, hardness and other parameters that shouldn't be altered. May be fine for Guppies and other common fish but could be rough going with many popular critters today.

It's best to remember that what works in one situation is not going to work in every other situation. Sure, it's up to the reader to know what works for them but it's also up to people who are not new to the hobby or have been on the forum for an extended period of time to make sure their advice won't cause potential harm. For example: In a commercial fish system - which is often (not always) on a central filtration system - adding salt could harm some livestock because all kinds of critters are kept in the same tank system.

This hobby changes and grows quickly. What was standard 5-10 years ago may be generally ignored now. Like Watts Per Gallon, avoiding the addition or abundance of certain nutrients in a planted tank for fear of algae, suggesting people change huge amounts of tank water each week if it's not necessary, et al.

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Originally Posted by BBradbury View Post
If okay, I beg to differ on the use of salt. In freshwater aquariums, the addition of standard aquarium salt, commercial canning salt or Kosher salt can help control many kinds of algae. If the dose is kept low, less than a tablespoon for every 5 gallons of water. I've used a teaspoon, 1/3rd of a tablespoon, for years in my tanks to keep the fish healthier and to deal with forms of algae. The amount is really minimal and even used routinely, wouldn't have a negative affect on the tank, but has many benefits.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:39 PM   #13
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I personally feel a pet store should not use salt in its freshwater tanks.

In my experience some fish, particularly neon tetras and otocinclus, are incredibly sensitive to sudden changes in salinity (or perhaps TDS, which salt raises). The majority of customers will not be using salt in their freshwater aquariums, and neither will they be performing a drip acclimation necessary to avoid this shock.

I've also asked employees of two different LFS about their return rates on these fish at times when they were using salt, and weren't. Though this is a small informal survey, they did invariably report higher return rates when salt was used.

If your customers buy these fish from your salted tanks and most (or all) die, then buy the same from another store with unsalted tanks and have much better results, they won't realize the difference in salinity or the inadequacy of their acclimation is to blame. They'll simply think the other store has fish in better health, and patronize them instead - not just for fish, but often for other, higher profit margin purchases instead.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:59 AM   #14
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Very interesting posts. The store has tried salt, h2o2, and different algae killing chemicals. None of the previously mentioned things helped at all on the BBA. They put "flying fox" in a few of the tanks and they said it cut down on the BBA. That's hard to believe because the algae is pretty bad at this point. But, who knows what it was like before. The entire wall of tanks are on one system, so the possible cure would have to be ok for different kinds of fish. Also, when I tried to manually remove some of the BBA it was really really hard to get off. The entire input and output parts are totally covered in BBA, some of the ornaments, and in one tank even the gravel has some.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unikorn View Post
Very interesting posts. The store has tried salt, h2o2, and different algae killing chemicals. None of the previously mentioned things helped at all on the BBA. They put "flying fox" in a few of the tanks and they said it cut down on the BBA. That's hard to believe because the algae is pretty bad at this point. But, who knows what it was like before. The entire wall of tanks are on one system, so the possible cure would have to be ok for different kinds of fish. Also, when I tried to manually remove some of the BBA it was really really hard to get off. The entire input and output parts are totally covered in BBA, some of the ornaments, and in one tank even the gravel has some.
Hmm just watch out with the flying foxes, when i order them in half come in actual flying foxes (relatively usless, mean fish) and half True Siamese algae eaters. Its the SAE's you want, so make sure the black stripe goes through the back fin.

And when i first started working a couple years ago at the store i took over the fish departrment fish and the tanks were covered in different types of algae.
I had to look at the cause of each type and treat separately.

NEVER use algae remover chemicals, those things are just deadly, and i find do more harm than good.

If its green algae (water bound or stuck on things) i use phosphate removers, and lower the light period, reduce wattage, and up water changes.

Diatoms- i add otos to friendly tanks or young Chinese algae eaters if the tank is more aggressive.

Cleapatra (sp?) is the WORST!! (and not actually an algae) And the most common where i work sadly. It covers EVERYTHING but is so hard to remove, i take all the fish out, ornaments out, turn the lights off and just gravel syphon and clean the glass every other day. Nothing in freshwater aquariums seem to eat it. And normally i will just totally clean out and recycle those tanks effected.

And like i said with BBA honestly just keep at it, every day just scrape the walls and fish out all the stuff that comes off and floats around. I turn the filters off when i do this. And take out all the ornaments and plants.

But if it is REALLY Bad and you have a spare tank just rotate the fish around and fully clean one tank out at a time. It is time consuming but worth it. :P


I hope thats helpful as a super quick run through, algae issues have got to be the second most asked question i get and i've had a lot of experience with it, both fresh and saltwater wise. haha So those are the basic things that seem to work for each algae types.
But all tanks vary..
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