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Old 12-26-2012, 09:08 PM   #1
shinycard255
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BBA is killing me! Thinking about going low-tech because of it


So BBA has been the death of me. I have been battling it for at least 6 months, if not longer. I thought I had a grip on it at one point in time because it stopped spreading and started diminishing, but it's starting to spread again.

I've tried numerous things to try and stop it, but yet to no avail, it still comes out ahead. I've tried tweaking the CO2 input so I have a more consistent amount in the water by adjusting when the CO2 comes on/off in comparison to the lights. I've tried spot treating the bad areas with both H2O2 and Excel. I've turned over the flourite that has BBA on it so that the BBA doesn't get anymore light. I've tweaked the amount of light over the tank. (Obviously, I didn't do all of these at once, but over the course of the past 6+ months that I've been battling it)

I don't know what to do anymore. I've read over a bunch of the threads about BBA and I've tried almost all those suggestions as well. The BBA just looks so nasty and I can't stand looking at it anymore.

Any other suggestions before I pull the plug on my high-tech setup and go back to low-tech?
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:00 PM   #2
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I had a BBA problem too, got rid of it by using Easy Carbo, almost twice the recommended dose daily, for a week or 6 (shrimp, snails, fish were fine). Flourish Excel would have been fine too. And I removed a reflector of the back one of the 2 T5 tubes (Juwel Rio 125) as it gave too much light on the background.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:10 PM   #3
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Until you master CO2, BBA will follow you.
Focus on growing plants and watching that.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:50 PM   #4
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I agree that you still have some tweaking to do. In the meantime, for a short-term fix, check out this thread (read all the way through):

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=20172
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:01 PM   #5
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Unless you lay all the details out on the table, you'll get generic answers.

Some of this is in your 60G thread, but we have no idea about current lighting schedule/distance, ferts, etc.

A pic of the algae in question can be useful. Several types are commonly called BBA.

Is the algae on the substrate in a high or low flow area, or distributed evenly? Is it on plants? Particular ones? Any noticeable relation to lighting distance or high/low flow there?
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkCobra View Post
Unless you lay all the details out on the table, you'll get generic answers.

Some of this is in your 60G thread, but we have no idea about current lighting schedule/distance, ferts, etc.

A pic of the algae in question can be useful. Several types are commonly called BBA.

Is the algae on the substrate in a high or low flow area, or distributed evenly? Is it on plants? Particular ones? Any noticeable relation to lighting distance or high/low flow there?
Yes, it is my 60G (I can never find time to update my journals anymore)

My current set-up:
-Lights are 2x T5HO (meant for hydroponics) 12" above tank. Puts me at ~45-50 par at the substrate
-5lb CO2 tank with Fisher dual gauge regulator, Brass CGA inlet, burkert solenoid, Ideal needle valve running at ~6bps (hard to count)
-EI dosing per Yet Another Nutrient Calculator on a 60G tank (was dry dosing, just switched over to liquid)
-Dirt capped with Flourite
-60% WC weekly

CO2 schedule
11am-2:30pm & 5pm-8:30pm

Light schedule
1pm-4pm & 6pm-10pm

pics (I'm ashamed to show them ):










All of it is scattered throughout the tanks. The most is on my Anubias. It grows on my Anubias Nana and Amazon Sword the most, then usually on equipment and the substrate. I will probably end up cutting that leaf off of the Anubias and a few other leaves as well. The Anubias and Amazon Sword are both in very high light areas of the tank. They both get hit with a lot of light. I've also heard that Flourite likes BBA, but that may be a myth, who knows. The algae is found in both high and low flow areas, it seems to like both.

A few months ago I moved my powerhead to the other side of the tank so now the flow out of the canister filter is getting blown out towards the front glass pane and to the other side, while the powerhead blows from the other side along the back wall. I used to have both on the same side, not sure if that would have anything to do with it.

If you have any other questions, just ask
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Last edited by shinycard255; 12-27-2012 at 01:03 AM.. Reason: Added stuff
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevmo911 View Post
I agree that you still have some tweaking to do. In the meantime, for a short-term fix, check out this thread (read all the way through):

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=20172
I will sit down and make some time for this as it is 27 pages long. Thanks for the advice, I will check this out
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:57 AM   #8
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If it makes you feel any better (and I know it won't) I hear the CO2 mantra over and over and over and over about BBA. Riddle me this: I have plenty of NO3, PO4, K, CSM+B and FE, 5+ BPS CO2, bright yellow on the BC, with 6500k CFLs 8 hours a day, on timers, with 50% weekly WCs and using Wet's calculator for fert dosing EI. Yet:

I get BBA growing out of the CO2 spray bar holes coming from the Cerges reactor.

...concentrate on the plants they say....

Going on almost a year fight here....
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:30 AM   #9
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What is your tank equipment? filter? total flow gph?

According to James's Planted Tank.net the cause of the problem is:
In a high light tank it is an indication of low or fluctuating CO2 levels or not enough water circulation around the plants. In a low light tank it is often due to changing CO2 levels.

If you got your co2 worked out, I think you have a low flow problem in the tank.

I would recommend leaving your co2 constantly on like 1-2 hours on before the light goes on and 1 hour before the light goes off.
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n00dl3 View Post
What is your tank equipment? filter? total flow gph?

According to James's Planted Tank.net the cause of the problem is:
In a high light tank it is an indication of low or fluctuating CO2 levels or not enough water circulation around the plants. In a low light tank it is often due to changing CO2 levels.

If you got your co2 worked out, I think you have a low flow problem in the tank.

I would recommend leaving your co2 constantly on like 1-2 hours on before the light goes on and 1 hour before the light goes off.
Filter: Fluval 406 (383gph)
Powerhead: MaxiJet 900 (230gph)
Both of these put me at 613gph

I'm also already turning the CO2 on before the lights turn on, and vice versa. DC is pushing yellow, maybe changing the flow up a bit might help
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:51 AM   #11
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Lower your tank temp. Constant 65-70f if livestock will be ok.

What is your current temp?

I has a lot of BBA when I was closer to 80f and I even had 2 pressurized co2 systems with EI dosing and did all kinds of thing about light.

I don't want to sound like I'm telling everyone have a colder tank as a solution for all issues, but algae seems to behave better now.

The other factor I believe* had something to do is good flow and over filtration.

I wasn't doing water changes. Every 6 months like 20%... Using RO/DI water for top offs.


* i believe = I'm not certain.
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:14 AM   #12
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Current temp is 75˚.

I just started doing water changes with RO/DI water mixed with regular tap water within the past few weeks. I top off with RO/DI water daily, about 1/3 gallon.

It is possible that the flow in my tank has to change a bit. I'm going to move the powerhead back to the same side as my filter output and see how everything goes over the next few weeks. I'm also going to try to get rid of as much of it as I can this weekend during my usual WC.
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shinycard255 View Post
Filter: Fluval 406 (383gph)
Powerhead: MaxiJet 900 (230gph)
Both of these put me at 613gph

I'm also already turning the CO2 on before the lights turn on, and vice versa. DC is pushing yellow, maybe changing the flow up a bit might help
Your flow doesn't seem that bad. I assumed they are directed where all your plants are swaying with no dead spots... even with carpet plant or low growing plants.

IME, I usually get BBA when I ran out of CO2, lots of light, and low flow.

I would spot treat the BBA with excel. Here is what I do, turn off all filters and power head for 15 minutes so there is no more water movement in the tank. Then take a springe or turkey blaster filled with 100% excel. Squirt the excel at the BBA location and leave it for about 10 minutes. After that, turn everything on. I usually treat it for two consecutive days. Then wait until 3-5 days, you'll see the BBA changed to pinkish color. That means they are dying.


Last, I would either increase your flow or optimize your current flow for maximum distribution.
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shinycard255 View Post
It is possible that the flow in my tank has to change a bit. I'm going to move the powerhead back to the same side as my filter output and see how everything goes over the next few weeks. I'm also going to try to get rid of as much of it as I can this weekend during my usual WC.
Ohhh... yea... make sure your ouput doesn't counteract each other out. I like to make one continously loop.
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Old 12-27-2012, 02:52 AM   #15
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Shinycard,

Thanks for being brave and sharing those pictures. Most of us have seen similar in our own tanks at some point.

Nothing in the additional info is jumping out at me as the culprit. I see you have a drop checker, and assume you are using a proper 4°KH solution. I see also you've reduced light, which *did* look excessive six months ago or less.

Once you reach this extreme level of algae infestation, correcting an underlying problem typically has little impact on this kind of algae. It seems to be able to modify its own environment to be favorable for continued growth, even beyond the obvious detrimental health impact on plants.

Gotta hit it hard to turn a tank like this around. Wipe out all you can in one pass. If you haven't tried the Excel overdose whole tank treatment yet, by all means do it. It works well most of the time. If you have tried that and it failed, I have an interesting (but experimental) treatment that's much more potent.
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