Struggling to grow Plants and not BBA (Warning: Long Post) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-01-2020, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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Struggling to grow Plants and not BBA (Warning: Long Post)

Every time I think I'm getting the hang of this, something goes wrong and the number of factors to consider just makes my head spin. I've got a planted 20 gallon tank which has been set up for about 9 months. Lighting is a Finnex planted+ HLC. This tank was primarily a shrimp tank, but I eventually added guppies as well about 3 months ago. 2 months ago, I added some dwarf Sag and narrow Leaf pygmy chain sword to try to get a carpet going in my tank. I added Seachem Flourish tabs in the eco-complete substrate to help them as I read they're root feeders. I started dosing NilocG ThriveS about the same time. It calls for 1 ml/5 gallons 1-3 times a week. I have dosed up to 3 times a week with 3 ml and only one of the pygmy chain swords has started to send out runners. the rest of the carpeting plants are dying back and getting BBA. I stared dosing Excel (slowly at first) 0.5 ml daily for a week then 0.7 ml daily for a week and I'm up to 1 ml daily this week and will eventually work up to the recommended dose for 20 gallons. So far my Jungle Val has not melted and is doing better than most of the other plants. I'm so confused. I don't know why the dwarf Sag and Chain swords are doing so poorly and I'm confused as to why the BBA is taking hold. My nitrates used to always be between 5 and 10, but now every time I check, they're 0. I'm wondering if this is why the plants are struggling and the BBA is taking advantage. I also recently had my 20 year old Whisper 30 HOB begin to fail, so I decided to over-filter and got an Qase Biomaster 250 canister which is loaded with Matrix and has a bag of purigen in it which Seachem says could treat up to 100 gallons. I love how crystal clear my water is, but I'm wondering if this is what's zeroing out my nitrates. I don't know what to do differently. my plants are doing poorly and the BBA seems to be growing fast. Do I fertilize more? reduce my lighting? How do I get my nitrates up? At this point, despite all the research I've done, I've come to the conclusion that I have no idea what I'm doing.

Last edited by Shrimpandwhitewine; 09-02-2020 at 12:15 AM. Reason: spelling/grammar
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-15-2020, 07:36 AM
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Way too many changes too fast! Pull as much BBA out as you can by hand then target the rest with hydrogenperoxide in a syringe.

The more changes you make the worse your plants will do. Plants acclimatize to their enviroment. When their enviroment changes they have to reclimatize to the new parameters which causes them strees which is seen in melting and die off. Let everything stablize, stop making changes and be patient. Remove BBA manually.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-16-2020, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Oughtsix View Post
Way too many changes too fast! Pull as much BBA out as you can by hand then target the rest with hydrogenperoxide in a syringe.

The more changes you make the worse your plants will do. Plants acclimatize to their enviroment. When their enviroment changes they have to reclimatize to the new parameters which causes them strees which is seen in melting and die off. Let everything stablize, stop making changes and be patient. Remove BBA manually.
Thanks, that's what I've been doing. All other plants seem to be doing well, but the Dwarf Sag and Dwarf chain swords are really struggling. I can't manually remove the BBA from them without uprooting them so I've been manually applying Excel to the affected plants daily with a syringe. Would you recommended Hydrogen peroxide over excel? I've heard all the negative stuff about Excel as a biocide, but I haven't had any livestock casualties since I started daily dosing and my jungle Val has not melted back at all. I just wish my carpeting plants didn't seem like they're on their way out. I'm wrapping up the cycle on a 10 gallon dirted tank right now and the Dwarf Sag and Dwarf chain-swords are going crazy setting tons of runners. They must love the soil substrate and 40 ppm of nitrate in the water column due to the cycling. If the ones in this 20 gallon totally die, I can probably take cuttings from the runners in my 10 gallon tank and start over.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-17-2020, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Shrimpandwhitewine View Post
Thanks, that's what I've been doing. All other plants seem to be doing well, but the Dwarf Sag and Dwarf chain swords are really struggling. I can't manually remove the BBA from them without uprooting them so I've been manually applying Excel to the affected plants daily with a syringe. Would you recommended Hydrogen peroxide over excel? I've heard all the negative stuff about Excel as a biocide, but I haven't had any livestock casualties since I started daily dosing and my jungle Val has not melted back at all. I just wish my carpeting plants didn't seem like they're on their way out. I'm wrapping up the cycle on a 10 gallon dirted tank right now and the Dwarf Sag and Dwarf chain-swords are going crazy setting tons of runners. They must love the soil substrate and 40 ppm of nitrate in the water the plants due to the cycling. If the ones in this 20 gallon totally die, I can probably take cuttings from the runners in my 10 gallon tank and start over.
I have successfully used hydrogen-peroxide in the past and that is probably the approach I would take. Hydrogen-peroxide breaks down pretty quickly into just water. I believe this would be less stressful on plants than ever varying doses of Excel... but this is just the hunch of someone that can't really say for sure.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-18-2020, 01:10 PM
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Make sure you look up how to use H2o2 properly before you start. Doing it wrong can and will kill your fish and shrimp. Even if they aren't killed outright, you can seriously hurt them if you're not careful.

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