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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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need confirmation on this algae

is this algae staghorn, bba, or something else.
I just need some reassurance of what it is in which I think it's Staghorn variety.







I've worked up my Excel dosage to 3x recommended dosage(1.5ml for my 5gal. tank) and today is the 10th day and 1st day of 3x dosage. I read it may take a couple of weeks to see results in using Excel.
Also for the 1st time today I used a dropper to spot treat some of this, I'm finding it hard to do with a dropper and ordered a syringe, lol.

Started out, thinking it's a 5gal. tank chore for my grandkid want, now, it's turned into a expensive hobby that I've got only myself to blame fer.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-06-2019, 09:51 PM
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The first photo looks like BBA to me. Staghorn is thicker and has branches, while BBA is fine and only branches at its base.

I've used Excel to control BBA, and, yes, it can take some time. You also may want to look at conditions in your tank that promote BBA, and correct those.

Do you have any algae-eating animals in your tank?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kgbudge View Post
The first photo looks like BBA to me. Staghorn is thicker and has branches, while BBA is fine and only branches at its base.

I've used Excel to control BBA, and, yes, it can take some time. You also may want to look at conditions in your tank that promote BBA, and correct those.

Do you have any algae-eating animals in your tank?

kgbudge, I really appreciate your response, made my day. lol
I don't have many plants couple small windelov, one small batari petite, newly planted bacopa and that banana plant. There's a lot of open space sorry to say.


as far as the tank conditions, yeah, I just got done dealing with diatoms and brown mulm in the substrate because of fish food someone dumped in and watnots. I also treated bga with erythromycin. Now this bba and gsa that's starting to pop up moreso.


I recently got a better led light and feel this may be adding to the problem that was already there, seems to accelarated the algae growth.


don't know what's worse bba or Staghorn but am glad you figured that out for me.
I have no animals as of yet, in fear of multiplying in this 5 gallon tank, although my swordtail seems to have been picking on this algae, especially the banana plant leaves in which he made holes in it. I've read of some algae eaters but been reluctant to get on in fear of using chemicals to combat my algae problems and my ph is on the high side 7.6-7.8


I'm all eyes here so... and would look at your suggestions.

Started out, thinking it's a 5gal. tank chore for my grandkid want, now, it's turned into a expensive hobby that I've got only myself to blame fer.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-07-2019, 03:34 PM
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It turns out that BBA vs. staghorn doesn't actually change the treatment; they're both red algae and Excel should knock down both, given time.

If you do get algae eaters, you might see if there's anywhere you can get a banded garra. They're the latest thing in algae control, they'll eat BBA, and they don't get as big as a Siamese algae eater, which is about the only other algae eater I've heard will eat BBA. However, banded garras are fairly new to the hobby -- I think they first became available around 2005 -- and there's nowhere in my neighborhood that has them.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-08-2019, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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thanks for clearing up my thinking on bba/staghorn, both the same in ridding it. I'll read up on the banded garras. (edit) okay I've read a little bit and these algae eater can grow to 3.5" so they say. Geez, I've read many posts where fish keepers adding algae eaters but it makes me wonder what they do with them when they get Huge? Would they or could they abandon the fish at Petco or Petsmart? I was also thinking wouldn't it be great if one could rent an algae eater from either chains? lol


on another note, I broke down seeing the bba still getting longer after 11-12 days of using Excel. Today in fear of the bba spreading, I bleached dipped(5% bleach) all my plants and 2 smooth rocks for 3-5 minutes. "sigh" I just had to, lol. But the bba still hanging on to the banana plant storage roots. The bacopa leaves cleared up clean.

imo, this bba is very stubborn, days ago I sprayed hydrogen peroxide on the banana plant out of the water, I soaked it real good. The bba still seemed to be growing longer so... . Being that the bba survived I was thinking of the possibility that my h2o2 could have loss it's potency. Geez, if I don't have instant results I always start to look for reasons why... .
Now, it may have turned a tad whitish if that at all. Guess time will tell?

thanks for the help

I hope all plants stay good

i did another 3x dose of Excel. According to my personal journal on this journey this is the 15th day of Excel dosing. Started with the recommended daily dosage and worked my way up to 3x the recommended daily dosage.

fish/plants still look okay an so does bba. lol

Started out, thinking it's a 5gal. tank chore for my grandkid want, now, it's turned into a expensive hobby that I've got only myself to blame fer.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 03-09-2019 at 04:19 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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today i did another 3x dose of Excel and from observations it looks like the strands of bba is not growing as much and maybe getting shorter in length if that's the way it disappears, idk. Could this be a turning point in my battle with bba?

Should I reduce my Excel dosage to 2x or stay the course at 3x for now? and what about the future use of Excel if/when it's defeated? do i use the standard daily dose or 2x or 3x's ?

I don't have any algae eaters, will dead bba disintergrate itself and cause no harm as to growing from the dead?

Started out, thinking it's a 5gal. tank chore for my grandkid want, now, it's turned into a expensive hobby that I've got only myself to blame fer.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 03:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pocho View Post
imo, this bba is very stubborn, days ago I sprayed hydrogen peroxide on the banana plant out of the water, I soaked it real good. The bba still seemed to be growing longer so... . Being that the bba survived I was thinking of the possibility that my h2o2 could have loss it's potency. Geez, if I don't have instant results I always start to look for reasons why... .
Now, it may have turned a tad whitish if that at all. Guess time will tell?
H2O2 can lose it's potency. It is an oxidizer and will break down over time when exposed to air.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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H2O2 can lose it's potency. It is an oxidizer and will break down over time when exposed to air.

I was thinking that as I had used the h2o2 spray bottle a couple of months ago. I didn't notice any fizzle when sprayed on the banana plant/bba.

Started out, thinking it's a 5gal. tank chore for my grandkid want, now, it's turned into a expensive hobby that I've got only myself to blame fer.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 06:45 PM
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Red algae (bba and staghorn) are very resistant to hydrogen peroxide in my experience.

Can you please do yourself a favor and start measuring nitrate and phosphates once in the morning and once in the evening?

I just fixed my bba issue this week by making a journal over the last week. Guess what it was? I was dosing with the EI method but my nitrates were around 40 some days, but even worse was that my phosphate would crash to 0 within 4-6 hours of dosing and sit there for two days until I dosed again.

Once I started dosing phosphate once or twice a day to keep it around 1 ppm the bba turned pale and started dying within three days. It was great to see. High co2 and slightly lower light was used as well.

Oh, and I deep cleaned my eheim filter. Took everything out and dumped the water in the lowest section as it was completely disgusting. And of course when I cleaned the algae and trimmed initially I had the filter off and did a massive water change with the gunk floating around.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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I'll keep a better journal and test the water parameters.
Thank you for the advice, and YES! I "had" a very dirty substrate, "sigh"
Todays water parameters before w/c
0 Ammonia, Nitrite
~10-15ppm Nitrate
~1ppm Phosphate

todays observation: looks to have less bba

hmmmm, it is interesting that I've read articles on phosphates and they all don't seem to have the same conclusion of how much is of a good amount of it. One states the API Phosphate kit does not measure "all" the different types of phosphates in the aquarium, omg not again having to guess, lol. and with that said, a good level of phosphate is ~ .5ppm and if seeing 1ppm that amount will help algae. I've also read comments as that of yours 1ppm is desired to keep away algae and not only that but plants use phosphates. This type of conflicting sources gets one confused as it doesn't seem to be a consensus of abetting or detering algae growth for a given amount in the tank.

I dimmed my lights to 50% whites and shortened the on time to 7hours, 1.5hours ramp up/down and 4 hours of peak light time.
I stopped using Phosguard after my wc 3days ago and today the api test kit showed ~1ppm(thats what it looked liked to me). I restarted using Phosguard with my wc today before I read your suggestion of having 1ppm may have helped rid bba. Geez.

I do not use co2 nor do I have a lot of plants being this is only a 5 gallon tank and I've started to dose Nilocg Thrive ~.125ml twice a week with water changes. I guess Thrive may also provide phoshates as the flake fish food as well.
I've cleaned my gravel well the past couple of weeks(deep and disturbing) cleaned my canister and the tanks oem filter which is not much, cleaned all my intake/output hoses. I had diatoms, small time bga(used erythromycin), what seemed to be gsa(bleach dip) and am still working on this bba.

I'm learning and believe I've not done this in a scientific way as having done or added many things to rid the bba.
I'll try to take a new pic of the whole tank to post here

w/c but forgot to clean pre-filters
I wonder if the stringy white filaments on the pre-filters came from my cleaning pad or is of the dead bba





Started out, thinking it's a 5gal. tank chore for my grandkid want, now, it's turned into a expensive hobby that I've got only myself to blame fer.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 03-13-2019 at 12:00 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 05:16 AM
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I think the reason there is so much confusion about algae is because ANY of the key components (nitrate, phosphate, co2, light) being out of balance can create them.

Maybe someone had 0 nitrate but saw that they had 1ppm phosphate and they thought "phosphate MUST cause algae"! In reality, it was the imbalance of nitrate with the phosphate that caused it.

Now, if you aren't using co2 then your plant's engines are turning very slowly so they don't need much fertilizer anyways. That in itself makes balancing harder I imagine. 1ppm of phosphate constantly in that environment may be more prone to creating algae.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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it seems my bba is disappearing! Finally I can see a difference of less bba on my banana plant storage roots.

thank to all who've commented here

Started out, thinking it's a 5gal. tank chore for my grandkid want, now, it's turned into a expensive hobby that I've got only myself to blame fer.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-15-2019, 07:27 PM
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Great to hear. Were you continuing what you did a few posts above? What were the key points?
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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it was not done in a scientific way, lol, as I tried a lot of different things to rid the bba, h020, use of Excel 3x daily dosage, bleach dip, turned down light intensity and shortened "on" time.

I "think" the bleach dip had more of an effect on bba.
time will tell if the light adjustments and Excel usage will keep the bba in check

I learned yet again, I need more patience as I always do, I never learn as to wanting a quick fix and see the algae gone.

Started out, thinking it's a 5gal. tank chore for my grandkid want, now, it's turned into a expensive hobby that I've got only myself to blame fer.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 04:39 AM Thread Starter
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the bba has not returned, knocking on wood. I learned something, Patience!

Started out, thinking it's a 5gal. tank chore for my grandkid want, now, it's turned into a expensive hobby that I've got only myself to blame fer.
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