Bba (UPDATE) - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 175 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ken Keating1 View Post
Amy, what's the condition of the wood and how long has it been in water? Is it firm, hard to the touch, or getting a little soft, somewhat pliable?
Hmm- Ill take a look at it closer. It is a mixture of woods. Spiderwood and Hornwood. The spiderwood is probably 3 years old, the Hornwood appx a year.
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post #32 of 175 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 01:35 AM Thread Starter
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Hmm- Ill take a look at it closer. It is a mixture of woods. Spiderwood and Hornwood. The spiderwood is probably 3 years old, the Hornwood appx a year.
The hornwood is still hard. The spiderwood, if you take a thumbnail to it, is soft and leaves a residue under nail.

The softer the wood the easier for the BBA to take a foothold? Or is it just the wood itself, the decomposition into water column that is the contributing factor?


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post #33 of 175 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 04:20 PM
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The hornwood is still hard. The spiderwood, if you take a thumbnail to it, is soft and leaves a residue under nail.

The softer the wood the easier for the BBA to take a foothold? Or is it just the wood itself, the decomposition into water column that is the contributing factor?
BBA can attach to very hard surfaces, glass included, so getting a foothold is not the issue. As time goes on my tank is getting more BBA. Last year I had none, but this year I'm seeing more, yet nothing has really changed regarding dosing and maintenance. But I noticed the wood is getting softer, much softer, which I believe it's starting to decompose so i think it's releasing organics into the water which is generating the BBA. The wood will be coming out soon, but I haven't had the time to find a replacement. This is my speculation. Unfortunately with BBA no one knows the causes or has a cure all treatment, so it's a trial and error to try to eliminate it. I'd remove the spiderwood and see what happens.


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post #34 of 175 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 04:51 PM
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Nobody runs a perfectly clean tank, organics are present, in non CO2 tanks like yours you may have to keep the light period short(try 4 hours) and low <50par at substrate).

I think you have already enumerated the potential fixes that could help, now its a matter of how much weight and how drastic you make each change.

Any hardscape covered in BBA can be pulled out of the tank, mechanically remove as much BBA as possible, and then brus with Excel/Glut, plants too but it might melt them, the brushing will work, and prevent it from returning. It can be done in tank(lower water level so the hardscape is in air) but concentrated Excel/Peroxide is toxic and might bother your fish.

You could also try the Excel/Peroxide localized area method(enclose an area and syringe in concentrated peroxide or excel then circulate with airstone) (@Deanna method for groups of plants) but if it were me I'd just pull them out, brush them and keep them in a bucket in water for a day or two and then return them to the tank.

The debates on what causes it or removes it aren't really helpful, mechanical removal, brushing excel/glut remove/kill it, then keeping up with water changes and lowering light and, increasing healthy plant mass keep it controlled.
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post #35 of 175 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Nobody runs a perfectly clean tank, organics are present, in non CO2 tanks like yours you may have to keep the light period short(try 4 hours) and low <50par at substrate).

I think you have already enumerated the potential fixes that could help, now its a matter of how much weight and how drastic you make each change.

Any hardscape covered in BBA can be pulled out of the tank, mechanically remove as much BBA as possible, and then brus with Excel/Glut, plants too but it might melt them, the brushing will work, and prevent it from returning. It can be done in tank(lower water level so the hardscape is in air) but concentrated Excel/Peroxide is toxic and might bother your fish.

You could also try the Excel/Peroxide localized area method(enclose an area and syringe in concentrated peroxide or excel then circulate with airstone) (@Deanna method for groups of plants) but if it were me I'd just pull them out, brush them and keep them in a bucket in water for a day or two and then return them to the tank.

The debates on what causes it or removes it aren't really helpful, mechanical removal, brushing excel/glut remove/kill it, then keeping up with water changes and lowering light and, increasing healthy plant mass keep it controlled.
Thanks- all this makes very good sense. looks like I will need to lower my photo-period even more.

After spraying the wood with Excel yesterday, I took out all the plants. The crypt spiralis was the most severely effected by BBA so threw it out. All the crypts, a lily, java ferns, I took off leaves with any visual signs of BBa and sprayed all others with Excel outside of water and then dropped into my 30 gallon breeder. The plants look fine,

not stressed.

The airlines, air-stones, heater, inlet, outlets, -- all taken over with BBA, I took out and replaced or sanitized. Writing this, I just remembered- order a new pre-filter sponge.



In couple days when sand comes, Ill take all fish out and swap out substrate.

The filter though, wont it harbor spores? I really dont feel like doing a fish-in cycle with discus right now; but, I suppose I could if need be.
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post #36 of 175 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 05:12 PM
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Though not an answer it gives a lot of details...
https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...ution-bba.html

My take on it after a few years (yes years on and off)

Waste organics.. be it dead/dying plants or in this case wood.. and concurrent local release of ammonia..

A couple of this "I" witnessed..
Tuft BBA growing VERY well on spray bar of filter..
They loved it.

More dead leaves more BBA..sort of starts a feedback loop type thing.

CO2 fluctuations (not % if steady) a possibility more on the line of effecting growing plants.. see above sentence.

Adding aeration...one I wish I would have tried on the 55 b4 breaking it down (due to mechanical failure not bba)
Of course from the above link I posted speculation is O2 helps eliminate organics. Can see this working.. to a point..


As to different cures/different tanks.. Certainly not unusual since each is different..

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post #37 of 175 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Though not an answer it gives a lot of details...
https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...ution-bba.html

My take on it after a few years (yes years on and off)

Waste organics.. be it dead/dying plants or in this case wood.. and concurrent local release of ammonia..

A couple of this "I" witnessed..
Tuft BBA growing VERY well on spray bar of filter..
They loved it.

More dead leaves more BBA..sort of starts a feedback loop type thing.

CO2 fluctuations (not % if steady) a possibility more on the line of effecting growing plants.. see above sentence.

Adding aeration...one I wish I would have tried on the 55 b4 breaking it down (due to mechanical failure not bba)
Of course from the above link I posted speculation is O2 helps eliminate organics. Can see this working.. to a point..


As to different cures/different tanks.. Certainly not unusual since each is different..
Thanks for the link Jeff. This will help.

Ill keep an eye out for my wood in future. The spiderwood will not be going back in- the Hornwood is still pretty stable though, so it will ---and my Blue phantom Pleco needs it for security. .
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post #38 of 175 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 07:04 PM
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The filter though, wont it harbor spores? I really dont feel like doing a fish-in cycle with discus right now; but, I suppose I could if need be.
Not sure about that, with no light it can't sustain growth in there IMO.
But it would be good idea to rinse the filter media and sponges repeatedly with clean tank water.

You may also consider using Purigen in the filter to suck up Organics as well.
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post #39 of 175 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 11:53 PM
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I think that only by debate and sharing our experiences with this scourge will we ever be able to if not defeat , at least control it . We all know that Excel/H2O2 will kill it , but why does it exist and how do we make our tanks an unfriendly environment for it ?

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post #40 of 175 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 12:47 AM
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I have read and listened to various opinions on this forum regarding BBA's cause, and still, regardless of whatever steps I take from those recommendations- the BBA continues.

It has gotten worse of late. The last advice I heeded was that the organics were too high- despite 75% water changes every 3 days. So, in the last 2 weeks, I went to every other day water changes of 75% with gravel cleanings. It looks worse. It has now started to cover the substrate.
Water changes donít hurt BBA, it rather supports it. What really damages BBA is well filtered water by healthy plants.
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post #41 of 175 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 08:58 PM
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Water changes donít hurt BBA, it rather supports it. What really damages BBA is well filtered water by healthy plants.
I'll ignore the water change comment for now, but what do plants take up quicker/first Ammonium or Nitrate?
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post #42 of 175 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 09:57 PM
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@Edward @Asteroid

Alleochemicals produced by plants, their concentrations and ability to inhibit algae(and same species growth) is not a well understood, nor is it readily applied to aquariums because we do not study our tanks at the bacterial and microscopic level. The mechanism by which healthy plant mass inhibits algae, the causation is not known but the correlation clearly is well known.

Concentration of Alleochemicals and BB being reduced by water changes either too large or too frequent is not something that has been proven or studied much in a robust way. Stressing plants by changing nutrient concentrations too abruptly (like 50% water changes) is also something not studied or well proven but in general this notion is supported by many aquarists.

@Edward is not alone, there are many experienced Aquarists who don't advise changing more than WC more than 25-30% at a time due to potential loss of Bacteria or for reasons they can't explain except it is preferable for their plants and equilibrium to keep to a smaller water change schedule and dose more lean. My tank has found a nice equilibrium where I don't want to dose too much (I am significantly leaner than PPS-PRO) nor let things bottom out with large water changes.

The correlation between TOCs and lowering them by water changes, and that cleaning up dirty tanks and removing organics does aid in reducing algae is more readily adopted.

The two ideas are independant of each other(and somewhat contradictory), so that vague general advice falls apart and leads to debates, that is why I prefer to look at specific cases.

When someone has BBA more often than not it is due to poor maintenance practices, too much light and/or organics, the common and most effective way to get rid of it involves manual removal, water changes, and then reduction in light as prevention. Once unhealthy plant matter is present, there will be an increase in organics the only prudent way forward is removal by mechanical means, primarily pruning, dipping, and frequent water changes.

However if you are setting up a hardscape focussed tank, low tech, or many other types with lean fertilizer regimes and less frequent water changes it is often not beneficial to change too much water.

There is merit in both positions but not if taken out of context.
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Last edited by cl3537; 08-19-2019 at 10:00 PM. Reason: ...
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post #43 of 175 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 10:15 PM
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what do plants take up quicker/first Ammonium or Nitrate?

Ammonium..Almost all plants prefer it first over Nitrates..Takes less internal energy to use it..as to my understanding of it.
though any simple question usually has a complicated answer.. like thus:


Quote:
First of all, we should distinguish clearly between
1. Preferred for actual uptake by the plant at the root surface
2. Preferred for growth and yield formation
3. Preferred by the agronomist / farmer (crops donít think about costs)
Add 1: Almost all plants take up ammonium more rapidly when both forms are available at the root surface (hydroponics), and this applies even more so to conventional, standard crops. A recent example https://www.researchgate.net/publica...ition_of_Maize. In this regard, I donít agree with A K Singh. Crops like blueberries (comment by G Agegnehu) and tea (https://www.researchgate.net/publica...inensis_Plants) are well adapted to acidic soil conditions and show good uptake of and growth with ammonium. At the electrophysiological level the preferential uptake of ammonium is explained by the fact that nitrate uptake is upward the electrical gradient, requiring either direct ATP input or proton cotransport mechanisms. This makes the nitrate uptake process inefficient, in addition to the fact that the negatively charged functional groups in the cell wall repel nitrate, while they attract and concentration ammonium near the root cell membrane, the first metabolic barrier for uptake. The last comments, however, apply to anions vs cations in general and are not specific to N forms.

https://www.researchgate.net/post/Wh...ogen_for_plant

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post #44 of 175 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 10:36 PM
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I recall reading in a thread somewhere on here when I was doing battle with various kinds of algae about a genius solution someone devised to basically put a bell jar type contraption over an affected plant, spot treat it with either glut or H2O2 without nuking the surround plants or livestock.

Maybe someone remembers this & where it was? Didn't bookmark it, as BBA is the one algae that hasn't taken over my tank--thus far. Have a little on some damaged leaf edges, but that's it so far--knock wood.
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post #45 of 175 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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I really dont take seriously anyone that throws a simplistic, uncontextualized reason for BBA at me.

I do not think it is only due to the lack of maintenance in a tank. So many people say that as if it was the "cause and cure".
I have beautiful, full grown discus in this tank ( did have Altum Angels). My fish dont just survive- they thrive. I do minimum 2-75% water changes weekly. in

IN past 2 weeks Ive been doing 3 x 75% water changes in attempt to eliminate the ammonia released by my fish before turned to nitrates. It has become worse- spreading to top of gravel.

Nor do I believe its all due to high light.

I do believe these both can be factors.

I took all the substrate out yesterday. There was some deitrus buildup, but for a tank that has had the same substrate for several years it was minimal. No smell beyond that earthiness see in a healthy, thriving aquarium.
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