Eliminating BBA tank wide - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-21-2020, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
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Eliminating BBA tank wide

Hi guys,

I've got a BBA outbreak that's not particularly dense anywhere but instead just a tuft here or there spread throughout the tank. I've reduced my photoperiod and ordered some purigen to lower organics in the water as well. I've also just dosed slightly over the recommendation of excel as I've heard it can help kill it.

I thought afterward I should probably seek advice here before proceeding. Is there a way to eliminate and tank wide infestation? I.e. Not trying to target every spot individually.

Should mention I have Amanos in the tank as well.
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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-22-2020, 12:38 AM
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Short term: one dose of 1ml Excel / gal of tank water. This should kill all of it within 3 days (it will turn orange). Can be done weekly.

Long term: healthy plants. Start with having the right amount (PAR) and quality (PUR) of light for your CO2 level.

If you want us to provide opinions on your entire setup, then post as much of the following info as possible:

- Light (make & model): ideally, PAR and PUR reading at the substrate and photoperiod?
- CO2 setup (if any) and, if you inject CO2, what is the CO2 ppm level and how is it measured?
- Current NO3, PO4, GH, KH, pH and TDS readings?
- What you are dosing (product and quantity) and how often?
- Substrate type and how long has it been in place?
- What is your filter setup?
- Cleaning regimen (filter and water change frequency and amount)?
- Circulation: surface rippling and are all plants gently moving from top to bottom?
- What is your water source and do you use a water softener?
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-22-2020, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
Short term: one dose of 1ml Excel / gal of tank water. This should kill all of it within 3 days (it will turn orange). Can be done weekly.

Long term: healthy plants. Start with having the right amount (PAR) and quality (PUR) of light for your CO2 level.

If you want us to provide opinions on your entire setup, then post as much of the following info as possible:

- Light (make & model): ideally, PAR and PUR reading at the substrate and photoperiod?
- CO2 setup (if any) and, if you inject CO2, what is the CO2 ppm level and how is it measured?
- Current NO3, PO4, GH, KH, pH and TDS readings?
- What you are dosing (product and quantity) and how often?
- Substrate type and how long has it been in place?
- What is your filter setup?
- Cleaning regimen (filter and water change frequency and amount)?
- Circulation: surface rippling and are all plants gently moving from top to bottom?
- What is your water source and do you use a water softener?
@Deanna

Thanks for the response! Here is the info you requested

So just to make sure, the short term solution is to add 1mL excel/gallon and that will be safe for my shrimp and plants? Also, if I've already dosed 5mL, should I perform a water change before dosing your recommended amount?

My plants are, SR, rotala (colorata, rotund, Enie, AR mini, pearl weed, and dwarf hairgrass.

Light is a Nicrew Deluxe. Here is the thread where someone provided me the part ratings for the light.
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/s....php?t=1306339
My photoperiod is currently 8 hours. Looking into a ramp dimmer to reduce intensity.

CO2- DIY CO2 (citric acid) - 30+ppm based on drop checker (lime green/yellowish)

Nitrate ramps from 5 to 25 ppm throughout the week with EI dosing.
Phosphate (NA)
GH 8-10
kH 4
pH 7.6 degassed
TDS (NA)

Dosing - Thrive (all in one) 3X per week at 2mL per dose (recommended for high light tanks)

Substrate - Eco complete + sand (in place about 1 year but been rescaped)

Filter setup - HOB (CO2 outfitted into intake)

Cleaning - 50% water change weekly, media rinsed in change water, filter cleaned as needed

Circulation - just filter, don't see visible movement of plants

Water source - Well water (water softener), recently been lowering natural nitrate levels by filling tub with floaters and using that water (nitrate sink method).

Let me know if anything else could help!
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-23-2020, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Jah410 View Post
So just to make sure, the short term solution is to add 1mL excel/gallon and that will be safe for my shrimp and plants? Also, if I've already dosed 5mL, should I perform a water change before dosing your recommended amount?
Yes. Just wait a day after your 5ml dose. Excel only lasts a day, at most.

The Nicrew line is typically a medium PAR light, but this new Nicrew Deluxe BrightLED, which I haven’t seen before, is far above their typical line if - IF - that one linked data point is correct. Is it possible to get corroborating data?

I’m not a fan of DIY CO2. My experience with it is that it is very inconsistent and this results in problems with plant health and increased algae. Perhaps another member that is more confident in DIY CO2 will comment. Your pH degassed is 7.6. Is that leaving a sample of tank water sitting out for several days? What is your fully gassed pH?

IF that PAR data is truly that high and IF your CO2 consistency meets my expectations, you would be expected to fight algae on an on-going basis.

You use water from a water softener and your GH is 8? That doesn’t make sense. You should be close to zero with a well-functioning water softener.

I would add an additional pump to help with circulation. Koralia’s are a good line.

Dosing and maintenance look fine. It would be good to know your PO4 levels.
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 03:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jah410 View Post
So just to make sure, the short term solution is to add 1mL excel/gallon and that will be safe for my shrimp and plants? Also, if I've already dosed 5mL, should I perform a water change before dosing your recommended amount?
Yes. Just wait a day after your 5ml dose. Excel only lasts a day, at most.

The Nicrew line is typically a medium PAR light, but this new Nicrew Deluxe BrightLED, which I haven’t seen before, is far above their typical line if - IF - that one linked data point is correct. Is it possible to get corroborating data?

I’m not a fan of DIY CO2. My experience with it is that it is very inconsistent and this results in problems with plant health and increased algae. Perhaps another member that is more confident in DIY CO2 will comment. Your pH degassed is 7.6. Is that leaving a sample of tank water sitting out for several days? What is your fully gassed pH?

IF that PAR data is truly that high and IF your CO2 consistency meets my expectations, you would be expected to fight algae on an on-going basis.

You use water from a water softener and your GH is 8? That doesn’t make sense. You should be close to zero with a well-functioning water softener.

I would add an additional pump to help with circulation. Koralia’s are a good line.

Dosing and maintenance look fine. It would be good to know your PO4 levels.
@Deanna

So in the interim I tried spot dosing with another 5ml excel and it's been 2 days and it's not responding at all. Prior to using excel, I did the same with HP and it didn't turn orange and die either. Is this normal? Seems tougher to kill than most suggest with these methods.

Light - unfortunately, that's the only par data I've been able to track down for this light. The same guy has performed similar videos on various other lights so if those line up with your expectations for those lights then maybe that could offer some support?

pH - 7.6 is left for several hours while running an aerator into a cup.

Typically I find my pH around 6.2-6.4 when gassed fully.

DIY CO2 - I've never quite understood the issue with diy co2. If the co2 level reaches and stayes at or above 30ppm each day, how does it differ from pressurized? Genuinely curious.

gH - sorry I forgot to add that I add seachems gH supplement to my water before each change to help my shrimp health.

Considering getting the nicrew dimmer pro which would allow me to limit my intensity on a day cycle. Do you think this would be a good idea to help combat alage? Currently amazon appears to be out of stock so waiting on them to return.
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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 05:56 AM
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Seriously get dimmer, being able to step your light intensity so that you say have 25% intensity early morn/late afternoon, 45% mid morn/mid afternoon and say 65-85% across 3-4hr midday stretch was game changer for me. I hated being stuck with 4-6hrs of light on my tank, that lasted about 4wks. Remember with lower intensity light early AM and PM you can narrow your co2 time range also. Plants to me always behave more normally if you simulate a true natural daylight cycle, nature ramps up light across day.

Before say 9:30 AM close to 40% of light (mostly red/yellow) is reflected off surface of water. Only a dim blue glow penetrates water surface. This is type of lighting ramp plants have spent eons adapting to. Between say 9:30-10:30 light and red/yellow content ramps up considerably, reverse that same ramp in afternoon hrs.

This graph only shows ramp up across morning hrs, flop it side to side and you’ll get how light behaves ramping down across afternoon, in most tropical or sub-tropical environments cloud cover or rain storms will build across afternoons further diffusing light in those periods.

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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jah410 View Post
So in the interim I tried spot dosing with another 5ml excel and it's been 2 days and it's not responding at all. Prior to using excel, I did the same with HP and it didn't turn orange and die either. Is this normal? Seems tougher to kill than most suggest with these methods.
Excel kills hair algae, of which BBA is included, at the correct dose (we are assuming that it is correctly identified as BBA). BBA is, perhaps, the toughest version of hair algae to tame. Excel (glut) potency can be affected by various aspects of a given tank. I have found that adjusting the dose to achieve the ideal effect is necessary sometimes, but 1ml / gal is usually enough. So, I suggest that you start there and wait a week. If you have a UVS, turn it off during treatment day. You can also run a test to find sensitivity for your particular tank. Fill three glasses with tank water and put a leaf having the BBA on it into each glass. Then add Excel at the rate of 1ml/gal, 2ml/gal and 3ml/gal to each glass to see if more than 1ml/gal may be needed. I have gone to 3ml/gal without harm. However, if you move above 1ml/gal, you may want to prepare your tank as per these guidelines: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/2...l#post10762025

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jah410 View Post
Light - unfortunately, that's the only par data I've been able to track down for this light. The same guy has performed similar videos on various other lights so if those line up with your expectations for those lights then maybe that could offer some support?

Considering getting the nicrew dimmer pro which would allow me to limit my intensity on a day cycle. Do you think this would be a good idea to help combat alage? Currently amazon appears to be out of stock so waiting on them to return.
As @DaveKS mentioned, a dimmer can make a world of difference in terms of both ramping and final intensity, which I also believe helps reduce ‘shock’ to plants (I have no data to support this). It allowed me to maintain full intensity for a solid 4-5 hour period and lower intensities (for viewing) at an equivalent time without algae issues. Be aware that many dimmers (I have yet to have one that didn't) lower intensity by about 8% even though the dimmer is set to 100%. However, I have no experience with the Nicrew dimmer.

If any other readers can corroborate the video, regarding the Nicrew PAR readings, it would sure be interesting to know that this is available.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jah410 View Post
pH - 7.6 is left for several hours while running an aerator into a cup. Typically I find my pH around 6.2-6.4 when gassed fully.

DIY CO2 - I've never quite understood the issue with diy co2. If the co2 level reaches and stayes at or above 30ppm each day, how does it differ from pressurized? Genuinely curious.
"If the co2 level reaches and stayes" is the operative statement. Playing with it for a year or so, I could never hold a precise level and then there is the chasing after it every week or so to refill the concoction. As you say, if you can hold 30ppm, every minute of the day, you are good to go. Apparently, one can buy DIY systems now with regulators, but they are nearly the price of low-end pressurized systems, so I’m not sure why one would do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jah410 View Post
gH - sorry I forgot to add that I add seachems gH supplement to my water before each change to help my shrimp health.
Now it makes sense. Most of us would recommend not using softened water due to sodium issues. The harder your water, the more sodium will get through the softener (most of it is washed out during re-charging). However, if your well water is that bad, then stick with the softened water. I ran my tank on softened water for decades without noticeable issues, which is not to say that it could have been better by using un-softened water (didn’t know any better).
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Deanna View Post
Short term: one dose of 1ml Excel / gal of tank water.

Just to be clear. Have you actually tried this 1ml Excel / gal of tank water with shrimp to know it is safe? Have you confirmed it is safe for even more sensitive shrimp species like Blue Tigers ( for instance).


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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 03:05 PM
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@DaveKS - interested in that sunlight reflection vs. time of day chart you posted.

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Looks like it might have come from a bigger post / article? If so, could you point me to it please?

Thanks, James
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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 05:54 PM
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Seriously get dimmer, being able to step your light intensity so that you say have 25% intensity early morn/late afternoon, 45% mid morn/mid afternoon and say 65-85% across 3-4hr midday stretch was game changer for me. I hated being stuck with 4-6hrs of light on my tank, that lasted about 4wks. Remember with lower intensity light early AM and PM you can narrow your co2 time range also. Plants to me always behave more normally if you simulate a true natural daylight cycle, nature ramps up light across day.

Before say 9:30 AM close to 40% of light (mostly red/yellow) is reflected off surface of water. Only a dim blue glow penetrates water surface. This is type of lighting ramp plants have spent eons adapting to. Between say 9:30-10:30 light and red/yellow content ramps up considerably, reverse that same ramp in afternoon hrs.

This graph only shows ramp up across morning hrs, flop it side to side and you’ll get how light behaves ramping down across afternoon, in most tropical or sub-tropical environments cloud cover or rain storms will build across afternoons further diffusing light in those periods.

Is there a dimmer/timer that you would recommend? I've been looking at smart dimmers that you can program on an app, but it's hard to tell if any can be programmed to change intensity throughout the day.
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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 08:42 PM
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@DaveKS - interested in that sunlight reflection vs. time of day chart you posted.



Looks like it might have come from a bigger post / article? If so, could you point me to it please?

Thanks, James
I believe it was from some article about underwater photography and how time of day effects transmission of light as well as spectrum.
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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 08:55 PM
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Is there a dimmer/timer that you would recommend? I've been looking at smart dimmers that you can program on an app, but it's hard to tell if any can be programmed to change intensity throughout the day.
I’m using cheap little nicrew dimmer pro and mingdak dimmers. Bad side is no battery backup for clock, it will remember all your steps and intensity settings but when power goes out the clock has to be reset.

These units look very interesting as well.

https://www.amazon.com/LFJNET-Progra...KME5H0519W82S8
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Last edited by DaveKS; 06-25-2020 at 04:54 AM. Reason: Typo
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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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@Deanna Thanks for the helpful article. Today I intend on adding the excel at 1mL/Gal as suggested and see how that goes. If I don't see improvement, I will attempt the experiment you suggest and see what dosage is required.

@DaveKS Definitely intend on getting a dimmer as you suggested! As I mentioned, the Nicrew pro that you suggested seems to longer be up on amazon. I wonder how long that will last/if they intend on restocking it. I see they still offer that mingdak version. Do you prefer the nicrew to this one?
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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 09:51 PM
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Just to be clear. Have you actually tried this 1ml Excel / gal of tank water with shrimp to know it is safe? Have you confirmed it is safe for even more sensitive shrimp species like Blue Tigers ( for instance).
My personal experience is only with CS and Amano's. I recall reading about other varieties doing fine with this dosing, but do not recall which varieties. They were all here on TPT, so someone could probably locate them with a search.
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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 06-24-2020, 10:28 PM
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My personal experience is only with CS and Amano's. I recall reading about other varieties doing fine with this dosing, but do not recall which varieties. They were all here on TPT, so someone could probably locate them with a search.
Oh, okay.
Well, I know that @somewhatshocked who has decades of experience with sensitive shrimp like PRL's does not recommend daily Excel dosing. I am almost certain he would say that this amount of Excel should never be given with sensitive shrimp.
I dont know now--- maybe I misunderstood and just thought it was with sensitive shrimp- not all shrimp.

But, I do not use any Excel in any of my tanks with shrimp-- even neo's.

That is why I was so surprised that you said it was safe to do this 1ml/per gallon in shrimp tanks.


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