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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
Hope someone can help me with my BGA issue. My tank's a 200 Gal plain gravel bottom. It is a low tech set up and i am currently dosing:

- 3% Glutaraldehyde, 10 ml daily
- KNO3, 1/5 tsp daily

The tank has only 128W of T8 on for 6hrs a day, but it gets a fair share of indirect sunlight... so far the only algae i am having trouble with is Bluegreen algae on some Ceratophylum submersum and echinodorus leaves, driftwood and on the substrate as a carpet (around the front and sides, there is no BGA on the back substrate). I do about a 10% water change every other day (basically a BGA clean out), but it keeps coming back.

For flow i have a 400 GPH canister filter and a 500 GPH powerhead. They are mainly aimed to circulate the surface (no splash, only small ripples). 2' tall, 8' long, 20" deep.

I am planning on a 50% water change/BGA clean out and a 3 day blackout. But for the long term improvement:

1) Given i am not injecting CO2, would it be appropriate to add some airstones (or actually an airline w/ small holes running along the substrate) to aerate the bottom; or would it be better to add another powerhead to circulate around the bottom (tank has angels, so they dont really love the current)?

2) increase KNO3?

3) 50% water change every 2 weeks?

4) Any creature to eat this stuff??

Thanks very much in advance!

Here's some pics:
 

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From what I read here and at this link (scroll down a bit) you would definitely benefit from adding more circulation and KNO3. I can tell you that airstones don't seem to help. I saw my first example of it on a tank that has an airdriven bubble wall. One thing I did notice was in the areas it was, there was very little circulation and the nitrates were not registering on the test kits.

Once the circulation was upped along with nitrate dosing, it went away on its own. No black out was needed. A few water changes will help along the way. Good luck!
 

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I would get some small patches BGA in my low tech when i was trying to get the 4-leaf clover stuff to carpet (i don't recommend bothering)...I would get it in and amongst the clover on the bottom of the tank...i had fairly good flow around the tank but the clover would accumulate crap and create little dead zones in them that, i suspect led to the problem.

I don't think airstones will help. I would make sure you have good circulation in all areas of the tank...esp areas that develop the BGA...i'm gonna guess it comes back after cleaning around the same places.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, the algae returns hours after removing it.... it also grows even more after WC's. It does seem to have low circulation on the bottom around the substrate (although some BGA does grow around the top where there is good circ). But also it might me where the light is stronger.

I think the best idea to increase flow is to add 1 or 2 Aquaclear powerheads, the ones with the sponge attachment; will also buy a Nitrate tester (my kit doesnt have the NO3 test) and monitor Nitrates to have them at 5-10 ppm. I hope it works, because this BGA is pretty annoying...

One question:
When BGA pearls is it releasing Oxygen, is it trapping the Oxygen released by the plant its attached to, or is it releasing something else? :icon_ques
 

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Yes, the algae returns hours after removing it.... it also grows even more after WC's. It does seem to have low circulation on the bottom around the substrate (although some BGA does grow around the top where there is good circ). But also it might me where the light is stronger.

I think the best idea to increase flow is to add 1 or 2 Aquaclear powerheads, the ones with the sponge attachment; will also buy a Nitrate tester (my kit doesnt have the NO3 test) and monitor Nitrates to have them at 5-10 ppm. I hope it works, because this BGA is pretty annoying...

One question:
When BGA pearls is it releasing Oxygen, is it trapping the Oxygen released by the plant its attached to, or is it releasing something else? :icon_ques

That it grows back so fast seems odd...you are talking about Blue Green Algae...the stuff that grows like a sheet of goo? Your pictures look like green water.

It's not an algae really, it's a bacteria. You can kill it with Erythromycin. Make sure you suck out the dead stuff.

Also, yes, if it's pearling, that's oxygen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That it grows back so fast seems odd...you are talking about Blue Green Algae...the stuff that grows like a sheet of goo? Your pictures look like green water.

It's not an algae really, it's a bacteria. You can kill it with Erythromycin. Make sure you suck out the dead stuff.

Also, yes, if it's pearling, that's oxygen.
Yes i notice the pics make the water look green, but the water is clear enough it just looks like that because of the background and plants/shading. The algae i'm talking about carpets the substrate and attaches to plant leaves. its easy to manually remove, but it comes back the next day after removing/water changing.

I might go antibiotics with it... but i wouldnt want to have to constantly medicate the tank, so first i want to make sure i'm not having the best conditions for this bacteria to grow.

At least the pearls are oxygen ;)
 

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BGA is the easiest pest to get rid of.

up the nitrates after treating with erythromycin. Make sure you do a full course of treatment; otherwise, sooner or later we will create a super-strain of BGA that will not respond to erythromycin.

1) suck up all the BGA you can with a siphon.

2) treat with erythromycin for a full course

- you can do a blackout (wrap and tape up the tank) with treatment
- you can do a brown-out (just keep the lights/CO2 off) with meds.
- you can keep your lights and CO2 on during treatment.

3) do a 50% water change, dose KNO3 (20-30 ppm), change filter pads.

You do not need to siphon the dead stuff off after treatment, for it will dissolve when killed by erythromycin.

Erythromycin is shrimp and fish safe.

At this point, no matter how much O2 or KNO3 you add, the BGA will come back. YOu need antibiotics to treat the infection.
 

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Does MELAFIX and/or METHYLENE BLUE work to remove BGA??
I wouldn't think either would work, at least not in any sane dose. Never heard of either being used in such a manner either.

Go with the erythromycin. If Maracyn is difficult/expensive to obtain in the Dominican Republic, you may be able to find erythromycin elsewhere, such as a pharmacy or veterinary clinic/store. It's a very common antibiotic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I wouldn't think either would work, at least not in any sane dose. Never heard of either being used in such a manner either.

Go with the erythromycin. If Maracyn is difficult/expensive to obtain in the Dominican Republic, you may be able to find erythromycin elsewhere, such as a pharmacy or veterinary clinic/store. It's a very common antibiotic.
The reason i saked is because Maracyn at fish stores is super expensive... and considering its a 200 Gal i have to buy about 8 boxes $$!

Thanks for the tip on pharmacies and vet shops. Will try and find it there.

BTW i've just bought an extra powerhead with the quick filter att. to improve water flow.

Thanks again!
 

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The reason i saked is because Maracyn at fish stores is super expensive... and considering its a 200 Gal i have to buy about 8 boxes $$!
Yep :(

Whereas something like this would take care of your treatment for maybe 1/3 the cost. There may be even cheaper options out there.

Of course a blackout is free, but your results may vary. Search for "bga blackout" and see what other peoples' results and tips are.
 
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