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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've recently had a bid of cold spell (not like the mainland mind you) and I notice an increase in BBA in my home tank (29G).

Here in the Hawaiian Island the temperature is normally very warm and stable. However, we've had a cooling trend (by island standards) and its been downright cold (again, by island standards) for much of this week. My tank's average temperature has been a near constant 80 degrees, however, this week it has dropped to the low 70's (72 degrees at last check). The BBA which is normally not an issue in my tank had exploded on the top of my plants. The onset seems connected drop in water temperature.

I have a couple ideas...

BBA likes the colder water and just grows better (faster) in it.

The cooler water slows the other plants's growth, giving the BBA a change to it would normally not have.

The cold water effects some condition in the tank, giving rise to rapid growth in BBA.

No of the above, some other factor is responsible for the increase BBA.

About my tank: I normally keep the algae control with weekly water changes. The 29G has a MGO substrate with eco-complete cap. Heavily planted and over stocked with tetras. Lighting is provided by a Finned FugeRay2 (6 hours). I trim back the plants weekly. I only dose fertilizers (1/2 dose) once a month. No CO2. Filter is handled by a Fluval 206 (and spray bar). I keep Phosguard and Purigen in the filter. Algae has not been a problem until the last few days. No water heater, as it wasn't need...
 

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I can see how the drop in water temperature could slow the growth of the plants. And, the slower the plants grow the more likely that BBA will grow on them. So, my gut feeling is that you had the increase in BBA just from the drop in water temperature.
 

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Out of curiosity what is the ambient temperature over there? The temp that can chill your aquarium to 70 f from 80 f. I've had it 50f in my house during the winter and my hydor 200w inline lets it drop only a degree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Out of curiosity what is the ambient temperature over there? The temp that can chill your aquarium to 70 f from 80 f. I've had it 50f in my house during the winter and my hydor 200w inline lets it drop only a degree.

Our normal daily temp is normally around 85 with nightly temp 75ish, year round. My condo gets a blast of sunlight against the same wall the tank is against in the late afternoon. The current "cold" weather also brought enough overcast that we didn't get that afternoon sunbath. The whole apartment was cold enough to inspire my wife to cook something in the over to warm the place up.

In the summer the temp in the tank is up 82 and sometimes above. Normally the temperature is very stable, its held steady at 78 (+/-2) degrees for last few month.
 

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I've done a little bit of reading on wild BBA populations. Researchers show they grow greatest during the winter and spring so at least in North America native BBA prefers cold water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, I figured out what dropped my temperature so rapidly....

My weekly water change! The ground temperature of the water dropped, and I didn't think of it when I was doing the water change that week. So I failed to run a little hot when filling the tank... duh!
 

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In the past few months, I had BBA outbreak as well, coinciding with both some maintenance lapses on my part, but also a lowering of the temp. Got the maintenance back on track with steady BBA loss, but the BBA really started struggling when I brought the temp back up to 80. So I think there is some truth to it, although my experience and research with BBA says there is no one clear variable.
 
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