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Bba and thread algae

2261 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Char
25g mr aqua cube
Finnex planted plus, epoch 26watt 10k cfl
(Will be getting 6300k Bml soon after it's built)
Co2 ran 4-5bps
Pps pro ferts macro and micro 2.5ml each day

Stargrass, mini bolbitis, limno hippuriodes and aromatica, ludwigia brevipes, rotala Singapore, rotala h ra, glosso, erio parkeri, Buce kapit, hygro pin, ranunculus, mini Xmas moss.

My question is about thread algae and bba. The tank has been established using cycled Amazonia from my 55 before I tore it down, hard scape was used from a box I keep. Dragon stone. But within the last week I have noticed bba that has been on my piece of manzanita, and taken it over completely I hope it's not choking my bolbitis. And on my hard scape. And also beginning on my Buce leaves. It's not on any other plants, how does bba usually occur. If I can find out how it occurs I can fix the problem but I'm not sure,

And I have thread algae starting to get into my stargrass and a few stems of limno aromatica. How does this occur as well?

My plants are growing great, I'm not to worried about the thread algae, but the bba i am because I know it gets into the tissue of the plants, and I can't exactly cut all the leaves of my Buce and expect it to not have a drastically stunted growth.
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Can you test your nitrate and phosphate levels? Might be something lacking or out of whack. 2.5ml of macro fertilizer solution seems very little - without knowing details it's just my gut feel. :fish1:
I dose according to gallons. So for my 55 I dosed 5.5 ml. I dropped it down when I moved to a 25g to 2.5 ml. I was told dosing pps pro forms whom I got them from that it's basically 1ml per ten gallons.

I have no phosphate teste but I do have a nitrate test. There pretty high though and I just did a water change day before yesterday. I'm going to assume nitrates is why the algae is present? Were looking at 80ppm.

I know how you feel regarding BBA.

What you need to do as the first step is to double-check your CO2 levels.. and double-check it again. Is it stable? As in, is your drop checker always a green colour during lights-on. Plants require, therefore MUST HAVE, as close to as a stable CO2 level as possible - major fluctuations in CO2 levels can have a negative effect and benefit algae growth.


Seachem Flourish EXCEL.

This is a great product. This kills off all BBA GUARANTEED. The best way to administer this is via a syringe (just a normal plastic one is fine).

1) Turn off filter and all water flow.
2) Fill syringe with Flourish Excel (dependent on tank size - read label).
3) Squirt the Flourish Excel SLOWLY over the affected areas where BBA has taken over.
4) Wait 10 minutes making sure there is no flow in the water - i.e. the water is still.
5) Power up all your filter(s) and pumps.

Then, within 24-72 hours (depending on how badly the BBA is), the BBA should turn from dark green/black to blue/purple/red. Then it will disappear.

According to many sources, BBA is caused by low levels of CO2 or fluctuating CO2 levels. Just make sure you are pumping a constant level of CO2 into the tank (i.e. the drop checker is a lime green). Obviously tanks don't require CO2 during night-time.
Also, give your plants plenty of nutrients - try and dose using the EI method if you can, this is the best way to dose your tank and has worked extremely well for me. And for the lights, well, definitely no more than an 8 hour period.

One final note. The Seachem Flourish Excel is not a permanent fix to your BBA problem. The BBA may come back if you do not get the balance between CO2, nutrients and light correctly. Also, continue to dose Flourish Excel daily as well as using pressurised CO2 with a decent regulator.

I also know how you feel regarding Hair/Thread Algae.

Apparently, this is caused by too much light in the planted tank in respect to the amount of CO2 you are pumping into the tank - as well as bad water flow - is your water flowing around the tank smoothly, no dead spots etc?

To control hair algae, you need to remove ALL of the infected leaves. Next, pull of as much as you can from any wood or rocks that you have in the tank that are affected.
If you have no luck and want to break down and cry, you could try treating with AlgaExit (made by Easy Life). Follow the same process as I explained above using a syringe. This stuff is WAY more potent that the Flourish Excel so make sure you read the label VERY carefully.

You need to find that balance between CO2, lights and nutrients. Make sure that drop checker is lime-green; the lights are on for no more than 8 hours per day and you are dosing enough (or more than enough nutrients) for your tank.

And the one thing that people always think is not important to do..

WATER CHANGES! - Trust me, waste products in the water (e.g. Ammonia) favours algae growth. Do a weekly water change (50% if dosing the EI way for nutrients) and that'll help a lot!

Best of luck,
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I've tried that method as well. No luck whatsoever. While it is a quick fix it's not solving the root problem. My co2 is constant and drop checker is always lime green. Flow is great. The only thing that was out of balance was the nitrates.
80 ppm is a bit high, assuming your test kit is good. But more important than the absolute level is that all nutrients are available. While there may be plenty of nitrates, phosphates and potassium may be absent. Liebig's law the minimum explains that well...

The availability of the most abundant nutrient in the soil is only as good as the availability of the least abundant nutrient in the soil.
So applied to planted tanks, if one of the essential nutrients is absent, it won't matter that others are there in abundance, plant growth will be determined by the most scarce nutrient.

Sometimes reading your local water report can help understanding imbalances.
Hello, I had a bba problem in my tank. I purchased a Siamese Flying Fox and within a week after putting it in my tank the algae was gone! I had tried numerous ways of trying to control this algae with no success such as cutting back on lighting or trying to starve it ect. This fish took care of all the algae and never harmed the plants. It tears the algae clean off. After that, they keep it at bay. When purchasing these fish, only get one because they are very territorial and will fight each other when fully grown. I did realize that when the algae was all gone the lower lighting did help keep it at bay.
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