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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a hi-tech tank setup and no matter what I've tried, I can't seem to permanently rid myself of BBA. It has driven me absolutely nuts over the past year or so.

Full tank shot:
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As seen, it's primarily on the slower growing plants in the tank (anubias/buce/microsword) and hardscape. Virtually no problem with the rotala rotundifolia or blyxa japonica. The Ludwigia Arcuata tends to grow much slower than those two despite being a stem, and there is also some BBA as a result. Also getting a bit of GSA on the slow growing plants as well as you can see.

Current tank specs:
20 gallon long
ADA amazonia soil about 1.5 years old
0 Ammonia/Nitrite
CO2 pH - 6.4- kicks on 2 hours before
Off-gassed pH - 7.6
gh - between 8 and 9
kh - between 5 and 6
WRBG II 60 roughly 70 PAR at the substrate, 7 hours a day (I've tried reducing this down to 4 hours in the past and the BBA still grows), no direct sunlight exposure
50-70% WC every week with a decent amount of substrate disturbance to remove excess waste
Biomaster Thermo 600 @ about 2/3 power ~175 gph - clean the pre-filter every other week, clean the main tray once every few months
Water temp ranges between 71 and 76
Livestock: Ottos/Amanos/Corys/horned nerites (nothing overstocked)

current PPM Dosing as follows:
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I've tried dosing leaner and I've tried dosing heavier. Leaner slows the plant growth and algae really takes off, heavier and I think I start to see micro toxicity as my stems begin to stunt (use Thrive+), and algae also takes off as a result

Only way that I've found to combat the BBA is spot dosing/spray bottle over the large area, but unfortunately it always comes back.

I feel like I've exhausted every possible measure to get rid of the stuff. Does anyone have suggestions that I haven't tried? Blackout won't do much good since it always comes back...

I hope to eventually upgrade to a 90p, and had intentions to re-use some of the plants, but if I can't get rid of the BBA I'd prefer to start with a clean slate rather than deal with this headache all over again.
 

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i'm throwing out a couple of scenarios:

1. doing a "decent amount of substrate disturbance..." may be what's causing your problems, particularly if you do so while draining 50-70% of your water. agitating the substrate then draining could still be leaving excess nutrients in the water column, feeding your bba. you don't need to vacuum substrate, especially aquasoil. try being less aggressive in your water changes--you really only need to siphon out water just above the substrate level. spot treat with excel then modify water change method.

2. your pH probe needs to be calibrated and that the pH levels (hence co2) are not what you thought.

3. try to keep things stable as possible. you've been chasing it for a year now.

i think #1 is most likely.
 

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I can make a few suggestions, based upon how I run things, which may or may not work. I have a high tech tank and only get BBA when instability occurs (usually user induced).

BBA like inconsistent CO2 or low CO2 with high light (you have the high light). Although most members turn CO2 on and off daily, some of us (including me) run it 24/7 with high gas exchange, which keeps CO2 levels stable at targeted levels. You might even try increasing your photoperiod if you are sure about those CO2 levels, based upon pH readings. I also keep a dc active just to be sure I’m in the desired zone.

BBA also likes high organics and you seem to have decent maintenance. I wouldn’t disturb the substrate, though,which can release organics. Just a light surface vacuuming, if needed at all. The only vacuuming that I do is an occasional cleaning of the small section of Dwarf Sag that I have.

You seem to be dosing quite a bit, but this is also function of frequency. How often are you dosing those numbers? Are you starting with tap water or RO? I’m wondering why you want GH as high as it is, as you appear to be dosing Ca and Mg pretty heavily. Your Amazonia may be reaching the end of it’s life, if it hasn’t already. You may want to search the forum for determining this.

Do you have any readings from test kits (not strips), such as NO3, PO4, K and TDS?

Short-term kill: one treatment of 1ml /gal Excel per week (as needed) and this can be increased if necessary. Best to remove biomedia, maximize circulation, increase gas exchange and have pH below 7 (avoiding NH3) on the day you do it.
 

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Hi @stlhokie

The question posed below by @Deanna would also be my starting point:

"Do you have any readings from test kits (not strips), such as NO3, PO4, K and TDS?"

Anon
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i'm throwing out a couple of scenarios:

1. doing a "decent amount of substrate disturbance..." may be what's causing your problems, particularly if you do so while draining 50-70% of your water. agitating the substrate then draining could still be leaving excess nutrients in the water column, feeding your bba. you don't need to vacuum substrate, especially aquasoil. try being less aggressive in your water changes--you really only need to siphon out water just above the substrate level. spot treat with excel then modify water change method.

2. your pH probe needs to be calibrated and that the pH levels (hence co2) are not what you thought.

3. try to keep things stable as possible. you've been chasing it for a year now.

i think #1 is most likely.
1.) So when I say decent amount, I don't mean a deep gravel vac. It's like a slight disturbance to the top layer of aquasoil (top 1/4" at most), just to kick up any organic waste on the top layer. I don't think that should be causing the issue, but I could be wrong.

2.) I don't use a pH probe, I use the API liquid test kit for all readings.

3.) Agreed, I'm probably trigger happy, but generally anytime I make a change I'm only changing 1 thing at a time and I give it 3-4 weeks before making another.

I can make a few suggestions, based upon how I run things, which may or may not work. I have a high tech tank and only get BBA when instability occurs (usually user induced).

BBA like inconsistent CO2 or low CO2 with high light (you have the high light). Although most members turn CO2 on and off daily, some of us (including me) run it 24/7 with high gas exchange, which keeps CO2 levels stable at targeted levels. You might even try increasing your photoperiod if you are sure about those CO2 levels, based upon pH readings. I also keep a dc active just to be sure I’m in the desired zone.

BBA also likes high organics and you seem to have decent maintenance. I wouldn’t disturb the substrate, though,which can release organics. Just a light surface vacuuming, if needed at all. The only vacuuming that I do is an occasional cleaning of the small section of Dwarf Sag that I have.

You seem to be dosing quite a bit, but this is also function of frequency. How often are you dosing those numbers? Are you starting with tap water or RO? I’m wondering why you want GH as high as it is, as you appear to be dosing Ca and Mg pretty heavily. Your Amazonia may be reaching the end of it’s life, if it hasn’t already. You may want to search the forum for determining this.

Do you have any readings from test kits (not strips), such as NO3, PO4, K and TDS?

Short-term kill: one treatment of 1ml /gal Excel per week (as needed) and this can be increased if necessary. Best to remove biomedia, maximize circulation, increase gas exchange and have pH below 7 (avoiding NH3) on the day you do it.
I don't think I have any issues with inconsistent CO2, I use an industrial grade regulator with a high precision metering valve and solenoid (built by a user on here), and I also have the drop checker to alert me of any concerns (seen on the right in the full tank shot, it's pretty dark green because I took this right after the lights came on so it hasn't had time to adjust. Usually it's lime yellow. As I stated in my other response, pH readings are from liquid test kits.

The dosing is a weekly target that I divide by 6 and then dose daily (don't dose on WC days), those numbers also include all available info from my county water report. I use thrive+ and dilute 5:1 with tap water and then dose 3 ml/day. I use tap water and my tap water is high in Ca (24 ppm out of the tap), but much lower in Mg (2PPM). I just realized the Mg number I posted is actually slightly lower than what I actually have, I dose an additional 6 PPM/week of Mg (independent solution to the thrive+) to put me at 8 PPM a 3:1 Ca/Mg ratio and I dose that all at once immediately after a water change.

Admittedly I am less familiar with the importance of GH/KH other than I know that it's related to the Ca:Mg ratio and softwater is generally more beneficial to plants than hardwater. If you have insight as to why this could be impacting algae growth I'd love to hear it.

I don't use strips, I use the API liquid test kit for everything. NO3 readings are usually between 15-20, and TDS is at 220 PPM which from I understand isn't too high, but if you have information on how this could be impacting things, again please enlighten me. Unfortunately I don't have PO4 or K test kits.

For your short term kill, are you saying turn off the filter and run powerheads on the day of treatment? And is that shrimp/snail safe? I know when I spot treat excel with a snail around it immediately shells up for a long period of time until I get the water flowing again.
 

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I find it strange that you have Green Spot Algae despite dosing so much PO4. Something doesn't make sense here, I would really like to see an actual measurement of PO4 in your tank.

Also, can it be the wood releasing organis into the water? Maybe your wood is too soft and decomposing into the water?
 

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I don't think I have any issues with inconsistent CO2
Disrupting the flow of CO2 is being inconsistent and this is what happens twice a day when we shut it off at night. It is one of the reasons that I run 24/7. Whether or not it matters is hard to say and probably will vary depending upon a given tank.

tap water is high in Ca (24 ppm out of the tap), but much lower in Mg (2PPM). …those numbers also include all available info from my county water report.
OK, then it looks like you are getting quite an accumulation (ignoring uptake) even with 50% w/c’s, which explains the high GH numbers. Your GH numbers indicate 45ppm Ca and 11ppm Mg, assuming a 4:1 ratio.

If you have insight as to why this could be impacting algae growth I'd love to hear it.

NO3 readings are usually between 15-20, and TDS is at 220 PPM which from I understand isn't too high, but if you have information on how this could be impacting things, again please enlighten me. Unfortunately I don't have PO4 or K test kits.
Like many aspects of our efforts, including developing a good complete package of light/CO2/ferts, it is not to directly impact algae. The purpose is to maximize plant health and growth which, in turn, hampers algae. My primary concern about the high Ca and Mg is as it relates to your other nutrients. The high Ca and Mg may be blocking the uptake of other nutrients. Study Mulder’s charts and search the forum for discussions on this.

I would prefer to see you with lower tap numbers, which is not possible unless you use RO/distilled water (probably not in the plan). However, you may need to increase your other ferts to help with potentially blocked uptake.

The Thrive+ dosing is fine for traces but, likke many AIO’s in high tech tanks, you may need to supplement it in certain categories. Given the high Ca, I would add enough K to bring it up into the 30ppm area. We don’t know what to do about PO4 until you test for it.

For your short term kill, are you saying turn off the filter and run powerheads on the day of treatment? And is that shrimp/snail safe? I know when I spot treat excel with a snail around it immediately shells up for a long period of time until I get the water flowing again.
Yes, to all questions, with qualifiers. I’ve used it without problems on Nerites, Ramshorns, Pond snails, Amanos and CRS.
 
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My main question, is the algae spreading? Growing fast? Multiplying? If it is u need to change parameters

If it's not, even if it is, I suggest u acquire the skill of manual removal, just pluck or trim the whole leaf off.

I see ur plants and I'd recommend 20 par at the subs
Only the rotala are fast growing and those should get algae too as they're surfaced and overgrown which need trimming.

Bba is not going to go away with just water changes, takes too long to remove organics, its engrained, the way I've overcame it was manually only. U can use chems but I dont for my certain type plants I keep.

Bba I've seen is not a overdose co2 issue. U keep upping and upping and it's still there.
 

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My 75 gal looked like that too. It's high tech, co2 injected as well. I finally resorted to "one, two punch" after trying everything else known to the hobby. It involves dosing excel and hydrogen peroxide. One dose weakens the bba and the other does it in. I looked it up online and did it exactly as suggested and used a wave maker to make sure the treatment went into all areas of driftwood, blew it thru my plants (very densely planted tank) and all across the substrat. After that, once it turns red, any clean up crew can then eat it. I have amano shrimp and a few flying foxes. The flying foxes were literally ripping chunks of the now red algae off and consuming it. It's been a year since I treated my tank and it hasn't returned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
I find it strange that you have Green Spot Algae despite dosing so much PO4. Something doesn't make sense here, I would really like to see an actual measurement of PO4 in your tank.

Also, can it be the wood releasing organis into the water? Maybe your wood is too soft and decomposing into the water?
Could be possible. If I scrub the wood with a toothbrush to remove algae the wood does sometimes flake off fairly easily. Doesn't appear to be rotting, but could be breaking down.

Disrupting the flow of CO2 is being inconsistent and this is what happens twice a day when we shut it off at night. It is one of the reasons that I run 24/7. Whether or not it matters is hard to say and probably will vary depending upon a given tank.

OK, then it looks like you are getting quite an accumulation (ignoring uptake) even with 50% w/c’s, which explains the high GH numbers. Your GH numbers indicate 45ppm Ca and 11ppm Mg, assuming a 4:1 ratio.

Like many aspects of our efforts, including developing a good complete package of light/CO2/ferts, it is not to directly impact algae. The purpose is to maximize plant health and growth which, in turn, hampers algae. My primary concern about the high Ca and Mg is as it relates to your other nutrients. The high Ca and Mg may be blocking the uptake of other nutrients. Study Mulder’s charts and search the forum for discussions on this.

I would prefer to see you with lower tap numbers, which is not possible unless you use RO/distilled water (probably not in the plan). However, you may need to increase your other ferts to help with potentially blocked uptake.

The Thrive+ dosing is fine for traces but, likke many AIO’s in high tech tanks, you may need to supplement it in certain categories. Given the high Ca, I would add enough K to bring it up into the 30ppm area. We don’t know what to do about PO4 until you test for it.

Yes, to all questions, with qualifiers. I’ve used it without problems on Nerites, Ramshorns, Pond snails, Amanos and CRS.
Could the high Ca/Mg numbers be a result of the Seiryu stone I have leeching in the water? I notice if I brush the algae off the rocks, that a dust-like cloud is often released. Also how did you determine those accumulation numbers?

I've considered moving to RO/distilled but seeing as I'm still a renter, I move the tank fairly often, once I buy a house it would be in the cards. I was unaware of the blocking of uptake and will definitely look into that.

The Mg addition was my first dip into self mixing ferts, I can definitely add K to the repertoire. I've gone ahead and bought all the nutrient salts and am just waiting to use up all the remaining thrive+ I have before I make the switch to complete manual mixing.

I also may pick up a PO4 test kit to supplement what I've got, would you suggest any others besides that?

My main question, is the algae spreading? Growing fast? Multiplying? If it is u need to change parameters

If it's not, even if it is, I suggest u acquire the skill of manual removal, just pluck or trim the whole leaf off.

I see ur plants and I'd recommend 20 par at the subs
Only the rotala are fast growing and those should get algae too as they're surfaced and overgrown which need trimming.

Bba is not going to go away with just water changes, takes too long to remove organics, its engrained, the way I've overcame it was manually only. U can use chems but I dont for my certain type plants I keep.

Bba I've seen is not a overdose co2 issue. U keep upping and upping and it's still there.
Algae does spread, but it spreads fairly slowly, mainly because I'm constantly combatting it with weekly spot treatments/hand removal.
 

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Could the high Ca/Mg numbers be a result of the Seiryu stone I have leeching in the water?
Definitely, and possibly a large contributor to KH and GH. It releases calcium carbonate (no magnesium), which will raise the calcium part of the GH equation (possibly throwing the Ca:Mg balance off) and will increase KH (therefore pH) as a result of the carbonate portion.

You can test it by putting it in a container of distilled water and letting it sit a few days. Then test to see if GH or KH have risen from zero. This can be accelerated/magnified by adding a weak acid such as lemon juice.

Also how did you determine those accumulation numbers?

The Mg addition was my first dip into self mixing ferts, I can definitely add K to the repertoire. I've gone ahead and bought all the nutrient salts and am just waiting to use up all the remaining thrive+ I have before I make the switch to complete manual mixing.
Since you are moving toward the DIY use of the various nutrients, you will find this calculator very useful: Rotala Butterfly. Not only will you get the correct dosing quantities, but it also has a nutrient accumulation calculator.

I also may pick up a PO4 test kit to supplement what I've got, would you suggest any others besides that?
The critical five tests, IMO, are NO3, PO4, GH, KH and pH. Depending upon how deep you get into the details, you can also add K, Ca, Mg, Fe and TDS. Ammonia is important, but you would use it rarely once things are running smoothly.

My recommendations for each are:

NO3: Salifert (saltwater “Profi” version - good precision in the 5-20 ppm range and easy to use) and Sera (good for clear separation between 10 and 25 ppm areas)
PO4: Hanna low-range colorimeter (highest precision) or Salifert. Note: for both, above 3ppm, dilute 5:1 with RO or distilled water, then multiply result by 5. API kit is good above 3ppm
K: Salifert Freshwater (good precision up to, at least, 50ppm), JBL is acceptable
GH/KH: Salifert and Sera - API unreliable QC. All can be modified for increased precision: use 5x the water, then divide results by 5.
KH: Hanna colorimeter (used mainly at very low KH levels, such as <1 dKH and where higher precision for CO2 determination is desired). Less expensive: Sera or API (both modified for increased precision using 5x the water, then divide results by 5)
Ca: API (modified: 50 ml sample water, add 10 drops of reagent #1, each drop of reagent #2 = 2ppm)
Mg: easily derived from the formula: (GH ppm – 2.5 x Ca ppm) / 4.1
Iron: Nutrafin (may be labeled under the Fluval name)
Total ammonia: Salifert
pH and TDS: Pen meters
Never use test strips.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Definitely, and possibly a large contributor to KH and GH. It releases calcium carbonate (no magnesium), which will raise the calcium part of the GH equation (possibly throwing the Ca:Mg balance off) and will increase KH (therefore pH) as a result of the carbonate portion.

You can test it by putting it in a container of distilled water and letting it sit a few days. Then test to see if GH or KH have risen from zero. This can be accelerated/magnified by adding a weak acid such as lemon juice.

Since you are moving toward the DIY use of the various nutrients, you will find this calculator very useful: Rotala Butterfly. Not only will you get the correct dosing quantities, but it also has a nutrient accumulation calculator.

The critical five tests, IMO, are NO3, PO4, GH, KH and pH. Depending upon how deep you get into the details, you can also add K, Ca, Mg, Fe and TDS. Ammonia is important, but you would use it rarely once things are running smoothly.

My recommendations for each are:

NO3: Salifert (saltwater “Profi” version - good precision in the 5-20 ppm range and easy to use) and Sera (good for clear separation between 10 and 25 ppm areas)
PO4: Hanna low-range colorimeter (highest precision) or Salifert. Note: for both, above 3ppm, dilute 5:1 with RO or distilled water, then multiply result by 5. API kit is good above 3ppm
K: Salifert Freshwater (good precision up to, at least, 50ppm), JBL is acceptable
GH/KH: Salifert and Sera - API unreliable QC. All can be modified for increased precision: use 5x the water, then divide results by 5.
KH: Hanna colorimeter (used mainly at very low KH levels, such as <1 dKH and where higher precision for CO2 determination is desired). Less expensive: Sera or API (both modified for increased precision using 5x the water, then divide results by 5)
Ca: API (modified: 50 ml sample water, add 10 drops of reagent #1, each drop of reagent #2 = 2ppm)
Mg: easily derived from the formula: (GH ppm – 2.5 x Ca ppm) / 4.1
Iron: Nutrafin (may be labeled under the Fluval name)
Total ammonia: Salifert
pH and TDS: Pen meters
Never use test strips.
Very familiar with Rotala butterfly at this point, it's how I got down the rabbit hole of diluting the thrive+.

So I just realized I provided some more slightly incorrect info in my initial post(forgot what I had done when I set up dosing regimen). I don't actually dose 6 ppm of Mg per week. When I set up my dosing regiment, I used Rotata butterfly with the accumulation calculator so that my dosing would result in an accumulated PPM of 8 (6 dose + 2 tap) of Mg. Based on what the accumulation calculator was telling me, I got a weekly dose of about 3 PPM, which is what actually dose. The numbers I posted initially are all with accumulation factored in already for all nutrients, not the amount I am adding to the tank each week. Here's a more detailed breakdown:
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Based on the equation you provided:
8ppm = (GH ppm – 2.5 x Ca ppm) / 4.1
8 = (8 - 2.5 x Ca)/4.1
Ca = -9.92 ppm (? Is there something else with this equation that I'm missing?)

I'm going to go ahead and grab the PO4 and possibly Ca tests and will also check back in once I get some more accurate readings on those. All the other critical tests I already have, but I appreciate the list for the more obscure tests. Also thank you for your time!
 

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Based on the equation you provided:
8ppm = (GH ppm – 2.5 x Ca ppm) / 4.1
8 = (8 - 2.5 x Ca)/4.1
Ca = -9.92 ppm (? Is there something else with this equation that I'm missing?)
The devil is in the algebra details: the formula you used is to derive magnesium, not calcium.

To derive calcium, the formula is: Ca = (GH ppm - 4.1 x Mg ppm) / 2.5
So, if your Mg is 8ppm and dGH is 8, making GH ppm = 143 (GH ppm = dGH x 17.86), then your formula becomes:
(143 - 4.1 x 8) / 2.5 = 44 ppm Ca.
 
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50-70% WC every week? Out of curiosity do you know if your water supplier treats your water with chlorine or chloramine?

Just that if it uses chloramine that's a huge dump of ammonia each water change. Caused me imbalance issues in the past as I have chloramine (chlorine binded with ammonia) treated water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
50-70% WC every week? Out of curiosity do you know if your water supplier treats your water with chlorine or chloramine?

Just that if it uses chloramine that's a huge dump of ammonia each water change. Caused me imbalance issues in the past as I have chloramine (chlorine binded with ammonia) treated water.
This is my local water mineral analysis. Does not appear to have chloramine, but I'm also not a chemist.

1032809
 

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When I had it I added a trio of little Siamese algae eaters and they gobbled it up in less than a month. They're cute little helpers, similar to otos but they're specifically good at BBA
 

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Curious is the WRGB II the Chihiros?

If so how did you determine that the PAR is 70 at substrate?

Asking because I just loaned my PAR meter to someone with this light and the PAR was surprisingly high.

In general I doubt it has much to do with dGH. It's usually not nutrient related, unless the plants are outright being starved. Since it's mostly on slow growers first suspect would be too much light in relation to the type of plants. Like Dennis said above, this tank looks like it could do well with very little PAR.

The other usual causes are generally dirty tank conditions (organics), poor CO2, and many times it's also related to too much flow.

In general I would not recommend blasting it with H2O2 or Glut. This can also weaken certain plants and the bio field which can make it worse. You do want to remove badly infected leaves as soon as possible.

Good luck with it. I can tell you that if you have lots of BBA, there is something pretty well off. In a well balanced healthy tank it's of little concern. So there is hope and it is not something you just need to live with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
When I had it I added a trio of little Siamese algae eaters and they gobbled it up in less than a month. They're cute little helpers, similar to otos but they're specifically good at BBA
I've considered adding them but ultimately decided against it, as they grow too large for the tank I currently have. I also generally prefer much smaller fish.
Curious is the WRGB II the Chihiros?

If so how did you determine that the PAR is 70 at substrate?

Asking because I just loaned my PAR meter to someone with this light and the PAR was surprisingly high.

In general I doubt it has much to do with dGH. It's usually not nutrient related, unless the plants are outright being starved. Since it's mostly on slow growers first suspect would be too much light in relation to the type of plants. Like Dennis said above, this tank looks like it could do well with very little PAR.

The other usual causes are generally dirty tank conditions (organics), poor CO2, and many times it's also related to too much flow.

In general I would not recommend blasting it with H2O2 or Glut. This can also weaken certain plants and the bio field which can make it worse. You do want to remove badly infected leaves as soon as possible.

Good luck with it. I can tell you that if you have lots of BBA, there is something pretty well off. In a well balanced healthy tank it's of little concern. So there is hope and it is not something you just need to live with.
WRGB II is the Chihiros.

I don't have a PAR meter, so I've been using the graphs provided on the Chihiros website. Website has PAR graphs for all sizes of the the original WRGB series and the PAR graph for the 60cm version of the WRGB II.

WRGB 1 - WRGB series LED lighting system - Shanghai Ogino Biotechnology Co.,Ltd (chihiros.cn)

WRGB 2 - WRGB series LED lighting system - Shanghai Ogino Biotechnology Co.,Ltd (chihiros.cn)

From the comparison, the WRGB60 II is about 20-30% stronger than the original. I run my WRGB II at about 80%, so it should be comparable to the graphed values of the original WRGB. I set my light height to match their height off the substrate and get the number of around 70 at the substrate (edge of the tank) for the WRGB90.

It could be a PAR issue, but I had similar issues in the past when I was running a Kessil on the tank as opposed to the WRGB, which I believe has a much lesser PAR rating. (and also had BBA growing in areas that were almost outside of the Kessil spotlight at the time. And as I said before, dropping the lighting period to 4 hours and low PAR still had BBA growing despite not being exposed to direct sunlight. I may drop the intensity a bit more just in case.

What is also confusing to me is that in the top left corner of the tank, on top of the driftwood, I have quite a bit of Anubias Nana petite growing submerged, another slow grower, that is generally unaffected by BBA. I would expect that plant to have the most BBA in the entire tank based on the proximity to the light.

I saw your posts in some other threads about high flow being a potential cause, and backed down my flow a while back.

Based on my research and upgrades to the tank over the past year I feel like on paper I shouldn't be having these issues anymore. I have good maintenance, consistent CO2, stable fertilization routine, don't overfeed, lots of cleanup crew (although not much good with BBA), and high quality aquasoil. Super frustrating.
 

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Based on my research and upgrades to the tank over the past year I feel like on paper I shouldn't be having these issues anymore. I have good maintenance, consistent CO2, stable fertilization routine, don't overfeed, lots of cleanup crew (although not much good with BBA), and high quality aquasoil. Super frustrating.
All of this is good, if true. Can we test the CO2 stability issue? Take a pH reading 30 minutes before lights are turned on and another reading the moment that lights are turned off. Also, how many hours is there ambient light in the room before aquarium lights come on?
 

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I've considered adding them but ultimately decided against it, as they grow too large for the tank I currently have. I also generally prefer much smaller fish.

WRGB II is the Chihiros.

I don't have a PAR meter, so I've been using the graphs provided on the Chihiros website. Website has PAR graphs for all sizes of the the original WRGB series and the PAR graph for the 60cm version of the WRGB II.

WRGB 1 - WRGB series LED lighting system - Shanghai Ogino Biotechnology Co.,Ltd (chihiros.cn)

WRGB 2 - WRGB series LED lighting system - Shanghai Ogino Biotechnology Co.,Ltd (chihiros.cn)

From the comparison, the WRGB60 II is about 20-30% stronger than the original. I run my WRGB II at about 80%, so it should be comparable to the graphed values of the original WRGB. I set my light height to match their height off the substrate and get the number of around 70 at the substrate (edge of the tank) for the WRGB90.

It could be a PAR issue, but I had similar issues in the past when I was running a Kessil on the tank as opposed to the WRGB, which I believe has a much lesser PAR rating. (and also had BBA growing in areas that were almost outside of the Kessil spotlight at the time. And as I said before, dropping the lighting period to 4 hours and low PAR still had BBA growing despite not being exposed to direct sunlight. I may drop the intensity a bit more just in case.

What is also confusing to me is that in the top left corner of the tank, on top of the driftwood, I have quite a bit of Anubias Nana petite growing submerged, another slow grower, that is generally unaffected by BBA. I would expect that plant to have the most BBA in the entire tank based on the proximity to the light.

I saw your posts in some other threads about high flow being a potential cause, and backed down my flow a while back.

Based on my research and upgrades to the tank over the past year I feel like on paper I shouldn't be having these issues anymore. I have good maintenance, consistent CO2, stable fertilization routine, don't overfeed, lots of cleanup crew (although not much good with BBA), and high quality aquasoil. Super frustrating.
So if I am getting this right, you are looking at the WRGB90 chart in the first link? And your light is about 55cm above the substrate? And you are looking at the lowest PAR rating of 70 at the outside edge of the tank?

If so, I still think light is a consideration. That same chart shows 150 PAR directly under center. In general when people talk about PAR at substrate, they are talking about the highest reading at the center of the tank. That is a VERY high amount of PAR in relation to the type and amount of plants I see in the tank. I'm thinking you could have 1/2 to 1/3 of that PAR and those plants would do fine.

And of course could be something completely different. I'll go through this thread in more detail later and see if I notice anything. But again, BBA does mean something is well off. Should not be of much concern if there is good balance. I will say sometimes it is tricky to isolate a cause, so I feel your pain.
 
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