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BBA on equipment

1662 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  sewingalot
I have seven planted tanks, and all the plants in all the tanks are relatively algae-free. I am not seeing anything more than occasional GSA on the glass and maybe some GSA on a few leaves of plants now and then. However, in my three tanks that have eheim canister filters (the rest have HOB), there is lots of black beard algae growing on the filter tubes and heaters. The BBA does not spread to the plants, it stays on the plastic parts. It especially loves the high flow outlet tube on the eheims.

I am wondering what this means? Is it a problem, other than it's ugly? Is it maybe acting like an algae turf scrubber and preventing algae from forming on the plants? Or is it something I should fix?

My water parameters and CO2 levels are all really good, the CO2 is running quite high so it's not about low CO2.


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My BBA is growing only on plastic equipment - cleaning it off with hydrogen peroxide etc does not work because it comes back. It is in the areas of high flow like on the outlet filter pipe and the CO2 diffuser. Also on the plastic parts of the heaters. It is not in any of my tanks that don't have eheims - and those tanks have the exact same water params/ferts etc. As far as I can tell, the only difference is the eheims.

I don't think it is my lighting since I have same or similar lighting on all seven planted tanks and only the three with eheim canister filters (versus HOB) have the BBA growing on plastic.

I don't understand why it is growing on the plastic equipment but not on any of the plants.

...As far as I can tell, the only difference is the eheims.
So your saying the Eheims are causing you to have BBA? Why would that be?
Simple answer. Your plants grow and the equipment does not. BBA loves areas like this. I have seen beautiful tanks with BBA on the filters and nothing on the plants. Your plants are probably healthy enough to withstand the BBA. You could remove the equipment and clean it with straight hydrogen peroxide, but it will probably need maintained periodically.
So in other words, I was asking the wrong question. I should have asked: since I obviously have lots of BBA in my tanks, why isn't it growing on my plants?

I'm happy to hear that the answer is that the plants are healthy:)


People freak out too much about finding algae in their tanks. (I am soooo guilty of this one.) In reality, it's better to just enjoy your plants and focus on their health. If you start seeing algae on them, then yeah, up your co2, tweak your lights and so on. In the meantime, just clean off the filters outside of the tank to get rid of the BBA and don't worry about it. :)
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