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Is there a difference between BBA & BSA? are they the same?

1408 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Hardstuff
Ok, I have been battling what I thought was BBA in my tanks for a long time now. Even leaving threads on the stuff. How I have knocked it back & how it comes back. After what seems like years searching forums & internet I discovered an algae I never heard of. Black spot algae? What is this stuff? I thought I was dealing with the shorter tufts of BBA since they tend to be circular in shape. Under microscope views in my tank I thought I was seeing the palm like trees growing from the edge of my leaves but still the circular blackish brown looking circles or dots if you will.

But after reading & seeing other tanks with algae that looks like mine & they were calling them BSA! Under the microscope my algae is showing no palm tree looking growths but circular looking brown black looking diatomic formations? It is hard & generally does not scrape off & usually but not always grows on the edges of the leaves. It also like BBA likes growing on hard objects & grows in high & low flow areas as well as near CO2. In a matter of fact it loves CO2!

Can someone tell me is this stuff a variation of BBA or totally different?? Under microscope it looks more diatomic , but tough as nails! Thanks.
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So I had what I called black beard algae in my 29 that ran 2x23w 6500k cfl's and very little dosing (occasional comprehensive) and this is what I had. I think it was 2 different types.

Does it look like either one of these?

Single Spots with just a couple hairs coming out on anubias (and many of my crypts)

Tuffs .. Mostly on the driftwood. Picked off fairly easily, but always regrew somewhere else.

Along with this I had a little Green Spot Algae on the glass and the plants but I'm ok with that type because it goes away fairly easily with a good scrape and the proper fert dosing.

BTW I never figured out what these were. I don't have a microscope to compare with your notes and I tossed all the plants and driftwood in this tank and bleached the crap out of the sand and the tank.
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No , I can say from looking at the pictures its not what I have. That algae sure looks like BBA to me. Clearly you can see the tufts fanning out in your image , although the other type I cannot make out that well?

I still feel that mine is BBA as well & what some people are calling BSA is actually the lower growing version that does not really fan out unless its left forever. Its really strange. It looks like it is BSA but when a white flashlight is used on it , it does have a red hugh to it, placing it in the red algae group & back to BBA again. I believe there is 2 different versions of BBA. Maybe the folks calling BSA is really short tuft BBA??? Need expert opinion. I will try & down load an image tomorrow & show what I have. My guess is its BBA , but under the microscope so far it looks more diatomic as stated.
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