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Carpe Diem
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Interesting and thank you.

Do you know what levels of phosphate and silicate you had before and after? Did BBA died off or you removed it by hand and it has not come back?

In short, more details would be much appreciated.

v2
 

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Yes, when I went into the local aquarium shop the other day to re-plant my tank (to which I also had a terrible BBA prloblem, fixed now). The owner of the shop told me about the PhosGuard that he uses on his saltwater tanks. BBA apparently thrives (or needs) Phosphate to survive, and so removing that in the tank kills off the BBA entirely. The reason why a lot of people don't use this method (or so he said) is that many people think that plants needs phosphates to live, or live better, but infact phosphates almost have no corrolation with the growth of plants.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is what I was told yesterday. And it seems you've also had the same success.
 

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Yes, when I went into the local aquarium shop the other day to re-plant my tank (to which I also had a terrible BBA prloblem, fixed now). The owner of the shop told me about the PhosGuard that he uses on his saltwater tanks. BBA apparently thrives (or needs) Phosphate to survive, and so removing that in the tank kills off the BBA entirely. The reason why a lot of people don't use this method (or so he said) is that many people think that plants needs phosphates to live, or live better, but infact phosphates almost have no corrolation with the growth of plants.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is what I was told yesterday. And it seems you've also had the same success.
Say what?! You cannot just find elemental P floating around...it's mainly found in the phosphate form in soils and water. ATP, DNA/RNA...just a few important biomolecules that NEED phosphorus to be assembled.
 

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Say what?! You cannot just find elemental P floating around...it's mainly found in the phosphate form in soils and water. ATP, DNA/RNA...just a few important biomolecules that NEED phosphorus to be assembled.
No, I know that phosphate in it's elemental state isn't just floating around. As you said, various proteins that contain phosphate are omnipresent in a fishtank and are used by various organisms to produce biomolecules.

I don't understand everything that the man told me. But from what I could make out, he said that phosphates aren't as important as people think in aquariums, and although removing it all entirely would be detrimental to the plants and fish, having lower levels than what was previously recommended both keeps algae at bay and your aquarium happy...

Although, that's what he was saying, and he could be crazy.
 

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This is interesting to me because I have some of this left over from my reefing days and I did use it on my planted tank about 6 years ago or so and I never had any BBA back then but then I was concerned about it removing all of the phosphate in my tank so quit using it. I have had BBA several times since then and my co2 is running as much as possible without killing fish so I might try this again to see the results. I'm sure you will get many people saying that you don't want to remove all the phosphates but we will have to see.
 

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I do not know the levels beforehand. but I can say the bba was growing on glass and everything else and the only thing I changed in the past month was adding the phos guard

it's a dirted tank, mts from plain cheap topsoil. before trying this I manually removed bba almost daily and it grew back fast. after adding the phos guard I removed some of it but it was still completely covering all my wood and rocks. it's falling off by itself now and my plans are still growing super fast.

so far I've changed the phos guard once after a week and and a half. the bba is disappearing at a pretty quick rate.


Interesting and thank you.

Do you know what levels of phosphate and silicate you had before and after? Did BBA died off or you removed it by hand and it has not come back?

In short, more details would be much appreciated.

v2
I just went and looked and my decimated micro sword that amost all died off because of the bba has put out three new sprouts, woohoo!
 

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Wow, back to the old "phosphate causes algae" idea? I surely can't comment on what exactly initiates algae to grow, I can say I've been dumping lots of phosphate in my tanks without issue for 8 months.

If phosguard removes the bba, then that seems like the end of discussion for me and I will go buy some phosguard. :smile:

As a guess, I wonder if the difference in the type of phosphate has something to do with it? Please see here and here

Again, not doubting you, but I am skeptical. NPK has long been understood to be crucial for plants, phosphorus is an essential element plants need to grow
 

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So, by removing phosphorous from your aquarium you've greatly reduced the ability of your plants to utilize carbon and nitrogen. Does the elimination of P also cause BBA not to be able to use carbon and nitrogen? We know that plants are able to store nutrients and then draw on those stores when they're no longer available in the environment. Does algae store nutrients or does it die back quickly when there are no nutrients available? Would plants continue to flourish for a while until their store of nutrients are exhausted and then begin to decline while algae would decline much faster?

I've completely stopped dosing my tank in the past and the tank looked great for 3 weeks. The small amount of nuisance algae completely died off after a week or so and everything seemed fine then plants start to yellow, lose leaves and wither. You're living on borrowed time :).

Here's a good discussion on algae and nutrients.
http://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/why-dont-nutrients-cause-algae.3217/
 

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Here we go again.

17 years, that's how long we have known on line within the web community that PO4 (elevated levels) do not induce BBA or any number of algae.

This is not a question, this is a fact.
If you use basic logic, I'm talking the exact same type used in Science, we should be able to add PO4 and get BBA(or any algae that many claim).

You made the hypothesis, now try and test this.

There are many potential causes.
But.......all it takes are few cases where we KNOW we add plenty of PO4 and do not get BBA, that this hypothesis is falsified.

I really wish history would not repeat itself and that each new cohort of planted hobbyists seems to have to go through this all over again and again ad aduseum.

If the hypothesis is true, then where is my BBA?


I dose 10 ppm a week and feed fish.
I sell gobs of Starougyne, Red pantanal, mini butterfly, Rare Cryptds, a mix of both slow and fast growers. Check out the feedback if you have even a little doubt. So that's one aspect totally falsified multiple times for going on 2 decades.

So what is going on then?
Same deal as way back then when Kevin and Paul suggested it.
http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/Fertilizer/sears-conlin.html

The hobby is about growing plants, not limiting algae.
Never was about limiting algae, it's still not.

Liebig's law applies:

What you have done however is limit the plant growth itself.
Instead of CO2 being the MOST limiting factor, now you have switched to PO4 being the MOST limiting factor.

A decent image of the concept:

http://goose.ycp.edu/~kkleiner/ecology/lectureimages/Abioticfactors/liebigslaw.jpg

Now if you could/can manage CO2 correctly, and have enough control with CO2, then BBA is not an issue. I've never once seen otherwise. Not in some 20 years.

So when you limit PO4, now your CO2 issue went away(and thus the BBA goes away, as if by magic? I think not, I have always linked BBA to the poorly managed CO2 levels(bobbing between say 5-15 ppm etc for some/all of the lighting period).

This also confirms that CO2 is likely the inducer of BBA. There may be other factors involved with BBA, but I;'ve not seen any that are testable other than CO2.

You never limited BBA with PO4 remover, that much is clear. You reduced the demand for CO2 by the plants. Plants can tolerate PO4 limitation much better than they can CO2 limitation.

So it goes back to plant growth and Liebig.
You will not escape that.

To have a good understanding and horticultural ability, good usage of CO2 is key. Now if you cannot use CO2 well, too impatient, not enough/too much current, have poor equipment, assume test kits are correct and do not pay more attention to the plants, algae and fish properly, well..........then you might need a crutch like PO4 limitation.

It works but fails to grow plants really well and fails to teach the hobbyists how to manage CO2 correctly.

Now if you also add a lot of light, then you'd expect you'd also require more CO2, and many folks seem to have that vs low light, good CO2 and ferts.

This article discusses light and CO2 demand independent of nutrients:
http://www.tropica.com/en/tropica-abc/basic-knowledge/co2-and-light.aspx

1 st thing they discuss: Liebig, go figure.

There are thousands of aquariums with non limiting PO4 out there that are free of BBA, a number of folks going "me too" does not suggest much other than poor CO2 management frankly. Sounds harsh? It should. It was clearly shown to be FALSE decades ago. We can never know with absolution what causes something(say BBA), but we can say what something is not.

Explain why my tanks do not have BBA.
You cannot with that hypothesis.
 

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So, by removing phosphorous from your aquarium you've greatly reduced the ability of your plants to utilize carbon and nitrogen. Does the elimination of P also cause BBA not to be able to use carbon and nitrogen? We know that plants are able to store nutrients and then draw on those stores when they're no longer available in the environment. Does algae store nutrients or does it die back quickly when there are no nutrients available? Would plants continue to flourish for a while until their store of nutrients are exhausted and then begin to decline while algae would decline much faster?

I've completely stopped dosing my tank in the past and the tank looked great for 3 weeks. The small amount of nuisance algae completely died off after a week or so and everything seemed fine then plants start to yellow, lose leaves and wither. You're living on borrowed time :).

Here's a good discussion on algae and nutrients.
http://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/why-dont-nutrients-cause-algae.3217/
If you have a source of PO4 in the sediment, then this can be alright, particularly if the sediment is new, and has ample N still, older sediments still possess all the other nutrients(likely for 5-10 years or so, maybe more) just lacks N over time.

But the algae are not limited in any cases.
This is all about Liebig's law and plant demand.
 

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lol... this wasn't a post to discuss "science" behind your theories, this is just me telling people what worked for me after all else failed.

If your info was so well known I don't think you would have to so valiantly defend it.

I got the idea from a guy who makes a living with fish and plants, and has been doing planted tanks for 20 or so years.

you shouldn't make a blanket hypothesis when you don't know all the info. for example my tank might have 10x the amount of po4 your tank does, therefore causing the bba to thrive in my tank. plants don't need massive amounts of po4 and I seriously doubt the phos guard is removing 100% of it from the tank or my plants would be dying after a few weeks, which is exactly the opposite of what's happening.

Noone has all the anwsers and you really should be less critical and negative about things Tom, makes you look like an old grouch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow, back to the old "phosphate causes algae" idea? I surely can't comment on what exactly initiates algae to grow, I can say I've been dumping lots of phosphate in my tanks without issue for 8 months.

If phosguard removes the bba, then that seems like the end of discussion for me and I will go buy some phosguard. :smile:

As a guess, I wonder if the difference in the type of phosphate has something to do with it? Please see here and here

Again, not doubting you, but I am skeptical. NPK has long been understood to be crucial for plants, phosphorus is an essential element plants need to grow
I never said phosphate causes algae... just the abundance of it is allowing it to thrive in my tank. obviously reducing po4 levels is working, so what's the problem.
 

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this is just me telling people what worked for me after all else failed.
Oh hey that's cool, there's no problem.. I thought you wanted discussion about it, and you're right you didn't say phosphates cause algae, it was just the only conclusion I could draw.

It's like I said, if it works I'll try it :smile:, I don't care a whole lot about theory as long as the plants grow and algae doesn't, even though I do find it more interesting the more I know about it.

Even though you didn't want discussion about science in your thread, I learned alot from the links and posts, so thank you for posting.

I am interested in seeing how it works for you as time goes by, so if you feel like it, please keep us updated. And forgive me for assuming you were saying "phosphate cause algae" :icon_smil

btw.. what's "a" welcome and why is it mine?.........jk:smile:
 

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The problem with threads like this and I'm not picking on the OP, but everyone with BBA will think this is a good fix for them. It's possible something is going on in your tank that this is having a positive effect on the situation. Same goes with co2, it's not always a fix for BBA and so many here that is the first thing they recommend increasing even before seeing the affected tank. I don't know but for some reason I see a rep from Seachem reading this thread and ROTFL.
 
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