The Planted Tank Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
924 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
hello everyone! Right now I have a thick scape in my 46g bowfront. Its been getting neglected as i try to finish the stand for my 55g. Ive started having problems with BGA "Blue Green Algae". Originally i only noticed it growing on my exposed substrate. I vaccumed off any patches i saw pop up and I seemed to have had it under control. Since the neglection "over the last couple weeks" i am now noticing BGA spread at a rapid rate. Nearly covering my riccia dwarf hair grass and the exposed roots of many other plants. With only minor growth on leaves here and there. I vaccuum it off every chance i get. Once the stand is done every fish plant and piece of drift wood is movin to the 55

When i am doing the move I planned on dipping the plants to try and rid them of any BGA thats still left after a thorough rinse. Ive never dipped plants into any kind of solution usually just rinse them and call it good.

My question is: What kind of solution/ratio should i mix in order to make it effective against BGA but.. not jeopardize the health of the plants? and how long do i soak/dip the plants in the solution?

Also I am running a fluval 405 canister on my 46g, It too will be making the move to the 55. I had planned on NOT cleaning it out to help with the cycling and aid in promoting benificial bacteria in the new setup. If I do NOT clean out my canister will this promote the transfer of BGA into my 55?

I understand this stuff isnt even an algae and its almost inevitable that some of it will make it into the new set up. But as long as i can keep it under control until things balance out i think ill be just fine.

ANY help or advice is more than appreciated!!!

Thanks!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Your right the blue green algae is not a "True" algae at all but it thrives off of all the same things that "real" algae does, high nitrates and phosphates. The cause of it was prob by the neglect and would be most likely eliminated with the new water (low phosphates and low nitrates) in the new tank.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
924 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Your right the blue green algae is not a "True" algae at all but it thrives off of all the same things that "real" algae does, high nitrates and phosphates. The cause of it was prob by the neglect and would be most likely eliminated with the new water (low phosphates and low nitrates) in the new tank.

Thanks for the reply. This is why i am so confused on what to do about my BGA problem. I read one thing then I find the complete opposite somewhere else. No offense "cuz i appreciate your response" but every where else that i have read states that nitrates being too LOW is the main cause of BGA. I had assumed that was the root of my problem as my water tested at almost 0 nitrates. As far as my phosphates go, about a month before the "neglection" when i originally noticed the BGA in spots i added phosphate remover pads to my canister. I am not familiar with testing for phosphates, guess i need to get some test strips. Either way ive had these pads in my canister for almost 2 months now and the BGA only seemed to spread faster with the pads (other factors may have also played a role)... After doing more and more research i had came to the conclusion that i needed to remove my phosphate pads as well as my carbon from the canister.

I was sick and tired of looking at this god aweful BGA so yesterday I gave up and stripped down my tank. Taking out EVERY plant that showed signs or BGA and gave them a thorough rinse. Still no advice on ---THE DIP--- so i held off on that for the big move. Also i vacuumed off every spec of BGA on my sand and did almost a 50% water change that consisted of 75%RO 25%tap. I also removed the phosphate pads from my filter as well as the bags of carbon. So about 5 hours later i have a tank thats free of BGA (at the moment) and a filter with nothing but filter pads, filter floss, and bio rings. Hopefully i can get my nitrates up before another outbreak.....

Anyone have any input on the removal of the phosphate pads and carbon???

Still looking for a recipe for some DIP that will be effective on BGA...

Any personal experience with BGA is gladly accepted.

Thanks guys! Again, any help/advice is appreciated
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,231 Posts
Most likely you have too much light, too little nitrate, tank and filter maybe aren't being kept clean, nutrients are out of balance. Neglecting your tank probably led to the bloom. High nitrates and phosphates have nothing to do with it.

BGA is cyanobacteria not true algae. It is actually very easy to get rid of. There is no need to dip your plants and rip apart the tank. Remove what you can manually and then dose erythromycin which is the active ingredient in Maracyn. Follow the instructions on the package and it should be gone in a couple of days. There are a ton of threads on this site about using erythromycin to kill BGA.

Naturally you will have to fix the conditions that are favoring the BGA if you don't want it to return. Hard to give any concrete advice since we don't know what type of lighting and wattage, how long a photoperiod, CO2 or no CO2, dosing schedule etc.

Your plants need phosphates to grow properly, phosphate pads have no place in a planted tank.

How did you come up with a ration of 75% RO to 25% tap? You also may not have enough calcium and magnesium if you are using RO water and not keeping track of your GH.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
924 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Most likely you have too much light, too little nitrate, tank and filter maybe aren't being kept clean, nutrients are out of balance. Neglecting your tank probably led to the bloom. High nitrates and phosphates have nothing to do with it.

BGA is cyanobacteria not true algae. It is actually very easy to get rid of. There is no need to dip your plants and rip apart the tank. Remove what you can manually and then dose erythromycin which is the active ingredient in Maracyn. Follow the instructions on the package and it should be gone in a couple of days. There are a ton of threads on this site about using erythromycin to kill BGA.

Naturally you will have to fix the conditions that are favoring the BGA if you don't want it to return. Hard to give any concrete advice since we don't know what type of lighting and wattage, how long a photoperiod, CO2 or no CO2, dosing schedule etc.

Your plants need phosphates to grow properly, phosphate pads have no place in a planted tank.

How did you come up with a ration of 75% RO to 25% tap? You also may not have enough calcium and magnesium if you are using RO water and not keeping track of your GH.
Great points thank you!!! I have VERY hard tap water so typically with each water change i add 50%RO 50%tap. The last couple changes i had done i did not have RO available and used tap only. My GH and KH tested VERY high. My nitrites and nitrates were both at 0. My Ph was also high at 7.5-8. So hoping to counteract the current hardness and high Ph i added 75%RO 25%Tap w/ this WC. There is some method behind my madness.... I do understand RO water is stripped of its nutrients so perhaps i should start dosing trace elements as well.

I currently only dose Florapride every other week at half strength. Should i increase it? I had brown algae issues in a 10g when i was doseing weekly at full strength, thats why i cut it back.

As for my lighting I have a 48" 4x54w T5 HO made for my 55g sitting directly on top of my 46g. The 46g is 36" wide so the fixture overlaps the tank by 6" on both sides ---I ONLY RUN 2 BULBS--- I run 1x6700K and 1x10000K @ 6 hrs a day.

NO co2 - dont have the $ to invest in a system right now and dont want to rely on DIY however i did use DIY co2 in a 10g and had good results. May give it a shot on a larger scale.

Most my plants are low light with only a few high/medium light foreground plants. All seem to be growing very well under my current conditions - dosing lighting etc... only problem is the BGA is growing just as fast.

Filter: I run a fluval 405 on a 46g. Only had it for 6 months and have taken it apart a couple times since to tweek/rinse the filters. I've never rinsed the bio-rings.

I have heard about erythromycin, my only concern with it is that ive read it will kill your cycle... I guess this may not matter as i will be starting a new cycle once i make the move to my 55g so maybe it is the way to go!!

Inhabitants:

20 Neon Tetras
Breeding pair of German blue rams
1 Peacock Goby
1 otto -- waiting for my LFS to get more in
3-4 snails -- name? my LFS rec them as being plant friendly
8 silver hatchets
10-15 Ghost schrimp
1 Juvenile Black angel

There ya are.. I pretty well just summed up my entire set up.

Any advice or criticism welcome!!!!

Im still a noob so lay it on me lol

PEACE
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
Most likely you have too much light, too little nitrate, tank and filter maybe aren't being kept clean, nutrients are out of balance. Neglecting your tank probably led to the bloom. High nitrates and phosphates have nothing to do with it.

BGA is cyanobacteria not true algae. It is actually very easy to get rid of. There is no need to dip your plants and rip apart the tank. Remove what you can manually and then dose erythromycin which is the active ingredient in Maracyn. Follow the instructions on the package and it should be gone in a couple of days. There are a ton of threads on this site about using erythromycin to kill BGA.

Naturally you will have to fix the conditions that are favoring the BGA if you don't want it to return. Hard to give any concrete advice since we don't know what type of lighting and wattage, how long a photoperiod, CO2 or no CO2, dosing schedule etc.

Your plants need phosphates to grow properly, phosphate pads have no place in a planted tank.

How did you come up with a ration of 75% RO to 25% tap? You also may not have enough calcium and magnesium if you are using RO water and not keeping track of your GH.

+10

Pay attention to what he says about high Nitrates not being the issue with BGA. BGA can produce its own Nitrates; this is one of the reason it is beggining to thrive in your tank (you stated you have zero nitrates).

I'm not saying that this is the only factor though because the Nitrates are only one example of the tank not being balanced. I wish I could respond to this as well as Tom Barr does so I hope I don't miscommunicate anything.

Your light: is the easiest factor you can control in your tank. Use that to your advantage. Once you know how much you want/need, adjust. Making it brighter is obviously going to cause your tank to require more CO2 and other nutrients and your trimmings often = higher maintainance.

CO2: once you have your CO2 to its highest levels without being detrimental/stressful to your fish, you can move on to tweaking your dosing which will make diagnosing the cause of any algea much more precise.

I'm about done with having my CO2 right where it needs to be and my dosing right now is way more intuitive than mathimatical so I wouldn't even be comfortable with advising your there. I would tell you to read more into Estimated Index though on the forums.

Start Light->CO2->macros & micros
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
924 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
+10

Pay attention to what he says about high Nitrates not being the issue with BGA. BGA can produce its own Nitrates; this is one of the reason it is beggining to thrive in your tank (you stated you have zero nitrates).

I'm not saying that this is the only factor though because the Nitrates are only one example of the tank not being balanced. I wish I could respond to this as well as Tom Barr does so I hope I don't miscommunicate anything.

Your light: is the easiest factor you can control in your tank. Use that to your advantage. Once you know how much you want/need, adjust. Making it brighter is obviously going to cause your tank to require more CO2 and other nutrients and your trimmings often = higher maintainance.

CO2: once you have your CO2 to its highest levels without being detrimental/stressful to your fish, you can move on to tweaking your dosing which will make diagnosing the cause of any algea much more precise.

I'm about done with having my CO2 right where it needs to be and my dosing right now is way more intuitive than mathimatical so I wouldn't even be comfortable with advising your there. I would tell you to read more into Estimated Index though on the forums.

Start Light->CO2->macros & micros
Thanks for the comment. This is a little over my head... but, I do understand how the nitrogen cycle works. What i dont understand is how to raise/lower nitrates to an adequate level so that you do have a balanced system. Again i am new to the planted world so I dont have but a few months experience and only know what ive read.

I also see the importance of co2, I thought i could get by with a low tech tank without getting into an expensive Co2 set up. IS that not the case with what ive got? I dont know so you tell me. You have seen what im working with.

Theory:
Seeing as how im using fine sand and vaccuuming off all the waste that sits on top, this is probably why my cycle is out of balance... Right? Its too clean, stopping the cycle where it should start. No waste or decaying matter to be turned into nitrites to be turned into the nitrates and so on. Yes/no? Once i get it into the 55 with the eco-complete i would think this should solve some problems.

I thought i had a good routine goin everything was growing very well. until this BGA outbreak. Ive thought alot about what changed when my BGA got bad. It was getting neglected but around the time it started i also removed all the duckweed. Previously kept it 3/4 way covered... Big change! suddenly everything was getting ALOT more light. Sorry i didnt mention this before. started the post just looking for a good mixture for a dip.


What do you think?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
I think you have done really good without pressurized CO2. Are you using DIY CO2 or just none at all?

I thought I remember reading that you had pretty bright light for not having CO2 but I'll check again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
As an algae and BGA dip, I have successfully used 3% hydrogen peroxide at a rate of 4ml per gallon water. I soak the plants for about five hours, then return them to their tanks. With BBA it is sometimes necessary to repeat this dip the following day, but nothing else has necessitated a repeat so far.

Lainey
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
924 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As an algae and BGA dip, I have successfully used 3% hydrogen peroxide at a rate of 4ml per gallon water. I soak the plants for about five hours, then return them to their tanks. With BBA it is sometimes necessary to repeat this dip the following day, but nothing else has necessitated a repeat so far.

Lainey

Cool tanks for the dip tip! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
924 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I think you have done really good without pressurized CO2. Are you using DIY CO2 or just none at all?

I thought I remember reading that you had pretty bright light for not having CO2 but I'll check again.
When picking my light i based my decision on 2wpg = low light low tech and 4wpg = high light high tech. I found a 48"4x54w t5 system made for my 55g. Each pair were on a diff switch so i could start off low tech at 2wpg and have the option in the future to go high tech at 4wpg.

Ive been using this light on my 46g. the tank is 3' and the light is 4' so it overlapse the tank by 6 inchs on both sides. I've been running 2x54w bulbs for 6 hrs a day over a 46g tank 1x6700k 1x10000k bulb. something like 2.3wpg - the overlap.

I use no Co2. Played around with DIY in a 10g but never tried it on a larger scale.

I made a 100% efficient diffuser out of a single shot vodka bottle (plastic of course) and a mini powerhead. Very small and not a bubble reached the top. the current kept the bubbles for exiting the bottle and just whipped them around.

Should i break it out and mix up some yeast sugar and water?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,051 Posts
Once you have your light on a your 55 gal, your light should no longer be a problem. On my 75 gal I have a little bit less then 2 wpg and I have had no algae problems yet except for your common glass algae (not sure of the name). And if you are going to keep the tank lowtech I'd go ahead and put some more floaters back in there. I have a ton of water lettuce in mine and it seems to help by not having too much light.
Good luck with everything,
Your pal,
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top