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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had two decently large freshwater tanks in the past year, a 55g and a 60g cube. Both have had run-ins with the ever annoying Black Beard Algae, and finding a cure, as most people know, is tough.

That being said, the BBA issue in the 55G got so out of hand, I disassembled the tank entirely, and pretty much bought a whole new setup for the 60G cube. Sure enough, within a few weeks I had a minute amount of BBA on my large piece of driftwood in the center of my tank. Since it was up towards the top and obviously getting alot of light, I decided to reduce the time the lights were on each day, and also cover the tank up with a blanket because the tank does sit in the light in the morning. (Stupid windows have internal blinds that are not functioning.)

Anyways, I tried racking my brain about why this was happening. I was dosing over 3x the recommended amount of Flourish Excel, covering the tank up when the lights weren't on, reducing the time my EcoTech radion was on, and guess what. STILL NO CHANGE! This was so infuriating. I couldn't believe my brand new, fancy dancy tank was being overrun by this menace!

Oddly enough, I only found the true cure for BBA after my powerhead failed.

I had a the smaller Cobalt power head (I believe model 2,500?) for a month or two, and for some reason one day it just failed. The only reason I can think of is that some plants got stuck in the fan and burnt out the powerheads motor. Anyhow, something very interested happened in the days following the powerheads failure. I noticed the BBA was coming in even stronger and growing even more.

This discovery really set off a light-bulb. Defeating BBA is all about flow over the "affected area." Sure, you can kill yourself overdosing flourish excel everyday, putting a blanket on your tank and turning off your lights sooner than normal, but again, I have done all of that to no affect.

Truly, the only solid defense (other than I suppose a true flying fox) is flow. I have a new powerhead with a rotating fan that creates great flow over the affected areas, at only 100gph, which is perfect for my discus. (The cobalt powerhead was creating farrrrrr to much flow for the discus to be happy).

In closing, I recommend the following. Get a solid powerhead with appropriate flow for your tank, and if you can, get a rotating powerhead so it will cover a large section of your tank. Second, don't worry so much about how long your lights are on for. (Obviously anything over 10 is excessive imho) Don't try to cover your tank up if it gets sunlight, and DONT try the 1-2 punch. I've never seen the benefit of putting chemicals in your tank that are certainly not designed for fish tank use. Instead, dose 1x or 2x Flourish Excel daily, and ensure proper flow over your BBA area.

In time, the BBA will start slowly (and yes, i mean slowly) withering away. If you have any questions on powerheads or getting rid of BBA, please let me know! I'm happy to help because I know what a menace BBA can be, and how defeating the issue is to the average aquarist.
 

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I had it bad also- pulled all driftwood and hit is hard with H202.
for a couple months I also sprayed and dosed gravel with H202 when I did water changes.

95% of it is gone....now I just spot hit when needed.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had it bad also- pulled all driftwood and hit is hard with H202.
for a couple months I also sprayed and dosed gravel with H202 when I did water changes.

95% of it is gone....now I just spot hit when needed.
SIOUX YEA YEA!!!! I went to UND and I see your from NODAK as well. I don't like the idea of putting h202 in a tank where fish live, but that's just me. Flow imho is the best natural way to get rid of it!
 

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I am also a UND grad....

never lost a fish to h202...no, no not one.... damaged a few delicate plants but nary a scale on a fish was injured in this film.
 

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I don't think flow is entirely the solution. I've seen bba grow in very high and low flow areas, sometimes right on the outflow of a filter or powerhead. Water movement is probably helping the movement of nutrients and co2 across your long tank, which in turn the helping the plants grow and out compete the bba.
 

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Can a fish spread BBA?
I noticed several tanks at my big box fish store where the gravel is covered in this algae. It goes ignored, but are the fish carriers of any spores or whatever this is made of?
 

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are the fish carriers
No, but the water is. There is no way to get rid of every drop of store tank water from the fish before adding it to your quarantine tank, but the time and water changes in the quarantine tank ought to provide a break in its life cycle.

Some algae spores spread through the air, or on your clothing, or your dog's fur... Even the municipal water supply may have some live algae. You are not going to keep the tank free of algae by preventing the spread of the spores.
 

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I did a 50% water change last night on my big tank. I sprayed h202 on the back glass. It starts to smoke a bit and I am happy to watch it die.

I dosed five spots in the gravel that had BBA. it was instantly oxidized. My rummies danced through the bubbles created...my guess is they are getting a little O2 buzz on.


Yes, if you go bonkers with h202 you are going to kill stuff. I use one of those restaurant ketchup squeeze bottles....I make a very small opening in the nozzle....I get right on top of the BBA and make it be dead. It is my FAVORITE part of water changes.
 

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I had a lot of BBA for about one year, after i began co2 injection. I did read somewhere that fluctuating co2 levels is one of the cause of it. It was growing on equipment, plants. One explanation i did read was that when co2 levels fluctuate a lot, plants cannot cope with it but BBA can and that injection of co2 should begin 2 hours before the lights are on, if it is not 24 hours a day.

I was playing with the levels of co2 a lot because i did not know what i wanted exactly. Now it is better since i have found the adjustment i want and the co2 levels are the same each day. I do not play with it anymore and leave it as it is.

Also the injection of co2 begins 2 hours before the lights are on now. Before it did began at the same time as the lighting period.

BBA has disappeared a lot lately, i still see some on older leaves of my echinodorus (that will be trimmed soon), but the new leaves no longer have it.

I get rid of it by cutting infested leaves, and removing the equipment from the tank, brushing it, burning the BBA with Excel. Sometime i burn BBA spots in the tank with Excel, but i do not find this practical at all.

Michel.
 

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I've had two decently large freshwater tanks in the past year, a 55g and a 60g cube. Both have had run-ins with the ever annoying Black Beard Algae, and finding a cure, as most people know, is tough.

That being said, the BBA issue in the 55G got so out of hand, I disassembled the tank entirely, and pretty much bought a whole new setup for the 60G cube. Sure enough, within a few weeks I had a minute amount of BBA on my large piece of driftwood in the center of my tank. Since it was up towards the top and obviously getting alot of light, I decided to reduce the time the lights were on each day, and also cover the tank up with a blanket because the tank does sit in the light in the morning. (Stupid windows have internal blinds that are not functioning.)

Anyways, I tried racking my brain about why this was happening. I was dosing over 3x the recommended amount of Flourish Excel, covering the tank up when the lights weren't on, reducing the time my EcoTech radion was on, and guess what. STILL NO CHANGE! This was so infuriating. I couldn't believe my brand new, fancy dancy tank was being overrun by this menace!

Oddly enough, I only found the true cure for BBA after my powerhead failed.

I had a the smaller Cobalt power head (I believe model 2,500?) for a month or two, and for some reason one day it just failed. The only reason I can think of is that some plants got stuck in the fan and burnt out the powerheads motor. Anyhow, something very interested happened in the days following the powerheads failure. I noticed the BBA was coming in even stronger and growing even more.

This discovery really set off a light-bulb. Defeating BBA is all about flow over the "affected area." Sure, you can kill yourself overdosing flourish excel everyday, putting a blanket on your tank and turning off your lights sooner than normal, but again, I have done all of that to no affect.

Truly, the only solid defense (other than I suppose a true flying fox) is flow. I have a new powerhead with a rotating fan that creates great flow over the affected areas, at only 100gph, which is perfect for my discus. (The cobalt powerhead was creating farrrrrr to much flow for the discus to be happy).

In closing, I recommend the following. Get a solid powerhead with appropriate flow for your tank, and if you can, get a rotating powerhead so it will cover a large section of your tank. Second, don't worry so much about how long your lights are on for. (Obviously anything over 10 is excessive imho) Don't try to cover your tank up if it gets sunlight, and DONT try the 1-2 punch. I've never seen the benefit of putting chemicals in your tank that are certainly not designed for fish tank use. Instead, dose 1x or 2x Flourish Excel daily, and ensure proper flow over your BBA area.

In time, the BBA will start slowly (and yes, i mean slowly) withering away. If you have any questions on powerheads or getting rid of BBA, please let me know! I'm happy to help because I know what a menace BBA can be, and how defeating the issue is to the average aquarist.

Excel is probably as or more dangerous than H2O2, although both are relatively safe if used correctly. Also excel is a chemical.
 

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I have been battling it for 7 months and I still cant figure out how to stop it.

I had BBA and rhizoclonium. I somehow got rid of the rhizo. I think extra, deep gravel vacs got rid of it.

I am currently on the extra, deep gravel vacs and repeated canister filter cleanings and reduced photo period "plan of attack" to see if that makes a difference. (thanks to some members suggestions) Basically concentrating on reducing mulm, keeping things extra clean and reducing the photo period. So far I have not seen the BBA retreating...it really is starting to piss me off...

I even added another powerhead. Now I think I should remove it!

I have not attempted any H2O2 or excel treatments, only manual removal. I just don't see the point of those treatments since it will just come back.

iso
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Excel is probably as or more dangerous than H2O2, although both are relatively safe if used correctly. Also excel is a chemical.
Thanks, its quite obvious that excel is a chemical lol. But is designed for use in a fish tank. Hydrogen Peroxide is meant for cleaning cuts and wounds, not for fish. That's my point.
 
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