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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have BBA, it hasn't taken over my tank but its on about 1/2 my plants. I have had my tank set up for about 1.5 months, I have just recently ( 3 days ago) made a DIY CO2 and added that to my tank. I've been reading up on various ways to eliminate BBA, adding CO2, dosing with excel, applying H2O2 to the BBA directly. What would you guys do? I'm not sure if just by having CO2 on the tank now will eventually kill the stuff with time? I've read conflicting things on that.

Anyways, thanks in advance with any suggestions
 

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Shall I be the bearer of worst case scenario? Yeah, I think I'll appoint myself. :hihi:

I had a bad case of BBA earlier this year and after trying all the standard suggestions - blackouts, placing plants in quarantine and Excelling them like crazy, etc. etc. - nothing worked. Yeah, the BBA turned orange in QT, but getting it off was virtually impossible without essentially destroying the plants.

So, I nuked the tank.



Tossed out all the plants, put the fish in QT, mild bleached the tank and gravel and finally - after being told time and time again to by the good folks here to get a CO2 setup - I went and got one.

Found a CO2 tank on Craigslist for $25, had it filled for $20, picked up an Aquatek regulator for $65 and it's been a next to trouble-free tank since then. Virtually no algae of any kind except that hard green stuff on the glass, which is very low in amounts at best. And I tell you what...you can't beat the plant growth!


Yeah, nuking the tank can create a lot of work...but, I was sick of trying things, only to have it worsen or remain as it was.

***DON'T BLEACH GRAVEL IF IT'S NUTRIENT BASED, SUCH AS ECO-COMPLETE, FLOURITE OR AMAZONIA. JUST REMOVE INTO 5 GALLON BUCKETS WITH SOME WATER FROM THE TANK UNTIL YOU'VE CLEANED YOUR TANK***
 

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What the size of the tank? With a DIY CO2 system, it is often insufficient for plant growths and combating algae in a larger tank.....maybe 20g or bigger. I have some minor issues with BBA too. Mostly on my Amazon swords since they receive the most light (near the water surface). I have BBA on some of my stunted Chain Swords. Obviously, plants aren't growing or unhealthy plants will have algae issues.

I would probably schedule an interruption in my photo period. 4 hours light on. 2 hours off, and 4 hours on. Increase my CO2 and to keep it consistent. Should be easy since I am using a pressurized CO2 system. I will apply some H2O2 onto the Amazon Sword leaves during my next water change, Sat. The leaves are at the top and it should be easy. I will continue this routine until my plants are growing healthy again. Then, I will trim off all offending leaves. In my case, BBA tends to attack on unhealthy leaves and stunted plants.
 

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ok suggestion number 1, let the tank mature. I know that the bba is unsightly but you are attempting to mimic nature and it takes time. Try not to "restart" right now because your tank isn't even mature enough to worry about a significant imbalance. At 1.5 months I'm surprised you don't have diatoms also.

After tank maturity... Co2, Co2, Co2. Having a consistent flow of Co2 into the tank will knock the edge off of the BBA but this will only truely benefit you if you have planted heavy and you have the biomass required to absorb not only the Co2 but also the other nutrients in the water. So spend the money up front on Co2 because you will end up doing damage-over-time to your wallet if you accept any other Co2 solution and none work as well as a good pressurized system AND plant heavy.

The excel/H202 dosing method works extremely well for situations where a user might see localized BBA because of a nutrient spike or small imbalance. In these instances you can directly dose the BBA on the "problem area" with each water change but this is not your scenario.

I'm sorry I also forgot that general tank flow and no "dead spots" in the tank will greatly help nutrient transport also thus minimizing BBA. Could we get a look at this tank by chance?

I hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the info, What I ended up doing so far is. A few days ago I spot treated the BBA with H2O2,turned all filters off, I only used about .5 ml per gallon and did a large water change about 30/45 mins after. It's been 2 days now and id say about half the areas I spot treated have turned a dark red color, so it looks like its working somewhat. I haven't found any petstores too close that carry excel, but I know of one that I'm planning on going to on Sat that carries it. I'll stock up on it there i suppose.

Yeah after buying all my plants and not seeing any progress in the tank, I started reading up on CO2 systems. I ended up making a DIY CO2 and it works pretty well! I would buy a pressureized one, and probably will eventually, but I'm having to go about all this slow as to not let my wife know how obsessed I've become with my fish tank and plants haha.
 

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dude.... You sound like me 7 months ago. I bought a 10 gallon tank for a red eared slider that we found in our pool and now I have a 125, a 55, a 20 long reef, and the same 10 that started it all. I really need to seek help, lol.

Just break her in easy, I have seen that everyone that I talk to is either pro fishtanks or not, there isn't any middle ground there. However, as much as my friends/colleagues think I'm a dork they really respect the work and knowledge it takes to be successful in this hobby and none of them can stop staring at my handy work! So hang in there!

Now, back on the thread. So 4L of excel runs 60 dollars and as a carbon supplement you are going to have to dose this quite regularly. By the time you have bought two bottles of excel you will have paid for a barebones Co2 system and be done with it. I understand that budgetary concerns fall into play here but I always try to make people understand that the upfront cost for Co2 needs to be paid because if you go with DIY or another solution like excel you are going to end up paying the money anyway.

Cheers,
Abe
 

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Follow toms kiss method. Dose estimative index, get your c02 up to 30 ppm, keep your tank clean (weekly wcs. ), and make sure you have good flow and filtration. That's really all you have to do. Then when your plants are growing like crazy (because they will) don't let them get to overgrown.
 

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Also read some of toms articles on his site he is very thorough on explaining how and why all of this stuff works. A few hours of reading will save you a lot of headaches.
 

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Follow toms kiss method. Dose estimative index, get your c02 up to 30 ppm, keep your tank clean (weekly wcs. ), and make sure you have good flow and filtration. That's really all you have to do. Then when your plants are growing like crazy (because they will) don't let them get to overgrown.
And, above all else, don't use more light than necessary. If you have 40-50 micromols of PAR at the substrate, and the light hanging a foot or so above the top of the tank, you have enough light, but not so much that algae constantly haunt you.
 

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Don't forget the dead spots. One of my tanks is always a battle with this stuff --always growing in the same dead spot (middle front), but with constant water changes I never let it win the war.
 

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Well just to update what I did, I did 2 H2O2 spot treatments, about .5 mil per gallon followed by 50% water changes. The following week I did 1 double dose of excel and I have done 1 water change since that. Almost all of my Algae is gone. The small bit that is left is all dark red and very thin, I think it should be gone within this week.

From what I can see, both treatments worked very well. I lost no fish and all my plants made it as well except 1, elodea densa, which the excel completely dissolved. I'm pretty happy with the outcome.

Now to keep it from returning....
 

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Keep the fertz and CO2 up and wave the bottle of Excel in front of the tank every so to intimidate it. Not really kidding, bought a diatom filter and the GW left the day it arrived. Bought a big bottle of Excel, BBA is sulking in hidden corners. Superstitious? Not me!

DIY CO2 works but it is messy and smelly and not as cheap as it seems. Sugar is expensive and really 2 bottles replaced alternately would be best. Size of bottle depends on the size of your tank.

Consider the light you have, that is really fast for BBA to set up shop. Usually it takes a few months for it to show up in my tank after a new scape job and I have loads of light. Cut back to 8 hours using a timer and/or raise the lights or shade the tank.
 
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