Advice on algae (BBA) ond my setup please!

Discussion in 'Algae' started by TrickyT, 2 Mar 2010.

  1. TrickyT

    TrickyT Newly Registered

    Messages:
    7
    I have looked through all of the other issues with BBA but each one seems to be specific to each set up, so I am asking advice on mine please.

    I have BBA and algae all over the glass. i remove this every water change but does not seem to cure the problem. I did a complete tank clean 4 months ago to try and remove everything but this does not appear to work.

    I have a 350 liter corner tank.

    Lighting

    On from 12 to 9pm

    1 x Hagen Glo T5 Light Beam (2 x39w)
    1 x 34w T8
    1 x 18w T8

    Filtration

    1 x Eheim 2028
    1 x Eheim 2317
    1 x small powerhead

    Plants

    Lots of Gian Vallis
    Cabomba
    4 x moss balls
    Java fern tied to bogwood

    Water Changes

    50 liters of RO water Tropic Marin Remineral Tropic weekly

    Fish for Algae

    2 x Thai Flying Foxes
    6 x Otto's
    1 x bristlenose
    1 x royal plec

    CO2

    On 2 hours before lights and off when lights go off.

    2kg FE with D&D system
    Drop checker with 4dkh at the correct shade of green

    Fertilization

    5ml of Tropica Plant Nutrition+ daily


    LFS Advice

    Interpet Anti Hair Algae
    JBL SilicatEx into the filter

    Your expert advice appreciated.

    Regards

    Trevor
     
  2. ghostsword

    ghostsword Member

    Messages:
    3,443
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    I would say not enough light and not enough nutrition.

    I use 10ml of TPN+ per day and my tank is only 120L, I got CO2 and also add 5ml of Easycarbo daily.

    Algae is better at using what is available than plants are, so plants will struggle to compete with algae for the little that is available.
     
  3. andyh

    andyh Member

    Messages:
    1,933
    Location:
    Derby
    TrickyT - any chance of a pic b4 i make comment, it would help to see the layout. o_O

    As you appear to be doing many things right. :thumbup:
     
  4. TrickyT

    TrickyT Newly Registered

    Messages:
    7
    Hope these pictures help. I have also tried to show some of the algae.

    There is a spray bar on the left and right and the CO2 diffuser is at the back under the line of the power head to help distribute the CO2

    img00232201003022030.jpg

    img00237201003022032.jpg

    img00236201003022032.jpg

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Dolly Sprint 16v

    Dolly Sprint 16v Member

    Messages:
    1,611
    Location:
    Cheshire
    My personnel view is not enough fertz for your tank. i would at least double / treble your daily dosage.

    Regards
    paul.
     
  6. TrickyT

    TrickyT Newly Registered

    Messages:
    7
    Thanks for your reply. I will add 10ml of TPN+ per day and monitor the results.

    Regards

    Trevor
     
  7. ghostsword

    ghostsword Member

    Messages:
    3,443
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Thanks Trevor,

    I also do two water changes a week, to avoid build up or fertz, 20% each time. You may not have to be as drastic, as you got more water volume, but keep that in mind.
     
  8. TrickyT

    TrickyT Newly Registered

    Messages:
    7
    Thanks

    Here is my plan.

    Increase TPN+ to 10ml daily

    Use a course of Interpet Anti Hair Algae

    Add JBL SilicatEx into the filter

    Increase water changes to 25% (from20%) weekly

    Regards

    Trevor
     
  9. Dolly Sprint 16v

    Dolly Sprint 16v Member

    Messages:
    1,611
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Trevor

    Increase quantity of water change to 50% once a week, there are a lot of forum members that do a 50% wc every week.

    Regards
    Paul.
     
  10. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    If I owned an LFS I'd probably advise to buy something (maybe even something really expensive) as well. Unfortunately, BBA is strictly a CO2/flow issue. Every week I see something even more outrageous than before. I didn't even know there was such a thing as "JBL SilicatEx" - Wow. Let me guess; It supposedly remove sillica products from the water column, right? It's a pity they don't make a product called LFSadviceEx. Evidently, JBL is on a campaign to convince everyone that CO2 related algae is really sillica related.

    About the only way that either JBL SilicatEx or Interpet Anti Hair Algae will solve the root cause is if they are made out of the same thing Excel is made out of - Gluteraldehyde. So if you're going to buy something then you should seriously consider buying Excel (or it's Profito equivalent EasyCarbo). Then you would be addressing the real cause of BBA, which is poor (or unstable) CO2 uptake. Adding toxic algecides is not a good long term solution. As soon as you stop adding the algecide the algae will return, often with a vengeance, because these algaecides often damage and weaken the plant as well, leaving them more susceptible to algal attacks.

    You are well advised to look at CO2 and flow distribution for long term eradication of BBA. A 350L tank is a fair size. This could easily be considered a Big Tank, which ideally requires 3500LPH of flow rating - which you don't have. In order to compensate, you'll need to increase your injection rate. You do not need to keep the injection running to lights off. The most important time for CO2 is lights ON. Along with an increase in injection rate you might need to turn the gas on even earlier than 2 hours. If this is not desirable then you'll need to supplement with Excel - an expensive proposition on a 350L. I hate to rain on your parade, but a 2Kg CO2 bottle on a 350L tank is like using a 1.1L engine to power a Sherman Tank, you're just not going to get very far.

    The good news is that your lighting is not over the top like some people tend to have, so this should be a relatively easy task. You did not specify the other algal types but I can guess that if you are only dosing this tank with 5-10ml of TPN+ you'll probably need to add more as noted by Flyfisherman.

    Additionally, it's important to realize that the purpose of your water changes is NOT to avoid buildup of nutrients. In fact, if you did have a nutrient buildup you'd have a lot less problems than you do now. The reason for doing large water changes is to clean the tank, because dirty water encourages algae in a high tech tank. Dirty water also is harmful to fish. As a general principle, you should always be more concerned with the buildup of pathogens and the buildup of organic waste in the tank. This is called water pollution and that's why you need to change your water, not because of nutrients. Adding CO2 and nutrients to a planted tank cause the plants to grow faster. Plants that grow faster produce more organic waste and produce that waste faster, so keeping the tank scrupulously clean should always be a top priority. Those hobbyists who use a lean dosing program don't have to worry much about being so clean. That's because they typically have lower lighting levels and lower growth rates, so organic waste production is also at a lower rate. It seems to me that people are continuously missing this point so they focus on the wrong thing or do the right things for the wrong reasons.

    Clean your tank regularly, avoid excessive lighting, feed the plants with sufficient quantities of nutrients and CO2, ensure adequate flow and you'll see an immediate response in the tank vis a vis better plant health, higher growth rates with a reduction of these algal issues. Then you will see that there is no need for bizarre anti-sillica, anti-matter placebo chemicals from your LFS. :thumbdown:

    Cheers,
     
  11. andyh

    andyh Member

    Messages:
    1,933
    Location:
    Derby
    Ceg4048 aka Clive, where have you been? its good to have you back. I enjoy your sarcasm and sound advice!
     
  12. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    I'm like Jason on Friday The 13th. Your worst nightmare returns... :woot:

    Cheers,
     
  13. CeeJay

    CeeJay Member

    Messages:
    945
    Location:
    Surrey UK
    Hi all

    Great to see you back Clive. I might have guessed it would be algae that stirred the sleeping giant :lol:
    Love your wicked sense of humour.
    Your advice ain't too bad either :lol:
    Welcome back.
     
  14. TrickyT

    TrickyT Newly Registered

    Messages:
    7
    Thanks for your reply, very comprehensive. Have added a few comments.

    [/quote]If I owned an LFS I'd probably advise to buy something (maybe even something really expensive) as well. Unfortunately, BBA is strictly a CO2/flow issue. Every week I see something even more outrageous than before. I didn't even know there was such a thing as "JBL SilicatEx" - Wow. Let me guess; It supposedly remove sillica products from the water column, right? It's a pity they don't make a product called LFSadviceEx. Evidently, JBL is on a campaign to convince everyone that CO2 related algae is really sillica related.

    I purchased the Interpet Anti Hair Algae for my LFS the said it would give removing the algae a ;jump start; but not solve the problem. The did not stock the JBL SIliccatEX but it was he had used and it had cured his problem. Had to go to another LFS to get it.

    About the only way that either JBL SilicatEx or Interpet Anti Hair Algae will solve the root cause is if they are made out of the same thing Excel is made out of - Gluteraldehyde. So if you're going to buy something then you should seriously consider buying Excel (or it's Profito equivalent EasyCarbo). Then you would be addressing the real cause of BBA, which is poor (or unstable) CO2 uptake. Adding toxic algecides is not a good long term solution. As soon as you stop adding the algecide the algae will return, often with a vengeance, because these algaecides often damage and weaken the plant as well, leaving them more susceptible to algal attacks.

    I have never though of adding Excel, used to use it before I got my CO2, is it ok to use it as well as CO2?

    You are well advised to look at CO2 and flow distribution for long term eradication of BBA. A 350L tank is a fair size. This could easily be considered a Big Tank, which ideally requires 3500LPH of flow rating - which you don't have. In order to compensate, you'll need to increase your injection rate. You do not need to keep the injection running to lights off. The most important time for CO2 is lights ON. Along with an increase in injection rate you might need to turn the gas on even earlier than 2 hours. If this is not desirable then you'll need to supplement with Excel - an expensive proposition on a 350L. I hate to rain on your parade, but a 2Kg CO2 bottle on a 350L tank is like using a 1.1L engine to power a Sherman Tank, you're just not going to get very far.

    I have 2 drop checkers in different areas of the tank, which are both the 'correct' colour green Should I increase the injection so that it goes nearer the LIME colour, but keep an eye on my fish for distress? I will also start injecting 3 hours before lights on.

    The spray bars of the 2 pumps are at about 30 degrees down from the surface of the tank. Should I change this to around 45 degrees to 'push' the water around a bit more?


    The good news is that your lighting is not over the top like some people tend to have, so this should be a relatively easy task. You did not specify the other algal types but I can guess that if you are only dosing this tank with 5-10ml of TPN+ you'll probably need to add more as noted by Flyfisherman.

    Have upped the TPN+ to 10ml daily

    Additionally, it's important to realize that the purpose of your water changes is NOT to avoid buildup of nutrients. In fact, if you did have a nutrient buildup you'd have a lot less problems than you do now. The reason for doing large water changes is to clean the tank, because dirty water encourages algae in a high tech tank. Dirty water also is harmful to fish. As a general principle, you should always be more concerned with the buildup of pathogens and the buildup of organic waste in the tank. This is called water pollution and that's why you need to change your water, not because of nutrients. Adding CO2 and nutrients to a planted tank cause the plants to grow faster. Plants that grow faster produce more organic waste and produce that waste faster, so keeping the tank scrupulously clean should always be a top priority. Those hobbyists who use a lean dosing program don't have to worry much about being so clean. That's because they typically have lower lighting levels and lower growth rates, so organics waste production is also at a lower rate. It seems to me that people are continuously missing this point so they focus on the wrong thing or do the right things for the wrong reasons.

    Clean your tank regularly, avoid excessive lighting, feed the plants with sufficient quantities of nutrients and CO2, ensure adequate flow and you'll see an immediate response in the tank vis a vis better plant health, higher growth rates with a reduction of these algal issues. Then you will see that there is no need for bizarre anti-sillica, anti-matter placebo chemicals from your LFS. :thumbdown:

    HI will increase the water changes to 50l every 3 days rather than every week.

    Cheers,[/quote]
     
  15. CeeJay

    CeeJay Member

    Messages:
    945
    Location:
    Surrey UK
    Hi TrickyT
    You may want to consider upping this a bit more. If you do 50l every 3 days that is only 100 litres in any one week. Most of us aim for at least 50% per week on a planted tank, which in your case would be 175l. You are still a bit short of this figure.
    Water changes are one of the many tools we use to help us combat this damn algae. The more you can do, the better. So either up the frequency that you do it (pain), or increase the volume you change every 3rd day.
    I know from previous threads that ceg4048 (Clive), has been known to do a 90% water change on occasions, and he has a 6 foot tank :wideyed:.
    That's far more than any of us do.
    Hope you get it sorted.
     
  16. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Yep, although I despise doing water changes I know that it's one of the tools in our arsenal for high tech tanks. Once you get into the habit of the water changes and integrate it into your life's routine the dreariness will dissipate. I don't like getting up out of my nice warm bed early every morning either, but it's just something that's gotta be done, isn't it? More fish are killed by dirty water than any other cause, including CO2 OD.
    Well, Methadone was used as a jump start the kicking of heroin addiction, then the users got addicted to Methadone. :shifty:

    Here is what JBL has to say about SilicatEx:
    A special filter material which eliminates silicic acid and phosphate
    * Silicate (silicic acid, SiO2) causes unattractive diatom algae in the aquarium.
    * Mains water often contains levels of silicates which create problems with diatom algae.
    * This filter material permanently absorbs silicate and phosphate, preventing the growth of diatom.
    * 1 packet (500 g) absorbs 5000 mg/l SiO2 or PO4 and is sufficient for 200-400 litres.
    * For freshwater and saltwater.

    We've already had plenty of evidence that Silicic acid and it's precipitates have no correlation with diatom algae and therefore cannot be a cause. People who use RO water are just as likely to get diatom algae as anyone else. We also see that diatomic algae typically forms under high light at tank setup but rarely if ever recurs in the tank after some months even though the levels of silicates are just as high later on as they were at tank setup. So this conclusion is completely inaccurate. ADA Powersand is made of Pumice which is extremely high in silicates, so this should mean, for example, that those who use PS should have a higher incidence of diatomic algae, which is not the case at all. I've used mains water for decades and I don't have diatom problems unless I turn up the lights prematurely. I actually have had higher occurrence of diatoms using RO water, so again, this is a mis-correlation. As far as the PO4 removal, we know that's a red herring. I use tons of PO4 and have neither diatoms nor BBA, nor hair as a result. Removing PO4 from a high tech tank only causes more problems. While it may be true that diatom algae feed on silicates, it is not true that silicates can cause the appearance of diatom. So if it's not true for diatomic algae then it's certainly not true for BBA/hair which has nothing to do with silicates or with PO4. It's very difficult to demonstrate cause and effect in complex systems like our tanks. We don't really know what cured this persons problem unless we were to know all the things that he did and unless we knew all the environmental conditions he set forth in the tank.

    There is no reason why Excel cannot be used as a CO2 supplement along with gas injection. Excel/Easycarbo is the one true silver bullet in our arsenal because it addresses the root cause of CO2 related algae by feeding the plants with CO2 while at the same time being toxic to algae. it's only drawbacks are that it's expensive and that it can also be toxic to us. Used daily with care, it's the best jump start you can do, especially if you have concerns about gas toxicity to fauna.
    Well, lime green is our reference color but it does not automatically mean that it's sufficient for a given tank. That's because the CO2 profile of a tank is not homogeneous. The concentration in the plant beds can be as little as one tenth the level at the top of the tank, especially if flow distribution is sub-par. I assume you are using 4dkh water in the dropcheckers and not tap water or tank water? Otherwise the lime green reading is a complete illusion. Also, When is it lime green? If the checkers are not lime green when the lights turn on then this is also a CO2 concentration instability and will contribute to BBA.

    Filter outlet placement and flow distribution are both science and art. I normally don't angle the flow downards, but instead keep the spraybar effluent strictly horizontal. As long as the flowrate is strong this usually is the better geometry. Read about it in these threads:
    Difference in drop checker readings in different positions
    Water flow in the planted aquarium?

    Cheers,
     
  17. chris1004

    chris1004 Member

    Messages:
    565
    Hi Clive,

    Nice to see you've plugged back into the Matrix mate.

    I certainly agree with Clives statement about getting diatoms with RO water as I use nothing else and I get diatoms on new setups. So the trigger which causes the diatoms to bloom can't be silicates or phosphates.

    Regards, Chris.
     

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