BBA and plants not growing well

Discussion in 'Algae' started by billko, 5 Oct 2009.

  1. billko

    billko Member

    I have an Osaka 260 and the plants have not been doing great recently and been getting BBA outbreak.
    I posted on the fert dosing section as to what fert is better, profito which i,m using or PN which i have used in the past.
    Now i,ve been told the profito lacks things the plants need and the algae and poor plant growth are linked and i,m struggling to get my head around all this.
    My nitrate reading is 20ppm and phosphate is 2ppm.
    I wondered if i was to dose PN+ and PN and dose on alternate days would the plants benefit from this.
    I dose easycarbo daily and don,t use C02 injection, and realise BBA can be down to a flow problem.
    I,m running 3 externals, 2 Eheim ecco 200,s at 2x 650 l/h and a fluval 305 at 1000l/h.
    I keep Discus, so i don,t want it to be too turbulent in the tank and wonder if what i have is enough flow.
    I,m basically looking for advice on what to do as getting a bit desperate.
    Cheers Billy,
  2. Superman

    Superman Member

    BBA is a co2 problem, how much Easy Carbo are you dosing?
  3. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

    newark notts.
    true, but if light is too high with no co2, then light is the problem, no?

    cut back the lighting. in terms of strength rather than length. i may be barking up the wrong tree though.
  4. JamesM

    JamesM Member

    The BIG End, South Wales
    A reduction in lighting didn't help me, but increasing the co2 and liquid carbon did help.

    On a tank that size, if you want to not use pressurized co2, I wouldn't bother with liquid carbon either, then water changes can be avoided, keeping co2 stable at around 8ppm.
  5. billko

    billko Member

    Thanks for the replies,
    I,m dosing 10ml Easycarbo daily along with 5ml profito.
    2 x 80 ltr waterchanges per week and tank is well stocked fish wise.
    Lights are standard T5,s and on 9hrs per day.
    The plants are mainly swords, vallis, crypts,anubias and the swords grew really well at first, but it,s all come to a halt with leaves looking a bit transparent and the algae is getting worse.
  6. JamesM

    JamesM Member

    The BIG End, South Wales
    9 hours per day is too much imo - cut back to 7...

    Avoid water changes as this causes an imbalance in co2 as tap water usually contains a higher concentration of dissolved co2, so you go from having a consistent figure, to an inconsistent figure.

    Plant growth will be slower, but co2 will be stable.

    Adding any form of co2 will also increase the plants demand for nutrients, and profito by itself wont cut it, so consider something else to complement it. Adding co2 though will mean water changes and unstable co2 :crazy:

    If you want faster plant growth, invest in a pressurised system, dose the EI method and do 50% water changes weekly. You can't beat this for growing healthy plant quickly. :thumbup:
  7. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

    stroud, glos
    never used easy carbo so not sure if people stay to the recommended dose as you are of if they up "overdose" slightly....
    altho have read some say that "liquid carbon" can harm vallis so over dosing probably not a good idea

    the fert you are adding has no phosphate or nitrate in it, this is possibly a problem!
    test kits are notoriously poor and really should not be taken as being accurate, the plants are a much better guide and right now they are telling you something is wrong....

    personally i would start using a fert with N and P and lower the lighting.
    try running one tube for a few weeks if it allows. if not lower duration to 6/7 hours for a while.
  8. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Chicago, USA
    Well, you should probably take a step back and take a deep breath. You seem to be getting tripped up on cause and effect so you need to sort that out in order to make the right decisions.

    Now, BBA has little or nothing to do with phosphates or nitrates. As superman says, this species of algae is fundamentally CO2 related. As mentionedby the subsequent posters, high light exacerbates this. Poor flow also exacerbates the problem, especially in a big tank. 260L ideally requires 2600LPH of flow.

    So you've got three major things working against you: You've got a high light tank being given a very small level of CO2 via liquid carbon - and what little CO2 you do have is being poorly distributed by anemic pumping. So forget about everything else right now in order to have clarity of vision.

    Determine your priorities. Generally speaking, a large high light tank is simply not compatible with CO2 via exclusively applied liquid carbon. Period. So you need to consider the following alternatives;
    1. add gas injection, or
    2. lower the lighting intensity (i.e removing a bulb or two), or
    3. add massive quantities of (possibly toxic) Easycarbo.

    Then fix your flow. I don't get your reasoning about flow. Discus are fish. They can swim pretty darn good. Have you ever tried catching them? They might actually get fitter and live longer if they have to swim against a current. Again, make another decision: high flow or algae. As long as you have a high turnover you can minimize disruptive flow by careful attention to how the flow is distributed. Spraybars or multiple outlets arranged properly will reduce localized areas of harsh/turbulent flow.

    In the mean time, while you're pondering all this, you'll need to add as much Easycarbo as your level of guts allows (I've triple dosed Excel without ill effects). You'll need to perform at least 2X or 3X per week massive water changes being sure to dose ferts and liquid carbon immediately afterwards. And you'll need to remove all affected leaves and remove whatever BBA you can find, otherwise you'll just be breeding more BBA.

    Hope this clarifies things a bit and helps you to focus on the path before you. There is no need for desperation as long as you can see the path clearly.

  9. billko

    billko Member

    Thanks for the replies and for taking time out to give me some help and advice,
    Crypts are doing ok and the vallis is growing well, Problems seem to be with the swords and i,m noticing the BBA is more visible around the areas of my outlet pipes and any wood or plants the flow is hitting.
    I will have a serious think of where to go with the tank, and i,ve got my C02 cylinder but kind of stopped at this point getting more bits and pieces, as i wasn,t too sure about running a pressurised system and hoped to get by without it.
    I will start with trying to get better flow around the tank and will add some spraybars and probably a Koralia pump.
    I,ll try Plant Nutrition ferts again and just see how i go with it, but hopefully i,ll be able to stick it out and find a solution and get the tank back to how it was and hopefully my Discus tank will stay planted.
    Thanks again

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