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BBA? Cause and how to treat it

Goldring1990

New Member
Joined
20 Apr 2022
Messages
3
Location
Essex
Hi all, first time post here and looking for some guidance.
My tank has been running for around 18 months now, its a stylune 85 with internal bioplus filter. 6 weeks ago I introduced co2 injection via an in tank diffuser, on 2 hours before the lights are on, then off an hour before the lights are off. Lights themselves are on for 8 hours a day.

I upped me ferts slightly, going by the guideline on the bottle as co2 has been introduced, since all off this I have noticed over the last few weeks a breakout in what I think is BBA?

I reduced my ferts back down, trimmed off the worst of the algae but its hasn't improved unfortunately. Its mainly affecting the original plants from when I first got the tank running, but has since spread to newer additions.

Today I have started to spot dose easycarbo to see if that kills any of it off and have purchased some clithon Corona snails to see if they make any difference, waiting for these to arrive.

I used to have a couple of siamese algae eaters which I removed a couple of months ago as they were quite big and were causing havoc in the tank.

I have Amano shrimps, Nerite Snails already for the clean up crew, is there anything else I can do to help the situation at all?

Many thanks!
 

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mickfzu

New Member
Joined
26 Jan 2022
Messages
20
Location
France
Hi,
I think you should complete hereunder information:

1. Size of tank in litres.
2. Age of the set - up.
3. Filtration.
4. Lighting and duration.
5. Substrate.
6. Co2 dosing or Non-dosing.
7. Fertilizers used & Ratios.
8. Water change regime and type.
9. Plant list + When planted.
10. Inhabitants.
11. Full tank shot & Surface Image.

I see that on the 2nd photo, you have an hang on canister, so your flow on the tank might be a little bit too low or unbalanced. So CO2 in the tank will not be distributed properly.
You can spot treat the BBA with Seachem Excel or H2O2. But you have to find the root cause.

Mick
 

MichaelJ

Member
Joined
9 Feb 2021
Messages
1,690
Location
Minnesota, USA
Hi @Goldring1990, Fluctuating/unstable water parameters such as lack of proper CO2/nutrient distribution (flow), combined with inadequate maintenance are among the triggers of BBA. After you fix the above, your best bet is to spot treat as @mickfzu suggests and/or remove the badly infected leaves.

Welcome to UKAPS! :)

Cheers,
Michael
 
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John q

Member
Joined
6 Jan 2021
Messages
1,223
Location
Lancashire
My tank has been running for around 18 months now, its a stylune 85 with internal bioplus filter. 6 weeks ago I introduced co2 injection
Hiya mate, assuming everything was fine prior to adding the co2, and you've made no other changes "ie" light settings, then we can only assume that either the levels of co2 in the tank are unstable, and/or the distribution of said co2 is at fault.
How are you monitoring the levels of co2, with a drop checker or ph profile?
The flow side can be tricky to get right, you don't want the plants getting blasted about, and you don't want any dead spots. Are the areas where bba is most prevalent getting to much or to little flow?

Stopping adding the ferts isn't a good idea and won't rid the tank of bba. The best defence the plants have against algae is being healthy, and for that they need feeding.

Sorry for all the questions and adding more detailed info as suggested above will allow folks to give better advice.

Cheers.
 

Tom Raffield

Member
Joined
18 Apr 2017
Messages
175
Location
Coulsdon, UK
Sorry folks, but I'm going to jump in here and hijack this thread a little as I have a similar problem to the OP.
I have been running my Juwel Vision for almost two years now since my rescape (I have a journal on here somewhere of the process). During this time the tank has been looking good, as far as I am concerned, however since an outbreak of BBA on the plant leaves and stems I am now in a fight to prevent this continuing or getting worse.
I have not made any changes to the tank but could potentially point the issue towards the following:
  • Total coverage of the surface with frogbit (100% covered), I know too much light is usually a killer but could the lack of light be an issue especially for the fast growing stem plants which look worse for wear? Java fern and crypts looking fairly healthy.
  • Could the roots of the frogbit be interfering with flow and therefore causing an issue with my spray bar? Or could the lack of any surface agitation be a problem.
  • My CO2 cylinder, which I run at a very very low level as a minor supplement for the plants, was running at near empty and I have just changed it. Could the cylinder in its end of life state have been an issue? (for reference, it is a 3kg cylinder and it has lasted 16 months) I noticed today during a water change that my bazooka atomiser was covered in grime; I did a proper clean in a bleach solution and now the bubbles being produced are much finer and like a mist than previously when the bubbles were larger.
  • I am still dosing ad lib with micro and macro ferts from APF. The frogbit is obviously very healthy and as such I felt that nutrients were in good supply. The substrate however is now two years old and I do not add anything at substrate level or vac the substrate as it is very disruptive to the plants to attempt to do so. Could this be an area for concern?
  • I have read somewhere that BBA can be made worse by water changes due to parameter fluctuations which is in conflict with what you would usually do to try and improve an algae problem. So should I be reducing these from twice weekly or increasing them?

Sorry to jump on board here but any advice would be appreciated. I have attached a few photos of the tank for reference but do please feel free to search for my journal to see the beginning. Thanks in advance everyone.
 

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MichaelJ

Member
Joined
9 Feb 2021
Messages
1,690
Location
Minnesota, USA
Sorry folks, but I'm going to jump in here and hijack this thread a little as I have a similar problem to the OP.
I have been running my Juwel Vision for almost two years now since my rescape (I have a journal on here somewhere of the process). During this time the tank has been looking good, as far as I am concerned, however since an outbreak of BBA on the plant leaves and stems I am now in a fight to prevent this continuing or getting worse.
I have not made any changes to the tank but could potentially point the issue towards the following:
  • Total coverage of the surface with frogbit (100% covered), I know too much light is usually a killer but could the lack of light be an issue especially for the fast growing stem plants which look worse for wear? Java fern and crypts looking fairly healthy.

Hi @Tom Raffield Man, thats a lot of healthy frogbit! :lol: With that much your definitely limiting agitation and gas exchange.

speaking from experience:
duckweedInvasion.jpg


Yes, stems needs a fair bit more light than the rest of your other plants - a surface covered with frogbit might cause issues in that respect. You could try and corral the frogbit with some plastic tubing to let a bit more light in over the stems that seems to struggle a bit.

  • Could the roots of the frogbit be interfering with flow and therefore causing an issue with my spray bar? Or could the lack of any surface agitation be a problem.
Yes, if the frogbit roots or other plants are limiting flow and proper CO2/nutrient distribution in the water column down to the substrate level. Again, corralling the frogbit in the area where you spraybar sit may help.

  • My CO2 cylinder, which I run at a very very low level as a minor supplement for the plants, was running at near empty and I have just changed it. Could the cylinder in its end of life state have been an issue? (for reference, it is a 3kg cylinder and it has lasted 16 months) I noticed today during a water change that my bazooka atomiser was covered in grime; I did a proper clean in a bleach solution and now the bubbles being produced are much finer and like a mist than previously when the bubbles were larger.
I will pass this one on to our numerous CO2 experts.
  • I am still dosing ad lib with micro and macro ferts from APF. The frogbit is obviously very healthy and as such I felt that nutrients were in good supply.
Frogbit sucks up a lot of ferts especially N/NO3 - and they have access to unlimited CO2 and usually get lots of light - I am removing fistfuls every other week from one of my tanks where I still grow frogbit - if you feed them well they are unstoppable!
  • The substrate however is now two years old and I do not add anything at substrate level or vac the substrate as it is very disruptive to the plants to attempt to do so. Could this be an area for concern?
Lack of flow, nutrients and/or microbial activity at the substrate level can be an issue - depending on type of plants / plant mass etc. I realized after installing a couple of small circulation pumps (PatMini) in my densely planted tanks that I hardly get any detritus or mulm buildup hence I have very little need to vacuum and disturb the substrate.

  • I have read somewhere that BBA can be made worse by water changes due to parameter fluctuations which is in conflict with what you would usually do to try and improve an algae problem. So should I be reducing these from twice weekly or increasing them?
Fluctuation in CO2/nutrient levels and other water parameters are known triggers for algae including BBA. With my low tech-tanks I even go as far as letting my WC water degas the CO2 for 24 hours or so before adding it to the tank. Whatever your water parameters are (within reason), keeping them stable is really super essential! As far as water change frequency goes, it depends. A lot of us are doing once a week (30-70% some even more), some are doing less. I always think of water changes as something I do to get rid of algae spores, pathogens and organic waste build-up from fish- and food waste - I like to think that it keeps my fish and shrimps happy!. As long as your water changes do not incur big shifts in parameters (which is something you can often control, i.e. if your water source vary a lot you can do smaller frequent ones) they are always for the good, and never bad IMO.

Nice Tank btw.!!


Cheers,
Michael
 
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