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C02 & BBA

CeeBee

Member
Joined
15 Feb 2009
Messages
171
Hello

I've posted this on another forum, but thought I would ask for some advice here too;

My set up is a Fluval Osaka 155.
I run DD pressurised C02
Fluval 205 filter
2 x Koralia Nano pumps for circulation
EI dosing using dry ferts from AE

I'm still failing at fine tuning my set up.

My drop checker is consistently showing yellow (I know it should be green) - and I've moved it around the tank to get different readings.

If I turn down the C02 - the BBA starts to creep back. It's slow, it's on the wood and the gravel rather than the plants - but it's growing - insidious, horrible stuff.

Whenever I alter the C02, I do it very gradually and then leave it for a day or so.

The lights are on for 8 hours. C02 comes on 2 hours before lights on and goes off 1 hour before lights out.

The circulation is very good - the BBA is actually growing right in the path of one of the koralias.

I'm consistent with the EI dosing and the weekly, 50% water changes.

I'm worried that maintaining enough C02 to keep my drop checker consistently yellow isn't good for the fish but if I go any lower on the C02, the BBA will get the upper hand and begin to take over. The fish aren't gasping, no illness, no hanging at the top or bottom.

So my questions are;
Is it this tweaking of C02 to get a green drop checker the cause of the BBA re-growth? (Even though I do it gradually)

Is a yellow drop checker indicative of poor conditions for the fish? (Even though no obvious signs of distress)

Is there anything else I can do to help eradicate the BBA once and for all, or do I just have to live with it?

I know I must be doing something wrong - I just don't know what.

Thank you.

Caroline
 

Themuleous

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6 Jul 2007
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4,124
Location
Aston, Oxfordshire
To be honest I think you might be over thinking things. If lowering CO2 = BBA then in my book dont lower the CO2 ;) Also if the fish are fine then I would use them as the guide not the DC, which is after all a rather crude instrument, the fish and plants will tell you everything you need to know about the health of the tank.

I take it you are using the 4dKH water in the DC?

In my book, stability is key, find a system and CO2 level and stick to it. If things are working why change anything? :)

As an added comment, you could add excel/easycarbo as recommended on the pot, that'll probably help keep the BBA in check and the plants would appreciate it as well I'm sure ;)

What lights are you using?

Sam
 

CeeBee

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15 Feb 2009
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171
Now that's the sort of advice I like! Do nothing :D

The lights are 2x24w T5 HO and I am using 4dKH water in the DC.

The fish seem to be fine - no overt signs of distress, but then I've never seen the effects of gassing them, so I guess it's hard to say for sure (hmmmm, I could over thinking things again?!)

I've got some easy carbo - I hadn't been using it because I thought that adding it with high C02 might be a problem. I'll start adding some and see how I get on.


Thanks for your response, Sam.
 

Themuleous

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6 Jul 2007
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4,124
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Aston, Oxfordshire
You'd know if the fish were being gassed, they just wouldn't be acting right. You can add easycarbo at the same time as co2 without any problems :) its not really necessary as the plants prefer to use CO2 but it cant do any harm at the levels stated on the bottle. The only caveat I will add is that it can melt some plants, do you have valls, riccia or other fine leaves plants like hornwort in the tank?

Sam

EDIT - your might find reducing the light to 6hrs would help with the BBA. 8hrs with T5's is quite a lot of light.
 

CeeBee

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15 Feb 2009
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I learned the hard way about the plant melting properties of Flourish Excel and EasyCarbo :(

My first foray into battling BBA was by overdosing Excel - my vals are only just recovered, they were in a very sorry state.

That was 3+ times over the recommended dose though. I've only tried spot dosing the BBA since then, but as a method, it was a bit unwieldy for me (I can't reach the bottom of the tank without using steps :oops: and I don't want to be lugging them around every day). Perhaps the vals will be OK if I just dose the recommended amount?

I'll try cutting down the lights too. Should I cut down the C02 to match it? (C02 coming on 2 hours before lights on / off 1 hour before lights out)
 

nry

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23 Oct 2007
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1,227
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Cumbria, UK
Stick with CO2 on 2 hours before lights come on, but personally I'd leave it on until lights out. There's perhaps enough time in that last hour for CO2 levels to drop quickly enough to cause problems. What you need is stable CO2 through the entire lighting period and with it going off 1hr before the lights do, you have 1hr where CO2 levels will drop.

And yeah, go by the fish not the drop checker. Since breaking my drop checker last year I've not monitored CO2 levels in any way - the CO2 is (was until the regulator seal went last week) at the maximum level it can go without affecting the fish. This is sufficient enough of a 'guide' for me and no algae issues to speak of at all.
 

Dan Crawford

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21 Jun 2007
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Themuleous has given you some good advice there. One thing i'd recommend is checking your 4dkh solution, had some dodgy stuff and i was always in the yellow. My tank was still fine but when i got some new 4dkh the DC was pretty much blue!

Also, when i was using a solenoid i had BBA issues, when i eliminated the solenoid and ran my CO2 24/7 the BBA when away. These are just my experiences and solenoids work for other people with no BBA issues.

I hope this helps.
 

CeeBee

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15 Feb 2009
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171
Thank you for the advice, I appreciate it.

I'll make the adjustments to the lighting and C02 tonight and see what happens. Then I'll give it a couple of weeks and post an update.

If I'm still having problems, I'll consider the solenoid and getting a new batch of 4dkh - until then, I'll keep a close eye on the plants and fish.

Thanks again.
 

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