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DESPAIR: My BGA Problem.

PM

Member
Joined
15 Dec 2007
Messages
615
Location
London
Hello scapers, I was hoping around this time to post some lovely pics of my tank and plants, though the BGA just won't back off.

I had to go away for 3 days, it was the end of my dosing cycle so the tank normally gets 2 days break, but had 3 instead. The CO2 and lights were on timers and someone fed the fish once daily.

I came back to this:

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(The last pic is off some Micranthemum micranthemoides from TGM, it came covered in algae but I removed most of it though it seems to have grown back, I need to save this plant somehow)

My maintenance plan:
- I dose double EI dry from AE straight to the tank (I measure this accurately with little baking spoons)
- 50-60% water change every week
- Clean filter monthly (at least) in old tank water
- Always remove dead leaves / BGA and prune at water change, I use some CO2 tubing to syphon out BGA and detris

Equipment:
Tank 60x30x30
Eheim 2322 thermo (500LPH) with lily pipe and intake/skimmer combo
Arcadia T5 - I run 2x24W (Osram 880 Skywhite & Arcadia Plant pro) 9 hours a day
CO2 by FE through Cal Aqua in-line diffuser (two hours before lights on and off 30 mins before)

Please help me! This stuff is driving me nuts and moreover it's winning the battle!!

I know that I have had some very long threads on this same problem over the last few months and I have really appreciated everyones help, but the problem still persists! :?
 

altaaffe

Member
Joined
13 Jul 2008
Messages
309
Location
Thornhill, Egremont, Cumbria
The main experts will no doubt chime in shortly, but I'd carry out a 50% water change removing as much of the BGA as possible.
Don't dose ferts and kill the CO2 & lights, providing a complete blackout of the tank for 3 whole days, then carry out another 50% water change after the blackout.

I had a slight case of BGA after being sent abroad short notice after setting a tank up, once it's there it needs the blackout to remove it.
 

Midnight

Member
Joined
2 Sep 2008
Messages
48
Location
North Yorkshire
altaaffe said:
........ once it's there it needs the blackout to remove it.
In my limited experience perserverance was the key. My tank looked like that just before I went on holiday for three weeks.
Expecting the worst I was pleasantly surprised to find the problem had receded on my return and all I did was turn the lights down to 8 hours. Then I started experimenting with 'All-in-one'.
http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=3157
Listening to the advice from the experts on here I added a powerhead to increase the flow and started using a drop checker to monitor the CO2. Whilst I still have some other algae issues the BGA has all but gone now. It's a steep learning curve and there's a long way to go, but getting to grips with the balance has avoided the need for blackouts and algacides for me at least. Hope this helps!
 

PM

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Thread starter
Joined
15 Dec 2007
Messages
615
Location
London
Thanks for your post, but believe me, I have tried everything and everything seems to be fine to me otherwise.

I plan to do a blackout next week, I'm waiting for a small air pump to arrive so my fish don't suffocate, I'm going to wrap it up extremely well and hope that it all dies :mad:
 

Garuf

Member
Joined
30 Oct 2007
Messages
5,000
Location
Copenhagen
I can tell you what the root problem is and you're not going to like it. It's too small a filter. a 2322 is going to be only any good for a 25l tank. I had a 2224 which broke today, I'm now running an eden 501 and it's actually pushing more water around than the 2224 did! Mines the larger model just imagine what your lower flow model must be doing.
 

PM

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Thread starter
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15 Dec 2007
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615
Location
London
I have an eden 501 aswell, the flow of my 2322 is double that - pump output is 700LPH and the filter circulation is 500LPH, I see CO2 bubbles flow right round the whole aquarium so I know that it's not that bad, but yes I suppose more flow would be nicer, but it's just not an option, this filter cost a bomb and I can't afford another one!!

I am convinced that my filter is addequit for the job, my tank only holds about 40 litres of water!
 

Garuf

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30 Oct 2007
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5,000
Location
Copenhagen
I have exactly the same tank...
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1521
Have a read through and see. James has a similar tank and he has 2x700lph filters.
I just got a ex1200 which I'm waiting to be delivered for £60. I just won't eat for a week. :lol:
 

PM

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15 Dec 2007
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London
That's just so much flow, it would blow my flipping sand around!

I know that I have 10x flow, and I also know that many other people manage to maintain great planted tanks with 10x or less, i.e. oldwhitewood's 60cm.

60 quid is good, but my filter has a built in heater which is extremely effective, that's why I bought it...

I will beat this stuff eventually, I think I just need to keep things tidier after the blackout, my moss is just taking over!
 

Ray

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Joined
31 Oct 2007
Messages
676
Location
Switzerland
BGA is either flow and/or low nitrates - guaranteed. I had BGA in my sand before I blacked out (see my journal), after the blackout it kept coming back and I started double dosing EI and kept this up for 2 weeks before it gave up and vanished. By then my nitrates must have been through the roof - way more than the target 20 or 30ppm - but that was what I had to do to get rid of it. My flow is only 6x real measured flow by the way because the tank is still lightly planted and it is plenty.

If you flow is good then you need more nitraes to end this. What are you dosing for nitrates? I should probably quadruple it until this clears - suck out what you can and if that's too much work do a 3 day blackout, but if you do the blackout double dose NO3 before and during and after.
 

KeithS

New Member
Joined
8 Feb 2008
Messages
13
Location
Scotland/Haddington
Hi
I had this a few months back but i believe my problems came from haveing the substrate visible along the front and sides,and what I did after reading some posts of George Farmers
was to apply some black tape along the bottom of the tank to cover the substrate. vacum the substrate and syphon out as much of the bga as pos, then a complete blackout for three days. After which do a large water change and start feeding the plants again, never been bothered by it since. For a tank your size I would have thought you should be adding 1/2tsp of nitrate every other day.
Hope this helps
Keith
 

PM

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Thread starter
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15 Dec 2007
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London
Just unwrapped my tank after a 72 hour blackout, and some of my stems have grown MASSIVE!!!!

I can't believe it, there was definitely no light getting in, just the filter and an airstone going. All the fish are well, will post pics and details later :)
 

andy

Member
Joined
14 Sep 2007
Messages
261
Location
Lewes, East Sussex
Any updates on your BGA problems PM ?...i have an awful BGA prob which just makes me want to throw the lot away and start again.

Im going to go for the 3 day blackout today and up my circulation and filteration. If it doesn't work, then i'll throw the lot away and start again !!!

Andy
 

plantbrain

Expert
Joined
2 Aug 2007
Messages
1,946
Then you need to do a CO2 focus. Not much more, just bump it up a tad, keep an eye on the new growth, add some Easy Carb and try and remove what you see.
Water changes(2x a week and dose thereafter).

Should take care of it, Hair is mostly a low CO2 issue, not bad levels, but things could be improved.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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