Do I have BGA?

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
1,460
Location
Bracknell
Hi @dw1305

I have been keeping (and, occasionally, breeding) fish for about 20 years but adding plants to the mix has proved to be a challenge. And this is where you obviously have much more knowledge and experience. But, I will continue to use test kits until such time as I see irrefutable proof of their inaccuracy. On another forum that I use, someone recently compared a 'hobby grade' nitrate test kit with a Hach professional kit costing $100. He tested tank water in a freshwater setup. The readings from the two kits tallied very closely.

JPC
 

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
1,460
Location
Bracknell
I had a rummage last night and dug out the old test kit I had kicking about - which, according to what’s gone on above, may or may not be of any use :lol:

Best before 31/04/2014 hmmmm

I spent 15 mins trying to find it so thought what the hell, might as well try it.

Ammonia - 0 mg/l
Nitrite - 0.1 mg/l
Nitrate - Somewhere between 5 & 10 mg/l

Read into that what you will, it’s an out of date test kit :lol: :thumbup:

Hi @Ruskie

OK, back to the topic in hand.

Unfortunately, I wouldn't put any trust in those measurements as the test kits are seriously out-of-date.

JPC
 

dw1305

Expert
Joined
7 Apr 2008
Messages
10,964
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
It is whatever works for you, if people use the duckweed index and it works for them, that is all well and good, if some-one else has a successful tank based on water test results, well that is all also well and good. I just want people to have successful tanks, that they can take pleasure from, I don't really mind how they get there.
But, I will continue to use test kits until such time as I see irrefutable proof of their inaccuracy. .....On another forum that I use, someone recently compared a 'hobby grade' nitrate test kit with a Hach professional kit costing $100. He tested tank water in a freshwater setup. The readings from the two kits tallied very closely.
And that is sort of the point, sometimes they kits will be accurate, and for some users they may always be accurate, but it isn't the case for all of the users, all of the time.

If some-one tells me that they have recorded no nitrate, but they have to throw away great skeins of deep green duckweed every week, then I can tell them, without any probability of it being wrong, that they have plenty of nitrate and it is the test kit (or their experimental method) that is at fault. Even in these circumstances, in my experience, a certain proportion of aquarium keepers are willing to ignore the evidence of their own eyes and carry on insisting that they don't have any nitrate because that is what the test says.

cheers Darrel
 
Last edited:

Ray

Member
Joined
31 Oct 2007
Messages
676
Location
Switzerland
So, just to stir up the fun even more ...... :)

I had a rummage last night and dug out the old test kit I had kicking about - which, according to what’s gone on above, may or may not be of any use :lol:

Best before 31/04/2014 hmmmm

I spent 15 mins trying to find it so thought what the hell, might as well try it.

Ammonia - 0 mg/l
Nitrite - 0.1 mg/l
Nitrate - Somewhere between 5 & 10 mg/l

Read into that what you will, it’s an out of date test kit :lol: :thumbup:

Eyeballing your tank photos (green plants that are growing), and the results, and speaking as someone who just used a set of JBL test strips he purchased in 2007 to monitor the cycling of his Betta tank* - I think these results are probably correct and you are good. No ammonia, trace nitrite and some nitrates is probably exactly what you have, give or take, and is fine.

You just cleaned and water changed, if I were you I’d proceed to dose the Blue Exit as per instructions and then monitor and report back in this thread - enquiring minds want to know! Also look at your flow situation re. filter head height .

*when I disturbed the substrate and my neerite went into lockdown the 13 year old JBL test - 7 years past its sell by date - said “you have nitrites”. I ran out to buy a new nitrite test kit and it just confirmed the old kit was still working.
 

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
1,460
Location
Bracknell
The Blue Exit has also arrived but after reading the instructions I’m a little concerned.
Instructions state to dose consecutively for 5 days and it should clear by 10 days after the last dose, fair enough.

What has me concerned is that it states not to do a water change for 14 days after the first dose, is this going to be ok?
Bare in mind the tank will only be a month old in a couple of days so I’m still doing frequent changes. Will I not just be promoting other unwanteds?

Hi @Ruskie

Having used Blue Exit previously and having outlined its usage in the following thread, I suggest that we just pause for a moment before proceeding. Is that OK? In the first instance, I haven't yet had the opportunity to answer your question above.

https://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/cyanobacteria-identification-at-last.60496/

BTW, I have PM'd you.

JPC
 

Ruskie

Member
Joined
28 Apr 2020
Messages
85
Location
Sheffield
Well, looks you all had fun in this afternoon’s ‘science-off’ :p

As always, appreciate all the comments :thumbup:

I have a plan mapped out in my head, I think, of how I want to proceed but that is always subject to change ;)

I think before I start dosing I want to sort the head height and potential flow issue out with my filter. With work commitments atm I’m not going to get chance to do this until sometime this weekend. What’s a few more days huh?
After that is sorted then I can then think of maybe moving onto the next phase.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ray

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
1,460
Location
Bracknell
Hi @Ruskie
I have a plan mapped out in my head, I think, of how I want to proceed but that is always subject to change

May I suggest you draw out your plan and let us take a look at it? We can then give you our feedback. How does that sound? You could just draw (by hand) a rough-and-ready flow chart. Then, photograph it and upload here on this thread. In the meantime, here are a few thoughts:

1 Although you very recently tested for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, the test kit was seriously out-of-date. But, that's not to say the figures were incorrect. For reasons that we discussed yesterday, it is likely that you will benefit from repeating these three tests - perhaps on a daily basis. If it's within your budget, I would suggest replacing these kits with new ones. But, right now, I'm not sure which manufacturer's test kits to advise. And, I'm also unsure about the use of Seachem Prime because of something I've just discovered about it. I can't remember if it was here on UKAPS or A N Other Forum that I was very recently singing the praises of Seachem products! I'll check this out today.

2 I would have thought the Tropica Aquarium Soil would still be leaching substances into the water. This is what Tropica have to say about it:

"Aquarium Soil is further an active bottom layer that lowers the pH value and slightly affects the water chemistry.
We recommend that you change 25-50% of the water min. twice a week during the first 4 weeks after establishing the aquarium".

A quick conductivity check of your tank water should confirm any leaching. Conductivity meters are one of the best tools that every aquarist should own. Plus, they are low-cost instruments. The company, DAQUA, should have a good choice:

https://daqua.co.uk

That'll do for the moment.

JPC
 

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
1,460
Location
Bracknell
Hi @Ruskie
Although you very recently tested for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, the test kit was seriously out-of-date. But, that's not to say the figures were incorrect. For reasons that we discussed yesterday, it is likely that you will benefit from repeating these three tests - perhaps on a daily basis. If it's within your budget, I would suggest replacing these kits with new ones. But, right now, I'm not sure which manufacturer's test kits to advise. And, I'm also unsure about the use of Seachem Prime because of something I've just discovered about it. I can't remember if it was here on UKAPS or A N Other Forum that I was very recently singing the praises of Seachem products! I'll check this out today.

Returning to the above, my concern arose because of the way in which Seachem Prime works. I have known for some time that it can cause false positives for ammonia when Prime-treated water is tested using other manufacturers' test kits, e.g. API. But, it appears that this can also occur, perhaps not surprisingly, when testing for nitrite and nitrate with other manufacturers' nitrite and nitrate test kits. I therefore think it's best to ensure that the tap water conditioner, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate test kits are all produced by one, and the same, manufacturer. And, I would strongly suggest contacting the manufacturer to confirm that you will get reliable and accurate measurements. I have found Seachem's technical support to be pretty good. API and NT Labs (UK) are also half-decent.

You may want to look at this:

https://www.seachem.com/support/for.../1930-prime-and-reading-nitrite-levels?t=4055

JPC
 

Ruskie

Member
Joined
28 Apr 2020
Messages
85
Location
Sheffield
Just a quick response, I’m far too busy tonight 😕

I don’t use Seachem Prime to treat the water, I use API stress coat+

I have used Seachem Stability with every water change (of which there have been many- outlined in this thread somewhere) to help promote beneficial bacteria.
 

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
1,460
Location
Bracknell
Hi @Ruskie
I don’t use Seachem Prime to treat the water, I use API stress coat+

I have used Seachem Stability with every water change (of which there have been many- outlined in this thread somewhere) to help promote beneficial bacteria.

OK, no problem. In which case, it makes sense to continue with the API Stress Coat+ and use API ammonia, nitrite and nitrate test kits. I have never used Seachem Stability but I use Tetra SafeStart instead, which is a well-proven bacterial starter.

JPC
 

Ruskie

Member
Joined
28 Apr 2020
Messages
85
Location
Sheffield
So, an update.

Busy day today and the wheels are in motion.

First off the stems and H Zosterifolia have had a good trim as they were getting a little out of control - My pruning skills leave a lot to be desired, something else I need to learn :lol:

3E3C1081-3D32-484F-8530-41E934871950.jpeg


Just out of curiosity, and to please all parties ;), I purchased another test kit and binned my old one.

Ammonia - 0 - 0.25ppm
(I thought 0, wife thought 0.25. I guess this is why some people find them inaccurate as people can read the results differently.)
Nitrite - 0ppm
Nitrate - Between 5-10ppm
PH - 6.6

Results I guess confirms what everybody already expected.

All associated glass work and tubing has had a good clean and the head height issue with the filter has hopefully been resolved.
Moving shelves about and sorting the tubing out I have shaved over 1/2m off. Flow is looking better already.

So onto the original issue, the dreaded Cyano. I feel like it is slowly beginning to spread. As well as the mosses it is now starting to affect the carpeting plants.

A418FDB2-43D1-42AA-BAB8-2816911F234C.jpeg


C8F129AB-AA4B-49B8-97E5-AFE4692EE185.jpeg


You can see from the photos how it’s now attached to the tips of the leafs.

My work schedule for the next week or so is pretty hectic and maintenance on the tank would have been a little bit and miss. So with that in mind and the spread of the cyano plus the work I’ve done today I’ve decided to start the Blue Exit treatment program. First dose has gone in.

So there we have it. I’m now committed to dosing for 5 straight days and no water changes for 2 weeks - Wish me luck!
 

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
1,460
Location
Bracknell
My work schedule for the next week or so is pretty hectic and maintenance on the tank would have been a little bit and miss. So with that in mind and the spread of the cyano plus the work I’ve done today I’ve decided to start the Blue Exit treatment program. First dose has gone in.

So there we have it. I’m now committed to dosing for 5 straight days and no water changes for 2 weeks - Wish me luck!

Hi @Ruskie

Is that a round of applause I hear?

May I suggest that you keep the tank light ON for the minimum possible time so as not to promote cyano growth? Obviously keeping an eye on your plants in the process. I seem to recall from earlier in your thread that it's not possible to adjust the brightness.

Please keep us updated as, and when, you have a few spare minutes.

JPC
 

Ruskie

Member
Joined
28 Apr 2020
Messages
85
Location
Sheffield
Hi @Ruskie

Is that a round of applause I hear?

May I suggest that you keep the tank light ON for the minimum possible time so as not to promote cyano growth? Obviously keeping an eye on your plants in the process. I seem to recall from earlier in your thread that it's not possible to adjust the brightness.

Please keep us updated as, and when, you have a few spare minutes.

JPC

Correct, I cannot alter the brightness. Ive already dropped the photo period down to 5 hours, hopefully that will be ok. I’ve stopped adding ferts for the time being as well so I don’t want to push it too far.
After today’s trim I figured the plants will need to recover somewhat.
 

Ruskie

Member
Joined
28 Apr 2020
Messages
85
Location
Sheffield
Just a quick update. Day 4 of dosing.
There are a couple of black bits appearing on some of the tips of the moss, not sure if this shows well on the attached photo or not, but overall not much progress. If anything it still appears to be spreading, tank looks a mess :(

5976D2D6-6123-4AB4-B5FB-721E7B71B8FD.jpeg


Dosing says for 5 straight days, I may just dose for a full week.
I wasn’t expecting a miracle instant improvement but I am a little disheartened. I’ll carry on though and see it through, instructions say up to 10 days after the final dose. Guess we’ll see
 

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
1,460
Location
Bracknell
Hi @Ruskie
Dosing says for 5 straight days, I may just dose for a full week. I wasn’t expecting a miracle instant improvement but I am a little disheartened. I’ll carry on though and see it through, instructions say up to 10 days after the final dose. Guess we’ll see

No need to be disheartened just yet. You've only been dosing Blue Exit for three days as you started on Sunday. Perhaps I raised your expectations by saying what I did previously. There is no reason to think that Blue Exit will be ineffective. To be fair, you have far more BGA/Cyano than I had. We may be able to increase the dose, if necessary. I will need to check my emails with Easy-Life, the manufacturer of this product. They gave me some good guidance on adjusting the dosage.

JPC :)
 

Ruskie

Member
Joined
28 Apr 2020
Messages
85
Location
Sheffield
Hi @jaypeecee

Thanks for checking in!

Honestly, it’s not looking good, tank is a mess and I’m not holding much hope of any success :(.

FAD1A884-670C-4B81-8557-CDF7BF3B68F8.jpeg


CE90D729-B74C-4A7D-BD6A-92F848F25A49.jpeg


1027F282-408F-41E3-894F-BB6A63201E1C.jpeg


I’ve been dosing up to and including today, that’s a full week not the 5 days as suggested, but it still appears to be spreading. In places it’s now getting clumpy. I don’t know if this is the BGA just getting thicker or is an effect of the Blue Exit.

Im not going to dose anymore so, according to the instructions, it should be gone in 10 days - I’m not that hopeful.

Not being able to do water changes and a clean (as per instructions) is starting to annoy me some what as the BGA is starting to cover the front glass a little too. All in all tank is looking bad and I fear I’m going to lose my plants :(

So, that’s where we are at. I’ll persevere and run the course to give it a chance. 10 days and counting.

On another note I’ve managed to get my hands on some Ultralife Blue Green Slime Stain Remover of which I’ve read good things about. Delivery is going to be a couple of weeks so there’s time for Blue Exit to redeem itself before I try something else!
 

Witcher

Member
Joined
15 Jan 2020
Messages
294
Location
London
I'd personally increase the flow as a very first thing to slowly break the colony and not allow it to form anymore.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Elxiia Eek is the BGA? Algae 5
tiger15 BGA underneath substrate Algae 3
jaypeecee Cyanobacteria (aka BGA) - Evolution and Oxygen Algae 4
Hanuman BGA and soil Algae 3

Similar threads

Top