fighting blue green algae

Discussion in 'Algae' started by baron von bubba, 14 Apr 2009.

  1. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

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    hi,
    4+ wks into a new high tech set up.

    about 2 wks in i noticed tiny amounts of BGA on plants and substrate at the front of the tank, i believe i've addressed the issues with co2, ferts and flow and have manually removed the tiny patches thinking i may erradicate it that way, it seems i'm fighting a losing battle tho! :0/

    i've read that Erythromicin or a 3 day total blackout can used can be used to combat BGA?

    what is the most effective way to combat BGA?
     
  2. TLH

    TLH Member

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    I suggested using Erythromycin on mine and you'll find the fellas here are dead against it prefering you do a blackout. If you've addressed the flow issue and nitrates it shouldn't come back.

    With yours did you notice strands of stuff floating about in the water? This got worse in my tank after a water change. mine grew in hairy patches until it was quite old and only then did it start looking like proper BGA.

    I'm doing a 4 day blackout on mine, possibly 5 days, with a full clean before and after to make absolutely sure it's dead.
     
  3. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I'd echo what TLH is saying. Thankfully I've not had to combat BGA too much. Removal and a black out is a good place to start. Absolute blackout though. No peaking!
     
  4. Dave Spencer

    Dave Spencer Member

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    You could try covering the front of the substrate with tape, where it gets sunlight. I am convinced that it originates in the substrate where light hits it.

    Alternatively, up the nitrates and try to get some flow pointed at where the BGA is. I find sand very susceptible to this stuff, but have only had a temporary, small amount with gravel and never seen it with Amazonia.

    Dave.
     
  5. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

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    thanks guys.

    blackout it is then!
    good timing actually, having a new kitchen fitted starting today, so tank woulda been partially covered a lot of the time anyhow.

    i guess no CO2 during blackout?

    nope, its just been on a couple of grass leaves and a few of the substrate grains but keeps coming back after i try and remove the affected areas.
     
  6. baron von bubba

    baron von bubba Member

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    its about an inch back from the glass at the front rather than in between the substrate and glass.

    i was slack in first week, took a while to override the old programming!
    now following EI and dosing as prescribed!

    flow wise, i moved the spray bar from its original position of pointing across the tank, to the back so it directs towards the front glass. also along the back, pointing forward two koralia 2 powerheads were added (slight overkill maybe but i found the koralia 1 noisy and someone had nicked the koralia nanos from the boxes at my LFS!! :0/ )

    i'm using eco complete topped with black gravel.
     
  7. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

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    Def not! you dont want it getting too high and affecting the fish :)

    Sam
     
  8. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    BGA is not CO2 related. It is related to NO3, flow and tank maintenance issues. Don't confuse the cause of BGA with the cause of BBA which is CO2 related.

    You must fix your problem by dosing the proper levels of NO3 (flow and so forth) during and after the blackout to avoid a recurrence. Wait until dark hours before opening up the tank. Any infraction of this rule and any light that gets in can stimulate the BGA so that your blackout may be less effective.

    Cheers,
     
  9. Superman

    Superman Member

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    BGA is a pain to get rid of, I did a four day black out and made sure that when I opened up the cover that there was no light what so ever getting into the tank.
     
  10. Cyworld

    Cyworld Member

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    I have also had BGA in my tank.
    It's smells so terribly bad.
    3 day blackout and there were all gone. After that, I have never seen it again in my tank. :D :D
    My tank was covered with cardboard BTW.
    I hope its not a pain in the blahblahblahblah for you. Good luck! :twisted:
     
  11. nickmcmechan

    nickmcmechan Member

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    i got rid of it by

    (a) adding more NO3

    (b) increasing flow - the eheim internals are excellent, if unsightly as you can very easily point the flow in many directions, i found that as soon as i killed it a t one bit it reappeared some where else

    (c) 3 day blackout

    (d) manual removal
     
  12. Robo

    Robo Newly Registered

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    It normaly shows up in my tank when I slack on the water changes for a few weeks. To clear it out I normal manualy remove it then over a few weeks I do a load of 60% water changes. It takes a while to get rid of it, just keep removing it with large water changes and it will clear.
     
  13. jolt100

    jolt100 Member

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    Ive also been combating BGA, I have a 4x2x2 foot with Nile sand substrate with some clay in the bottom layer. 4x 39w T5`s and 2 external and 2 internal filters, 30% water change weekly with Pot Nitrate and phosphate added 2x weekly. The back 1/3 of the tank is covered in java fern and anubias on wood with Crypts in front. I have Heteranthera and rotala growing rampant on either side. I had glosso growing well at the front but BGA started in patches on the sand then spread onto the glosso. When I tried altering flow to clear the front it didnt help so I did a 3 day blackout as recommended on James`s algae guide. This cleared the BGA but also all the glosso died off as well :thumbdown: within 2 weeks the BGA had reurned, so I have been syphoning the sand 2-3x weekly but still keeps coming back. I have just tried increasing the nitrate and phosphate levels and playing with the flow and replanted glosso.
    Would it be better to add small amounts of nitrate daily or in 1 larger amount at the weekly water change? Any other suggestions? :idea:

    Thanks ,
    John
     
  14. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi,
    You haven't indicated how much you are dosing. It won't matter when you add KNO3 if you're not adding enough of it. Flow/distribution can also be an issue. It's not clear what amount of turnover rating you have or how it's being distributed.

    Cheers,
     
  15. jolt100

    jolt100 Member

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    I currently add 1/2 tsp KNO3 2x weekly, not sure of flow rate, filters are old Eheim professionel but not sure of rates with media. I have just tried taking off the spraybar on one outlet and the flow does seem higher. I have tried directing the outlet of an internal filter toward the BGA but it doesnt seem to shift it, having said all that if flow is likely to be the main culprit I could hack out a lot of biomass and will probably get better circulation. I admit I am not much of an artist, just want to see lots of plants with my fish, so let things grow wild. I will try double the nitrate, remove a load of anubias and java fern and see if that helps :?:
    cheers
    John
     
  16. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    I assume this is a 100 USG tank? If so then the baseline KNO3 dosing for that size is 1 teaspoon 3X per week if dosing per EI. See EI DOSING USING DRY SALTS for more details.

    A 100USG tank also ideally should receive 1000GPH flow rating, especially if this is highly lit. If you know the filter model numbers it should be a doddle to find out their ratings.

    A 3 day blackout should not kill Glosso. It's highly likely that the tank is suffering either marginal flow or poor CO2. I'd also recommend that you perform larger water changes if it's not too much trouble. BGA is also linked to organic waste buildup such as caused by dirty filters/tanks. If you're still using buckets to do your water changes this is problematic so perhaps look into using siphon tubes if that's the case.

    Cheers,
     
  17. jolt100

    jolt100 Member

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    Thanks for that, I was in the Green Machine last week and Graham suggested that the 3 day blackout could also kill off the Glosso. I take the point that the flow may be low, and this may also result in a lower circulation of CO2, currently been using 1-2 bps but after seeing some of the tanks at TGM I have increased due the heavy plant load. I dont see any detritus except whenI shake the Anubias and see some clouding so I am reducing the plant density and hope to get more circulation and less build up. I have shied away from doing larger water changes because I have one outlet halfway down the tank and its difficult to reprime the filter but I dont use buckets, I plug into the filter outlet to pump water out and just trickle cold tapwater in with the hose, my water is very soft and I havent had any problems in the past. I might try 30% twice a week if the other things dont work first.
    I have already increased to 1 tsp KNO3 3x week,hope thats going to solve the problem, but I will get another circulation pump as well, just in case :thumbup:

    Thanks again
    John
     
  18. jolt100

    jolt100 Member

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    Thought I should give an update just to complete the thread.
    After ceg4048`s advice I re-read some of the other threads on circulation and flow and decided to change my 2 old Eheim 2224`s for a new Eheim 2080 and a Koralia 3. My Nitrate and Phosphate levels are now pretty high at 70 & 4.0ppm and I removed some of the Anubias ans Java fern to allow better circulation. I also found thet there was quite a lot of build up of detritus in the bottom of the anubias so have been giving it a good shake before water changes. I did another 3 day blackout to get rid of the BGA thet was still present.
    Result: BGA has not returned after 2 weeks (previously it would be back after 3days) :clap:
    Thanks ceg4048, :thumbup:
    I am still just short of the 10x rule but intend to get an Eheim compact 3000 and take out the Koralia,

    Cheers
    John
     
  19. mfcphil

    mfcphil Member

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    Well done for beating it :clap:

    I have BBA & BGA I have done 3 four day blackouts only to have it always come back....I have just bought a spray bar for the Fluval 305 this is been used to give better control of flow direction...hopefully I will enjoy your success story :crazy:
     
  20. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, the 2080 is a truly epic canister filter - except for when you have to clean it - good thing it has wheels, otherwise I'd be in the hospital with a hernia. :wave:
    If you're measuring those numbers with test kits I don't believe them, but in either case, don't reveal this data to the nutrient haters - they might be get sent to the hospital due to heart palpitations...

    Cheers,
     

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