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GSA- BBA Suspect Imbalance

Cd2021

Member
Joined
20 Feb 2021
Messages
93
Location
Hampshire
Hi Guys,

I seem to be struggling again with BBA, but in addition now GSA more than what i have done before (BBA has always been a struggle of mine). I have tried points raised with @ceg4048 in my previous post, but i cannot seem to beat it. Main differences from that thread tank is the flow direction- neo flow v2 on each corner.

Tank- Custom from OA Aquaria (Same size as EA900)
Filtration- Biomaster Thermo 600 & Biomaster 350 (Aqua Rio Neo Flow V2- on diaganals.
Co2- Co2 art pro se- Approx 4-5 bps- checker is lime green. I will run a PH profile in due course.
Temp- 24 degrees
Light- Chihiros WRGB 2- 7 hours @ 35% currently.
Substrate: Tropica soil, ADA la plata cosmetic sand.
Hardscape- Azalea root and Zebra stone.
Fertilizer- EI- mixed as per one of the thread's on here same as 2hr Aquarist.

Tank was rescaped about 4-5 weeks ago, but even before the rescape struggling with BBA and partly the reason i rescaped. I have tried playing about with flow, popping one of the reducers on the Co2 outflow (front right), to blow the CO2 lower, but this hasn't helped potentially made it worse.

BBA has always been my nemisis from my first Aqua one Platform 37 to now, I've read multiple threads and researched to see if there is something that i'm doing wrong or an imbalance that i cannot figure out. I'd like to think the equipment that i run is pretty good, and using it correctly.

Appreciate any advise!
Thanks
Chris
 

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MrClockOff

Member
Joined
20 Aug 2020
Messages
250
Location
Bournemouth
4-5 weeks is too soon to consider it as another failure. Mine had a hard time from beginning: most of the plants old leaves got black in the first week. It looked like ammonia from aqua soil burned them despite daily 60% WC. Then standard phases: diatoms, mould on the wood, bit of thread algae and thin layer of BBA on some rocks here and there. Only after 4-5 months I started seeing real progress. Thread algae disappeared, BBA stalled. Still seeing GSA on some Anubias petite but couple of weeks ago it started turning white in some areas so looking forward too see it disappearing.

My advice is to be patient and very consistent with maintenance, fertilising and tick all boxes re flow, distribution, light and CO2 balance.

Good luck
 

Midwife

Member
Joined
8 May 2021
Messages
55
Location
Down south
BBA is demoralising and a hobby quitter. It's an ugly prolific beast when it takes hold. Maybe it's me but I find it a bit embarrassing in my showcase aquarium. I find light probably the biggest issue that causes this brush algae and excess nutrients. I've also seen BBA growing in high flow areas so is that a real issue ???
I once started a new Aquarium and changed 50% of the water every day for 3 months. I still got BBA. Why ? The light intensity was wrong.
I personally wouldn't have epiphite plants that close to the light source. I have a love/hate relationship with them. I don't bother with them now. If I was to start another tank I would add them after 6 months or so.

You watch YouTube videos of well known youtubers and think why don't they suffer BBA.? They only seem seem to get the easy algae like dust or green spot etc to deal with. Don't always believe it. I've observed some of these setups in the background of other videos and noticed lights have been raised or replaced without any explanation. You rarely get to see the bad side of it.

Anyway, have you thought about using floating plants to help in new setups.? They really are king.
 

Yugang

Member
Joined
13 Mar 2021
Messages
586
Location
Hong Kong
I once started a new Aquarium and changed 50% of the water every day for 3 months. I still got BBA. Why ? The light intensity was wrong.
When organics are low with frequent water changes and cleaning tank / filter, but still suffering BBA, the more likely suspects are flow and CO2 stability.
 

Cd2021

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Thread starter
Joined
20 Feb 2021
Messages
93
Location
Hampshire
Hi Guys,

Thank you for your responses, greatly appreciated.

When rescaped the soil, plants and wood is all from my previous scape (which unfortunately had BBA and partly the reason i move on from it, and more practice in scaping). The crypts in middle left and the monte carlo are new plants.

I'm not sure if it's something i'm missing as always had BBA issues, previous tanks etc. My Malawi tank is completely clear of it. Water changes are 50-60% weeks, clean the pre filters weekly and dosing 10ml ferts per day. I think flow is certainly involved, but cannot but my finger on it, flow i have co2 come from the from right as your looking at the tank then straight down the front, then the other inlet/outlet in the back left corner forcing the other way. The maximum flow rate of both filters is 2350, and tank is 186l so approx 12x turnover.

I've always been unsure with floating plants, i see a lot of recommendations.

Thanks Chris
 

Conort2

Member
Joined
16 Feb 2018
Messages
1,181
Location
London
Inconsistent CO2 and high organics is what I think causes it.

Spot dose with glut and up your water changes/filter cleans for now. Honestly, it don’t seem like there is a great deal there. I’ve come back from a lot worse than that with bba so don’t be too disheartened.

Cheers
 
Last edited:

Conort2

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Joined
16 Feb 2018
Messages
1,181
Location
London
Apologies, seen you clean the pre filters weekly. Maybe add another water change or two if you can.
 

dw1305

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UKAPS Team
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7 Apr 2008
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14,907
Location
nr Bath
Hi all,
I've also seen BBA growing in high flow areas so is that a real issue ???
I'm pretty sure <"flow is irrelevant"> as well.

When I get it it is almost always on the pre-intake sponges or venturi & power head outflows. I think the thing that both these areas have in common is that they aren't snail grazed.

cheers Darrel
 

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
2,959
Location
Bracknell
BBA (Audouinella) grow naturally in streams with a high flow rate.
Hi Everyone,

I seem to recall Tom Barr having said that the high flow rate ensures an adequate supply of phosphate to Audouinella, which secretes substances that glue itself to rocks, etc. Fascinating stuff, eh?

JPC
 

Yugang

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Joined
13 Mar 2021
Messages
586
Location
Hong Kong
I'm pretty sure <"flow is irrelevant"> as well.
Perhaps here we have some confusion between "flow" and "current"?
It is indeed well known that we often find BBA in areas with high current, near filter outlets, gyres, etc.
The flow however is a slightly different idea, as discussed in various threads
Although the last word on BBA has not been said, it is often associated (besides organics and CO2 stability) with too low flow and probably insufficient distribution in the tank.

I will run a PH profile in due course.
I agree with @Conort2 that your tank does not look bad at all, also considering it is relatively recently set up.
My best guess is still that your CO2 is not yet balanced. Having a drop checker lime green gives some confidence, but it may still be that CO2 during photoperiod, and day-to-day has too large variations. A pH profile will give a lot of information to rule out CO2 as a root cause.

Hope this is helpful, and indeed don't give up on this beautiful tank :)
 

Easternlethal

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Joined
15 Mar 2016
Messages
247
Location
Hong Kong
Looks to me like the rocks are trapping food and detritus at the base of the wood which is making it difficult for the fish to get to and the flow to sweep up. Its also where the bba is occurring. I will replace the rocks - which look a little bit big..

Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk
 

Yugang

Member
Joined
13 Mar 2021
Messages
586
Location
Hong Kong
Hi @Yugang

I'm unclear what you mean by 'not yet balanced'. What is meant by CO2 being 'balanced'?

Thanks in advance.

JPC
Specifically for BBA, and under the assumption that there is no problem with organics, the common view is that the most likely cause is CO2 stability and distribution.
  • Stability would require a pH profile stable within about 0.1 within the photoperiod as well as day-to day.
  • Distribution means that a proper flow gives a good CO2 supply throughout the tank, without dead spot areas.
This is what I losely descibed as 'balanced', in addition to the drop checker showing nicely lime green.

@Cd2021 has a beautiful tank, with (as probably all CO2 injected tanks) some BBA, and seems to do everything well. If I had to guess for a solution to improve on BBA I would focus on the pH profile.
  • Would it help to start CO2 injection earlier in the morning? Has pH indeed be stabilised at start of photoperiod?
  • Does the surface agitation/outgassing give a proper stabilisation of CO2 during photoperiod? Is CO2 stable within 0.1 pH, also day-to-day?
  • How about pH measured in different spots in the tank?
These are all questions that a lime green drop checker does not answer, but are relevant for BBA control.

Note: I did not mention the balance between CO2 and light, as I am not aware if/how that would be relevant to BBA - other than potentially unhealthy plants, leaking organics. As light / BBA relationship is too speculative IMHO, @Cd2021 is already dimming light, and this is not intended to be the next thread on BBA management, I left that out.
 
Last edited:

dw1305

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nr Bath
Hi all,
Perhaps here we have some confusion between "flow" and "current"?
It is indeed well known that we often find BBA in areas with high current, near filter outlets, gyres, etc.
Definitely in high current areas, none of my tanks have much in the way of laminar flow, they are all too full of plants.

cheers Darrel
 

Cd2021

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Thread starter
Joined
20 Feb 2021
Messages
93
Location
Hampshire
Hi Guys,

Thanks for responses, and sorry for delay coming back. Stag weekend, so feeling a bit sorry for myself.

In the 3 days of being away this were noticeably different, and not for the better. Co2 comes on at 12:00, light on at 3, with a 30 mins ramp up. Co2 off at 9:15 and light off at 10:00, again with a 30 mins ramp down.

I’ll plan to do a ph profile this weekend. I think it may be an idea to drop my light to 6 hours and 25%. The BBA seems to be over the epiphytes, the new crypts, wood, rock and decorative gravel.

A couple of thoughts that I had that may not be helping with my tank:
  • Not topping up during the week. So would my co2 be inconsistent as 4-5 days in I have more surface agitation? Allow more gas to escape.
  • Am I over stocked? Or not enough algae grazers or scavengers. 9 kuhli loach, 5/6 merited, about 10 armano.
  • Flow and filtration, do I have too much? Oase biomaster thermo’s 350 and 600? And flows on diagonals of the tank?
  • My EI mix, do I up phosphate to combat the gsa, apparently our local water had a lot in. But seem to get missed information of it being iron phosphate therefore useless to an aquarium and therefore difficult to measure.

Thanks
Chris
 

tigertim

Member
Joined
11 Jan 2015
Messages
145
Location
Hull
BBA is demoralising and a hobby quitter. It's an ugly prolific beast when it takes hold. Maybe it's me but I find it a bit embarrassing in my showcase aquarium. I find light probably the biggest issue that causes this brush algae and excess nutrients. I've also seen BBA growing in high flow areas so is that a real issue ???
I once started a new Aquarium and changed 50% of the water every day for 3 months. I still got BBA. Why ? The light intensity was wrong.
I personally wouldn't have epiphite plants that close to the light source. I have a love/hate relationship with them. I don't bother with them now. If I was to start another tank I would add them after 6 months or so.

You watch YouTube videos of well known youtubers and think why don't they suffer BBA.? They only seem seem to get the easy algae like dust or green spot etc to deal with. Don't always believe it. I've observed some of these setups in the background of other videos and noticed lights have been raised or replaced without any explanation. You rarely get to see the bad side of it.

Anyway, have you thought about using floating plants to help in new setups.? They really are king.
+1 for floating plants, they always seem to mininise algea problems but often get over looked as a solution.
 

Cd2021

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Thread starter
Joined
20 Feb 2021
Messages
93
Location
Hampshire
+1 for floating plants, they always seem to mininise algea problems but often get over looked as a solution.
Why would floaters assist with Algae issues? I can't see how floaters would assist in my situation with BBA issue?

Thanks
Chris
 

dw1305

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UKAPS Team
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7 Apr 2008
Messages
14,907
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nr Bath
Hi all,
Why would floaters assist with Algae issues?
I can't see how floaters would assist in my situation with BBA issue?
We really don't know what causes "outbreaks" of "Red Algae" (Rhodophyta), but their abundance often declines in <"more established, more stable, tanks">.

In my own tanks I think BBA is reduced by <"Ramshorn snail grazing">. For whatever reason they don't tend to get GSA, so I don't really have any experience of that.

I'd actually like a <"bit more algae"> in some of the tanks

cheers Darrel
 
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