Help please! - What is this? Is it BBA?

Discussion in 'Algae' started by Mr Bee, 10 Jun 2009.

  1. Mr Bee

    Mr Bee Member

    Wakefield, West Yorkshire
    OK, some stats.....

    60L tropical (~24 C) with stock of:- 6 Glowlight tetra, 3 Neon tetra, ?? number of RCS and lots of MTS.
    Well established for years, and maintains ammonia/nitrate etc. levels all nicely.

    I have some spiky moss, anubias (barteri var. nana), and hygrophila (corymbosa 'siamensis 53B') in the way of live plants, with a selection of artificial/silk plants. Running with air pump, a fluval internal filter (2+ I think), and a 14W 15" tropical light. And I'm not doing any dosing or CO2.

    I don't know if all or any of that is important, but it's there for reference if it is!!

    Anyway, in the last month or so (which will be a few months after I introduced and started using live plants and lighting), I've noticed some black furrry algae starting to grow. Looks to grow in little spots, which kind of join up when they get bigger and closer together to form a black furry mass. Never had this before in last 3 or 4 years of having the tank, only since starting to use lighting - which I introduced as the live plants were struggling and dying over winter months.

    Not sure if this is BBA? I suspect it could be, here's a few pics.....





    If I try and pull it off anything, it feels really solidly glued on, cant pull it off. Its not growing on any of the live plants or rocks/slate either, only on the artificial plants, and on my little sunken ship tank decoration.

    Can anyone help me with this.... is this BBA? what causes it? can it be got rid of? is it harmful to any of my fish/shrimp/snails?

  2. samc

    samc Member

  3. JamesM

    JamesM Member

    The BIG End, South Wales
    BBA isn't harmful to your livestock. Its caused by unstable co2. If you're not injecting co2 the answer is simple - stop doing water changes as these upset the balance each time fresh water is added.
  4. a1Matt

    a1Matt Member

    This solution works well to stop the algae growing.
    To get rid of the BBA that is already present manual removal and\or dosing carbon are the only options I know of.
  5. Brenmuk

    Brenmuk Member

    You can scald plastic plants and decor to kill the BBA then place them back into the tank. The 'cooked' algae will provide a treat for any snails or algae eating fish. You may also want to turn off the air stone as your plants, providing they are growing well, will oxygenate the water - ideally you want good water circulation without too much surface agitation to make the most of naturally occurring CO2.
  6. Mr Bee

    Mr Bee Member

    Wakefield, West Yorkshire
    Thanks for replies so far everyone, but thats just opened up a lot more.....

    I thought water changes were an essential part of maintenance to keep a clean healthy tank for all fish/shrimp etc. if I stop water changes, won't that be detrimental to the fish?

    Similar thing with the airstone - I was always told the air stone oxygenates, and provides surface disturbance to keep good oxygen levels in the water, again essential for the health of the fish..... is this right?

    What role does CO2 play in the tank then? is it that plants take it in, and produce oxygen? so do I have too much CO2 or not enough?

    And sorry for being a bit of a noob (I'm new to live plants and lighting - never bothered before!) but whats 'carbon' to dose with? carbon like as in the carbon in the filter? or is it a type of fertilser? - if so is this not harmful to my RCS?

    Sorry for lots and lots of questions, but this is sounding quite involved now..... :?

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