Lower light CO2 tank

Surya

Member
Joined
14 Aug 2018
Messages
94
Location
North West
I've used pressurised CO2 for 18 months and it's done wonders for my plants. However, I'm sick to death of recurrent BBA on my hardscape and the only thing that seems to control it is lowering the lights right down - currently 50% of the "planted tank" pre-set on my Fluval Plant 3.0. (Yep, I've done all the other stuff, kept the tank scrupulously clean, filter cleaning, lower stock, minimal organic waste etc). My plants are all "easy" ones e.g. java fern, anubias, cryptocorynes etc, so they shouldn't mind the lower light.

I thought about just going low tech but I don't find CO2 any hassle, and I have all the kit. Is there still benefit to using CO2 in low light?

Also, what fertilisers should I use in such a tank? I previously dosed full EI but will I need NPKs in a low light CO2 tank - or could I go back to using Seachem Flourish from my low tech days?

Thanks in advance! :)
 

Kezzab

Member
Joined
18 Jan 2016
Messages
1,126
Location
Carlisle
Hi, co2 will still be beneficial. In terms of ferts, just reduce your EI dose to about a third or quarter. K
 

Sacha

Member
Joined
3 Jan 2014
Messages
998
Location
London
Surya,

You shouldn't be getting BBA if your Co2 / lighting / ferts are all in balance. Are you sure you have a reasonable concentration of Co2 in the tank? (up to 30PPM). Are you using a drop checker or pH meter to monitor your Co2 levels? What about flow and distribution, is the BBA growing in the tank's dead spots?

You say you've tried everything else, but have you tried dosing with liquid carbon? (glutaraldehyde). It is a powerful algaecide and in my experience is particularly effective against BBA.

My advice would be not to change anything radical at this stage but to make minor adjustments and monitor closely to see if they have any impact on the BBA. Do you have any other types of algae? Do your plants grow healthily? If you don't have other forms of algae, and your plants are growing well, my guess would be that this is a flow / distribution problem, adding a powerhead would probably help.

Sacha
 

Surya

Member
Joined
14 Aug 2018
Messages
94
Location
North West
Thanks Sacha, appreciate the thoughts. Yes have tried everything you listed - plants grow really well and are algae free, it's literally just the wood. It's redmoor root - I guess it leaches organics and attracts the stuff. It is highly light responsive. Excel work if I apply neat but it's difficult to keep doing without removing from the tank.

Plus I just don't want to keep scrubbing, faffing about with hydrogen peroxide and Excel, adding powerheads etc if I can solve the problem just by turning my lights down iyswim, as I don't want or need fast growth - just slow and steady healthy growth. Trying to work out whether this would be best achieved by low tech, or low light plus CO2.
 

Sacha

Member
Joined
3 Jan 2014
Messages
998
Location
London
If you don't have other algae (particularly green dust on the tank walls), i'd be very surprised if your problem is too much light.

Why not just remove the wood altogether? You could replace it with another type of driftwood, rocks, or just plants. And add some algae eaters, ottos or if your tank is large enough, siamese algae eaters?
 

foxfish

Member
Joined
11 Oct 2009
Messages
4,574
Location
Guernsey
I guess that depends on how you define low light.
It has been said on this forum many a time...it is C02 that grows plants not high light.
So perhaps your ideas of low light is my idea of hight light?
Anyway I have always been a fan of green drop checkers and sensible lighting.
Personally I would just keep dosing the same, keep C02 the same lower the light and see what happens.
You will soon see if things get better or worse.
 

Fisher2007

Member
Joined
19 Feb 2018
Messages
432
Location
Warrington
Have you tried adding some nerite snails?

For what it is worth, I was watching one of George Farmers latest videos the other day and he was saying that despite everything he has BBA in his aquascaper 900. Goes to show you that even with all that experience sometimes algae just does it's own thing
 

Sacha

Member
Joined
3 Jan 2014
Messages
998
Location
London
+1 for nerite snails. But as they are brackish water snails, they need relatively hard water and high pH to avoid pitted shells. They never tend to do very well in Co2 enriched soft water tanks.
 

john dory

Member
Joined
16 Nov 2014
Messages
351
As you say..probably the wood,leaching organics.
I have 3 large pieces of wood in my new set up.
One has to be scrubbed weekly,while the other 2,remain clean.
Don't think lowering the light will help.
 

Surya

Member
Joined
14 Aug 2018
Messages
94
Location
North West
Thanks all. Yeah I think that the wood is the culprit. I did take it out for a while but the tank just doesn't look very good without it, despite adding more plants. I could try getting a different type of wood but worry that the same would happen... Is it less like with certain types or is it pot luck?

I used to have a horned nerite and he did well but this was pre-CO2. Thinking back I didn't particularly have BBA problems then. Will look into it. Are they particularly good for preventing wood BBA? I've got Otos already.

The other option is just to live with it - if it's good enough for George Farmer after all My fear is that it would eventually spread everywhere but maybe that's unfounded?
 

john dory

Member
Joined
16 Nov 2014
Messages
351
In my experience,it's the cheaper generic"bogwood"type,that are worse.
Usually stored out side in great big piles;)
Does subside though..with regular scrubbing.
Pita,if it's not easily removed.
 
Top