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What exactly causes BBA? Part 2 - Bacterial imbalance

dw1305

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Hi all,
I'll put my money on some chemical applied to the growing medium of that "new cultivar" she added rather than just the plant itself upsetting the (in)delicate balance :rolleyes: Shame though, the tank really was lovely with all the flowing algae
I don't think it was the Epipremnum either. I'm a fan of the "BBA" tank as well.

cheers Darrel
 
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I'll put my money on some chemical applied to the growing medium of that "new cultivar" she added rather than just the plant itself upsetting the (in)delicate balance :rolleyes:

Shame though, the tank really was lovely with all the flowing algae

Now if we figure what chemical was used, such that didn't affect her livestock, then we'll all be BBA free :p

I doubt that this is the case though. From watching this lady's videos, she looks after fish for a living and is quite knowledgeable.
 

Chris Jackson

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Ummm the BBA agenda....continues

I've no idea what causes it but in my tank it just went away after about 9 months without me really changing anything.
I think what we maybe struggling with as hobbyists is wanting instant results in a few weeks or months whereas for nature such time frames are nout but a blink of the eye.
I've had very few algae issues ever with long established tanks with highly mature filters and substrates, it's been the new setups that have given me the grief...
 

zozo

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Wonderfull creepy tank she had there.. :)

I think it is probably for the biggest part related to light.. In my early days i never had BBA in any of my tanks it was mainly clado and green spot on the glas and green algae on wood and rocks which took rather a long term to grow, but never had BBA.. But thinking back the light quality back then was far less when it comes to lumen per watt out put.. I remember having 4 tubes of 35 watt above a 50 cm high 250 litre aquarium it and still in the low light range..

And now i have 2 tanks with relative high (LED) light if i go on full power and the first algae i see appear is BBA or Stag.. The high tech tank 45 watt LED is the only tank which runs full power for almost the whole cycle and this tank is the only one where BBA keeps comming back near the surface in the high flow arae..
The low tech is sligtly bigger tank which has 50 watt LED it only runs full power for 3 hours in the 12 hour cycle, to prevent getting BBA..

Got a little 3th tank which is lit with 5 watt LED extremely low light, it's lit 14 hours a day and it never ever grew any BBA i even can throw BBA infested plants in it, it just dies..

If you ask me, i think Rachel didn't think of that. her light quality probably went down over the years and didn't change the tubes on time, maybe still has the same today..

:)

That's my theory about it and what my observations are telling me...
 
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Lowering the light or running a tank on low light has never prevented BBA for me. The light is not the trigger, it just drives everything to go faster. My guess is you already had the BBA in your tank lingering...Eventually, if you don't remove the BBA in a tank like that, and don't remove the "trigger", it spreads slowly but surely. The light just makes that happen faster.

A high light/co2 tank accumulates way more organics than a low tech tank. It may not be the higher light but the load to the entire system that plays an effect. That's my theory:) I've seen it way too often recently how an overstocked tank starts blooming with BBA. Look at Rachel's stocking for that tank...She's got the bioload I had in 5 tanks into the one tank only...

So here we go with different theories again :rolleyes:
 

Tim Harrison

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Whatever the theory I think there is a common underlying philosophy...
In nature change is often about thresholds and tipping points...in that even a slight difference in variables can lead to catastrophic change, this is especially the case in delicately balanced systems.
I also think that in a sense scale can play a role; in effect determining how quickly we perceive change occurring.
For instance, the scale of the biosphere we perhaps perceive change to be gradual when in relative terms it's very rapid.
An example, on the scale of the biosphere is the increase in freak weather events. These are often attributed to global warming, but I think continental drift has also played a significant role.
Continents may only drift or move a few centimetres a year but eventually a tipping point maybe reached that could have a drastic impact on global circulation patterns which in turn will influence weather.
What this has to do with BBA I've absolutely no idea...I just felt like commenting anyway:D
Other than I suppose it could have been any number of factors working alone or in synergy that caused her algae to disappear, and they don't necessarily have to have been what we would ordinarily consider significant;)

P.S. It could even have been allelopathy...alkaloids from the new cultivar.
 
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Soilwork

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High had small tufts of BBA under T5HO 35w with reflectors. I don't know which category of light that falls under in a juwel vision 180. Probably medium lighting.

I was preparing for a rescape and soni stopped injecting carbon and dosing EI. The rescape took longer thank anticipated and I stated to see the makings of hair algae forming on the substrate and a couple of toughs of BBA near the glass (although it was green in colour) my driftwood which had always had 2-3 tufts of BBA attached quickly became plagued with it. Light didn't change in this case but co2, EI and water change frequency did. Plant growth probably took a hit and maybe leaves were shedding/dying which increased organics coupled with a lack of water changes.

I think what Tim alluded to with regards to balance is once of the driving factors in my opinion.
 

dw1305

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zozo

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Lowering the light or running a tank on low light has never prevented BBA for me. The light is not the trigger, it just drives everything to go faster. My guess is you already had the BBA in your tank lingering...Eventually, if you don't remove the BBA in a tank like that, and don't remove the "trigger", it spreads slowly but surely. The light just makes that happen faster.

A high light/co2 tank accumulates way more organics than a low tech tank. It may not be the higher light but the load to the entire system that plays an effect. That's my theory:) I've seen it way too often recently how an overstocked tank starts blooming with BBA. Look at Rachel's stocking for that tank...She's got the bioload I had in 5 tanks into the one tank only...

So here we go with different theories again :rolleyes:

Spores are ever present in any body of water, hence they fly through the air, if African dessert sand can travel 1000nds of miles into the atmosphere jetstream, smaller spores can probably go even further and maybe can travel 5 times around the globe before they land in someones tank.. :)

In my observation it is always light which is indeed the factor to speed the bloom up or slow it down.. It certailny is a number of factors triggering it which most likely never has a constant.. What ever one experiences every conclussion will for ever be a theory, mine is light is one main factor..

P.S. It could even have been allelopathy...alkaloids from the new cultivar.
Yes i believe to that this still is a very underestimated or maybe better to say unknown property of many plant sp.. As you say minute changes can trigger a lot and a biosphere has many so variables and we can only look at the things we think to know. :)
 

iunknown

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Soilwork,
Haven't read the whole thread, and this is off topic. My question is, would it be better to run Co2 24/7, or to turn it off at night? From what I'm reading it seems like some bacteria utilize Co2? So does turning it off at night kill bacteria? Or does the increase in ph stimulate them to grow more (but then kill then off when the ph goes back down)?
 

rebel

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It seems like we can only grow BBA inadvertently. I tried to grow it but lost interest as my SAE jumped out of my tank; he was also probably looking for ways of growing BBA.
 

zozo

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After having BBA in the tank for almost 1 year (reading 100000 articles about it) i figured out that BBA starts to grow more and more if the plants in the aquarium are not growing well .

In my experience in all 3 tanks it is a combination where light always is the main factor.. And if light is ample and plants are not realy healthy BBA will firstly attack the unhealthy plant parts. Unhealthy plants mainly caused by nutrient insufficiencies or just older leaves dying off..

If light is more than ample BBA will even attack hardscape.

For me this theory works in every case, got a little 25 litre tank i use as plantbin.. It is super low tech, no filter nor flow, very low light less than 9 watt led light, if i have to guess maybe 700 lumen maybe less. No ferts, no foods, very low on co2.. only cramped with plants and shrimps.. Gets a weekly 50% water change. There is a lot of melting going on in this tank but never ever grows BBA, the only algae growing in this tank is diatoms.. Even if i throw in a plant from one of my other tanks containing BBA it dies off.. So if light is low enough than the TT doesn't hold ground, than bba even doesn't grow on the unhealthy parts of a plant.

So just only saying plants not growing well is not the correct approach.. For example putting a Java fern in a very bright lit tank or any other slow grower.
It grows well and maybe even relatively fast for a java, but gets to much light and there for most likely also will start grow BBA. This algae attaches deeply into the plant cells, the longer it is on it the deeper it will eat itself into it..At one point it will start feeding off the host and make it unhealthy..

So if you think of it, it is a combination of several variables.. Light, health (ferts/co2) plant sp. with different grow characteristics put together. Next to that flow can be a additional variable with distributing ferts/co2 around..

Actualy it is very simple.. If light is ample you need ample co2 and ample ferts to make the plant do something with this light.. Next to that you need plant sp. that have grow characteristics meeting these variables. For example you can not make a Java fern grow as fast as a Rotala, if you try you are just wasting ferts, co2 and light. Maybe having a nice rotala and bba on the java fern.. When it comes to the flow variable, you might take into consideration and ask the question whats wrong here... Is it the flow or is it the wrong plant sp. in the wrong place? As light and shading in a scape is an equaly important variable here.

What makes this whole subject so illusive and dificult is because we are talking variables here. There isn't a constant number to give.. Plants grow in mass, more mass can take more of everything. Lights are expressed in watts and lumen, but still it's just an illusive number not saying very much it still is different for each tank even with the same numbers given.

Keep up the ferts and co2 and play with your ligh intensity is where you need to start.. But it takes time and patience.. Lower it with 10 or 20 % or more and prolong the period if necessary and wait several weeks maybe 2 months it's a variable and impossible to give a number.. But wait and see what happens.. You will see less BBA.. ;) and probably more plantmass. ;)

If you do it right you might come to a point where BBA is gone.. From there you might have enough plantmass gathered to go up again with the lights.. And again go easy on it and wait and see.. Go up and down like that till you find your sweetspot..
 
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Light and BBA correlation in terms of trigger or cure has never held true. On one of my tanks which was around 100g I reduced the light to oneT5 of 32W for over a year and BBA grew as happily as ever. On my other latest 5f tank the light had been 45w led for probably a year before BBA appeared(at the same time as overstocking my tank)Bba is unaffected by low light....
 

zozo

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For me it is and it works every time i see BBA grow.. And the only tank i have the most (often) BBA is the high tech tank with the strongest lights. And 1 low tech with very low light has non and never had, the other low tech relatively high light for this category has little BBA.. It had more of it in the first months when plantmass was still rather low. Going down with intensity and patiently wait for plant mass to grow did it again.. All my tanks have 10 + hours of light.

Think of what makes plants grow, that's light and ferts.. Than it actualy only can work counter productive to give plants a short 6 hour periode of high light and a lot of ferts.. Not saying it doesn't work, many do it also with succes, but it is definitively not maximizing the plants life cycle. Over the day that would be 6 hours of growing time and 18 hours of doing nothing. And doing nothing is also not helping to get all into transition. If you want more plantmass in a shorter time span, than lower the intensity and double the periode.. Makes your plants grow bit slower but it will make them grow 6 hours longer. In the end you will have a lot more mass and a much larger and healthier developed rootsystem.

In here again is a variable :) and this one is what if i grow only High light demanding plants and you want them to grow compact and colorfull from the start. Than you are doomed to go with a high intensity short periode.. Tho here goes the same, the other variable is a minimum of light and a maximum of light needed, than go down in intensity to a minimum and prolong the period to a maximum and grow your needed mass. It might begin with a bit less compact, but it will be very good rooted healthy less compact mass of submersed growth. A less compact plant is not per definition an unhealthy plant as long as minimum requirments are met.. Once you have the mass, go up in intensity and shorten the periode again. And trim everything leggy back with patience and it grows back compact from a healthy large rootsystem. All plants need to go through that transition from emersed to submersed. Doing this in a short high light period is asking for and running on the edge of a BBA problem.. Which you actualy do not need to get at all..

That's my take on BBA.. :)

Hows it's said in english... 'The sun is not hurried by early risers '?
 

roadmaster

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Believe an aquarium is the only place that plant's see 10 + hour's of midday lighting be it low or high light day in ,day out..
In nature, the sun provides the light and it moves across the sky throughout the day.
Many of the plant's due to shading by other plant's,tree canopy over head,or several day's/week's of overcast skies,may only see three or four hour's of bright,midday lighting in a single day before sun moves away rather than 10 + hour's.
I can run four 54 watt T5's over my low tech for no more than eight hour's and lighting hung ten inches above the surface of the water in 300 litre tank lest algae become problematic.
I can run four 32 watt T8's for ten hour's with no issues and the bulb's re cheaper/easier to find locally.
 

zozo

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Believe an aquarium is the only place that plant's see 10 + hour's of midday lighting be it low or high light day in ,day out..
In nature, the sun provides the light and it moves across the sky throughout the day.
Many of the plant's due to shading by other plant's,tree canopy over head,or several day's/week's of overcast skies,may only see three or four hour's of bright,midday lighting in a single day before sun moves away rather than 10 + hour's.
I can run four 54 watt T5's over my low tech for no more than eight hour's and lighting hung ten inches above the surface of the water in 300 litre tank lest algae become problematic.
I can run four 32 watt T8's for ten hour's with no issues and the bulb's re cheaper/easier to find locally.
Don't forget to mention, the majority of plants we grow do not grow submersed in nature. Rather marginal and only submersed in the rainy seasons. If a plant grows submersed in nature it is mainly in places where it is unchaded in rather clear waters.. Like i see where the Calitriche grows in the local streams near my place. Where we have in summer season a few weeks of 18 hours daylight.. In a brightness our tanks lights do not come close too.
I also see this in my garden pond which gets very little shade. SO this also highly depends on where on earth you are..

Above my tanks i also do not have a full 100% for the whole periode.. It gradualy goes up and down with about 3 hours 50%, 4 hours 80% and 5 hours 100%. That's in total 12 hours of which i guess fall into the compensation point of the plants. There are a few hours more but probably to low for the plants. But my lights are burning from 8 am to after 10 pm. :)
 
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