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Ammonia, Zeolite - Black Beard & CO2

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by MediaOne, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. MediaOne

    MediaOne Prolific Poster

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    Ya know it seems like I am always struggling with my tank .... trying to help it thrive without algae eventually getting a hold...

    my planted tank experience has certainly been humbling thus far.....

    My tank is very heavily planted and whenever I let algae take hold it takes me *forever* to pull things around again. Could this be because of the huge amount of detritus and plant material that begins to die off?

    Should I consider ammonia remover as an insurance policy while I keep playing with things?

    I know how to get the tank to grow well but then sure enough along comes black beard. No matter what I do it eventually comes back ... i've even reduced my lighting period to slow things down and help me balance out the CO2 better. It didn't work last time I tried it. Next, I will reduce the photo period to 4 hours or something to help keep things under control.

    I had mentioned also that my drop checker (kh 4 water) was yellow and black beard still came back. Now, I have read that black beard can still come around if, for example ammonia is available despite having adequate CO2 levels. Could this have been a variable I was overlooking?

    While I am ranting... it seems that if I do 50% water change my trace/iron levels take a major hit. Some of the plants I have that really need lots of trace show me they are lacking it the days following. Shouldn't I "dose back" trace like I do everything else. Why should it take such a hit each time.

    Also, does SeaChem Prime effect trace mix at all? Does it not have any effects on heavy metals?
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    BBA is pretty much all CO2 related.

    Drop checkers and other things are not going to save everyone either.
    Time, patience, and some good upkeep as well as watching the plants for signs of good new growth, pearling etc will.

    You have to kill what is there and do so slowly. It also takes time to induce BBA.

    I cannot just induce it inside of one week by say, shutting off the CO2 in a well run healthy CO2 enriched high light tank.

    If I reduce the CO2 down, then bob between levels, do not have enough at the start of the light period for the first 2-4 hours, if I have longer term chronic low levels, then if I take care of the CO2 later...........the BBA will still be there...........

    The time between inducement and the appearance can be longer than many think.

    You plant some seeds(BBA spores) they take several weeks to germinate. Some take only 30 hours like Green water.

    I've gotten rid of BBA in more tanks and over a long time period than most anyone. Every time it's all about CO2, but it's not just having a good level once you get it, you have to go in and kill and trim what's there off, maintain things really good until the new growth comes back.

    It can take a few weeks to get things back, so do not expect CO2 or Excel to solve all the issues. And keep up on things so it does come back and you have to do a lot of work to whip things back into shape.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. MediaOne

    MediaOne Prolific Poster

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    i'm cleaning as much as possible these days just to help eliminate detritus and the role of ammonia....

    I am also going to spend more time than ever before, searching out leaves that need to be cut out and algae that needs to be removed. From what I am hearing if I keep up on it I should see results in a few weeks time. I will do that and check back.

    Regards,
     
  4. FacePlanted

    FacePlanted Guru Class Expert

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    I think zeolite used in the filter is a great advantage when having ammonia problems, or using it to prevent problems associated with ammonia when trying to get a tank into shape. It kind of takes that variable away, and lets you deal with whats causing the ammonia without seeing the ammonia's effects (algae). Just make sure to have the root cause of the ammonia fixed before the zeolite is exhausted. I used zeocarb in my filter when I started up my aquasoil tank. It worked great in reducing the ammonia and dissolved organics leached by the aquasoil.

    I noticed that when I took out my co2 diffuser (which was working just fine) and tried to install a completely inadequate/poorly made co2 reactor, my co2 levels were low and fluccuating for a few days until I scrapped the reactor and replaced my ceramic diffuser. A day or so later I noticed new little clumps of BBA all over various parts of the tank. It never spread or grew past its initial outburst, and now has eventually all been pruned or killed with excel. So at least with my tank, I BELIEVE (all things remained the same-ferts, light, etc.--but cant be positive about this--its just correlation) that I saw how inconsistent co2 initiated bba growth in my tank, but since levels were high and steady enough during the photoperiod after the disturbance, the BBA did not go any further. (I guess I'm just repeating myself now :eek: )

    -Mike B-
     
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