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BBA and organic matter

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by detlef, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. detlef

    detlef Subscriber

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    Hi all,


    lately I've seen correlation between heavy feeding of live food (artemia) and a dramatic spurt in BBA growth the following day. Which was so obvious to me in an otherwise stable tank with consistent maintenance and fertilization for many months that I'm having trouble in believing it was just coincidence. Of course I do not want to try it again! Anyone else with similar experience?

    What I observed supports the assumption that BBA not only likes low CO2 surroundings but also when organic matter is high. For instance BBA grows preferably on OM (e.g. dead or dying leaves and drift wood) which also points to that same direction.

    Hoppy, I'm sure you'll read here. What do you feed your fish?


    Best regards,
    Detlef
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I feed my fish once a day, 4 tiny little granules of sinking food for the two Yoyo loaches, and a small pinch of flake food, or freeze dried worm food for the other fish. You do bring up an interesting question. I know the loaches quickly consume their food, but maybe I should try every other day feeding of the other foods.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I'd say there might be something to it.
    Not just with BBA, but with others as well.

    I've seen it myself just like Detlef has, but the time was longer between cause/effect(assuming it is correct).

    Still, a few good water changes, cleaning that's the end of the OM.............
    BBA still there, still coming on.

    It might help, but I do not think that's all there is to it, CO2 seems to play a definitive role anytime I've tried to go back and confirm. Are you getting just BBA? Wait and see what else appears and take note.

    High organic loading(too many fish, food, feeding, rotting plants etc) seems to induce a number of algae to grow.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    BBA is the only algae problem I have to speak of. But, I do seem to be starting on another GDA growth spurt, although it doesn't scrape off as easily as most GDA does. I'm debating about letting it alone for 2-3 weeks to see if it dies a natural death.
     
  5. detlef

    detlef Subscriber

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    Hoppy,

    can you omit feeding freeze dried worms for some time? Try more flakes or granules (only if without blood ingredients) for a couple of weeks and see how BBA will respond. Just an idea......

    By the way I'm mostly feeding Organix (what a coincidence!) made in the US by Omega Sea Ltd., Sitka, Alaska and distributed by Söll over here in Germany. Fish go crazy after it.

    Best regards,
    Detlef
     
  6. gmccreedy

    gmccreedy Junior Poster

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    I think you are onto something here. I have been having recent issues with BBA and consequently had some fish die off not to long ago and have been fighting a nasty protein film at the same time. Could this coincidence be related to BBA. I also feed dried worms as well from time to time.
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Hi, I've given this some more thought and re read a few things.
    Has anyone tried using Frozen vs live Artemia?

    I feed a lot of brine shrimp and have rather high fish loading.
    I also have several tanks like this(more replicates).

    I feed not just brine, but Blood worms, Mysis, flake(tetra flake), spirulina sticks(pretty heavy). I also have a live brine with 3 container going. I also have good filtration and keep up on it.

    If organic matter is really the root cause, we should be able to induce BBA doing this, correlation is a very dangerous thing to make the assumption. We need/must confirm(not just "me too's") and be willing to actively try and induce BBA and make sure we can also keep very good tabs on CO2/light/dosing/aquarium keeping, filtrations/water changes while testing etc.

    CO2 can play games on you. What are you adding besides fish food when you load a lot of fish food in there?

    Just organic matter?

    No........you are adding a lot of NH4. What does that do to plants? More, less growth? What if you have leaner N? Then add a fair amount of NH4? What about if you have higher light?

    Algae? I've seen this pattern when I did a fish loading experiment.
    My goal was to add proggressively more and more fish loading to an aquarium until I got an algae bloom. Folks always say you have to add KNO3 to high light tanks with CO2 and fish waste alone cannot do it using plain sand.

    I put that to the test back in 2001.

    This was the tank and general amount of plant biomass I used:

    [​IMG]

    Not much plant biomass(easier to destabilize) and high light, about 200 micromol at the bottom!, 450 at the surface, quite a bit. Did weekly 60% water changes, dosed EI etc. The tap was rock hard. KH 11, GH 24. Flourite sediment.

    I was able to induce Green water initially, then staghorn and finally BBA. BBA has never appeared rapidly, it always takes a few days or even weeks.
    So the speed of dosing the parameter of interest with the treatment does not match well here I think. It still might be due to the feeding, but I think it was when you did it further back, consider that also.

    Green water is rapid, the fastest to respond IME to inducement, but only under high light, Staghorn and BBA will grow find in lower/low light. Green water tends be pretty rare in low light tanks, but many of the same principles with NH4 apply to lower light tanks, but with different algae species that will take the place of phytoplankton which tend to require much higher light than many epiphytes.

    So perhaps the CO2 demand went up adding more N, and the NH4 issue may have helped induce the algae spores to grow. Either way, you must confirm before really speculating much. If you have a hunch or a hypothesis, test it, confirm it, then you know more about the problem and you also know how to get rid of it in the future.

    So while many do not want to consider inducing algae, it's really the only decent way to test;)

    And if you know the causes..........then you also "knows" the cures.
    Still, now you have a tank with BBA, so that much be cleaned out first before applying a new test or another replication block.

    Then you can test again.
    GW is great because a UV takes care of that in 2-3 days for further test.
    BBA takes weeks.

    I've also seen this same issue with fish load and BBA in Alan's tanks, he feeds a lot an dhas a massive bioload, but not that high of light. He resolved the issue by simply doing daily automated water changes, which does what?
    Removes all the fish waste which is mostly NH4, adds O2 and CO2 also.
    Same deal with fish breeders who add lots of food, they do very frequent water changes.

    Seems to me much more a fish loading and over feeding issue, and it's different than adding say just NH4 alone. Fish waste/rotting food/too many fish/shrimp etc, adds fecal matter and "packets of waste" that fall and settle on the sediment. These are surrounded by much higher levels of NH4 and other nutrients than the surrounding water. The spores are where?

    Not in the water column. The nutrients also are where? Not in the water column.
    The current that mixes the water well is also not in the sediment, maybe the top 1/2 cm, but it drops off very fast deeper in the sediment.

    Algae spores are like "seeds", once they get the signal it a good time to grow, they germinate. This can be swimming zoospores that will swim around and attach where they think is a good spot to grow. Then start to grow into an adult turf/tuff, thread etc.

    This is basic algae ecology.

    This is not something I pulled out of my hind end:eek:

    And it applies to learning about algae and confirming the causes. Speculating is meaningless unless you test that speculation and make sure you can confirm the results a few times. I see endless babbling on forums about algae, but few if any ever test or confirm with logic. Why fear something you now understand?
    Unless you do test/confirm(or not), and understand the pest's life history and ecology, I think you really place yourself at a severe disadvantage and cannot answer the question(or pose new ones once those are answered).

    However,such results and confirmation does not imply that there is only one possible reason for an algae spore to germinate either. There may be others.

    Adding too much fish and bioload, food, plant waste etc can induce at least 3 species I am aware of and BBA is one of them.

    Rgards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm about out of all of my fish foods right now, so I need to restock. I'm a bit confused now about what to get. Omega Sea's website doesn't show "Organix" as one of their products, and I don't know who sells it around here anyway. What is a good general day to day food to use?
     
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