BBA bout!

jerrybforl

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Hey guys! So I'm having some BBA issues on my slower growing plants in both of my tanks. I've also noticed that these are in direct flow. I have enriched CO2 and ferts. Apparently my tank has perfect water conditions. Few things I will be doing to get rid of this.


1. I will raise my lights a bit


2. I unplugged my Koralia 4. I do realize, after talking to Tom, that the issue arose after I put this pump in. GONE!


3. On my next water change, I will spot dose with H2O2. I need to find Excel locally. Once I get that, I'll spot dose with it as well.


4. I'm not sure about pinching the leaves as this is on buces. They already are slow growers, and I don't wish to make them any slower. On my java ferns, I can pluck the leaves no issues. Ironically I have a huge area covered with anubias bartari var. bartari that has absolutely no BBA on it at all. So this is definitely related to flow.


I will follow up with results in the following weeks.
 

Jason King

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Hi Jerry the korolia 4 is a flow pump, so just to confirm the possible cause of this was to much flow? Or


Was the pump on the same side as the co2 in? Or the opposite side flowing against the co2 in?
 

Apprentice

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Hi Jerry, I feel that from my own experiences with BBA that consistent Co2 levels are more a factor than total PPM. So yeah, a drastic change in flow could definitely be the cause.


If you spot dose with H2o2 with filters and or pumps off that should be enough to kill the BBA. Will turn white when dead. Eventually disintegrate. I use an oral syringe (get them free from pharmacist) and attach a 1/4 inch polypropylene tubing. Makes it easy to spot dose. Probably won't even need the excel.


Correction on the polypropylene. Should be polyethylene. Available on spools, purchased by ft. at most hardware stores.


Regards, Rob
 
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gsjmia

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The only place I have BBA is in the end of the return nozzle and a bit on wood that is several inches out and is right in the Co2 enriched flow from the sump-a constant steady source of high PPM Co2.


Some BBA will be killed with one dose of H2o2, and other BBA's won't be the least affected and require Excel.


Sometimes I wish we were ten years in the future.
 

jerrybforl

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kisanjong said:
Hi Jerry the korolia 4 is a flow pump, so just to confirm the possible cause of this was to much flow? Or

Was the pump on the same side as the co2 in? Or the opposite side flowing against the co2 in?


I have dual returns. The #4 has since been unplugged. I did have some burning and melting. Nothing that can't be overcome. I used both peroxide and API CO2 booster. Works the same as excel and cheaper. I had some burning of certain species. I'm sure it's due to the API (glut). Next time I will just stick to H2O2.


It's all gone as of now. Turning off the #4 has helped a lot. I checked the PAR. It wasn't that crazy, so I left it.


My 40B is done with BBA as well. Now it's over run with other algae, but that's due to too much light. I need to rig both of my Finnex Ray 2 LEDs together, so I can lower and raise them. They are putting out a LOT of light. I'm getting about 80-90 umol at the substrate, but need more plant mass. Also need a cleaning crew.


I posted this last week, but it seems it didn't lol. Luckily there was a restore button...:rolleyes:
 

burr740

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Why does being in direct flow encourage bba? Is it because co2 levels are low or irregular in the current....or what exactly?
 

Apprentice

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Hey Jerry, Glad you got it sorted.


As for your light fixture here is a link to a video that may of interest.

( DIY Deluxe Aquarium Hanging Kit For Finnex Ray 2 LEDs) ADU Aquascaping.

Regards, Rob
 

Apprentice

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burr740 said:
Why does being in direct flow encourage bba? Is it because co2 levels are low or irregular in the current....or what exactly?

I think the reason being is this is the one area in which flow and thereby co2 levels fluctuate the most. Say beginning of month change polyfilter, clean sponges, clean pre-filter etc. Flow is good and strong. As the month progresses filter media clogs, flow diminishes and so does co2 more so at out flow then other locals.


Lakes and ponds can't remember ever seeing BBA. Mountain side streams with clear water I have seen BBA attached to rocks. Probably same issues.


Stream water fed by underground spring X PPMs of CO2. Heavy rain or winter snow melt changes flow/Dilution and CO2 concentration. Rain or run off melt ends. More CO2 fluctuations. BBA occurs.


Just my theory and observations.


Regards, Rob
 
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Tom Barr

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Apprentice said:
I think the reason being is this is the one area in which flow and thereby co2 levels fluctuate the most. Say beginning of month change polyfilter, clean sponges, clean pre-filter etc. Flow is good and strong. As the month progresses filter media clogs, flow diminishes and so does co2 more so at out flow then other locals.


Lakes and ponds can't remember ever seeing BBA. Mountain side streams with clear water I have seen BBA attached to rocks. Probably same issues.


Stream water fed by underground spring X PPMs of CO2. Heavy rain or winter snow melt changes flow/Dilution and CO2 concentration. Rain or run off melt ends. More CO2 fluctuations. BBA occurs.


Just my theory and observations.


Regards, Rob


I concur, I've observed this multiple times and tried everything else. I removed the suspected canister filter and stabilized the flow, which also stabilizes the degas rates. Think about how a return is affected in terms of O2 in(less) and CO2 out(less/more). If the canister is the only source of CO2 inflow, the CO2 will often go down, but the degassing goes down also.


Still, if the flow is constant, say like in a sump system...........Zero surface scum(so that's constant), the degas rate is also constant and you have max O2. Thereby allowing you to max the CO2 for plants with more O2 headroom for fish/livestock. Bacteria cycle things better with more O2.


I had a canister on a large client tank, BBA plagued the tank for a couple of years, removed the canister(they also had a wet/dry) which clogged every 1-2 weeks and.......... clouds parted, angels sang........I left the pump and hoses in place and ran just for circulation only since I had plenty of sump bio. So even the bio part was accounted for in that case.
 

fablau

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Tom, can too much surface agitation be cause of BBA? I have a bit of BBA constantly growing on slow growers, and surface agitation is the only smoking gun left. Co2 is super maximized in my tank (over 70ml/minute for a 75gl tank with wet/dry and medium light - 50par max at substrate), but I have very strong surface agitation.... Could that me cause of too much co2 fluctuations? Considering that most of the BBA is appearing where the flow is faster...
 

Pikez

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Fablau - just had a conversation with Toru at Nature Aquarium in Santa Monica about this. He firmly believes that too much flow causes BBA. He suggests gentle, constant flow with no dead spots. The explanation above is the best I've seen yet.
 

fablau

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Thank you Pikez for your reply. I have tried to reduce flow, but with no positive results. I don't use circulation pumps, but just a strong pump inside my sump to get water back into the tank. I am currently using the Eheim 3000 Compact for my 75gl, which is pretty powerful (around 900gl/hr). I have also tried to reduce the flow with the Eheim 2000 Compact (around 500gl/hr) but I didn't see any improvements BBA side.


But there is one thing: surface agitation is always pretty strong, in both situations (I mean, with both pumps). Also, I add aeration at night to improve degassing, which seems to help with plant growth, via a micro-airstone inside the sump. I don't think the airstone could play any role in BBA since it runs just at night, when Co2 and lights are off, but I am concerned with the surface agitation which, as I said above, pretty strong. Could that be cause of concern? I have read everywhere on these forums postings promoting surface agitation, that's why I increased that a big deal in the past 6 months (and BBA started appearing about 4 months ago), but now I am concerned that could be the cause of BBA in my tank.


What do you guys think?
 

Apprentice

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Hi Fablau. I don't think it is about too much flow, as it is inconsistent flow. Example spray bar, lily pipe etc. is near surface water level. Tank evaporates 1/4 inch and surface agitation increases. More Co2 degases and flow may also change slightly. A day or two later you top off water. Changes again. Might be something to look at.


Possible solutions:


1: Clean existing BBA. Trim effected plant leaves, spot dose hardscape, outflows, gravel or any affected ares. Existing BBA will not disappear on its own.


2: Adjust outflow enough below water line to compensate for evaporation in between water top offs. May take a bit of experimentation to find right level.


3: Settle on a flow level and stick with it. Changing flows will only encourage BBA growth.


4: Since you are using a canister filter if you are not using a reactor? Consider getting or DIY one. Much more consistent than diffusers. Less maintenance too. If you are then check off list.


5: Check that flow is laminar. Flow should spread out evenly and fan out across top of tank, hitting opposite side and roll down and back across substrate towards inflow. Flow should not be turbulent. This is why ADA lily pipes are designed with slight flare to outflow and aimed near surface. Same can be achieve with spray bar or flat fan shape outflow tube. Laminar = flat sheet. This does not mean you don't have surface ripple. Just that water current spreads out across tank in an even wide flow.


6: Top off water more consistently if you get a lot evaporation. I do this a lot in the winter.


Airating at night will not cause BBA. Wouldn't be concerned on that issue.


Main thing is look to achieve a non turbulent laminar flow patten with good surface ripple and flow rate that is consistent day to day during photo period.


Hope you find something useful in this.


Regards, Rob
 

fablau

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Thank you Rob for your advice, appreciated! I think to have already the correct "laminar" surface ripple... But today I have decided to get back using the a Eheim compact 2000, a little slower than the 3000, and I will stick with that for a while...


By the way, I have a wet/dry filter, not a canister. Also I have no evaporation issues since my tank is closed at the top. Maybe I will take a video of my surface ripple as soon as I have the chance.


Thanks you again!
 

Apprentice

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Your welcome Fablau.

I think to have already the correct "laminar" surface ripple...

Just to clarify laminar flow is mainly about over all flow through the tank. You can have good laminar flow and no surface ripple.


Bad laminar flow and still have a surface ripple. To me laminar flow is like a steady breeze (even current) as opposed to a whirlwind (turbulent current).

By the way, I have a wet/dry filter, not a canister.

Yeah didn't realize you were talking about a sump pump. Saw Eheim and just assumed canister. Probably should have looked it up first. My bad.


I would think with a wet/dry filter you would have a high and consistent gas exchange that surface agitation would not be a significant factor. Unless so high your critters can surf on it!

But today I have decided to get back using the a Eheim compact 2000, a little slower than the 3000, and I will stick with that for a while...

I wouldn't think 12X turnover is too high, but I do believe if you pick a pump rate and stick with it, over time BBA will abate.

Maybe I will take a video of my surface ripple as soon as I have the chance
.
Look forward to seeing it if you do. Best luck.


Regards, Rob
 
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fablau

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Apprentice said:
Your welcome Fablau.



Just to clarify laminar flow is mainly about over all flow through the tank. You can have good laminar flow and no surface ripple.


Bad laminar flow and still have a surface ripple. To me laminar flow is like a steady breeze (even current) as opposed to a whirlwind (turbulent current).

Thanks Rob. I didn't understand correctly then, thank you for clarifying. So, I am not sure I have the right flow inside my tank. I have the flow outlet being split in the center-top of the tank, and then the flow is directed half on the front-right and half on the fron-left, at the surface, by using a flare nozzle (two flare nozzles then, one for the right and one for the left). So, I have basically two flows, one for the right side of the tank and one for the left side of the tank. Does it make sense? I should probably take a picture to show you better... but I have issues to upload pictures on this forum (that's why I need Tapatalk compatibility)!!

Apprentice said:
I would think with a wet/dry filter you would have a high and consistent gas exchange that surface agitation would not be a significant factor. Unless so high your critters can surf on it!

Yes, with the wet/dry I should have sufficient degassing, but since I have very well sealed the wet/dry chamber of the sump, I don't think it acts much differently from a canister... I am actually thinking to remove the seal to have more oxygen mixed.

Apprentice said:
I wouldn't think 12X turnover is too high, but I do believe if you pick a pump rate and stick with it, over time BBA will abate.

Hmm... I just switched to the Eheim 2000 because I wanted to reduce flow, but I have also reduced degassing a big deal, and so oxygen in the mix... with the Eheim 2000 I have now about 8x turnover... what would you suggest? What pump would you pick?


.

Apprentice said:
Look forward to seeing it if you do. Best luck.


Regards, Rob

Thanks! Appreciated your help and opinion!
 

Apprentice

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Thanks Rob. I didn't understand correctly then, thank you for clarifying. So, I am not sure I have the right flow inside my tank. I have the flow outlet being split in the center-top of the tank, and then the flow is directed half on the front-right and half on the fron-left, at the surface, by using a flare nozzle (two flare nozzles then, one for the right and one for the left). So, I have basically two flows, one for the right side of the tank and one for the left side of the tank. Does it make sense? I should probably take a picture to show you better... but I have issues to upload pictures on this forum (that's why I need Tapatalk compatibility)!!

Hey Fablau, From what you describe above sounds good. Flow in the same direction, wide and evenly distributed. If so, then should be good.

Yes, with the wet/dry I should have sufficient degassing, but since I have very well sealed the wet/dry chamber of the sump, I don't think it acts much differently from a canister... I am actually thinking to remove the seal to have more oxygen mixed.

Is wet/dry chamber air/water tight seal or just cover to prevent evaporation? Just curious. If you do remove keep in mind you may also loose a little more co2. Just monitor and make adjustment if necessary. Also if you increase O2 you can opt to increase CO2 a bit if desired.

Hmm... I just switched to the Eheim 2000 because I wanted to reduce flow, but I have also reduced degassing a big deal, and so oxygen in the mix... with the Eheim 2000 I have now about 8x turnover... what would you suggest? What pump would you pick?

I would opt for the 3000 12x turnover rate. Many recommend at least 10X or more ( i.e.ADA, Tom Barr, etc. ). With that said 8x may still be fine.


I think the main reason you initially got BBA was change in flow. Mainly effected slow growing plants. Which makes sense since these plants will take longer to adapt to new Co2 levels ( whether higher or lower ) due to there slow growth rates.


I think the main thing here is just to decide what pump, cover on or off wet dry sump and make any adjustments to Co2 if necessary. Then just keep it consistent thereafter. Slow growers will take time to adjust. May need some trimming of effected leaves till they adjust. I have in the past dipped just the leaves of Anubius in pure 3% H2O2 for 30 seconds and rinse with water to remove BBA from leaves. Just don't dip rhizome in H2O2.


BBA for me has mostly been an issue of fluctuating levels. Ex. rising temps ( summer heat waves), evaporation ( person taking care of my tank while away not topping off ), crappy Co2 needle valves and changes in water flow rates ( clogged filters while away on business trips ).


I think once everything is consistent in your tank again it should sort itself out. May take 2 to 3 weeks. Ours is not just a hobby of artistic creativity and science. It is also one of diligence and patience.


With that said totally sympathize with wanting to fix fast. Often say to myself " Must Stop Aquarium OCD, Stop Fiddling With Aquarium" which I hear in my head as the voice of William Shatner aka Capt. Kirk.


Regards, Rob
 
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fablau

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Ah ah! You made me laugh! I see so much in me of what you are describing!


I appreciate your help very much, and here is what I have done:


1. I have decided to stick with the Eheim 2000 because I think the flow should be sufficient, the pump is super-silent, and also because I have some mosses that stopped growing since I used the 3000, because of probably too high flow.


2. I have removed the seal from the sump chamber, so now degassing is back pretty much as I was using the Eheim 3000, but the flow is reduced inside the tank.


3. Now I need to adjust the Co2 accordingly.


4. I'll wait and see...


Keep in mind that this BBA issue has been here for the past 6 months, I have kept-up with trimming and cleaning as much as I could, using Excel and H2O2 on slow growers, etc... and I have tried to change everything slowly (in other words, every time I did a change, I waited 2 weeks to see and before to make any new change). But so far so bad :(


I really hope something will change this time! I will keep you posted. Thanks!
 

fablau

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Update: after 2 weeks with the new setup, BBA has been reduced 90%!!! It is still appearing here and there, but looks like is having an harder time than before. I will keep doing it for the next 2 weeks, and give you an update again.


Besides what described above, I have also removed extra aeration during night, which caused the PH do go sky-high (total degassing)... maybe that also played a role in all this?
 

Apprentice

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Glad to hear your tank is doing better. You never did answer one question I asked about why you had wet/dry chamber sealed? Still curious.

Besides what described above, I have also removed extra aeration during night, which caused the PH do go sky-high (total degassing)... maybe that also played a role in all this?

I wouldn't thing total degassing would play a role unless it prevented you from reaching your targeted PH drop/PPM's Co2 at start of photo-period.


Any time I ever did anything to increase off gassing I just either adjusted bubble rate and or start time for Co2 to hit target. Seems to have worked well enough for me so far.


Keep updating and let me know the mystery of the sealed wet/dry chamber.


Regards, Rob