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BBA troubles.

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by Martin, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. Martin

    Martin Lifetime Charter Member
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    darn, I've been visited by mr BBA.

    I'm unsure what's causing it.. I've got my CO2 at maximum. Granted I only recently managed to get my misting system working properly.. at least I hope.


    Here's the specs

    85G ; 2x125W HQL Giesemann pendants
    Co2 via 4Kg bottle ; Milwaukee SMS122 Co2 controller ; Co2 venturi
    Flourite RED
    _
    1/2 tsp KNO3 3x week
    ¼ tsp KH2PO4 3x week
    20ml CSM+B 3x week
    50% W/c every sunday.

    PH is 6
    KH is 9
    So CO2 should be around 270ppm!! which seems a bit much..hehe...

    Does anything look off? dosings or?

    I'm at a loss as to what could be wrong?
     
  2. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: BBA troubles.


    Hm 270ppm -- do you have fish? Guess what -- they are not fish anymore, they are ready for the frying pan -- sorry -- I know you know that is higher than it really is.

    So lets ignore that, assume your test kits are wrong (having 3 pH test kits myself -- I get 3 different answers from 6.6 to 7.2 :) ).

    I think your ferts are a bit low. If you have about 77g of water in your 85g tank, I would see dosing as follows:

    7/8tsp KNO3
    3/8tsp K2SO4 (that takes into account the K from the KNO3 and the KH2PO4)
    1/4tsp KH2PO4
    1/2tsp to 2tsp of MgSO4 depending on your source water. Mine starts with 8ppm, so I do 1/2tsp.

    Not sure about the CSM+B, I don't know how you mix it. My dosage calculator assumes you mix 9tsp (3tbsp) in 500ml, in which case your 20ml is about right, even maybe a bit high.

    I use TMG and does 18ml of that into my two tanks which total 77g of water.

    So I see you N (KNO3) as a bit low -- and I know tom often says you probably don't need K2SO4, but I prefer to add it -- at about the rate noted above.

    I don't know how widespread your BBA is, cannot tell from your photos -- I always find a few bits of gravel which are green when I vacuum -- I either remove them and clean them, or just bury them -- it does not seem to spread.


    A thought on your CO2 -- have your tried the pH range test for CO2?? Take some water (I use an old margarine tub) out and leave it out for 24 hours. Measure the pH in you tank and in the tub. You want a diff of about 1.0 to 1.2 (max) -- to give you 30 to 40ppm.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: BBA troubles.

    Try this for the CO2 issue:
    Let a smaple sit out for 24-48 hours in a glass from the tank.
    Measure the pH.
    Next, add enough CO2 to get a full 1.0 drop in pH from that glass 's pH reading.

    This should yeild 30ppm.

    You can add a tad more than 30ppm without issue also.
    Controllers..........I've never liked them.

    I'm nto sure why folks think they are good/better etc, the ionly thing they really are , are more expensive than a pH monitor.

    I shut CO2 off at night in every tank, there is no need for it being on at night.
    It does not good.

    Having a higher ppm during the day in conjunction with high O2 via plant growth is a much better method.

    It's safer most certainly.

    So there are 2 good reasons, you can add more when it's needed most and it's safer.

    BBA is always a CO2 issue.

    Not sure how old the MH's bulbs are.
    You can add a bit more KNO3.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. Martin

    Martin Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: BBA troubles.

    I believe that no matter what, my CO2 is at it's max.
    I cannot up it anymore without stressing the fish.

    I hope my mister can deliver the CO2 properly.

    I will up the NO3 a bit.

    Quenton, 7/8 tsp?? I know I cant be bothered measuring that, so I'll go for the closest.. =)

    when mixing CSM+B I use 2 tablespoons for 500ml of water.

    My GH is about 10 or 11, so I'll hold back on the MGSO4.
     
  5. quenton

    quenton Guru Class Expert

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    Re: BBA troubles.


    -- I do 7/8 as 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 -- so it takes 3 measures. OR 1tsp slightly concave :)

    CSM+B -- (OOPS!!!! My original post -- now edited to prevent disasters -- said 9tbsp in 500ml, that should have read 9tsp or 3tbsp in 500ml). So I would see your 2tbsp as coming up with 2/3 of what I would want. You did say 20ml and my calc comes to 17 or 18ml, so I guess you are not too far off on that.
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: BBA troubles.

    If the CO2 is at the max, though not likely, then you should not see any new growth of BBA.

    So you should, if what you say is true...............be able to kill off the remaining BBA and and do some work to manually trim, scrub, bury the BBA that's there.

    If the BBA is still growing, you do not have the max CO2.
    Something else is going on like not enough surface movement/current, not enough current in general, low flow from the CO2 system, clogged filter, not enough plant biomass.

    It takes awhile for the CO2 in a tank to degas and to gas up.
    More current makes this process faster and more responsive.

    A wimpy system with poor current sends a slug of very high CO2 ppm through the tank, with high current/good circulation, you have more even mixing, degassing and a more stable CO2 ppm.

    BBA does not lie, test kits, other thing we do, can cause us to assume many things.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. Martin

    Martin Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: BBA troubles.


    CSM+B i mix according to the venerable RexGrigg.
    http://www.rexgrigg.com/dosing.htm
     
  8. Laith

    Laith Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: BBA troubles.

    Sounds a lot easier to buy a small digital scale. Over here I can find scales that measure down to 0.1g for around the equivalent of $30-40. Probably can be found cheaper in the US...
     
  9. detlef

    detlef Subscriber

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    Re: BBA troubles.

    Let me repeat what Tom has said in previous posts if someone has BBA issues: CO2 yes! But this is NOT the miracle cure alone. You also MUST provide for enough (and growing) plant biomass. Why? I don't know.

    I have upped misting CO2 for several months now to a degree the Amano shrimps (no other fish besides some ottos are in this tank) keep hiding all the time during daytime hrs when CO2 is very high (I stop injecting CO2 in the night). They did not behave this way with lower CO2 rates and nothing else was changed since. CO2 bubbles are at an insane rate. But I can't completely stop BBA from growing. Both high CO2 levels AND high (and healthy) plant biomass seem to be equally important.

    Regards,
    Detlef
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: BBA troubles.

    30$ on ebay thyat are accurate to 0.01 gram, not bad.

    You need to go to 100$$'s to get that next decimal point, milligrams, 0.001 gram. I have one of these and a couple of sets of volumetric flask for reference solutions here at home.

    You can get around some inaccuracy with calibration solutions by making the reference solution volume much larger.

    While you can only hope for 0.1, or 0.01 gram accuracy, that's tough if the ref solution volume is only say 50mls.

    If the ref soloution volume is say 1000 mls, then you will have much great accuracy, but need to have a larger contain, and add more the KNO3 or whatever compound you want to use as a ref.

    From there, you can simply use volumes of water, graduated cylinders are very cheap/accrate and simply do diltuions for the other ref solution in a series.

    Say you make a 50ppm NO3 from KNO3 for 1000mls or 1 liter.
    Then take 1ml and add this to 9mls of DI water=> 5ppm
    Take 1 ml of this 2nd sample and add 9mls of DI water => 0.5ppm

    Etc..............

    See how accurate you are when you try and use 0.01 gram on 50mls volume and then see how well things are for 1000mls volume for the 50ppm NO3.

    If you are off by a little bit weight wise with the 1000mls, it's not going influeneces nearly as much as the 50mls volume.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. PaulB

    PaulB Subscriber

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    Re: BBA troubles.

    Hi Tom, is there any one brand of scales you would recommend, as there are several brands on ebay that claim to be accurate to 0.01 gram?
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Re: BBA troubles.

    Not really, just look around some first.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: BBA troubles.

    I'm sure that this has been asked and answered before, but I can't find it.

    So, can't an inbalance of NO3 and PO4 lead to BBA growth? Say, like 10 PPM of NO3 and 30 PPM of PO4?

    The only tank that I have that has a BBA problem has NO3 and PO4 in that range.

    None of my tanks have injected CO2, BTW

    Bill
     
  14. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: BBA troubles.

    How much light are we talking about? High light, no CO2 means algae in general, so I assume you are using low light?
     
  15. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: BBA troubles.

    Two wpg, slow growth, healthy and good-looking except for the BBA. Two year old soil substrate. BBA has been constant, even with removing heavily infected leaves and dipping the anubias in a 5% bleach solution.

    I'm betting that the high phosphare level (or the low nitrate level) is the main culprit. But I could be wrong, too.

    Bill
     
  16. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: BBA troubles.

    BBA is a great test indicator for low CO2. If you have BBA you have low CO2. Too much of any fertilizer won't cause BBA as far as I have read.
     
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