This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
    Dismiss Notice

BGA and some pesky GDA

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by ShadowMac, Sep 8, 2013.

  1. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    13
    Local Time:
    3:31 PM
    Hello all,

    A couple weeks ago I setup my 30c and unfortunately the plants had come from a tank that I was using to hold a number of plants for scaping that had a couple bad CO2 lapses. The tank ran dry and I was out of town for 3 days, some days on and off where it wasn't working properly. Needless to say some algae had set in. I tried my best to clean the plants I used in my new scape, however algae of course got in and has taken full advantage of the cycling phase.

    I am at a time where I can begin to add livestock, however I want to reduce as much of the BGA as possible. I was hoping it would start to go away, but it is creeping over some of the foreground and the hairgrass in the midground. Pruning infected leaves hasn't been helpful and there isn't enough foreground for an aggressive trim. I can cut back the hairgrass big time if necessary.

    I'm considering some control measures and would like some help/advice. First, I'm considering a "full assault": an aggressive trim and replanting of foreground, a blackout combined with EM and UV. Afterwards cutting light back 6 hours until things settle in better. After the "nuking" I plan to add a bunch of yellow neos.

    The tank runs an aquasky and eheim 2213. The filter was cycled so I was hoping to avoid some swings, but the aquasoil was 100% new.

    How does the plan sound? Other considerations? CO2 has been blasting at a rate I previously used in a full grown scape with many more fast growing stems, should be good but didn't measure. No stunting and good growth thus far, just the BGA won't fade away. The GDA is something that just seems to be present with the aquasky. The light is intense and really can't be reduced much other than duration.

    Thanks ahead of time for your comments.
     
  2. Paul G

    Paul G Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    19
    Local Time:
    3:31 PM
    ShadowMac

    Your proposed assault on the Cyanobacteria should work great. I use a considerable wattage of UV, and I suspect it helps in that it kills whatever waterborne cells happen to go through the zappers, but I've never thought of it as front-line defense. When I do an EM/blackout treatment, I actually turn the UV off, as I am not sure that the UV does not denature EM. I employ UV mainly out of abject fear of protozoan ectoparasites, but of course I never have green or gray water either.

    I physically remove BGA mats by fingers and net wherever it is practical. Then I dose EM by label direction (for pathogen treatment) once only and immediately go to full blackout for minimum 48 hours. API EM label direction prescribes a follow-on dose (again for its presumed normal use), but this is not necessary. I also do not discontinue chemical filtration, so my carbon and resins start taking the EM out right away.

    Erythromycin at this dose rate does not interfere with nitrification, and it doesn't seem to be a problem for established heterotrophs, but I'm betting there are some heterotrophic populations in the biofilter community that don't much care for EM. Overuse would not be a good thing, I think.

    At lights on, everything looks so much better! The Cyanobac is completely gone, but some other brown patches and even some gray hair seem also to be affected. There is a distinctly crispy-clean aspect to everything. After a blackout there are numerous new Anubias leaves sprouting everywhere. In two days, the oxygen saturation and the ORP are back up to their normal highs. I find I am doing this once every three months or so; just when I start to see BGA trying to re-establish.

    I also use AlgaeFix (label dose every three days after 12% water change). I believe this routine works well to control, if not eradicate, all forms of algae.

    I do think the key to keeping on top of this stuff is plenty of chemical filtration and scrupulous filter maintenance. I believe high DOCs are a factor in algae occurrence, and especially BGA. I also think I have a problem when the GH gets below 90 ppm, and particularly when the KH goes below 125 ppm. I use a lot of light, and if the CO2 isn't really up there where it needs to be, the algae take advantage.

    Good luck with your battle and post your results.

    Regards, Paul G
     
  3. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    13
    Local Time:
    3:31 PM
    Thanks Paul. I've been trying to keep up on twice a week water changes since setup and added Carbon filtration for the cycling period. I have EM on order and should be here later this week. I think I will do an extensive clean and trim, replant the foreground after giving it a KMnO4 bath and trim/clean. Go into blackout for 48 hours while I'm out of town, then hit it with the EM.

    I've contemplated algaefix to tackle anything that may think of taking the place of the BGA. Would a period of Carbon filtration be enough to remove any remaining algaefix so that it is safe for shrimp later?

    I'll keep this posted and see how it goes. I really should have been more diligent about cleaning the plants with KMnO4 prior to planting. That damned holding tank had too many troubles to be devoid of issues.
     
  4. Paul G

    Paul G Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    19
    Local Time:
    3:31 PM
    I do not know how fast a chemical filtration medium will remove Algaefix. Lots of variables here in any case. I am going on the assumption that the way I am dosing it, there is always at least some residual level, but no increasing concentration (I don't keep shrimp). I also dose similarly with Excel. But I admit I am not altogether sure how fast these additives are removed. I use activated carbon and Chemi-Pure all the time, 24/7. It is also possible that my UV degrades these substances as well. The UV is on and off with the lights. Again, I would not run the UV while doing the EM treatment.

    I wonder about doing the blackout, then the EM afterwards. I should think the EM exposure taking place while depriving the light would be the double whammy you want. I am suggesting you dose the EM at the beginning of the blackout. Up to you, of course, but I am interested in your reasoning.
     
  5. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    13
    Local Time:
    3:31 PM
    To be honest, no reasoning. I'm waiting for the EM and will be out of town for a couple days with some visitors this weekend. It just fit my schedule best. I'm going to check on the delivery date for the EM and try to have the blackout and EM treatment coincide. That is what I wanted to begin with. I'm running some UV right now after the big clean, trim and replant. I'll give it a blackout with UV until tomorrow, let it run with 6 hrs light until I head out of town in two days if the EM is going to be here before I leave, then dose the EM, run UV, and do the black out for the two days I'm gone.
     
  6. Paul G

    Paul G Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    19
    Local Time:
    3:31 PM
    I see. Sorry, I did not understand the timing issue. I get it now. Hope your EM arrives in time to work out the right way around. If not, it would be interesting to see if the blackout alone has a salutary effect.

    I will reiterate this: I do not know that UV will degrade/decompose/denature or otherwise deactivate erythromycin, but I know it is a possibility because UV is ionizing radiation and EM is an organic compound. My question is, do you know that it won't? Will a day's worth of zapping EM destroy its effectiveness prematurely? I advise against running UV while dosing EM without solid evidence that there is no problem of this sort.
     
  7. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    13
    Local Time:
    3:31 PM
    Ah, thanks for reminding me of the UV possibly denaturing the EM. I did notice you kept mentioning that, but for some reason I never internalized that and kept going back to my plan. Not a good idea to ask for comments or advice if I don't pay attention to it! I'll update next week after 2 day blackout with UV, then no UV and EM.
     
  8. Paul G

    Paul G Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    19
    Local Time:
    3:31 PM
    Tell Me More About Your Method with Permanganate

    You mentioned that you do a potassium permanganate bath for transplants. I haven't paid much attention to precautions of this kind in the past, but have often wondered about what was being carried into the aquarium. I would like to know about the procedure you go through. I think perhaps I should be more careful and start following along likewise. It's so easy to cross-contaminate and there is no need to face issues that could have been avoided.
     
  9. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    13
    Local Time:
    3:31 PM
    happy to..

    First I made a stock solution of 2 ppm KMnO4. 1 gram to 1 liter yields 1 ppm (mg/L) My scale (I need to invest in a better one) only measures to the nearest gram and I used a 500 ml container instead of 1 liter hence the 2 ppm solution. There is a nice article/posting on its use floating around the historical threads on here... found it!

    This article is also very helpful from wiki: http://www.theaquariumwiki.com/Potassium_permanganate

    and if wiki isn't your thing here is some evidenced based conclusions: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa120 ; http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa032 The better article in the historical thread doesn't seem to work and I can't find the work around it, but these two reference it.

    Now that I have the space I mean to create a 10 mg/L solution to place nets and tools in to sterilize between tank uses. I have a couple "support tanks" in a back utility room that hold plants or critters and it would be good to know I can avoid passing pests/algae between them. The fact many LFS don't do this practice is irritating to me. You see them quarantine a tank, then share nets between them all. :mad-new:

    The articles mention PP is effective against algae, but their focus is parasites and pests. I took up the practice after an entire tank breakdown to chase down some dragonfly larvae who were eating my small fish and shrimp. For a while I thought I was just the world's worst shrimp keeper until I found the four aquatic predators.

    I bathe the plants in a 1 ppm solution for several minutes and physically inspect them before putting them into a clean container of treated tap water. I use the 1 ppm solution since it allows for the longest duration; as your concentration increases your time to damaging the plant decreases. Fish can tolerate a 10 ppm solution for 30 seconds and I've assumed the same time frame for plants. I've never done a 10 ppm dip though. I wouldn't treat mosses and maybe some other more primitive plants, although I've done ferns with no troubles. The leaves tend to be a little more delicate but the rhizomes are tough.
     
    #9 ShadowMac, Sep 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2013
  10. Paul G

    Paul G Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    19
    Local Time:
    3:31 PM
    Thanks for the reply. I am taking from this that you dip the leaves - but not the roots - in this standardized solution for a period of time; ten minutes is mentioned (seems like a very long exposure time).
     
  11. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    13
    Local Time:
    3:31 PM
    I thought 10 minutes was long too and I don't reach that time, maybe 5 minutes. Since I'm after algae and bacteria I think that is sufficient. If I'm trying to kill snails and various eggs the time may need to be longer. Its a heavy oxidizer, so probably needs time to get through more organic matter like egg casings. Single celled organisms probably get zapped quickly.

    I don't take any particular caution to not dip roots, but most plants I am dipping are some sort of stem cuttings, so don't have roots to speak of. With crypts or other heavily rooted plants I avoid exposing the roots. I also do quite a bit more trimming of leaves on those plants anyways.

    For the monte carlo with the extensive BGA I just pulled them all out and put them into the solution, then once they were all in went over to the sink and cut badly infected portions off, ran them under some water to wash away anything not well attached, and then placed in the holding container with some treated tap.

    I've been considering a PP dosage on the entire tank. I have done this before and it was hard on shrimp, amanos seemed to hate it, fish got a little excited but no deaths. It is quickly reversible by a dechlorinator. It is fairly new setup so shouldn't have a lot of organic build up. Maybe I will do that for the couple days prior to the EM. I'll take a look at the monte carlo today and see how it faired then decide.
     
  12. Paul G

    Paul G Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    19
    Local Time:
    3:31 PM
    I get the idea. I think I'll be using latex gloves for that. Thanks for the info!
     
  13. Matt F.

    Matt F. Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2009
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    4
    Local Time:
    3:31 PM
    Use EM (erythromycin) for the BGA. Be prepared to do a repeat course of treatment. Make sure to use up all of the meds. No need for a blackout or UV. UV might render meds useless in some cases. Not sure how it will affect EM. UV is not recommended for BGA.

    GDA is another beast. Frequent water changes with an emphasis on cleaning the walls of the aquarium is a must. I'd do at least 2 >50% water changes per week till, keep up on trimming, and replace filter pads occasionally. Might even want to cut out dosing for a few weeks. Reduce photoperiod to 6 hours. For GDA, you can do a brownout after a thorough cleaning. 3 days should be enough to put a hurt on the GDA. But it can come back one things in the tank are lacking (like maintenance).
     
  14. Paul G

    Paul G Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    19
    Local Time:
    3:31 PM
    Coming Up from an EM/Blackout

    ShadowMac;

    I am just now coming off an EM/blackout myself, executed in just the manner I described. I last did this in May, so it was about time! I started lights out at 9:40 PM Sept 3 and lights on at 7:20 AM Sept 6. All the week before the BGA started to come on very fast, so I knew it was time.

    The ORP would not rise above 300 and the O2 peaked at only 80% or less for several days just before the blackout. It was coming up time to do some filter changes as well. I did some chemistry checks and adjustments (GH and KH were too low - stupid me). I use a pH controller for CO2 delivery and I should b'gosh do a better job of watching that alkalinity. Fe, K, PO4, and NO3 were in bounds.

    Yesterday and today O2 saturation peaked at just over 100%, which is my goal for this aquarium each and every day (I'll settle for anything above a consistent 95%). Guess I'm gonna go through a lot of carbon dioxide, huh?

    Bottom line - when I am not getting the ecosystem I want, I have to consider first the neglect factor.

    Regards,

    Paul G
     
    #14 Paul G, Sep 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2013
  15. Paul G

    Paul G Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    19
    Local Time:
    3:31 PM
    Matt F;

    In my experience, the plants do not mind the 48 hour blackout, and in fact, the Anubiases in particular seem to be stimulated into new growth by it. I am a great respecter of the biofilter biome, which is probably a lot more complex a community than is sometimes fully appreciated, so am very reluctant to use "repeat" doses of any antibiotic. Antibiotics are, in principle, anethema to ecosystems, taken as a whole.

    I attempted in December of 2012 to kill off an incipient BGA infestation with two successive EM treatments without blackout. The results were questionable, as the kill was not total and the Cyanobac made a rapid comeback. Blackouts work better for me, especially with one hit of EM at the start.

    I agree that UV is not indicated for BGA or algae generally, as it cannot hit the sessile cells. This is why I do not regard it as my "first line of defense". It will destroy individual free-floaters, spores, etc. and is useful for other reasons, so employing it can do no harm.

    I suspect UV destroys EM.

    I know you have recently come from a long bout with GDA and know whereof you speak in regards to that. I presume you came out the victor.

    Regards,

    Paul G
     
    #15 Paul G, Sep 10, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2013
  16. gsjmia

    gsjmia Lifetime Members
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2010
    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    19
    Local Time:
    3:31 PM
    ShadowMac, thanks for posting the dosage formula.

    I have used PP in the past by adding enough to turn the water dark purple, trying to get just past pink. I use it primarily for snail kills on new plants, but have used it to remove algea from Java ferns, Wendlov's, anubias and other plants. In general, the softer the plants' tissue is, the more damage it will take. Java ferns seem indestructible while glosso leaves will all burn off, but it will grow back.

    I have always dipped the entire plant, including the roots and haven't noticed any ill effect or root damage.
     
  17. Paul G

    Paul G Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    19
    Local Time:
    3:31 PM
    I use PP to oxidize the 20 gallon holding tank every time I do a clean-up on it, but I remove the bio-wheels and the keeper-fish until the water is back to good.

    Nothing would induce me to put PP, at any concentration, into the main tank, for any period of time. What craziness is this?

    If you tempt fate by compromising your bio-filter community, you lose. Big time.
     
  18. Paul G

    Paul G Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    19
    Local Time:
    3:31 PM
    gsjmia;

    If you were receiving a shipment of new plants from a reliable grower, and you inspected carefully and believed you saw no obvious signs of larger metazoans such as snails, hydra, etc, but wanted to make sure you were stopping transmission of unwanted invaders, including algae, would you make a vat of "dark pink" or "near purple" PP solution and soak the plants for, what, five minutes, and call it good? Just put the whole plant in the bath and expose it to this PP solution. More delicate plants might be more damaged if the PP concentration is too high - perhaps these should be subjected to longer baths of lesser concentration. What I am trying to find out is if there is a quick and easy way to do this - deal with new shipments - that is at least better than no precautions whatsoever.
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,692
    Likes Received:
    721
    Local Time:
    3:31 PM
    Blackouts do work well, but only if the root issue is addressed. Water changes, a good cleaning, replanting etc, then KNO3 dosing more/during the blackout.
    EM is pretty much a sure thing also, but like BO's, it does not address the long tern root cause.

    I get a touch of BGA on the bottom of the sediment below where the fish and shrimp can attack it against the glass. This is due to light from the windows and ADA AS which is depleted in N.
    I just use a scraper and it'll be gone for 1-2 months.

    Never goes anywhere else.
     
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,692
    Likes Received:
    721
    Local Time:
    3:31 PM
    Blackouts do work well, but only if the root issue is addressed. Water changes, a good cleaning, replanting etc, then KNO3 dosing more/during the blackout.
    EM is pretty much a sure thing also, but like BO's, it does not address the long tern root cause.

    I get a touch of BGA on the bottom of the sediment below where the fish and shrimp can attack it against the glass. This is due to light from the windows and ADA AS which is depleted in N.
    I just use a scraper and it'll be gone for 1-2 months.

    Never goes anywhere else.
     
Loading...

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice