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Black Brush Algae Help!

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by dawson29, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. dawson29

    dawson29 Junior Poster

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    Hi Guys

    I have been using this PMDD recipe for a while now and I haven't really had the great results I hoped for. I seem to get quite a bit of black brush algae on the leaves and equipment in my tank.

    This is the recipe I have been using

    40-60 Gallon Aquariums

    Day 1 - 50% water change, 1/2 teaspoon KNO3; 1/8 teaspoon KH2PO4
    3/4 tsp GH booster once a week(water change only)

    Day 2 - 10ml Trace Elements

    Day 3 - 1/2 tsp KNO3; 1/8 tsp KH2PO4

    Day 4 - 10ml Trace Elements

    Day 5 - 1/2 tsp KNO3; 1/8 tsp KH2PO4

    Day 6 - 10 ml Trace Elements

    Day 7 - Off

    I have been using a dropper checker with 4dh water and that has been consistently light green.

    This is my previous thread for info about my tank

    http://www.barrreport.com/co2-aquatic-plant-fertilization/4511-help-pmdd-recipe-routine.html?highlight=dawson29

    I was hoping someone could probably point me in the right direction and maybe hone my recipe to rid the algae.

    Thanks

    Paul

    Ps Just reading a few articles on here it may be I have to much light. I have 4wpg. Would it help if I dropped it down to 2wpg or even 3wpg?

    PPs My flow rate is excellent and it distributes the CO2 evenly around the tank. My CO2 rate is about 1 bubble per sec.
     
  2. Panda

    Panda Guru Class Expert

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    Hi, 2 things jump right ahead:
    You can increase the CO2 bps, close attention to the fish. Second, you didn't mention for how long the lights are on, but maybe they are for too long.
    I have some BBA in one of my driftwood and took it out of the tank and spray it with excel and then pressure wash it. I am now working on prevention.
     
  3. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    One thing that should be settled by now is that you don't need that much light to grow plants very well. And, light drives algae growth, just as it drives plant growth. So, it just makes good sense to reduce your light intensity. You didn't mention what kind of light you use, T8, T5, PC, MH, etc. nor how the light is located above the tank, so I have no idea just how much too much light you might have.

    You also didn't say what size the tank is, but from the dosing routine I assume it is 55 gallons. One bubble per second of CO2 cannot possibly be enough CO2 if the plants are growing at all. I hope you change the solution in the drop checker about once every week or 2 weeks at most. If not, it is possible to get green with low CO2. BBA usually means not enough CO2, or what CO2 is there is not circulated around the tank well enough. Do you use a powerhead to augment the water circulation from your filter?
     
  4. dawson29

    dawson29 Junior Poster

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    Vaughn, Panda thanks for the comments!

    The lights come on at 7 in the morning and go off 7 at night.

    Vaughn:

    I have an Arcadia overhead illuminere with 4 T5 plant pro 39w tubes in. It sits about 4 inches above the tank.

    The tank is a Juwel Vision 180l which equates to 39 UK Gallon.

    I change the dropper checker after every water change which is weekly.

    The CO2 is dispersed around the tank very well. I use the Fluval 304 filter output to drive the CO2 around the tank. The CO2 comes out of the glass diffuser and is sited directly underneath the filter output which the current produced from the flow causes the CO2 to spread around the tank.

    I hope this is better information for you.

    Thank you again

    Paul

    PS Here are some pics to help

    [​IMG]

    The pic below shows the glass diffuser underneath the filter output, which is covered in BBA

    [​IMG]
     
  5. milesm

    milesm Prolific Poster

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    i think you can cut your photoperiod to 8 hours as well. hoppy can give you an estimate on how many tubes you can eliminate.

    as for the bba, you could do a 3 day blackout, doing major wc each day. after the blackout, increase your co2 injection rate . although you said your circulation is excellent, it may not be good enough. from the looks of it, you've got the output aimed at the front of the tank. seems to me that this would decrease circulation. even if you orient the output against the back wall, that grove of hygro on the left will pretty much impede circulation. you should have few "dead spots" as possible.
     
  6. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I would only use two of those bulbs, then having them raised 4 inches might drop the light to a much more reasonable intensity.

    A Fluval 304 isn't enough water flow for that size tank, mostly because Fluval filters, in my experience, don't maintain their flow rate for very long after being cleaned. If you get a small Koralia type powerhead and use it to establish a circular water circulation in the tank, with the filter output cutting across the top or bottom of that pattern I think you would have much better circulation. Your tank is almost exactly the same size and shape as mine.

    I think you should reduce the time the lights are on to 8-10 hours too. And, finally, I really don't think you have enough CO2 getting to the plants. One bubble per second just can't be enough CO2.
     
  7. PEMfish

    PEMfish Junior Poster

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    I would agree you need to add more CO2. Having more carbon available to the plants increases growth rates therefor they can compete with algae better.

    Something I want to point out is when you add more flow be sure to leave the water surface clam. Any disturbances will help drive off the CO2.
     
  8. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Some surface rippling is good, because it helps keep O2 in the water, and helps get rid of the high CO2 level at night, with the CO2 off.
     
  9. dawson29

    dawson29 Junior Poster

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    Hi guys

    Thanks for the valid inputs. I will cut the number of tubes to 2 and reduce the lights to come on for 10 hours.

    I'm not sure Vaughn where is the best place to site a powerhead? I do have a spare one in the garage somewhere. Can you explain to me the best place to have this powerhead. Probably best to use my last picture to explain.

    Thanks again guys I hope I can get the tank sorted.

    I will also increase the CO2 bubble rate. Bubble rate increased to 100 bubbles per minute.

    Paul

    Ps Just been looking at the Koralia type powerhead you mentioned. I just have an ordinary powerhead. I take it the Koralia causes the circular motion? What size would you recommend?

    I have installed the small powerhead I had and placed it to the back left of the tank. The water now moves towards the fluval output and increases when it comes into contact with the output. The water and CO2 are circulated around the tank much better. Please see image below. Let me know if you think if it could be sited better! The red arrow line is the powerhead flow, the blue bubbles are the CO2.

    Excuse the floating mess the tank is due a water change.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    The advantage of a Koralia type powerhead, one that uses what looks like a boat propellor to move the water, is that it moves a lot of water, but not at such a high velocity that it blows everything down in front of it. I use the #1 size in my tank, the second smallest one, and I have it at the rear, near the substrate, on the right side, aimed along the back glass. I can see the water flow going all around the tank, missing only the right end of the tank. It would take a second one to maintain circular flow at the right end. My filter outlet is near the top of the tank, so it just ripples the water surface a little, and aimed diagonally across the tank, right back corner towards the left front corner. The filter inlet is in the same corner, but near the substrate. When I next do a major cleaning, pruning and replanting, I will move things around a little to try to get rid of the relatively non-circulating area at the right end of the tank.

    It looks like your filter outlet and inlet are at about the same depth in your tank, which isn't good, in my opinion. To get good circulation from the filter flow you should have them located so water has to flow through both the top levels and the bottom levels to complete the circuit through the tank.

    I have my CO2 bubbles being pushed into the Koralia input "cage", so the Koralia circulates CO2 bubbles around the tank, keeping them down low for much of the trip around the tank. You need to try to keep any bubbles of CO2 from just shooting to the surface to escape.

    For me, figuring out how to locate filter output, input, and powerheads, plus how to get the CO2 into the tank, is largely an art, not a science. If it were a science I think we would have some good guidelines on how to set it up the best way, and I don't know of anything like that. One problem is that we all have different aquascapes, so that greatly affects how water flows in our tanks.
     
  11. dawson29

    dawson29 Junior Poster

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    Hi Vaughn thanks for the continual help!

    Ok I have decided to try to follow your method as your tank is roughly the same as mine. I have attached another photo to help explain.

    I can't buy a Koralia powerhead yet!! Missus would kill me.....

    I'm going to drop the powerhead I have to substrate level. This would give some sort of motion around the bottom of the tank.

    Leave the inlet filter where it is.

    The outlet filter aimed to the top left side of the tank.

    Drop the CO2 diffuser nearer the substrate. Do you think I should move the diffuser nearer the powerhead or do you think that leaving them at different ends of the tank?

    I take it from what you have described your input, output, powerhead and cO2 are all on the right hand side of your tank?

    All this along with what has been mentioned earlier.

    Thanks again for the help!

    Paul

    [​IMG]
     
  12. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Why not put the powerhead and CO2 diffuser where the powerhead can suck up the CO2 bubbles, chop them up, and blow them around the tank? That should help distribute CO2 better, while also adding to the water circulation. It looks like you can do that by just moving the powerhead to the right side above the lowered CO2 diffuser. It isn't easy to figure out the best plumbing layout for any tank, but doing it by looking at photos makes it even harder. I suspect you will be shifting things around several times before it finally works the best.
     
  13. dawson29

    dawson29 Junior Poster

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    Hi Vaughn

    Again thanks for your input. I will move it tomorrow when I clean the tank. To be honest I never even thought about sucking the bubbles into the powerhead. I will let you know how the tank progresses.

    Thanks

    Paul
     
  14. Hilde

    Hilde Junior Poster

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    I have read that a blackout can kill the plants too. Probably depends on the plants need for light.
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Some how they all survive a 3 day shipping time the boxes vendors/hobbyist sell.
    No light there.

    But BO does nothing for BBA.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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