Help with CO2 Efficiency

bretski

Junior Poster
Dec 29, 2009
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Quick tank specs:
ADA 60p/Ehiem 2215/48 watts T5
ADA Lily pipes/Pressurized CO2 w/ glass diffusor
EI dosing/50% WC weekly

All of my issues are CO2 related I believe as I have constant BBA growth. CO2 has been turned up until fish were hovering at the surface for the last hour of lights on, then backed off a touch. Plants begin to pearl @ 2 1/2 hrs into light cycle. Plant growth is good on stem plants, but not so hot on HC. The HC closest to the diffusor looks good, but the rest struggles, and the BBA persists. I do daily Excel spot treating and try and remove as much as possible. Is there a better way to diffuse CO2 on such a small tank? I also notice an area of dead water directly below the Lily pipe output where I have to remove a small bit of BGA weekly. Any thoughts and input are very appreciated.
 

Gbark

Guru Class Expert
Jun 15, 2009
266
1
18
Hi,

I had issues with co2 circulation when i first started this hobby 2 years ago. and with advice from people on this site, i bought a few small pumps, hydor korala and such.

They worked a treat :D

I have recently upgraded my filter to a eheim external 2028 pro 2 and a set of ADA copy lily pipes. and have taken my pumps out of the tank.

The polen glass diffusor is now located under the suction of the filter inlet and this now works just as well.
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
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Surprise, AZ
Cheap, Ugly & Best Kept Out of Sight--Like Me

Hi,

First, that is an awful lot of light especially early in the life of your tank. By whatever means you need to give yourself a break and reduce the light by at least half. :cool:

Next water changes every other day if possible, 70 or 80% would be good, Cyanobacteria hates Oxygen. :D

Clean as much of the BBA out as you can, you are going to need to work on making sure that your circulation and flow are covering the entire tank with no dead spots.

I am not a fan of diffusers I always advise some sort of reactor, I have seen some rather good looking in the tank or hanging off the tank, me I like cheap, ugly and out of sight myself. (Kind of what the LoudCreatureWhatSharesMySpace says about me. :eek: )

Perhaps someone familiar with Lily pipes and such would comment.

Biollante
 

justin.sterling.scott

Prolific Poster
Mar 17, 2010
41
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Port Orchard, WA
I'm by no means an Expert

Yet, I have done a lot of research recently on our older posts regarding water circulation and how important it is. Sounds like you already know you have dead spots; and Gbark and Biollante suggest the same. There are dozens of ways to circulate your water with various obtrusive and inobtrusive devices. With that in mind, do a bit of research on powerheads, view some images; if your local LFS uses good equipment check their's out and see what it looks like before dropping $30-40 on one. Likewise, you can do plenty of DIY projects that don't look terrible. I just built a spray bar for a really old penguin PH out of black pvc nipples, caps, barbed coupler, T fitting, and a drill bit. It doesn't look awesome, but it moves water more evenly and gently than it did prior to the mod. More important, it'll do until I can spend more than $10 on something quality. Come to think of it, research Loc Line at Modular Hose... it offers highly customizable, sleek answer to a water dispersment issue. There is a tool that you purchase seperately, for dis/connecting the pieces; you don't need it to put together and take apart the pieces... but a number of people agree that the convenience and ease it affords makes it worth the $.

I defer to the experts on the light and CO2. Digging around on low-light/non-CO2 methods will turn up a lot of good information on why high light and CO2 can be challenging. You've spent the money on your lighting, so you'll probably want to continue to use it and pearling plants are neat stuff... but I advocate reading those posts because they discuss various ways around your problem.

Also, Tom recently recommended EM and BO for dealing with cyanobacteria. EM = Erythromycin. BO = Black Out, or depriving the tank of all light until the BGA is gone. Many people have success getting antibiotics online from outside their country. That's usually much cheaper; but it would be wise to do some checking of inactive ingredients and such.

I hope this helps.
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
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Surprise, AZ
BBA & The Never-Ending Story

Hi,

The point about light is simply light drives everything.

Even if you plan on a high light tank, starting low and working up as the biomass increases allows your system to adjust.

After light, it is CO2 and circulation as I said I have no experience with Lily pipes and such like.

I caution care in shortcuts to eradicating cyanobacteria. The BBA is trying to tell you something and until address that “something,” regimen that knocks out the BBA will harm your system. Better to fix the problem and fight the BBA through water changes, removal and good practices.

The Tom Barrs of the world understand the underlying problems well enough to take care of them as they are shortcutting the BBA eradication.

A year ago, I had perhaps the worst outbreak of BBA I have ever seen in my fifty plus years of aquarium keeping. I confess to being so frustrated I was ready to nuke the tank. :mad: Thankfully, I persevered and found the underlying though stupid cause, of my own making. :eek:

I corrected the problem, the BBA left. :cool:

Had I used any of the extreme measures it would have just turned into the never-ending story. ;)

Biollante
 

bretski

Junior Poster
Dec 29, 2009
4
0
1
Thank you all for your responses.
This is indeed my first 'high tech' tank, but this tank is now nearly a year old. I originally thought that more light was the key, so my fixture is a Nova Extreme 4x 24wattT5. After a near immediate bout of green water, I soon learned that sometimes less IS more, and I halved my lighting. Since then things have gone fairly well. The BBA persists, but does not dominate, and I see myself conquering that foe sometime soon. My plants actually do well, aside from the HC not growing as lush and full as I've seen in pictures, and I prune most stems at least once a week. Since the original post I have done a deep vac on the soil in the dead space and removed as much BGA as possible, and also spot treated with H2O2. EM is not an option for me as I have shrimp. I have also moved the intake Lily pipe closer to the output to try and lessen the dead area. Time will tell. I am also researching external CO2 reactors, and will soon do away with the glass diffusor.
Funny thing is.... I have a 6 gal Nano 'low tech' with 36 watts T5/DIY CO2 that has the same plants, uses the same water/fert regimen .... and has no algae EVER.
GO FIGURE.
 

dustinsfishtanks

Junior Poster
Apr 10, 2010
1
0
1
newbie here to this forum. what does BBA stand for? I am having a constant battle with a blueish slime algae as well. Nothing big, but i'd like to get to the cause and fix the problem and not "bandage it"

this forum is great!

My Planted 220....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fklil0-R3fQ

(you can see what I am dealing with algae wise..)
 
C

csmith

Guest
BBA is black beard algae. Your algae sounds like blue green algae, also known as cyanobacteria. An increase in oxygen and circulation in general is what I believe the standard fix is for BGA.
 
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Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
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Surprise, AZ
Oops!

csmith;49290 said:
BBA is black beard algae. Your algae sounds like blue green algae, also known as cyanobacteria. An increase in oxygen and circulation in general is what I believe the standard fix is for BGA.

Hi All,

Though I said BBA in the above post I got BBA's and BGA's confused :eek: I was referencing cyanobateria as well. Though for the most part the remedies are the same.

CSmith is correct.

Biollante
 

ceg4048

Lifetime Charter Member
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Mar 21, 2005
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Biollante;49315 said:
Hi All,

Though I said BBA in the above post I got BBA's and BGA's confused :eek: I was referencing cyanobateria as well. Though for the most part the remedies are the same.

CSmith is correct.

Biollante
Hi,
This is only partially accurate. Blue Green Algae (BGA) is normally associated with either poor maintenance, such as dirty filters, or most commonly due to low nitrates. Black Brush Algae (BBA) is strictly related to poor CO2, typically CO2 instability and/or low levels.

What these two forms share in causal commonality is typically overzealous lighting and/or poor flow/distribution.

Assuming that proper maintenance is being attended to, the BGA can be addressed by improving flow to the affected area and/or increasing the NO3 dosage.
Assuming that the CO2 injection rate is adequate, the BBA is more difficult to address since stability is more difficult to achieve. Turning the gas on earlier before lights on is a standard fix.

Cheers,
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
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Jun 21, 2009
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Surprise, AZ
Right You Are

ceg4048;49332 said:
Hi,
This is only partially accurate. Blue Green Algae (BGA) is normally associated with either poor maintenance, such as dirty filters, or most commonly due to low nitrates. Black Brush Algae (BBA) is strictly related to poor CO2, typically CO2 instability and/or low levels.

What these two forms share in causal commonality is typically overzealous lighting and/or poor flow/distribution.

Assuming that proper maintenance is being attended to, the BGA can be addressed by improving flow to the affected area and/or increasing the NO3 dosage.
Assuming that the CO2 injection rate is adequate, the BBA is more difficult to address since stability is more difficult to achieve. Turning the gas on earlier before lights on is a standard fix.

Cheers,

Hi,

You are correct!:)

Biollante