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

Help with eradication of black beard algae

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by chris81, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. chris81

    chris81 Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    1:05 PM
    Hi guys,

    My tank has been running for about 4-5 weeks. I dose Estimative index and have 3.5watts per gallon of light. The plants in my setting are mainly crypy parva, willisi and becketti, java moss and taiwan moss, jave fern, bolbitis and nymphae lotus.

    Recently i have noticed the formation of black beard algae on some crypt parva leaves. I immidiately removed these leaves yet i m worried that it will return. I have 6 ottos and 8 amano shrimps in the setup but they dont seem to touch this thype of algae.

    Some papers i read suggest to increase co2 which i have already done and decrease phosphate levels as oneparticular article stated that algae can in aquaria can be controlled by limiting phosphate availability. However this goes against EI principle of always having excess nutrients.

    I am a bit perplexed should i dose an NPK solution without P at the moment or should i dose normally and just increase co2 levels???

    ANy he;p would be more than welcome

    Chris.
     
  2. Dmaaaaax

    Dmaaaaax Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    1:05 PM
    Decrease lights some and you won't have to worry as much about CO2 and nutrients being limiting.

    Also do you have good circulation to the plants that are affected?
     
  3. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    1:05 PM
    Excess ferts does not cause bba. Low co2 is usually the culprit. I agree with dmaaaaaax, reduce the lights and make sure co2 is adequate. Also make sure the flow is good around the tank. More flow = better nutrient/co2 delivery. We have all had it at one point or another; I still get it on a piece of wood in my tank. It’s a prime example of co2 and flow rate, I have my power heads directed around it and right were they don’t hit at all, sure enough that’s were the bba is. Rest of the tank is spot free.
     
  4. chris81

    chris81 Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    1:05 PM
    Hi guys,

    Thanks for your comments. I get it, most probably poor flow is the culprit than
    mostof the tank is spot free
    i only have BBA on the forefornt of the tank. I only have one external power filter.. how can i increase flow... would a small power head situated opposite of the outflow help???
     
  5. inkslinger

    inkslinger Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    3
    Local Time:
    1:05 PM
    Hey I'm a BBA Farmer here too , I am redoing my whole close loop system over again due to poor circulation it will be awhile when i get all my parts in order.
    But there are a couple of things that cause it , and one is bad circulation and the other would be also old lights there is a lot of info here and :

    The Planted Tank - Articles, Forums, Pictures, Links
    http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/
    PlantGeek :: Index

    Just look up Black Beard Algae or Algae lot of us has gone thru them one time or another.
     
  6. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,011
    Likes Received:
    89
    Local Time:
    1:05 PM
    You have 3.5 watts per gallon, of some unspecified type of light, but grow only low light plants. Unless that light is suspended several inches above the tank, or is from very inefficient bulbs, you have much too much light, and you don't need nearly that much for the plants you listed. Light is ultimately what causes algae.

    Decreasing the amount of light you use will also decrease any demand for CO2, making it much easier to keep an adequate amount in the water. For now I wouldn't change the fertilizing at all. But, I would also make a big effort to remove from the tank all living BBA, either by pruning plants or by killing it where you can't prune it away.
     
  7. chris81

    chris81 Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    1:05 PM
    thanks guys,
    my lighting system consists of 4 36 watts t5 lights, i went for such lighting system as i wanted to use glosso as a carpet plant but its availability locally is currently a bit limited so im opting for marsilea. my over head luminier has a 2 switch system so i ll either use 2 tubes only or else i ll unplug oneof the tubes and run on 3. my aquarium is a 200 l tank and t5 tubes are new.

    what would you think is the best option for my setup and would you think marsilea would carpet at such low lights or shall i go for maximum lights once i plant it.

    i have also installed a powerhead to increase flow in tank. waiting for your suggestions

    Thanks a lot for your time and advice.
     
  8. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,011
    Likes Received:
    89
    Local Time:
    1:05 PM
    You actually have an extreme amount of light, since you are using T5 lights. Those lights give much more light per watt than other types. Reducing the light by half will help a lot, and raising the fixture a few inches would help reduce it even more. It will still be excessive light with only 2 of the 36 watt bulbs working.

    I have Marsilea growing very nicely with only 55 watts of AH Supply PC light over a 45 gallon tank, with the light raised about 6 inches above the tank. That gives me about 50 micromols per sq m per sec of light intensity using a PAR meter. If you can borrow a PAR meter you can see how much intensity you actually have at the substrate level.
     
  9. inkslinger

    inkslinger Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Messages:
    367
    Likes Received:
    3
    Local Time:
    1:05 PM
    You can also go with a after noon burst by putting the lights on different timers like lets say 8hr #1 light come on for 6hr and #2 lights come on for 6hr.
    But have both on only 4hr { 1 - 1 & 2 - 2 }
    {2hr 4hr 2hr}
     
  10. misterfooj

    misterfooj Junior Poster

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    1:05 PM
    Anyone tried using Excel? Here's what I did to completly eliminate Black Beard Algae:

    Dose one capful for every 10 G at water change and 3 ml per 10 G daily for about two weeks. Dose at light out (Excel is purportedly affected by light).

    It helps to direct the application as closely as possible to the points of infestation, working one area at a time, starting with the heaviest. Also turn off your filter and any agitation for a few minutes so the Excel will not be dispersed right away.

    It's important to note that I increased my CO2 and endeavored to be more consistent in monitoring it. Also, if you use UV, you may choose toturn it off for the duration of your treatment as it will purportedly breakdown Excel. I am not able to confirm this as I do not currently use UV.

    In a short time, the Beard Algae will begin to turn color and fade away. It seems to be too simple to be true, but I eliminated a heavy infestation totally and it has so far not returned.
     
  11. laka

    laka Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    1:05 PM
    I recently read an article that BBA does not grow in alkaline water.
    Is this true? Does anyone have a BBA problem in alkaline tanks? I assume most
    planted tanks out there are on the acidic side.
    What is the relationship between |CO2 gas and highly buffered water?


    LAKA
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,676
    Likes Received:
    633
    Local Time:
    1:05 PM
    It grows very well in higher KH's.
    I had it for a sometime.

    As far as KH and CO2, the table says pretty much everything:

    References

    I got BBA with the same issues as I do say at 11 KH as I do with 1.5 KH. No differences, and no one else has seen any correlation. In natural systems, BBA is common in running warm water, higher CO2 than ambient and softer KH's.
    Sheath and Raven have written reviews and in text about it.

    But it will grow quite well in our tanks over a very wide range, mostly because of CO2 issues. I've never been able to verify any other cause other than CO2 issues.

    That's been for the last 15 years. You MUST as a protocol, be able to purposely induce BBA to say anything about cause and do it several times(say 5-6) in a few tanks to say much.

    Having done this a few times, and also knowing what happens if you say.......limit PO4 ...........and other secondary issues that influence CO2 demand, you have to account for all those issues. Most do not and think what they see is direct with nutrients, rather than answering the root cause.

    This issue led to the entire PO4 limitation theory that was shown to be false, a simple test where no algae grew at high PO4 showed that the theory could not be the case.

    So with that answered, the question became why don't I have BBA?
    What causes that?

    I had added more CO2, it was stable, I got BBA any time it was not. So I would off gas the CO2, and it would grow. Had several client tanks where they had CO2 leaks, and other issues, fixed them, the BBA went away. Helped many over the years, BBA went away using this one thing.

    I really have never had BBA issues unless I had a CO2 issue, ever.

    Indirect things that affect CO2 can lead to bad conclusions.
    You think PO4 limitation(or what ever) is the cause and this is the real "truth", simply because that is what you think, saw in your tank, but if you never bother to go back and confirm things, you honestly have no idea. Then someone comes along and shows a nice fast healthy growing tank with high PO4(or whatever) and no algae and blows a big hole in the theory.

    Happens all the time, folks think they do not have to test or confirm and that mere observation and haggling will make you right. Wrong, a good test and confirmation of the results, making sure you looked at the CO2 well, confirm that you did(rather tough for most).

    So this leads to many issues on forums, in books, and folk's belief's.
    They do not want to really test to see what is true, but they want to claim to be right.

    Some smoking guns:
    DIY CO2
    Lots of light, PC, MH's, T5's etc
    Slow growing plants like Anubias
    Poor dosing(indirect affects on plant growth)
    Way too many fish.
    Bad test methods for CO2.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,676
    Likes Received:
    633
    Local Time:
    1:05 PM
    This is a good routine also, it can get rid of BBA so there's less work for you. Then you can refocus on the CO2 issue. I never suggest overdosing Excel, 5mls per 10 Gal is good(I do this daily generally, vs 3mls thereafter, but both methods should work fine). The key is not to overdosing and risk harm to plants/fish.

    Simply give the Excel time for it to work, in 2-3 weeks etc, things should look much better and be on the mend. It's much better to slowly change the issue here than really fast, the CO2 is the same.

    Less risk to the fish and plants.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  14. chris81

    chris81 Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    1:05 PM
    Thanks guys,

    This has been really helpful. I have increased co2 bubble rate to 2 bubbles per second and lowered lights with 2 36 watt t5 tubes going on for 9hrs and another 2 t5 tubes switching on during the last 4 hrs. I have also increased circulation in the tank. This in my opinion could have been the culprit as the tank was almost spot less except for a few crypt parva leaves in a dead zone. i removed the infeted leaves. I will hopefully plant marsilea in the coming weeks so as to increase the biomass and increase nutrient competition.

    Thanks a lot guysl.

    Chris
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,676
    Likes Received:
    633
    Local Time:
    1:05 PM
    If you can get Excel or Easy Carb, use that for now also while you work on the CO2.
    Watch and note plant pearling closely.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  16. laka

    laka Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    1:05 PM
    No one has explained the MECHANISM of BBA inhibition in the presence of CO2.
    We are stabbing in the dark. Increased CO2 seems to work for many but not all cases (just read in any forum you choose about frustrated folks who can't beat the problem even under elevated levels of CO2).
    Maybe their levels aren't high enough. What is the optimal CO2 level? Is it linked to light intensity? Maybe their CO2 is stable and at the correct levels. If so why can't they beat it?

    Does CO2 have a direct effect on BBA and other algae as a toxic agent, a bit like excel or H2O2, or is it an indirect effect? If it is the latter, which is my belief, what is the mechanism of action??
    So what does elevated levels of CO2 do in a planted ecosystem? Well we all know it accelerates plant growth in the presence of adequate light. So what does this do to nutrients in solution? It uses them up of course. But wait! EI systems are in excess but not so in others like PPS. So maybe PPS set ups are more prone to BBA than EI systems. But is this the case?

    Have a look at other low nutrient set ups . Low tec and ADA come to mind. I haven't attempted either. Do ADA set ups suffer BBA? If not why not? They certainly don't have as much CO2/ferts in sln. If these set ups don't suffer from BBA outbreaks then we need to revisit the role nutrients in sln, or maybe light levels or some other as yet unknown.

    Tom has shown elevated PO4 ON ITS OWN does not induce BBA. But what if the elevated PO4 combined with something else that then triggered an algae outbreak?

    Bottom line, we do not fully understand the biochemistry of BBA.

    If it was as simple as CO2 then can someone please explain to me why i have tufts of BBA on my hair grass that is situated 15cm away from my pressurised CO2 outlet that reads yellow in my drop checker at 4bps in my tank that is dosed EI at 1.8-2.5wpg with 50% weekly water changes and gravel vacuuming ? Based on the other threads, the only option i see is to continue with Co2 increases gradually until the fish show visible signs of stress.
    PS. Any fish species at risk with recommended dosing levels of Excel?? esp. rummy nose tetras.

    LAKA
     
  17. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,011
    Likes Received:
    89
    Local Time:
    1:05 PM
    I am one of those who has made a career of growing BBA! My latest adventure is my RFUG setup in a 45 gallon tank, with the RFUG fed by CO2 enriched water from the canister filter. I went about a month with no new BBA, using Excel daily, always squirting it on spots of old BBA that didn't get killed when I reset up the tank a month ago. I was happy! Then, a couple of days ago I began to see more BBA, growing on leaf margins of crypts, and on anubias leaves.

    So, I increased my CO2 bubble rate a little. After a day, I increased it little more, and an hour later all of my fish were clustered up at the surface in the corner, including the Yoyo loaches, who never go there normally. I dropped the CO2 bbs a little, and two hours later, no effect. So, I bled all of the CO2 out of the external reactor and turned off the CO2. In an hour the fish were back acting normally, and shortly thereafter the lights went off for the day.

    Next day, after a couple of hours, all of the fish were back at the surface. So, I reduced the bbs a bit more, bled off the CO2 in the external reactor. I had to reduce the bbs down to below where it had been for a month before the fish all remained normal for the rest of the day. Clearly, I was and am at the maximum the fish can tolerate.

    During all of this my surface ripple was high, with the Koralia powerhead pointed upwards enough to get a .25 inch high ripple where it breaks the surface, and the rest of the tank rippled somewhat less. My planting isn't very dense, so there is enough water circulation in the tank, throughout all areas that all plants sway in the current, and the fish find lots of areas of high flow for exercise, with few areas where they can get away from flowing water, if any.

    Yesterday, I looked more carefully at the BBA on leaf edges and realized that it was growing only on leaves not actively growing, like the old pre-transplanting leaves on crypts, older anubias leaves, and a few old Java Fern leaves. So, I pruned off every old, none actively growing leaf I could find. No more visible BBA again.

    I think I need to keep a closer watch on the plants, and quickly remove any "dormant" leaves - if they aren't growing they are going to attract BBA.

    I'm now out of Excel, so I also need to buy some more and keep dosing that.
     
  18. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,676
    Likes Received:
    633
    Local Time:
    1:05 PM
    Well, here's a hypothesis that is explained in the observations as well for us and in natural systems:

    When seasonal changes occur in streams, there is a large influx of organic matter(leaves, runoff, organic matter). This tends to cause these streams to increase the CO2 content due to bacterial action and respiration breaking down the organic matter. Thus changes in CO2 content make a good signal to germinate if you are an algae spore, this would be true in most all cases in nature. To test this, we can add a lot of organic matter and measure CO2 and algae spore germination.

    Spores can detect environmental cues such as CO2, NH4, high light, daylength etc. Some are more sensitive to each of these than others to fill particularly niches.

    There's a simple model of a mechanistic approach of why a spore may germinate.

    And yet I can do it as can many with absolute consistency;)
    However, how are people measuring CO2 and adding more of it? What about fish and O2, current etc? There are folks out here that will never have a green thumb no matter how much they try.

    Measuring CO2 well in an planted tank is simply put: not easy. This leads to many making some poor assumptions about their CO2 and claiming it does not work.

    Also, you need some one who can show a reference point, eg a tank WITHOUT BBA, as well as being able to induce BBA. You cannot assume that the observations from these folks who cannot get rid of it and lack the control to being with, are on the same level of experiment methods and control as those that can.

    Using a reference tank that has no issues(eg good nutrients, light, cO2, good plant growth), then applying your hypothesis to it, reduce the CO2 to limiting levels and wait. After 2-4 weeks, BBA will appear. Now go back and adjust the CO2 back. A few weeks later the BBA goes away, then you repeat this process 4-5 times or so to be sure. Ideally you will do this on more than one tank, say 3-5.

    This is a repeatable test.
    But you need to have a well growing tank as reference, not some abused tank that most come asking for help with, big point of distinction in looking for cause/s.

    It is certainly CO2, but ...there may be other potential causes as well, there need not be only 1 single cause for one species of algae! Dedef suggested dirty filters, decaying polant biomass, I've noted adding progressively more and more fish/shrimp etc and noted in tanks with large fish that use a lot of O2, eat a lot, BBA is more likely/common and goes back to the CO2 and input of organic matter. The more food and critters you have, the more CO2 will be given off.

    So that ties in also, the root issue is still the same (CO2), but the starting point might be different(too many fish/food/plant waste vs not enough CO2 gas etc).

    CO2 optima is certainly well linked to light intensity, more light=> more CO2 demand.

    This is why you can use less CO2 and have a larger wider range of CO2 ppm at lower levels of light and why reduction of light intensity often works to "cure algae". The plants are not limited any longer and the CO2 is stabilized. This alos means much more wide range of CO2ppm targets so you have a lot more wiggle room/resiliency in the aquarium now.

    But you know the deal..........everyone wants more light/more is better etc:rolleyes: :mad:

    Then they get algae...........also, few measure light also, so they might think they have high light using the ADA light where as guy with a few cheapy T5's might have 3x as much watt/far watt(these are real world differences measured with a LiCOR 193 and an Apogee PAR meter).

    So there's some more issues for hobbyists claims on line.

    I do not think so, I think it's really just a question of new growth of BBA cells, which live perhaps 30 days or so as adults before new cells need made. When they detect stable conditions and someone else is there and growing well(another alga or plants etc), they release their spores and that season's life cycle is over and they wait till the CO2 turns sour again.

    So once the adult algae are gone, so is the BBA. The spores are still there, but they are not growing and no new algae is growing, not a good time to grow based on environmental cues. An alga needs a window of opportunity to make it and grow and complete it's life cycle. Plants are pretty much just vegetative growth/clonal growth in our tanks, no sexual stages, no water level changes(90% of the plants we keep are emergent at some point in the season).

    About 10-25X depending on the species of plant. That's pretty fast. Folks also are not so good about measuring and dosing nutrients either, this can affect CO2 indirectly. Light is the other factor and species of plant as well.

    Why not refer to it as PMDD? PPS is pretty much PMDD, look at the routine and give the credit to Paul and Kevin among others who came long before the so called developers of PPS. Do a search and see for yourself.

    If anything, a non limiting approach will rule out nutrients and then leave you with light and CO2, so you would be more likely to have issues with BBA usingf EI, since PMDD will limit PO4,m which since now you are limited with PO4, the rate of CO2 demand is reduced correspondingly, thus the stability of CO2 is increased. PMDD works well also but does not get the same growth rates and has trouble at higher light values.

    This lead many to assume that PO4, not CO2, was the cause of algae, but if the CO2 is independent, then we find that algae does not grow when we add high non limiting levels of PO4.

    That was the error in the hypothesis that Paul made, even if the general idea was reasonable, no one had a reference tank to test it against until...............I came along and blew the theory out of the water.

    PPS tried to rehash the same things that PMDD did 10 years before. It's not new, it's old:cool: If you limit, not entirely eliminate (PMDD never suggested elimination of PO4, just keep a low residual) PO4, then you have much less CO2 demand. A moderate limiting factor of PO4. This gives you more wiggle room with CO2, but the algae are still not limited by PO4, we can and have tested this, it's still limited by CO2 stability.

    That's why folks get burned and lead to the wrong conclusion.
    Bad test and worse assumptions. They only believe what they want, not the evidence put forth before them.

    I suppose some where jealous of EI and they used PMDD, so they re packaged PMDD and called it PPS. Poo pooed EI and other methods to make themselves look better.

    The bottom line is that's so similar to PMDD, you may as well call it the same. Target levels etc, everything's the same. But no credit is given, none to me either for PO4........that's how they roll I guess. I also promote several methods and have done most of the general methods. Not a one trick pony.
    I realize that not every method will suit every goal for planted systems.

    If less is more, then go non CO2.
    I have a long article about that using water column, Diana covered a lot as far as the sediment methods and using both can work very well.
    Again, the same issues with algae apply there as well.

    We see far less algae issues with such tanks also(ask why?).

    More in next post
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,676
    Likes Received:
    633
    Local Time:
    1:05 PM
    Non CO2? Yes, they do very well, ADA, I've done a lot with them for the last few years, low light, very rich sediment(so technically it's a very rich nutrient dosing method) and light water column dosing. the light was the key issue there.

    No one ever bothered to measure a nice reference set of ADA tanks with the ADa lighting. Turned out they are where all very low and consistent lighting. About 30-50micromols even at 3-4 W/gal. So with some testing of other parameters that we can compare to other systems, we now have a clear picture. Prior, folks just assume all light sources where equal.

    Sediments also also not tested and measured, plain sand + light ferts vs ADA AS + light ferts, all other things being independent and equal, which would grow better plants? Add lower light to these. Now which? Add more light/CO2, now which will run out faster?

    This is not just about nutrients in the water column, it's naive to assume so.
    Problem is, few test sediments and they do not make aquarium test kits for that.
    I measure both locations as well as the tissues in the plants for research, so such issues are rather obvious and I can and do test for them.

    Be careful. It's not so obvious.

    Yep, even top world ranking tanks. They take care of it, adjust CO2, water changes etc, dump some Excel etc on it. I've done several methods over the years and mastered each.

    I have a green thumb. Not everyone will nor is interested in the various methods, all they generally care about is finding one that works and does not give them algae.Unless you master each method well, then you cannot compare them fairly, you only know one or two methods, not all say 5-6 methods.

    Once you do, you can see the big picture and the commonalities. They you explain why they all work and the trade offs of each, why algae forms when you add PO4 to some tanks, and not others, why some tanks need far more nutrients than others, how an ADA tank can use very little dosing since they have a rich sediment source and low light..........etc.,

    From all that, you can make some good general well supported conclusions.
    Lower light=> less CO2 demand, more wiggle room => more flex dosing nutrients. Sediment nutrients+ water column nutrients= makes each easier and prevents limitations, vs "either or".

    So now we can build a general model that works for everyone and improves all methods, not just one.

    That is far more useful information to hobbyists than merely understanding one method of nutrient dosing don;t you think?

    Been here done this already, see above with respect to light measurement on 6 ADA tanks(see other thread of about "ADA lighting, who knew?"). Also, see above about total nutrient content when you include the nutrients in the sediment as well relative to low light, CO2 is very hard to measure truth be told also, ADA often eyeballs it.

    I've never met any that really test the CO2 critically that are into ADA.
    With the peat infused ADA AS, it's impossible to get a good pH/KH measurement also. A CO2 meter like I used is about the only accurate way, it's 3000$ though, so obviously not that popular in the hobby:)

    Even at 45ppm using the meter over several months, large massive Discus have been perfectly fine, they are about the best CO2 indicator fish(larger fish and they change color when stressed).

    These issues are what causes the confusion.
    Yes, some folks do need to revisit some thing, but it's not the nutrients.
    It's good measurements of CO2 and light and how limiting PO4 and other nutrients influences CO2. They get so overtly focused and narrow minded they miss the big picture. Light meters are not cheap and neither are CO2.

    CO2 changes minute to minute, day to day 10X or more, no other parameter has that much variation nor is 40% of plant biomass. CO2 is without any doubt, the most limiting nutrient to submersed plant growth. Algae are not limited in either case, however, algae are spores and need a germination signal to grow, just like weeds grow after spring rains etc and warmer temps.

    Algae are no different than annual plants in some sense.
    Plants are bit like the forest woody perennials. Clear a patch of forest, weeds and annuals quickly move it. Same type of thing here. No forest, you get weeds(algae).

    Then it's no longer a direct relationship so you have to account for indirect affects like PO4 limitations slowing down CO2 demand. Many hobbyist think it's a direct cause and effect relationship. See Liebig's concept on limiting nutrients for more on this and how that might influence other nutrients.

    Will anyone ever fully understand everything about BBA?
    No. But we really do not need to either.

    This is about plants, less about algae really.
    That's our goal here, not growing algae.
    Algae culture is one of my goals, but it's not shared by any hobbyist I know.

    You might not have as much CO2 as you think. You also might have low CO2 in the AM, good CO2 midday and high CO2 at night. Without good careful CO2 measurements, you really cannot say much. Have you tried using Easy Carb or Excel on the few tufts and see if they grow back? Tried using just 1.8 W, or raising the light, or placing white plastic scuffed plastic to reduce the light a little?
    Rummy nose are very tolerant of both CO2 and Excel, I have hordes of them in 2 large tanks.
    Hair grass trends to be rather prone to BBA IME. I trim it and then add a bit more CO2, SAE's, Amano shrimp, but it typically goes away pretty easily and then new growth comes out. The initial first growth can get infested some. The new growth should not and it should grow really fast and fill in quickly if the CO2 is good.Still, if I where you, I'd kill what is there using the Excel, best done during a large water change, squirt the amount total for the tank in the infested area, then wait a few minutes, refill etc. Adjust current and CO2 to get better dispersion. Keep an eye on CO2 closely and tweak a bit, particularly note the CO2 in the first few hours(most important part), try a little less light, add Excel for 2-4 weeks to kill what is there. Check CO2 close from here on. Add a few SAE's(they take care of most small BBA issues)
    BBA is bedeviling to many folks. I will not kid you. But CO2 management is the key. Less light and good care will help, perhaps some Excel here and there if you fall off the wagon. But thereafter, it becomes old hat and you know what to do.
    Once it's gone and entirely out of the tank, it's much less likely to bother you. If it comes back, time to look at CO2 again.
    If the COI2 is really targeted well, your tank should look "great", not just "good". Some do not mind good, I like seeing optimal growth for a given light level.
    The way to control growth rates is with light though, that's where all growth and demand for CO2/nutrients start.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,676
    Likes Received:
    633
    Local Time:
    1:05 PM
    A dead leaf is a good place to grow as far as algae are concerned.
    Better than rock if you think about it, because the plant obviously had enough light, nutrients at that spot, rocks do not grow:)

    CO2 changes, but CO2 does not limit algae, so seeing it on dead/worthless leaves will be far more common, the leaf has much more time to be colonized by BBa also.

    This is true for Anubias and for Java fern. After the new leaves grow in and you have decent growth for a few weeks, BBA is no longer an issue.

    SAE's are pretty effective at smaller annoying amounts.

    You need not gas the fish, I'm not suggesting that, rather, slow progressive patient increases in CO2 to prevent new infestations and new growth, combined with killing/trimming what is present right now.

    Simply removing a weed will not stop it, you need to stop all new growth of the weed/seeds etc, you do that, then you have effective control.

    Otherwise you simply fight weeds over and over again.

    Regards,
    Tom barr
     
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