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Is It A Myth That High Bioload Trigger Algae

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by tiger15, May 5, 2019.

  1. tiger15

    tiger15 Member

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    I set up this 75 gal planted tank for about 2 years. It has stocking of 11 4-inch cichlid, another 20 1-inch tiger barb, kribensis and Molly, and a dozen bristlenose pleco. I struggled with bba and other algae at the beginning. Now that the plants are established, all at a sudden there is no trace of algae except minor GSA on slow growing Anubias and Buce leaves. I was told that heavy bio load will trigger algae, and indeed all nature perfect tanks have light stocking. It’s a myth as I have demonstrated that heavily stocked tank can also be algae free. A journal of my tank is posted here: https://barrreport.com/threads/cichlid-planted-tank.15427/#post-156437

    C6298F40-F701-4482-92A8-EE83916A818F.jpeg

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  2. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Lifetime Member
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    It's not a myth...
    High bioload = high organics, both dissolved and solid = algae especially algae like BBA which are indicative of high organic load.

    Dense plant growth = biological stability. Plants ability to mop up organics is well documented, that is why they are used in water treatment. In effect your dense plant biomass is acting like a filter and reducing organic load and that is why your BBA has disappeared.

    Either way, high bioload is not only undesirable from an algae point of view it can be very stressful for the critters and can lead to disease, which is perhaps a more salient issue.
    Nice tank by the way, you must have achieved a good balance :)
     
    #2 Tim Harrison, May 6, 2019
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
    Dennis Singh likes this.
  3. tiger15

    tiger15 Member

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    My plant mass is not high, moderate at best, as the plants sit on top of rock piles to look full. It’s not a Dutch style. It has a lot of hardscape where slow growing Java fern, Buce and Anubias are attached to, and only two stem plants in pots. The bio load is heavy, close to 50 fish total: 12 4-inch cichlid, 20 1-inch other fish, and around 15 1 to 2-inch bristlenose pleco, but look light because most fish are hidden from sight in plants and rock caves beneath.. The fish consume a lot of food daily, and I do massive 75% water change weekly to compensate.
     
    #3 tiger15, May 6, 2019
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  4. Austin Ron

    Austin Ron New Member

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    I don’t know about high bio load although that aquarium above sure looks nice in spite of it. It does seem to me that my aquariums take longer to fully cycle and balance out these days than they used to. Heavy or light bio load doesn’t seem to matter much either way.

    This recent tank I set up took a year to settle down and I fought it every step of the way until then. I thought I may have stocked it to high to soon but I’m not really sure if that was it or not.
     
    #4 Austin Ron, Jun 24, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  5. tiger15

    tiger15 Member

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    My tank wasn’t an instant success either and it took me over a year to balance out and accumulate enough plant mass to mitigate algae. In the interim, I had to dose Excel, and spot treat with peroxide during WC.

    My 125 did better as I gained experience from my 75 and and could transplant many surplus plants to get a good start. The stocking in my 125 is even heavier, fish bigger, but the plants are easier, only Java ferns at the moment. It took about 3 months to balance out my 125, including eviction of a few destructive cichlid to make peace with plants. There are zero algae in my 125, but still minor gsa and bba in old Buce and Anubias leaves in my 75, which I does with excel and spot treat with peroxide.

    View attachment 15128

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  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    It's not a myth.. I did a test in 1999 where I added more and more minnows to a well run tank. It crashed the tank eventually. Lower O2, high NH4 waste loads.
     
  7. tiger15

    tiger15 Member

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    I did the reverse test. I have been a cichlid keeper for a long time before trying plants. So my bioload has always been high. It took much longer time to balance out than if I had low bioload to begin with. I had to struggle with algae at the beginning before winning out, but partially because I was on a learning curve. My second planted 125 balance out much faster, just 3 months, due to benefit of my better understanding and lot of surplus plants to start with. I do massive 75% WC weekly to handle heavy fish load, including partial substrate vacuuming, and spraying peroxide on exposed plants and hard surfaces. I have thin substrate and no substrate rooted plants, only epiphytes on rock and a few potted stems. It’s a myth that heavy bioload and plants wouldn’t work together, and my experiment proved it wrong.

    To help you appreciate the heavy fish load, here are videos of my 75 and 125 where fish are greeting me for food, not counting fish that are hidden in rock caves and behind plants.


     
    #7 tiger15, Jun 27, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
    Gabe Hayes likes this.
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