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Losing the battle with BBA.

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by rkilling1, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. rkilling1

    rkilling1 Junior Poster

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    I have a 75 gallon tank running full EI dosing following it to the T, 4WPG T-8 ODNO lighting, pressurized CO2 running 30 - 40 PPM, PH 6.4 - 6.0 (depending on what lighting you are viewing it under ) KH 2, sand for substrate, Venturi type reactor that comes on 1 hour prior to the lights along with the CO2, the lights are on for 12 hours, Eheim pro II 2026 filter, heavly planted, root tabs for the swords, heavy fish load (15 PPM NO3 without EI dosing). I most recently added a 400gph powerhead to help my low flow areas.

    I realize I don't have to add KNO3, because of my bioloading and I may change my dosing around here soon, but BBA is not from having high NO3, so that was not my concern ATM. I know Tom always says to up the CO2 and I have. Towards the later half of the day, my reactor is 25% filled with air. So I know my CO2 levels have to be accurate. What I mean is, My plants are pearling like crazy and the amount of O2 in the water is making it hard for my reactor to dissolve anymore CO2 in the water. I believe it is still getting the job done, but I fear if I up the BPS anymore it may not. I am currently at 2 BPS. Here are some picture for reference:

    My wonderful tank that is looking like a BBA feast.
    [​IMG]

    This is the reactor that I made based on Tom's design
    [​IMG]

    My Tonina sp. 'Belem' is in the direct flow path of the 400 GPM Powerhead
    [​IMG]

    This driftwood just started looking like this overnight.
    [​IMG]

    I don't know what to do. I have been uping my CO2 and maintain my ferts, Cutting every plant I have to pieces and this crap is not going away. I really need help. My piece of Art is slow turing to SH... crap.

    This is so frustrating. I have been on this for weeks and it was getting better, I don't know what happened. I want to be able to give back to this wonderful hobby, but not with this infected garbage I have. Thanks, Randy.
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

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    4 watts per gallon for 12 hours a day is way too much light. I find that when I reduce the lighting period to 8 hours I have a much easier time avoiding algae, and that is with only 2.4 watts per gallon. As far as CO2 goes, I use the same type reactor as you, in a 45 gallon tank, but I use a lot more than 2 bubbles per second. I have a "drop checker", used per: DIY Drop Checker - Aquatic Plant Central- aquascaping...a living art which verifies that I have 40 ppm of CO2 in my tank. When I first started using this device I, too, thought I had as much CO2 as the fish could tolerate, and I had lots of pearling. But, I really had far too little dissolved CO2. Try one of these and you will be surprised! (Don't tell anyone, but it also cures lumbago)
     
  3. rkilling1

    rkilling1 Junior Poster

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    I guess I was looking for someone to say my CO2 was still to LOW :) . I just needed the push I guess. My fish are not showing any signs of stress ATM. I will lower the light down to 10 hours to start and up the CO2 a little and look into another way to check my CO2 level. I can't stand the pH test Kits. 6.0 to 6.4, well that only means my CO2 is 18 to 45 PPM. WTH is that? and that is only if my KH is really 2.

    Thanks, Randy.

    EDIT: drop checker has been ordered!!!
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator Social Group Admin

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    No more than 10 hours light.
    Take out the wood, spray bar and anything else not a plant and bleach it good.
    Clean filter.

    Take the plants you have that are growing well, trim the tops off, and place them in the open foreground area. This will fill the tank out well.

    Drop the pH to 6.0-6.2 range when the lights are on, start the CO2 about 20-30 minutes prior to the lights coming on.

    Trim any BBA off the leaves etc, bury the grains on the gravel etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  5. rkilling1

    rkilling1 Junior Poster

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    Already reset all my timers.

    DONE

    I am waiting for my tank to clear up after replacing all my driftwood and I also wanted any residual chlorine to be scavanaged by prime, so I will leave it running for a bit and then clean it.

    DONE

    That has been my Target pH all along. We will see how well my Kit is as compared to this 'drop test' kit when it arrives. DONE, I have set my CO2 to come on 30 minutes prior to my lights.

    DONE, buried as much as I could find.

    Thanks, Randy.
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Rather than looking for a quick death for algae, especially BBA, try a slower less toxic approach to both plants and fish.

    Stay on it and let nature take it's course.
    Give it 2-3 weeks and look for new BBa growth and attack it quick.
    SAE and Amano shrimp work well against new growth also.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. rkilling1

    rkilling1 Junior Poster

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    I just wanted to say thanks.

    Once I got the CO2 up around 3.5 BPS, the BBA stopped growing. Figures it was CO2 the whole time. (I can hear it now, "I told you so")

    Rightnow, I am Excel dosing at the 3x the normal rate just to clean up what is left. My tank is looking great and all the remaining BBA is a nice purple color.

    Again, thanks. Randy

    [​IMG]
     
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