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Tank Cloudy With Co2 But Getting Bba?

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by onlyplants, Aug 3, 2020.

  1. onlyplants

    onlyplants New Member

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    Hey all, I have a pretty strange issue here and I'm wondering if anyone can help me out. I have a planted 40g with a bit of ada amazonia under pool filter sand, and maybe 4kg of granite holding the structure in place. I'm running at about 10bps with an in-line diffuser and my whole tank is cloudy from the bubbles but I'm only getting .5 of a ph drop. Is this because of the granite? One would think that at 10bps my shrimp would be sitting at the top but they're doing great. The whole tank is cloudy and it really ruins the view.

    If that wasn't enough, I'm getting BBA and GSA on the hardscape, glass, and older anubaias leaves. I spend more time working on the tank than I should, so it's quite free of detritus or anything breaking down on the substrate. I wasn't dosing anything for the first 3ish months but 2 weeks ago I've started dosing EI because I got some leaf curl and though the plants seem to be doing better, I'm still dealing with the algae.

    The thought that insufficient co2 is the cause seems insane.. My co2 goes on 2 hours before my lights, all of which are on a timer. The tank gets no direct sunlight, and i'm very rarely late on my water changes. What's going on here?

    117078226_289647352132579_582704226277269721_n.jpg
     
    #1 onlyplants, Aug 3, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
  2. onlyplants

    onlyplants New Member

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  3. easternlethal

    easternlethal Lifetime Members
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    How much algae are you getting? It's quite hard to tell from the photo. Also some others details might help - how old is the tank, what filtration, what lighting, how are you treating the algae etc

    Sent from my LM-V405 using Tapatalk
     
  4. kizwan

    kizwan Member

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    How is your water current circulation? I don't know if this correct in English.
     
  5. Deanna

    Deanna Member

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    The best recipe for BBA is high light with low/inconsistent CO2. Coincidentally, this is also the best recipe for unhealthy plants, which will compound, if not initiate, BBA issues. Further, you don't have a large plant mass yet, which can mean that you will be fighting the high light effect (if you have high light) in creating BBA. A .5 pH drop does indicate that you don't have enough CO2 and bps is not the best way to measure CO2, although I think you are mentioning it simply to demonstrate what seems to be a high CO2 injection rate. I would push it until you get that full 1-point pH drop, using your fish as guides for when you over do it. Once you reach, and hold, the pH drop, wait a few weeks to see if the BBA improves. I prefer reactors to diffusers, and my tank is a 29-gal. I believe that larger tanks are better served by reactors, if you don't like the mist that is created by diffusers.

    GSA can often be fixed with increased PO4.

    As easternlethal mentioned, it would be good to have more info, so we can better understand the possibilities. Details I like to know are:

    - Light (make & model): ideally, PAR and PUR reading at the substrate and photoperiod?
    - Current NO3, PO4, GH, KH, pH and TDS readings and which test kits are used for each?
    - What you are dosing (product and quantity) and how often?
    - How old is the Amazonia?
    - What is your filter setup?
    - Cleaning regimen (filter and water change frequency and amount)?
    - Circulation: surface rippling and are all plants gently moving from top to bottom?
    - What is your water source and do you use a water softener?
     
  6. onlyplants

    onlyplants New Member

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    Whew, ok. Thanks for all your the input. Time to answer the questions here:

    I'm getting enough to the point in which i'm afraid i wont be able to control it. It started with a small tuft on a bit of the hardscape, and now i'm having to remove plants to dip them or cut off the infected parts, which are increasing every week.
    Circulation is good, but not strong. It's a 150l tank with a biomaster t600.

    And to the other questions:
    The light is a relatively cheap led i got some years ago. It doesn't advertise PAR, but its definitely in the low spectrum at 27W / 2862 lm.
    Lights run for 6 hours, and co2 starts 2 hours before lights and end 1 hour before lights go out. so i get 1 hour of view, really :p
    Dosing doesn't seem to have changed the habits of bba and gsa, but it reduced some leaf curl i was getting on anubias. here's the numbers from the EI dosing mixture i've prepared as per their instructions.
    - 24 mg / l nitrate
    - 26 mg / l potassium
    - 3 mg / l phosphates
    - 0.5 mg / l iron
    - 10 mg / l magnesium
    The amazonia is as old as the tank, which is about 5 months.
    Filtration is an oase biomaster thermo 600.
    I do 50/80% water changes a week, usually closer to the 80% side because the algae keeps me busy.
    Water source is tap, with no water softners or additives.

    Again, I have everything on a timer, and my tank is already totally cloudy with co2. As-is, it ruins the view until co2 turns off. Why is it that i'm only getting a .4 ph drop when I'm putting in an unspeakable bps? Plants look good, i've had 3 anubias and 2 buce flowers since the setup. Regarding reactors over diffusers, I read that plants can readily use the mist from diffusers. I have a decent colony of shrimp in the tank.

    Will attach photos soon.
     
  7. Deanna

    Deanna Member

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    CO2: I’ve used diffusers and, although there are studies that indicate that plants may do better by direct contact with CO2 bubbles, I found only slightly improved performance but, in my case, it wasn’t worth the cloudiness that diffusers impart at high CO2 levels. There are several things to consider as to why your pH is not dropping as you think it should:

    - Are you certain that you are getting good pH test results? pH pens are much more accurate than reagent kits and test strips are virtually useless unless you are just looking for a vague estimate.

    - CO2 bubbles rise to the top. It is difficult to get good distribution, especially in a large tank, without circulation that allows you to see if contact is occurring. Perhaps placing a drop checker in the area having the lowest circulation would help confirm CO2 saturation levels.

    - Diffusers vary: some are good and some are not. What type do you have?

    If you truly have low light, more CO2 may not help, but I would try to get pH to a verifiable 1-point drop to test that possibility.

    With the Amazonia only 5 months old, you should be getting all the nutrients necessary between that and your dosing. I’d guess that you are overdosing some nutrients. Can you provide the test results for the parameters I mentioned in my previous post?

    This may be a simple matter of insufficient plant mass. If it were me, after I was certain of the above things being satisfactory, I would begin dosing Excel to see if it would help. Excel not only provides a little carbon to the plants (which the CO2 should e doing far better) and it also acts as a mild algaecide at recommended dosing levels.
     
  8. kizwan

    kizwan Member

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    I should rephrase my question. I mean is there any dead spot like no or weak flow or circulation? If you have CO2 checker, can you move it to the spot where you get bba to check CO2 level at that spot?
     
  9. onlyplants

    onlyplants New Member

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    Ph results are good - i even double checked the ph pen with a liquid test kit.

    I'm confident that co2 circulation is also good - but i'm mostly concerned about BBA here and it's coming in places with the most circulation. GSA seems to be all over but it's not as severe as the bba so i'm not too concerned about it as of yet. I'll control the bba, then deal with the gsa. Even if i can't clean the gsa at least it can be removed via tedious maintenace.

    The diffuser I have is a 2 month old up aqua that got great reviews from Jaris and Green Aqua. Before that I had a cheapp ceramic style diffuser, which was replaced with the inline because i had the problems then, too. Inline one and the bubbles are very small and come out of the outlet like dust.

    Last night I picked up a reactor and a GH and P test kits.

    I forgot to give a response to my tests, but kh is 5, no3 is 15-20ppm (today being thursday on the typical EI dosing regime)

    Regarding insufficient plant mass - well, insufficnet plant mass for what, exactly? Isn't the whole purpose of the EI method to ensure that there's an overwhelming amount of nutrients to encourage healthy plant growth and thus be healthy enough to fight algae? Until maybe 3 weeks ago, I wasn't dosing anything at all. But i started to dose EI because I had a bit of leaf curl and was hoping that the increased plant health would also help combat the bba. leaf curl is gone but bba remains.

    excel: I have a lot of valisineria in here and i know very well that it does't like excel. Also, I water my garden with my aquarium water, and I don't want to eat food that has been anywhere near glutaraldehyde, which despite whatever seachem says, is not a carbon source. Some people have specifically asked about this in interviews with seachem reps, to only get responses like "it's a secret" or some nonsense. I'll probably buy an ro/di unit and remineralize before i go that route.

    Here's the photos. As you can see from some of the pic of the anubias in my hand there are a lot of stems that I removed manually. Now i'm doing bleach dips, but i think that If i wasn't, this plant would be nothing but a rhyzome, even though it's putting out a new leaf every week or more. I attached another pic of the tank with co2 on to illustrate how high its coming in. It's like a fog machine and I can't even see through the tank.

    117078226_289647352132579_582704226277269721_n(1).jpg

    117258154_749547502283966_3402266135126761363_n.jpg

    117660799_671434216779190_2707083365831177680_n.jpg

    117667825_326353981892632_4112658420483813182_n.jpg

    117770809_626930637930605_5092001155105022010_n.jpg

    117810210_2783016065265743_3764673631180675700_n.jpg
     
  10. kizwan

    kizwan Member

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    I think that what she meant - rich of nutrients but not enough plants to take advantage from it. This is when algae appear.

    As for GSA even if you fixed the deficiency that caused it, you still need to manually remove them. They don't go away by themselves. GSA is the least of my concern anyway.

    You can drain the water until where the BBA grow exposed. Using a small paint brush, apply excel to the affected area let it sit for a while & fill the water back up.
     
  11. onlyplants

    onlyplants New Member

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    Yep, I spot treat with H2O2 every water change, on both the hardscape and plants i can't remove.
     
  12. onlyplants

    onlyplants New Member

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    update: gh 11
    TDS 299
    p is 0.5 p/l

    I also bought a co2 reactor, but as soon as co2 gets turned on, it creates an air pocket inside and so i get the running water sound which I really don't like :(
     
  13. Deanna

    Deanna Member

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    It does appear that your diffuser and measuring of CO2 is good. Which leaves not enough (given tolerance for the cloudiness) or inconsistent CO2 as the thing to focus upon. The reactor will eliminate the cloudiness that you don’t like and, if it is sized correctly, should easily give you the 1-point pH drop.

    Let us know the results of your GH and PO4 tests, to make sure that your nutrients are balanced (those that you are measuring).

    As kizwan mentioned (although I’m a “he” not a “she”), EI is designed to ensure sufficient quantities of nutrients mainly in high-tech setups, but has nothing to do with plant mass other than determining dosing adjustments. Sometimes, there are simply not enough plants, given a tank size, to be able to out-compete algae. Looking at your tank, I think this is a possibility. Incidentally, BBA is commonly prevalent in high flow areas.

    Glut is well-known to provide carbon (not nearly as much as pressurized CO2) and is gone in about 24 hours and Vals can be trained to accept it. However, even though it decomposes, I would also hesitate to want to risk putting it on something I eat. Seachem’s denial is not about carbon, it is about their ingredient. They will not confirm that their ingredient is glut. There is one thing, though, where the Excel may be useful for you: when you reach fully stabilized parameters, and if the BBA is still present. It can be killed with a single, heavy, dose of glut, which will not affect sensitive plants, fish and, at least Amanos and CS. To do this, add 1ml / gal and provide heavy rippling of the water’s surface (pH below 7 is also helpful). This is a one-day treatment that can be repeated weekly.

    I still think the primary problem is inconsistent / low CO2 (having a good measurement of PAR/PUR values for your light would close the remaining knowledge gap). Once you achieve that 1-point drop and hold it consistently for several weeks, with no other changes during this period, I think your algae problems are most likely to be reduced by fully healthy plants. Algae growing on plants is a sign that they are not as healthy as they can be.

    Now, I’m going to suggest another possibility that is completely the reverse of the CO2 aspect I mentioned above. Slow growing plants under low light (knowing the true PAR value of your light may be critical) do not need pressurized CO2, so it may be useless. However, BBA does like lots of CO2. It may be better to stop CO2, after trying the above. It is a matter of finding that combination of things that makes healthy plants and I see yours as questionable at this time.
     
  14. kizwan

    kizwan Member

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    Yet it doesn't kill BBA? There is a video on YouTube that I watched before & I managed to track it down again. He use mixture of excel & h2o2 to spot treat BBA. He claimed all BBA died overnight. I include link to the video below. Maybe it helps.

     
  15. onlyplants

    onlyplants New Member

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    Spot treating is very effective, and i do it, but unless i stop it from coming back i'll eventually have to spot treat my entire tank.
    It's getting out of control and spending an hour spot treating the whole tank doesn't make sense. I need to find the solution to this.

    I've never tried it with a spray can, but I would be a bit afraid of overdosing. Seems like a really nice way to apply it though. I'll do this on my next water change for sure. Just will start off overly cautious.
     
    #15 onlyplants, Aug 13, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2020
  16. onlyplants

    onlyplants New Member

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    The results of my tests are above, or here again:

    gh 11
    TDS 299
    4 is 0.5 p/l
    kh is 5
    no3 is 15-20ppm
    There has to be a solution that doesn't involve glut or turning off co2, which i do not believe is the cause. All of these plants are benefiting from co2 - i'd never get this type of growth without it. There must be a nutrient that I can shorten to cut off bba, or at least find a plant that can compete with that nutrient.

    Plants are valsinaria, pinnatifida, crypts, buce, anubias and xmas moss.
     
    #16 onlyplants, Aug 13, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2020
  17. kizwan

    kizwan Member

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    Yeah if it is coming back, you do need to find the root cause. I still believe BBA reappearing is because fluctuating CO2.
     
  18. onlyplants

    onlyplants New Member

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    How can co2 be fluctuating though? it's on a timer, the tank is full, and i have tried two different diffusers.
    Well, now I have largely changed the environment, surely to the favour of BBA by adding a reactor (the third diffusion method :p ), but tomorrow I'll up the co2 even more and spray the tank down with excel and h2o2 and see how it goes the following week.

    Wish me luck :p
     
  19. kizwan

    kizwan Member

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    Different spots in the tank can have different CO2 level. That's why I asked before if you have CO2 checker to move it around the tank to make sure you have stable CO2 level everywhere.

    Up CO2 more until you see fish gasping for air at the water surface. Then turn down a bit until your fish no longer gasping for air.

    Good luck!
     
  20. Pauld738

    Pauld738 Member

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    Late to the party but here are 2 thoughts...

    Not sure what wood you have in there but I had wood similar to what you have that would not get rid of BBA. No matter what I did with Excel or h2o2. Finally gave up and removed the wood. BBA went away. Took a month or so clipping leaves at every water change though. YMMV.

    For that amount of plants I'd say 6 hours of full intensity lighting is too much (does your led ramp?). Pic below is at 3 hrs 100%, 3 hrs at 50% everyday. Co2, EI dosing. Please excuse the mess, I've been on vacation and the tank hasn't had a water change or plant clipping for over 2 weeks now. :)[​IMG]

    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
     
    Johnjohnjohn87 likes this.
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