Vallisneria: BBA magnet?


Guru Class Expert
Oct 26, 2007
Brisbane, Australia

My 6' tank is generally doing quite well. Plants are growing, algae is, in general, manageable. A little bit more tweaking and I will hopefully have it spot on.

Of all my plants though, Vallisneria seems to be a real pain with BBA. Although I use sharp scissors to trim it, I frequently find tufts of BBA forming at the cut line. I'm guessing this is because the plant is releasing some ammonia stimulating BBA at this point?

Also, being straight up and down, I suspect the leaves inhibit good water flow?

I have tried in the past bleach dipping vallis but it melted (other plants were ok).

Should I just toss this stuff out and try a different plant....or is there a way I can dramatically improve things?

Appreciate any thoughts.



Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
South Florida
Hi Scott,

I hate to point you to c02 but I will :)

I would also check your filters and maintenace schedules, ensure your ferts are up to speed, and be ruthless about the BGA. Cut any leave to the root if it shows any algae.

A couple extra water changes won't hurt either. Do an extra 50% weekly for the next 3-4 weeks as you slowly adjust the c02.

C02 is tough to manage as it is very variable and the NEED for it can change a lot...

The eel grass as it is called will grow quickly even if trimmed severely if other conditions are right.

Try and get some more flow in there. Where it grows wild in FL it will get your boat stuck :)

So it can get very thick and needs to be trimmed regularly.


Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
Surprise, AZ
Unhelpful I May Be

Hi Scott,

What Gerry said.:)

CO2 first, circulation second, nutrients, third nobody here my believe it, but nutrients can make a difference, good practices fourth, oddball stuff, fifth.

Having read the description of your intakes and outputs on another thread, I wonder about stagnate water areas, my experience (trust me I know people do not want to hear it), but generally an 'uphill' and a 'downhill' tends to eliminate 'counter-flow' issues. I am aware quite a number of folks like the 'turbulence' theory of tank circulation.

Now the 'oddball' stuff. Being an oddball this may be my specialty.:rolleyes:

Given your problem child plant is Vallisneria, I wonder if you have ruled out some kind of copper contamination.

If this is stupid, my apologies, I know my comments are generally considered unhelpful by those in the know. :eek: