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

What BBA can’t stand

Discussion in 'Algae Control' started by alessandro, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. alessandro

    alessandro New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    14
    Local Time:
    10:36 PM
    I love aquatic ecosystems and I’ve kept aquariums and ponds for most of my life.

    I noticed that BBA may grow in the aquarium at some point, but in 40 years I never, ever got BBA in my ponds, not even a single spot of it.

    In my ponds I may get many other types of algae, with the long green filaments being the most common but never BBA.

    I have had many ponds, with filtration or without it, with a bare plastic sheet or with some substrate, with many aquatic plants or with very few, with many or few fish, but they were always exposed to the elements, rain, sunshine, wind and different degrees of shade from trees and never got a single spot of BBA.
    No CO2 supplementation and Hard water around 12 DH.

    This isn’t by chance I’m sure, my guess is that Solar Light or hard water/Sunshine may inhibit its germination and growth.

    Anybody has a different experience?
     
  2. alessandro

    alessandro New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    14
    Local Time:
    10:36 PM
    UV radiation is probably killing BBA

    BBA is single cell Phytoplankton if I’m not mistaken and
    here is an intersting link:

    http://www.fondriest.com/environmental-measurements/parameters/weather/photosynthetically-active-radiation/



    Ultraviolet Radiation and Phytoplankton

    Phytoplankton are microscopic organisms that reside in water and use photosynthesis to convert sunlight to energy 16. These organisms use carbon dioxide and produce oxygen as a photosynthesis byproduct just as plants do 17. Ultraviolet light can stunt this process in phytoplankton. UV-A and UV-B radiation inhibit photosynthetic production, thus reducing carbon dioxide intake and oxygen output. Under natural sun-lit conditions, UV-A and UV-B can diminish photosynthesis by over 8% 41.

    phytoplankton_types.jpg
    Phytoplankton require light for photosynthesis, but UV radiation can reduce their production. Collage adapted from drawings and micrographs by Sally Bensusen, NASA EOS Project Science Office.

    This effect can be detrimental to more than just phytoplankton. These one-celled plants are responsible for much of the carbon transfer that occurs between the atmosphere and the ocean, a process known as the “biological carbon pump” 17. Much of the ocean life below the surface depends on phytoplankton, consuming them directly or indirectly 17. Phytoplankton also contribute to “marine snow” – the dead, organic material that falls to the ocean floor as fuel for deep sea organisms. When ultraviolet radiation reduces photosynthetic production of phytoplankton, it negatively affects the world carbon cycle and the marine food chain 16.
     
  3. tiger15

    tiger15 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2017
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    79
    Local Time:
    4:36 PM
    When I placed my bba infested plants in outside planter in warm season, the bba will be gone in couple weeks. I have green water and other algae, but no bba. Where do bba exist in outside water, or is it straightly an indoor pests?
     
  4. alessandro

    alessandro New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    14
    Local Time:
    10:36 PM
    I have your same experience, I have noticed over the years again and again that not even the smaller trace of BBA can grow or resist outside, neither on plants nor on any inert substrate regardless of CO2 content, regardless of plant biomass, regardless of Quantity of organics in the water, regardless of fish density, with or without a filter, with stagnant water or flowing water.

    Basically, all we talk and debate to keep this “invader” at bay in our indoor aquariums looks non relevant in an outdoor pond or aquarium.

    Actually this type of algae is supposed to live in the wild in fresh water also, but I don’t know under which condition and possibly this is not the specie which we commonly get to know in our aquariums.

    It would be very intersting to know if it naturally grows outside, where and under which conditions, but I suspect that if it grows outside, it does so in a higly shaded location with no direct sunlight exposure.

    Now after these long term observations, I belive that BBA can’t absolutely stand Ultraviolet Light as produced by our star, the sun.

    Here an abstract from this very interesting link:

    http://www.fondriest.com/environmental-measurements/parameters/weather/photosynthetically-active-radiation/


    What is the Electromagnetic Spectrum?
    The electromagnetic spectrum encompasses all types of radiation 5. The part of the spectrum that reaches Earth from the sun is between 100 nm and 1 mm. This band is broken into three ranges: ultraviolet, visible, and infrared radiation. Ultraviolet contains wavelengths between 100-400 nm. Visible light falls within the range of 400-700 nm, and infrared light contains wavelengths from 700 nm to over 1 mm 1. In the visible light spectrum, the colors are determined by the length. Longer wavelengths appear red while shorter wavelengths are blue/violet as they range closer to the ultraviolet spectrum 5.

    par_electromagnetic-spectrum.jpg
    Sunlight, or the solar radiation spectrum, includes bands between 100 nm and 1 mm, which encompasses ultraviolet, visible and infrared radiation.




    Ultraviolet Radiation
    par_ultraviolet-uva-uvb-uvc1.jpg
    Nearly all of UV-C, half of UV-B and some of UV-C radiation is absorbed by ozone in the stratosphere before it can reach the surface.

    Ultraviolet radiation can be separated into three wavelength ranges: UV-A, UV-B and UV-C. All wavelengths of ultraviolet light can directly affect the DNA of water inhabitants as well as generate harmful photochemicals 1. The shorter the wavelength, the more damage it is capable of causing.

    UV-C includes wavelengths between 100 and 280 nm. This radiation range only makes up 0.5% of all solar radiation, but it can cause the most damage to organisms. However, most of this short-wave radiation is absorbed by stratospheric gases (ozone), and very little reaches the surface 9.
     
  5. alessandro

    alessandro New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    14
    Local Time:
    10:36 PM
    If Sunshine and in particular UV light is what BBA cannot stand, then it shouldn’t be too difficult to completely eradicate those from our indoor aquariums by providing some sunhine to reach our tanks or install an UV lamp on top.

    We just have to be carefull as we do know that too much UV may be dangerous for us, but some of it can only be effective and for sure it is what nature supplies everyday to our plants in their natural environment.
     
  6. slipfinger

    slipfinger Article Editor
    Staff Member Lifetime Member Article Editor

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2016
    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    470
    Local Time:
    4:36 PM
    If you run T5's and want to experiment, Hortilux sells the PowerVeg FS+UV bulb. Kill two birds with one stone, FS for the plants and UV to kill the BBA

    PV-FSUV-product-page-image-400x600-2.jpg
     
  7. tiger15

    tiger15 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2017
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    79
    Local Time:
    4:36 PM
    Another source of UV light is party black light. It's not as strong as aquarium UV light and a lot cheaper. Exposure to strong UV light can cause cataract and skin cancer in human, so it will not be good for fish.

    I think it is a premature conclusion that UV light can stop BBA. I have conflicting experience.

    I currently have a fish only 125g tank that is exposed to a few hour morning sun on one side in winter months. The side exposed to direct sun has BBA invasion on rock and substrate, but the unexposed side is clean. In summer months without direct sun, I have no BBA issue.

    I recalled as a kid I placed my first tank by the window that received a few hours morning sun. There was no artificial light. I was able to grow easy plants like water sprite, vals and anacharis free of any algae except GDA on the glass, which I had to clean weekly with a razor blade.

    The difference between the two experience is that my first tank is lightly stocked with tetra, filtered by UGF, and I only did WC every few months. My current 125g is heavily stocked with cichlid, heavily filtered, and I do 75% WC weekly to reduce nitrate.
     
  8. alessandro

    alessandro New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    14
    Local Time:
    10:36 PM
    Thank you Slipfinger, I didn’t know about this bulb, The Powerveg FS+UV could be a good option to test.
    and yes I have T5.

    I will check what are the technical specs to understand what is the strenght and frequency of UV emitted, but I’m not overly concerned about UV radiation.

    Actually it is the opposite, UV light in moderate concentrations is needed by our bodies to fix D vitamin and many studies have proven beneficail effects with Phototherapy.

    It is always a matter of concentration or strenght and time of exposure.
    it would be very stupid to say “proven that it causes cancer” full stop .
    The right assumption is “it causes cancer with and exposure of X time and a strenght of Y”.

    It is the same with everything “iron is needed by our bodies but too much is toxic”.

    My next experiment will involve two 7/8 gallons cube aquariums which I will start up indoor by the end of winter,
    where I will induce BBA. Then by end of spring I will bring one outside and expose it to sunshine.
     
    Phishless likes this.
  9. tiger15

    tiger15 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2017
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    79
    Local Time:
    4:36 PM
    The difference between toxin and medicine is a matter of dosage. A moderate dosage of natural UV can bring out vibrant color of pond raised fish that tank raised fish cannot attain.
     
  10. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
    Staff Member Lifetime Member Article Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    274
    Local Time:
    10:36 PM
    Keep in mind most glass will stop UV-B going through and will reduce the amount of UV-A. That is one reason why the replacement lamps for the UV unit cost so much.

    Also worth mentioning that you will need direct sunlight (as in not shadow) to get good UV exposure. Most aquarium plants if exposed to direct sunlight will bleach ( especially if not gradually adapted).

    In addition the experiment described has to account for different light levels, different light duration, different light spectrum, different temperatures etc. This makes it difficult to pinpoint the effect of UV with any confidence. It might be easier to either use a controlled indoor source or expose the other aquarium to the same light but with the UV filtered out. There are several materials that are able to absorb most of the UV spectrum.
     
  11. alessandro

    alessandro New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    14
    Local Time:
    10:36 PM
    I’ve grown aquarium plants in my outdoor ponds for more than 30 years now, and what you are saying is correct, too much direct sun exposure will kill many plants due to the power and exposure of UV. My ponds are partially shaded and they receive no more than three/four hours direct sunshine, in the morning or late in the afternoon.
    I have been growing very healthy plants and in more than 30 years I never found the smallest trace of BBA.

    Elodea densa, Ludwigia repens, myriophillum, Heterantherea zosterifolia and many more grow very well without CO2 addition, in my hardwater outside ponds.

    BBA is monocellular and thus does not have more specialized cells like plants to overcome UV light damages, at least this is what I strongly believe.

    My last experiment with the two aquariums, wants to reproduce aquarium conditions, with glass walls, which will filter out some of the UV, but I will make sure some light will reach the tanks from above. My plan is to start with just half an hour direct exposure and eventually increase it to 3/4 hours like in my ponds.
     
    Allwissend likes this.
  12. tiger15

    tiger15 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2017
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    79
    Local Time:
    4:36 PM
    I hope that your experiment will work out and confirm your belief that UV light kill bba. It will be a break through as Amano and other plant gurus had been battling bba for years. If confirmed, controlling bba will be a lot simpler by finding the right and safe way to deliver UV light.
     
  13. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
    Staff Member Lifetime Member Article Editor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2016
    Messages:
    498
    Likes Received:
    274
    Local Time:
    10:36 PM
    I am glad we have somebody with such experience in ponds here on the forum. You bring a fresh perspective on things. Indeed tanks and ponds can behave quite different and may require different approaches.
    To reach a valid conclusion with some level of confidence is harder than it first looks. This is why I suggested the other factors that need to be accounted for. Good thing there is still a lot of time until summer.

    Do not underestimate your enemy. Many single cell organisms, algae, bacteria, archaea are more resistant to UV than multi-celled organisms. Even if the individual does not survive a small percentage or spores are enough. Many pigments are used by cells exactly for this purpose to prevent strong radiation getting in. In both single and multi celled organisms the impact of UV is strongest at the DNA level (some search terms: formation of thymine / uracil pairs, cyclobutane-pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) and 6-4 photoproducts (6-4PPs)). This is not to say BBA cannot be killed by UV. I am sure it can given the right kind and dose.

    Looking forward to your experiments.
     
  14. alessandro

    alessandro New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    14
    Local Time:
    10:36 PM
    Mother Nature can teach us.......

    Aquariums are artificial biotopes which miss many nature ingredients and this is probably the cause why we strive with infestations like BBA or imbalances.

    Just think at the light we supply to our aquariums, nothing is more different than sunlight with all its different wavelenghts from ultraviolet to infrared passing throgh visible light.
    Please don’t tell me that plants only use part of the spectrum, this is at best incorrect.
    Same for Fish and Humans, the truth is that we do need some sunshine including the ultraviolet radiation.
    Not to mention that in my outside ponds many insects and larvae do reproduce and account for the best live food fish can have, instead of those “flakes”.

    At the end of Spring I move most of my aquarium fish and plants in my outside ponds for a “summer vacation”.

    Well by the end of summer fish looks stronger, have grown substatially and have much richer colors, many have reproduced like ancistrus and agelfish. All my aquarium plants have been pruned several times due to their high growth rate and are clean from any algae, even if they had some when I placed them there.

    Note that I have hard water which I keep flowing at minimal rate and I never add any fertilizer, only some fish food, but not too much as the majority comes from chironomids and mosquitos larvae which occur naturally in great abundance. Sometimes I add live daphnias which I grow in a separate fishless pond.
    The pond is shaded but still receives 3/4 hours direct sunlight every day.

    what is amazing is that even if I indroduced BBA from my aquarium plants by the end of summer there is no trace of it. Sometimes I get some green long filament algae but never BBA.
     
  15. rajkm

    rajkm Article Editor
    Staff Member Lifetime Member Article Editor

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    677
    Likes Received:
    218
    Local Time:
    9:36 PM
    I think to really prove that UV light kills BBA, you first need to figure out a way to produce BBA in the pond, then run your tanks thru multiple conditions to see what kills the BBA.
    Many algae will not survive in many tanks just because of tanks conditions.
    There could be multiple factors at play, right amount of plants, adequate and right type of bacteria, pH levels, etc
    There was also a theory that waters that are biased towards green algae are not favorable for red algae type like BBA, which you say you see in your ponds.
     
    Tom Barr likes this.
  16. tiger15

    tiger15 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2017
    Messages:
    229
    Likes Received:
    79
    Local Time:
    4:36 PM
    When you said no trace of BBA outdoor, do you mean no BBA on plants, rock, dead wood, and objects in shady and sunny areas. Many healthy growing plants free of BBA in fish tanks still have to deal with BBA on non-living objects. Have you examined those objects to confirm complete free of BBA.
     
  17. alessandro

    alessandro New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    14
    Local Time:
    10:36 PM
    As mentioned already several times, I’m not new to this hobby.
    I’ve kept aqariums for almost 40 years, and at the same time I’ve kept outside ponds for the same amount of time.
    when I say there are no trace of BBA in my outside ponds this is exactly what I mean.
    You can not find any BBA anywhere, nor on rock or woods nor on the gravel nor on the plastic liner nor on any plant. But this is not a single experiment, I’ve had aquariums and ponds for soooo loooong.
    what I’m saying is proven again and again.
    I’ve introduced BBA from my aquariums in my outside pond , through plants or rocks or woods but after, may be one month or so you can’t even find the smallest trace of it.

    The Main clear difference in between my aquariums and my ponds is solar light, there may be other elements of difference but this is the one that stands out.

    I will also test T5 lamps in my aquariums which emit some UVB and UVA radiation, I just ordered them, but frankly I doubt that a 54 w bulb can emit anything even close to real sunshine radiation in terms of power and wavelenght.


    I ordered the powerveg FS+UV but it is not specified what percentage of its power is released for UVB .

    I also ordered some reptiles bulbs same size 54 w, that claim to emit 14% UVB and 30% UVA.
     
  18. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3,011
    Likes Received:
    94
    Local Time:
    9:36 PM
    This is a very interesting subject! I am using only LED lights now, but it is absurdly easy to add UV to the spectrum of LED lights. One test that could be added is to use a UV emitting bulb on an open top tank, and a glass topped tank, and see if BBA growth is different in the two tanks. (Ordinary glass blocks UV)
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,692
    Likes Received:
    721
    Local Time:
    9:36 PM
    Ponds typically have much less flow than aquariums. BBA likes Flow. CO2 is likely lower in a shallow pond with lots of surface area. Temps are cooler in the pond. BBA likes warmer temps, 5-10 ppm CO2, and flow............it lives in streams typically.

    Do not like it? Grow plants better and better.
    Use lower light.

    Water changes seem to encourage it frankly.
    But depends on other factors.
     
    sinan likes this.
  20. alessandro

    alessandro New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    14
    Local Time:
    10:36 PM
    BBA is one of the worst "Pests" in aquariums and up to today there is a lot of speculation on what causes it and how it really thrives or what blocks it.

    I also noticed that some aquarium plants never get those and others are very susceptible to it. Why??

    We also noticed that healthy fast growing plants don't normally get it, but slower or not so healthy plants do.

    Gravel wood and rocks are also susceptible to grow BBA.


    Now it is absolutely true that if certain conditions are granted in our aquariums we do not get those or we get minimal quantities of it, but as soon as we start to relax too much, may be we leave for a long vacatiion or we forget to mantain our filters or gravel super clean or skip a water change they are there, ready to attack.

    It would be nice to find something natural like UV radiation that blocks and kills them. And no, Excell is a chemical which I would never add to my aquariums, same with copper or other algicides that kill the effect but not the cause.

    By having ponds I noticed that never ever I could grow BBA there. Temperature is very variable , but I'm almost sure is not a matter of temperature. I keep my ponds year around and not in winter nor in full summer I get BBA.

    Same with water flow, there are areas in my ponds where the filter moves a lot of water and never got a single spot a BBA there. In other ponds soemtimes I do not even use a filter and again no BBA.

    Tom, It would be nice to know the conditions where BBA occurs naturally in the wild. I suspect that the streams where it grows do not receive direct Sunshine, But I'm only guessing. Do you have this information?

    In any case, nobody ever noticed what I'm stating and I felt like sharing this with this forum.
     
Loading...
Tags:

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