• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up

Can a substrae cause BBA?

mzm

Member
Joined
4 Feb 2010
Messages
160
Location
Malta
Hi,

Couple of months ago I got hit by BBA after running a great planted tank for almost a year. No idea what caused it and after months of unsuccessful battles I decided to go unplanted since I had had enough.

Since I had always wanted a white sand to reflect with my disucs, I also decided to take off all the substrate which I had in the tank and replace this with nice white sand. I removed reflectors, cut down on the light period, removed co2 the works. It's just the discus, a couple of pieces of wood the white sand and some vals which I have planted at the back. I used to dose PPM and reduced this to only one dose once a week for the vals.

It seems that the problem was gone.... I recently had a discussion with one of our local LFS and he said that the BBA could have been caused by the very iron rich substrate which I had used and this together with co2, t5 lights, daily ppm dosing etc could have triggered the outbreak.

To tell you the truth, I really prefer a planted tank so full of hope I went home and decided to start an experiment which consists of slowly reintroducing the setup as it was...... without the substrate!

For the past two weeks I have cranked up the lights again. No co2, ferts still only once a week. To date no BBA... I am planning to go another week as is and then the next step would be to add co2 and run another test perido of three weeks following which the reintroduction of PPM would resume.

My question is this: could it be that the substrate, which is supposedly one of the best on the market, did indeed trigger the BBA due to the high iron content or is it only a matter of time before the BBA returns?

Thanks for taking the time to read and reply.

Michael
 
My question is this: could it be that the substrate, which is supposedly one of the best on the market, did indeed trigger the BBA due to the high iron content or is it only a matter of time before the BBA returns?

I'd say the BBA will come back if you don't increase the CO2/ferts, especially if the light has increased. Should be nothing to do with the substrate. Clive?? :lol:
 
Ok so rather than get everything back up step by step to try and locate the cause you would just go for putting everything back on at once?
 
For the time being I would leave the lights lower, and increase the CO2 and ferts. Then slowly bring up the light if you need to, along with the CO2 and ferts. If you increase the light but not CO2/ferts, you are inviting algae. You want to aim for ferts and CO2 being plentiful, with the system limited by light.
 
thanks for your reply and advice. will see what happens.....
 
Thanks for your input.

Never understood the fluctuating co2 bit though. Most of us have co2 on a timer with a solenoid meaning it goes off at one time and off at another. Between 22.00 hrs and 14.00 hrs the next day the co2 levels go up. Does that not represent fluctuation?
 
Naturally, the CO2 levels will build up during the night, as the CO2 demand is much lower, if present at all. At the same time, both plants and fish (and other things) will be producing CO2 and using O2 by respiration. Therefore, we turn CO2 off at night as it is not needed, and can build up too much if we keep pumping it in. By only injecting during the day, you help to keep it stable as the plants use it up in photosynthesis. You should turn it on before the lights come on in the morning so that it is up to optimum levels, and then off just before the lights go off so it doesn't build up while the plants aren't using it.

Tom
 
Thanks Tom. The balance is therefore creates by the plants using the co2 during the light period.

If there is anyone else who would like to add their opinion on substrate causing BBA feel free to comment 🙂
 
is it possible you disturbed the substrate moving plant or some thing, then did no do a water change. that's the only way i can see substrate causing algae after a year.
 
it is possible that I disturbed the substrate by moving plants. Some die or some might grow into a size where a change in position is necessary. I would think however that everyone does this at one point or another.... Having said that, I had a large quantity of substrate covering the whole aquarium bed. I notice in various posts and journals that people tend to only use substrate under certain areas of the tank rather than having it spread all over.
 
when you disturb the substrate you release ammonia coupled with other issues will case all sorts of algae when the water looks cloudy you need to do a %50 water change
 
mzm said:
.. I recently had a discussion with one of our local LFS and he said that the BBA could have been caused by the very iron rich substrate which I had used and this together with co2, t5 lights, daily ppm dosing etc could have triggered the outbreak..
Hi,
LFS unfortunately contribute to more planted tank myths than one can shake a stick at. They are part of a System we call The Matrix. As it turns out, there is little if any correlation between Iron and any form of algaal bloom. BBA is strictly a CO2 related algae. It is one of the most complicated algal forms to troubleshoot mainly because it is related, as mentioned, to unstable levels of CO2.

Unless there is excessive CO2 production in the substrate, which then escapes and somehow significantly affects the water column concentration levels, the substrate cannot be blamed for contributing to BBA.

mzm said:
Never understood the fluctuating co2 bit though. Most of us have co2 on a timer with a solenoid meaning it goes off at one time and off at another. Between 22.00 hrs and 14.00 hrs the next day the co2 levels go up. Does that not represent fluctuation?
Misunderstanding these concepts renders us vulnerable to LFS (Klingon) mind control tactics. Please click and review Co2 Fluctuations and BBA and Cladophora - vile weed which discuss some of the ways in which CO2 instability/fluctuations can occur.

Cheers,
 
very interesting read! Is it correct to assume that you are somewhat against ph controllers due to them causing fluctuations in co2?
 
mzm said:
very interesting read! Is it correct to assume that you are somewhat against ph controllers due to them causing fluctuations in co2?


MZM

Yes - ph controller is your problem, the controller measure the ph within the water column and if a drop in ph is registered the co2 gas is switch off which will cause fluctuations in co2, you would be better off removing the controller and observing the ppm of Co2 within the water column via a drop checker, with the drop checker must be 4 dkh & bromo blue solution.

http://www.ukaps.org/drop-checker.htm

Regards
paul
 
thanks. will run the setup without the controller and see what happens!
 
Back
Top