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Diatoms, BBA with High Light ?

eminor

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5 Feb 2021
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121
Location
France
Hello, I always thought that this type of algae appeared only under weak light, is it really this type of algae?

I also have BBA for a long time, it proliferates since I increased the flow of the pump, I started the estimated index method, I reduced the light by 15%, do i need to lower more ? thx

CO2 : 30 ppm
around 60 watts of led on 15 gallons

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plantnoobdude

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hi, please look into insufficient co2. and uneven flow/ unoptimised flow. too much light has never really caused diatoms or bba for me.
 

MichaelJ

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9 Feb 2021
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Minnesota, USA
around 60 watts of led on 15 gallons
@eminor as @plantnoobdude says you have to look into your CO2 situation including flow/distribution and dial that light way down in the meantime. When you get the CO2 situation under control, and the algae recedes, you may be able to dial it back up somewhat. And keep up those weekly waterchanges.

You should probably do a pH profile - you can find a lot of info about that and much more in the CO2 section

Cheers,
Michael
 
Last edited:

Tim Harrison

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I found that eradicating diatomaceous algae is a little counter intuitive and perhaps a contradiction of the usual algae eradicating advice.

Yes highlight does tend to burn it off and eradicate it, but only if everything else is well balanced, and that especially goes for optimizing CO2 flow and distribution. Without that you'll just add to your algae wows.

Even if the above is optimized, you'll probably still get different species of algae emerging, but they shouldn't become too much of a problem and you can then take appropriate measures to deal with each in turn.

BBA is mainly caused by excessive organics, make sure your filter is kept clean and that you keep up with water changes and regular maintenance.

 

ceg4048

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I also have BBA for a long time, it proliferates since I increased the flow of the pump, I started the estimated index method, I reduced the light by 15%, do i need to lower more ?
As noted by the other posters BBA is 100% related to poor CO2.
CO2 is a very complicated subject and it is THE single most misunderstood factor in planted tanks.

CO2 is not just a button that we press. It is a technique that requires study and practice, like playing a musical instrument.
It is a sad revelation that over 90% of problems occurring in a CO2 injected tank are actually due to poor CO2. EI dosing has nothing to do with solving BBA. There are two main categories of algae: 1) blooms due to nutrient starvation and 2) blooms due to poor CO2. Both are exacerbated by having two much light.

For example, how did you determine that you have 30ppm CO2? Another sad fact is that no one actually knows how much CO2 is being presented to the plants. About 90% of the CO2 we inject goes straight out the top of the tank, so we have to make an effort to distribute the CO2 efficiently so that as much of the remaining CO2 actually reaches the plants.

We also have to reduce the demand for CO2 by reducing the light intensity. 60 watts of LED over a 15 gallon tank is far over the top and damages the plants because they cannot uptake enough CO2 and nutrients to use them properly. If possible the light should probably be reduced to about 10 watts.

We also have to clean the tank and mechanically remove as much of the algae in the tank because algae in the tank produce algal spores, which then bloom as more algae - in an endless loop. AS mentioned, frequent MASSIVE water changes help to rid the tank of bothalgae, spores and decayed organic matter.

The need for efficient flow and distribution of that flow has led to the general rule of thumb that the filter and pumps should generally have a flow rating of 10X the tank volume. That flow needs to be distributed evenly. I cannot see how the output of the filter/pump is oriented so I cannot suggest any improvements.

The timing of when the light is turned on versus when the gas is turned on. We usually suggest that you measure the pH of the tank water with no CO2, i.e., take a sample and let it sit for an hour or so, then measure the pH. Your target pH before lights on should be 1 full unit lower.

For BBA, one tool that we have now that we have not had in the past is Excel or any Glutaraldehyde equivalent. The tank can be dosed up to 3X the bottle suggested dosing as long as you do not have sensitive plants such as Vallis, Riccia or any type of liverwort or bladderwort. The BBA will turn pink/purple and can be removed from hardscape. Any leaves affected by algae must be trimmed immediately as they will never recover and will only drag the plant down even further. If you do not solve your CO2 deficiency, however, the BBA will return.

I do not know if the algae on the glass is diatomic. It appears to me to be more likely some form of Green Dust Algae (GDA) which is a definite sign that light is too high and CO2 too low.

The method by which you dissolve CO2 also has to be investigated. Is it in-line or is it a stone mounted inside the tank? If it is mounted in the tank a standard technique to try is to place the stone near the filter inlet so that the gas gets sucked up into the filter. This then enables the filter to chew up the bubbles and to dissolve the gas more. CO2 bubbles is NOT what you want to see. Bubbles rise an leave the tank even sooner. We want to dissolve the gas so that it is in an aqueous state. That keeps it in solution longer and will be more available to the leaves.

A lot of work to do on that tank. Roll up the sleeves and get the hands wet.

Cheers,
 

eminor

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Thread starter
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5 Feb 2021
Messages
121
Location
France
As noted by the other posters BBA is 100% related to poor CO2.
CO2 is a very complicated subject and it is THE single most misunderstood factor in planted tanks.

CO2 is not just a button that we press. It is a technique that requires study and practice, like playing a musical instrument.
It is a sad revelation that over 90% of problems occurring in a CO2 injected tank are actually due to poor CO2. EI dosing has nothing to do with solving BBA. There are two main categories of algae: 1) blooms due to nutrient starvation and 2) blooms due to poor CO2. Both are exacerbated by having two much light.

For example, how did you determine that you have 30ppm CO2? Another sad fact is that no one actually knows how much CO2 is being presented to the plants. About 90% of the CO2 we inject goes straight out the top of the tank, so we have to make an effort to distribute the CO2 efficiently so that as much of the remaining CO2 actually reaches the plants.

We also have to reduce the demand for CO2 by reducing the light intensity. 60 watts of LED over a 15 gallon tank is far over the top and damages the plants because they cannot uptake enough CO2 and nutrients to use them properly. If possible the light should probably be reduced to about 10 watts.

We also have to clean the tank and mechanically remove as much of the algae in the tank because algae in the tank produce algal spores, which then bloom as more algae - in an endless loop. AS mentioned, frequent MASSIVE water changes help to rid the tank of bothalgae, spores and decayed organic matter.

The need for efficient flow and distribution of that flow has led to the general rule of thumb that the filter and pumps should generally have a flow rating of 10X the tank volume. That flow needs to be distributed evenly. I cannot see how the output of the filter/pump is oriented so I cannot suggest any improvements.

The timing of when the light is turned on versus when the gas is turned on. We usually suggest that you measure the pH of the tank water with no CO2, i.e., take a sample and let it sit for an hour or so, then measure the pH. Your target pH before lights on should be 1 full unit lower.

For BBA, one tool that we have now that we have not had in the past is Excel or any Glutaraldehyde equivalent. The tank can be dosed up to 3X the bottle suggested dosing as long as you do not have sensitive plants such as Vallis, Riccia or any type of liverwort or bladderwort. The BBA will turn pink/purple and can be removed from hardscape. Any leaves affected by algae must be trimmed immediately as they will never recover and will only drag the plant down even further. If you do not solve your CO2 deficiency, however, the BBA will return.

I do not know if the algae on the glass is diatomic. It appears to me to be more likely some form of Green Dust Algae (GDA) which is a definite sign that light is too high and CO2 too low.

The method by which you dissolve CO2 also has to be investigated. Is it in-line or is it a stone mounted inside the tank? If it is mounted in the tank a standard technique to try is to place the stone near the filter inlet so that the gas gets sucked up into the filter. This then enables the filter to chew up the bubbles and to dissolve the gas more. CO2 bubbles is NOT what you want to see. Bubbles rise an leave the tank even sooner. We want to dissolve the gas so that it is in an aqueous state. That keeps it in solution longer and will be more available to the leaves.

A lot of work to do on that tank. Roll up the sleeves and get the hands wet.

Cheers,
I tried to fix the flow, i use a 330 GPH pump in this 15 gallon tank using a spray bar, i filmed a video to try to show you how can i improve things ? thx


Google Photos
 

ceg4048

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Hi eminor,
I got an error when trying to access your link.
If you have a video link, copy the link, then, just at the top of your post, is a toolbar with an icon on the right which looks like two links of a chain. You can click that and there is a tab where you can paste the url of the video.
If it's a url to a photo then use the icon just to the right which looks like a picture fram with a mountain in it. There you can post the link of the photo. Either way, when you enter the link the image or video should appear straight away. If it doesn't then your link url is not valid.
1631426441917.png


Cheers,
 

eminor

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Thread starter
Joined
5 Feb 2021
Messages
121
Location
France
Hi eminor,
I got an error when trying to access your link.
If you have a video link, copy the link, then, just at the top of your post, is a toolbar with an icon on the right which looks like two links of a chain. You can click that and there is a tab where you can paste the url of the video.
If it's a url to a photo then use the icon just to the right which looks like a picture fram with a mountain in it. There you can post the link of the photo. Either way, when you enter the link the image or video should appear straight away. If it doesn't then your link url is not valid.
View attachment 174189

Cheers,
i tried to first put the spray bar on the back without success, co2 issues on the plants, i tried to put it on the side which is normally not a good way, there is insane new growth on plants, they grow so fast !! but it seems to be a dead spot as you can see on the video, the flow get reduces maybe because of the bucephalandra pot ?

video
 

Gorillastomp

Member
Joined
24 Jun 2021
Messages
38
Location
Canada,Quebec
Do you have a pump inside the tank ?

The flow seems to go from front to back while using a spray bar it should go from top to bottom

When you are using a spray bar on the back, it needs to be around the same length of the back glass. This is maybe why you have a better result on the side since its moving the entire length of the side water.

You sould place your co2 injector under the water filter inlet so the co2 is even more dissolved and distributed from spraybar. You will get a more evenly co2 enriched water around the tank.
 

eminor

Member
Thread starter
Joined
5 Feb 2021
Messages
121
Location
France
Do you have a pump inside the tank ?

The flow seems to go from front to back while using a spray bar it should go from top to bottom

When you are using a spray bar on the back, it needs to be around the same length of the back glass. This is maybe why you have a better result on the side since its moving the entire length of the side water.

You sould place your co2 injector under the water filter inlet so the co2 is even more dissolved and distributed from spraybar. You will get a more evenly co2 enriched water around the tank.
Not inside the tank, just a pump on the outlet of the filter that goes directly in the spraybar (around 250 GPH), i tried to put the spray bar on the back, the flow was low maybe too many holes (25 holes for 50 cm)
 
Last edited:

ceg4048

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Location
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i tried to first put the spray bar on the back without success, co2 issues on the plants, i tried to put it on the side which is normally not a good way, there is insane new growth on plants, they grow so fast !! but it seems to be a dead spot as you can see on the video, the flow get reduces maybe because of the bucephalandra pot ?

video
Yeah, like Gorillastomp mentions, try moving the diffuser so that the filter inlet sucks up the CO2 and spits it out into the spraybar. The pots do seem to be blocking flow. Maybe move them somewhere else if you can't attach them straight away.

Cheers,
 

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