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Falling out of love with my Trigon


18 Apr 2012
My Rio 180 is a brilliant algae-repelling low tech tank with sagi. sublata and mixed moss in it. Really enjoyable tank.

My Trigon 190 on the other hand, has a larger plant mass, shorter light duration, same water change, filter maintenance and fert dosing regime, and is a poster child for BBA.

I've tried a range of different flow layouts and flow velocities, have a measly 3 hour photoperiod with a pair of T8's, and still fail. I don't want to regularly dose Glut, or move to CO2.

Suggestions with tank-specific strategies that have worked? Giving serious thought to seeing if I can flog it and replace with a Rio 180 or 240.... :(
Hey rick, BBA will never go away by itself so you may have fixed the problem before now without realising.
The tufts can be manually removed but tend to grow back, the only real option is to spot dose glut onto the tufts each week at water change. It's a slow process but ultimately as long as the problem is fixed it won't grow back.
Having 3 hrs light is pretty low and is likely hurting the plants more than the algae.
Best of luck.
Hmm, ok (wonders if the flow change he did today is a bad idea!!).

Spot dosing is a real pig :(. Would SAE's be an option?
Spot dosing is a pain, in my crs tank I just did 2ml before each water change, can't see 20ml being an issue in a 190 low tech which should cover a fair bit. Using a hypodermic syringe means more coverage.

SAE's are good at halting progression and stopping the onset but they won't touch mature tufts until its dead.
BBA is one of the hardest algae to get rid of. Like Iain said, it doesn't go away on it's own. So first make sure it isn't growing anymore. This is the hardest part. A lot has been said about BBA and CO2/flow. IMO organics are the main key factor. By improving flow/CO2, plants grow better and less organics are excreted by the plants. But you can reduce organics without CO2 as well. Off course, still make sure your plants are doing fine. But besides that, lots of large water changes remove organics better than everything else. Small feeding amounts provide little organics to your tank that way. Removing every dead leave every day (the floating ones and the ones still on plants but not looking great). Vacuuming the substrate at a regular basis and keeping your filter clean (while maintaining the beneficial bacteria) and you'll notice BBA will stop growing.

Than kill it (H202, excel, manual removal, whatever) and make sure it doesn't come back by keeping your tank pristine as mentioned above. As you can see, this is not a one day cure and you'll need to keep up this routine a few weeks to see results, but it will improve the situation without CO2.

PS. About the lights, I think about 5-6 hours daily is the minimum for healthy plant growth, so keep that as a minimum. When BBA is gone, increase the duration slowly (half an hour a week) till 8-10 hours a day.
I've just 'discovered' that pink ramshorns (thanks frothhelmet :)) eat BBA. I had a plantlet covered in the stuff that I put in the tank with these snails and they've completely cleaned all the leaves. Not a solution and may not be an option as part of your clean up crew but if they are I'd recommend getting some.

Sounds like some SAE's might be a good on-going measure in conjunction with the other suggestions in here...

I've used red ramshorns in the past in another tank, but found that they bred like a plague, and it took me months to get rid of them, so I'll leave those thanks!

Interesting about the photoperiod being too low - I can't see any negative signs on the plants so could it be that my tank is suited to this, or are there hidden issues that I'm not seeing? Plants are all pretty slow growing - java fern, moss, anubias, sagi. sub. and stauro.