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Stuck on causes of small outbreaks of BBA & GSA. Overstocking?

Bio_Chris

New Member
Joined
19 Jul 2020
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7
Location
West Yorkshire
Hi all,
I'm having a few issue (for a few months) with BBA and GSA on various plants, and struggling to identify what exactly is causing it? Any advise on things I could change would be highly appreciated.
I have recently upgraded my lights (Fluval Plant 3.0) and added extra filtration to deal with minor overstocking of greedy fish.
  • Fluval Roma 240L
  • 6 months old
  • Fluval 307 external (+ spray bar across whole tank) and U4 internal. Flow is good with the spray bar and extra flow from the U4.
  • Fluval plant 3.0 set around 60% with blue at 0% for around 6 hours with an hour ramp up and down
  • Sand substrate (needed for eartheaters)
  • CO2 dosing with bazooka diffuser (drop checker is green)
  • EI dosing with dry salt alternating days (aquariumplantfood.co.uk)
  • 60-70% water change every 6-7 days depending on work which includes vacuuming the sand where possible
  • I'm seeing most of the BBA on ferns and crypts. Most of the GSA is on slower growing anubias
Ideas:
  1. I'm tempted to up the light intensity thinking that the plants aren't getting enough light which could be allowing the BBA to take hold.
  2. More water changes? - maybe 50% every 4 days (2 days of macro and 2 days of trace with water change in evening of 4th day)
  3. Can't do anything about the hungry geophagus but maybe a better food to prevent uneaten food?
  4. More plants?
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Joined
20 Dec 2019
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444
Location
South Carolina
doesn’t seem like you have much flow with just the fluval 307, that’s a pretty big/deep tank. Plants look beautiful from that picture though. Can you take closer pictures of the problem areas?
 

Bio_Chris

New Member
Thread starter
Joined
19 Jul 2020
Messages
7
Location
West Yorkshire
Thanks! Since upgrading to the plant 3.0 (the only one available really for this tank) I’ve seen excellent growth but also the problems above.
The flow was pretty poor before I installed the spray bar - it’s difficult to see in pictures but the flow is quite good with some good (but not too much) surface agitation. Pictures attached.
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ceg4048

Expert/Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
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11 Jul 2007
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9,387
Location
Chicago, USA
I'm tempted to up the light intensity thinking that the plants aren't getting enough light which could be allowing the BBA to take hold.
This is the worst idea possible. A likely contributor to BBA and especially GSA is the addition of too much light.
More water changes? - maybe 50% every 4 days
Yes, more water changes are a good thing but is not the root cause.
  1. Can't do anything about the hungry geophagus but maybe a better food to prevent uneaten food?
  2. More plants?
None of these are relevant. The mechanism of BBA and GSA is a CO2 shortage caused either by excessive lighting and poor flow/distribution. A 240L excessively lit tank requires approximately 2400 L/hour of flow rating and that flow must be distributed properly and evenly. the pH drop due to CO2 addition should be approximately 1 unit by the time lights come on.

A Fluval 307, according to vendor data has a rating of approximately 780 L/Hour and I have no idea about the internal filter. From the photo it also appears that the flow output of the internal conflicts with the spraybar output further reducing their efficacies.

Cheers,
 
Last edited:

Bio_Chris

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Thread starter
Joined
19 Jul 2020
Messages
7
Location
West Yorkshire
Brilliant, thanks for the advice.

I plan on upgrading the filter eventually which should help with the flow rate. I believe the internal is about 600 LPH but that will be removed once I have a bigger external.
I’ll lower the lighting in the meantime

Regarding the flow from the internal - I’ll move it to the rear side so the flow is all in the same direction.
 

Wolf6

Member
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18 Dec 2014
Messages
450
Location
Netherlands
In my experience bba is always CO2 related, shows up in my tank when CO2 has run out and I didnt notice, the filter needed a clean and I'd been lazy so flow was lessened, that sort of thing. Now on the other hand, given your fish choices and plant choices, you could consider going low tech/lower lights as well.
 

tam

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Joined
5 May 2011
Messages
1,075
Have you tried just trimming off those old leaves and see if it reoccurs? It looks like it's on the oldest leaves that are probably already not in great condition. Might be you get rid of those and it's not really a big issue if you are seeing new healthy, rapid growth.
 

Bio_Chris

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Thread starter
Joined
19 Jul 2020
Messages
7
Location
West Yorkshire
In my experience bba is always CO2 related, shows up in my tank when CO2 has run out and I didnt notice, the filter needed a clean and I'd been lazy so flow was lessened, that sort of thing. Now on the other hand, given your fish choices and plant choices, you could consider going low tech/lower lights as well.
Yeah I installed the internal to help deal with the extra fish waste and organics - it has helped a lot - I had a spare external but didn't want to start hacking away the canopy to get the inlet/outlet in. Going low tech in the future is always an option - I think if we eventually get a large aquarium for the type of fish we have I'd go low tech.

Have you tried just trimming off those old leaves and see if it reoccurs? It looks like it's on the oldest leaves that are probably already not in great condition. Might be you get rid of those and it's not really a big issue if you are seeing new healthy, rapid growth.
Yep during water changes I trim off anything that has BBA on and it has kept it from getting worse. I'm hoping lowering the light intensity and keeping the aquarium clean will prevent it getting worse. Will also consider using excel.
 
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