What exactly causes BBA? Part 2 - Bacterial imbalance

rebel

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Boys, any thoughts about lower temperature tanks vs BBA? Would the slower growth of plants also allow the algae to take over?
 

zozo

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I have 3 indoor aqauriums, 2 are heated, tho only set to 23°C.. Meaning if ambient temp is higher they are not heated, these 2 have fish etc. as life stock, both get fertilized and both had growing a degree of BBA regardless the temp i see no difference other than more BBA at debri collecting hotspots at the substrate. Cleaning out these hotspots declines BBA growth at these places. What baffles me most is 1 little 25 litre tank only stocked with shrimps and snails never fertilezed standing for a few years periods heated and periods not heated, it stands beside a window and has only natural light. It never even grew a spot of BBA, if i throw BBA infested plants in there they come out clean weeks later. At one time i also thought it might be temp related and BBA might be kinda tropical algae spp. And aLso all my outdoor setups i never find a speck BBA in it. But this temp idea went down the drain again after heating the small shrimp tank for a longer time than a few months. It still doesn't grow BBA, never fertilize it, never clean it, don't feed it it only gets a large water change and a panel rub about every 2 weeks.. It's completely mind boggling to my why the tanks getting the most maintenance attention grow BBA and the one neglected to the max doesn't and never did it even kills it..

The only thing that crossed my mind is the shrimp tank has a vast population of ostracods, codepods and nematodes etc. in it, because it doesn't get hunted. 1ml aquarium water under the microscope reveales a rather large number of micro fuana. Multiplying that 1ml to 25 litre it most be in the 1000nds in there..I see it with the naked eye..

The fish stocked setups have way less, undetectable with the naked eye at least. I guess it's eaten for the biggest part.. Dunno, but it might just add up the high numbers of micro fauna keeping algae growth at bay. :)
 
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rebel

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Thanka @Edvet and @zozo for the detailed response.

Its true that a single algae can predominate in certain setups.

The relationship of bba to light is complex as stated above. It can virtually linger and grow in the dark IME.

I am tweaking temperature in my tank to see how it affects it. Will report back .
 

zozo

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It can virtually linger and grow in the dark IME.
It certainly can.. In my larger low tech i have a truckload of wood with caves and shaded overhangs, lots a difficult to reach nooks and crannies overgrown with small Anubias. This tank has a lot of dead spots accumulating debri in the substrate under teh wood and its surrounding edges.. It shows as a light brown particle stacking up on the black substrate. BBA grows on the wood surrounded by this accumulation at the shaded caves entrance. Lowest light there is, substrate level in the shade. It explodes if i do not clean out the debri than it spreads over the substrate as well. It has a mixed substrate, gravel with smaller chunks of black crushed lava rock
, goes around as fuji sand. BBa loves to grow on porous lava and wood. Sometimes hard to see on blacj substrate, but i regularly syphon out gravel covered with bba, looking at it, its alway lava. This tank also has Caloglossa sp. as sneak in, also a rodophyta same as BBA. This algae sp. prefers dark shaded spots.. I have it all over the tank but always have search and dig into the dense planting bellow the anubias to find it. When i see it popping out at first glance i know there will be a lot down under hiding in the dark. It's easy to control, very brittle and easily syphoned out, but impossible to erradicate. Funny stuff rarely see it, but i know its there.. :)
 

tiger15

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What baffles me most is 1 little 25 litre tank only stocked with shrimps and snails never fertilezed standing for a few years periods heated and periods not heated, it stands beside a window and has only natural light. It never even grew a spot of BBA, if i throw BBA infested plants in there they come out clean weeks later. :)
I have similar experience as yours. I have a one gal planted shrimp bowl by the window (in the avatar) that has no heater, no filter, and no artificial light, just receiving 4 hour direct sunlight daily. The plants are lush with no trace of BBA from day one I set it up. I transferred some BBA infested plants from my big fish tank, and the BBA are gone in few weeks. I do not fertilize or do water change, except I top it with dirty water from my big fish tank regularly. Nitrate is always detected near zero. Occasionally I do negative WC by replacing a few ounze of clean water in the bowl with dirty water from my big fish tank.

The shrimp are rarely fed, and live on dead plant tissues, algae that I can't see, and biofilm. There are snails and variety of tinny critters crawling around. The bowl is totally free of algae of any sort that I can see. Is it UV from direct sunlight or insignificant bio load that keep BBA out.
 

zozo

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Is it UV from direct sunlight
Likely not, glass filters the majority of daylights harmfull UV, :) that's why we do not get a burn nor a tan from sitting in the sun behind glass, we only get hot. For the rest conserning UV lights as used in aqaurium and ponds it can kill free floating 1 cell organisme in the water column such as germs and free floating algae cells causing green water. Only if there is sufficient intensity and exposure time.. If both are not met it smiles and waves and swims by back to the tank. :)
 

rebel

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The tiny ostracods etc could have a significant effect though. I've heard of them destroying GSA in some tanks.

Any ideas on 'flipping' the tanks to another equilibrium and perhaps into a domination of algae that can be easily controlled such as GDA etc?
 

tiger15

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Likely not, glass filters the majority of daylights harmfull UV, :) that's why we do not get a burn nor a tan from sitting in the sun behind glass, we only get hot. :)
That isn’t true. Truck drivers who are exposed to glass filtered sunlight on one side have uneven tanning that has been demonstrated by X-ray of excessive skin damage on one side of the face.

Outdoor tubs also don’t get bba, but green water and other nasty algae. So there is suggestion that UV may have something to do with it.

The tiny ostracods etc could have a significant effect though. I've heard of them destroying GSA in some tanks.
?
ostracods can certainly take out GSA, but not bba as many bba infested tanks have ostracods too.
 

zozo

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There is UVA and UVB, glass filters about all UV-B and a part of the UV-A.. You wont get a tan nor a burn behind a window.. All tho, very long intensive sun exposure behind glass still bombards your skin with UV-A and can indeed lead to skin damage in te long run. UV-B is the most intensive an damaging wave length of UV light.

If it has a limiting effect on certain algae growth i can't say. As you say it's a suggestion. Who knows?... At least it doesn't always on green algae, because many outdoor pond owners still install an UV light to kill off green algae bloom in their ponds.. Obviously the sunlights UV only doesn't do the job in certain scenarios. But i wouldn't know, i never ever experienced green algae bloom in any of my setups, not outdoor not indoor. Maybe its the UV in combination with??.. :rolleyes: :thumbup:
 

ian_m

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Normal glass basically does not pass UV. Which is why UV equipment uses quartz glass.

This is why the halogen desk lamps (and all halogen lamps) have a single glass sheet in front of the quartz halogen bulb. There were issues, years ago with cheap imported halogen desk lamps with no glass and people suffered sunburn on back of their hands as well as paperwork being bleached.
 
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