What exactly causes BBA?

Discussion in 'Algae' started by Zak Rafik, 29 Mar 2015.

  1. sciencefiction

    sciencefiction Member

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    No Zozo, not yet, but I won't be for a long while. I am getting by as it is.

    In terms of BBA, I haven't looked yet properly in that newly overstocked tank of mine. But it seems BBA hasn't spread it's paws yet. I had some micro deficiencies that I had to sort out and they were a sore to the eye, fairly obvious.

    Someone above mentioned decomposing driftwood. The one I took out from my BBA tank wasn't looking good. Parts of it fell off as it's pretty old, but there was not one bit of BBA on the driftwood ever that I saw. However, I think the organic waste it releases in a tank is pretty insignificant in the big scheme of things. Plus mine was a heaven for all my fish as a retreat.
     
    Zak Rafik likes this.
  2. Straight Shooter

    Straight Shooter Member

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    Be warned: 80% of this thread is as useless as mudguards on a tortoise. Learn who the imbeciles are early and completely skip over their posts or you'll end up severely agitated by the end. 27 pages could have been shortened to 10 pages easily.

    RE: Tom Barr. No one starting bashing Hoagland for the influence of his diluted solutions in this thread, no one tore pieces out of Sears and Conlin for PMDD ............. or "Edward" for PPS... in fact in CO2 terms, PPS recommends 20ppm in medium-high light because "Exceeding levels of 30 ppm doesn’t allow much of a safety margin." https://sites.google.com/site/aquaticplantfertilizer/home/co2-injection

    But no, it's all Tom Barr's fault.......... So damn boring to read over and over and over and over. Thanks kindly to those who stayed on topic, particularly the experienced guys who checked in occasionally and pushed things back on track.

    A very basic summary for the people just joining this thread (after wasting significant time reading this thread myself):

    - BBA is a pain. Even the tanks of expert level guys running well-oiled machines attract some BBA (even if only a small amount, and only occasionally). A few like Tom Barr etc seem to have defeated it through whatever unique environment they maintain in their setups.

    - BBA spores are everywhere, air, water, new substrate. It's useless trying to avoid introducing it.

    - Nobody could come to a definite decision on nutrient levels, including CO2. Different approaches work, but there are too many variables in aquariums to say that this CO2/nutrient level will prevent BBA in every case. CO2 mismanagement is different... anything that causes inconsistency or irregularity like leaks etc can definitely bring it on, but CO2 is not an algaecide, just another nutrient that needs to be provided adequately in line with your preference for setup (ADA, EI, PPS, MCL, Marcel G method.... whatever). CO2 won't kill BBA, but its correct application for your setup will prevent it.

    - Constantly annoy BBA. Trim, scrape, hit with Glut / H2O2...... whatever suits your routine. Just do it regularly in small amounts to avoid it establishing and to make maintenance seem easier. With good maintenance and a well balanced setup it should only ever be a minor annoyance.

    - Only one commonly available algae eater feeds on BBA, the Siamese Algae Eater. Other pickers like shrimp and ottos help to prevent it by disturbing surfaces, but won't eat it.

    - BBA loves flow. In nature it prefers fast flowing creeks and streams. You'll most likely find it in fast flow areas of the tank, but sometimes it'll also chill-out in the slow flow areas.

    - There seems to be some link with levels of dissolved organics, ammonia and BBA. No exact set levels for managing BBA, just that we should minimise the concentration of these two where possible with good maintenance and adequate stocking levels. Heavy feeding may be another factor here, so watch that also.....

    - BBA grows in high light and low light. If anything low light seems to reduce it's occurance, provided the tank is run well. It's unclear why exactly adding light or CO2 or both increases its occurance.

    - BBA looks cool under a microscope. Very alien.


    Apologies if I've forgotten anything. Now I'm planning to read BBA sticky number 2 and learn about bacterial imbalances. I sincerely hope the same imbeciles haven't ruined that thread too.
     
    Last edited: 10 May 2016
    rebel, Ben C, RisingSun and 3 others like this.
  3. sciencefiction

    sciencefiction Member

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    You read 27 pages of it, discarded it as "mudguards on a tortoise" and yet, your contribution to it is a summary of the thread. You seem to be underestimating the knowledge of people that have posted here, as what you said above is already painfully known and discussed over and over.The thread is about finding the missing link we don't know about. Obviously no one has been able to provide a consistent way of preventing BBA so I'll agree that at this point the thread is useless. Nothing new has been discovered.
     
    Manu likes this.
  4. Straight Shooter

    Straight Shooter Member

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    My summary is for people who don't want to read the entire thread. The summary came from the 20% that's actually relevant to BBA.

    Many of your contributions were good Sciencefiction, no love lost for you after reading the thread. I just wish you didn't encourage a certain imbecile by responding to their rubbish.......
     
    Ben C likes this.
  5. rebel

    rebel Member

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    Some of the concepts discussed here would take a pHD project to sort out properly. This thread could be used as a hypothesis generator for further testing...... Well some of it.
     
  6. burr740

    burr740 Newly Registered

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    Neglect is a main cause. Shying away from the grunt work like pruning, cleaning and water changes. Big mistake to go round in circles arguing nutrients and CO2 when sub par conditions and/or poor plant health can explain 90% of algae troubles.
     
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  7. maboleth

    maboleth Member

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    I agree. Even if that's not the main cause of BBA, neglect increases like 300% of BBA in the tank. Proper tank maintenance and EasyCarbo keep this dreadful algae at bay.
     
  8. Zak Rafik

    Zak Rafik Member

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    Hi guys,:)

    When I first started this post on 29th March 2015, I was battling BBA infestation all over my tank. It was growing/spreading like mad especially on my large drift wood which also happened to be my center piece in my tank.

    Soon it started to appear on rocks. Many rocks starting to be covered by BBA.
    During this period, I was doing 50 to 60% water changes twice a week on my 300 liters / 80 US gal tank which was not fun:thumbdown: (I kid you not).
    I was dosing Co2 like there's no tomorrow (drop checker showing yellow within 2 hours of lights on / uncountable bubble rates / fish gasping by the end of the photoperiod for the plants.

    During water changes, I would scrape off as much BBA from the wood and rock, snip off any leaves that could be hindering flow and used Hydrogen Peroxide for spot treatment.

    I started to lose interest in fish keeping and stopped enjoying this awesome hobby.
    Instead I got “trapped” in the wrong pursuit of getting the drop checker green and focusing only on algae issues. It got to point where I really loathed looking at my tank.

    The last straw that made want to attempt anything in my battle against BBA was when some of plants although "healthy" looking started to have BBA on them. (see photo below)

    Anyway that’s when I chanced upon the post titled The "One-Two Punch" Whole Tank Algae Treatment on plantedtank.net. I read from page to page (a total of 29 pages but as of today it has grown to 32 pages) and was very intrigued by the process.
    http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/2...treatment.html#/forumsite/20495/topics/203684

    (Just to make it clear, the above treatment does work BUT it's NO silver bullet. DO NOT expect miracles to happen. The ONE and ONLY target is to get the plants healthy which I believe Tom Barr would alway emphasis and I learnt it the hard way.)

    Honestly, I used to be skeptical of Tom Barr's posts when I first started into this hobby but that man was right on target all the while:angelic:)

    Anyway after reading and re-reading the "One-Two Punch" post, I said to myself “what the hack, let’s just do it”.

    And so I set out on the battle to fight BBA armed with all the things mentioned on that post.

    Guess who won? :rolleyes:

    Although I would love to finish this post, my Significant Other is breathing down my neck to switch of the computer. They always have the last say...don't they?:crazy:
    So good bye and cheers.:)



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  9. Zak Rafik

    Zak Rafik Member

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    Hi everyone,

    You can refer to the post for the exact procedure for The "One-Two Punch" Whole Tank Algae Treatment on plantedtank.net. The only extra step which I did which was not mentioned in the post was that I had the filters running throughout the treatment period. I did this with the hope that the hydrogen peroxide would kill the BBA and other algae related spores in the filter media. Now on hindsight I realized that was a big no-no. I found out that later much to my dismay.

    Anyway, the whole tank looked like freshly popped soda water bottle during the 1st treatment. There were tons oxygen bubbles coming from all over the tank, even from the substrate. It was quite a scary sight at first as I thought the fish and shrimps might jump out of the tank any moment. But luckily none did. In fact they did not even look the least agitated or concerned.

    The next day the tank looked awesome. The plants were pearling like mad. Over the next few days I saw a very dramatic change in the growth of plants. Plants that were struggling for weeks, were putting out new leaves. It was quite a sight. All BBA were turning whitish or pinkish. The next few days, on some wood and rock, there were hardly any BBA. All signs of BGA were also gone.

    For 3 days, I checked my water parameters and all was A OK. There was no fish, shrimp or snail casualties at all.

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  10. Zak Rafik

    Zak Rafik Member

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    However luck was not on my side.
    One of my Co2 check valves was badly leaking and I noticed this only after a week. So although the bubble count was as usual, the amount of Co2 getting into the tank was less.
    Although the plants were looking “great”, I saw something on the driftwood which made my heart sank.
    And as you might have guessed, yup, it was back!! BBA was back!!!

    Interesting I would always notice BBA making its appearance on the drift wood first and then it would spread to the rocks and finally to the plants.

    I thought since the first treatment went well, why not try again? And so I redid the treatment after 3 weeks from the 1st treatment. Now this what I should not have done so soon. After this everything was just downhill…..
    Again using the same amount of Hydrogen Peroxide and the same period of time, everything was proceeding as per the previous treatment BUT when I switched on the Eheim 2080 filter, there was this huge burst of air bubble that rushed out from the outlet lily pipes. I knew something was wrong but not what it was.

    The scene the next morning was not a nice sight.
    All of my 50+ red cherry shrimps, 4 nitrate snails were nowhere to be seen. That evening I saw many dead Neon tetras floating. Now I know that I have completely eradicated all the beneficial bacteria in my Eheim 2080 filter during the second attempt. It was like I was starting a brand new tank (a new nitrogen cycle in the tank)

    The over the next few days there were more dead fish. The tank water became cloudier by the day, Diatoms were found all over the tank, BGA started to take over the substrate. The tank started to look more and more pitiful. No amount of water change would help.

    And that’s when I decided I have had enough.
    I gave away the remaining fish and shut down the tank. It was not a nice feeling.

    So there you have it. BBA won! :(

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  11. Zak Rafik

    Zak Rafik Member

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    I just want to sell off everything and have nothing to do with planted tank but that's when I chanced upon the most helpful Podcast (Scapefu) by Art Pennom.

    From here, I got to know of some awesome & helpful guys like Jurijs mit JS and Jeff Miotke. After listening to Art Pennom, the passion to restart my planted tank was reignited.
    It’s such a pity that Podcast is no more.

    But there is one more Podcast channel which is just as awesome.

    http://aquascapingpodcast.com/

    For now I’m slowly gathering all the necessary info to restart my tank.

    The new journey begins…………..:cool:
     
  12. AndreiD

    AndreiD Member

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    Rafik , you lost the bacteria because you didn't remove the filter media from your Eheim filter .

    This treatment should be done without media filter and after water change you should put the media back in the filter .
     
  13. Zak Rafik

    Zak Rafik Member

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    Hi AndreiD :)
    You're right. The original post does mention that but I took the advice of a member from another forum to leave the media inside so that the spores would be destroyed.
    Anyway I have learnt a lot since then and still learning.
    Now on hindsight, I'm glad this incident did take place. After a few weeks,I hurt my right wrist badly so much that I couldn't lift anything. So in a way there was a blessing in all this.

    Cheers.
     
  14. aquamad

    aquamad Newly Registered

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    All the above has got me really confused .......but I do have a serious infestation which I am fighting.
    It is a 260ltr tank. Temperature is +/- 21c, lights 7 hours daily, CO2 7 hours but on/off 2 hours ahead of lights. One Daylight bulb and one nature bulb. I change 25% water weekly. I removed everything, chucked plants away, renewed substrate and gave thorough clean. restocked with super plants from Aquarium Gardens in Huntigdon but it is back so I really need to find the cause.
    I have now switched all lights and CO2 off for a few days and dosed with Eheim Algozid.
    I really don't know what has caused or how to get rid. Any simple experience steps would be welcome.
    I have kept tropicals for over 30 years and never had this problem before.
     

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  15. roadmaster

    roadmaster Member

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    Is new stuff for those new to it.:oops:
    I view this as gob's of info for the thoughtful mind, and best of all,, it's free.
    Pick and sort what may apply to me, and save the rest for future pondering's I might explore more thoroughly.
    Fought many a brave battle with all manner of algae for many year's when there weren't no internet, and scarce book's on aquatic gardening period.
    Not so new as I once was, and have found the knowledge here to have made all the difference.
    I can sift through that which does not apply to me or particular topic, but just think ,,what if none of it was to be found ? (I remember):banghead:
     
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  16. Sweded

    Sweded Member

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    The reason neglect causes BBA is high organics build up in substrate and filter which subsequently effects many lines of biochemistry in the tank.
     
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  17. craig mason

    craig mason Newly Registered

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    i have bba i plan to take out all my rocks wood and plants give tank a good clean and add fresh plants will this get rid of bba ???
     
  18. kadoxu

    kadoxu Member

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    Probably not... you need to find out what you're doing wrong.
     
  19. fablau

    fablau Member

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    That depends... If the main cause of BBA in your tank is neglect, organics or other "dirt" related issue, that might.... But if it is an imbalance of nutrients preventing your plants to grow well, it will reappear. I could make appear and disappear BBA several times back and forth by just adjusting my trace dosing. What kind of fertilizers are you using? How much do you dose?
     
  20. rebel

    rebel Member

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    Which trace?
     

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