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What exactly causes BBA?

Joined
26 Feb 2013
Messages
3,394
Let's revive this thread :lol:

It is not an "imbalance" of nutrients or any sort of fancy term that causes BBA. It is a constant stream of organics, be it in the form of a tank full of unhealthy plants for one or another reason, or simply some wood with bark left on it that slowly decomposes, substrate issues, overstocked tanks, uneaten food, any instance of those or a combination,...etc...etc....
Add to that some good flow(it loves flow) and some extra light for it to grow...But the first trigger is organics and BBA will appear in quite the low light..and flow if it attaches to something it can feed on...or the water provides the same source of organics....

To sum it up, think of where the source of organics might be coming from in your particular tank :)
 
Last edited:

fablau

Member
Joined
1 Jan 2015
Messages
156
Location
Laguna Niguel, California (USA)
Let's revive this thread :lol:

It is not an "imbalance" of nutrients or any sort of fancy term that causes BBA. It is a constant stream of organics, be it in the form of a tank full of unhealthy plants for one or another reason, or simply some wood with bark left on it that slowly decomposes, substrate issues, overstocked tanks, uneaten food, any instance of those or a combination,...etc...etc....
Add to that some good flow(it loves flow) and some extra light for it to grow...But the first trigger is organics and BBA will appear in quite the low light..and flow if it attaches to something it can feed on...or the water provides the same source of organics....

To sum it up, think of where the source of organics might be coming from in your particular tank :)

Sorry to contradict you, but as I wrote earlier, for me BBA appears only when I have nutrient issues. Nothing about organics for me. I am saying this for those folks that, like myself, tried everything either Co2 side or organics side with no luck for years, to find out that BBA on their Anubias was caused only by the lack of some nutrients and imbalanced nutrients (i.e. CSM+B with inert substrates and high pH, and similar issues).

In other words: it is true that bad distributed, fluctuating, or low Co2 can cause BBA. It is also true that high organics can cause BBA. But it is also true that unhappy plants due to nutrients issues can cause BBA as well.
 
Joined
26 Feb 2013
Messages
3,394
Sorry to contradict you, but as I wrote earlier, for me BBA appears only when I have nutrient issues

Unhappy plants leach organics from the damaged tissue to which the BBA is attracted to. The damage is not always visible to the naked eye. Why the plants are unhappy is a variable. It could be anything, from too little to too much light, to nutrient deficiencies and CO2 issues, etc...At the same time the source of organics could be something else and not the plants, hence unplanted tanks can have a BBA outbreak.
 

fablau

Member
Joined
1 Jan 2015
Messages
156
Location
Laguna Niguel, California (USA)
Unhappy plants leach organics from the damaged tissue to which the BBA is attracted to. The damage is not always visible to the naked eye. Why the plants are unhappy is a variable. It could be anything, from too little to too much light, to nutrient deficiencies and CO2 issues, etc...At the same time the source of organics could be something else and not the plants, hence unplanted tanks can have a BBA outbreak.

Thank you for clarifying what you meant, I agree with you 100%. It is important to understand the difference between having organics being the primary cause, and having organics being the secondary cause. As you explained very well above. Thank you again.
 

Zeus.

Fertz Calc Meister
Joined
1 Oct 2016
Messages
4,353
Location
Yorkshire,UK
Was chatting with Tim Harrison about his Return of the Shallow and his fert regime. He doses a 'Luxury' dose as he finds it gets better growth, not that his tank was suffering from BBA, but by the same rule it's also what Clive and T Barr in a way advise with EI dosing ie.Nutrents in excess at non toxic levels gets the optimum plants growth, don't fight aglea aim for healthy plant growth and aglea isn't a problem.
Hence I am in the Luxury EI dosing ATM also, or would be if I wasn't on holiday.
 

tiger15

Member
Joined
14 Mar 2018
Messages
750
Location
USA
I believe in allelopathy. Before I had plants, I had to struggle with bba on rock and hard surfaces in my fish only tank. I had to take rock out to cleanse bba with bleach from time to time. I had bba even on gravel that I couldn’t do anything about. After I introduced plants and balanced out with healthy plant mass, bba disappeared in plants, rock and all hard surfaces despite higher nutrients and light intensity. So there must be agents released by healthy plants to inhibit bba attachment on plants and the environment.
 

ruairimcq

Seedling
Joined
3 Sep 2020
Messages
21
Location
Ireland
Found this forum and thought I'll get some info on treating black hair and green hair algae but it's a minefield in here with all the different ideas.

Had some problems with hair algae in my first planted tank. Pulled out most of the plants and started again with a new light. The Fluval Planted Bluetooth one. Currently using a tropica plant growth system which I hope to upgrade to solenoid based set up soon. I'm trying to carpet with elocharis parvula and seeing some growth and runners but, only on this plant at the fore of the tank I'm getting hair algae. Substrate is tropica aquasoil. I intend to try spot treating with liquid carbon during water changes once per week but the hair algae is still developing. Until now I've not been adding nutrients because I felt it was not helping. Now I intend to add a very small amount every other day. I'll feed one fish one day and plants the other. My next plan is to start trimming back the carpet that had hair algae attached if this doesn't show down soon.

There are snails but no shrimp in this 100 litre set up as I've got an apisto in there.

Any tips going?

Cheers

Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk
 

lilirose

Member
Joined
13 Aug 2020
Messages
288
Location
Ireland
My recent experience with BBA:
I have a low tech, low flow jungle tank with a little BBA growing among the moss- not really a big deal in that particular tank.

A few weeks ago I took some moss trimmings from that tank and moved them to a new tank which has very high flow. At the time, I had no CO2. The BBA went insane in the new tank, and did not respond to dosing with Easylife Carbo. It died back a little when I dosed the tank with H2O2, but so did the Monte Carlo I was trying to carpet the tank with. :oops:

I added a bio CO2 kit which basically did nothing, then I added pressurized CO2 about a fortnight ago. The BBA appears to be gone. It was starting to overgrow some anubias "pangolino" and I was afraid I'd ruined the whole tank but CO2 did the trick for me- I didn't even have to remove any leaves from the anubias in the end.
 

ruairimcq

Seedling
Joined
3 Sep 2020
Messages
21
Location
Ireland
Thanks.

Tank is an Aquaone nano 60. 600mm with built in filter at the back.
See pics for light, Fluval Planted 3.0
Substrate is tropica aquasoil only
Using a tropica plant growth system that puts in 22 bubbles per minute continuously. I know this needs upgraded to solenoid based system.
Using seachem Flourish but only recently. Water change once every 5 to 7 days.
I didn't record plant names, hopefully the pic can show. The names I do know are elocharis parvula, bacopa
Stock is one apistogramma, neons, galaxy raspbora and a small rainbow I forget the name of. Batman snails x 3 and devil's thorn snails.
dbf19303a3c34e2da14e240300fdfc7b.jpg
c88cda861cb776d25a64105fc2e5c525.jpg
7ec42cd748d0cc6a6505ad05e170cfd3.jpg
13aa6e86a428f7ed62773aeee940a52c.jpg


Sent from my ONEPLUS A6003 using Tapatalk
 

jaypeecee

Member
Joined
21 Jan 2015
Messages
2,370
Location
Bracknell
Hi Everyone!

In my opinion, @sparkyweasel has summarized planted tanks in a nutshell:
...your plants need nutrients to thrive and compete with the algae, and the light, nutrients and CO2 need to be balanced. Algae are adaptable and can thrive when they are not so well-balanced.

That's the challenge and no two tanks are the same. And the challenge is (a lot) greater with so-called 'high tech' tanks - IMHO. Lighting calls the shots.

JPC :)
 
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eminor

Member
Joined
5 Feb 2021
Messages
286
Location
France
As i said in another topic, i had a tank which i did the minimum with it, i had diy co2, only sand, i used easy life profito a bit once a month or every two month. I did extra cold water change, the co2 was really inconsistent, the filter was so small, i even removed filter media in it for months, it should've crashed, nope, strongest tank i ever had, now i act like the tank is a baby and i'm having lots of trouble with algae,i never had BBA until i tried really high tech stuff
 

erwin123

Member
Joined
4 Mar 2021
Messages
579
Location
Singapore
As i said in another topic, i had a tank which i did the minimum with it, i had diy co2, only sand, i used easy life profito a bit once a month or every two month. I did extra cold water change, the co2 was really inconsistent, the filter was so small, i even removed filter media in it for months, it should've crashed, nope, strongest tank i ever had, now i act like the tank is a baby and i'm having lots of trouble with algae,i never had BBA until i tried really high tech stuff
based on your current journal, you are growing mainly difficult/advanced level plants in your new tank. In your older tank, I doubt you were growing Furcata, Tuberculatum, Wallichii, etc with DIY CO2 so maybe you need to factor this in to explain why your new tank is more challenging than your old tank.
 

eminor

Member
Joined
5 Feb 2021
Messages
286
Location
France
based on your current journal, you are growing mainly difficult/advanced level plants in your new tank. In your older tank, I doubt you were growing Furcata, Tuberculatum, Wallichii, etc with DIY CO2 so maybe you need to factor this in to explain why your new tank is more challenging than your old tank.
true, the hardest was hemianthus cuba in my older tank. but still, i have fast growing easy plant in my new, i don't understand why i never got bba in the older
 
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