What exactly causes BBA?

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

  1. Jose

    Jose Member

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    I totally agree! He might be wrong. And so might the next theory that comes around.

    But what people think are wrong theories in this case is just that they dont fully understand them which is a totally different thing. This has been the case 100% of times since nothing has been falsified. Maybe I should say 99.9%.
     
  2. Rahms

    Rahms Member

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    he gave you a link...
     
  3. Marcel G

    Marcel G Guest

    I don't understand your standpoint. It seems like you decided to believe Barr for some reason (unknown to me). Please, are you able to tell me why 95% of algae problems are caused by wrong CO2 management? Do you have any arguments for it ... except for telling me that you just believe it? Are you able to critically think of it? What exactly happens when you lower the CO2 levels which causes algae to interfere? And why the algae don't bloom also at high CO2 levels? Barr has 50-70 ppm CO2 in his main tank. Do you know what CO2 concentrations algae love the most? Do you think light is the only parameter which helds algae at check? There are so many questions, but just one universal mantra for all: "raise the CO2 level". Why? "Just do it". Sorry, but I don't buy it.
     
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  4. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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    Hi all,
    I'm with "ardjuna" on this one, I'm not convinced. Although with the proviso that I don't have any scientific data to back it up with, and I've never run a high tech. tank.

    Before I joined this forum I wouldn't have believed that EI could work, but it soon became obvious that there was "sweet spot" of light where high tech. gave you fantastic results.

    I still struggle with a mechanism for why you don't get a huge growth of "Green Algae" (Chlorophyta), as they are very similar to all the other green plants (they all in the clade "Viridiplantae" ) in terms of their physiology.

    There is a thread (I can't find it) with a good discussion, but it is the one which this chart came from which :
    chartenglish.jpg
    cheers Darrel
     
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  5. ourmanflint

    ourmanflint Member

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    One thing I would like to say in all these discussions is that tanks without fish in them or few fish, will behave very differently to tanks with fish, especially when you feed them reasonable well.
     
  6. Jose

    Jose Member

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    Ill try to answer all your questions.

    I dont necessarily believe it has to be 95% of cases. But in most cases if using EI co2 problems come from poor co2 management which includes many things. Problems can come from many more things yes.


    I dont know what happens and neither do you or T Barr. Hes theory is that if plants suffer (even if we dont realize it) then algae can sense it. It sounds possible to me. Can you offer another theory? Can you prove him wrong? Why should I think this might be wrong?


    Not sure what you want to know from me here. I dont know any of this because I dont know a thing about algae. Why? Well because in theory (and IME) if you keep healthy plants you wont get algae.

    Its the main one. As mentioned before its not the only way. You can manage by light limitation or phosphates limitting mainly.

    I think you have to be quite open minded for all this to make sense at first. If you start off with a biased theory then youll never get there. Not saying its impossible for Tom Barr to be wrong (obviously not).
     
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  7. Jose

    Jose Member

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    Darrel:
    I really see a huge difference between a CO2 injected tank a non CO2 one. Why? I think that in a CO2 injected tank plants need to adapt because CO2 is not even near constant. Even a small change in flow changes CO2 levels. This is a big problem for plants since they have a really hard time adapting. Its really hard to isolate the co2 variable when its the hardest one to keep constant.
     
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  8. EnderUK

    EnderUK Member

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    That was tongue in cheek, I'm not really sure many people on this forum ignore science, me I don't really know much about chemistry or biology but when it all comes down to it they're just a branch of physics anyways ;). However you can't really review a study on algae growing in a massive lake too that of tiny environment pumped with artificial light, co2 and nutrients. Tom Barr's studies, and he has done studies, show that if you have unlimited CO2 and nutrients and you can get the CO2 and nutrients to where the plant needs them through water flow then you can control growth via light intensity as shown by Darrel's very nice graphs. He even says that most high tech tanks only require about 3/4 of what he has as an estimate. Does this really explain why tanks that get the balance right don't grow algae? No not really.

    Maybe your tanks are just below the critical point in the balance. You have plenty of flow in those tanks so maybe that's why your tanks require less ppm of everything. Beautiful tanks btw.
     
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  9. Marcel G

    Marcel G Guest

    Please, do you have any of these studies available for me to read? (I mean it sincerely. I'm not lucky enough to find any, except Barr reports which are actually not Barr's studies but rather excerpts from some textbooks.)
     
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  10. Andy Thurston

    Andy Thurston Member

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    I'm just going to throw this in the mix and perhaps I should add ardjuna to the experts. heres a quote I posted in another thread
     
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  11. Marcel G

    Marcel G Guest

    I have already mentioned this "another theory", although I'm not sure how it can help you in your quest for "easy maintenance tank". This theory says that algae in our tanks have everything they need to grow => especially in EI tanks (high nutrients level, high light, good distribution). So why don't they grow? Based on what I read, found out myself and heard from the algologists, I think that the main reason why algae don't grow well in our tanks is that there are some strong factors which inhibit them → like algae-eaters, frequent water changes, maintenance, relatively short photoperiod, huge amount of plants [+ fast growth means algae don't attach to plants so easily] and small amount of critters etc. You can compare it to the physical laws: law of the gravity vs. law of the "human strength". If you take an apple and stretch your hand, your strength will overcome the force of gravity initially. But finally the gravity will win and the small apply will make your hand get down. In a similar way, I see it with algae in our tanks. Under normal conditions (laws) the algae should win (like the law of gravity). But due to our frequent water changes, good filtration, careful maintenance, lot of algae-eaters, short photoperiod etc. the strength of these factors overcomes the algae. As long as you have this "power" in your tank and this power is strong enough to hinder algae, you have an algae-free tank. But in every moment you are at the risk of some bigger and more powerful law to come in and rein ... the law of gravity (algae). I say it just for you to know that I'm not someone who only criticise others. But I don't want you to blindly believe it.

    Once I tried to gather all the opinions on what can suppress algae (http://web.archive.org/web/20140827...-akvarium.cz/en/index.php?id=en_algaeSuppress). It is quite good collection of arguments which can help you in your quest for finding truth (in case you are interested in finding truth rather then finding some easy way to success in the planted aquaria hobby). Each argument has it's counter-argument. It seems like nothing is so easy.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 30 Mar 2015
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  12. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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  13. Jose

    Jose Member

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    Hi Ardjuna. I totally agree with your so called theory. I even dare to say that Tom will agree with you in that all you mentioned has an impact on algae. So? This is pretty common sense IMO.

    Algae eaters
    Photoperiod
    water changes
    etc all help reduce the algae.

    I think you say without all these algae will come. Yes, but this will happen with whichever theory you choose or make for a high tech tank. This doesnt explain anything new.

    Now I can also say that:
    w/o water changes or algae eaters algae can still not appear in a low tech.

    You havent really said anything new IMO.

    Are you saying that for T Barrs theories to be acceptable then he should eliminate all these variables? So, he must have a tank w/o water changes, 14 hour photoperiod, and no circulation? Well I can tell you thats not gonna work whoever does it.
     
  14. EnderUK

    EnderUK Member

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    Oh you mean papers? Well I don't think he's written any papers, have you read some of his stuff? His grammar is almost as bad as mine.
     
  15. alto

    alto Member

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    Some of the most extraordinary algae I've ever seen was in a low tech soil based tank (run by someone that was very outspoken (& knowledgeable) in that style of tank), algae crew included japonica shrimps (what they were called at the time ;)) & otocinclus & SAE (proper) - zero water changes since tank set up, open tank so water level was topped up as needed ... tanks ranged from 6 months to a couple years post setup - I decided then & there I'd never attempt that sort of soil based tank :eek:

    :lol:
     
  16. Jose

    Jose Member

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    I never liked those either Alto;). But there are many more options now.
     
  17. Jaap

    Jaap Member

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    So no answer on whay exactly causes bba? Bummer!
     
  18. sciencefiction

    sciencefiction Member

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    I have somewhat hard water, ph 7.4, Gh around 12-13, Kh about 8. I've only had BBA on and off in just one tank and it's my overstocked low tech tank mostly because of poopy type fish, common plec, clown loaches, etc..And I have 4 other tanks with exactly the same stats. And all tanks get 50% water change weekly with water that comes out loaded with CO2, like a soda pop, and that must be changing the co2 levels in my non-co2 tanks each week for a day but was never a cause for any algae including bba. Many used to claim that not changing the water in a low tech BBA tank will stop the BBA, or changing water will cause BBa due to changing co2 levels, which is a lot of bollix.

    Only my overstocked tank ever got BBA and my theory is organic load. For the same reason high tech tanks suffer more BBA because of the high light/co2/nutrients and fast plant growth cause high organic load. When the organic load is high, normally the KH drops too and thus the Ph as well eventually. So there maybe a correlation and African Rift Lake tanks have to be kept with high Ph and KH. But I just think it's most to do with organics and acidification that follows in an overloaded tank.

    Well I've seen it with my own eyes...green spot algae starved off for iron. My plants were bleached too at the same time though :) I have hard water and have to add lots of iron to make it available for the plants otherwise they just go white. When I add the iron, the ugly green spots wake up too :) But my soil tanks with mixed red clay have no such issue and green spot is too never existent as there's no iron in the water column for too long for some reason.
     
  19. Jose

    Jose Member

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    Because plants are suffering (even if we cant see it) due to its co2 demand not being met. I also agre that organics playing a role.
     
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  20. Marcel G

    Marcel G Guest

    I just don't understand how can it happen in planted tank with CO2 supply that the CO2 demand of our plants not being met? Do you know that in many areas of amazonia there is about 10 ppm CO2 in water and the aquatic vegetation is just marvelous? So how can it be that our aquatic plants (many of them being from amazonia) need more that this to grow well? It seems to me that you constantly juggle with arguments according to how it suits you best. Try to explain how can plant grow well under 10 ppm of CO2, 1500-2000 µmol PAR and huge quantity of nutrients which constantly supply the plants with all they need.
    BTW, just from the curiosity I would like to know, if you think there can be plants which are perfectly healthy, yet infested by algea? I see a lot of such cases, so I would like to know how do you explain it (if you even admit that somethink like healthy plant covered by algae can exist).
     

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