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Old 12-14-2009, 11:48 AM   #1
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Fed up with BBA; Doing a complete tank tear down and rebuild - Need Advice

These past couple months ive been battling bad cases of staghorn algae and Black Brush Algae (BBA). The major changes in my tank recently that may have led to this outbreak are the following:

- Removed all Fast growth plants due to the trimming requirements (added a few back recently to see if this would help and it hasnt)
- Light bulbs are ~ 1 yr old (will be replaced during rebuild)
- Still dosing the same EI blindly even tho I removed the fast growers, however, my Nitrates test kit hasn't read above 30 ppm for any of my test.
- Removed several large fish from the tank (7" bala shark; 5" SAE, and 6" Silver Dollar) however the platys are now reproducing beyond control. I probably have 35 fish in the tank now (almost all small platys).

Tank Stats:
- 55 Gallon; 260 watt CF; pressurized c02; Daily EI dosing; Rena XP3 filter
-Nitrates are 10-30 ppm
-Nitrites & Ammonia are 0 ppm

Here is where i need advice. I was planning on removing all of the fish and placing them in a 40 gallon rubbermaid container with the canister filter running on it. Then i would remove all the plants, cutting off badly infected leaves, and dipping remainder of in a 1:20 water to bleach solution. I will also do the same dip for heaters, thermometers, driftwood, intake and outtake for the filter.

What do I do about cleaning the gravel and the filter contents? Do i worry about algae spores and growth there? I do have some BBA growing on the gravel.

Any advice from people who have gone through a tear down and rebuild will be greatly appreciated.

THANKS!!
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Old 12-14-2009, 12:38 PM   #2
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I just tore apart my tank and dipped all my plants Saturday. It's a lot of work, but it was worth it.

I'd think really hard about bleach-dipping driftwood. I'm afraid it would soak up the bleach and leach it into the tank. Be sure to rinse everything in a bucket with a lot of dechlorinator after you're done.

I'd scoop up the gravel with the BBA on it and clean it or dispose of it.
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:03 PM   #3
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I`ve started over a few times but it eventually keeps coming back. Sometimes I think it`s just better to find out the reason and treat. Starting over didnt help in my situation.
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:07 PM   #4
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is there nothing that will eat bba? i have it bad too, im following along for some ideas
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Old 12-14-2009, 01:10 PM   #5
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SAEs are supposed to eat BBA, assuming they're not fed too much to want the naturally-occuring food. I've seen mine nibble at it a bit, but I don't know if he's really making any progress on it. Only thing I've done to get ahead of BBA is trim bad parts of plants and dose with Excel.
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:25 PM   #6
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ive tried the dosing of excel and trimming and it just comes back. I fear there are spores in my filter/gravel.

My tank was algae free with this setup for years. I dont know happened. Here are some before pics:


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Old 12-14-2009, 02:54 PM   #7
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SERIOUSLY, There is NO way to kill this stuff. It has gotten so bad in my tank that it is clogging my filter. O man i am gonna have to completely break down my tank. This sucks.
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Old 12-14-2009, 02:56 PM   #8
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will a blackout work like it does with other algae?
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Old 12-14-2009, 04:10 PM   #9
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im thinking if it can grow in my filter spraybar, a black out might not work.

Admin - can you move this Planted Tank forum?...Didnt realize i posted in aquascaping
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Old 12-14-2009, 04:19 PM   #10
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Moved.

Good luck!
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