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Old 05-14-2016, 05:31 AM   #1
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A years worth of Black Beard Algae Findings

So I have had a 20 Gal Planted with dirt for almost a year now.
It has always had traces of BBA.
The best thing I ever did to get rid of BBA was to cut those leafs. I almost had it wiped out.
Excel in the tank water did nothing.
Excel applied directly did work but the daily dose is to small to accomplish much.
Peroxide in the tank water did nothing.
Peroxide applied directly in a less then 3% solution worked but also burned the leaf.

I have been hearing the constant mantra of Water Changes on this issue for along time. The claim is that it is organics building up that cause the BBA to flourish. I decided to test it.
This tank has had periods of anywhere from 30% 2x a week to none for a month. It has also had periods of using a lot of organic removers such as activated carbon (ROX) and Purigen.

It made no major difference.

Just to really debunk this whole WC gets rid of BBA argument I decided to increase my WC to 60% 2x a week for 1 month as well as re implementing fresh Purigen.

Guess what......Didn't work. If anything I think I see tiny spots of it starting in places it never was before.

I also added 2 Amano shrimp which are said to eat BBA. Most people claim amazing results from adding one. I added 2 to my 20 gal. I do see them eating it. I do see a slight improvement in certain leaves after about a month. It would take a very long time to beat BBA this way. The one person I believe is a true expert on certain species based on experience is Rachel O' Leary. She is the one who sold me the Amano and even gave me a free one. She said she did not believe one would do much and recommends many more. I believe she is right at this point. I would want to have at least 10 to get this problem cleared up. Cutting leaves would probably be as good with a smaller number.
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Old 05-14-2016, 10:20 AM   #2
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It's strange how glut and peroxide sometimes work and sometimes don't.

With glut I find it a gradual affair to beat it.
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Old 05-14-2016, 11:17 AM   #3
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In my experience you have to apply them in high concentration directly to the affected area. Then wait a few days. It will turn red which means dead. Then fade away.

Just dosing up the water column with Excel seemed to have no effect. Even after months.

BTW I have been reading and listening to a lot of AGA material and it turns out that Excel is actually not Glut like everyone thinks.
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Old 05-14-2016, 11:39 AM   #4
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Adding Amano shrimp does not address the issue. Focusing on algae is not the right approach. Just focus on growing plants an you will get minimal algae.


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Old 05-14-2016, 06:36 PM   #5
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If I skip water changes I've noticed an increase in tufts of BBA primarily on the substrate and on the DW. Does it support the myth? I don't know. It's just an observation I've seen in my tank and in others' tanks first hand.
For short term treatment I've found that direct spot treatment with H2O2 or glut has been effective. Takes a few days for it to die off. I have not seen Amano shrimp touch it.
For water column treatment there is a method called the "1-2 Punch". Basically you are dosing a large volume of glut or H2O2 with the filters/pumps running and you follow it with a large WC. It is supposed to treat the entire tank as opposed to spot treating. It is a little too aggressive for my taste.


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Old 05-14-2016, 06:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarrod0987 View Post
In my experience you have to apply them in high concentration directly to the affected area. Then wait a few days. It will turn red which means dead. Then fade away.

Just dosing up the water column with Excel seemed to have no effect. Even after months.

BTW I have been reading and listening to a lot of AGA material and it turns out that Excel is actually not Glut like everyone thinks.

What was it out of interest?
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Old 05-14-2016, 06:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Fresh2o View Post
If I skip water changes I've noticed an increase in tufts of BBA primarily on the substrate and on the DW. Does it support the myth? I don't know. It's just an observation I've seen in my tank and in others' tanks first hand.
For short term treatment I've found that direct spot treatment with H2O2 or glut has been effective. Takes a few days for it to die off. I have not seen Amano shrimp touch it.
For water column treatment there is a method called the "1-2 Punch". Basically you are dosing a large volume of glut or H2O2 with the filters/pumps running and you follow it with a large WC. It is supposed to treat the entire tank as opposed to spot treating. It is a little too aggressive for my taste.


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I must admit that as poor PAR and expensive on bulbs the t5ho is; its absolutely fantastic to have hardly any BBA and not much green algae

(I think I have fish in my tank, I can't remember as all my time goes on plants.. &#128558
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Old 05-14-2016, 08:27 PM   #8
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What was it out of interest?
I guess it is what it says it is on the back of the bottle. Various people in that org have stated it is a compound that does not exist outside of that product. A custom chemical if you will. Something about similar to glut but modified polymer something something. Was over my head. Those conversations usually focus on how horrible and toxic glut is and how stupid aquarists are who use it. Then they will say Excel is less dangerous because it is way more diluted and in fact modified chemically. Still they don't like it.

I ran out months ago and have not seen much difference yet but It can be hard to judge these things without a proper control group.
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Old 05-14-2016, 09:12 PM   #9
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Adding Amano shrimp does not address the issue. Focusing on algae is not the right approach. Just focus on growing plants an you will get minimal algae.


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I have always focused on the plant health in this tank for about a year now. I have always had minimal algae as well so I guess that is true

My "Issue" is that I wanted to see if I could get rid of the last traces of BBA. Many tanks have none. Adding something to eat that seems like a way to address that issue to me I have seen them eating it, just not very fast.

I really like how adding Oto removes all the Brown Diatom and adding Rosy Barbs got rid of all the green hair. I tried adding SAE to get rid of all the BBA but he jumped out (Through a screen top) in a day. Oh, well.
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Old 05-15-2016, 03:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarrod0987 View Post
I have always focused on the plant health in this tank for about a year now. I have always shad minimal algae as well so I guess that is true



My "Issue" is that I wanted to see if I could get rid of the last traces of BBA. Many tank shave none. Adding something to eat that seems like a way to address that issue to me I have seen them eating it, just not very fast.



I really like how adding Oto removes all the Brown Diatom and adding Rosy Barbs got rid of all the green hair. I tried adding SAE to get rid of all the BBA but he jumped out (Through a screen top) in a day. Oh, well.

From my experience there does seem to be some correlation between BBA and decaying organics. It readily grows on wood and is always littered with waste as if in the areas where there are flow dead spots and the waste congregates. Just altering your flow pattern creates a new spot where the waste gathers.


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Old 05-15-2016, 04:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jarrod0987 View Post
I guess it is what it says it is on the back of the bottle. Various people in that org have stated it is a compound that does not exist outside of that product. A custom chemical if you will. Something about similar to glut but modified polymer something something. Was over my head. Those conversations usually focus on how horrible and toxic glut is and how stupid aquarists are who use it. Then they will say Excel is less dangerous because it is way more diluted and in fact modified chemically. Still they don't like it.

I ran out months ago and have not seen much difference yet but It can be hard to judge these things without a proper control group.
I have wondered if it is slightly different. I've assumed that the general structure would be the same but not sure.

I confess I still have doubts on long term use of glut if it is an issue or not.
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Old 05-15-2016, 04:36 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Caliban07 View Post
From my experience there does seem to be some correlation between BBA and decaying organics. It readily grows on wood and is always littered with waste as if in the areas where there are flow dead spots and the waste congregates. Just altering your flow pattern creates a new spot where the waste gathers.


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I have heard a lot of people say it likes to grow on there wood. I used to believe it only ever grew on plant matter but a few months back I saw video of a tank with the most BBA I have ever seen and no plants in it. It gets regular large water changes but for some reason still very high in nutrients. Yet my tank has low nutrients and still has BBA here and there. Such a tricky algae. Fascinating.
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Old 05-15-2016, 04:38 AM   #13
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I have wondered if it is slightly different. I've assumed that the general structure would be the same but not sure.

I confess I still have doubts on long term use of glut if it is an issue or not.

I forgot to mention:
I have never used Glut but have been told it has a very strong smell and that vapor is very very toxic. Excel does not have this effect, although I have not tried to smell the bottle due to it's potential toxic nature. People say you can smell the glut as soon as you take the cap off.
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Old 05-15-2016, 09:07 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by jarrod0987 View Post
I have heard a lot of people say it likes to grow on there wood. I used to believe it only ever grew on plant matter but a few months back I saw video of a tank with the most BBA I have ever seen and no plants in it. It gets regular large water changes but for some reason still very high in nutrients. Yet my tank has low nutrients and still has BBA here and there. Such a tricky algae. Fascinating.

Algae is a tough nut to crack. There are so many hypothesis, methods, beliefs with them even though we only tend to be affected by half a dozen types considering how many there are we still really don't know. It's nice to have someone so dedicated to try and find out.

So far I have defeated both BBA and BGA by tending the plants. Good flow, better oxygenation, more nutrients, improved cleaning and large frequent water changes, decent co2 and distribution, reduced flow dead spots, good light. It all benefits plants and in turn reduces algae. It is a fascinating topic.


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Old 05-15-2016, 10:43 AM   #15
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A years worth of Black Beard Algae Findings

Quote:
Originally Posted by jarrod0987 View Post
I forgot to mention:

I have never used Glut but have been told it has a very strong smell and that vapor is very very toxic. Excel does not have this effect, although I have not tried to smell the bottle due to it's potential toxic nature. People say you can smell the glut as soon as you take the cap off.

Yes, pretty much I can smell it just taking the lid off. The product I get here is 10% which is even more concentrated than normal.

Have you got any links on toxicity? I see lots of chatter about this but few studies quoted on exactly how dangerous it can be for long term use?
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Old 05-15-2016, 01:15 PM   #16
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Yes, pretty much I can smell it just taking the lid off. The product I get here is 10% which is even more concentrated than normal.

Have you got any links on toxicity? I see lots of chatter about this but few studies quoted on exactly how dangerous it can be for long term use?
I used too but I think it has scrolled way to far down on FB I know who posted it. Will see what I can do.
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Old 05-15-2016, 09:54 PM   #17
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https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/htdocs/st_rpts/tox025.pdf

Effects of glutaraldehyde exposure on human health. - PubMed - NCBI
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Old 05-16-2016, 12:32 AM   #18
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Some people I have seen with tons of BBA keep water very clean, one in particular, weekly large pwc but huge crop of BBA. Observation.

I used to have a little BBA and the SAE would keep it mowed down a few tufts, 2 full sized 6inch SAE in a 72G.

Now, there are 4 young ones in the tank (the 2 older ones perished a couple years ago in the pH crash). After the 2 were gone I found several tufts which I scraped off and seemd to not really come back. Was also dealing with pH lower than 6.2 probably less than 6.0 pH for months.

There is a section of tufts (3/4 inch - ~2cm) in the middle of where my FX-5 out flow blasts, on roots attached to the big DW, and a tiny tuft I scraped off on the edge of the DW - same very large piece but maybe 10" from the other part. Not eaten and still crowing, but I scraped off the further one and now I see the one on the roots.

SAE presently not eating it from what I can tell (or it wouldn't be there).

Tank has infrequent pwc, about every 2 weeks - 33% - no ferts but plenty of fish foods.

My experiences, fwiw

Planning on getting this tank set up with a auto water changing system soon. Then we will see if there are any differences. Probably a month or so away from getting it set up though.
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Old 05-16-2016, 01:21 AM   #19
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Was also given this: Not sure of the source.

2-Week Inhalation Study in F344/N Rats

All males and females in the 5.0 ppm and 16.0 ppm groups died or were killed moribund before the end of the study (Table 3). All animals in the 16.0 ppm groups died on Day 4 of the study; 7 of 10 rats (3 males, 4 females) in the 5.0 ppm groups died on Day 5, and the remaining animals in the 5.0 ppm groups (two males, one female) died on Day 9. Body weight gains of rats in the 0.16 ppm and 0.5 ppm groups were similar to those of controls. Body weight gain for male rats in the highest surviving exposure group (1.6 ppm) was negligible. Female rats in the 1.6 ppm group showed a
slight weight gain during the first week of exposure, but they had lost substantial body weight by the end of the study. Chemical-related clinical signs of toxicity were observed in the 1.6 ppm, 5.0 ppm, and 16.0 ppm groups and included labored breathing, ocular
and/or nasal discharge, mouth breathing, and rough haircoat; respiratory difficulties and ocular and nasal discharge were observed immediately after exposure to 5.0 ppm or 16.0 ppm glutaraldehyde. No clinical signs were observed in rats exposed to
glutaraldehyde at concentrations of 0.5 ppm or lower.
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:15 AM   #20
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Thanks for the links. I have cut out dosing glut the night before a water change the next morning just in case.

I think for refilling the bottle I use I'll start wearing a mask.
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