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Old 04-02-2016, 04:27 PM   #1
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Mental Illness and Water Testing :D

Thought I would post pics of my test kits. I don't know what it is but I am just fascinated with aquarium chemistry. Especially when it comes to trying to figure out what type of algae likes what conditions.







Here is a pic of my Algae test tank.


I try adding all the things associated with algae to see what kind grows. Then I see if doing the usual advice gets rid of it or not. I have learned a lot since I have been dormant the last few months. For one thing I was wrong about phosphate in freshwater LOL. It's only a problem when there is a lot of nitrate as well. Seems like a multiplier. By itself not a problem and seems to help in some cases. Nitrate, on the other hand, turned out to be a much bigger deal then I thought. I also found out how to keep a FO FW aquarium that removes around 3.35 ppm of nitrate per day on it's own but the effect was not what I expected.
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Old 04-03-2016, 12:43 AM   #2
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I wouldn't call it a mental illness exactly, but . . .can you say OCD? Feel free to come test my tanks any time though.
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Old 04-03-2016, 12:57 AM   #3
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If you want to know about something specific in your water PM me. Maybe I can help.
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Old 04-03-2016, 01:14 AM   #4
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How about black beard algae? Would be nice if you could shed some light on what you think cause it.i had stable water conditions for a long time and it just came out of nowhere.
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Old 04-03-2016, 01:41 AM   #5
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How about black beard algae? Would be nice if you could shed some light on what you think cause it.i had stable water conditions for a long time and it just came out of nowhere.
I have been putting a lot of time into this. I can tell you that various Nitrate and Phosphate levels have not helped at all. I have consulted with many many experts on this. Here is the best info I have for you.

The spores seem to hitchhike in. Mostly on plants. Not in water from the sink or in the air. Many people now will dip any new plant in a solution of 20 parts water and 1 part bleach for 2-15 minutes depending on the species. This should kill the BBA before it gets into your system.

It can exist in bright and low light tanks and pH,GH,KH,Nitrate,Phosphate, Potassium, and Iron levels do not seem to have any relationship.

It does seem to have a correlation with organics in the water. That means waste that has broken down to the point where it can dissolve in water but is still not Nitrate or phosphate yet.

Many have reported that increasing amount and/or frequency of water changes have helped them with this. It does not always.

I have tried using ROX Activated Carbon and Purigen by Seachem to try to beat it that way. It did not hurt but it did not help either.

I heard a talk over at Scapefu which says there is a correlation between how many hetero tropic bacteria there are and BBA. Where there is one there will be the other. Organics cause this type of bacteria to multiply rapidly. One theory says that Lamanea (One strain of BBA) seems to thrive on Vitamin B12. B12 is produced when those bacteria I mentioned eat up all the organics in the water.

Siamese Algae eaters can eat it but they have to be the real ones. You need to look at pics of how to tell the fakes. There are many. They also have to be under 3 inches long. When they are old they loose interest in BBA.

Amano Shrimp also eat this BBA as well but harder to get. I order mine from Rachel O'Leary here:
Invertebrates by Msjinkzd | Specializing in invertebrates and micro fish from around the world.

If you want to kill it then 3% peroxide from the Drugstore or Flourish Excel by Seachem will kill it when dosed directly onto it. Don't go above 4 ml of 3% peroxide per gal of water IMO. Excel is toxic so read up on it. It turns red after it dies. Usually about 24 hours later.

I find both of those can damage plant leaves. If it is on a leaf just cut the leaf. It spreads slow in many cases so that helps.

I think that is all I have to offer you on BBA. It is one of the very hard types of Algae to beat and it takes time. Even of you are doing everything right. It is still very much a mystery in the hobby.

Edit...It just occurred to me aeration really helps break organics down faster as well. Make sure you have enough.
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Old 04-03-2016, 01:56 AM   #6
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Thanks for the detailed response I've heard great things about seachem excel.i use flourish atm but I think excel has some type of algaecide in it.you are correct regarding the Siamese algae eater,I was almost sold some flying foxes that were marked as sae. Very similar looking fish.i will try some excel and keep battling on I guess cheers
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Old 04-03-2016, 02:36 AM   #7
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Thanks for the detailed response I've heard great things about seachem excel.i use flourish atm but I think excel has some type of algaecide in it.you are correct regarding the Siamese algae eater,I was almost sold some flying foxes that were marked as sae. Very similar looking fish.i will try some excel and keep battling on I guess cheers
Most people believe Excel is a very watered down Metracide 14 which is specifically an algaecide.

I can tell you that spot treating BBA with it does work but might be impractical for big outbreaks. Some people have told me that long term dosing of the tank water got rid of there BBA over time. In my case I use a half dose because I have Anachris which is sensitive to Excel. I have traces of BBA here and there but after 9 months of Excel it still hangs on.
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Old 04-03-2016, 05:12 AM   #8
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Haha all them test kits! It's good that we have someone on the forum who is willing to take the time to carry out these experiments.




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Old 04-03-2016, 05:56 AM   #9
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How about black beard algae? Would be nice if you could shed some light on what you think cause it.i had stable water conditions for a long time and it just came out of nowhere.
By and large the planted tank community associated BBA with too long of a photo period / too strong of lights and not enough carbon whether it's Glutaraldehyde or CO2.

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Most people believe Excel is a very watered down Metracide 14 which is specifically an algaecide.
Excel IS a watered down version of metricide 14 and severely overpriced to boot. Don't be mistaken for Seachem's disguise tactics, they have replaced the "Glutaraldehyde" active ingredient on their bottles with "Polycycloglutaracetal" and have gotten rid of their MSDS (which plainly stated glutaraldehyde as the active ingredient).

Anyone with critical thinking skills will see that it's a tactic to drum up more revenue for a product that people stop using due to it's overpriced nature.

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Thought I would post pics of my test kits. I don't know what it is but I am just fascinated with aquarium chemistry. Especially when it comes to trying to figure out what type of algae likes what conditions.
Bravo sir, I always love it when people do their own experiments rather than rely on what others say.
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Old 04-03-2016, 09:07 AM   #10
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Mental Illness and Water Testing :D

Any advice on that brown diatom stuff? I've had it for about s month now. I know it's supposed to go away but it's so ugly...

I found this article but it doesn't exactly say how to remove it. It just says to clean silicates out of the water.

http://www.oscarfish.com/article-hom...2-diatoms.html
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Old 04-03-2016, 03:22 PM   #11
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Any advice on that brown diatom stuff? I've had it for about s month now. I know it's supposed to go away but it's so ugly...

I found this article but it doesn't exactly say how to remove it. It just says to clean silicates out of the water.

Diatoms. What are they and how can I get rid of them?
Diatoms are the easiest one there is

They fade away on there own after a month or 2. That's that boring way. The easy way is to add an Oto Cinclus cat fish for around 2$. He will eat it into non existence in no time . Problem is, he will get skinny and starve when it is gone. Mine never lasted more then 4 months until I got some great advice. Add a piece of drift wood. It always grows a tiny bit of algae and now he has something to eat. Mine Oto is going for 9 months now and still fat.
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Old 04-15-2016, 06:21 AM   #12
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I forgot a few



And wouldn't do without one of these Slightly modified of course!


Anyone want a sample tested and don't feel like springing for the cost of the test just to use once or twice send me a PM. I am sure we can work something out.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:19 PM   #13
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I'm probably just the opposite - only recently late last year started testing again after establishing a new tank. Went probably at least 10 years before that without ever testing anything at all in the old tank. The only thing I ever added was a little Aquasafe with water changes. Water quality should become a long-term non-issue after you get it right and stabilized with a good maintenance routine.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:50 PM   #14
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this has become my favorite thread and you are as mentally ill for algae analysis as I am for biotope planning... My cabinets of horrors contain similar chemistry test kits as yours so I laughed my butt off scrolling through the pictures thinking "yay!! someone else that has an aquatic supply closet that is more specific than mine!!"

Are you studying microorganisms too? Like planaria and copepods?
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Old 04-15-2016, 03:40 PM   #15
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I'm probably just the opposite - only recently late last year started testing again after establishing a new tank. Went probably at least 10 years before that without ever testing anything at all in the old tank. The only thing I ever added was a little Aquasafe with water changes. Water quality should become a long-term non-issue after you get it right and stabilized with a good maintenance routine.
Some very high level people such as Tom Barr don't test at all. Nothing wrong with that. The lazier I get the more that way becomes attractive to me. Mostly I test to find answers to the mysteries Sometimes I even find an answer
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Old 04-15-2016, 03:42 PM   #16
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this has become my favorite thread and you are as mentally ill for algae analysis as I am for biotope planning... My cabinets of horrors contain similar chemistry test kits as yours so I laughed my butt off scrolling through the pictures thinking "yay!! someone else that has an aquatic supply closet that is more specific than mine!!"

Are you studying microorganisms too? Like planaria and copepods?
I am super horrible at species specific stuff. I even tried reading an 800 page text book on algae written by 3 doctors. All about the organs inside the cells etc. Way out of my league Mostly it is just running experiments to verify or debunk old ideas. Get hard numbers etc. Also...trying to figure out what type of conditions increase the risk factors for certain types of algae etc.
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:26 PM   #17
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Great work you're doing I will most likely be reading through several of those 400 page pdf documents soon and any links you wanna throw me...

If genius is a gift then so is mental illness- if mental illness is flaw then so is genius.... You don't usually find an answer until you're stark raving mad enough to check in to a hospital or find something to obsess over.... Glad I found the aquarium trade and not the padded room myself!! Glad there are others like myself.
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Old 04-15-2016, 04:41 PM   #18
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Some very high level people such as Tom Barr don't test at all. Nothing wrong with that. The lazier I get the more that way becomes attractive to me. Mostly I test to find answers to the mysteries Sometimes I even find an answer
I'm certainly not "high level," just been doing it a long time at what would probably be considered an intermediate level. I believe knowing the state of your tap water is probably at least if not more important than knowing what's actually in the tank at any given time.
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Old 04-15-2016, 07:06 PM   #19
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I'm certainly not "high level," just been doing it a long time at what would probably be considered an intermediate level. I believe knowing the state of your tap water is probably at least if not more important than knowing what's actually in the tank at any given time.
I agree with that very much too. If you do not know what your putting in, how do you know the issue is being caused by your tank at all?
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:46 PM   #20
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Wow you got quite the assortment there! Lol!

So is that an underwater chia pet lol???

I sent you a pm
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