Go Back   Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community > Freshwater > Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks
Click Here to Login

Join Aquarium Advice Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com
 
Old 12-11-2006, 03:00 PM   #1
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: ABQ, NM
Posts: 144
BBA Woes, dosing question

A little history:

Tank has been setup since August. I always had a manageable problem with BBA and BGA, nothing too major. A few spot treatments of hydrogen peroxide was all I need to keep BBA in check. BGA was manageable by manual removal. In my search for solutions to algae problems. I decided to get the basic GregWatson ferts to compliment my flourish comprehensive dosing. Unfortunately, getting the ferts coincided with a business trip. I received the ferts before I left, but not a phosphate test kit. Before leaving for the trip I dosed 20ppm of Nitrate and K, but I did not dose phosphate due to not knowing how much I had to begin with.

Fast forward nine days. I get home and find that BBA has exploded in my tank. It covered pretty much everything: plants, driftwood, substrate, even the silicone seals on the corners of the tank. Checked water parameters, nitrate in check (~20ppm). Checked phosphate with my new test kit, it had bottomed out. (Was this the problem, dunno?)

The past three weeks have involved a lot of manual removal of BBA. Hydrogen peroxide was used, algae turns red and dies off, but it does seem to be coming back, though not as strong. The good news is I don't seem to have a problem with BGA anymore. I am doing a 50-60% water change a week. After the water change I dose .75 tsp Pot Nitrate, .5 tsp pot sulfate, and enough mono-pot phosphate to give me 1.2 ppm phosphate. I also dose 5 ml of flourish comprehensive and 5 ml of tetra florapride to give me appropriate iron level.

This weekend I decided to up the Pot Sulfate to .75 tsp (since you can't really overdose K). My question is should I stick with this once a week(ish) dosing schedule after pwc, or should I dose smaller amount more frequently? Also, I should be getting some Flourish Excel in today. I will start dosing this every other day. However, I have a lot of vals and don't want them to melt, so I will start off with a low dosing (1-2ml) and see how that goes. Any suggestions of what else I should try?

I really wanted this to be a low maintenance tank. I don't mind doing pwc and fert dosing. I'll give it a few more weeks until I do a tear down convert to a very low light tank.

Water Parameters (as best I can tell with the AP kits):
pH - 8.0
Nitrate - 20-30 ppm
gH - 3 degrees
kH - 7 degrees
Phosphate - 1.3ppm

Hardware specs are in my "info"

Thanks everybody!
__________________

__________________
Vmax911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2006, 03:34 PM   #2
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
JDogg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Rapid City, SD
Posts: 2,294
well you are dosing ferts, this is good

you have a little more then 1.5 wpg, (2*32 watt t8s over a 50 gallon right) this is decent low light... why did you start dosing the ferts? were you noticing deficiencies?

BBA means you may need to start adding CO2 to the mix, though with your light level it maybe not be permanent, just until you get ferts balanced out.

how heavily planted is your tank, can you post a picture?

based on your PH and KH you have very little CO2 in your water... you can try to start dosing Excel. you should be able to either do a dip and rinse of the plants in some excel, or figure out what 2x the normal dose of excel is for your tank volume, and not exceeding that using a dropper and spot treat, or just start dosing 2x dose of excel to your tank...

Quote:
However, I have a lot of vals and don't want them to melt, so I will start off with a low dosing (1-2ml) and see how that goes. Any suggestions of what else I should try?
oh just noticed this... is the BBA on the Vals if not you might want to remove them for the treatment... it get enough excel to fight the bba you are going to have to dose to much for the vals IMO. could always add some DIY CO2 bottles
__________________

__________________
Just because I am working at Petco does not mean I am a sell out, they are still an evil empire, that I am trying to make better.
75 Gallon: New World Cichlids|26 Gallon Bowfront: Planted Angelfish/Swordtail Tank|20 Gallon Long: "Nano" non-reef|10 Gallon: frog and mosquito fish
JDogg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2006, 05:11 PM   #3
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
rkilling1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: NE ohio
Posts: 2,245
Send a message via AIM to rkilling1
Tom gave you good advice for your situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plantbrain
Are you doing water changes?
You do not do that with a non CO2 planted tanks.

The goal is balance between fish load and plant biomass.
I've never had BBA in any non CO2 plant tank.
Ever.
I've kept plants for about 30 years, 15 with CO2, it was not until I started with /cO2 methods did BBA appear.

I know it sounds weird, but stop doing water changes.
Lighten the fish load, add more plants if need be, add SAE's, amano shrimps, bomb with some Excel for a week or two, then stop those water changes, add only for top off only.

Regards,
Tom Barr
__________________
My Planted Aquariums
rkilling1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2006, 05:54 PM   #4
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: ABQ, NM
Posts: 144
Quote:
why did you start dosing the ferts? were you noticing deficiencies?
When I started getting BGA, I was told that my nitrates were bottoming out. Since I needed to get Nitrate, I got K and PO4.

Also, I will try to get a pic of the tank tonight.

Quote:
Are you doing water changes?
You do not do that with a non CO2 planted tanks.
I would love to only have to worry about monthly (or even less) water changes. Right now I am doing water changes for two reasons.

#1 I don't have faith in my nitrate test (was reading 10-15ppm when I was actually bottomed out) and my phosphate test is somewhat hard to read. Thus doing 50% water changes allows me to keep on a normal dosing schedule (quasi-EI dosing?), and I simply dose to get target ppm's. I'm not so good with watching the plants for deficiencies, and am afraid that by the time I notice a deficiency, algae will have taken over (again).

#2 This cycle of BBA dying and coming back seems to substantially increases my nitrates (see lack of faith in nitrate test mentioned above), and I am concerned for the fish.



Quote:
Lighten the fish load, add more plants if need be, add SAE's, amano shrimps, bomb with some Excel for a week or two, then stop those water changes, add only for top off only.
I have a pretty light fish load already. For the life of me I can't find true SAE's around here. I could get some more plants. I don't really have a place for vals or I would bomb with excel.

Is the overdosing of excel safe for fish?

Thanks for the input so far. This has been a bit discouraging lately.
__________________
Vmax911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2006, 06:07 PM   #5
Aquarium Advice Addict
 
rkilling1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: NE ohio
Posts: 2,245
Send a message via AIM to rkilling1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vmax911

Is the overdosing of excel safe for fish?
I just recently dosed Excel for BBA in both of my planted tanks. I dosed at the initial dose (the after PWC dose) for 7 days straight. It did not harm any of my fish or shrimps.

But...Excel is not the answer to BBA. You have to find the problem first and then Excel is a great tool to use to clean up the tank. I mean, it will work, but the BBA will only come back if the problem is not corrected.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vmax911
Thanks for the input so far. This has been a bit discouraging lately.
I hear ya loud and clear. I had been battling BBA for months until I found out my CO2 was the problem.

Tom's post to your problem is based on algae being able to adapt to changes in CO2 faster then the plants can, therefore when you do a PWC you are adding a ton of CO2 and this helps the algae more then it does the plants. hence the do not do PWC's.
__________________
My Planted Aquariums
rkilling1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2006, 07:13 PM   #6
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: ABQ, NM
Posts: 144
Quote:
Tom's post to your problem is based on algae being able to adapt to changes in CO2 faster then the plants can, therefore when you do a PWC you are adding a ton of CO2 and this helps the algae more then it does the plants. hence the do not do PWC's.
That's interesting. I wonder what the real numbers are. If the CO2 in my water now is 2.0 ppm, what would it be after a pwc? I don't think I would see a huge change, but I guess even .2ppm difference is a 10% change.

Is there any type of ppm number (or equivalent) used for Excel? Say I add 1ml of excel a day, which is the equivalent of 5ppm (all hypothetical). This is not a lot of carbon, however now my "pwc CO2 boost" of .2ppm is only a 4% change.

Does anyone have any real numbers on this stuff?
__________________
Vmax911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2006, 09:38 PM   #7
Aquarium Advice Freak
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 284
CO2 ppm changes all day long in a non CO2, you are talking about a moving target.
You also need to address the KH measure accurate when discussing 1-2ppm concentrational differences.

Many measure the KH/pH and it says 210ppm or 80 ppm of CO2, and the fish are fine and plants are doing well.

In other folk's tanks, this would = dead fish.

So good measure of the CO2 is critical if you want hard data, then you also need to measure the CO2 each 15 minute or so for a photoperoid the day of the water change and the day prior and up unit you see and/or predict the Algae bloom.

That's a lot of testing.

And it needs to be done carefully.
Until I get a house etc, hopefully next month etc, I'm not setting up a non CO2 tank abnd broke my sister's down recently(she lives too far away as it is for doing such a test).

I'm not worried, I see it working and have ruled out the other possible reasons proposed as to the cause of the algae blooms and falsified those.

This is pretty much all that's left.......and not one person has suggested any other alternatives that I've not falsified.
But .....until I really test it critically, I'm not going out on the limb just yet.

I know more of what it is not, than what it is.
The falsification prcoess is rather easy.
The why and cause is rather difficult to say the least, but it adds a lot to any theory building and ideas if you have something that appears causative.

NH4 was a good example.
I got lucky.

Why would algae, BBA, grow in both Non CO2 and CO2 enriched tanks with poor CO2 stability and not in tanks with stable CO2(either low or high) and why do they grow when we vary these parameters in otherwise stable tanks lacking BBA?

The observations will quickly lead you to rule out the past hythpothesis(excess PO4, NO3, Fe etc), but one needs to know where to look and which observations are good.
They also need to be more creative than past folks about ruling out and testing such hypothesis. Then they need to propose an alternative hypothesis and see about testing it to verify.

It's not something you'll do in a day or two
The how is easy, the why takes a lot more time and energy.


Regards,
Tom Barr



Regards,
Tom Barr
__________________
Plantbrain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2006, 02:32 AM   #8
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: ABQ, NM
Posts: 144
I'm definitely not going to start logging CO2 values every fifteen minutes!

Also, I'm not arguing your theory of CO2 stability. I'm just curious if flourish excel can create a low concentration of free carbon, and maintain enough stability to prevent the outbreak of BBA I've been experiencing.

I'm attaching a picture of the tank after last weekends cleaning. I had to pull out a bunch of dwarf sag (that was covered with BBA) from the front area.

I've noticed that the BBA is getting easier to remove from leaves, is this a good sign?

Lastly, if I stop my weekly pwc's, how often should I dose ferts?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg alltank12_11_06_219.jpg (106.3 KB, 33 views)
__________________
Vmax911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-13-2006, 03:49 PM   #9
Aquarium Advice Activist
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: ABQ, NM
Posts: 144
I added the tank pic above. I could add more plants, but will that help at this point? I'm afraid of giving the BBA more places to spread. I've already had to get rid of a few heavily infested plants, and hate to waste money on more plants that may have the same fate.
__________________

__________________
Vmax911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bba, dosing

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on AquariumAdvice.com

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
dosing question timwag2001 Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 6 04-16-2009 12:47 AM
Dosing question Thever Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 7 01-13-2009 02:51 AM
EI Dosing question. Ketso Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 5 03-15-2007 12:35 PM
EI dosing question. 875mill Freshwater & Brackish - Planted Tanks 5 09-05-2006 12:27 AM
Dosing question Joshsmit56001 Saltwater Reef Aquaria 7 04-20-2004 02:47 PM







» Photo Contest Winners







All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:11 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.