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Old 02-08-2014, 10:27 AM   #21
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Not mad. Just frustrated by seeing some of the same advice I received that didn't work or further exacerbated my problem. No hard feelings.
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:29 AM   #22
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Not mad. Just frustrated by seeing some of the same advice I received that didn't work or further exacerbated my problem. No hard feelings.
Okay so what didn't work for you can definetly work for other. I'm dealing with algae too and know the frustration. My suggestion was to manually remove it like I did and cut back on the lights and do a few water changes. Obviously there is too much nutrients in the water that the algae is able to take it before the plants are
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:34 AM   #23
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Some algae can absolutely be manually removed. In the case of BBA, it grows Into the leaf making pruning your only option. Hydrogen peroxide may work in combatting light infestations.
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:38 AM   #24
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Some algae can absolutely be manually removed. In the case of BBA, it grows Into the leaf making pruning your only option. Hydrogen peroxide may work in combatting light infestations.
Yes, I prunned 180 leaves off 2 amazons and still have it. Spot treating is the way to go here. Simple yet highly effective
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:41 AM   #25
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I've heard about this. Maybe I need to do some research on it. Is it actually possible that a legitimate "cure" has been found for BBA?
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:42 AM   #26
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I've heard about this. Maybe I need to do some research on it. Is it actually possible that a legitimate "cure" has been found for BBA?
Everyone here and more have been doing it for sure. It's not a 100% cure because you still have to locate the problem and fix that
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:56 AM   #27
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Absolutely, but I have been hearing good things about it. I know it's being done, but you are right, unless the problem is found and fixed, it will all come back. Anyway, this post got WAY off topic.... Look! A squirrel! LOL
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:14 AM   #28
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This is why I don't join forums. Fifteen years of aquarium keeping experience lost to argument. Fluorescent bulbs are only good for between six months to a year. After that they wear out and the strength and wavelength of light is not conducive to good plant growth. It is, however, just what BBA needs to grow. BBA is actually a red algae and as such needs red wavelengths of light so the phycoerythrin proteins In them can photo synthesize light. That is why LED technology has grown so popular. With an LED light you can control those spectrums and wavelengths.
I run 2 colormax t5ho bulbs over my 55g tank. These bulbs are made just for their red wavelength.



I have had a BBA outbreak in both of my planted tanks when I started them. My entire treatment method was to control the photoperiod, increase carbon supplementation, and get my fertilizer regimen corrected. My phosphate levels run at around 4ppm - 6ppm and my nitrates are between 10ppm - 30ppm. Since I found an equilibrium in my tank there has been absolutely no BBA ever since. With your statements regarding the wavelength of light and phosphate levels directly causing BBA I should be overrun with the stuff.

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As for oto cats, they too we're recommended to me as a possible solution to a BBA problem. They decimated what was left of my Jungle Val and sword plants. They would suck on the leaves, leaving huge transparent holes In them. I watched them with my own eyes. They like broad leaved plants. I assure you they weren't just eating the film off of them. They got big and fat chowing down on Jungle Val. They left holes in the plants similar to Potassium deficiency, but far more clear. As the plants began dying that created new issues with excess nutrients that the BBA exploited in growth. Excess phosphate and inconsistent CO2 levels can exacerbate the situation greatly. Too frequent water changes can contribute to a heavily fluctuating CO2 level and phosphate levels rising. Test the phosphate in your source water. It may be high. Cutting back on water changes may help if they are frequent.
Your experience with oto cats seems to be an irregularity as this is the first time I've EVER heard of oto cats damaging plants. How mature was your tank when you had them? Is it possible that your "battle with algae" managed to kill their natural food source forcing them to eat your plants to survive?

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I made the mistake of "combatting" my BBA problem. I wasted tons of money and time on it. Finally I started over and went to a seminar at my local fish supplier on algae and how to AVOID them. Avoiding it is the key to BBA. Once you have it, any microscopic amount will cause a regrowth. It is just about impossible to beat. Clean out the tank. Shock the decorations and gravel with a chlorine solution and total darkness for two weeks. Refill the tank with water and start your nitrogen cycle over using a few new fish and bacteria you can purchase at most pet stores. Then you can put your fish back in from their temporary tank. Make sure to start over with new plants and by all means do not put any of the "temporary" tank's water in the recycled tank. Make sure that you look at the new plants you purchase very, very closely when you go to get them. Make sure they don't have anything that resembles BBA growing on them! BBA is impossible to clean from plants because it is parasitic and grows into the structure of the leaves making it impossible to "wipe" off. So again, check the plants and AVOID the problem. Hope all this helps.
A complete restart of your tank is far from necessary to get rid of BBA seeing how I have gotten rid of it in both of my tanks so far. Just correct the imbalance and spot treat the problem areas and the algae issues will fix themselves.
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:19 AM   #29
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They are color specific plant bulbs correct? I am talking about regular fluorescent bulbs that over time become too violet. I too have all the red turned up in my LED's.
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:26 AM   #30
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As for the ottocats, that's an excellent question, but no, there was plenty of BBA and some other algae for them to eat. They almost immediately began eating my jungle val. They were horribly destructive. Trust me, you aren't the first person who scratched their head on that point. If there was some science I was missing, I'd love to know. It would be very interesting.
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:36 AM   #31
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Meebid, I would love more information on treating with hydrogen peroxide. Have you done it? I am fortunate that I currently do not have a BBA problem, but I've had it once. I may have it again in the future. I've been hearing about the hydrogen peroxide method, but haven't researched it at all. This conversation has peaked my curiousity. Just watched some great youtube videos on it. But some of these videos you wonder about... Hey, yo,yo,yo, a shout out to my boy, big poppy who has some sick piranhas that be chillin' in his tank. You start to wonder how intelligent the rest of the advice will be. LOL. What's your experience with spot treatment? Do you also prune?
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:39 AM   #32
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They are color specific plant bulbs correct? I am talking about regular fluorescent bulbs that over time become too violet. I too have all the red turned up in my LED's.
The colormax bulbs are quite a wide spectrum having quite a bit of violets, greens, blues, but mostly reds.

I hear from people all the time on both saltwater and freshwater talking about light spectrum causing algae growth. Imho it's a passed on opinion that just took over much the same way garlic has. The most amusing part is the salt water people saying lower K rating bulbs around the 6000k range cause algae growth while the fresh water people say blues cause algae growth.

It's easiest to shake my head at the saltwater people because quite a few of them don't realize that the majority of white LEDs are 6500k.

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As for the ottocats, that's an excellent question, but no, there was plenty of BBA and some other algae for them to eat. They almost immediately began eating my jungle val. They were horribly destructive. Trust me, you aren't the first person who scratched their head on that point. If there was some science I was missing, I'd love to know. It would be very interesting.
What were you using to treat the algae?
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:03 PM   #33
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Spot treating with Hydrogen Peroxide is quite simple. Turn off tank filters, pull up 3ml of hydrogen peroxide for every 1 gallon of tank water in a syringe. Hold syringe as close to the BBA as possible and slowly squirt. Leave filters off for 20 minutes. If you have a lot of algae to treat you will have to do an area a day. Usually within 24 hours the BBA will start turning white, pink, or red which indicates it's dying.

Also run lights 6 hours a day only until all algae is gone. You can then slowly increase photoperiod up to about 8 hours if desired. I run all my planted tanks except for low light ones for 6 hours daily. Then general rule is the higher the lighting the shorter the photoperiod needs to be to keep algae from developing.

I've been doing tanks since the 70's and have never found common Oto's to be plant eaters. Some times very small young Chinese algae eaters are sold as Oto's and can be destructive. Oto cats eat bio-film (the main staple of their diet), green dust algae, and diatoms. Siamese Algae Eaters do eat BBA when young. Amano shrimp are usually great at eating BBA.

I run phosphates up to 10ppm in planted tanks, especially my 220g with very high light. I have never had problems with it causing BBA. In fact there are tons of hobbyist that use the EI dosing method with dry ferts which actually adds excess nutrients so plants never lack any nutrient they may need. When correct amounts of CO2/liquid carbon along with ferts are used in conjunction with lighting and proper photoperiod rarely is algae ever an issue.

Also doing large weekly WC's doesn't encourage algae due to causing flexuating CO2 levels. I have always done 50% WC's in all my planted tanks including my 220g weekly without incident.
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Old 02-10-2014, 12:59 PM   #34
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As for the ottocats, that's an excellent question, but no, there was plenty of BBA and some other algae for them to eat. They almost immediately began eating my jungle val. They were horribly destructive. Trust me, you aren't the first person who scratched their head on that point. If there was some science I was missing, I'd love to know. It would be very interesting.

I wonder if you were sold different sucker mouth Cats that weren't true Otos. I've seen people post pics of Chinese Algae Eaters that were sold to them as Otos. Hmmm

I've had Otos for many years, they've never eaten a healthy plant. Rotting leaves ? Those are fair game for my snails and fish.

Your Otos may have been evil twins ?
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