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I have BBA. Should I gut my tank?


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I have a bad case of BBA in my heavily planted 75 gallon tank. I know I should have taken care of it earlier but I thought it would resolve itself. I believe it was due to my heavy use of coop iron. 
 

I recently bought a juvenile SAE but he does not seem interested in the worst case but just nibbling on the Amazon sword leaves that have smaller amounts of BBA. I’m scared of using Flourish Excel or hydrogen peroxide since I have invertebrates and baby shrimps. 
 

should I rip all my plants out that I worked so hard to grow or trim them all down to their base? I was going to not feed my fish for a few days and make them work for their living and help to clean up the tank in the mean time. 
 

i have very hard water and pH 8.4 which is typical of my tap water. Fluval 3 planted light (which I have turned off for now) . Stock - albino corydoras, khuli loaches, Royal fallowela, African dwarf frogs, mystery snails, bladder/ramshorn snails, cappuccinos, trumpets. 
Thank you for any advice!

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I think what you have is often called "staghorn algae" and not BBA.  It's another freshwater red algae (yes I know these species aren't "red", but that's what they are related to).  I had a tank infected with both staghorn and BBA last autumn.  I did recently tear it all down, but that was for the BBA not the staghoprn which I found much easier to control with peroxide.  Spot treating with peroxide didn't harm my shrimp.  I can't tell you about the frogs though, and I might be inclined to pull them during any treatment for a few hours.  After that the peroxide should be completely gone.

Don't take my word for the safety with shrimp though.  Here is a whole video about it (though he treats the whole tank, and I just spot treated the algae with a syringe).  Good luck!

 

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Thanks for the advise. Can't seem to figure out how to reply back to each of you individually. I did not tear out my tank and watched the video above and decided to follow his directions and dose with hydrogen peroxide. I can tell you that all 16 khuli loaches totally spased out and were doing zoomies lol. Literally brewed tea and spent the whole day sitting in front of the tank to make sure they did fine. They are doing ok and I did notice that they have been more active and eating the plants more. I am going to hold of feeding the tank for a couple of days to get them all to clean the tank. Which, is extremely hard for me, cos I always give in by evening and end up feeding them bunches. I also, subscribed to the Marks Shrimp Tank since he has so many useful information, so I guess that's what I will be doing all night. Thanks for letting me know that it is Staghorn algae!  

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5 hours ago, Bhavna said:

On a side note, my SAE was eating the algae this morning and I could see he had been working real hard all night. Made a really noticeable difference!

That's great news!  Sounds like it worked.  With any luck that will take care of it, but if not the first time you'll know what to do.  I'm excited for you!

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I'm not sure what is in Seachem Excel, but there was another thread on here recently that discussed how liquid carbon can be harmful to ADFs.  I'm just flagging that in case it's helpful.  I had no idea about that.  

I know it's a bummer, I'm trying to figure out what to do with one corner of a 60L tank where BBA and/or green hair algae has taken hold.  Irene has a good video on balancing the tank and it seems like over time, with the methods you're using (less fertilzers/food, less light, algae eating helpers) you'll win the war.  I also found with my tank that the new plant growth doesn't have the algae on it, so I can just trim or pluck the leaves that are really badly taken over with the black algae.

Good luck! 

  

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Thank You SWilson for the helpful information. I watched Irene's video on controlling algae and it was very helpful. Also, thanks for the information on liquid carbon and its possible harm to ADF. One of the reason I choose to do hydrogen peroxide. That seems to be working. I also trimmed my plants today and got rid of the unsightly algae. Tank looks much better and I am going to make sure to use the Iron fertilizer too much from now lol. Good luck on your tank! 

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you can spot treat with peroxide or dose excel or co-ops easy crabon once a day or once every two days and it will start to kill it off. I would also suggest adding a phosphate absorber to stop it from coming back.  I wouldnt tear a tank down for either. Right now im dealing with Black Spot algae which i thought was bba but technically isnt and its proving to be a bit more troublesome. 

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Marnol D - Thank you for the information and sorry you are also going through black spot algae. It is so annoying isn't it. I actually thought about adding a phosphate absorber, but I really dislike opening up the Fx 4 canister to do that. Its quite an annoying canister but very efficient. I have been dosing with peroxide every other day and have noticed quite a bit of difference. That and not feeding the inhabitants as much which, is so hard for me not to do. I feel like I'm abusing them lol. 

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