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BBA on sponge filter


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I had 2 nano sponge filters going in my planted shrimp tank. They got covered in black beard algae. I also had a big problem with planaria, which were feeding off the filters (and everything else). I removed the sponge filters, but would like to use them again in another shrimp set up. How can I prevent black beard algae on other sponge filters?

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If I had that problem I'd soak them in hydrogen peroxide for a day, or two, then I'd flush them with clean water, wring them out and let them air dry in the sun, and done. Hydrogen peroxide, H3O kills the BBA while it's immersed in it, and over about 48 hours gives off the extra oxygen and turns into good old water H2O. I just rinse to make sure I get rid of whatever residue was left of the BBA.

Hope this helps.

Edited by Jungle Fan
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Cool, but what I meant is, why'd I get BBA on there in the first place? How do I prevent it from happening again? I'd like to break down my current tank and set up another one for the shrimp, without the planaria. I'd rather use the sponge filters, but I took them out to eliminate one food source for the planaria. I've learned my lesson about lighting, no more than 8 hours per day in a new set up. The BBA happens in a different tank where there is low flow, but on the filter, that's another story.  Did I not clean the filter often enough? The tank I'm using it on was more or less a Walstad tank, and I was only vacuuming the small area up front that was exposed sand, the plants were supposed to take care of the rest?

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On 7/15/2021 at 11:25 AM, Jungle Fan said:

If I had that problem I'd soak them in hydrogen peroxide for a day, or two, then I'd flush them with clean water, wring them out and let them air dry in the sun, and done. Hydrogen peroxide, H3O kills the BBA while it's immersed in it, and over about 48 hours gives off the extra oxygen and turns into good old water H2O. I just rinse to make sure I get rid of whatever residue was left of the BBA.

Hope this helps.

I believe hydrogen peroxide is H2O2. I believe the rest of your information is correct. 

On 7/15/2021 at 9:29 AM, Dipink said:

I had 2 nano sponge filters going in my planted shrimp tank. They got covered in black beard algae. I also had a big problem with planaria, which were feeding off the filters (and everything else). I removed the sponge filters, but would like to use them again in another shrimp set up. How can I prevent black beard algae on other sponge filters?

I think another way is try to keep algae to a minimum with a balanced tank and if you still get BBA try a product like easy carbon. I think aquarium coop just had a video on carbon.  It was either the coop or girl talks fish.

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@Drew SchmidtYou are correct must've had a temporary brain lapse. Preventing BBA of course is always the best option, however @Dipinkstated wanting to re-use the sponges and removing and treating with hydrogen peroxide that neutralizes within 48 hours to me is always preferable to utilizing glutaraldehyde based products that can adversely affect plants like Anacharis, Sags, Vals and any liverworts like Riccia.

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On 7/15/2021 at 2:10 PM, Dipink said:

Cool, but what I meant is, why'd I get BBA on there in the first place?

@eatyourpeas is correct.  You were infected with BBA.  It is a lotic red algae (despite its very dark color) and likely, primarily spreads in its natural environment by fragmentation.  This means, unlike many of the green algae species we deal with, it doesn't get around well by floating through the breeze to colonize new small bodies of water (i.e. our aquariums).  Most of the algae in our aquariums are sort of like the dandelions of the algae world, ready to colonize new open habitats.  But the there are also the mayapples (think woodland wildflowers) of the algae world too.  They don't spread far and wide rapidly because they are not colonizers.  In habitat they likely live in established systems.  They mostly spread by vegetative means, and occasionally can spread longer distances.  But that doesn't mean they can't become established if you transplant them.  This is why people can have a tank in their fish rooms with BBA, but not all of them with it. 

The thing is, we are all so used to thinking of algae as inevitable because of the species that can colonize rapidly, that we try to fix everything with changes to the way we keep our aquarium.  I'm sure that can work even with BBA.  But the root cause is suppliers who don't care if they are passing things like this along.  My advice to everyone is this; if you can figure out where it came from, don't buy from that place ever again

Sorry you got infected with this stuff.  Its pernicious.  Persistent use of H2O2 can do wonders.  Good luck. 

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On 7/18/2021 at 3:26 PM, Ben_RF said:

Sort of relating to your question, but I am not sure if it will work for you.  Our marvelous @Irene just posted a video about her adventures with black beard algae on her sponge filter.  This is how she resolved it when it was in the tank.

 

Hehe, how timely for this forum post!

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