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How to reduce BBA in hi-tech tank ?


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Is there an easy way to control BBA in a hi-tech tank. From my reading BBA is caused mostly by flux in CO2; but the CO2 injection is only modify when changing canisters and is otherwise on a timer and consistent. I also get some BBA in my low-tech tanks but not enough to scream. Most of the BBA is in the back on hoses and tubes (injection is in the back via an in tank co2art diffuser; when I move I'll switch to reactor). I do have some bba in front on some slow growing plants (mostly anubia,bruce) which is annoying. I hate pulling anubia leaves since they can be a bit slow growing. 

This specific tank has several plants that really do require co2 so I hate to turn it off but if i were to turn it off what is a safe way to stop injection co2 without shocking the plants. Attached is an older picture - i can provide a newer one if needed. I've been removing the java fern in the back and a lot of the floaters in the top because the shading has been causing serious impact on the plants at lower level (a good chunk of the crypts died back in the back; but is now recovering); This removal has resulted in a large swing in light at the bottom. Fertilizer dosage is thrive+ once a week and nilogc iron; When i run out of thrive+ (next week) I will switch to apt clear and 1/4 teaspoon of phosphate when i exhaust my supply of thrive - and the let the fishes provide the nitrate. When I run out of nilogc iron (not anytime soon); I will switch to sachem iron. My intention is to dose apt clear at 5ml once a week.

-

Some picture - full tank an older picture not current with the removal and two close up of bba. The first picture of BBA; most of it is on the driftoowd creeping up and completely covering the bruce behind the driftwood but it has been staying off the repens which seems to have picked up growth as i moved the shading. The second is a bit blurry but a pinto nana-anubia - one side has a lot of bba the other has new growth and is clean.

Couldn't get a good picture of the back tubing but it has a *lot* of bba. In the past i've tried injection hydrogen preox and excel on to bba but it has been ineffective so i've given up.

bba2.jpg

bba1.jpg

y2.jpg

 

@Seattle_Aquarist

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On 2/10/2022 at 8:11 AM, anewbie said:

Is there an easy way to control BBA in a hi-tech tank. From my reading BBA is caused mostly by flux in CO2; but the CO2 injection is only modify when changing canisters and is otherwise on a timer and consistent. I also get some BBA in my low-tech tanks but not enough to scream. Most of the BBA is in the back on hoses and tubes (injection is in the back via an in tank co2art diffuser; when I move I'll switch to reactor). I do have some bba in front on some slow growing plants (mostly anubia,bruce) which is annoying. I hate pulling anubia leaves since they can be a bit slow growing. 

This specific tank has several plants that really do require co2 so I hate to turn it off but if i were to turn it off what is a safe way to stop injection co2 without shocking the plants. Attached is an older picture - i can provide a newer one if needed. I've been removing the java fern in the back and a lot of the floaters in the top because the shading has been causing serious impact on the plants at lower level (a good chunk of the crypts died back in the back; but is now recovering); This removal has resulted in a large swing in light at the bottom. Fertilizer dosage is thrive+ once a week and nilogc iron; When i run out of thrive+ (next week) I will switch to apt clear and 1/4 teaspoon of phosphate when i exhaust my supply of thrive - and the let the fishes provide the nitrate. When I run out of nilogc iron (not anytime soon); I will switch to sachem iron. My intention is to dose apt clear at 5ml once a week.

-

Some picture - full tank an older picture not current with the removal and two close up of bba. The first picture of BBA; most of it is on the driftoowd creeping up and completely covering the bruce behind the driftwood but it has been staying off the repens which seems to have picked up growth as i moved the shading. The second is a bit blurry but a pinto nana-anubia - one side has a lot of bba the other has new growth and is clean.

Couldn't get a good picture of the back tubing but it has a *lot* of bba. In the past i've tried injection hydrogen preox and excel on to bba but it has been ineffective so i've given up.

 

 

 

 

@Seattle_Aquarist

Here is an article from our website that you may find useful: https://www.aquariumcoop.com/blogs/faqs/black-beard-algae?_pos=1&_sid=32f3d21c4&_ss=r

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How are you measuring CO2? 

Fluctuating CO2 can be caused by poor surface agitation or general flow through the tank. You need to get the CO2 pushed down at the substrate.

How much water are you changing per week and are you gravel vacuum every water change?

Typically, Black Beard algae has an affinity for higher flow areas and fluctuating CO2. So it makes sense to see Blackbeard algae in those areas with higher flow.

One thing I do when I have my water level low is to go ahead and mist areas that have black beard algae with hydrogen peroxide. I use a spray bottle that mists really well and I just squirt down the heaters and inlets and outlets that may have a little bit of Black Beard algae. 

Obviously you can't do that if those plants are under the water so what I would do is spot dose Seachem Excel or some type of glut at the initial dosage. I start my water change, when I've removed the water I then go in and spot dose those areas below the water line, I wait 10 minutes and then refill the tank.

My initial guess is that you're not measuring CO2 accurately and you're actually low on co2. Once you get that CO2 dialed in spot dosing should get the rest cleared up.

Edited by Mmiller2001
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Hi @anewbie

Thank you for making this a forum post, this way others have the opportunity to chime in with their suggestions and experience.

For me, BBA usually shows up when one or more of the following conditions arise:  build up of nitrogenous waste, reduced water circulation, improper dosing of nutrients.

When BBA does show up (infrequently for me thankfully) I usually review the following:

1) Have I gotten lazy and not done my weekly water changes allowing a buildup of nitrogenous waste and/or organics?  I change 40% - 50% weekly

2)  Have I gotten lazy and not cleaned my filter as regularly as I should (typically for me 6-8 weeks) allowing a buildup of waste and reduced water flow?  If using Purigen in the filter has it been checked and recharged if necessary?

3) Have I gotten lazy and allowed my tank to become overgrown which has reduced the water circulation in my tank?

4) Double check my nutrient dosing, am I over or under dosing my nutrients?

You notice in my case I do not mention CO2 or CO2 fluctuations.  Why?  Because I run my CO2 24/7 at 30 ppm (or less) in all four (4) of my planted tanks.  I may try putting a solenoid on my two CO2 systems in the future to save some money on refills but I am not in a hurry.  So I do not deal with fluctuating CO2 levels.


OK, after BBA has shown up I do the following.

1)  Clean the glass and equipment removing all of the BBA.  For glass I use heavy duty generic 'Magic Eraser' (aka melamine) pads that I buy on Ebay.  I like the heavy duty with the corrugated texture on one side.  Or if really stubborn a single edge razor blade.  For equipment I use the magic eraser pad to remove as much as possible then soak the equipment in a solution of 50% water 50% plain bleach (not scented, not splash-less, get the cheap stuff).  After the BBA has turned white and died (about 30 minutes) I neutralize the equipment in a strong solution of de-chlor and water, clean off the dead BBA with toothbrush or magic eraser, then dry and sniff for any aroma of chlorine. 

2)  Trim my tank if needed to improve water flow while at the same time removing the leaves and roots that show the heaviest infestation of BBA.  I do not vac my substrates ever.  Not only does it disturb the beneficial bacteria but it puts a lot of nitrogenous wasted into the water column (which I am trying to remove).  I do clean along the front glass usually siphoning off the old substrate and adding new along the glass. 

3)  Clean my filter.  Typically I run at least two (2) or more filters on a tank providing a flow rate of 10X the water volume of the tank.  For example on my 75 gallon tank I run three (3) Fluval 307 filters rated at 303 gph each.  One filter gets cleaned every two weeks - so every filter is cleaned every 6 weeks.  It is my heaviest filtered tank because it has discus which provide a lot of waster.  I also use Seachem Purigen in one of the filters to remove organic waste.

4)  Back to back 50% water changes separated by 24 hours to reduce the nitrogenous waste; as I siphon I also suck up any detritus and mulm that may have accumulated on the bottom.


The items above are preventative measures to hopefully avoid growth of new BBA - what what about the BBA already in my tank?  We have already removed the leaves and roots with the heaviest infestations but there is still a lot of BBA on my hardscape, and the remaining leaves, what do I do with those?

1)  Pick up a 32 ounce bottle of hydrogen peroxide 3% solution (h2O2) at your drug store.  Usually $1 - $2 for the 32 oz quart bottle.  While you are there also pick up an 10 ml Oral Syringe I use Ezy Dose about $5.

2) First I identify the areas of the tank with the worst infestations of BBA, they are my first 'target areas'

3)  After the lights have been on for at least an hour so the plants (and BBA) are at full photosynthesis levels turn off all filtration, aeration, powerheads, etc that cause water movement and wait 10 minutes for all currents in the tank to stop.

4) We are going to 'paint' the BBA in the areas with the worst infestation first.  Fill the syringe with 10 ml of H2O2 and slow squirt the BBA in the worst areas.  After a few minutes the BBA should start to bubble which is the H2O2 killing the BBA.  Continue filling and 'painting' the worst BBA areas but do not exceed 1.5 ml per gallon (15 ml per 10 gallons) of 'painting' per session.  After 20 minutes the bubbling of the BBA will have subsided and I turn on my filters, airstones, powerhead.  The next day I repeat.  Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) breaks down into water and oxygen very quickly and is not toxic however it is a strong oxidizer and I don't want to damage my fish or their gills.  I have dosed per the above in tanks containing Cardinal Tetras, Rainbowfish, Corydoras, discus, and countless other species with no issues whatsoever however I have not tried it with scaleless fish species.   Some plants, especially 'lower' plants like mosses, may respond badly to H2O2 treatment.....dose a small are of these plants and wait for a few days to see if there is damage.

Alright we have done all the above but what do I do with the unsightly tuffs of dead, white BBA all over my hardscape and plants?

I keep one (1) Siamese Algae Eater (aka SAE / Crossocheilus oblongus) in each of my tanks as part of my cleaning crew of Corydoras (at least one (1) per 5 gallons and Otocinclus.  The Corydoras eat the excess food, loosen the substrate, and help stir up any detritus so my filters can remove it.  The Otocinclus are my diatom (Brown Algae) cleaners.  And the Siamese Algae Eater is my hair algae and BBA cleaner.  The SAE are hungry enough they will nibble on the BBA when it is healthy but apparently it is a tough algae to eat - but after I have killed the BBA using the H2O2 the SAE usually cleans up the dead BBA in a few days.

Yes, it is a lot of  'work' but it is the price I pay when I get lazy (or too busy) to do the weekly water changes and filter cleaning that I should be doing......maybe BBA is the wrath I have to pay!  lol  -Roy


84245638_2011-01-2330Gallon003Sn.jpg.684ca3760eb125e151faf1f1f104752d.jpg

Edited by Seattle_Aquarist
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On 2/10/2022 at 1:04 PM, Seattle_Aquarist said:

Hi @anewbie

Thank you for making this a forum post, this way others have the opportunity to chime in with their suggestions and experience.

For me, BBA usually shows up when one or more of the following conditions arise:  build up of nitrogenous waste, reduced water circulation, improper dosing of nutrients.

When BBA does show up (infrequently for me thankfully) I usually review the following:

1) Have I gotten lazy and not done my weekly water changes allowing a buildup of nitrogenous waste and/or organics?  I change 40% - 50% weekly

2)  Have I gotten lazy and not cleaned my filter as regularly as I should (typically for me 6-8 weeks) allowing a buildup of waste and reduced water flow?  If using Purigen in the filter has it been checked and recharged if necessary?

3) Have I gotten lazy and allowed my tank to become overgrown which has reduced the water circulation in my tank?

4) Double check my nutrient dosing, am I over or under dosing my nutrients?

You notice in my case I do not mention CO2 or CO2 fluctuations.  Why?  Because I run my CO2 24/7 at 30 ppm (or less) in all four (4) of my planted tanks.  I may try putting a solenoid on my two CO2 systems in the future to save some money on refills but I am not in a hurry.  So I do not deal with fluctuating CO2 levels.


OK, after BBA has shown up I do the following.

1)  Clean the glass and equipment removing all of the BBA.  For glass I use heavy duty generic 'Magic Eraser' (aka melamine) pads that I buy on Ebay.  I like the heavy duty with the corrugated texture on one side.  Or if really stubborn a single edge razor blade.  For equipment I use the magic eraser pad to remove as much as possible then soak the equipment in a solution of 50% water 50% plain bleach (not scented, not splash-less, get the cheap stuff).  After the BBA has turned white and died (about 30 minutes) I neutralize the equipment in a strong solution of de-chlor and water, clean off the dead BBA with toothbrush or magic eraser, then dry and sniff for any aroma of chlorine. 

2)  Trim my tank if needed to improve water flow while at the same time removing the leaves and roots that show the heaviest infestation of BBA.  I do not vac my substrates ever.  Not only does it disturb the beneficial bacteria but it puts a lot of nitrogenous wasted into the water column (which I am trying to remove).  I do clean along the front glass usually siphoning off the old substrate and adding new along the glass. 

3)  Clean my filter.  Typically I run at least two (2) or more filters on a tank providing a flow rate of 10X the water volume of the tank.  For example on my 75 gallon tank I run three (3) Fluval 307 filters rated at 303 gph each.  One filter gets cleaned every two weeks - so every filter is cleaned every 6 weeks.  It is my heaviest filtered tank because it has discus which provide a lot of waster.  I also use Seachem Purigen in one of the filters to remove organic waste.

4)  Back to back 50% water changes separated by 24 hours to reduce the nitrogenous waste; as I siphon I also suck up any detritus and mulm that may have accumulated on the bottom.


The items above are preventative measures to hopefully avoid growth of new BBA - what what about the BBA already in my tank?  We have already removed the leaves and roots with the heaviest infestations but there is still a lot of BBA on my hardscape, and the remaining leaves, what do I do with those?

1)  Pick up a 32 ounce bottle of hydrogen peroxide 3% solution (h2O2) at your drug store.  Usually $1 - $2 for the 32 oz quart bottle.  While you are there also pick up an 10 ml Oral Syringe I use Ezy Dose about $5.

2) First I identify the areas of the tank with the worst infestations of BBA, they are my first 'target areas'

3)  After the lights have been on for at least an hour so the plants (and BBA) are at full photosynthesis levels turn off all filtration, aeration, powerheads, etc that cause water movement and wait 10 minutes for all currents in the tank to stop.

4) We are going to 'paint' the BBA in the areas with the worst infestation first.  Fill the syringe with 10 ml of H2O2 and slow squirt the BBA in the worst areas.  After a few minutes the BBA should start to bubble which is the H2O2 killing the BBA.  Continue filling and 'painting' the worst BBA areas but do not exceed 1.5 ml per gallon (15 ml per 10 gallons) of 'painting' per session.  After 20 minutes the bubbling of the BBA will have subsided and I turn on my filters, airstones, powerhead.  The next day I repeat.  Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) breaks down into water and oxygen very quickly and is not toxic however it is a strong oxidizer and I don't want to damage my fish or their gills.  I have dosed per the above in tanks containing Cardinal Tetras, Rainbowfish, Corydoras, discus, and countless other species with no issues whatsoever however I have not tried it with scaleless fish species.   Some plants, especially 'lower' plants like mosses, may respond badly to H2O2 treatment.....dose a small are of these plants and wait for a few days to see if there is damage.

Alright we have done all the above but what do I do with the unsightly tuffs of dead, white BBA all over my hardscape and plants?

I keep one (1) Siamese Algae Eater (aka SAE / Crossocheilus oblongus) in each of my tanks as part of my cleaning crew of Corydoras (at least one (1) per 5 gallons and Otocinclus.  The Corydoras eat the excess food, loosen the substrate, and help stir up any detritus so my filters can remove it.  The Otocinclus are my diatom (Brown Algae) cleaners.  And the Siamese Algae Eater is my hair algae and BBA cleaner.  The SAE are hungry enough they will nibble on the BBA when it is healthy but apparently it is a tough algae to eat - but after I have killed the BBA using the H2O2 the SAE usually cleans up the dead BBA in a few days.

Yes, it is a lot of  'work' but it is the price I pay when I get lazy (or too busy) to do the weekly water changes and filter cleaning that I should be doing......maybe BBA is the wrath I have to pay!  lol  -Roy


84245638_2011-01-2330Gallon003Sn.jpg.684ca3760eb125e151faf1f1f104752d.jpg

Excellent write up and insight into maintenance that keeps such lovely tanks.

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On 2/10/2022 at 1:11 PM, Mmiller2001 said:

How are you measuring CO2? 

Fluctuating CO2 can be caused by poor surface agitation or general flow through the tank. You need to get the CO2 pushed down at the substrate.

How much water are you changing per week and are you gravel vacuum every water change?

Typically, Black Beard algae has an affinity for higher flow areas and fluctuating CO2. So it makes sense to see Blackbeard algae in those areas with higher flow.

One thing I do when I have my water level low is to go ahead and mist areas that have black beard algae with hydrogen peroxide. I use a spray bottle that mists really well and I just squirt down the heaters and inlets and outlets that may have a little bit of Black Beard algae. 

Obviously you can't do that if those plants are under the water so what I would do is spot dose Seachem Excel or some type of glut at the initial dosage. I start my water change, when I've removed the water I then go in and spot dose those areas below the water line, I wait 10 minutes and then refill the tank.

My initial guess is that you're not measuring CO2 accurately and you're actually low on co2. Once you get that CO2 dialed in spot dosing should get the rest cleared up.

Some answers:

 

My co2 goes off when the lights go off; it goes on about 30 minutes before the lights come on. The current in the tank is jetstream in the back from the matten filter and the visible pump on the right (the left one was removed). I shoot for around 0.7 ph drop measured at the front. The indicator just starts turning slight green. I've found higher than this some of my fishes start gasping. 

I have tried hydrogen preoxide extensively without much luck  - i use an eye dropper to squirt it onto the problematic area. I never really had much luck doing this.

I do 1 50% water change once a week. The back area where the bba is on tubing and stuff does get expose to air; the front does not get expose at all. 

My routine is pretty consistent for over a year with regards to dosing. I don't see any def. on the plants but my dosing is light as it is only once a week; after the water change.

@Seattle_Aquarist it isn't clear what you are commending beyond use of the pre-oxide. I have tried soaking some of the hardscape like drift wood in cup of pure hydrogen preoxide but it doesn't seem that effective. I have also tried soaking it in excel. 

The tank is too small for an SAE (40B) given the other stocking. I forget which of the two fishes in the SAE family is the best bba eater but i think it is langei that is the better fish for eating bba. 

-

It sounds like at the end of the day you are suggesting i adjust my dosage but how can i tell if i should adjust it up or down ?

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Hi @anewbie,

When you dosed with H2O2 did you make sure the plants and BBA were at full photosynthesis (i.e. light on sufficiently long and BBA not shaded by other plants).?  Did you turn off all water circulation for a sufficient period of time so the H2O2 when dosed stays on or in the area of BBA for a period of time?  I did not mention exposure to 'air', I did mention the importance of circulation and filtration since my BBA usually shows in in areas of my tank where water flow is minimal.

All I can do is share what has worked for me in the past and others that I have advised that had the problem.  With a 40 gallon tank if you don't have room for one SAE then your tank is likely overcrowded which might account for high levels of organics.  Also, you did not mention if you were using Purigen in your filter(s) or not.  Purigen can be very helpful in reducing organics in a tank. -Roy

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I'm not using purigen but i could add it easy enough. I do water changes approx 50 minutes after the light comes on but it has just reached peak (ramp up); so maybe that is why the h2o isn't so effective. Maybe i should do it later in the day. I can try those two things - purigen and h2o later in the day after the lights have been at full intensity for an hour. My nitrate was running close to 40 but I think i've gotten it under control around 20 (I use nitrate to measure build up of organics but perhaps that is not the best way. 

Why does the light have to be intense to dose bba with h2o? Anyway my stocking is as follow:

2 borelli 

1 nannacara

17 kubotai rasbora

?? guppies (maybe 3 adults and 10 mid age fry)

at least 7 otto

2 lemon bn (these are 2 years old but around 4 inches - they keep the nannacara well fed)

10? 12? orange laser cory

8? 10? 12? pygmy cory

1 forktail rainbow male

4 cdp (at least 1 female and 2 males)

1 clown pleco (I haven't seen him for about 8 months but he has done this before where one day he will mysteriously appear).

-

I think that is my current stocking in this tank; i consider it pretty high but i almost never see anyone other than the borelli; kubotai and bn. 

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On 2/10/2022 at 2:06 PM, anewbie said:

The tank is too small for an SAE (40B) given the other stocking

This might not be popular with you, but one thing I do is use small fish for a job. When they get too big, I give them away to a new home. 

It's not very cost effective but I do enjoy people reacting to free fish.

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On 2/10/2022 at 3:42 PM, Mmiller2001 said:

This might not be popular with you, but one thing I do is use small fish for a job. When they get too big, I give them away to a new home. 

It's not very cost effective but I do enjoy people reacting to free fish.

I haven't seen Crossocheilus   langei for sale for a while; do you know of anyone selling them ? I think they might be a victim of the panademic.

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I do my water changes at the end of the light cycle. I usually set up 15 minutes before lights off. 

I would also try having your CO2 come on 2 hours befor your light comes on. That way you are at full saturation once the light comes on.

If the fish are gasping at a true .7 drop, improve the gass exchange by improving surface agitation. I'd also look at reducing strong currents while maintaining the high turnover.

Follow Seattle's advice, make a few adjustments and you should have it solved.

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On 2/10/2022 at 1:40 PM, anewbie said:

I'm not using purigen but i could add it easy enough. I do water changes approx 50 minutes after the light comes on but it has just reached peak (ramp up); so maybe that is why the h2o isn't so effective. Maybe i should do it later in the day. I can try those two things - purigen and h2o later in the day after the lights have been at full intensity for an hour. My nitrate was running close to 40 but I think i've gotten it under control around 20 (I use nitrate to measure build up of organics but perhaps that is not the best way. 

Why does the light have to be intense to dose bba with h2o? Anyway my stocking is as follow:

 

Hi @anewbie

Quote

I do water changes approx 50 minutes after the light comes on but it has just reached peak (ramp up); so maybe that is why the h2o isn't so effective. Why does the light have to be intense to dose bba with h2o?

H2O2 is an excellent oxidizing agent, more effective than chlorine actually.  For it to be most effective against BBA we need the BBA at full photosynthesis (that is why I said 2 hours) so the H2O2 can oxidize (attack) the BBA cell chloroplasts most effectively.  If I am doing it correctly the BBA starts to fizz with little micro-bubbles almost immediately - seeing the BBA fizzing vigorously and dying is very gratifying!

Purigen will remove organic nitrogen however has not effect on the nitrates that we dose as fertilizer.  I had to double check but there is a difference between organic nitrogen and inorganic nitrogen at the molecular level with organic nitrogen containing carbon and hydrogen molecules while inorganic nitrogen (i.e. nitrates) do not contain carbon and hydrogen.  Possibly the excess carbon and hydrogen molecules have to do with BBA outbreaks and growth?  I don't know.

Your stocking level is pretty high, especially with the large plecos in the tank.....they likely poop as badly as my discus.  You will benefit from the use of Purigen.  You do have room to add an SAE (Crossocheilus oblongus) if you want to, if it were me I would.

I think I see two powerheads in your tank, what are you using for filtration? -Roy

 

 

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On 2/10/2022 at 6:34 PM, Seattle_Aquarist said:

Hi @anewbie

H2O2 is an excellent oxidizing agent, more effective than chlorine actually.  For it to be most effective against BBA we need the BBA at full photosynthesis (that is why I said 2 hours) so the H2O2 can oxidize (attack) the BBA cell chloroplasts most effectively.  If I am doing it correctly the BBA starts to fizz with little micro-bubbles almost immediately - seeing the BBA fizzing vigorously and dying is very gratifying!

Purigen will remove organic nitrogen however has not effect on the nitrates that we dose as fertilizer.  I had to double check but there is a difference between organic nitrogen and inorganic nitrogen at the molecular level with organic nitrogen containing carbon and hydrogen molecules while inorganic nitrogen (i.e. nitrates) do not contain carbon and hydrogen.  Possibly the excess carbon and hydrogen molecules have to do with BBA outbreaks and growth?  I don't know.

Your stocking level is pretty high, especially with the large plecos in the tank.....they likely poop as badly as my discus.  You will benefit from the use of Purigen.  You do have room to add an SAE (Crossocheilus oblongus) if you want to, if it were me I would.

I think I see two powerheads in your tank, what are you using for filtration? -Roy

 

 

The pump on the left was removed; the back right corner is a matten filter (with a jet stream that moves about 2x more water than the pump in front). 

 

The fish I want is corssocheilus langei which is similar to crossocheilus oblongus but i've not been able to find them recently. The langei is a much more effective bba eater than the oblongus.

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On 2/10/2022 at 4:53 PM, anewbie said:

The pump on the left was removed; the back right corner is a matten filter (with a jet stream that moves about 2x more water than the pump in front). 

 

The fish I want is corssocheilus langei which is similar to crossocheilus oblongus but i've not been able to find them recently. The langei is a much more effective bba eater than the oblongus.

Hi @anewbie,

Mattenfilters are fine; they are great for providing a home for beneficial bacteria which break down excess food and fish waste into organic nitrogen.  One of the master breeders that I 'fish sit' for here in Seattle uses them in all his fry tanks.  His fry tanks get a water partial change every day to avoid nitrogenous waste buildup which some breeders feel inhibits fry growing as quickly and to maximum size.  Unfortunately what mattenfilters don't do physically remove waste and detritus so water changes become even more critical to remove organic nitrogenous waste.  If you can find a way to incorporate using Purigen in your tank you may find it helps; possibly a HOB filter.

I don't believe I have ever seen the species of Crossocheilus you reference but one SAE is better than none. -Roy

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On 2/10/2022 at 8:42 PM, Seattle_Aquarist said:

Hi @anewbie,

 Unfortunately what mattenfilters don't do physically remove waste and detritus so water changes become even more critical to remove organic nitrogenous waste. 

Roy

Hey I really wanted to thank you for the info that organic nitrate was different than inorganic nitrate; I had wonder if adding purgin was a good thing or not or if using too much fertilizer was bad (for adding nitrate). 

One comment I would make and it isn't really a disagreement per sey is that matten filters are as effective as any other filter at removing waste. That is the sponge absorbs fish waste and has to be periodically cleaned. It is true that the waste is still 'in the tank' and hence per your comment does not remove organic nitrogenous waste but this is true for all filters. 

 

I take it from your comments the only way to remove nitrogenous waste is via water changes and an absorbent material like purigen . 

 

I think 50% weekly water change is about all I will do on this tank but I will add purigen. 

As for the fish I'm a bit stubborn here because I want a school of langei - they seem to be fairly common in uk; now to find a dealer to import some 😉

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok here is an update. I've been using hydrogen preoxide every day this past week 2 hours after morning feeding and the worse of the bba has begun to turn red. I'm worry about build up of the stuff so no more until next water change tuesday (i know the chemistry is it should break down quickly and leave not residue so i probably don't have to skip tomorrow and monday but i am paranoid). I turn off the pump in the front in case that current was aiding the bba and i added the purgy stuff but so far it doesn't seem to do much - the nitrate level is still around 25. I'll probably give one more update in 2 weeks.

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