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> Yet another beginner trying to beat BBA.  I have a 6 gal System Six Eclipse
> tank that I have tried to set up for plants. I set up the tank 2 months ago.
> The substrate is gravel with Laterite.  The lighting was initially the 8
> watt T5 fluorescent that is standard in the hood. No CO2 initially.  Water
> parameters:
> pH 7.6
> NH4/NH3/NO2 0ppm
> NO3 5-10ppm
> PO4 unknown
> kH 8-9 dkH
> GH 15 dGH 
> 76 ­78 F

Sounds good here.
As long as your not adding iron liquid to your tank and you added algae
eaters from the start and bunch of plants. It can work that way if you
> Needless to say BBA appeared fairly quickly.  I went looking for help and
> landed here.  I set up DIY CO2 and swapped out the lighting for a
> CustomSeaLife CSL22 that has a 9 watt and a 13 watt compact fluorescent
> bulbs (7100K). 

Lose the atinic 7100 blue bulb. Get a 6700-5000K range bulb which seem to
hit it best for most plants and our eyes.
You just added a ton of light on this small tank. Guess what happens now?
You got to keep up on this. Now you have this small reservoir of water that
can be depleted quickly with all that light. I'd just keep adding the CO2 in
a good range(for a pH 7.2 for you). Try and keep the pH close to that both
at night and in the morning. I'd add just fish food. Would not add any iron.
Let the plants get at it in the soil.
> Water changes once a week ~50%
> Fe 0.25ppm
> K there but not measured (added with the Fe)
> pH 6.8 ­ 7.0
> CO2 based on pH and kH ~25 ­ 38 ppm
> NH4/NH3/NO2 0ppm
> NO3 < 5ppm
> PO4 0.1 ­ 0.25 ppm
> kH 8 dkH
> GH 11 dGH
> 74-76 F
> Light cycle is 1.5h 9w ­ 9h 13w ­ 1.5h 9w
> Flora: started with 3 guppies, now have about 20 (most still pretty small),
> 4 amano shrimp (which I just found out wonıt touch BBA), lotsıo MTSıs
> Fauna:  Few different swords, Bacopa caroliniana, Cardamine lyrata,
> Cryptocoryne wendtii, Cyperus helferi, Lilaeopsis brasiliensis, Hydrotyle
> leucocephala, and a few others.

There's some very fast N & P hungry plants in there, a fair amount of fish,
Consider adding a true SAE which does eat BBA. Keep your CO2 up. BBA should
be gone after a week or two at these levels and adding a SAE is always good
for algae removal. Algae can be difficult for folks once established. Try to
remove all of it and add SAE's and keep up on CO2. That will make life hard
for the algae.  
> What I have noticed is that new growth is not touched by BBA.  Older leaves
> that have reached full growth start to accumulate BBA.  The CO2 levels I
> know are high, however the fish, shrimp and snails are doing fine.  I have
> an air stone that goes on after lights out.  I would lower the CO2 but in
> this small a tank with DIY itıs a little tricky to maintain.

I understand there. Often DIY slows down production and on a small tank it
can swing. If you really keep up and change it often it stay more stable but
that means remembering and more work.
Heavy trimming and adding in only fast growers for a little while can help.
Floaters can help too.
> So as I said it looked as though BBA had stalled and the plants were
> winning.  Then things switched and the BBA just grew like a shot.  No change
> in water chemistry, I check everything daily.  Two nights ago I removed all
> the plants and did a deep gravel cleaning.  Cleared out as much BBA as
> possible by hand and replanted.

Wise thing to do.

> I did several water changes (easy with well
> water ­ no chlorine) and have had the NO3 down to 1 ppm for the last two
> days.  I also cut back on Fe in the water column.  The last two days BBA has
> definitely slowed, but so have the plants.  With out the Fe and NO-3 I donıt
> see nearly the pearling during the day that I used to see.

Try upping the NO3, not the Fe. It's needed far less than NO3. Is the well
water the same KH (8-9)?

> Anything obvious that I am missing?  I havenıt started micro-nutrients yet,
> but plan to soon.  Iım an organic chemist so I have most of the things I
> need around the lab, just havenıt put them together yet.  Another plan I
> have is to remove the guppies (take them back) and put in a couple of SAEıs.

They work much harder than Guppies.
> I have this feeling like Iım missing something important, but canıt quite
> figure out what is missing.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Patience. Takes some time to beat up BBA and get rid of it. Keep up the CO2
and that should take care of the new growth. Keep harassing it. Your not
going to get rid of it in 2 days though. Stable CO2 will help greatly. So
will an SAE or two.
Tom Barr