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[APD] RE: algae fix (longtime BBA problem)


I have a 25gal. which has had the black brush algae infestation for about a
year now. This is a slow growth tank intended for Crypts., Java fern, and
Java moss. I don't have this black film but I do have  green cottony algae
as a secondary invasion/problem. I echo your statements about the bba:

"Then I got BBA. You can't prune driftwood and with the slate bottom I had
attached to it, I didn't want to pull it out. Scrubbing it? Tried that -
and it came back. I pruned all the Anubias but it came back on the new
leaves. It's nearly impossible to get rid of it off the flourite. I spent
countless hours with a tweezer trying to get it all out  - nearly
impossible. My CO2 levels are consistent - always above
25ppm. BBA may have bloomed when I ran out of CO2 and it took 2-3days for
me to get a refill but levels have been consistant besides that."

The two places where the bba seems to escape physical removal is attached
in the deep crevices of the wood and in between the rhizomes of Java fern
(I cut off all the leaves but leave the rhizome attached to the wood) and
in the pores of the substrate. The last time I tried to eradicate it I put
the Java fern wood into large Rubbermaid containers with just a small
amount of water and kept them in total darkness for almost 3 weeks. After
cleaning every speck I could possibly find out the tank, I blacked out the
tank with cardboard cut to fit all around the glass. It was totally dark
inside; made sure of that. Also did a large water change and supplemented
nutrients. The tank remained dark,with the filter running for 2 weeks and a
couple of days.

When I put it all back together I could still see traces of the bba on the
crowns of the crypts (which remained in the tank) and on the Java fern
wood. I thought: "This stuff just can't be killed!" and I proceeded to put
16 Amano shrimp and 8 Otocinclus in the tank to abate any reoccurrence.
Well, as it turned out the stuff slowly came back and now the tank is about
where it was before. I don't really like Siamese algae eaters all that much
but I think this might have turned the tide if I'd have used them instead
of the shrimp and Otos. We discussed this at AGA forum.

I had another tank set up nearly as identical to this one as I could make
it. It too developed a bba problem and the only way I got this one to turn
around was to change the plant bio-mass so that it consisted of a large
percentage of fast growers and a small percentage of slow growers. I didn't
really want to go back to stem plants (high maintenance) but this did help
turn the tank around. I have not yet converted it back.

I will try again to fix the problem without resorting to a chemical algae
eradicator and hopefully without altering the plant species. Of course, it
would be easiest to throw away everything and start over but it took me two
years to cover the wood with the Java fern and moss so I don't want to
loose those pieces. Additionally, If I can turn this tank around I'm pretty
sure I can fix most any algae problem I may encounter in the future.


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