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[APD] Re: CO2 and BBA

From: "Reggie Bustinza" <numbr_9 at hotmail_com>
I said:

>>That assumes those are both accurate measurements. Not always the case.

>very likely true.  I dont' know what he's using to measure his parameters, 
>but those pH tests can be a pain to read.

>>Reggie, if nutrients cause BBA, where is mine?

>Nowhere in my post did I suggest that nutrients caused BBA.  I've read 
>your posts for long enough to know that you don't feel that is the case.  
>Heck, it was you, Tom, who helped me cure my tank of most algae problems 
>in the first place!

It's nothing personal, it's the issue I'm arguing here.
If not CO2, then it has to be maintenance, nutrients or light.
There are only a few things left it can be.

I have light as does everyone, we have nutrients, I've gone through each carefully to see any algae inducement potentials, maintenance might be an issue, but not really for BBA.

Like most algae, once the bad period of plant growth passes(low CO2, low NO3 etc), the algae is now there and has a foothold.

You must get rid of it, kill it etc and then correct conditions.
The conditions may now appear corrected and leaving the aquatist scartching their heads, but if they look back at the patterns leading up to this outbreak, it is CO2 in about 90% of the cases I've ever looked at. The other 10% are simply unknown due to a lack of data or observations but I'd suspect they are also CO2 issues.

Add that with being able to induce and grow BBA consistently and repeatedly by lowering the CO2, I think this presents and very strong case for BBA= poor CO2.

There is no consistentcy with nutrients and BBA, certainly not with KH/GH/PO4/NO3/K/Traces.
Perhaps NH4? I'm not sure. I would have to let the test run longer to see.
There would be other algae present first before BBA in that case anyway and that is seldom seen with BBA outbreaks. 
>>I have no BBA, it does not appear due to magic or other factors, I've messed 
>>with the other factors extensively.
>>I can only get BBA to grow if the CO2 varies during the lighting phase.

>So, how does one keep CO2 consistent throughout the lighting phase?  

Measure it. Add more or excess. Even if the test kits suggest otherwise.
Lighting can influence pH meters, poor wide range test kits are inaccurate.
Other acids can influence CO2.

In all cases, the errors are for less CO2 than is actually in the water, never more.
Consider that when deciding whether to add more CO2.

I add more CO2 till I see the type of growth I like and that adding more CO2 does not produce more growth.
Fish are a concern but I've never killed any fish yet doing this.'
I also watch the tank closely when I do this as well.

You can do the glass test to see if therer are other infuences in the tank water vs the KH/pH.
2 glasses, one of tap water and one of tank water will have the same CO2 level after 24 hours sitting on the table.
Any differences in the CO2 can/should be adjusted accordingly.

This is not a perfect method by any means but will get you close enough to make a guess at the CO2 level.
This can be used to estimate CO2 levels in peat water also.

>I can 
>only think of one method; the CO2 monitor/Selenoid valve.  I currently 
>don't use it, and am also fighting a very small outbreak of BBA on some 
>anubias.  If inconsistent CO2 levels throughout the lighting phase are 
>causing it, maybe I should invest in a CO2 monitor/Selenoid valve myself.

Naw, I don't use those and I have not had any BBA issues for close to a decade now.
A good efficient CO2 reactor, good current through the reactor, good tank mixing will make the response time good enough. Most folks using needle valves and no controllers have variations of 0.0-0.2 pH units throughout the daytime.

I can crank the CO2 during the day since I turn it off at night.
So there is no high chronic CO2 level that might harm fish since it off gasses each night when plants are not taking in CO2 anyway.

>>BBA does fine at high or low NO3, K, PO4, traces.
>>Low KH or high KH.
>>Low GH or high GH.
>>Low or high light, non CO2, CO2.
>>Any type of substrate.

>no argument here.  My experience tells me the same.

So then no nutrients, no lighting etc, all that's left by the process of elimination is CO2 again.

>Ah, the beauty of the "Barr Method"; throw those test kits away!  ;-)  You 
>sold me on that about a year ago, and I couldn't be happier.

Wait a minute, I never got paid if I sold you something?:-)

>>KH and pH measurements are all that's left and the bioindicators, BBA, poor 
>>hairgrass growth (a plant that does very well when the CO2 is high) point to 
>>CO2 issues.

>Once again, no argument here.

So what's left then?

>>ah, that's what I think he was looking for.  See, I knew we kept you 
>>around despite your cantankerousness for a reason!  :-)  

I'm not that way in person.

Seriously, thanks 
>>for the help Tom.  And I am curious if you think a CO2 controller would 
>>help my own problems.

Naw. Aph controller might impress your tech loving friends though.
I have not used one since 1996 and never suggest them.
A pH monitor is a good thing though.
The needle valve is great and is easy to use to add more/less etc.
A good high flow CO2 reactor will also be a great thing as well.

So much of this hobby revolves around good CO2, it is the toughest thing out there for new and old planties alike.
Nutrients are easy to address via the estimative index and deal with so this places a much more critical look on CO2 in the planted aquaria.

I find it surprising that such a basic thing that many assume is well studied and research with aquatic plants in aquariums is really very poorly understood and addressed.

For years before I came along, every said 10-15ppm was enough CO2.
I suppose it was for barely getting by at low/med light, but I added lots of light.
That placed more pressure on CO2 and nutrients.

Taking care of light/nutrient places all the focus on CO2.

This process works very well at seeing what each one of this growth requirements has on plants and/or algae.

People wonder how I can say so definitively about things sometimes, well, if you did this you'd know also.
There is little else it could be.

In working down this path, the plantie also takes better care of their plants even if they are off by one parameter, which is better than being off by 3:-)

I just find it odd no one else did this already, even companies that sell products and makes lots of $ and suggestions and claims of research by "scientist"..............

Tom Barr

>Regards, Reggie

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