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Re: [APD] BBA I give up
"First off, do you do water changes weekly or even once every 2 weeks or so
on these low tech tanks?"
I change 10% every 4-6 weeks and add for evaporation as needed (more in
"How old is the substrate?"
Substrate is about 3-4 years old, generic type small pea gravel which I
never vacuum due to java moss cover. I've ordered 50# of Soilmaster to add,
substrate isn't as deep as I like.
"How much would say the plant biomass is?"
A couple of small anubias, a few strands of Brazilian pennywort floating, a
couple of feet of hornwort, asian ambula, rotala and some rocks with 2-4
inch thick java moss(which has pretty much covered the entire tank bottom).
This is sort of my junk tank, I throw any extra stuff in there till it goes
to my Vet for his turtles.
"Non CO2, non Carbon enriched tanks seldom even get BBA,
unless.........you do frequent water changes.
Water changes will bring in large amounts of CO2.
Later, after a few water changes, the plants are "confused", they were
getting very little CO2, and so where the algae, they were using what little
was there, and in the KH.
Algae have the upper hand there when you vary the CO2.
This is why you should NOT do water changes.
Sounds weird, like folks adding more nutrients to get rid of algae.
From my end, it's hard to teach this and have them unlearn the myths.
But it works, I've yet o have set up a single non Carbon enriched tank
that has had BBA in the last 12 years.
There is more to the non Carbon enriched approach than this, but this is
likely why you have the BBA outbreak.
The goal in these low tech lazy tanks, is just that, so keep a balanced
fish load, add some Greg Watson's GH builder at about 1/4 teaspoon to a 55
gal once a week, a few mls of traces, even some KNO3/KH2PO4 once a week if
the fish load is low."
Actually, I've never had this problem until recently when I started using
Excel and TMG. I started tinkering and the BBA started. I increased fish
load and ferts and no change, stopped using extra stuff and hoped it would
disappear, no way. I guess I need to sell enough stained glass (my other
hobby) to buy a CO2 set up. Anyone want some nice glass fish?
Feed fish regularly, have some algae eaters etc.
I have 8 otos, 2 plecos and 12 various cory's, 1 6"goldfish, 2 3"
goldfish(bought a month ago to add biomass), and 2 pearl groumies.
"Add water for evaporation only and prune as needed.
Pack the tank with plants though.
There are a number of ways to do this, but this is the general reason why
The CO2 thing for the tap water and the folks adding not enough CO2/ or
lower than optimal CO2, are reasons why they are plagued with BBA,
Variation in CO2 durning the lighting cycle is why BBA likes to grow.
BBA is almost exclusively CO2 related.
Some tanks are almost teetering on BBA outbreaks and perhaps they don't
clean a filter for way too long, add too much food etc, the balance is
True, I don't clean the filter very often.
"The key and the suggestions I give are geared to make the balance MORE
robust and thus less problematic for whatever routine you might have.
You have more wiggle room this way.
And in your case, even less work by doing fewer water changes.
btw: THERE IS A NICE MIDDLE GROUND SOME HAVE ALLUDED TO: USING EXCEL,
MODERATE LOW LIGHT AND WATER CHANGES SAY ONCE A MONTH, PRUNING ONCE A MONTH
PERHAPS ETC ALSO. SIMILARLY, LOW LIGHT AND GOOD CO2 IS ALSO A GREAT METHOD,
AS WELL AS ONLY HAVING HIGH LIGHT FOR 4 HOURS AND THEN LOW LIGHT THE
REMAINDER OF THE LIGHT CYCLE."
I have 2 Phillips T8's that are on a timer for 10 hours a day.
"You can use the Excel for a while to get rid of the BBA that is there
now, then go back to no water changes after things have cleared up if you
want, I just trim it all off and start over with good environmental
conditions and stay on top of things for 1-4 weeks. Then it mellows out.
It's the same old thing, no secret."
I guess I've just been lucky with my other tanks. I've had fish for many
years, the curse finally caught me. I'm trying H2O2 and will hopefully see a
lot of red in the next day or so. I'll dump in some more junk plants and try
the excel again. If it doesn't clear up by the time my new substrate arrives
I'll bleach. What a pain!
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