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"Well I have almost 95% of my tank planted so there is no question of low
biomass. Not only that I have taken special care to ensure that the plants
that I have are all healthy. Not only this they were doing quite well till
such time I started dosing PMDD and BBA came into existence."
  Okay, lots of plants. Little source of error there.
How old was the tank?
"The pH kit is quite accurate and I calibrate it regularly with calibration
solution. It is also used by a very experienced aquarists in Bangalore and
he is also satisfied with its accuracy. It's a digital meter with increments
of 0.1 unit."
  Well, then it is not being used properly in some way, CO2 is a huge problem for folks, you'll see many that do not trust their test kit readings and simple use the pH/Kh to dial in a close range and then they slowly add more.
  I really don't care what protest you or anyone with BBA may desire to claim about their tank, methods, "Oh i cannot possibly be wrong and have looked at everything" etc, if you have BBA, that is a clear sign you need to add more CO2 peroid.
  There is no other disccusion about this, you need to add more CO2. 
  I've had BBa longer than most any newbie and most folks on this list, several years. Very few people would have put up with it for as long as I did. But I know precisely why I had it and what to do to cure it and everyone else that's done this has also found this to be true.
  We are all not wrong and just got lucky for a decade or more.
  So you may wish to re-evalute the CO2 any time you have any algae related issue as Rule.
  If you don't, you'll have to learn the hard way.
  I have no reason to lie to you about these things.
  And I've isolated why BBA appears.
  It (BBA) is a better indicator than any test kit or reading you might offer.
"6.5 is the ideal one. If I add any more CO2 the pH will go further down and
the whole tank will collapse."
  Add more, add it slowly though, say .1pH units and watch the fish. Do this for a day or two, note fish and plant health. Go another .1pH units the following couple of days, when fish look weird (most often late in the day), then back off a .1pH unit and raise it back up a tad.
  Now it needs to be stable. Keep it there.
  the BBA will stop growing and likely die off. If not, you can trim what remains off and bleach any equipment.
  "I know this is not the EI routine that you advised me. I started as per your
dosage schedule and then after about 15 days the situation seemed to be
going out of hand in terms of algae outbreak. Thus, had to slow down on the
  Well, this just showed the CO2 was poor.
  Algae will grow great with or without the nutrients from PMDD.
  We limited NO3 to near zero, we limited as did the rest of the folks at the time PO4 in efforts to kill or decrease BBA.

  Nothing worked except good CO2.
  This pattern has been verified 1000's of times since then over nearly 10 years and every single tank test I've ever done.

>If you are actually dosing this amount, and doing weekly 50% water changes
>with tap that has neither, there is simply no possible way to get beyond
>48ppm and 5.5ppm of PO4 ........ever. And that assumes zero uptake by

>I am also equally baffled about this as you are.

  I'm not, cheap test kits, nothing new, we showed they had all sorts of issues a long time ago as well. And that was a good thing.
  The theory behind the max levels of build up doing 50% weekly water changes is fairly absolute, so that leaves you and the terst kits at the source of the error.
"I agree my Test kits are not top of the line but then I had prepared stock
solutions using Chuck Gadd's calculator to know exactly how much Nitrate &
Phosphate are there in 1 PPM of solution. Subsequently I tested them using
the kit and the results were within a 10% margin error. So I guess more or
less I can take the readings to be correct."
  Well here you are not testing the range in question at all. What good is a solution at 1ppm when you are trying to test 20ppm, 200ppm etc?
  No way. 
  An error of 10% on 1ppm is fine, but this only applies to PO4, not NO3, 1ppm of NO3 will only last in a well run tank less than a day.
  The best error possible with even a top of the line Lamott Test kit is 1-5ppm.
  That is from Lamotte's research also.
  So test kits really afford less accuracy than many like to contend, even the good ones. If you do calibrate the test kits, use 3 series, 1ppm, 10ppm and 100ppm or something thereabouts with the range of interest.
  You can say what you believe to be true but I know that it is impossible, either you are making something up or overlooking something, not measuring it correctly or have a testing error.
  Now you can attempt to try and figure out everything with the test kits, knock yourself out, but.......................if you simply added more CO2 as suggested, we would not be having this talk. I've been down this road 100,s, probaly thousands of times.
  You are not the "sole exception", but ultimately you'll believe what you want and continue to have issues.
  BBA does not lie, the test kits might, some other error you did might be the source etc, but the algae is an excellent bioindicator, and one we are concerned with specifically that tells me precisely what is wrong, irrepsective of your test measurements. 
  Hopefully the test kits will coinside, but if not, then you still add more CO2.
  Many folks have come to me with the same mystry, but it's clear as day to me, no mystry here.
"As far as I am concerned, the plants started having a major algae outbreak
as soon as I started dosing. And all this while I did have a pressurised CO2
system and enough lights."
  So why did you dose then?
  The dosing does what? Increases plant growth which in turn increases CO2 uptake.
  If there is not enough CO2, you get algae. 
  If what you want to claim is true, please tell me why I do not have any algae and have not for over a decade as well as every one esle even through we dose heavily these same(?) things?
  I dose the same type of routine to tanks all day long, no algae.
  Same with everyone else.
  Are you really that special?:-)
  Probably not with respect to BBA. 
  the fish loading is not that large either, you do large weekly water changes also, so that is a non issue.

"I have already pruned whatever was possible and removed algae as much as
could be done. Now the only thing that I cannot play around is the level of
CO2 as the pH is already at 6.5 and I can't afford to have it drop any
further. Moreover since there is lot of peraling happening so I guess the
level of CO2 in the tank is ok."
  No, you have BBA, so it's not okay.
  Make sure you7 have some surface movement, a little ripple is okay at the water's surface, but not a torrent, this will help your fish when you add more CO2. 
  Do you measure the pH with the lights and electrical equipment on? 
  If so, stop. Turn them off first, then measure.
  You also sound like you have tried in vain to trim off the BBA, but it grows back too fast, so your plants are certainly not growing new leaves without BBA. So you may think the pearling is helping, but if the plants are not growing, the pearling really is not going to tell you much. It's a good sign, but the algae is growing as fast. 
  CO2, CO2 and CO2.
  Until you do this, there no sense in asking much else or trying to search for other solutions. Everybody else that's had BBA over the years has dealth with it this way.
  BBA grows well in tanks for defined reasons, they are not the reasons you want to claim. The likelyhood of the rest of the world being wrong when we have nice successful tanks, no BBA, but had it at one time or another and got rid of it all the same manner. There's no mystery here and everyone on the list knows this.
  You can go around to a dozen boards and get pretty the same answer about your problem.  

Tom Barr


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