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Ivan wrote:

> Well, I recently have faced and apparently won (so far...) the BBA battle.
> There are still some attached to leaves, glass and rocks, but no new
> I noticed that it doesn't change color at all when dead. And the living
> is almost impossible to remove mechanically, while the dead one comes of 
> very easily from any surface, including rough ones such as lava rock. I
> noticed that loose pieces of the dead stuff apparently can stay forever in

> there, entangled on leaves, until they are removed. They don't seem 
> to decay at all. I wouldn't bury it but try to remove as much as possible.
> And my two SAEs doesn't seem to like it.

I've encountered two forms of blue-gray colored algae that qualify, and none
of my scavenger crew wanted anything to do with either.  One is rubbery,
with branching strands about 1/4" long.  It hangs on tenaciosly to plant
leaves and is almost impossible to remove without damaging the host plant.
I don't know whether it ever died in my tank, as it never changed color and
never fell off.  I fixed the nutrient deficiency that allowed it to
manifest, then removed it with the old growth.  

The second algae was the 1/8"-1/4" furry stuff that sometimes appears on
driftwood and powerhead prefilter sponges.  After identifying and
supplementing the underlying nutrient deficiency I removed the driftwood,
boiled it and hit the algae HARD with a wire-bristle brush.

> The BBA bloom was not caused by excess phosphate but by excess iron. 
> Phosphate in my tank always read around 0.03-0.06 ppm, and the BBA took 
> over only when I increased the PMDD daily dose in order to bring Fe to 
> measurable levels. Cutting it back a little and increasing the K2SO4 dose
> apparently fixed the problem (again, so far...).

Ttrick seems to be in identifying the balance that is right for the
combination of your area's water conditions and the plants in your tank.
This balance shifts as plants grow, as new plants are introduced, and as
others are removed.  Identifying the optimum proportions of nutrients
required by a specific planted tank can be frustrating.  If even one nutient
is out of whack excess nutrients become available for oportunistic algae.
Ivan's fix re-established his tank's balance; for others the same fix might
worsen the problem.  

I've had it hammered into me from the beginning (thank you misters Dixon,
Barr et al): 
*	move from macro to micro, stabilizing GH, KH and CO2 first, followed
by K, Fe, etc.
*	devise a simple, easily repeatable dosing routine and stick to it
*	for algae problems change larger amounts of water frequently and
physically remove as much algae from the tank as possible.
michael rubin 
mrubin at visa_com