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1. 30 gallons
2. 1 x 96 watt AH Supply PCF (6700k) 3.2wpg
3. Eheim Professional 2222
4. Flourite (some older regular gravel) - deep
5. Cyperus helferi, Suarurus chinensis, Rotala sp. 'Vietnam', Ludwigia brevipes, Cryptocoryne wendtii 'green', C. parva, C. albida, Eleocharis parvula, HC, H. micranthemoides '2 leaf', Monosolenium tenerum, mystery liverwort, Hottonia palustris, Eleocharis sp., Aponogeton undulatus, Microsorum pteropus 'Philippine, M. pteropus 'Tropica'
6. Apistogramma borellii, Epiplatyus dagettii, Aphyosemion bivittatum 'Funge', Trigonostigma heteromorpha, T. espei, Trichopsis pumilis, Caridina japonica, numerous cherry reds
7. nitrate - Lamotte, phosphate - Seachem, KH - AP
8. Flourish, Flourish Iron, Kno3, po4:
9. Pressurized co2 - Pinpoint ph controller - inline DIY reactor
10. 10 gallons weekly
11. tank set up in 1991


Tank was having spectacular growth for a good while. The issue is a recent outburst of beard algae.

I was dosing:
3.5ml Flourish
4ml Flourish Iron
6.5ml kno3/po4 solution - 1teaspoon kno3, 1/8th teaspoon po4 in 100ml distilled water

Now gets:
2.5ml Flourish
3ml Flourish Iron
6ml of the fert mix with double phosphate

The tank had a big stand of L. inclinata 'Cuba' that evidently needed a LOT of ferts. I removed it because it was growing a little too well but kept that fert regimine.

Things were good for about 6-8 weeks. Then, beard algae started showing up on the helferi and older leaves of other plants.

Saw some twistiness on the brevipes (in the past has been indicitive of low nitrates), stunting on the HM, some older chloritic looking leaves on Saururus and wendtii (despite all the iron). Otherwise, plants are healthy. Didn't have new reagents on phosphate kit and got some. Tests indicated nitrates at about 13, phosphate at .2. I think the P kit may be suspect. I've just about had it with test kits in general.

Water flow seems to have slowed. Co2 reactor may be clogged.

I think the problem may have something to do with excessive traces, low phosphates, or both. I have found miniscule amounts of BBA here and there (co2 is about 30-35ppm). I haven't asked for help for anything like this for some time, but I think I may be overlooking something. The only other thing I can think of is that I may have disturbed a Jobes spike.

In the past, beard algae has only showed up in nutrient poor conditions, but I have heard of it showing up in other conditions. I rid my 44 of it in a week with increased ferts. Maybe it just moved across the room. :cry:

Notice the newer fert regimine. I don't think I need all that I was adding. The phosphate thing has me puzzled.
 

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Either the BBA was lurking all the time and became noticeable because of improved conditions for it. Maybe it was the removal of the stand of Ludwigia inclinata cuba that provided more light, and less competition for nutrients.

Or, perhaps the BBA was really not there until it recently got introduced with a new plant, fish or snail.

I have never had BBA but I have received many plants covered with it. The bleach treatment has always eliminated it for me. There is a lot of talk now about BBA being especially sensitive to hydrogen peroxide.
 

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Is the dosing regime you detail above daily or weekly?

It looks as if you have increased PO4 dosing, unless I am reading in error. Possibly that has some bearing on the situation.

I have 50-60 bpm CO2 (pressurized) going into a heavily planted 30g. I would think of bumping up the CO2 for a while. Perhaps also replace the L. inclinata 'Cuba' with another suitably 'nutrient hungry' plant for the time being.

H2O2 does work but you need to be on the job daily and have a decent syringe to get it to the BBA. Pruning off affected leaves also helps a great deal, as does removing it from the substrate, if present.

The Eheim 2222 is easy to service, it would be a good idea to change the hoses (or clean with H2O2) and thoroughly rinse the media.

I had a similar outbreak in a 20g and have ridded myself of it by cleaning the filter and hoses and using H2O2, increasing the CO2, and making sure the plants have enough nutrients. Cleaning any hardscape including substrate was helpful.

1991 is a long time. Perhaps it is time to...

Andrew Cribb
 

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I've always heard that BBA tends to break out when Co2 levels become inconsistent, or drop - as has happened in my 55 gallon. So, I'm taking the Tom Barr method: Increase Co2 and decrease light. Trouble is, I'm not sure if my increasing Co2 is working that well! I also beat BBA with an excess of Flourish Excel in my 29 early in that tank's lifetime, but I don't like to go that route with my 55. Anyway, that's my suggestion: Increase Co2 and decrease light. I would guess the clogged reactor had more to do with it than you think.
 

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I've never had Blue Green Algae (knock on wood), but I did beat Black Beard Algae in my 29 with Flourish Excel. I saw it dying. It was quite fun to watch it die. My plants on the other hand, were quite happy. (no fish in the tank at the time as I killed the CAE in that tank with an OD of Flourish excel as well, entirely accidentally). After that, I added straight ammonia to the tank as well - no problems. No more algae. VERY high light as well.


My 55 is not as easy.
 

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Interesting. I use fairly high does of Flourish Excel at times and do not notice either fish or shrimp suffering. That's the only product from the Seachem Flourish line I use. Perhaps it also helped with the demise of the BBA.

Andrew Cribb
 

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The BBA is very hard to find and not that much of a problem. I've only seen it in places were there is very little or no water flow. It's not the problem. The beard algae is.

The Lamotte reagents are brand new and seem to be ok. Co2 levels are as high as I want them. This is the first time I've been successful with shrimp, and I don't want to raise the co2 any higher (though I do know the fish can take it).

I think I may have overreacted by doubling the phosphate, so I may make a new batch with 1.5x P.

I think my main question is if anyone has ever run into problems with excessive traces. The chloritic leaves are a real puzzler. It isn't too bad and seems to be limited to older leaves. I'm wondering if that might have something to do with it.
 

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I have not when I was dosing flourish at 10mls 3 a week with 50% weekly water changes in 20 gal of water.

But I did not dose Flourish iron as well.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Good consistent CO2 takes care of it.

Why have I not had BBA for many years and others have?
Why can I induce BBA by lowering my CO2?
Why do good German planties know this also?
Keep trying to do all the other methods, till you have done them all:)

Meanwhile I have no trouble with algae, BBA etc....
It's not magic.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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