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If you have a large bioload, low plant biomass, do lots of water changes in a non CO2 tank, you can easily get BBA.
I've not had isues with a non CO2 method unless I did not follow certain routines like not doing the water changes and regular fish feedings, good substrate etc.
Can you elaborate on:

- water changes vs. BBA in non CO2 tanks
- good substrate (highlights)

Thanks
 

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Water changes typically add CO2 and cause the algae and plants to respond to this.
BBA seems to like higher CO2 levels but only up to a point. I've found this to be true in natural systems as well. 5-10ppm or so seems good.

Forcing BBA to use KH or having access to very little CO2 seems to slow growth and makes it very rough on new BBA spores that settle and attach.

The same appears to be true with high CO2 levels above 15ppm. As long as the levels do not drop or move around too much, BBA will stop growing.

I believe that the key here has to do with reproduction of spores.
When times are good, the algae does its vegetative growth cycle. When the CO2 varies a lot, then it thinks that local environment is getting worse, so it releases spores that will hopefully land somewhere more favorable.

If you provide constand variation and change with enough CO2, then you have a nasty BBA problem.

If you go outside this range, say very low CO2 or high CO2, then the algae stops producing spores and eventually the older BBA dies off never being replaced by the young spores.

The old non growing adults are still capable of spore production and should be removed also.

All the BBA I have seen has been in clear fast moving water attached to rocks, some plants. Anyone that went down the Ichetucknee saw BBA on the Sags and Vals. The pH of the water is 7.6-7.8 or so.

Good substrates for non CO2 methods:

Peat/mulm sand
Soil sand mulm
Flourite peat mulm
Onyx mulm and peat

These are the ones I've tried over the years in varying amounts.
Onyx sand 3-4" deep, with mulm and peat 3/4" to 1" works the best.

The plants grow better in these substrates and these substrates also last longer as a source of nutrients such as Ca and iron with less issues with replanting than sand which has no porosity and far less surface area. This surface area and local regions of internal anaerobic spaces allows for better/faster breakdown of waste into plant food.
And ultimately less algae, more plant biomass.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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I'm a little confused.
It was Tom who suggested to me to get and SAE or two when I was fighting the BBA battles a year or two ago. It worked.
IME, they are, without a doubt the way to beat BBA. Only after cleaning up the tank thoroughly. Scrubbing/bleaching all objects in the tank except for fish,substrate and filter pads.
Do that thoroughly, and introduce an SAE per 30gals. of water and you will generally see no re-occurrence of BBA.
If they are not available locally, there are lots of outlets on the internet for them.
Add them, get the plants growing well in a clean environment.

Len
 

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SAE's are good for some issues, but like I said, there is certainly room for improvement in any method that NEEDS SAE's to deal with algae.

I do not proscribe to one silver bullet in dealing with algae, I am interested in the relative effects of each method, such as SAE's, adding stable good CO2 levels, PO4 etc etc.

The additive effects of these different will make a "cure" much more effective, I grow plants, so I take care of their needs first, then we add bufferes like shrimps, SAE's etc because humans are lazy and we forget to dose etc.

I've had carpets of BBA and SAE's, they could not keep up.
And I'll tell you all, I had the worst experiences for several years with BBA. I tried many things.

Most people did.


Regards,
Tom Barr
 
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