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Thread: BBA on MC and hair grass carpet

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    BBA on MC and hair grass carpet

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    Hi, I had a BBA infestation 2 months ago, something is off balance, I'm still trying to figure out the cause but it's getting better now.

    About 1 month ago it starts growing on my carpet, I understand that BBA would grow on unhealthy plants.

    What would be the best way to treat it?
    Do I trim away the affected area or do I rooted up the whole patch of the affected area?

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    Re: BBA on MC and hair grass carpet

    Hi bro J.C,

    Long time no see your updates. :-) Would like to share my experience fighting BBA with you. It would take about 5 weeks for this treatment.


    - Yes, first step is to remove/cut-off affected parts on the plants. I think you can try to trim it first. See if the plant can bounce back. If still got affected, then you can remove the patch of plants. You can plants back some good portions/stems after carefully inspect it. I used to remove the whole bunch of Japonica Blyxa from my tank and choose those best one to re-plants and it works.
    - Cleaning all of the lily pipes, tubes, surface skimmer…etc. with tap water.
    - Canister filter to be cleaned as well (change the white filtration pad, rinse the bio-media with tank water…etc.).
    - Cut down the intensity of lighting that you got, if possible or reduce the lighting time. I used to dim the light by 2 steps and cut down the lighting time from 8 to 7 hours a day.
    - For the first week after the above cleaning steps, do water change 2-3 times a week, every time 50%.
    - From the 2nd week onwards, water change once a week as normal. I used AlgExit from EasyLife after each water change (5ml for my 2ft tank similar to yours). Continue to do it for 4 weeks.
    - During this treatment time, just observe if you see any BBA, just remove it by cleaning the equipment or remove the affected leaves/plants.

    I also bought 1-2 S.A.E. fish for BBA treatment, they really done their job very well. You can try. It too.

    After 5 weeks treatment as such, BBA was under control in my tank.

    I find the cause of BBA in my tank during the time CO2 has been running out, together with the change in lighting. So just make sure that the CO2 is always suffice and lighting don’t change drastically in intensity/duration. In this battle, less light and more CO2 is better is what I can see.

    All the best and hope you can beat BBA successfully!
    My Planted Tank Journal: http://jackychun218.blogspot.sg/
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    Re: BBA on MC and hair grass carpet

    Hello, JC, I think you started your 2FT same time when I started my 3FT low tech tank last year in Dec. Is your BBA infestation for your 2FT Iwagumi, Monte Carlo/ Hairgrass tank or another tank?

    If it's your Iwagumi then it shouldn't be flow because it's nano and "iwagumi" (no obstruction to flow), could just be CO2 and unhealthy plants as your main problem. That is if you did not change your light set recently.

    My low tech fern only tank had 5 types of algae infestation shortly after 3 months of cycling. Apparently there were some die off and I had to removed all the ferns (unhealthy ones down the rubbish chute). Surprisingly I saw immediate improvements over the next few weeks. It got even better when I included fast growing stem plants. Do check to see if your Monte Carlo is growing lush and thick.

    Same as Jacky, I had 4-5 small spots of BBA (size of 0.4mm) when my CO2 ran out. I spot treat them with Seachem Excel (1ml per spot), max 10ml per 200 litre, leave for 1 hour and do a 40% water change. BBA should turn pink, then white after 3 treatments. After which you can remove them. I left 2 spots in my tank to monitor their growth and they are still 0.4mm after 2 months means CO2 have stabilize and BBA is not growing much.

    Abit of warning, Seachem Excel has 6% glutaraldehyde (seachem patented it as "polycycloglutaracetal") which local hospitals use to sterilize their surgical equipment. This explains why some of us use it as an Algacide. But overdose = fish, shrimp or plant die. Another option is to use Hydrogen Peroxide, same dosage, not exceeding 10ml per 200 litre.

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    Re: BBA on MC and hair grass carpet

    Hi guys, thanks for the reply, appreciate it.

    Yes it's the 2ft iwagumi tank that caught BBA. I am going to share what I know so far and hopefully you guys can help me find the missing piece to the puzzle.

    Bro Jacky, I thought I'll do a update after the BBA infestation but didn't know the battle would take that long lol, gonna update soon.

    Initially I'm having doubts sharing what happened because it was quite embarrassing.

    I'm able to narrow down to these few things that might have caused the infestation 2 months ago.


    1. Co2 went down to 500 psi before the refill.

    2. Replaced my diffuser to the intense bazooka but set at the same bpm.

    3. Switched from green brighty step 1 to step 2.

    4. Trimming too much at 1 go. ( from 4cm thickness to 1cm )

    After that I'm getting some BBA forming on rocks and equipment. It's still under control as I did the h2o2 spot treatment method to the BBA every time the new one forms. Meantime I'm slowly adjusting the co2, lighting and fertilizer to find the right balance.

    Then 1 month ago there's a freak incident (my fault) that almost wiped out the entire tank....

    One evening I took out the bazooka for cleaning after its covered with BBA, after installing back I did some testing on the bubble rate, not knowing at that time that bazooka takes quite sometime to build up the pressure before the bpm can be accurate. The bpm was very very slow, I thought the solenoid might be faulty so I cranked it up to the bpm that I want (1-2bpm), set on the timer and went to bed.

    The next day I woke up 3 hours after the regulator turn on, to my horror all my fishes were floating upside down ontop of my tank!! The bubble counter was like 20 bpm.

    I did 5% water change every 30 minutes as I don't want to shock them further. Thankfully all the fishes recovered. One female clown killifish went missing where the body was not found. 5 shrimps jumped out of the tank, I found them at the back of the tank weeks after.

    After that I'm having major out break on BBA, they are everywhere, from lily pipes to rocks, tank glass, plants, everywhere. After the incident my chiller broke down for a week before it got repaired, not sure if it contributed to the out break.

    Now it's getting better as I physically remove them everyday, cleaned the equipment and hose, h2o2 treatment when I got the time when the light is on.

    As for the MC I'm not sure if it's already unhealthy and attracts BBA or because the incident causes the BBA to attach to anything they can find.

    I'll try trimming the infected part for an other week. If it's still spreads like crazy then I'll up root them, I'm going to buy some SAE to help me as well.

    If there's anything I should know/do to help with the current situation please let me know. Thanks.

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    Re: BBA on MC and hair grass carpet

    1 week no co2 on my 185 litre tank can already see minor effect of BBA, can't imagine a 2FT 65 litre tank with an iwagumi scape going through unstable co2, temperature and perhaps increase in organics due to loss of fish/shrimps. BBA don't just go away, it just stops growing.


    I measure co2 levels by bps and by the color of my drop checker instead of PPM. Example start - blue, 2 hours after co2 injection - dark green, 2 hours before lights off - light green etc. My co2 levels remain constant and I do not make adjustments even after a trimming. The only time I adjust is if I change to a more powerful light set or add 1 more set.


    I would suggest you leave your co2 at levels you normally would. Given 2Ft is a small tank, just do frequent (alternate day) but small water change (10%) and dose h202 when necessary (beware of accumulation). Also dose 1/2 the recommended dose for excel (2 Punch Algae method) after alternate day water change. Your water is chilled, so you have an advantage.


    Feeding and photo period as per normal. Same weekly water changes.


    Once your MC starts growing, things should improve.


    By the way, your 2FT journal didn't state what light set you are using.

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    Re: BBA on MC and hair grass carpet

    It can be seen quite clearly the fluctuation of CO2 in your tank recently was the cause of BBA outbreak, IMO.
    If you feel the MC cannot bounce back properly, just bite the bullet and remove them. Torque6 is right, BBA doesn't just go away, we can only control its growth. Just consider it as part of the hobby, you will feel less annoying when you see it.

    Other than the method in my post, you can also get some fast growing plants (like rotala rotundifolia/heteranthera zosterifolia...etc.) to plant in the tank. Last time, I read somewhere that if you can have healthy plants, it will compete with algae and algae will be gone naturally. Likewise, you can also use more floating plants to reduce the lighting intensity and at the same time, it will help to absorb those excessive nutrients in a water body, hence less chance for algae to grow.

    It will be the long run battle and you would learn a lot from that. Nothing is embarrassing in my view, bro. We all have invaluable lessons every day in this hobby!

    Jia you!

    BTW, it would be good if you can post some photos of the current situations so that we would have better understanding on this matter.
    My Planted Tank Journal: http://jackychun218.blogspot.sg/
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    Re: BBA on MC and hair grass carpet

    There's typos on my previous post, when I said bpm I meant bps on my bubble counter.

    @torque6,
    Thanks for the suggestions.
    I'm using ADA aquasky 601 set at 6 hours 15 mins photo period. I had just bought a bottle of excel, going to use it at the next 10% water change you suggested.

    About the usage of excel, do i use the spot treatment method or normal dosing method?


    @Bro jacky,

    Thanks for the encouragement, came really close to giving up a month ago. With so many BBA floating all over the tank I just wanna tear the whole tank down and take a break.

    After much thinking though I felt that it might be a blessing in disguise, an excuse to make myself feel better lol. If I can pull this one off, future challenges would be a walk in the park.

    I had bought 3 SAE to assist me. I'll try for another month if things doesn't improve, I'll use algaexit.

    I'll post some pics of the tank. I'm using a camera phone, some BBA might not be visible in the photo.

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    Re: BBA on MC and hair grass carpet

    For some reason the forum doesn't allow me to post pictures, I'll try again tomorrow.

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    Re: BBA on MC and hair grass carpet

    For treatment, I will spot treat with H202 on BBA -> water change ->then dose (5ml) 1 capful per 200 L daily (good to try 1/2 dose first and see if shrimps are ok if you have them). The guide on "2 Punch Algae" on Planted Tank forum is slightly different from mine, but conceptually, it's the same. 1) Weaken BBA with H202 2) Hit them with Excel. Good to know you had bought Excel but it is not necessary. I try not to ask hobbyist to buy stuff unless it's mandatory.

    I sort of expected that you are using a high light. Do you have the light suspended or on the default acrylic stand? When you first started and had green water outbreak, was this LED light also used?


    ADA aquasky is one of the best in terms of color rendition however at a depth of 30cm, you are looking at a PAR value of 110. With reference to Jacky's 2 feet tank with the Chihiros A series, 3 clicks, he is only having 40+ PAR. So your tank has more than 3 times the light intensity with just an iwagumi set up and no fast growing plants.



    If using ADA aquasky, my feel is that setup should more or less be like these tanks in ADA's showroom Nigata/ Shinjuku. High plant density from the start and massively big bunch of stem plants in the background. These tanks has been running for over a year based on time lapse.



    This hobbyist is using a similar light with comparable PAR, a twinstar 600e.

    http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/12...l#post10373225

    It's a similar iwagumi hybrid. He started having problems 3-4 months after setup. From hair algae to BBA to BGA, it's like a chemical warfare. Damn stress. I did tell him it's the light that is giving him problems and any imbalance will greatly impact him much faster as he has a nano tank. No idea why happened after July cause no more updates from him.


    To reduce light intensity I would :-


    Option 1) Split photo period. 8-12 noon. 3-7pm. (total 8 hours, 4x4). C02 needs to be adjusted to the same timing. C02 up at 7am-11am, then 2pm-6pm.
    Option 2) Based on the PAR chart, suspend the light higher to maybe 50cm from light to substrate level to achieve 40-60 PAR. (not recommended, last resort as this requires buying support stand which cost $$ if you do not have them)


    Hope this works for you. Trying monitor a few months first and see if got improvement.


    References:-
    Chihiros A series PAR (depth of 30cm)
    Level 1 - 8.5 Par
    Level 2 - 30 Par
    Level 3 - 49 Par
    Level 4 - 70 Par
    Level 5 - 90 Par
    Level 6 - 105 Par
    Level 7 - 130 Par


    http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/10...ffordable.html

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    Re: BBA on MC and hair grass carpet



    BBA on rocks, bing treating with h2o2.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: BBA on MC and hair grass carpet



    BBA on the bazooka, I clean it 6 days ago.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: BBA on MC and hair grass carpet



    hair grass with BBA.




    one of the MC patch with BBA. There are multiple patches thru the tank.





    whenever I sees BBA on the MC I would start trimming them. Now it's about 1cm thickness. Any further would hit the substrate..
    There are still BBA on some of it. what should I do?

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    Re: BBA on MC and hair grass carpet

    sorry for the multi posts. Had problem posting pictures at first so I have to do it 1 by 1.
    the above conditions is 4 times better than the out-break a month ago.

    @torque6,

    I didn't know that mine was 3 times higher PAR than jacky's, I always thought it was about the same. I'll look into it.
    Last edited by j.c.koh; 31st Aug 2017 at 09:22.

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    Re: BBA on MC and hair grass carpet

    @torque6: You have very a very deep research on this matter! Thanks for enlightening!

    @ Bro JC: I think first you need to reduce light intensity by putting more floating plants on top since your light cannot be adjust with dimmer control. Floating plants also help to absorb excessive nutrients, too.

    In the meantime, I hope your SAE can work well to the remaining BBA in the tank. Keep calm and fight the battle!


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    Re: BBA on MC and hair grass carpet

    Hello JC,

    You can continue using the high light, but your C02 and ferts need to keep up. I personally have no experience with high light setup, so am not sure how to dose and in what amount. Same with C02.

    You tank looks good. I am only seeing small tuffs of BBA. You may not need to do anything and just concentrate on growing your plants. Things will normalise once lights, co2, ferts, temp etc are balanced. Only worry if you tank start to look like this.



    Dear Jacky,


    Thanks for the compliment. I get my info from Planted Tank forum and youtube, so the research isn't my own. I am guilty of plagiarism....


    Floating plants do help to reduce light intensity temporary, but do note that JC tank scape is a iwagumi; so it's purely rock scape with grass like plants, no stems plants or floating plants. This is why iwagumi scape is the most challenging scapes. It's moderately easy to start with Dry Start Method, but becomes harder in the long run to maintain. It's very unforgiving, no margin for errors.
    Last edited by torque6; 31st Aug 2017 at 11:01.

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    Re: BBA on MC and hair grass carpet

    Yes, I totally agree with you on the aesthetic point of view on Iwagumi scape.
    Floating plants is just a temporary treatment option of this algae outbreak period that might help to gradually solve the issue.

    I might try iwagumi in my future project someday, too. For now, still not so confident to go for it. Haha!
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    Re: BBA on MC and hair grass carpet

    @torque6,

    Whoa, look at the thickness, how is it even possible? lol
    I'll play around with the fertilizer and co2 a bit, hopefully I can get the right balance. Thanks for helping.

    @bro Jacky, thanks for recommending the sae, they are doing a great job on rocks and plant, it's getting less day by day. Think I'll be getting some floaters to help me out as well.
    Don't mind me asking, how do you mount your extension wire casing on your cabinet? I use 3m double sided tape but I just kept falling off.

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    Re: BBA on MC and hair grass carpet

    Quote Originally Posted by j.c.koh View Post
    @torque6,

    Whoa, look at the thickness, how is it even possible? lol
    I'll play around with the fertilizer and co2 a bit, hopefully I can get the right balance. Thanks for helping.

    @bro Jacky, thanks for recommending the sae, they are doing a great job on rocks and plant, it's getting less day by day. Think I'll be getting some floaters to help me out as well.
    Don't mind me asking, how do you mount your extension wire casing on your cabinet? I use 3m double sided tape but I just kept falling off.
    Bro, I just used screw to mount the electric plug extension to the cabinet. At first, I used double tape, too and it couldn't last for long. So screw would be the better way. You can refer to this video to get the idea how to do it properly mounted.

    https://youtu.be/Xa8IrMWXtYc

    Cheers!


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    Re: BBA on MC and hair grass carpet


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