See less of these, become a Super Subscriber today!

Algae - BBA+GSA - How To Remove/reduce/prevent

Author Topic: Algae - BBA+GSA - how to remove/reduce/prevent  (Read 3382 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline fcmf

  • Global Moderator Subscriber
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1643
  • Likes: 78
Algae - BBA+GSA - how to remove/reduce/prevent
« on: April 22, 2017, 05:46:05 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
I have black beard algae affecting my java fern and anubias, a small amount of brown algae on the other plants, and some green spot algae on the rear pane of glass and on the filters.

Despite scrubbing my plants or even wiping tissue paper over them in an effort to remove BBA during the weekly water change, I'm not succeeding and it's getting quite unsightly and I've ended up breaking quite a few of the anubias leaves. I've had no success in removing the GSA from the rear pane of glass and filters although this is less obvious and unsightly.

Although nerite snails look lovely, I'm concerned that they may feast on any fish which die - this would give me the heebie-jeebies as previously mentioned. Therefore, I think I'm going to have to change something in my regime - I currently have the lights on for 8 hours per day but don't use any plant products in the tank. I'm reluctant to use CO2 for fear of inadvertently overdosing it and posing a risk for the fish - would be typical for that to happen despite exercising the utmost care. Would I be best to alter the lighting regime or to put some sort of plant product in the tank? I have a mental note about Seachem Flourish - might that make a difference? Any thoughts/suggestions gratefully appreciated; thanks.

Offline Sue

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7089
  • Likes: 113
Re: Algae - BBA+GSA - how to remove/reduce/prevent
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2017, 06:46:28 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Of all the snails I have or have had in the past, nerites have never eaten dead fish. Shrimps, yes; apple snails, yes; ramshorn snails, yes. Nerites, no.

Green spot algae - I find a piece of stiff plastic with a nice straight edge does the trick. Old credits cards are best but those labels that come with plants at the garden centre are almost as good if you can stop them bending.


Which Seachem Flourish do you mean? There is a whole range of them. Seachem Flourish without anything else after is a plant fertiliser; Flourish Excel is the liquid carbon; and then there are Flourishes which contain single trace elements. Flourish Excel is the one that is supposed to kill BBA when overdosed but I am not happy with overdosing glutaraldehyde in my tanks. It can also be squirted directly on to the affected leaves while they are out of the water, which seems to me to be the better way to use it.

Offline Cod_only_knows

  • Rocking Fishy Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 354
  • Likes: 9
  • Just for the halibut!
Re: Algae - BBA+GSA - how to remove/reduce/prevent
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2017, 09:38:02 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Fluctuating CO2 levels, poor flow, lack of water changes are all meant to promote BBA. My nerites didn't do an awful lot for BBA.

Sorry to upset Sue, but I now overdose with glutaraldehyde (I use Colombo FloraGrow Carbo). It weakens the BBA, which is eaten a little by my Stiphodon semoni but primarily by my 3 Amano shrimps. They have completely eradicated all the algae in my tank since I added them. I'm a little worried there's no longer  enough for my Stiphodon!

I've also heard of using a paintbrush to paint on the glutaraldehyde when the plant is out of the water. Alternatively, with your pump off,  you can squirt the glutaraldehyde onto the affected area using a syringe. In both cases, the BBA turns white/pink and dies. This is eaten by livestock in your tank.

Offline Sue

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7089
  • Likes: 113
Re: Algae - BBA+GSA - how to remove/reduce/prevent
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2017, 10:12:53 AM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Cod, it's because of my shrimps and nerites that I don't like using glutaralgdehyde. I know how easy it is to kill nerites in particular. The pest snails would survive anything  >:(

Offline Littlefish

  • Super Subscriber!
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2063
  • Likes: 92
  • aka Donna
Re: Algae - BBA+GSA - how to remove/reduce/prevent
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2017, 10:49:21 AM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Pest snails don't survive hungry puffer fish.  ;D
Although, as mine are dwarf puffers, they can only really deal with the baby snails.

Offline Cod_only_knows

  • Rocking Fishy Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 354
  • Likes: 9
  • Just for the halibut!
Re: Algae - BBA+GSA - how to remove/reduce/prevent
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2017, 11:18:20 AM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Sue, I have a nerite, RCS and Amano shrimp in the tank. They all appear happy and healthy. My RCS are breeding well and the others show no signs of I'll health. I do understand your reservations though.

The liquid carbon does wonders for plant growth and in tanks of 150l or less proves to be a very economical carbon source.

Just dosing at prescribed levels should reduce BBA in the tank and from personal experience I have seen no negative impact on livestock.

Offline fcmf

  • Global Moderator Subscriber
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1643
  • Likes: 78
Re: Algae - BBA+GSA - how to remove/reduce/prevent
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2017, 06:16:46 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Thanks, folks, all very helpful advice.

I've now successfully managed to get rid of the green spot algae.  :D

I've eventually decided to take the plunge and see how I get on with a nerite snail in the first instance. A couple of queries:
* will a snail be alright in my very soft water (1.62 German degrees) or are they at risk of shell erosion?
* ought I to quarantine a snail prior to introducing it to the tank?


Offline Sue

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7089
  • Likes: 113
Re: Algae - BBA+GSA - how to remove/reduce/prevent
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2017, 08:20:05 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
That is a bit on the soft side and the snail could suffer shell erosion. If you find that happening, you could try putting a cuttlefish bone in the tank. Once upon a time I had something called liquid calcium but it is so long ago I have no idea where I got from. it was made specifically for snails and came in a tiny bottle, not those big bottles on Ebay made for marine tanks. I have an idea it was from a long gone snail website where I got my first nerites......

In theory, there could be a pathogen or parasite in the shop water on the snail's shell. But it is an extremely small risk. You could quarantine the snail for a week - that would allow time for anything nasty to die off through lack of a fish host.




I have remembered!!! I know this isn't much use to you now, but just to prove I've not gone completely senile and can still manage to remember things, this is what I had
http://web.archive.org/web/20070616183752/http://www.snailshop.ashopcommerce.co.uk:80/p/306367/snailstrong-liquid-calcium-.html
I can't find anything similar around nowadays though  :(

Offline fcmf

  • Global Moderator Subscriber
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1643
  • Likes: 78
Re: Algae - BBA+GSA - how to remove/reduce/prevent
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2017, 02:08:24 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
In terms of calcium for keeping the snail's shell strong, I bought this http://www.pro-shrimp.co.uk/shrimp-king/1125-shrimp-king-snail-stixx-4001615061222.html . However, I haven't seen the snail actually eating it - I put it inside a tiny terracotta pot, turned inwards in an effort to prevent the fish stealing it, those voraciously hungry two female tetras have found a way of reaching it every time...  ::)

So perhaps I'll have to try the cuttlefish if the shell looks like there's a possibility it may erode.

I was thinking that the plants could probably do with a bit of a boost of some sort, as some of them are beginning to look as though they're surviving rather than thriving (and some of the leaves a bit "anaemic-looking". Would Seachem Flourish (not Seachem Flourish Excel or Seachem Trace) be the best option and, if so, would the calcium in that perhaps help prevent snail erosion?

Offline Sue

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7089
  • Likes: 113
Re: Algae - BBA+GSA - how to remove/reduce/prevent
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2017, 02:25:32 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Seachem Flourish contains just 0.14% calcium so it might not be enough for the snails. I got my bottle out of the freezer to check*.


But your plants would benefit from some fertliser. Your very soft water contains very few minerals so the plants quickly use up the few there are.
If they are planted in the substrate, root tabs would be the best way to go, but avoid the API ones as they have a reputation for disintegrating and messing up the water. But with plants that are attached to decor, they need liquid fertliser and Seachem Flourish contains almost all the trace elements plants need. It doesn't contain the macro elements nitrate, potassium and phosphate (the same NPK that gardeners talk about) as nitrate is made by the fish and the other two are in fish food.
With most fertilisers, the dose rate is for tanks stuffed full of plants, so reduce the amount you use according to how many plants you have. For example, I add half the recommended dose once every two weeks.



*
One tip I have picked up - liquid fertilisers go off after they are opened, and if you don't use much the bottle lasts ages. So the best thing to do is freeze it. I gave the bottle a good shake then poured it into a few small containers, then put all but the one I'm using in the freezer (including a bit in the bottom of the bottle it came in). The current pot is in the fridge.

Offline Dominika

  • Fishy Member
  • **
  • Posts: 42
  • Likes: 0
Re: Algae - BBA+GSA - how to remove/reduce/prevent
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2017, 11:14:44 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Another thing that may help control algae are floating plants. They shade the tank and steal nutrients from the water column, effectively starving the algae.

Most of my algae died off during an accidental invasion of duck weed I had a while ago. I don't recommend duck weed, but there are a few floating plants you can use.

Offline fcmf

  • Global Moderator Subscriber
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1643
  • Likes: 78
Re: Algae - BBA+GSA - how to remove/reduce/prevent
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2017, 07:38:23 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
Thanks, Sue - very helpful, with some very useful tips as well.

Dominika - thanks. I do have floating plants now, although they haven't done much at all for the BBA or GSA, and are possibly a cause for my lower plants failing to thrive through insufficient lighting. My nerite snail has done a great job of making the tank glass pristine but he hasn't ventured onto the sand or onto the decor or plants yet; I may have to get a smaller, horned nerite snail so that s/he can get to work on the BBA on the plant leaves!

Offline fcmf

  • Global Moderator Subscriber
  • Hero Think Fishy Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1643
  • Likes: 78
Re: Algae - BBA+GSA - how to remove/reduce/prevent
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2017, 04:44:01 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
As an update to this, following an acrobatic experience (climbing onto the filter output and catapulting backwards and landing on his back), my nerite snail has actually done an excellent job recently at removing some stubborn green-spot algae from the filter and particularly at the joins of the filter sections which were impossible for me to tackle myself. He has ventured onto the leaves of the anubias and managed to clean some of them, possibly but not certainly removing some black beard algae but this BBA remains very stubborn on the java fern which presumably isn't sturdy enough to hold his weight.

Offline Helen

  • Super Fishy Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 184
  • Likes: 0
Re: Algae - BBA+GSA - how to remove/reduce/prevent
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2017, 10:33:48 PM »
  • Likes On This Users Post 0
This website doesn't appear to have been updated for a while. However, I used to find it the most helpful website for diagnosing and solving algae (and plant) problems.

http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/algae.htm

Another way to reduce co2 fluctuations, if you don't add extra (CO2), is to reduce the surface disturbance from your filter output. I think I dropped mine an inch or so below the water surface. And put an additional circulation pump at the other end of the tank. Because when I had an issue with BBA, it was where I'd pour new water into the tank, which was the furthest point from the filter. I thought I was helping improve water turnover there, but actually just creating extremes - perfect for algae!

See less of these, become a Super Subscriber today!

See less of these, become a Super Subscriber today (see below)

** Become a ThinkFish Super Subscriber **

It takes time and money to keep ThinkFish going, if you'd like to help, then a one off Donation or a Subscription of your choice would be fantastic. Starting from less than 2p per day; your subscription will help fund new articles, pay for server costs and help fund development and promotion initiatives, helping us bring you more of the good stuff you love! You'll also see less ads. Why not become a Super Subscriber today!?
Tags:
 

Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 

Think Fish © 2004-2018 | Keeping Tropical Fish Forum - Everything you need for your Tropical Fish hobby

Tropical Fish Help and Advice
Tropical Fish Keeping Community
General Non-Fishkeeping Chat
Legal | Contact
SEO Services in Kent
Follow Think Fish on: