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C02 Conundrum - good enough for plants - bba exists

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  • C02 Conundrum - good enough for plants - bba exists

    Hi all,

    After recently switching to a Rio 1000 with DIY needle wheel I find the following:

    1. Excellent plant growth. Size, shape, color, etc. Branching, runners, etc.
    2. Increasing BBA on all wood and rocks but NOT plants. Anubias tied to wood with BBA all around does not have it (yet).

    If I increase the c02 my cards are affected.

    I have increased the surface ripple and 02 so I can try again to increase the c02.

    My stauro carpet has really taken off the last 2-3 weeks due to better c02, but the same time the BBA is much worse and is steadily taking over the hardscape..

    So, not like c02 was fixed yesterday.... After all the advice I have given about patience, am I now being impatient for it to go away?

    I don't 'mind' too much as the plant and fish health are excellent..

    However, it IS unsightly and makes me think c02 is still not 'optimal'???

    Appreciate all thoughts.
    Thanks,

    Gerry.

    'When something's not right, it's wrong'. Bob Dylan

    Current 220 scape

    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...3219-220-video

  • #2
    If you can remove your hard scape without disturbing anything too much. I found a good scrubbing and soak in potassium permanganate killed bba on some wood I had covered with it, over a month with no sign of returning. Sorry this does not address the underlying question. Just my two cents. Patience....... smatience.
    Roll You're Own: Greater Washington Aquatic Plant Association
    Mixed with a sound of water's murmuring
    a sensitive plant in a garden growing.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Gerry,

      I only have large rocks in my tank now, as they are much easier for me to clean that wood. I will put wood back in my tank once the BBA is completely mastered (i.e. gone).

      I too am seeing excellent growth with the DIY needle wheel + AM1000 combo in my 100g. And I am also seeing tufts of BBA on my rocks. I don't think it is a direct result of the switch to using the DIY needle wheel, as there was always small amounts of it, but it is nevertheless not completely dissapearing.

      It can't be a matter of waiting longer, it can't possibly just go away by itself can it? Although I've read that supposedly it can.

      I don't see how it can be flow related either, in your case or mine, as it's all rocks/wood that are affected, not just one particular spot.

      Hmmmm.

      If I had enough spare time I would try water changing every day for a month to see if it would go away! Maybe just too many spores in the water giving it too much of an edge??
      6' Planted Tank (72" x 18" x 20") - 4 x 30W T8 Tri-Phosphors - 2 x Eheim 2217 'Classic' canisters
      Flourite substrate - Ocean Runner OR-2500 + AM1000 - Tunze Turbelle Nanostream 6045
      6.8kg Catalina CO2 - Red Sea Pro regulator - Swagelok B-SS4-A metering valve - Vecton 600 UV

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi guys,

        Strange. The only thing I can tell you is that I don't have ANY BBA in my tank, just using AM1000's. I think I'm doing far less effort than both of you in the aspect of providing plants with CO2 which means that I don't have any complex plumbing to make it work. Just two outlets on each side of the tank, close to the side windows. No seperate pumps, inline with two 500 GPH filters. Of course there's the MP40, which gives me a total of 10x turnover. But that's not something you don't have either.
        If I had a lot less light than both of you, so less CO2 demand, it would be easy to find an explanation, but being at 60 micromols at the substrate I'm not that low on light. Also my tank is packed with plants.

        I tried needle wheel for some time but couldn't find any advantages to using an AM1000. The disadvantage was that I used a lot more CO2 to get the desired level. I know Tom has good results with the mist, but I think the finer the mist is, the easier plants will uptake the CO2. The waterflow will break up the boundary layer of the leaves anyway, you don't need the mist to do that.

        That you're seeing BBA on rocks and wood first, is because plants have a little bit of resistance against algae. I have always seen BBA grow first (or the most) on dead irregular surfaces. I don't think the BBA spores "choose" to grow on a plant. They will grow were they can get a foothold. Still the cause would be the same, low CO2.

        Anyway, it's just my view of things, don't want to pretend I'm right..... but, to put it Tom's way... then why don't I have BBA?

        regards,
        dutchy
        Last edited by dutchy; 07-15-2010, 12:54 PM.
        regards,
        dutchy.

        My 2011, 2012 and 2013 AGA aquascaping contest entries:
        http://www.barrreport.com/album.php?u=21013

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi dutchy.

          Just a few of quick questions, probably already answered in your own post...

          How long has your tank been setup as is with the twin AM1000's?

          Also, I remember opting for a dedicated pump for my single AM1000, thinking that as the canister starts to block the flow patter and hence CO2 output would become irregular. Do you find that you are constantly having to clean those 2 filters of yours?

          And finally, how long is your CO2 bottle lasting you and what is your typical water temperature?

          It seems Gerry and I are roughly about the same in terms of how we are progressing, except Gerry's tank is 80 gallons bigger than mine and he has a lot more plumbing! ;-)
          6' Planted Tank (72" x 18" x 20") - 4 x 30W T8 Tri-Phosphors - 2 x Eheim 2217 'Classic' canisters
          Flourite substrate - Ocean Runner OR-2500 + AM1000 - Tunze Turbelle Nanostream 6045
          6.8kg Catalina CO2 - Red Sea Pro regulator - Swagelok B-SS4-A metering valve - Vecton 600 UV

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Scott,

            I had the twin AM1000's from the start. On my old tank, a 55 gallon, I had one. As it happens I cleaned one of the filters yesterday, after six weeks. I measured flow at the return at tank level. The GPH's were the same, before and after the cleaning. I think this depends on how big your internal filter capacity is. I have two Eheim 2078e's. Normally people use ONE of those for a tank my size. But I have two. I think it will take a long time before both get clogged. Now I'm trying to find where that point is. I will clean the other filter in another 2 weeks, so 8 weeks total. Could easy be more than 2 months before I notice any difference in flow. Total filter cleaning maybe every 4 months.

            Well since I have two CO2 systems I also have two 4 lbs bottles, which last me around 3 months. CO2 is on for 10 hours per day at max what the fish can take.
            Last edited by dutchy; 07-15-2010, 03:38 PM.
            regards,
            dutchy.

            My 2011, 2012 and 2013 AGA aquascaping contest entries:
            http://www.barrreport.com/album.php?u=21013

            Comment


            • #7
              It might be that the cause of the BBA happened prior to you changing to needle wheels. Once you have BBA in your tank, it will continue to comeback. I think the key is, physically getting rid of it as completely as possible and then don't allow conditions to arise that are suitable to it. Since I don't have hard scape, I only get BBA on filter intakes, outputs and gravel. If I physically remove the infected gravel and clean the filter pieces, I won't have BBA until I recreate the conditions that it likes. If I don't physically remove the infected gravel, it will comeback much quicker. Basically, I haven't found anything besides my hands that will remove BBA. If it's gone, it will stay gone until I make changes again. I don't use driftwood anymore because I always had to clean off the BBA. If ever I find another way to kill BBA, I will use the wood again. Since I can't leave well enough alone, I will always manage to induce BBA.

              Comment


              • #8
                Which conditions are you finding that will consistently cause it?

                -
                S

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by shoggoth43 View Post
                  Which conditions are you finding that will consistently cause it?

                  -
                  S
                  I wished I knew so, I wouldn't cause it. :-)

                  It would have to be fluctuating CO2 levels and too much light in relation to the amount of CO2. My ferts are always in excess so, I don't think that is the issue. In the past, I used more light than is necessary. I believed much of the information indicating that more light is better. I used to use 156 watts of T5HO lighting over a 46 gallon bowfront. Now I only use half of that and my Rotala Macandra is still red. The more light you have, the more precise you have to be with your CO2 levels and that is often difficult. The more plants you have, the more CO2 they use and the more plants you have, the less flow you have so, it's a vicious cycle. Someday I'll get it right.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi all,

                    Many thanks for the replies, thoughts, and suggestions...

                    To clarify: I am NOT saying the cause or increase of BBA is attributable SOLELY to the change in c02 diffusion method.

                    I was merely pointing out (well, bitching actually) that I FINALLY get my carpet plants and ALL other plants going well SIMULTANEOUSLY, and I have BBA.

                    When I could grow ALMOST all plants except carpets, I had no BBA.

                    I am sure I will look back on this someday and laugh, but it is NOT today and I just hope that time is soon

                    It is starting to really affect the look of the wood especially and I want it gone.

                    It seems like for some reason I need to use 10lbs of c02 every 4 weeks to keep it off..that is what I was running with the mazzei prior to the switch.

                    I have reduced the BUBBLE rate because the PLANTS are doing really well. Stauro is now more like Tom's green fields on his farm

                    I cannot really increase the rate as the cards are a little iffy if I go higher than I am now.... that is why I thought I was doing BETTER as I got BETTER plant growth/health with LESS rate on the needle wheel. Yet apparently not enough to hold back BBA..I know my PAR is high but if the plants are okay, what?

                    I really just need to go back to my old 240 watts of T12 and be done with it....

                    A little frustrated right now. Sorry.

                    Thanks,

                    So, will go back to square one and check flow, c02, etc.
                    Last edited by Gerryd; 07-16-2010, 03:13 AM.
                    Thanks,

                    Gerry.

                    'When something's not right, it's wrong'. Bob Dylan

                    Current 220 scape

                    http://www.barrreport.com/showthread...3219-220-video

                    Comment


                    • #11


                      Uses a needle wheel, no BBA.
                      Same for the Reactor, same for disc in many cases.

                      I've seen a 1/2 dozen ADA full systems with BBA this week.


                      Regards,
                      Tom Barr
                      www.BarrReport.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        So Tom, is your experience is it merely fluctuating CO2 that causes BBA? (Like having a medium amount of CO2 before upping it to high CO2). Have you ever had BBA die from simply doing the right things in the tank, or did you have to manually remove it before it stays gone? (I'm sure you don't get BBA now, I'm just talking about your experiences in years past.)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I view algae as a plant growth issue.
                          It's a nuisance, but I hit it with several things, BBA is annoying for some, but it really is fairly easy kill out and remove.

                          Gas tank runs out.........new CO2 method.........more off gassing........too much light..........

                          Once an alga blooms, it will take some time to beat it back. The parameters that induce the bloom might be long gone. So more effort is required to beat the BBA back once it does bloom.
                          SAE's, shrimp, Excel, water changes and toothbrushing the rocks, wood, spraying with excel etc, can kill anything attached to non live equipment and decor.

                          Do a large water change, while drained, add the excel directly on the areas, do this 1-2x a week nothing is going to grow there.

                          H2O2 works as well, or both that and excel.

                          Regards,
                          Tom Barr
                          www.BarrReport.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Tom, when you talk of combating algae this way, is the idea to eradicate it to the point that the residual spore level drops to near-zero such that even when aggressive cleaning methods are stopped the algae will not return? Or are you saying that these aggressive cleaning methods need to be a perpetual chore to keep the hard-scape clean?
                            "Do, then talk about it.
                            No do? No talk!!" - Tom Barr

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thanks, Tom!
                              Oreo, I think what he is saying is that once you trigger the BBA, it is basically there to stay for a while (unless you manually remove it). You can fix all of the conditions so that you won't trigger it again, but it could still be there. It's kinda like when a hole forms in a dam and water leaks to the "dry" side. You can repair the hole so that it is no longer there, but there will still be water on the dry side. You have to pump the water out after you fix the hole in order for the dry side to be dry again. (It's a stretch, but hopefully you follow my poorly worded visualization )

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