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Can't find root cause of BGA in my tank.

This is a discussion on Can't find root cause of BGA in my tank. within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Pottassium nitrate,inorganic mineral salt KNO3, is macronutrient for planted aquarium's, and is whole different kettle of corn than Nitrates as result of organic matter ...

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Can't find root cause of BGA in my tank.
Old 03-14-2013, 12:28 PM   #11
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Pottassium nitrate,inorganic mineral salt KNO3, is macronutrient for planted aquarium's, and is whole different kettle of corn than Nitrates as result of organic matter being processed = ammonia to nitrites to nitrates.(is this process that fish feel)
Plenty of folk's dosing inorganic KNO3,KH2PO4 daily, and yet they have no algae,no problem's keeping sensitive fishes,invert's.(myself included)
Inorganic mineral salt's mentioned, are NOT the boogeyman.(too many folk's using them without issues, algae,etc)
Poor circulation,low or fluctuating CO2,dirty filter's,would be where I began trouble shooting.
Limiting fertz is rarely successful, and may cause more algae. When plant's begin to suffer,algae will thrive.And plant's WILL suffer without enough light,food's.
Give plant's food,not too much light,too little light, and algae has tough time IME.
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:20 PM   #12
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I agree, but still caution that every aquarium is an unique biological system and what may work in one may not in another.

I have done a fair bit of experimenting with nutrients over the past 2+ years, and for extended periods with each "change" so I can better monitor the effects. I also have 7 planted tanks running, so when this or that occurs in only one tank, I have evidence of the individuality of each aquarium. And some factors, such as light, are basically identical on each tank, so this is not directly a factor in the results from tank to tank.

I agree and have frequently written that algae issues should not be treated by reducing plant nutrient fertilization. The plants need nutrients in order to out-compete the algae. However, this has to be taken in context with the light and CO2 which is the one nutrient I do not add but for which I rely completely on that naturally occurring, chiefly from the breakdown of organics.

I noticed a few weeks back that a type of brush algae began increasing in one tank, the 90g. This is what some members have assumed to be diatoms or brown algae, but it is actually a form of a red brush algae. Anyway, it was basically carpeting every leaf of the four large swords, E. bleherae, and it had spread very fast indeed. I decided to reduce the fertilizing from twice to once a week, since this was the only tank getting this, and I have a fair carpet of floating plants between Water Sprite and the floating leaves of the two red tiger lotus. Within 2 weeks I saw a difference; new leaves on the E. bleherae were not getting this algae. Now, some 5 weeks later, there are more "clean" leaves than algae-encrusted on the swords. The other plants seem no worse. This appears to have been a situation where the nutrients being added were greater than the light and CO2 could balance. Reducing the light would probably not have worked here, as it has in a couple of other tanks previously with this same algae, because of the imbalance.

Normally I would reduce light (intensity and/or duration, depending upon the light) to deal with the green and red algae because we want light to be the limiting factor to plant growth. But excess nutrient fertilization cannot exceed what the light and CO2 can support, so all factors must be considered.

With respect to the cyanobacteria, which is not an algae but a photosynthesizing bacteria, and which is caused by organics: this is always controlled by reducing organics. I agree that light reduction may help, but the cyano will only return if the organics are not dealt with. This too was an experiment, and the results proved to me that by eliminating the Flourish Comp I was forcing the plants to utilize the natural nutrients. It took a while, but it did work.

I also have had cyano appear when I tried my experimental 10g with no artificial light, utilizing the natural daylight in front of a window. Cyano appeared on the tank wall next to the window, and this did not surprise me, as I have occasionally seen it among floating plants, closest to the tank lights. Organics is still the cause, but being photosynthetic it obviously needs light to flourish.

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Old 03-15-2013, 06:01 AM   #13
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Agree with all Byron. I think we share same view's ,just maybe differing approaches.
I choose to fertilize the wate, and plant's use substrate as storage for nutrient's, and or uptake.
I add a little bit of everything once a week or every two week's as plant's may indicate.
I add enough light but not too much ,or for too long.
That only leaves CO2 which in low tech is, wholly dependent on the organic's being broken down in substrate (rather low level) and as by product of fish ,plant respiration.
I lost my way in this thread ,,searching back,,,It is inclear if the OP has BGA,BBA,GSA,or all three.
If the BBA is mainly affecting wood,rock's,other hard scape item's,,then I might remove these item's and use eye dropper,medicine dropper ,with Excel,or 3% hydrogen peroxide,to spot treat the area's after I gave them good scrub with old tooth brush.
I have BBA on large piece of wood but that is only place in the tank,and this is what I do maybe once a month. each time,,it grow's back but much less than before.eventually,, I hope it get's tired of my harrassment and leaves, but as you cannot really see it without searching,,,It 's not really bugging me.
Is also unclear to me whether this tank is new, in which case there may not be much in the way of nutrient's in substrate right away,,and further limiting fertz,,could as mentioned actually be contributer to problem.
Might also wonder if we are SURE that shop light's over this tank are running T8 bulb's ,or T5"s.
From plant's perspective,,this is huge difference.
Would submit that plant's can and do adapt to low CO2 level's often normal in low tech tank's so long as the CO2 does not fluctuate too seriously.
I too, have seen no evidence that weekly water changes and associated brief,CO2 influx has produced negative reaction from plant's or further encouraged alage to grow but might consider switching to straight tapwater for this tank rather than 50/50 mix of bottled water and tap that was mentioned in other thread(S)??
Wonder if filtration for this tank is sufficient to get good circulation?
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:32 AM   #14
1077 my tank is fairly new been running a few months now. I have t8 lighting, As far has Algae I have GSA on my glass. not bad mostly near the substrate. I have BBA on a few plants and a few spots on my driftwood. I have BGA all in my tank I have good circulation i made Sure i had a big enough filter before getting the tank set up. And I can't use just straight tap water I have Very high Nitrates In my tap over 20ppm, I was doing straight tap water but It was Making my Nitrates high in the tank.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:17 AM   #15
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Quick comment this time (promise).

Let's keep algae and cyanobacteria separated. They are two very different things. Algae is fine and normal, and contol is fairly easy. Cyano is something to get rid of.
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Old 03-15-2013, 11:52 AM   #16
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Have seen Cyno in my tank's when I kept large cichlid's and no plant's.
Reduced stock or feeding,keep filter's clean (monthly for canister's,weekly with HOB).
Might consider aeration at night for planted tank.
Remove what you can see repeatedly.
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Old 03-15-2013, 04:29 PM   #17
Your right Byron the Algae Doesn't Bother me it's not a big problem with me. I call BGA algea even tho i know it isn't It's just hard to spell its name So BGA is easier for me to say for the Bacteria. and 1077 My stock levels aren't high. and I clean my canister every 2 weeks due to the cleaning of the Cyno bact. so i try to keep up with my tank the best i can all the time.
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Old 03-16-2013, 01:23 AM   #18
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Bga algae = blue hreen algae
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Old 03-16-2013, 09:47 AM   #19
Yeah but aint Bga the same as Cyno bacteria?
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:34 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by FuelingFire View Post
Yeah but aint Bga the same as Cyno bacteria?
Yes. We all should use correct names, it can save a lot of confusion.
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