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Black Hair Algae

Discussion in 'Algae' started by rickstsi, Jun 4, 2008.

  1. rickstsi

    rickstsi New Member

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    Location:
    Hillside, NJ
    I have been having a problem in both my planted tanks with Black Hair Algae. My 125g is starting to get pretty bad and is the one I am most worried about. I herd that Flourish excel Can help if you spot treat it but I also heard that it can kill my Vals. I have also herd that excess iron can cause BHA. What should I do to fix this? Thanks

    My setup is as follows.
    For lighting I have 6x32w 6500k. They are on timers as follows 2 come on at 8am to 8pm and the other 4 turn on from 9am to 5pm.

    For micros and macros I dose as follows: All Flourish line
    Comp 3x a week per the directions
    Iron 1x per week
    Phosphorus as needed to get 2ppm
    Nitrogen as needed to get 10 to 20ppm
    Potassium as needed

    Substrate is SMS
    Filter FX5

    Plants are:
    Jungle Val
    Dwarf Sag
    Black Sword plant
    Cryptocoryne wendtii
    Coffee leaf anubias
    Giant Val


    My Parameters:
    Ammo 0
    Nitrite 0
    PH 6.6
    Phosphate .5
    Nitrate 10
     
  2. Fikus

    Fikus New Member

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    Location:
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    What's your CO2 source and levels?


    Regards,
    Filip Todorovic - Fikus
     
  3. rickstsi

    rickstsi New Member

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    No Co2 I thought the light wasn't that much only 1.6wpg. Should i try and hook it up or dose excel?

    PS I was trying to upload a pic but i get an error that says the file is to big. Is there a way to change it because i dont think my camera goes below 2meg.
     
  4. Fikus

    Fikus New Member

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    IMO, high levels of dissolved organics could be a trigger. Try with a frequent W/C, siphoning, physical removal of algae and further usage of Excel (as an algicide). I have had Compsopogon several times in past and each time frequent and massive W/C was very useful, as well as stabile CO2 levels combined with necessary removal of that algae as much as possible.


    Regards,
    Filip Todorovic - Fikus
     
  5. plantbrain

    plantbrain Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Location:
    California, USA
    Non CO2 methods demand one main thing: no water changes.
    You really do not dose this much either.

    I think you have confused CO2 enrichment methods with non CO2 methods.
    You do not need to dose nearly as much and you do not do water changes except maybe once every 6-12 months.

    If you do, you tend to get algae.
    You are adding a large influx for a day each week of high CO2, which BBA loves, the plants cannot respond that well to large swings in CO2, they will however adapt to stable levels and this also keeps the algae spores at bay as well. Search my name and non CO2 methods for more info.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. rickstsi

    rickstsi New Member

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    Thanks for your responce. I do 30% water changes twice a week because I have six Red Belly Piranha in there. I will try and remove as much of it as posoble. Should I also cut back on the dosing and lights? I read of people doing blackouts is that a good idea?

    Now I am a little confused. Fikus told me to do more WC and you say it is a bad idea? I do have to do at least one per week because of my Piranha perduce alot of waste. I do understand about not dosing as much so i will cut back. Thank you for your responce.

    I have only been planting my tanks for a few months. So it is a little confusing to me even when i try to get info off the web because sometimes it contradicts each other.
     
  7. Fikus

    Fikus New Member

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    I forgot to mention that in my case lighting is 4+WPG and accordingly, CO2 levels are significantly higher than yours. Have heavily planted tank and daily dosage of ferts (Macros and TE). Therefore, unless I started using pressurized CO2 and that way avoid frequent CO2 swings, I have had BHA as well as BBA. Also, I couldn't find out do you already use Excel or not...

    In your case, problem is a bit different as your tank has only 1.6WPG, mostly undemanding plants and no CO2 enrichment. In light of that, Tom has given you useful advice what to do and how to solve your problem with BHA in your case. Therefore, think it would be best to read more about Non CO2 methods, as suggested.

    However, physical removal of this algae will not harm anyway but for sure it will not be enough to have algae free tank for good.


    Regards,
    Filip Todorovic - Fikus
     
  8. rickstsi

    rickstsi New Member

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    Thanks Fikus. As for using excel I have not done that yet because I herd it could kill my Vals. I will also continue to do more research.
     
  9. rickstsi

    rickstsi New Member

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    Can someone please let me know if i should use excel to get rid of this algea and if it will or will not kill my vals. I tried removing some of it today and my Piranha freaked out. They don't like it when mess with their home. LOL So I think I am just going to cut the leaves that have the most of it on there. Is that a good idea? Or should i do a blackout? I researched non Co2 tanks and have a better understanding why I have algea. When I researched BBA I got all types of diferent methods to get rid of it and I am not shure which to use.
     
  10. rickstsi

    rickstsi New Member

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    Ok, so I did some more research on BBA and this is what I found.

    BBA is caused mostly from overdosing of micros and macros.
    It is fed by high Phosphate levels.
    If the nitrates are too low and the phosphate to high you get algae.
    It is not affected by light.

    Some of the ways you could help get rid of it are:
    Take as much of it out as possible, by scrubbing with toothbrush or cutting out the leafs.
    Chinese algae eaters can help.
    Spot treating with excel.
    Adding more plants, they will help consume the extra nutrients.
    Doing water changes to take out the nutrients.


    So I will be doing a small experiment to see which way works best.
    On my 20g I will raise the Co2 and dose to keep my parameters in check levels appropriately to promote plant growth.
    On my 125g I will do more water changes and stop dosing. After a week if I don’t see any progress I will try and spot treat it with excel.

    If anyone feels this information is incorrect please let me know as I am new to this hobby. This is from research I have done on the web. Thanks.
     
  11. John N.

    John N. Administrator Staff Member

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    Great post Rick, and well done on the research. It looks like it's solid information. It'll be interesting to see which of the listed methods work vest for you. In the past, I've raised CO2 levels which it sounds like may be your true problem.

    Seachem Excel does kill off some of the vals during treatment. So you will want to remove them while your overdosing the excel (double dose) to get rid of it. If the BBA is attacking your vals, I would cut off the damage parts too.

    Chinese Algae eaters will help as much as raising CO2 levels, and getting your fertilizer/nutrient balance in check.

    -John N.
     
  12. pr1nc3_E

    pr1nc3_E New Member

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    Location:
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    Hi Guys im new and pls guide me with my problem of how to get rid of BBA. I tank size is 1500mm x 500mm x 500mm. My pet inside are 7 big piranas and i use a bog wood and a black soil gravel. My light is only 40 Watt 6500K. I did not use any CO2 or any other substance coz there aren't any plant in the tank. To my surprise BBA live on the bog wood and it seem to be living healthy. My friend told me that maybe too much amonia which cause by the pirana's dropping. I change 1/2 tank of water every week. So my question how can this happen? Does amonia boost the growth of BBA? Thank you guys
     
  13. Al G. Begone

    Al G. Begone New Member

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    Excel works for sure.
    My Vals are somewhat damaged afterward ( not a double dose, just a full dose to the tank with Co2 injection.) but they bounce back quick.
    I dosed my tank heavy with Excel (spot treating works too) but a high amount of Excel while keeping an eye on your other parameters works.
    I had a bunch of hair that turned bright red (dead) a day after dosing excel.
    Vals are somewhat damaged but will be fine...
    Take your wood out for a while and see if it shows up elsewhere in your tank.
    then boil the wood or if it's huge, pour boiling water all over it several times.
     
  14. altaaffe

    altaaffe New Member

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    The main tank I have BBA problems with is my Oscar tank but her I just spot treat the affected plants with excel and the Plecos do the rest once the BBA softens.
     

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