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BBA infestation - How do I fix??


Crabby
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Hey shrimpers,

I’ve had an algae problem for a while now in my 29 gallon aquarium (110L), but recently the BBA has taken over way too much. It’s on literally everything. I would have treated with H2O2, but as far as I’m aware you can only spot treat with it. I’m open to pretty much anything. I do have some really beautiful hair algae growing along my driftwood that I would prefer to keep, but if it’s not possible to remove one without the other it’s fine, the BBA has to go. Let me know what you think I should do. Thanks in advance.

Cheers,

Crabby

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I only have this is my oldest tank and there it ONLY grows in small amounts on the plastic casing of the filters. As the filters are black anyway I just live with it! It never grows on my plants etc, just the black plastic?

I would assume that the setup must be out of balance somewhere, do you know why you are getting it? I know the nitrates are a bit high on my effected tank.

Simon

 

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Thanks for the prompt reply Simon. I know I probably have some nitrates, but the tank is currently filled to the brim with plants! I have a full mixed carpet and plants all along everywhere else, so I think I'm covered for the nitrates. Honestly the most likely problem is the lighting, and I've been wanting to get a light timer for this tank but haven't got around to it. My other tank has one and it works well. Chances are though if Australia follows suit to America and Italy with coronavirus prevention plans, I'll be staying home all day anyway and will be able to have lower light levels quite easily. So this is the permanent prevention fix I have in mind (self regulation while we are told to self-isolate, and a light timer afterwards if the shops haven't sold out of those as well!) and I will employ these as methods to avoid an algae take-over again. In the meantime though, I need to get rid the BBA and greenspot I have everywhere (and probably the hair algae... 😞), so I'm looking for a way to handle algae through the whole tank. I'm moving my tts into my other tank so it doesn't need to be invert-friendly, but I have expensive and sensitive apisto fry in there as well (more photos coming soon!) so do need to be careful of that.

 

Cheers

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You could probably get a timer through the mail?

Are you using Fertiliser for the plants as that may be a part of the problem? 

I saw this that may be helpful as long as there aren't any shrimp in the tank? I've never used hydrogen peroxide so I'm not sure whether that may kill the bacteria in the filters?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wk3wShH4vNM

If the tanks are close enough you can just plug both into the one timer with cheap adaptor, I have done this and it works well?

If the green spot is on the glass, using an old credit card as a scraper works very well and being plastic doesn't scratch!

It does strike me though that the tank just isn't settled yet, my tank looked very unhealthy and had some algae until it had all settled?

DSC00542.thumb.JPG.52cd785ddca2b4c34bc7d24c3ebe4688.JPG

Simon

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  • 1 month later...

So I’m finally trying to combat the algae - I’m dosing flourish excel again daily, adding a timer, and I purchased a pair of true Siamese algae eaters (I like triple checked on id once I had them in my tank) to help handle the problem. To be honest, the SAE are cute enough on their own, even if they didn’t do anything for the algae. But I’m going to try to push them to eat it. Once they start, it’s like a massive buffet for them to gorge themselves on!

I’ll be cutting down light to eventually 4 hours a day, slowly bringing it down and back up to sit at 8 over the course of a few months. 
 

Below are some pictures of my new SAE, Watson and Holmes!
(They’re here to solve the problem 😉 )
3A53AF14-B4F3-4BC5-A0E6-D93896F2E1E5.thumb.png.c2d28e80cb1e17a919138f56ba3ec6a0.png

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Have you tried just pulling the algae off with your hands in the tank to help slow the spread? It may decrease the algae enough for the SAE to get the rest of it. Good luck.

- B

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23 minutes ago, Blazepelt said:

Have you tried just pulling the algae off with your hands in the tank to help slow the spread? It may decrease the algae enough for the SAE to get the rest of it. Good luck.

- B

Good idea... from my experience it doesn’t work well though. The Blackbeard floats around until it can attach to something else, and it just increases the spread. The Blackbeard is also super well attached to everything, and very very tough. I tried scraping it off and sucking it up with my gravel vac once, but I only got the hair algae, no BBA. Just gonna drop lights, dose excel, maybe try the scraping thing again and let the SAE get the rest.

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Wow okay good luck. I’ve only got brown algae so easy to clean.

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When I first set up my first tank I got the BBA on the wood in the tank (is that  where yours is) but nowhere else. I removed the wood (that alone is one easy solution of coarse) and left it on a window ledge in full sun(ish as we don't get that often)  for some weeks which killed the BBA and dried the wood out, it was many years ago but I'm sure I must have put it in another tank at some stage but the BBA didn't come back! If it is on a piece of wood/ornament it would still be easier to remove it from the tank to pull the BBA off, if that is easily done?

Lovely fish by the way!

Simon

Edited by sdlTBfanUK
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Let me know if your SAE eats BBA.

Mine doesn't, fussy basturd. 

Edited by jayc
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20 hours ago, jayc said:

Let me know if your SAE eats BBA.

Mine doesn't, fussy basturd. 

Ahaha yeah I hope they will! Haven't seen them go for it yet, but maybe (as I'm dosing excel again) once it starts dying a bit they might eat it? To be fair I've been a bit caught up, haven't been watching them 24/7 or anything. Still totally loving how they swim around like absolute best buds. It's the cutest.

20 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

BBA on the wood in the tank (is that  where yours is)

Honestly, it's pretty much everywhere at this point. Wood, plants, rock, glass, moss. Only place without might be the substrate... but then again I can't even see the substrate anymore 😆

20 hours ago, sdlTBfanUK said:

If it is on a piece of wood/ornament it would still be easier to remove it from the tank to pull the BBA off, if that is easily done?

Again I feel super stupid for not thinking of this one, thankyou Simon for being the king of common sense! I can do that with my biggest rock, that'll look loads better. The others have java moss that attached to them. And the driftwood has some anubias attached, plus my apistogrammas look like they're breeding again and they used that as a cave last time. 

 

Also I'm going to remove all the dwarf chain sword, if I can, because I don't like it much and it's making a mess, plus it has BBA in it. Will update in maybe a week on what I've done and how it's going. Thanks fellas. 

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If you can remove pieces of ornaments from the tank, then boil them to kill the BBA.

Let the piece cool and you can put it straight back into the tank. The SAE will eat and clean up the dead BBA after that.

Pieces too big to fit in a pot can be scorched with boiling water. Much, much easier than pulling it by hand.

Edited by jayc
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14 minutes ago, jayc said:

Pieces too big to fit in a pot can be scorched with boiling water.

By 'scorched' you mean just running boiling water over it for like 10-15 secs? Or like a couple of kettles...?

I like that idea though, means I can 'spot treat' the BBA half of my driftwood, without harming the anubias. Thanks jayc! 

Also I have some anubias that I got as just a few leaves, now I have about 15 leaves and it's doing great, except it has BBA fringing the egdes of the leaves. Do I cut off all the bad leaves (80%) that took so long to grow? Or should I just wait and hope all of this will work?

Cheers, Crabby 🦀

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I just want to see your tank without the driftwood in it. But with the Anubias I’d personally pull it out with the driftwood and get a pair of tweezers and go crazy. Another option is cutting the edge of the leaves off where the bba is it should grow back and increase growth speed aswell.

-B

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1 hour ago, Crabby said:

By 'scorched' you mean just running boiling water over it  with like a couple of kettles

Boiling water over it from kettles. You can target it precisely and protect your anubias.

 

1 hour ago, Crabby said:

Do I cut off all the bad leaves (80%) that took so long to grow?

Spot treat the edges of the leaves with Excel. Anubias leaves are tough. It will handle the Excel. To be safe, dilute it 50:50 with water. An old paint brush is perfect for this. Leave it for 5 minutes, than rinse off the Excel under the tap.

 

No! don't cut the leaves.

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This is exactly the sort of info I was looking for! Thanks loads jayc! And yeah Blaze, it’s gonna be near-impossible to remove the driftwood, so I may as well take the chance to partially rescape and try to grow my crypts again or whatever. Thinking I’ll do all this in a couple weekends. Big plans for my tanks to come! (Also there’s a chance I might be setting up a little 5 gallon rack... still in the design process though! 3 tanks stacked sorta thing. Hoping.)

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/3/2020 at 7:14 PM, jayc said:

Let me know if your SAE eats BBA.

Mine doesn't, fussy basturd. 

I caught him eating it just a couple of minutes ago! It's pretty hilarious to watch, really, but I was impressed to see him actually eating it.

Sadly I lost one of them - I think I had some water quality issues after I did a large water change, and some of my ember tetras got fin rot and/or fungus (all getting better now), and one of my SAE died. Hopefully I can get another some time soon, but I'm glad that the remaining one is doing fine, and I seem to have found the problem. Such a shame though, whenever a fish dies of anything but old age.

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20 hours ago, Crabby said:

water quality issues after I did a large water change,

Sorry to hear one SAE died. Did you forget to dechlorinate the water or something? SAEs are tough otherwise.

But good to hear that the other one actually eats BBA.

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5 minutes ago, jayc said:

Did you forget to dechlorinate the water or something?

Definitely dechlorinated, but the water went really cloudy, so the water change seemingly triggered something strange with the water. 

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