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Flow and impact on algae

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I am wondering what the relationship(s) are between flow rate and the type of algae that grows. Without going into too much detail i can say that I've often had BBA grow at the top of the outlet for air driven sponge filters. But never anywhere else.


The reason I'm asking is actually in relation to management of hair algae which has been very persistent in several of my cherry tanks this year.


If anyone can shed some light on the matter I would really appreciate it.





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Same I have seen BBA grow in my tanks right next to the canister filter outlets, which has the highest flow.

BBA is just so darn difficult to get rid of without Siamese Algae Eaters in a shrimp only tank.


Edited by jayc
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I also have issues with BBA in my tanks with higher filtration levels. Initially I only used sponge filters in my tanks and had no problems but in a bigger 200 litre tank I added 2 canisters and suddenly found BBA around the outlets and in the high Flow areas. I also added canisters to several smaller tanks and the same issue occurred while in the tanks with only sponge filters no problems. Same water conditions , same plant levels just different filters.

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BBA thrives on places with high steady flow; it sticks to hardscape and submerged equipment. In aquariums with hard water, the calcium will get into threads, and algae eaters would not like to eat it.

 Some species like Siamese Algae eater and Amano shrimp will eat it, but they are not capable enough to eliminate BBA

If aquarium has too much light, the growth of BBA may be caused it by the lack or uneven distribution of CO2.

the solution will be to reduce lighting before a water change so water can at least rest. Tap water is rich in CO2 - this will favor these BBA 

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Thanks for the input ! What I'm really keen to find out is does anyone know how/ if flow can affect the proliferation of hair/string algae ? I can't figure out how to stop it growing lately it's overwhelming many of my alkaline tanks and I just wondered if the very high flow rate of my sponge filters was the cause somehow.

Love and peace


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