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Thread: Black Beard Algae, Substrate, Snails, and Plants

  1. #1

    Black Beard Algae, Substrate, Snails, and Plants

    So I have BBA in my 75 and one of my 10s. I hate it, but have lived with it for the last year. It's not ultra thickly matted, but it's definitely covering my anubias and stationary objects. I have zero objection to hard work, but I feel like I need to be efficient too.

    So. Is there really any way to remove BBA? And I mean mass algae murder where everything is killed in the filter, the tank, powerhead, substrate, decor, plants, etc... I am moving and so my fish will be moved to temporary housing elsewhere. I would prefer to keep my crypts, anubias, java moss, etc alive but...if trashing it all is what I need to do then that's what I need to do. If whatever kills the BBA kills off malaysian trumpet snails how do I sift the snails from the substrate? It's a clay-based substrate from aquariumplants.com.

    Thanks all. I had zero BBA for 3 years and it just...got ahold of my tanks and never let go.

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Lawrenceville, GA
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    This is an extreme method but it does work.
    http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/23...treatment.html

  3. #3
    Chlorine/Bleach. But I personally like the look of black beard algae. I would just accept it as landscape.

  4. #4
    Hydogen peroxide will kill BBA as will Excel (glut) . Killing it is not as important as finding the cause and fixing it . I battled it for months in 3 tanks and finally got things balanced enough to get rid of the BBA for good . If you don't know of it already , go to The Planted Tank forum and search BBA . Takes a bit of reading but a wealth of info there . That is who led me in the right direction .

  5. #5
    Member Tropical's Avatar
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    Oct 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by York1 View Post
    This is an extreme method but it does work.
    http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/23...treatment.html
    That's an interesting article, I'm going to give that a try!

  6. #6
    Member
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    It worked for me. About 2 months ago I got my lighting and CO2 dialed in. Then nuked the algae and things have been growing great since then. No signs of bba coming back

  7. #7
    Dude I am going to try this harsh 1-2 punch treatment. That sounds PERFECT for what I need. And I love that it seems to be relatively plant and invertebrate safe. The hardest part for me in controlling BBA has been the fact that I run low-tech tanks; I simply do not have the spare funds to purchase and run CO2 systems. I also had to replace my lighting and actually have LESS light, but that doesn't seem to have changed anything... I'm also confused as to why the BBA is still around because I have introduced some serious nutrient-sucking plants like duckweed and dwarf water lettuce. Which go absolutely nuts and have to be "mowed" regularly. That said I will probably rinse and rinse and rinse and rinse the mulmy substrate out alongside tank bombing to try and get as clean a new start as possible. And replace my old water testing kit.

  8. #8
    Cause of BBA outbreaks is still not understood. The 1-2 punch will work. Be careful. It can kill invertebrates and fish like otocinclus. It certainly will kill bacteria in your tank.

    Here is what I tell folks attempting this:
    Remove the fish/invertebrates if you can. If you cant use dosages on the lower end. If you have species sensitive to h2o2/excel use low end dosage.
    Remove your biomedia from your filter.
    Increase the flow to as much as possible. Extra powerheads. Make sure flow is strong everywhere.
    Read the TPT thread twice through and make sure you have your plan. Execute your plan.
    Handle Excel with care. It is nasty stuff. Do not inhale it. Do not let it touch your skin. And do NOT use metricide. It is dangerous and has no place in the planted tank hobby.
    Afterwards the BBA will start to turn grey or if really nuked will turn pink. It is a red algae and this is normal coloring when dead. Typically with the 1-2 punch with a low dose it will turn light grey and slowly decay away over the next few weeks.
    Monitor for ammonia for at least a week.
    Water changes, water changes, water changes. Water changes are a great way to reduce organic waste buildup and export algae spores.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by Mot; 07-19-2016 at 12:17 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Garfieldnfish View Post
    Chlorine/Bleach. But I personally like the look of black beard algae. I would just accept it as landscape.
    Makes a great saiad


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