Posted: 2012.02.13(Mon)11:57 Post subject: BBA Treatment and Pleco Eggs
Greetings. I've had a tank set up for about six months, my first since I was a kid. So anyway, this is a bit of an odd one, in that the nutrient mix seems to be off for my plants somehow... but spot on for something else.
My tank is 45 gallons, planted with 2 ludwigia, 2 water sprite, a couple crypts, some anubias and chain swords, plus a few cabomba stems. No added neutrients or CO2 at this point, though the gravel is flourite. High output lighting is on for about 12 hours a day; fish stock is 6 rainbowfish, 7 cherry barb, and 2 ancistrus plecos, one male and one female. I also have some trumpet snails and one ramhorn. Water was tested for ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite; unfortunately no numerical data, but it turned up clean. Did a water change anyway; usually do this weekly or bi-weekly, around 30%-35%. Fed daily, alternating between brine shrimp, blood worms, flakes, and a couple pellet types. Algae tablets added every other day for the barbs (though the others get at them too); cucumber or other vegetables added for the plecos on occasion.
Anyway. I've been fighting a black beard algae outbreak for the last week or two, first attempting antibiotic treatment on the advice of the LFS given that he'd had luck with that himself (didn't work), then a blackout and manual removal of as much as I could find. The blackout worked in the short term, but the algae is making a return as of few days later, and after doing some research I have started to try to dose with excel to destroy it. My rainbows don't seem to care for it much in the first few minutes if the circulation is shut down for spot treatment, so I'd as soon not use this stuff long term obviously. At any rate, a few days in, a tiny bit of it is beginning to turn red... only for me to find out that my two plecos have picked this moment to lay eggs. The eggs themselves are actually quite far away from the algeal outbreak (they laid them behind the filter input and heater at the top of the tank, though I question how well protected that spot is after the first batch didn't make it), but considering the chemical excel is based on, I was wondering if this would prove toxic to the eggs. They are yellow at this point, incidentally.
As a bit of an update, it seems that the person at the LFS actually inserted a poly filter into his filtration system before he dosed with the antibiotic. Considering that the package specifically references it dealing with phosphates, and I've read in a few places that high phosphates can help support the growth of this algae/bacterial strain, I'm guessing that he basically starved it out inadvertently, with the antibiotic acting as a final blow.
Because my fish seemed to dislike this stuff so much, left the filter on when I dosed this time. I hope the eggs turn out all right, but he truth is at this point the algae is so close to one of the most heavily traveled swimming areas that I'm not sure it's a good idea to deactivate filtration for spot treatments far away from the eggs.
Posted: 2012.02.14(Tue)13:00 Post subject: Re: BBA Treatment and Pleco Eggs
No added neutrients or CO2 at this point, though the gravel is flourite. High output lighting is on for about 12 hours a day
Anyway. I've been fighting a black beard algae outbreak for the last week or two, first attempting antibiotic treatment on the advice of the LFS given that he'd had luck with that himself (didn't work), then a blackout and manual removal of as much as I could find. The blackout worked in the short term, but the algae is making a return as of few days later, and after doing some research I have started to try to dose with excel to destroy it.
The problem is your lighting!!! And Lack of Co2.
1. Is the light on top of the tank or is it raised? If it is laying on top you need to raise it at least 3-4 inches.
2. You light duration (Photoperiod) is to much 6-8 hrs in enough WITHOUT co2.
3. H2O2 - Direct dosing of Hydrogen Peroxide will kill BBA. But you need to find that balance where BBA doesn't thrive. More frequent water changes, dose nutrients. You can always look into selling the HO lighting and purchase 2 NO lighting spead evenly on top of the tank.
Thank you for the advice. In order, then:
1. No, it is currently directly on the tank, but I have brackets, so this is easily corrected.
2. For the moment, I suppose a decrease is in order then. Since the lights are on a timer, this is easily enough accomplished. I wouldn't mind seeing how CO2 could help the tank at some point, actually, and I'm sure my ludwigia would prefer that over decreased light. On the other hand, I am not very experienced in setting up machines aside from electronics, so this would be something to consider at at later point and/or if the light decrease fails, I think.
3. Ahh, such as making sure a second week does not pass in between, then? Also, should H2O2 prove needed, how much harm would this cause the fish? And assuming the eggs survive long enough to hatch this time (I give it about a 30% shot whatever comes out doesn't get eaten, but that's beside the point), would this kill the pleco fry? Of course, I suppose much of that would depend concentration.
At any rate, many thanks. My prior treatment idea seems to be beginning to hold it in check for the moment, albeit faster on some patches than others, but I agree that it would be wise to deal with the root cause before it can happen again. Considering that annoying outbreak of brownish hair algae a few months ago (though that one sorted itself out), something is definitely out of balance.
So, one more update. The algae is nearly gone now, which is good. Again, will have to be careful to make sure it stays that way.
The pleco eggs came to term this morning. However, the location they chose was... somewhat indefensible. I saw one fry for a few seconds. After I reached down to mess with my camera phone, it was gone, but I saw a rainbow at the end of what looked suspiciously like a feeding charge. Well, at least I saw it this time. Suppose I'd have to get a breeding tank if I ever really wanted to breed them. Or an elevated cave, given that they don't seem to like to lay them near the cherry barb-infested driftwood.
You can find many directions for Direct Dosing with H2o2 through Google. With good FLOW (circulation) you shouldn't harm any fish, I use a normal medicine dropper full on infected areas.
Co2 is very simple to set up and really not that expensive, but some do go TOP NOTCH..not me.
A Milwalkee Reg (cheap, YEA but effective) has a build in bubble counter.
You would need a Regulator, cylinder, Drop Checker w calibrated 4dKH solution. Oh yea and Co2 tubing. I've never done it before either, but when I had the opportunity I bought everything and put it all together. Very simple. AND so worth the money. But then then you get into the WHOLE science of Balance, and keeping the co2 at a steady 30-32 ppm. OH boy it really gets crazy, with ferts and lighting + timing yadda yadda yadda. If you can stick to simplicity DO IT.. lol
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