Black Beard Algae and water flow strength correlation?

toeknee

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Hello all. My planted 55 gallon is a bit over a year old now. I've battled with a handful of algae types over the year and have won those battles. The one I can't quite get dialed in is a bit if BBA. It's not over running the tank but it's enough to be a problem still.

A couple months ago the spraybar for my cannister filter outlet cracked so I took it off the outlet to repair. The spraybay previously directed the current downward towards plants. After taking it off the current now was going across the upper level of the tank not hitting most of the plants. I left the spray bar off and the majority of my BBA disappeared. The water current was no longer hitting the majority of my plants.

I put the spray bar back on two weeks ago so now the water flow was pointing back towards all the plants below and BBA came back within days. Nothing else in the tank changed.

I always hear so much about CO2 imbalance and lighting issues being the root causes of BBA. Have never heard much about low or fast water flow affecting BBA. Thoughts?
 
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toeknee

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BBA is a particularly frustrating and stubborn algae, especially for low tech ,no CO2 tanks. Was hoping a few more would chime in here. I've had all my filter outlets pointed away from plants for a couple weeks now and the majority of my BBA has gone away again. The only place I find it now is where there's a decent current in my tank.
 

mattgirl

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In my case I have BBA in a tank with only a sponge filter running in it so I am not sure water movement is the issue. I also have it in another tank with both sponge filters and HOB's. The majority of mine grows where there is the least amount of water movement. I have been trying to control it with Flourish Excel. I've not been able to get rid of it but have kept it from taking over my tanks.
 
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toeknee

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mattgirl said:
In my case I have BBA in a tank with only a sponge filter running in it so I am not sure water movement is the issue. I also have it in another tank with both sponge filters and HOB's. The majority of mine grows where there is the least amount of water movement. I have been trying to control it with Flourish Excel. I've not been able to get rid of it but have kept it from taking over my tanks.
I think maybe in my case my tank is just the right environment for water flow to be the catalyst for a BBA outbreak. I definitely still think CO2 fluctuation or lighting issues are the main cause, but just through my own observations water flow seems to play a part. At least in my tank.

I've read large water changes can cause CO2 to fluctuate too much causing BBA. However most people including myself do a %50 water change weekly and that's not something that I can just not do to avoid BBA outbreaks. Maybe smaller more frequent water changes can offset big CO2 changes. Unfortunately I just dont have time for frequent changes like that.
 

mattgirl

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This is another of the things that one size doesn't fit all. We can have guidelines but each tank is unique and what works in one doesn't necessarily work in another one. Hopefully we both will be able to get a handle on this eyesore in our tanks.
 
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toeknee

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This is why I think and or thought I was careful enough to mention things like..."in my particular case" or I understand this isn't standard but......I hoped to find a group of people who have tried every standard method to get rid of BBA but still couldn't get ahead of it. Seems not to be the case however..
 

mattgirl

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toeknee said:
This is why I think and or thought I was careful enough to mention things like..."in my particular case" or I understand this isn't standard but......I hoped to find a group of people who have tried every standard method to get rid of BBA but still couldn't get ahead of it. Seems not to be the case however..
Like you I tried to word mine to say what is kinda working for me but might not work for others. I was hoping more folks would be on this thread. I too would love to know how to get of of this stuff for good.
 

johnbirg

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toeknee said:
Hello all. My planted 55 gallon is a bit over a year old now. I've battled with a handful of algae types over the year and have won those battles. The one I can't quite get dialed in is a bit if BBA. It's not over running the tank but it's enough to be a problem still.

A couple months ago the spraybar for my cannister filter outlet cracked so I took it off the outlet to repair. The spraybay previously directed the current downward towards plants. After taking it off the current now was going across the upper level of the tank not hitting most of the plants. I left the spray bar off and the majority of my BBA disappeared. The water current was no longer hitting the majority of my plants.

I put the spray bar back on two weeks ago so now the water flow was pointing back towards all the plants below and BBA came back within days. Nothing else in the tank changed.

I always hear so much about CO2 imbalance and lighting issues being the root causes of BBA. Have never heard much about low or fast water flow affecting BBA. Thoughts?
Seems really strange to me but in Australia we have a product called no more BBA. It's marketed by a company in Melbourne and available on eBay.com.au. This product is fantastic - cleared up the BBA in my tank within a week and no recurrence in 6 months.
I will check if they ship to the US and let you know. But I am surprised that the technologically advanced UNITED STATES OF AMERICA doesn't have a similar or BETTER product.
 

johnbirg

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johnbirg said:
Seems really strange to me but in Australia we have a product called no more BBA. It's marketed by a company in Melbourne and available on eBay.com.au. This product is fantastic - cleared up the BBA in my tank within a week and no recurrence in 6 months.
I will check if they ship to the US and let you know. But I am surprised that the technologically advanced UNITED STATES OF AMERICA doesn't have a similar or BETTER product.
Unable to get an answer as it's Sunday here but do a search for the techden to see if they ship to the US.
 

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mattgirl

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I guess I should have said I need to find a way to completely eradicate it but not harm snails as I have assassins in both tanks I am seeing the BBA in. I am managing to keep it down to a minimum by using excel and water changes to keep the nitrates down. I am afraid anything that would actually kill it would also kill them. If that is the case I will just continue keeping it down instead of totally gone.

off topic: @coralbandit dosing 1ppm PP in my assassin snail tank brought the snails out of the substrate and climbing up the sides of the tank. I am afraid 2ppm would have started harming them.
 

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It's plausible as a greater water flow could deliver more nutrients to a colony of BBA, allowing it to grow faster. There's no real conclusive evidence though and the mechanism I just described can't fully explain an algae outbreak of any kind, so I don't know. It could be that the fast water flow isn't causing it itself, but is allowing something else to cause it, if that makes sense.
 

coralbandit

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mattgirl said:
off topic: @coralbandit dosing 1ppm PP in my assassin snail tank brought the snails out of the substrate and climbing up the sides of the tank. I am afraid 2ppm would have started harming them.
Dosing PP ?
Not sure it will do much to algae or plants besides kill them when OD'd.

Discus Madness Mathias would not buy fish from me for having "black algae" as he called it !
I am sure it can spread like an infection from one tank to another with totally different parameters .
I for the longest time only had issue in my livebearer tanks ,but sadly I have some in ram tanks also now ..
Who thinks they have the worst growth ??
I say ME !
I'll get a pic of my picta breeding tank ! Like a velvet Elvis painting ,,no joke !
 

mattgirl

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coralbandit said:
Dosing PP ?
Not sure it will do much to algae or plants besides kill them when OD'd.
Bad me :D I wasn't doing it to kill the BBA. Instead of going off topic here I should have posted that in the PP thread. Sorry about that :facepalm:

Discus Madness Mathias would not buy fish from me for having "black algae" as he called it !
I am sure it can spread like an infection from one tank to another with totally different parameters .
I for the longest time only had issue in my livebearer tanks ,but sadly I have some in ram tanks also now ..
Who thinks they have the worst growth ??
I say ME !
I'll get a pic of my picta breeding tank ! Like a velvet Elvis painting ,,no joke !
Thankfully mine is not that bad. I am thinking I caught it quickly enough to at least control it. I have to think mine came in on some plants.
 

coralbandit

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How about its attraction to growing on dark objects first and best ..
It always shows up first on my black pumps and the darkest colored objects ?
 

mattgirl

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coralbandit said:
How about its attraction to growing on dark objects first and best ..
It always shows up first on my black pumps and the darkest colored objects ?
It does seem to be attracted to dark objects. It grows on the black parts of my sponge filters and also in the darker areas of my tanks. It grows more on the bottom leaves of my plants. It is also growing between the rocks I have piled in my 5.5 gallon tank. It doesn't grow on the top of them. Just the underside. I am wondering if super bright light would have any affect on it.
 
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toeknee

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Interesting, mine tends to grow on darker objects too. I've been keeping it bay by doing H2O2 spot treatments right before a water change, changing water, then doing Excel spot treatments. The 1-2 punch really does a number on it in a hurry. That plus directing my water flow away from hitting plants is keeping it at a minimum. But if I dont dose excel it comes back with a vengeance.

I'm all for trying out a new product to fully get rid of it as long as it's for fish, shrimp, snails and plants.
 
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