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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone.

My tank has been doing very very well for quite a while now. Two days ago I noticed what I think may be BGA, slimy green mess, on some of my hairgrass right at the front of the tank, and a bit on the glass. Well, today when I got up and the lights kicked in, 50% of my hairgrass carpet was totally covered in this stuff. My parameters seem to be normal, they haven't really changes in months and months, pressurized co2 is in the range of 28ppm. No idea what could have caused this to happen so suddenly.

I was thinking maybe due to the co2 not being dispersed to one side of the tank very well, tank is a 33 long (48" length). Im diffusing through a ceramic disc and it flows directly into a Hydor powerhead which blows it throughout the tank. The BGA started on the furthest corner from my co2 source, but, my drop checker is directly above the infected area, and constantly shows greenish yellow. So i have no idea. I'm at a loss.

I just did a massive waterchange today and removed nearly all of the BGA by hand. Tank looks great once again, but I am worried that this is going to happen again within a day or two.

Any ideas on what could be causing this problem? How can I safely kill off this stuff without harming the livestock?

I'm running 2 54w T5HO's 11" above the water surface. Lights are on for 8.5 hrs a day. Rena xp2 + Hydor powerhead for flow.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Tyson.


**EDIT** - I am also dosing daily using the EI method.
 

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BGA is usually indicative of poor circulation. Add a powerhead or redirect your spraybar if possible. It usually happens for me in areas under bright light and poor circulation. The easiest way to remove it is to siphon it from the surface of the plant or substrate and increase circulation while maintaining regular WC's. If it becomes too invasive a 3 day blaclout and then a massive WC takes care of it.

Good luck destroying this nuisance.

Best Regards,

Stuart

Hey everyone.

My tank has been doing very very well for quite a while now. Two days ago I noticed what I think may be BGA, slimy green mess, on some of my hairgrass right at the front of the tank, and a bit on the glass. Well, today when I got up and the lights kicked in, 50% of my hairgrass carpet was totally covered in this stuff. My parameters seem to be normal, they haven't really changes in months and months, pressurized co2 is in the range of 28ppm. No idea what could have caused this to happen so suddenly.

I was thinking maybe due to the co2 not being dispersed to one side of the tank very well, tank is a 33 long (48" length). Im diffusing through a ceramic disc and it flows directly into a Hydor powerhead which blows it throughout the tank. The BGA started on the furthest corner from my co2 source, but, my drop checker is directly above the infected area, and constantly shows greenish yellow. So i have no idea. I'm at a loss.

I just did a massive waterchange today and removed nearly all of the BGA by hand. Tank looks great once again, but I am worried that this is going to happen again within a day or two.

Any ideas on what could be causing this problem? How can I safely kill off this stuff without harming the livestock?

I'm running 2 54w T5HO's 11" above the water surface. Lights are on for 8.5 hrs a day. Rena xp2 + Hydor powerhead for flow.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Tyson.

**EDIT** - I am also dosing daily using the EI method.
 

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3 parameters seem to be the culprits when BGA appears in a planted tank, especially one that is CO2 injected.

1. Nitrate bottoms. Since you are dosing EI, that's unlikely, but do you ever check your nitrates?
2. Insufficient circulation in one area. Low flow and water movement will cause this to a limited degree. I know there are reports of BGA on the glass at the gravel line in the front of the tank.
3. Direct sunlight hitting part of the tank part of the day.

Your tank is a fairly long tank. Sounds to me like it's in the corner furthest away from the powerhead, is that right? IMO, scenario 2 is the most likely. The remedy is to add another powerhead or change your flow pattern to get more flow through that area.

The simplest way to get rid of BGA is to clean out your filters and tank and do a big water change and then black it out for 3 days.
 

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BGA normally appears in low nitrate conditions (sometimes paired with high phosphates), thats why most planted tanks shoot for 10-20ppm range. Best solution is to ensure you tank gets in that range, then wrap a black garbage bag around the tank for 4 days to ensure it gets a full blackout. You already did step one, remove all of the algae you can see. Also removing dead plant matter helps prevent this
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses. I think the circulation is the problem. I have repositioned my outflow, seems to be a bit better now. I really don't want to add a 2nd powerhead, as the one in there drives me nuts haha. I hate seeing equipment inside the tank :) I've also thought of maybe even adding a 2nd cannister filter into the tank to help with this.

I'll be keeping an eye on things for the next few days and see what happens.

Gary, my nitrates are normally around 10ppm.
 

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Gary, my nitrates are normally around 10ppm.
I didn't think it was a nitrate problem, but I wanted to cover all bases. I had a runaway BGA problem when I first started my 125 as a planted tank (It started out with no plants and low light). The nitrate bottomed, then spiked as the BGA
overran the tank. I was doing water changes every day to save my fish and plants. Once I blacked out the tank and then got my CO2 sorted out, it never happened again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ya. I just find it odd that I have never had a problem until now. I haven't changed a single thing in the tank.
 

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Ya. I just find it odd that I have never had a problem until now. I haven't changed a single thing in the tank.
But your tank has filled in and some plants have grown taller right? In my 20 gallon, I used to get mysterious bouts of BGA and it was because I wasn't pruning regularly, and since I use a diffuser and not a reactor, the dispersion of the CO2 was a bit erratic when the tank became overgrown. Now I hack the plants back big time every week.
 

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It's my understanding that BGA is not an algae, but a bacteria and should be treated like a bacteria.

Erythromycin should usually take care of it.

I've also heard that it may have something to do with bulbs losing their colour spectrum over time....but again...that's more algae related.
 

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It's my understanding that BGA is not an algae, but a bacteria and should be treated like a bacteria.

Erythromycin should usually take care of it.

I've also heard that it may have something to do with bulbs losing their colour spectrum over time....but again...that's more algae related.
That's correct. It's a light loving bacteria, hence the reason for a blackout. Antibiotics will work, but is only a last resort, IMO also. Since Halonine has fixed the flow and cleaned it up, he might not have to do anything at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ya, im hoping it will be resolved. If i see it start coming back, I am going to try to move my lights a bit higher up as well.
 

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I had cyano from hell in my 32 gal. I literally did everything to get rid of it and nothing worked. I was battling it for almost a year.
I did the blackout a few times, tried removing it manually, disinfected the whole tank by removing everything, doing a super clean, baking driftwood, etc (twice), did the meds, added a powerhead, reduced overall lighting and photoperiod, tried this special carbon that aparently got rid of a few peoples cyano problem (according to a few people at the lfs), dosing and wc's to keep things stable, oh geez what else... I dunno i did a bunch of stuff and nothing worked.
My cyano liked to grow in high and low light, in high and low flow areas esp in high flow areas, grew more when all params were stable, LOVED water changes, didnt mind the blackouts at all. In any case i lost almost all my plants.
When i decided to give up and let whatever happen happen the cyano went away. go figure.
Now all i do is dose excel every now and again when i remember, feed the fish and trim. I bairly do WC's because the cyano starts to come back when i do that. Having fast growing floating plants really helped out to get rid of the cyano. However i did a wc 2 weeks ago and the cyano is starting to grow all over my floating plants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I just did another very large WC today and removed a TON more of this stuff. I may try some meds and hope for the best. How well do plants take to a multiple day blackout? My carpet is starting to fill in quite nicely, and I really don't want to lose that.

I hate this stuff :|
 

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To ensure a blackout is effective, there should be no peaking and no light leaks. When I did it the first time, it didn't work as I just used garbage bags. When I had to do it again, I garbage bagged, and also taped blankets on top so air got in, but light didn't. It never came back after I dialed in my CO2.
 
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