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Old 02-14-2015, 03:31 PM   #1
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Black beard algae killing

I had small outbreaks that I was trying to keep under control then due to circumstances beyond my control it had a week of no control what so ever and went CRAZY. I am now in the process of setting up a new larger tank and would like to make sure I don't transfer anything to it. I am going to toss the plants, clean the filter parts with peroxide followed by a several day clean water soak but what can I do with drift wood? I know because of its porous nature bleach and peroxide are out but could I soak it in a heavy salt solution followed by several extended plain water rinses?
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:03 PM   #2
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First, I do not think you can make BBA never happen by starting clean. It may help, but if your water conditions are such that BBA grows, I suspect it will get back into your tank somehow at some point. Regardless, cleaning can't hurt.

If your concern (re porous) is the chlorine or peroxide making it into the tank, I do not think that is a concern -- rinse well and let air dry preferably in the sun a few days and it all dissipates. If in doubt on the chlorine make one rinse a hefty does of a dechlorinator like Prime. I would be more concerned that either strong oxydizer might soften the surface of the wood and make it crumble. Depends on the wood. Maybe test first.

As an alternative if you can get it into a pot, I would boil it at a low simmer for several hours. Heat has the advantage that it will sterilize below the surface as well (e.g. behind clumps of crud). But hours, not minutes, so it heats deeper into the wood. Again, too-soft wood might soften, but at a simmer not fast boil less so.

By the way, I've had really good luck with (real) Siamese Algae Eaters. They cleaned up masses of hair and staghorn algae, and a bit slower but they did eat the little BBA I had. Most of the BBA I killed with H2O2 but it continued to grow on some plants, but the SAE really went after all of it.
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Old 02-14-2015, 06:25 PM   #3
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I am actually setting up the New tank so that I can combine the 30 with the albino Oscar & the 35 with the Clown Knife into one 65 with both
Both smaller tanks are side by side and have the same lighting so I am assuming I must have somehow managed to overfeed the Knife since it is only his tank that is affected
I am not overly attached to the fake plants since they are easy enough to replace at the dollar store & with the Oscar's predilection for redecorating as he sees fit real plants are not an option. Replacing the $30/50 driftwood pieces is not really an option unless absolutely necessary. It's -10c or colder here right now so drying in the sun is also not an option for atleast 3/4 months. Will risk the simmering once I find something that is large enough. Have also heard that Ramshorn nails are a good maintenance team so going to look for some. Any other ideas are more than welcome so keep the Info coming
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Old 02-14-2015, 06:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earhtmother View Post
Replacing the $30/50 driftwood pieces is not really an option unless absolutely necessary. It's -10c or colder here right now so drying in the sun is also not an option for atleast 3/4 months. Will risk the simmering once I find something that is large enough.
Sorry, in Florida, I tend to forget about seasons. Do consider testing the boiling on a small piece if you can, I'd hate for you to tell me it turned to soup. Lots of people boil driftwood to get it to sink as well (drives off the air and if you let it cool under the water it soaks it back in). But it all depends on the wood.

If someone you know has a turkey fryer they are great for boiling big things (if they don't have oil in them at the time, of course). I've used ours on the stove top to boil large rocks before they went into the tank.

But I'll also stick with my original comment -- the algae will eventually find its way back if the conditions are right for it. Sterilizing everything will only give a bit of a reprieve. Fixing the underlying problems (light or ferts or whatever), or finding something to eat it, is more enduring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by earhtmother View Post
Have also heard that Ramshorn nails are a
good maintenance team so going to look for some. Any other ideas are more than welcome so keep the Info coming
I'm a big fan of ramshorns, but they won't touch most problem algae like BBA, GSA, hair/staghorn, etc. But they are good cleanup for old food. They breed like mad, so be prepared. I find them easy to control -- just throw in some cucumber or similar, wait overnight, lift out and dispose of it plus a few dozen snails at a time. Or get fish that eat them. They are plant safe and interesting, but prolific. Be sure not to get pond snails if you have plants (pond snails have pointy shells, ranshorns are completely in a plane, no point sticking out one side). But if you are a kind hearted person who can't see them eaten or disposed of, don't start. Whoever said "breed like rabbits" never had snails. And once you start you can never get rid of all of them in an existing tank.
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