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Old 02-12-2007, 01:44 PM   #1
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Bleach & BBA

I've had it with the BBA!!! I've tried more plants, Excel, modifying dosing, no dosing..... It is not working. The stuff smothers plants & get onto everything. The most I can do is fight it to a draw. I even boiled a piece of drift wood for an hour, & the stuff still won't die.

After the BBA killed all the swords & Apongentins, I have resorted to using bleach.

I did a bit of experimenting over the weekend. I set up a 1:20 bleach solution and dipped samples of plants & decor, then rinsed with tap water & water with a 5X overdose of Prime. The result:

I soaked a small piece of drift wood (with an attached Java fern) for 4-5 minutes. The wood is now totally clean, but the java fern si looking ratty, leaves turning black, etc.

A seperate Java fern dipped for 2 minutes appears fine with no trace of BBA left.

Anubias nana dipped for 2 minute still has traces of BBA, but appears alive.

A piece of Cambomba that was soaked for 1 minutes got rid of the BBA completely, and so far shows no ill effects.

Hornwort dipped for 30 sec lost all the BBA, but also most of its colour. All leaves fell off next day. I am keeping the stems to see what happens.

I didn't try the Vals, as the net says that this will create a big gooey mess.

I got rid of all traces of BBA off the rocks & gravel after a 15 minute dip.

I am almost ready to tear down the whole tank & bleach everything, but I will wait a few weeks just in case there is any long lasting effects.

One thing I've learned is that different plants can tolerate different bleaching time, and that BBA on different plants survived the bleach treatment differently (why did the BBA died on the cambomba after a minute, but is still alive on the Anubias after 2?) This is a potentially useful point is people doing bleach dips for new plants. Is there a bleach concentration/time vs plant species guide out there somewhere?
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Old 02-12-2007, 02:47 PM   #2
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I had a BBA problem for a long time to the point that my Fiance was threatiining to destroy my aquraium if i didnt get rid of it. How much excel did you dose when you tried that method.

what i did: i removed as many leaves that where covered as i could and then dosed about 5x the reccommended amount of excel and then started dosing the other supplements and Co2 as i should have been. and withing about a week almost all algae is gone and has not re-appeared
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Old 02-12-2007, 03:20 PM   #3
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The main thing on BBA, is fixing the balance in the tank (often low/fluctuating CO2). Without balance, algae will always come back.
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Old 02-12-2007, 03:54 PM   #4
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I had BBA on my annubia and then I just took the annubia and diped it in hydrogen peroxide, let it bubble and soak for 20 seconds or so and then put it back in the tank. I had read similar things from others here about using it. It worked really well the BBA turned kind of purple/white and was gone completely in a few days.

It is quite healthy now weeks later, the treatment never seemed to affect the plant itself. Nothing else had bba just that one plant...it was there when I got it.

Good luck. You might read up some more on the hydrogen peroxide treatment. I think one of the posts I read was from 7enigma and was used as a spot treatment so you might try asking his exp with this one.
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Old 02-13-2007, 04:28 PM   #5
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I too recently resorted to the bleach solution for my green hair algae. I thought I'd really been getting my act together with dosing and injected C02, weekly water changes, etc but I think the hair algae had too much of a foothold (and I was impatient). I felt like it was a bit of a cop-out, but I was pretty sick of looking at it and waiting for the improved water chemistry to kill it off.

So I finally dipped my Anubias and Java ferns...5 minutes for them all in 19:1, and then a serious rinsing in tap water and then in dechlorinated water. The algae died and turned white, and I scraped off most of it by hand, which was easy. Looked so much better when I replanted...almost too clean, it almost looked sterile in there!!!

After several days they are still looking pretty good, with no rattiness or other issues people sometimes see. Now the only GHA i have left is in my rotalia which wasn't bleached...

We'll see; if it lasts, then maybe I truly am getting the balance together!
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Old 02-13-2007, 04:35 PM   #6
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I know I should get the tank under balance ... I've tried, but I think that there is such a high load of BBA that it is killing the plants before they get established, & I was getting nowhere.

I've read somewhere that if you can get rid of all traces of BBA (this is from a guy that bleached the entire tank - minus the fish) then it will not come back, even when the tank conditions had not changed. Perhaps the BBA is secreting some plant growth inhibitor, and getting rid of the majority of BBA would give the plants a fighting chance.

I was going to just bleach all the rocks, decor & equipment & then add more fast growing plants. But since I had the bleach setup, I tried some plants also.

I have heard of the H2O2 treatment also. I am not sure if that is any safer on the plants than just bleach ..... I will do some more reading.

As for the Excel, I was limiting the dosage on accounts of the Vals. I was up at 2x recommended for several weeks but no great results. So it was either upping the Excel (& risk losing the Vals - & they are doing the best in the tank) or trying something else.
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Old 02-17-2007, 10:41 AM   #7
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H2O2

I've used hydrogen peroxide in my tanks with good results. I use one drop per gallon everyday for a week to clear up algae attacks. I prefer it to bleach or other treamtnets becasue H2O2 when placed into water breaks up ino H2O and O. Water and oxygen thats it. These active parts of Hperoxide seem less aggressive to my plants.
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Old 02-17-2007, 11:35 AM   #8
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I had success with treating for bba by upping my measured co2 to about 40 ppm and dosed the startup rate of excel each day for a week. It's all gone.
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