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?