Declaration of War against BBA

Fishproblem

I'm no stranger to algae, and I believe a little bit has a place in even the cleanest tanks. However, I've been battling BBA in my 30 gallon for months, if not a year now. It's time to go. The BBA originated from my foolish decision to run a Finnex Planted on a hardscape only tank. I had the algae kinda sorta in check by keeping the light off most of the time, but now I'm planting the tank and need it done for good.

I'm taking every rock out of the tank and scrubbing the BBA off. My manzanita (totally covered) is too delicate to scrub. What should I use to kill the BBA? Hydrogen peroxide? Bleach? Something else? Whatever I use, I'll hit the rocks with it too.

Finally, should I dip the cabomba aquatica I have in there as well?
 

SnookusFish

For the manzanita just boil it. I made a video about it cus i have it too.
Only trouble is with plants. U have to use excel but it didnt work for me
 
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KribensisLover1

Kinda - I've definitely read similar info, but I'm hoping to hear from folks on here what's worked best for them. Failing that, I suppose I'll just throw it all at the tank! Bleach, peroxide, boiling, excel... why not?
I had some on a fake plant and I took it out and poured Clorox toilet bleach on it. Let it sit mixed with more water and then scrubbed with a toothbrish. Rinsed a lot then let sit then put back in.
 
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AsleepInYorkshire

Kinda - I've definitely read similar info, but I'm hoping to hear from folks on here what's worked best for them. Failing that, I suppose I'll just throw it all at the tank! Bleach, peroxide, boiling, excel... why not?
You need a plan I think. The article I read seemed to suggest hydrogen peroxide. I'd suggest you Google "hydrogen peroxide black beard algae" and see if that throws up anything that helps. I'm not a specialist in anything like this but I have read that Siamese Flying Fox will eat BBA.

I hope someone a little more clued up tootles along to help.

AiYn'U
 
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kallililly1973

I had BBA way way way back and i got rid of it by spot dosing with Flourish Excel but that only took care of some of it so i got 2 young ( 1/2-3/4" ) True Siamese Algae Eaters and it was gone within 3-4 weeks and boy did they fatten up now their much bigger but it never returned after they erraticated it.
 
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AsleepInYorkshire

I had BBA way way way back and i got rid of it by spot dosing with Flourish Excel but that only took care of some of it so i got 2 young ( 1/2-3/4" ) True Siamese Algae Eaters and it was gone within 3-4 weeks and boy did they fatten up now their much bigger but it never returned after they erraticated it.
Well KribensisLover1 I'd like to suggest you get 4 Siamese Flying Fox's and the BBA will be gone in a week . That's what I call a plan

AiYn'U
 
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StarGirl

Only true SAE will eat BBA. Flying foxes may eat algae, but not BBA.
 
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Fishproblem

For the manzanita just boil it. I made a video about it cus i have it too.
Only trouble is with plants. U have to use excel but it didnt work for me
It's a bit large to boil unfortunately. I might be able to fit it in the oven...
I had some on a fake plant and I took it out and poured Clorox toilet bleach on it. Let it sit mixed with more water and then scrubbed with a toothbrish. Rinsed a lot then let sit then put back in.
I'm soaking my rocks in 1 part bleach, 19 parts water as I type! Good call.
You need a plan I think. The article I read seemed to suggest hydrogen peroxide. I'd suggest you Google "hydrogen peroxide black beard algae" and see if that throws up anything that helps. I'm not a specialist in anything like this but I have read that Siamese Flying Fox will eat BBA.

I hope someone a little more clued up tootles along to help.

AiYn'U
I had BBA way way way back and i got rid of it by spot dosing with Flourish Excel but that only took care of some of it so i got 2 young ( 1/2-3/4" ) True Siamese Algae Eaters and it was gone within 3-4 weeks and boy did they fatten up now their much bigger but it never returned after they erraticated it.
Thanks AsleepInYorkshire ! I would love to just go with some SAEs but it's a regionally specific tank and I don't think they're endemic to Brazil lol. kallililly1973 , how did you spot dose the Excel? I'm thinking it'll be useful for the live plants, and for prevention in the future. I'm not going to be injecting CO2 in this tank so it sounds like it'll come in handy with the cabomba's rather high light requirements. That, or dosing the tank with peroxide as outlined in the first article AsleepInYorksire posted - but that strategy does make me nervous!
 
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kallililly1973

Fishproblem . i used the medical syringes and added a piece of airline tubing to reach the bottom of the bottle of Excel and then point it towards the affected areas and release it.
 
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GlennO

If you're running high light without CO2 you will definitely need regular doses of Excel to try and keep algae at bay. No guarantee of success though.

They can get to 6 inches. Honestly I would only use them as a temporary solution. Buy the smallest ones you can find. When small they will graze algae constantly and even eat BBA. But they grow fast, and as they grow they begin to prefer fish food to algae. At that point many people re-home them and re-stock with small ones.
 
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Fishproblem

Fishproblem . i used the medical syringes and added a piece of airline tubing to reach the bottom of the bottle of Excel and then point it towards the affected areas and release it.
lol straightforward enough. just use the regular daily dose, right?

If you're running high light without CO2 you will definitely need regular doses of Excel to try and keep algae at bay. No guarantee of success though.
Well that doesn't sound encouraging, but I guess I have to try! Excel will be in my mailbox on Saturday. Have you managed to pull it off?
 
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Fisheye

If you are taking stuff out to scrub, try pouring boiling water on driftwood and letting it sit for a bit. I've found it works better than peroxide.
 
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GlennO

Well that doesn't sound encouraging, but I guess I have to try! Excel will be in my mailbox on Saturday. Have you managed to pull it off?

Kind of, with Excel dosing, but not with high light. I had low light plants, and kept the light to the minimum required for healthy plants. Still needed some Excel to keep BBA under control.

I've recently added more light, more plants and CO2 injection and the BBA is receding with less need for Excel. But that's obviously a more drastic and more expensive option.
 
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lojack

I had BBA take over when I first started my old tank. I got lucky because I didn’t do anything special. I dosed the tank with daily excel and had Amano shrimp. Not sure if it was the excel or the Amanos or both that took care of it. Was clear for 8 years until I broke that tank down last month. Excel (glut) is really good at its job lol.
 
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Fishproblem

Kind of, with Excel dosing, but not with high light. I had low light plants, and kept the light to the minimum required for healthy plants. Still needed some Excel to keep BBA under control.

I've recently added more light, more plants and CO2 injection and the BBA is receding with less need for Excel. But that's obviously a more drastic and more expensive option.
I’m not above paying for CO2, but I’m just getting started with it on another tank and I’m not having the smoothest start lol. Something about the chemistry is a little out of my reach and I have a feeling it’ll take a while for me to figure it all out. Once I DO work out my mental kinks, I’d happily start injecting pressurized CO2 in this tank as well.

thankfully I can adjust the light intensity on the finnex, so I hope I can find that sweet spot of enough light but not too much.

I had BBA take over when I first started my old tank. I got lucky because I didn’t do anything special. I dosed the tank with daily excel and had Amano shrimp. Not sure if it was the excel or the Amanos or both that took care of it. Was clear for 8 years until I broke that tank down last month. Excel (glut) is really good at its job lol.
I don’t have excel but I do have some very large Amanos who want nothing to do with the BBA... freeloaders. They’re getting evicted tomorrow and sent to a smaller tank with more palatable algae. This is encouraging! Looking forward to the Excel getting here.

If you are taking stuff out to scrub, try pouring boiling water on driftwood and letting it sit for a bit. I've found it works better than peroxide.
...

I may have gotten a little more aggressive than that. Sat it in a full tub with about 2 cups of bleach in the water for a few hours. It took about 3 hours, but the algae is all a ghostly white. I’m pretty sure it’s dead lol.


42B1F2E8-5AB8-42C3-B388-0FE267AF8D8E.jpeg
 
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lojack

I don’t have excel but I do have some very large Amanos who want nothing to do with the BBA... freeloaders.
Haha I hear you on the freeloaders. My oldest/largest are more interested in sitting there all day waiting for feeding time to snipe some food. I just got 9 pretty young ones last week and they’ve gone to town on the algae in my new setup. I guess they’re hungry because they have a lot of growing to do lol. Good luck with your algae!
 
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Fishproblem


F7A253AE-E28D-440D-8B36-AE69AC3F9016.jpeg
it’s working! I killed all the BBA on the manzanita (and pretty significantly lightened the wood, too... whoops). I’ve been turning off the filter every morning to spot treat the BBA on the cabomba with the regular dose of excel, and it’s fading away. I wasn’t sure if I liked this plant at all, it’s been shedding and looked very messy, but the stems in the back right have established and are growing beautifully. I’ll be thrilled if it all turns out looking like that!
 
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KribensisLover1


F7A253AE-E28D-440D-8B36-AE69AC3F9016.jpeg
it’s working! I killed all the BBA on the manzanita (and pretty significantly lightened the wood, too... whoops). I’ve been turning off the filter every morning to spot treat the BBA on the cabomba with the regular dose of excel, and it’s fading away. I wasn’t sure if I liked this plant at all, it’s been shedding and looked very messy, but the stems in the back right have established and are growing beautifully. I’ll be thrilled if it all turns out looking like that!
Why are you turning the filter off to dose??
 
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StarGirl

Why are you turning the filter off to dose??
So it just stays around the area dosed not flying all over from the current.
 
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KribensisLover1

So it just stays around the area dosed not flying all over from the current.
Nice! My flourish isn’t working so can’t wait for thrive to come. Though I’m worried about the brand new tiny babies with any large change I’m also worried about the plants.
E00C9825-2053-49C4-88BA-A30AB7AB74CE.jpeg
 
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MrBryan723

Off the subject but that plant looks like an Anubias. If it is, you should uproot it a little bit. The stocky part(rhizome) the leaves grow off of needs to be on and not in the substrate.
Glad you're winning the fight against the bba finally.
 
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KribensisLover1

Off the subject but that plant looks like an Anubias. If it is, you should uproot it a little bit. The stocky part(rhizome) the leaves grow off of needs to be on and not in the substrate.
Glad you're winning the fight against the bba finally.
Oooo TY! That can explain a lot. So just plop it on the clay? It might float but I’ll see! I know people have told me this but I didn’t know what plant was what.

Off the subject but that plant looks like an Anubias. If it is, you should uproot it a little bit. The stocky part(rhizome) the leaves grow off of needs to be on and not in the substrate.
Glad you're winning the fight against the bba finally.
And I think the shades being closed makes a huge diff. They were only open to here but it seems to have helped (closing them) esp bc I highly overdosed flourish plant supplements thinking it was excel. And let it sit for days. And then did it again but did a water change immediately. But my plants looked great actually when it was od and no new algae came.
image.jpg
 
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MrBryan723

Well, not exactly plop... the roots can stay buried, but the thick part needs to be above. It looks like you can just pull the plant upwards around 1/4th of an inch and expose what needs to be exposed.
 
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KribensisLover1

Well, not exactly plop... the roots can stay buried, but the thick part needs to be above. It looks like you can just pull the plant upwards around 1/4th of an inch and expose what needs to be exposed.
Sheesh Is this okay? The pic I posted? I didn’t lift it high up and out and then plop it. More like lifted up in sand.
image.jpg
 
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MrBryan723

Lol yeah, that's perfect. Not trying to be onery sorry.
 
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KribensisLover1

Lol yeah, that's perfect. Not trying to be onery sorry.
Omgoodness I did NOT mean sheesh to you AT ALL! You’re helping me SO much. I would have killed it without that advice. I said sheesh bc I’m SO impulsive I didn’t wait 2 min for an answer!! Seriously thank you so much.
 
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skar

Bba :It's supposedly caused by fluctuating co2 levels.
I run co2 and it is still in my tank.

Peroxide in my experience has not worked.
Dosing directly with a syringe of excel does kill the infected area.

I have not tried the algea eater because they get to 6 inches and I dont find them to be an attractive looking fish.

Good luck
 
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KribensisLover1

Lol yeah, that's perfect. Not trying to be onery sorry.
So I heard that anubias also does better in a darker area. Is this too dark? I rubber banded it on to an ornament and I hope it’s not too high up (the rhizomes).
0774021C-0751-485F-9CFF-4C46C3731881.jpeg
 
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MrBryan723

Well, I left mine in a bucket of bleach overnight a few months back when i was moving my tank.( I totally forgot about a bucket of plants that were supposed to be in a 15 min solution.) Since then it has recovered remarkably well. It is in full light and the rhizome isn't anywhere near the substrate.
 
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KribensisLover1

Well, I left mine in a bucket of bleach overnight a few months back when i was moving my tank.( I totally forgot about a bucket of plants that were supposed to be in a 15 min solution.) Since then it has recovered remarkably well. It is in full light and the rhizome isn't anywhere near the substrate.
Yay! Mine looks super sketch now like white and fuzzyish and not healthy. Hoping it’ll recover!
 
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MrBryan723

They are astoundingly resilient plants(i know first hand) but they are very slow to react and recover. For example my swords that were left in the same bucket completely melted and recovered before my Anubias started to melt. And now 2 months later has "fully" recovered. What kind of liquid ferts are you using if any? They are very slow plants so you might not see signs of something for a month and then might not see signs that you fixed the problem for another month.
 
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KribensisLover1

They are astoundingly resilient plants(i know first hand) but they are very slow to react and recover. For example my swords that were left in the same bucket completely melted and recovered before my Anubias started to melt. And now 2 months later has "fully" recovered. What kind of liquid ferts are you using if any? They are very slow plants so you might not see signs of something for a month and then might not see signs that you fixed the problem for another month.
So I have flourish black sand for plants and I used flourish plant supplement. I overdosed thinking it was excel and then left it for a bit not realizing. Then I did a Water change and od again and realized and quickly did another water change. So now it’s about the correct amount. I then spot treated three times this week since yet I didn’t turn the filter off. My filter is set so low and has a baffler so I don’t think it’s a huge issue. I don’t know though! And I thought i ordered thrive C yet it hasn’t arrived so I hope there’s no issue!! I have to double check. Thank you so much!
 
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Fishproblem


6506166C-003F-464A-91CA-EE0331C9AA79.jpeg
So I’ve been dosing 3ml of excel every morning and it has certainly kept the BBA at bay on my cabomba. I do have a bit growing back on the manzanita where it’s nearest the light, and spots have been growing on the glass, which is new. Hoping that with continued excel, more plant growth, and more frequent water changes, all will stay as pretty as it is now.
 
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Tallen78

They can get to 6 inches. Honestly I would only use them as a temporary solution. Buy the smallest ones you can find. When small they will graze algae constantly and even eat BBA. But they grow fast, and as they grow they begin to prefer fish food to algae. At that point many people re-home them and re-stock with small ones.
I’m using panda garras for bba in my 20g they are doing well and from my understanding they will eat algae their whole life
 
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Fishfriendof315

Nothing
Only true SAE will eat BBA. Flying foxes may eat algae, but not BBA.
TY, nothing worse than having to add fish that don't get the job done
 
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jcambre

So I heard that anubias also does better in a darker area. Is this too dark? I rubber banded it on to an ornament and I hope it’s not too high up (the rhizomes).
0774021C-0751-485F-9CFF-4C46C3731881.jpeg
I had an Anubias and moved it all over the aquarium; it didn’t mind bright light but did just as well under the shade of taller plants.
 
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