13 December 2016

BBA cure for my buces

It seems to be working! I took several sets of pictures, but didn't have time to write up the post so this will be a bit long.
My first move when taking them out of the aquarium was to soak the algae-afflicted buces in a pure hydrogen peroxide bath. It did fizz some. Rinsed three or four times in tapwater, then again in tank water.
I've been holding the buces since then in a large vase with some substrate (just to raise the level up so they are sitting in the widest part of the jar) and a small sponge filter for circulation. Some hornwort cuttings to help use up nitrates. No heat. Keeping it in a spot that gets ambient room light only- trying to starve out the algae. I have done a water change on the vase once, replacing the removed water with half new water/half tank water from the tenner at the end of the week. Did a top-off on another day, with just new water.
This was the state of the buces when I first put them in. Water was a bit cloudy so hard to see well-
but with this backlit shot you can see how much fuzz is on the leaves. Ugh.
Next day I was looking for help online and received several suggestions to use excel (liquid carbon). Went to the pet store, they don't have it. But they do have shrimp. And I recalled reading that amano shrimp are one of the few creatures that will consume black beard algae (if there is nothing better to eat). I bought two shrimp, brought them home and acclimated them, put them in the jar. The water is kind of cold (but not so cold they will die) so they move slowly and are not as busy but I have seen them picking stuff off the substrate, the filter sponge and the plants.

At night I wrap the jar in a wool scarf just like I used to do for my betta bowls, to hold in some ambient warmth (we turn the thermostat down at night).
The next day I swear the buces look a bit cleaner. There is some healthy gleam on the leaves of my oldest, the 'dark godzilla', that I have missed for a while. (I am quickly realizing how charming it is to have a little glass bowl or vase with something alive growing in water, but also how tricky it is to get pictures without the curve of the glass causing distortions).
These pictures are two days apart- if you look close can see there's definitely less algae.
Here is the fourth day- I was so pleased with the progress I went and got four more shrimp.
Never thought I would keep shrimp. When this task is done I will put them in the thirty-eight (and see how long they survive). There are two visible in the above picture.
A few silhouette shots to show how the leaf margins are cleaner- if you look closely can see little black spots on the edges where the tufts of BBA are almost gone. Yesterday I pulled them from the tank and cut off some leaves that were turning yellow- the plant was discarding its worst foliage. Rubbed other leaves w/fingers and I was able to remove more algae that way.
I do think I might be able to put these plants in the betta tank on friday. Nearly all of them have a new leaf growing, too.

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