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Cleaning plants after strip down

Epiphyte

Member
Joined
15 Dec 2020
Messages
111
Location
Hemel Hempstead
I'm stripping down a tank this week which is entirely overrun by BGA. There is also BBA and about every other type of algae going on so I'm calling quits on a losing battle and starting from scratch.

Naturally I'd like to keep my plants though, loads are really healthy and some of my slow growers have become quite large, so I'd hate to throw them away.

What are my options to kill the nasties and preserve my plants once it's stripped down?

Bleach dip? If so, how much bleach and how long to dip/before wash?
Seachem excel them and then wash off? Will this touch the BGA?
Throw them in a bucket in a dark room for a few days and hope that's enough to kill it?

Any experience of this I can use to help me regain some control after algae has beaten my tank senseless for 6 months?

Thanks!
 

arcturus

Member
Joined
6 May 2021
Messages
58
Location
Germany
There is no such thing as eradicating algae permanently. They are a normal occurrence in the environment provided by an aquarium and will always reappear given the right conditions. So, you have to step back and try to understand the root causes that lead to this situation. Lights? CO2? Fertilizers? Flow? Water changes? If you repeat the same actions you will risk ending up in the same point where you are today. In any case, remove the damaged leaves and as much algae as possibly, and then blackout the plants for 3-4 days. Chemicals might do more harm than good.
 

Epiphyte

Member
Thread starter
Joined
15 Dec 2020
Messages
111
Location
Hemel Hempstead
There is no such thing as eradicating algae permanently. They are a normal occurrence in the environment provided by an aquarium and will always reappear given the right conditions. So, you have to step back and try to understand the root causes that lead to this situation. Lights? CO2? Fertilizers? Flow? Water changes? If you repeat the same actions you will risk ending up in the same point where you are today. In any case, remove the damaged leaves and as much algae as possibly, and then blackout the plants for 3-4 days. Chemicals might do more harm than good.

Flow is the issue in the tank. I've tried everything else but I think the layout has some really restrictive areas in it which has caused a buildup of issues and thus, the algae.

My last solution is to tear the tank down and rescape it with something a little better designed.

My issue is how to safely reuse the plants and hopefully eliminate the cyanobacteria before I reintroduce them. I understand algae is always going to be there, but when you have cyanobacteria growing over your black beard algae which has smothered your anubias leaves... Well it's a little too much to accept!
 

ceg4048

Expert/Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
11 Jul 2007
Messages
9,455
Location
Chicago, USA
Leaves being attacked by algae can never recover, no matter what you do. If a majority of the plant mass is affected then you could try washing off the BGA which should come off easily. For the BBA try spot dosing Excel or equivalent. If you re-plant then overdosing the tank with Excel by 2X or 3X the bottle suggested dosage. Ensure your KNO3 dosing is up to par and limit the lighting in the tank.

Cheers,
 

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