Spot treating BBA with Excel . . .

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
987
Location
Nottingham
So, I appear to have developed a mini outbreak of BBA in our now month old tank.

I suspect the cause might be a combination of increasing organics now we have stocked with fish (TDS rose up to 320pm from a 260ppm tap water base level - we might have been guilty of a little overfeeding too), and a possible under-dosing of EI ferts for a short period due to air bubbles getting into the auto-doser tubes. CO2 is pretty consistent and stable (0.8ph drop, and two drop checkers both just past lime green/heading towards yellowy green for the whole photo period (6 hours) - indeed the BBA appears to be most prevalent in the path of the filter outlet where CO2 is likely highest.

I have implemented increased water changes (25% daily from 25% 3 x per week) on our auto-water changing set-up, and TDS is already down to 280ppm after a few days. The tank will also have a good vac and filter clean on Friday when I have time (both have been done once this month already).

I have also replaced the crappy connectors that came with the doser for more robust barbed connectors, and have eliminated the bubble issue. I have not ruled out other issues with my ferts, including iron chelator issues in my hard tap water - but that's a topic for another post.

The BBA is of course still present, and so I'd like to remove it. I have some small bits on some mosses which I can easily remove by trimming, and some on some lengths of Eleocharis montevidensis which I can also just pull from the tank. However I also have some on some of my anubias, and hardscape.

Almost all of it is in the upper half of the tank, so I can easily drain to that point when I do a tank clean, allowing me to spot dose in the absence of tank water, with some of the Seachem Excel that I have bought.

I can do this with a small paintbrush, but I have read that pure concentrated Excel might damage the plants.

So my plan was to measure out the standard full tank dose of Excel (1.5ml for my 60L tank) into a pot (to avoid the possibility of a tank level overdose), treating the bits of hardscape (two small patches at most) neat, but then diluting the remainder with some water before painting on the affected plants, just before starting the tank refill.

The question is, to what extent should I dilute it for this application? I was thinking maybe one part Excel to 9 parts water? - I can always repeat if its not fully effective on the first outing. Any guidance would be appreciated.
 

Witcher

Member
Joined
15 Jan 2020
Messages
294
Location
London
Hey @Wookii , personally I wouldn't dilute it, as I'm aware Excel is a 2.5% (or something like that) solution of glut, but instead of painting plants I'd rather strike at them underwater using syringe (with the filters etc switched off - no water movement), leave that Excel cloud for couple of mins and then turn the filters etc on again.

Not sure about the weakest, feather-like plants but that's what I was doing with the hard-leafed ones - no signs of damage on them.
 

Wookii

Member
Joined
13 Nov 2019
Messages
987
Location
Nottingham
Hey @Wookii , personally I wouldn't dilute it, as I'm aware Excel is a 2.5% (or something like that) solution of glut, but instead of painting plants I'd rather strike at them underwater using syringe (with the filters etc switched off - no water movement), leave that Excel cloud for couple of mins and then turn the filters etc on again.

Not sure about the weakest, feather-like plants but that's what I was doing with the hard-leafed ones - no signs of damage on them.

Thanks. I was kind of hoping to avoid having to dose it directly to the water column though to be honest (I appreciate any residual amount on the leaves will go into it). Also the 1.5ml full tank dose doesn't really give me a lot of scope treating several anubias plants with that method.
 

Witcher

Member
Joined
15 Jan 2020
Messages
294
Location
London
Also the 1.5ml full tank dose doesn't really give me a lot of scope treating several anubias plants with that method.
Ahhh, definitely you have limited options with that size, so probably painting is the best option - but I'm not sure about the concentration, maybe simply try your solution (which will be something like 0.25%) and then increase if it won't work.
 

Fisher2007

Member
Joined
19 Feb 2018
Messages
432
Location
Warrington
I've been doing similar recently but I just use the normal dose, turn all flow off in the tank and via a syringe squirt some over the BBA. You won't get it all in one go so just repeat in different parts of the tank over the course of a few days and you should get it all. Leave flow off for 15 mins after dosing. I've found it pretty effective

Also, I don't use Seachem but Easycarbo instead. The Easycarbo bottle says you can double the dose if required, which I've been doing without any impact to livestock
 

Witcher

Member
Joined
15 Jan 2020
Messages
294
Location
London
Also the 1.5ml full tank dose doesn't really give me a lot of scope treating several anubias plants with that method.

There is one thing which came to my mind: when I was using glut as a carbon source, (diluted similarly to Excel), I was putting 30ml/240l at highest dose (starting from 10ml) - that gives 7.5ml/60l (I know that official Excel dose is much lower) with no signs of stress to Amano, so you are probably quite safe at higher amounts (but bear in mind I increased it over 2 weeks or so).
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
H How to combat BBA? Algae 7
Hanuman Sudden onset of BBA and CaSO4 Algae 2
M Possible BBA and a host of questions Algae 177
Mr.Shenanagins BBA, what should I do next Algae 7
Mikeyd Is this BBA? Algae 16
T BBA changes Algae 2

Similar threads

Top