Thanks for your kind response.
I initially left the lights (fluorescent shop lights hung over the two 5 gallons) on only 8 hours a say, which was fine for most of the aquatics (the moss, java fern, and the anubias) but the hornwort got spindly and the riparium plants didn't grow well until finally I started leaving the lights on 12-14 hours a day. Now they are growing great but the BBA keeps coming back. I rub it all off and soak it in hydrogen peroxide but eventually it regrows. The nerite snails do eat it, but it grows too fast for them and once it gets really lush they won't touch it anymore. Only when it is starting to grow. I was hoping as the hornwort grew to cover the surface the lower light would stop it, but it has long ago did that and still lots of algae. I don't dose co2.
It really sucks because these weren't feeder white clouds either, they were breeding sized, colorful adults that cost 2 bucks a piece. They were great at the store, but at home the columnaris went crazy. I still have two that don't look sick at all and are as active as ever. Is it possible the disease won't kill these two, or is it inevitable?
The white clouds tank isn't lit at all, so algae isn't a problem there. The riparium plants growing up out of the water get by with window light, but the tank itself is below the windowsill so while light enough to see in, it's to dark for any plants.
I really like bettas and white clouds, even if they are generic. I especially liked my betta who just died now, he was just a veiltail but had so many different colors on him and his fins were enormous, I'd never seen one like him. In less than an hour he came down with the disease and died from it. He built his first bubblenest this morning. Now I can check Walter off of my list of bettas not yet dead, along with Irving, Larry the first, and Oscar. Now I have just Larry II, but he'll probably catch columnaris and die also. I used the same nets in all the tanks.
In my old tank as a kid, I remember we had tiger barbs, guppies, a betta, blue gouramis, a paradise fish, a firemouth cichlid, a bluegill, a baby bullhead catfish, a pictus, a bolivian ram, platies, swords, mollies, tetras, a synodontis catfish, a flying fox fish, and a pleco in a 20H, among others, without any water changes and never had any diseases. Figures.