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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bought a bottle of Seachem Flourish EXCEL recently to try to eliminate (or at least control) some black beard algae. I used dosing recomendations from threads here on TPTank forum.

As a test, I took 2 buce plants that were covered in bba and submerged them in a bucket with 1 gal. of water. I then dosed at the 5ml per 10 gal ratio (.5ml/gal) on the first day and then reduced to double the recommended dose on subsequent days (5ml/25 gal). After a week of this there was no change in the bba.

I then increased the dose by more than 2x daily for a week and still no change.


DAY 1: .5ml/gal (as per bottle directions)
DAY 2-7: .2ml/gal (equal to 2x daily does from bottle)
Day 8-14: .5mml/gal (equal to 5x daily dose from bottle)

I don't mind increasing the dosage until it works in this bucket test, but there's no way I'd do that in my tank.

I've read several accounts here of people having success with Flourish EXCEL to treat bba, so my first guess is that I'm doing something wrong.

I have not read accounts of people saying it did absolutely nothing, so I'm hopeful it still may work.


Thanks for any comments.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Darkblade48.



Actually, I am using Flourish Excel. After I posted my question I couldn't figure out how to edit it, but have now corrected it to say EXCEL.


There are threads here of people using a 10-14 day whole tank treatment using Excel successfully. That's what I'm trying to do. I have followed the same dosing schedule as others, but I see no results. others have reported noticing the bba start dying within hours or days. I'm now using twice the dosage recommended in those post and still seeing no change. So my working theory is that I'm doing something wrong or the EXCEL has expired (which I doubt).


The tank is low tech with a moderate amount of plants. I'm reducing my light schedule as well. Good maintenance and less light...
 

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What I do with bba is put a couple teaspoons in a spray bottle and add some water then I sprits down spray bars or what ever during water changes. Then fill the tank back up. Or if it's always below water I add a couple mls of excel in a pipet and slowly release all around the bba.

I never add more excel in the spray bottle or pipet to exceed entire volume of tank so nothing gets OD.

Make sure pumps off as well. The bba turns colors fairly quick I would say couple hours.

You could try this to see if your excel is still good. I've heard it's light sensitive.
 

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I also do what latchdan does (either a spray bottle, or with a pipette/syringe to squeeze over the affected areas).

As also mentioned, just make sure your filter is off (don't forget to turn it back on), so that contact time is maximized.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I think the Flourish Excel is expired. It's a new bottle I just opened.

I kept increasing the dose in my test bucket until I was adding 6 ml per gal directly on the plant with no results. Next I Tried putting the plant in one cup of water and added 16 ml per gal (1ml/cup) which is a 32x the normal big initial dose. After 24 hours the bba seems very happy and healthy.

I put the 2nd plant in 3% H2O2 for five minutes (also a new bottle). This seems to have slightly discolored the bba, though nothing obvious. I plan to treat with H2O2 daily for few days depending on results.

I also am doing some spot treatment in the tank (with filter off for an hour or 2).
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Update

Just wanted to update this thread.

The Flourish Excel had absolutely no visible effect on the BBA even after several treatments at very high doses. Even though it was a new unopened bottle, I have to assume it had expired.

The H2O2 had little visible effect. The BBA was slightly discolored after 3 days of a 5min/day soak in fresh 3% H2O2, tho it looked like it would be fine. However, today (about a week later) the 2 little Buce plants appear to be free of BBA. I think that the H2O2 did kill or damage the algae enough so that the fish would eat it. I noticed my little Golden Dwarf Barbs munching on it.

There was also a patch of BBA in the tank that I spot treated as well. It didn't seem to suffer from the treatment, but it too is now gone.

As I mentioned before I also decreased the lighting and increased the maintenance (weekly water change, vaccume the substrate -Eco Complete- where possible without disturbing plants). I am already noticing that new growth is staying algae free.

I have a Finnex light and have been using the preset 24/7 setting which is on for 18 hours a day!!!!. Granted it spends several hours dimly ramping up and down, but it's still obviously way to much light (it looked great until the algae started growing). I've cut it back to 9 hours and decreased the intensity.
 
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