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Success Battling BBA
The results are in! I am now convinced that burning black brush with bleach
is bogus. Far preferable to pursue perfection with potassium permanganate.
That was my weapon of choice in my most recent battle in the ongoing war
against BBA. My tank is decorated with about a dozen pieces of Malaysian
bogwood. Every piece has either Java fern or Anubias or both rooted on it.
This puts a damper on sun bleaching. I had used 1:20 bleach solution in the
past. It was effective in killing the BBA, but it was similar to using
whole body radiation to kill a single tumor...very damaging to otherwise
healthy tissues. This time I made a potassium permanganate solution using 1
tsp./gallon in a ten gallon tank and treated the bogwood in it for 20
minutes. My thanks to APD member Shmuel Silinsky in Israel who responded to
my question as to usage guidelines. He was sure right about it acting as a
nutrient with the plants! Many of the Java fern leaves appeared bright
green and very healthy after the dip. The dip turned all the BBA from black
to purple, and within a few days back in the tank it had all disappeared
from the leaves and wood. It also had other benefits. All dead material
resulting from prior bleach treatments had been highly visible as white
areas of deterioration on the Anubias leaves. After the dip all the dead
white tissue turned dark purple, while any living tissue remained
uneffected. And the difference with the Java fern leaves could not be more
clear cut as bleach kills them and potassium permanganate seemed to
invigorate them. I was less enthused about the effect of the dip on the
wood. The surfaces of the wood oxidized and turned dark, no longer
displaying the grain patterns. It was easy to remove this oxidation from
test areas with a little scrubbing, but I have yet to attempt to do so with
most of the pieces. However, the result is not unattractive in its own way.
A friend pointed out that the contrast between the dark wood and the (now)
bright green leaves is much more dramatic then before.
Overall I am very pleased with the results. The jury is still out on the
effectiveness of KMnO4 against green spot algae. I dipped some bacopa and,
while it turn all the green spots dark purple (making them much more visible
against the green leaves), the spots themselves remain stubbornly attached.
Time will tell if the spots will go away or not. If "not" then the green
spots are far preferable to the dark ones. If anyone is interested in try
this for themselves the only hard part will be acquiring the potassium
permanganate crystals. In the San Francisco Bay Area I purchased a lifetime
supply (2.5 kg) for between $20-$30 (I don't remember the exact price) at a
place called Chemicals for Research and Industry in Oakland. Their number
is (510) 893-8257. Look in the yellow pages under Chemicals for your area.
If any one in SFBAAPS would like to have some just ask and I will bring it
to the next meeting.
Alan4ever at worldnet_att.net
Alan Kaufmann, Psych Tech
Where grapes are grown.....
............................................and nuts are stored.