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H202 use and results (long), was Re: Fermented Barley Straw...

It was the connection between barley straw and H2O2 on this list
which got me interested in the original thread.

I have used H2O2 to clear a tank of BGA and was looking at ways
to provide a constant level of H2O2 addition rather than dumping
a single dose every 2 days. (See description of experiment later).

Drip irrigation could provide a solution but barley straw in
the canister filter seemed a little less artificial, and probably
cheaper in the long run. 

I know there's no substitute for nutrient control but sometimes
it's not possible. I have a 200 litre heavily planted tank, with
good lighting, CO2 etc, this tank has very little algae as I can
control it with plant growth.

I also have a 50 litre tank in my boys' bedroom acting as a nite-lite.
This tank is not highly lit (it's a nite-lite!) and is planted with
Java Fern as a consequence. Being slow growing fern can't take up the
nutrients as quickly and although a blanket of duckweed helps it 
still gets algae.

Recently BGA started to take over and so I decided to resort to chemicals.
Here's the result:

50 litre lit with 15 watts CF. 
planted with lots of Java Fern, duckweed and frogbit.
no CO2, no fertilizer.
20% water change every 2 weeks.
containing 7 tiger barbs.

H2O2 dose:
In the UK H2O2 is 6% strength, you will need to
double the dose to get US strength which I understand is 3%.
I dosed 15 ml every 2 days for a week.
After adding the first dose I monitored nitrite, and nitrate 
and observed no perceptible change. Monitoring continued throughout
with no change.
The algae fizzed oxygen for about 8 hours after a dose and then slowly
stopped. Fish showed some surprise at the bubbles but no other 
signs of stress. I guess this means that I could dose daily but I wanted
to take it slowly to gauge the effect and be able to back off if 
the fish looked stressed.

Frogbit started to melt so was removed. Tips of the duckweed roots
also started to melt a little. Both have recovered since treatment.

20% water change before ever dose to remove dead algae.
After 2 doses the algae on the leaves had turned grey and was
obviously dead.
Some of the thicker patches of BGA went very dark. Any BGA patches
I could see were removed by vacuum.

After 4 doses the tank looked clear and I stopped dosing. A light
green fuzz on the glass is the only algae growth I have now and 
am OK with this.
This treatment was carried out about a month ago and there is still
no sign of BGA returning, previously it would take a few days to return
after cleaning it all away by hand.

No fish or plant mortalities since dosing so, not exactly scientific but
I'd say it worked for me and I'd try it again if ever I see BGA.