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Blackout for Spirogyra: WHAT do you dose during blackout?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by growitnow, Oct 16, 2010.

  1. growitnow

    growitnow Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,

    I'm thinking of trying a 3-day blackout on my 90gal to curb some Spriogyra that is cropping up. I'd like to understand what to dose and on what schedule to dose, during the period of blackout.

    Day 1: 70% WC + Excel (plus possibly 2ml/gal H202)
    Day 2: 50% WC + Excel (plus possibly 2ml/gal H202)
    Day 3: no WC, + Excel only
    Day 4: 50% WC, lights & CO2 back on to normal; return to normal macro/trace/iron dosing schedule

    The full WC dose of Excel is 45ml in 90gal. I've seen recommendations to dose 1ml/gal Excel during EACH day of blackout. This would mean 90ml in a 90gal tank for three days. Is this "OK"? Or if using Excel during blackout should I daily dose 45ml/90gal?

    During blackout I will: turn OFF CO2, turn OFF lights, & probably wrap tank in wide tin foil.

    Do I dose Macros, Traces, and Iron -- each time I do a WC during blackout? (Macros & trace/iron at different points in day)
    Does one skip traces/iron entirely during blackout?
    If NOT doing daily WC (or WC every other day) during blackout, what do you dose and on what schedule?

    I've just turned up CO2 and reduced lights. But now am waiting to see what effect that has. In the meantime, I'd like to have my blackout game plan prepared.

    thanks,
    growitnow
     
  2. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Nothing From Nothing Leaves Nothing...Whoa Up Cowboy That Was A Billy Preston Moment

    Hi,

    I would dose nothing during the blackout.

    But then I probably would not do a blackout. :gw

    How mature is the tank?

    Do you understand the root cause of you algae problem? :)

    Biollante
     
    #2 Biollante, Oct 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2010
  3. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Biollante is correct to ask what might be the root cause. Find the cause and you find the cure. What are you doing to change the situation other then a blackout?

    Blackouts are effective against existing algae, but will not keep it from coming back. Fix the root cause, low nutrients/CO2, too much light, and poor water flow and then you keep it from returning. That, or get some guppies. And personally, I would never add more than 5mL Excel per 10 Gal of tank per day.

    Here is an interesting thread on eradicating Spirogyra that includes blackouts and answers some of your questions. http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/7696-Spirogyra-Outbreak-Help It sounds as if it was effective, though I've never tried it myself. :cool:
     
    #3 Tug, Oct 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2010
  4. growitnow

    growitnow Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks Biollante,

    The tank is 4+ months old.

    I do not understand the root cause. I am guessing low CO2, based in part on GSA, Blyxa not doing great, and absence of Spirogyra before first major prune. Given Spirogyra is just "starting" I want to knock it back before a major outbreak that I have less ability to combat.

    I have initiated 2-3x weekly WC. Cleaned filters. Drop checker was previously green all day and slightly yellowish green by end of day. I just upped CO2.

    For those that do add Excel (or H202) during blackout, what are common doses?
    For macros, trace, and iron - I would be grateful if you might fill me in, on what to dose during blackout and on what schedule during the blackout period.

    many thanks,
    growitnow
     
    #4 growitnow, Oct 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2010
  5. pat w

    pat w Member

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    I'm with Bio on this one, too. I tried blackouts when I was fighting a Rhizo outbreak (nasty one) allong with boosting CO2, changing light levels, WC three and four times a week, you name it. Nothing worked. I was literaly uprooting and combing the stuff off my plants just to salvage something to replant.

    The tank was still getting started. And then, seemingly for no other reason I can think of other than time, the stuff just stoped growing and later went into retreat. I not saying don't do anything, you have to stay on it; clean it out as best you can, WC's, double check your dosing, CO2, etc.. But sometimes I quess you just have to wait for the tank to grow out of it.

    FWIW

    Pat
     
  6. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Information is what will help Biollante answer your questions. Your tank size, the type of lights you are using and how many you use over the tank in question, water flow (filters and such) and what fertilizers you are dosing at the moment are what we should know in order to help.

    I honestly can't say from the information you provided what is going on and I know Biollante is in Spain or on his way and too distracted to respond or he should be. I know how I would be spending my time if I were in Spain.

    Let me just say, I have never used a black out. Like the others here I find changing up a few things is just as helpful, but blackouts are used even by our own Tom Barr when algae gets out of control. The key is, he knows the reason why and fixes the cause along with using a blackout.

    Venturing a guess I would say you have a lot more light then necessary. Supplying CO2 allows plants to gather light more efficiently. This means CO2 supplementation (even low amounts) reduces the amount of light plants need to be productive and by providing them with more light then is needed we are limiting what we can't give them enough of - often CO2. A balancing act if you will. I would start by reducing the light.


    If you decide to go with the blackout,
    Do not fertilize, do not add CO2 and do not feed your fish. Do aerate the tank and do run your filter (+AC) as usual.

    The one thing I would change is the back to normal part on day five, if normal is what got you into this mess.

    The Excel dose I gave you earlier is from Tom Barr himself. I would follow his recommendation and never add more then stated. Or, rather then use Excel follow detlef's advice. I know Biollante has also used a similar phosphate solution to great affect.

    Any way, good luck to you.
     
    #6 Tug, Oct 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2010
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Detlef's suggestion is good.
    But focus on good plant growth in general after.

    It should go away.
    Reduced light intensity helps thereafter.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. growitnow

    growitnow Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks, and apologies. Tank stats are below. I would be grateful for a bit of specific follow up to Detlef's method.

    1) Before day1 do I do a WC? Or just take the tank as it is with whatever nutrient levels are present? If do WC before initiating blackout, is the suggestion here to NOT dose anything after the pre-black-out WC?

    2) To be clear, NO EXCEL or any other nutrient on Day1 or Day2. Is this correct?

    3) re: Day 3 "switch on lights to 50% intensity". Does this mean maintain same photperiod, but run half of the lights? Or reduce photoperiod by 50% using normal intensity. Since in my case I am only using 110w at any one time, is the recommendation to take one of the bulbs out and run only 55w?

    4) re: adding Amanos, unfortunately I have been a good job of killing whatever shrimp is added to the tank, so that option is out. I have 4 SAEs and 3 juvenile flagfish.

    (shrimp killing issue)
    http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/shrimp-other-invertebrates/118505-why-am-i-shrimp-killer-amanos.html

    TANK STATS:
    90gal
    KNO3: 15ppm, 3x
    KH2PO4: 6ppm, 3x
    K2S04: 17ppm, 3x
    Trace (TPN): 25ml, 3x
    Iron (Seachem Iron): 15ml (.44ppm), 3x
    GH booster: 4tsp at WC
    Mg: 10mg (3ppm) at WC
    Lighting: 4x55w CF, 9hours total (4.5 hrs rear bank [110w] followed by 4.5 hours front bank[110w])
    Note - lighting above just turned down from 10hours total (8hrs @ 110w, plus 2hr @ 220w)
    Plants: Staurogyne, Blyxa (never done that well), H. angustifolia, needle leaf java fern
    Fish: Congo Tetra x 4, SAE x 4, plus 6 or so small tetras; just 3 juvenile flag fish and 2 small ancistrus

    Equipment:
    Eheim 1260 (635gph) which drives AM1000 reactor; reactor output split to L vs. R side of tank
    Eheim 2128 x 3

    Note:
    I just ordered a VorTech MP-20 to increase circulation.
    Drop checker is normally green with yellowish tint at end of day; I also just (2 days ago) increased CO2 and am waiting to observe effect.
     
    #8 growitnow, Oct 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2010
  9. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    I will make a few suggestions, but your light and CO2 levels are going to take the most work.
     
    #9 Tug, Oct 17, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2010
  10. detlef

    detlef Subscriber

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    Hi,

    @Tug
    No, not necessarily. My tank got infested when I bought new plants. And yes, as Tom said, less light will help after you have succesfully combatted (green) algae.

    @growitnow
    No WC initially. Start the method right away. If you insist on doing a pre black-out WC it's ok but no nutrients thereafter.

    Yes, no Excel, no nutrients on day 1 and 2. Btw Excel doesn't do much on Spyro. But don't forget to add carbon to your filter system. The idea is to reduce nutrient levels as low as possible!

    I see no need for keeping the tank in complete darkness for more than 2 days. Give it some low intensity light thereafter that's all.

    Amanos are tough guys generally therefore you should focus on what caused them to die in the first place (sure they didn't get trapped in the Eheim 1260? Sorry, have not read over at plantedtank). Shrimp play an important role in this method so please correct things first and then add the amount I have suggested.

    Best regards, Detlef
     
    #10 detlef, Oct 18, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2010
  11. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    My bad. I'll make sure to clear up the semantical error in the OP. ;)
     
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