One....Two...Three....BLACKOUT

fresh_newby

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OK so I have a small amount of BGA developing in the corners of my tank. I am sure it bloomed because of my bogus NO3 test and my through the roof PO4, so I neglected to dose macros for several days, and wham! Moral of the story, do not stop NO3 dosing, and ignbore test kits! i also think I kind of overfeed. I have never had algae hair, thread, or any other type, so this is something I want to get a handle on before it becomes an issue. I will be doing a 3-4 day blackout. Can you guys help me with the procedure? Should I dose NPK before the blackout and forego fish feeding, or maybe peek in at night to feed? Your help would be appreciated.
 

VaughnH

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Re: One....Two...Three....BLACKOUT

The fish I have any experience with can go for several days without any food other than what they scavenge in the tank. So, there is no reason to overfeed the fish at all, and a three day blackout without feeding is not harmful to the fish.
 

Tom Barr

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Re: One....Two...Three....BLACKOUT

Just clean it out really good, clean the tank's filters, then vac the gravel some or fluff it up and that should do it.

Mild cases are not an issue if you catch them.
Clean, water change and then KNO3.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

fresh_newby

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Re: One....Two...Three....BLACKOUT

so no blackout then?
If you look around the perimeter of the tank, the first 2 inches of substrate have an obvious sheen between the tank wall and substrate, and a few globs here and there on top of the substrate on some foreground leaves that I keep picking out with foreceps. Is this not enough to blackout? I dosedmy tsp of KNO3 yest, I do macros every other day, and I cleaned the filter and did a water change, but it is still there. Should I snap a pic to show you?
 

fresh_newby

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Re: One....Two...Three....BLACKOUT

ok here are some pics of what I am facing...
greengoo.gif

Mcyano.gif

greensubstrate.gif

Note especially in the third pic, the green sheen between the substrate and the acrylic wall. it was there for a while, but only recently has made its way up throught the sides to the plant themselves. so....blackout?
 

VaughnH

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Re: One....Two...Three....BLACKOUT

I like to keep a raised lip on my tank stand, that covers most of the substrate. When you see the tank, you see less than an inch of substrate in front and a couple of inches at the back, but there is 4 inches of actual substrate at the back. This keeps light away from most of the substrate. I still get an occasional patch of blue green algae in the substrate, but at least it isn't the whole depth of substrate. You could tape a strip of black paper around the tank to hide most of the substrate to try this out.
 

fresh_newby

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Re: One....Two...Three....BLACKOUT

VaughnH said:
I like to keep a raised lip on my tank stand, that covers most of the substrate. When you see the tank, you see less than an inch of substrate in front and a couple of inches at the back, but there is 4 inches of actual substrate at the back. This keeps light away from most of the substrate. I still get an occasional patch of blue green algae in the substrate, but at least it isn't the whole depth of substrate. You could tape a strip of black paper around the tank to hide most of the substrate to try this out.
Nice idea. I should try that!
Do you think this warrants a full blackout though?
 

VaughnH

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Re: One....Two...Three....BLACKOUT

I have a couple of spots of BGA now in my substrate and I am not doing a blackout. So, no, I don't think it justifies one.
 

Tom Barr

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Re: One....Two...Three....BLACKOUT

Most mild cases don't need it(Blackout etc) and the front glass BGA is seldom an issue that needs tending. It does say you can fluff the gravel, vacuuming it some, move it around, use a paint scaper to remove the BGA down there, and keep it clean and tended.

Sloping the gravel so that you have a better 3D picture of the tank is a good idea. Some add the black tape alone the area, but I just clean it off, and tend the tank and add KNO3, vac the gravel etc.

It's a good signal to clean the gravel and add KNO3.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

VaughnH

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Re: One....Two...Three....BLACKOUT

Tom, I dose 3/8 tsp KNO3 every other day in my 29 gallon tank - about 13 ppm every other day, or 40 ppm per week. Do I still need more, given that I get spots of BGA? I don't mind dosing more, but that seems excessive.
 

Tom Barr

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Re: One....Two...Three....BLACKOUT

I do not think you need any more, just clean the filters, gravel etc more and stay on top of things.

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Tom Barr
 

fresh_newby

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Re: One....Two...Three....BLACKOUT

I did that cleaned out everything, changed water yet again, dosed my NO3....new globs of the crap in the corners ....eeek.
 

TexasRock

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Re: One....Two...Three....BLACKOUT

Wouldn't blasting it with Excel work also? I know when I dosed 3X the recommended dose for a week, all my algae disappeared. Not that I had a lot, but it still worked...

Keith
 

fresh_newby

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Re: One....Two...Three....BLACKOUT

TexasRock said:
Wouldn't blasting it with Excel work also? I know when I dosed 3X the recommended dose for a week, all my algae disappeared. Not that I had a lot, but it still worked...

Keith
That works for BBA not BGA....BGA really isn't even an algae, it is called that because of its color. It is really cyanobacterium...it needs light to proliferate, so the best way to get rid of it is a blackout, but we are debating whether or not my case warrants a blackout. Excel x3 does work well for BBA, no doubt, but it also melts anacharis, so be careful, and at the 3x dose kills your shrimp, so take them out before doing this treatment. Just my 2c
 

fresh_newby

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Re: One....Two...Three....BLACKOUT

OK well I removed all visible BGA and keep my NO3 up, but it keeps appearing!!!
 

Tom Barr

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Re: One....Two...Three....BLACKOUT

First, clean well. Gravel, deep vacuum if it's more than 6moths old.
Clean filter and any equipment.

Then you can consider a blackout if the BGA is serious, mild cases often do not need this step.

It needs to be truly blacked out also...............

KNO3/good overall nutrients/CO2..........

That's standard procedure for most all algae minus the blackout.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

fresh_newby

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Re: One....Two...Three....BLACKOUT

Ok this is the deal Tom

My substrate is is only 12 weeks old. I did a major water change, cleaned out the filters, pipes, etc... dose 1 tsp KNO3 every other day, and I pick out every bit of the crap I see. I do plan on doing a bigtime vacuum, which requires me to move my plants, because it is LOADED, including a Marselia lawn in the foreground. It started off as a spot here and there, but despite my EI dosing for this 90 gal, I still have this issue. It started below the substrate line, but it has branched out to my riccia discs, and all over my foreground and downois. I fear that a blackout is the only way I can get a handle in it, then I will clean and vaccum remnants afterwards. Will I lose any plants druing this blackout period? Also how long should I do it for, 3 days? Then after my claning and water change, I dose my NO3? Just please clarify the procedure.
 

Tom Barr

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Re: One....Two...Three....BLACKOUT

Oh no, the blackout is easy and safe for any plants.

It's also 100% effective if you follow the routine.

3 days, 100% blackout(not just turn the lights out), cover with 2 layers of trash bags, this is cheap and everyone has them.

Turn off CO2, Increase aeration.
Clean off all you can first, do 50% water change, add KNO3.
Blackout for 3 days.
Water change, add KNO3, add CO2 light back, keep adding KNO3 like you should.

Add more plants perhaps.

If you have a bad infection, then you need to kill what is there.
Riccia, and fine leaf/frond plants are particularly bad to pick clean, so the blackout is often required.


Regards,
Tom Barr