Uummm... been out of town a lot lately so not only have I not had as much time to be on this forum as I would like, I also did not have as much time to monitor the fish as much as I normally do.
I am reviving this old thread b/c in the end, while it seemed to have worked fairly well, the BGA did come back and I am now back at square one
. This is frustrating me to no end. But I didn't want to do another blackout to try to get rid of it this time so I went another route. Here it is:
I removed all decor and plants from the substrate so that the tank bottom only had substrate on it. I scooped up the affected areas of the gravel - about half of it - into a large pot, and boiled it for 15 minutes to kill the BGA.
I soaked all plants, most of which were affected by BGA, into a sloution of 50% water and 50% hydrogen peroxyde for about 2 hours. Other plants that were badly attacked by the BGA were soaked in the solution overnight. I also took the time to trim all plant leaves that were dead or too badly affected and removed them altogether.
Since my BGA problem is concentrated on the gravel directly underneath the filter water flow, I added an air stone under the gravel in that area to attempt to create better aeration which is supposed to be a good thing to control BGA.
There are currently 2 downsides to the changes:
1) All the plants have been trimmed to the top of the tank looks somewhat bare. The plants will grow back so I am not overly concerned here;
2) The air pump (Hagen Elite 802) is an old pump my dad used to filter his home made wine... it still works but it's a bit noisy... I'll try to see if I can find a quieter one somewhere but for now it's doing the job just fine.
The nitrites have spiked a little since the cleanup and the change but I was careful not to do a filter cleanup at the same time so it is almost negligible. The tank looks cleaner than it has in months and the fish seems to like the new bubbles. Water circulation is about 200% better than it used to be so I can't wait to see what results I'll get from this.