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This is a discussion on Blackout within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> is shining a flashlight in there cheating? for the record, i've shined a flashlight into my tank once or twice to check on some ...

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Old 01-19-2010, 08:46 PM   #11
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is shining a flashlight in there cheating?

for the record, i've shined a flashlight into my tank once or twice to check on some fish that i thought might have NTD (this was a while back) and I'm always amazed at what happens at night. Baby shrimp all over the place, pleco going crazy, my yo-yo loaches sleeping in weird places). even my pond goes crazy at night, but i can only see it at night under the flashlight.

pardon the's a bad habit of mine.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:14 AM   #12
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Day 3:

Beginning of day 3: the last day of the treatment. Every time I think of fish - which is pretty much all the time - I want to remove the blanket and declare the blacout over. I did take a very quick peek last night in a dark room... not long enough to be able to see any fish swimming, but long enough to glimpse a few plant stems. So as of 9 PM last night, some plants were still reaching for the surface, which is a good thing.

Thanks for sharing your experiences guys. This is helping much!

Unless I crack down today, the next post should be following the "lifting of the curtain" tomorrow...
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:24 AM   #13
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No cracking down!! Give it one more day before "the big show". It might just pay off. Good luck!!
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:41 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Hawkian View Post
Day 3:

Beginning of day 3: the last day of the treatment. Every time I think of fish - which is pretty much all the time - I want to remove the blanket and declare the blacout over. .
good to I know that if I have to do a blackout, I'll take a video of my fish first so I can see them when I get the, um, craving.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:17 AM   #15
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When you "lift the curtains" tomorrow....Plan in some time as well do to a good gravel vac / water exchange too then. See what it'll look like then, like I said mine turned into what looked almost like lil gray dust bunnies.
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:29 AM   #16
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Lifting the Curtain!

Well there it is. Blackout over.

I was anxious and apprehensive to remove the blanket this morning... what would I find? I removed the thick blanket about 20 minutes before the lights come on in the tank and I could see some fish "sleeping" in there. And then the light came on...
All fish have survived the blackout! YAY! Furthermore, none of them seemed any worse than before the blackout! Guess they just felt like they had a very ling night.

Second, when the lights first came on, I realized that I have more snails in my tank than I believed ... but not so much that they would be a nuisance.
I proceeded to a 50% wc and thorough gravel vac. Gray dust bunnies is a very good description indeed! All plants survived surprisingly well except for one of my hygrophilas... which didn't look so hot before the blackout anyway. Well I should qualify that: it survived ok but I have trimmed it down to the gravel b/c it had lost most of it's leaves even before the blackout. All other plants survived. The cryptocoryne seemed to have "bunched up" in the middle and were reaching for the surface instead of spreading out, and the bacopa caroliania was slightly droopy but nothing more. Some light will do them some good today and I will "feed" them some CO2 tomorrow... that should help!

Fish were fed immediately after the wc and let me just say this: the critters are extremely active this morning! I obviously cannot tell if there is any cyanobacteria left in the tank and I imagine that I will not be able to tell for another few weeks. I am also leaving on vacation for a week starting tomorrow but I will post again when I get back to let everyone know "what the..." happened.

That's it! There was a lot of needless worrying on my part about doing a blackout it seems... and I am certainly not ever going to feel apprehensive about doing one again if I need to!
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:48 PM   #17
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Hey that sounds totally AWESOMEEEEE to me.
The Hygro's will grow back quick if you had already trimmed them, they'll pop back up quick; and as you suspected that's not really related to the blackout but simply due to the plant not doing well before already; this may well give it a new boost now. Like my dwarf baby tears...they weren't dieing but they also weren't doing much of nothing really and after the blackout BOOM they exploded growing like nuts - What triggered it is behind my understanding but I am sure glad for whatever it was lol

CO2 if you're using Excel, gotta be dosed daily to be most effective, keep that in mind.

So did all of what was covered green spots before turn into these dust bunnies for you too?
Like I had told you in one of the PMs that's what happened to me and after I vacuumed these up its been gone for good since - So I hope the same will happen for you
I TOLD YOU not to worry LOL
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:18 AM   #18
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Glad to hear it was a success! Keep us updated as to whether or not the bacteria return.
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:16 PM   #19
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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.
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:41 PM   #20
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Oh man that's a bad update right there. Not to offend but after the initial blackout when it was gone - What kinda maintenance schedule did you run on that tank? And what were your lights set to run each day?
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