5 Day Black out or just reduced photo period - Vacation - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 09:13 PM Thread Starter
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5 Day Black out or just reduced photo period - Vacation

I've got some wicked hair algae on my HC and I'm going to dragon*con soon and I'm trying to decide if I want to just decrease my photoperiod or if I want to do a black out.
Its a lowish light tank with co2 and I do EI dosing so I wouldn't dose for 5 days either.

Will a black out hurt my HC?
Will it kill this nasty algae?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 10:28 PM
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5 days is a bit long.. but definitely doable. wrap up the tank with black plastic bags or something that light wont spill through. turn off the co2 and stop dosing, make sure the lights wont come on. Do a big water just before you turn everything off, and then you'll need to do another immediately when you come back home to get rid of all the dead algae and make sure there is no ammonia spike. the plants will be a bit leggy i imagine but should pull through fine.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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That's what I was hoping - but I don't know.. I've heard of HC doing badly with blackouts.
Would it be better to just do the light for a couple hours a day?
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 12:14 AM
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Not without ferts/co2.. Any light will just promote algae in those conditions.. I'd imagine the HC would be fine but might need trimmed up a bit. I would do the total blackout so none of the algae has a chance to survive, the plants will make it but I imagine the growth will be slower at first. I would do te massive wc and then turn on the co2 for a couple hours before you turn the light back on, add ferts then too, this way the plants have everything they need when the lights come back on.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 12:32 AM
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I would dose the ferts for all 5 days the day you leave and run the lights for 1/2 time while your gone. No way I would do a 5 day blackout unless it was an Anubis/java fern low tech setup.


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 01:17 AM Thread Starter
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I would dose the ferts for all 5 days the day you leave and run the lights for 1/2 time while your gone. No way I would do a 5 day blackout unless it was an Anubis/java fern low tech setup.
Interesting... I'll probably go with this.

I got so fed up with the algae though that I am currently re planting my entire beautiful HC carpet...
I tore it alll up and found a lot a lot a lot of dust I'm assuming was dead BGA and other algae from issues in the past.
Vacuumed up a lot of that and now I'm replanting.
I'm hoping all those decomposing organics was the cause of the algae.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 01:29 AM
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In all of my experience with a low carpet like you have (Marselia minuta and Trithuria sp.) the reason I had BBA was simply because I did not have enough/High enough co2 or it fluctuated too much. Also it is very important that flow if the co2 enriched water is circulating the tank efficiently. I would crank the co2 up as high as you possibly can without killing any fauna (if you have any) in the tank.

As a side note I always suggest cranking up co2 incrementally over a day or so untill you see stress in fauna then backing it down a smidge. This is the only way IMO that you can be certain you are putting as much co2 as possible in the tank.


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 02:05 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bsmith View Post
In all of my experience with a low carpet like you have (Marselia minuta and Trithuria sp.) the reason I had BBA was simply because I did not have enough/High enough co2 or it fluctuated too much. Also it is very important that flow if the co2 enriched water is circulating the tank efficiently. I would crank the co2 up as high as you possibly can without killing any fauna (if you have any) in the tank.

As a side note I always suggest cranking up co2 incrementally over a day or so untill you see stress in fauna then backing it down a smidge. This is the only way IMO that you can be certain you are putting as much co2 as possible in the tank.
I dont have BBA, I used to have BGA but maracyn killed it, I've got a bit of staghorn and some green hair algae.
I would be cranking up the co2 more but I'm breeding shrimp in the tank.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Chlorophile View Post
I dont have BBA, I used to have BGA but maracyn killed it, I've got a bit of staghorn and some green hair algae.
I would be cranking up the co2 more but I'm breeding shrimp in the tank.
Oops, sorry im just trained to automatically default to BBA on low growing foreground plants. In any case upping the co2 will almost always help the good fight against algae. Now that I know you are breeding inverts in the tank I can 100% assuredly tell you that you are not putting enough co2 in the tank. Unless you have low light, but with the plants were talking about I don't think thats the case...


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 04:17 AM Thread Starter
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My drop checker is always green - it gets yellow ish green towards the end of the day.
Before I had inverts, I just had oto's and my drop checker was pretty damn yellow and I still had this hair algae.
It is a Mini M with the 27 watt Solar Mini M light. I assume that is low-medium light.
I am thinking I'll move my shrimp over to my low tech 20 gallon and just have oto's and chili rasbora in the mini M...
That should let me up the co2, but as I said co2 levels being pretty high still didn't keep this algae away.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 04:33 AM
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I don't trust drop checkers. I just use them to alert me if co2 levels are varying drastically from where I want them. I just do the fauna stress test in all my injected tanks.


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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I don't trust drop checkers. I just use them to alert me if co2 levels are varying drastically from where I want them. I just do the fauna stress test in all my injected tanks.
After I've dialed down my co2 from fish gasping/shrimp trying to climb out I really just see if my drop checker is the same and thats it.
I've noticed after a few weeks enough water evaporates from either the drop checker to the tank or the other way around that it will stay yellow no matter what.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 07:52 AM
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I would dose the ferts for all 5 days the day you leave and run the lights for 1/2 time while your gone. No way I would do a 5 day blackout unless it was an Anubis/java fern low tech setup.
to the OP
I followed these instructions while away on two 10 day vacations that were one day apart (20 days away). did water change as normal dosed all ferts (Dry EI) while refilling, halved the light period (didnt touch the Co2 settings)and went away. all was fine when i returned did the water change again and dosed all ferts again and went away again. on my return all was well and over 2 or three days slowly increased the lighting back to its original settings.
There was a non fish/plant keeper feeding the tank during my vacations.
and as i said all was fine.

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 05:54 PM Thread Starter
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to the OP
I followed these instructions while away on two 10 day vacations that were one day apart (20 days away). did water change as normal dosed all ferts (Dry EI) while refilling, halved the light period (didnt touch the Co2 settings)and went away. all was fine when i returned did the water change again and dosed all ferts again and went away again. on my return all was well and over 2 or three days slowly increased the lighting back to its original settings.
There was a non fish/plant keeper feeding the tank during my vacations.
and as i said all was fine.
Thats good to hear, thank you!
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