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[APD] Re: BGA, EM and Blackouts


Thanks for your responses.

My tanks were set up with a scattering of peat moss, then some mulm from
other tanks, then about a half inch of low nutrient, unimproved topsoil (or
subsoil) that was soaked for two weeks, and finally some 2mm - 3mm blasting
gravel.  The tanks are low tech, 2 wpg, no injected CO2.  Lots of plants
initially, some fish.

When the BGA appeared in the first or second week I added the antibiotic for
several days and removed the dead stuff.  It usually returned in a week or
so and I repeated the treatment.  After the third dose the plants had taken
hold and the BGA was gone.  The most recent two tanks have been set up for
four and six months and have no discernable BGA nor any other algae.

I stopped dosing when the BGA disappeared, usually in a day or two.  Maybe
if I had dosed for five days it wouldn't have returned.  I'll try that the
next time.

I use the antibiotic as a crutch, to give the plants time to get
established.  Once they do, in my experience, the BGA doesn't return.  If it
should, that would suggest a problem with the plants which would require a
different solution.

Tom said, in part: ". . .So in that respect my advice and approach using the
blackout method is unique and does address the long term issue."   We may be
talking on different levels here, but if the BGA problem is caused by
insufficient plant growth,
it would seem that the blackout wouldn't help.  The excess nutrients would
still leach from the substrate after the blackout, and the BGA would return.

Argue with FREE?  That's hard to do.  But it takes only five minutes to
crush an antibiotic tablet and add it to the tank, and it costs fifty cents
or less.  But I like to keep my costs down.  That's one reason that I take
the low tech approach.

D. Noal observed that it is important to follow the directions on the box
when dosing Maracyn.  But that medication is designed to treat fish diseases
like popeye and fungus, and not for fighting BGA.  Many dose at half the
level stated on the box.  I don't think it makes much difference but maybe
someone else knows better.

Thanks again!


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