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Old 12-11-2006, 09:03 AM   #1
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Blackout for BGA - new filter before or after ?

I think all my juvi dwarf puffers are "fat" and healthy enough to survive three days without food (but I'll be throwing a bunch of small snails in the tank just in case) so I'm ready to do a blackout to hopefully knock out this BGA thats been driving me NUTS.
I also just ordered an Aquaclear 20 for the tank (10G). I'll be using one of the filter bags off my 29G to cycle it.
Should I put the new filter onto the 10G before or after the blackout ? I don't want the new filter to become contaminated with BGA, but on the other hand I I doubt the junky topp-finn on there right now will be able to keep the tank clean as the BGA (hopefully) dies.
My gut tells me to wait until after the blackout (and the large PWC I'll be doing afterward) to put the new filter on, but I wanted to confirm that with you guys.
Thanks
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35G barebottom: 2 boesemani rainbowfish, 4 congo tetras, Low light plants (1.5wpg) attached to or planted in my own handmade ceramics - Anubia v Nana, Anubia v Barteri, Red Rubin Sword
2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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Old 12-11-2006, 04:18 PM   #2
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Bioload will go up as the BGA dies. Having the new and old filter running at the same time is a good idea. Keep the filter blacked out just like the tank, and it should only collect dead BGA, not breed it.
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Old 12-11-2006, 10:55 PM   #3
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Both filters - what a good idea - I hadn't thought of that. My fear is the BGA. I had this tank completely broken down as it went from a divided betta tank to a planted Dwarf Puffer tank. The BGA when the bettas were in there came back after a 6 day blackout !! I watched my nitrates carefully from then on, including after the conversion to the DP tank and it STILL came back.
I thought it was at least "in check" but the BGA is now running rampant Its driving me CRAZY. There are days when I want to trash this entire tank and just start from scratch and move the DPs to a brand new tank !!!
Given what this BGA has survived so far I'm really hesitant to contaminate anything new ... hence, my post ...
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35G barebottom: 2 boesemani rainbowfish, 4 congo tetras, Low light plants (1.5wpg) attached to or planted in my own handmade ceramics - Anubia v Nana, Anubia v Barteri, Red Rubin Sword
2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:26 AM   #4
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If it's bad enough to make you want to get all new stuff, you could move the fish to a temporary housing and bleach everything. Just make sure you rinse everything with lots of dechlor and let it air out before using again.

I'd rather try more natural solutions first. My home tank still has a bit of a hair algae problem, but my work tank is under control, just by turning out the lights for the weekend. Sometimes you can get the growth rate down to a manageable level, you don't have to completely erradicate it.
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Old 12-14-2006, 03:37 PM   #5
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The tank was emptied and bleached when it went from being a betta tank to being a DP tank .... the growth is not rampant, but I'm removing 1G of water (10%) per day via a turkey baster to manually remove the BGA. I don't know if its just bad flow from the topfinn filter or that I missed a spot of BGA when I did the breakdown or a combination - I know my nitrates didn't bottom out (been there, done that, learned my lesson the first time !!)
I think I'll hold the new filter "pristine" and put it in the tank after the blackout - while the bioload will go up with the dying BGA its at a manageable level right now, so hopefully the filter will be able to handle the extra load for a couple of days. I'll take the topfinn and bleach it completely and save it for "emergency use" on another tank should I ever need it.
So now all I'm waiting for is the new filter to arrive in the mail and the snails to grow a little bigger so that the "gang" can have something to eat while they're under wraps
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35G barebottom: 2 boesemani rainbowfish, 4 congo tetras, Low light plants (1.5wpg) attached to or planted in my own handmade ceramics - Anubia v Nana, Anubia v Barteri, Red Rubin Sword
2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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Old 12-14-2006, 04:58 PM   #6
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Most people withold feeding during the blackout. It helps balance out the extra bioload from dying algae.
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Old 12-15-2006, 10:26 AM   #7
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I'm a little worried about withholding feeding for 4 days with these guys - they're still rather small (1/2" or so) - I'm hoping that the snails would be consumed slowly over the 4 day period (ok, a girl can WISH, can't she ???). The ghost shrimp do a very good job of eating the remainder of the snail bodies still in shells after the DPs have nipped off the heads. I might take a run over to the DwarfPuffers.com forum to see if they think a forced hunger strike can be harmful to these little guys. I'm SUPER attached to them LOL
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2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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Old 12-15-2006, 11:59 AM   #8
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Ah, I forgot you had said they were juvies. Hopefully the puffer forum can steer you right.
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