Diatoms in a mature tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 05:00 AM Thread Starter
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Diatoms in a mature tank?

I have a 90 gallon planted tank (rather heavy fish load) that has been up for over a year. I have been seeing a lot of "dirt" settle on my leaves and substrate and float around the tank. I thought it was BBA but think it might be diatoms. It does not respond to H2O2 at all and rubs off easily with my fingers.

If it is diatoms, I assume this is due to high silica either from my tap or from the rocks in my tank (substrate is ecocomplete).

Does this make sense? Should I take out the rocks? How do you test your tap for silica?

Or am I just waaaay off base here ....
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 05:17 AM
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I had a few outbreaks in a well established tank before, I believe it was because I did some re-scaping and stirred up the substrate a bit.. that gave me a nice diatom bloom..

Did you do something similar recently? Maybe cleaned out your canister filter?

- Oz

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 05:23 AM Thread Starter
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All of the above!

I keep escaping trying to improve things. I cleaned both my canister filters thinking this would help with cleaning the suspended "dirt".

Should I just chill out for a while?

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Can someone please confirm if what I have looks like diatoms?

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 04:29 PM
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Looks like it. I get it from time to time normaly at seasons change only thing I could figure was it's something to do with the city water supply.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 05:12 PM
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I had experience with diatoms with my established tank. I was running top soil under silica sand and people were convinced it was my sand. But I tried many things to remove it, even purigen and it was temporary...

I noticed that in the shadded regions of the tank I didnt really get diatoms to show up, but in the areas where light was hitting I definitly got them. Tom kept saying its something with the co2 and light. So I bumped the co2 and noticed no changes. Then I decided to turn off one of my t5ho's...low and behold the diatoms started going away.

Till this day, I dont have any diatoms with my silica sand.

Is this brown algae?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
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I contacted my Water District and was told that the tap water contains 5.2mg/L Silica. Is this high, medium or low?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-31-2012, 02:21 AM
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Glad for this post as I am having the same diatom trouble in a 35g well-established tank. Perhaps I should turn the lights off for awhile... very frustrating.

37 gallon community; 10 gallon S-SS CRS; 2x10 gallon guppies; Specialties: Japan blue guppies (wild type), Ginga sulfureus guppies, Blond platinum LS guppies with purple mutation.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-31-2012, 09:26 AM
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Did you disturb the substrate? Released ammonia from substrate is often the cause. After every re-scape, you need to change at least 50% of water.
Secondary, diatoms are often in tanks with too much light and not enough CO2 supply. So cut the lights down or increase CO2 supply (or both).

Check out my site about aquarium fertilizing: http://aquarium-fertilizer.com/
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