Is it possible to convert a canister filter to diatom?... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 05:31 AM Thread Starter
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I'm getting desperate after 3 weeks of green water I can't defeat.I've tried everything from 5 day blackout to 80% RO water changes 3 days in a row following the blackout and it just won't die.

Now I'm going to try a diatom filter.I have an extra filstar xp1 though and it's never used so I was thinking maybe it could be used as a diatom filter somehow.Anyone have any ideas on how this could be done?I really don't have the budget for buying a new filter unless there is no other way.

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 01:30 PM
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 02:26 PM
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You would need some filter medium that the DE can cling to. Like the microfilter that the magnums use. There is a microfilter for XP's, but I don't think it would work well with DE. I think it would be an awful mess.

Quilt batting will not filter out Green Water organisms. Or retain DE in a filter. It is just another mechanical filter medium.

The only "cheap" DE filter that I am aware of is the HOT Magnum 250, for about $40.

Describe your water parameters. NO3, PO4, how do you fertilize, what kind of substrate, etc.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-12-2004, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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OK here are more details:

20gl tank kept at 80 degrees

I am using strictly RO water since this started but before that I used half tap and half RO(the tap I let sit a day or 2 before change)I change this
once a week and do about 50%.

I have pressurized co2 going at 25ppm give or take a few

currently Nitrate test reads zero ppm

ammonia 0ppm

kh tests at 6 and ph is at 6.8 which verifies my co2 is correct at 28ppm

I have no phosphate test at this time so no info on that and it's my biggest suspicion since everything else seems to check out.
I never dose this by the way.

My lighting is a single 65w pc
which I run 10 hours a day

My substrate is Onyx sand

My plants are wisteria,rotala indica,java fern,baby tears(i think)
and some plant I don't know the name of that grows out of control.
also I have a pretty good carpet of hair grass going.All the plants were doing fine before and still are inspite of the light being blocked out by the algae cloud.

My fish are 2 female guppies,3 Panda cory's,2 otto's,4-5 Japonica shrimp,
1 grass shrimp,1 female Ram and 1 male Ram.I feed 2 times a day and it's always devoured so I doubt this is adding phosphate to my water but
since I can't test I don't know for sure.

As far as dosing goes I go real easy on that.I do not add kno3 because under normal conditions it almost always reads between 5-10 ppm.According to what I've read here thats right where I want it.Every now and then I need to add some and I use stump remover.I use Chuck's calculator to figure the amount.

I dose k2s04 once a week and I use Chuck's calculater to figure out how much to add.From memory I think it's something like .25 of a 1/4 teaspoon I need to add.I think I read that it's hard to overdose this stuff anyway and I'm pretty sure I'm not.

The things I have done to fight this algae bloom are as follows:

My 1st attempt to deal with this was to let it play out.I let it go for about 2 weeks thinking it would burn itself out and use up all the nutrients.I finally couldn't take it anymore and went with the following plan.

1.I did an 80% RO water change
2.I turned off the lights for 5 days straight.My tank is in an enclosed cabinet that has walls and doors so it was completely dark during those 5 days.
3.I did another 80% water change at the end of the 5 days and turned the lights on
4.1 day after the lights coming back on I did 1 final 80% water change

It's been 2 full days since that last water change and already the water is turning green.It's like super algae or something.

Well that covers everything I could think of that might be useful.I apreciate any help.

Thanks alot
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 12:12 AM
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Unless you accidently dropped some fertilizer sticks into your tank, water changes will not help to get rid of green water. You can't dilute green water that way, it will always come back.

One thing you should do, not only for green water, is to buy a Phosphate test kit. Having NO3 and PO4 in a 10:1 relation is a great start. I use a Red Sea test kit which I like, but I heard Seachem makes good ones too.

I don't think blackouts are very useful either (just my opinion... could be totally wrong).

Is you tap water not usable? Why do you use RO?

If nothing works, you have all nutrients in good quantities, have tried to do no water changes for two weeks, etc etc, your options are DE filtration, for about $45 if you go with the magnum 250, or a UV sterilizer for about $100.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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The reason I use RO is because my tap water is like liquid rock and the ph is really high also which doesn't go well with my Blue Rams I'm trying to breed.I found a good compromise was 50/50.

I guess I really have no choice at this point but to buy a DE filter.I'd lean towards that for the price and also I'd feel better knowing the stuff is out of my tank completely not just dead.

The thing that bothers me though is not knowing what caused it and why it keeps coming back over and over.I'm obviously doing something wrong and I still will be if I don't figure out what it is.God it's frustrating.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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I never could understand either how my tanks kno3 levels never got depleted.I wonder if my test is no good...

As far as Nh4 goes I have to admit I don't know what it is hehe.

My wife is going to pick up some quilt batting on her way home from work this evening.I figure it's worth a try...

Anyway thanks for the advise and I'll post back here with results in the next couple days.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-13-2004, 08:03 PM
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To clarify something.. quilt batting will not give you Diatom filtering.. however it does provide good mechanical filtering.

Diatom filters are filters that actually pass water through Diatom Skeletons (thats what that white powder is made up of). These structures are extremely porous and trap even the finest debris.

I have cured Green water in the past using quilt batting, or filter floss, combined with some form of algae coagulent. Using a coagulent to bind algae to itself doesnt harm the plants and makes it easier for filters to trap it this way.

Make sure that you clean your filters regularly when using this method though, as you will simply end up with an algae farm in your filter media that can keep re-infesting your tank.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-16-2004, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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I tried the Batting for a couple days.Sorry to say that doesn't work at all.

I'll be buying a diatom filter this weekend.

Thanks for the advise guys.

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