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daylily 01-29-2013 01:50 AM

diatom if it won't rub off?
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I've had this tank up since mid November - and have read about diatom in new tanks. However, everything I read says it will rub off - and this won't. I just did a water change yesterday, and clipped off an affected leaf. I took a scratcher used on inside tank glass to it, and it will not come off. It looks like it is seriously affecting the plant leaves.

I am wondering if it is not diatom, can it be very hard water, PH 8, or that there is to much light?

Here are my stats - tried to include everything.

Thanks for any advice!

•startup November 2012 - 15 gallon - no CO2
•24" T5 HO - 2 bulbs: Stock 6000k and swapped the 650nm stock bulb for a 10,000k full spectrum. Lights are 12" from substrate.
•AquaClear 20 with sponge, Biomax, carbon and a second AquaClear 20 with sponge, Biomax and Purigen. Both set on low flow setting.
•Deep Blue Heat Stik 100 watt - temp steady at 77 degrees
•Substrate 2/3 Eco Complete, 1/3 black gravel
•Flourish, Flourish Trace, twice a week at bottle recommended rates. Just got Flourish potassium so it's only been dosed once. Flourish Excel at half the bottle rate twice a week
•using well water. PH 8.0, hard to very hard - 26 drops to get color change on API kit (not sure how to convert drops to KH/GH
•I use API Freshwater test kit, and numbers have been very steady. 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 5 -10 nitrate.
•Been doing approx. 40-50% water change every week to 10 days.
•Hornwort, Cryptocoryne wendtii sp 'Green Gecko', Java Fern, Anubias Nana, Windelov Java Fern, Hygrophila 'Sunset', Brazilian Pennywort, Hygrophila difformis, Bacopa australis, Creeping Jenny, Italian Leopard Vals, Egeria najas, narrow leaf Egeria, Hygrophila sp 'Bold', Hygrophila sp 'Tiger', Aponogeton Crispus, Crypt Wendtii Bronze, phyllanthrus fluitans - red root floater, Lobelia Cardinalis, Lindernia Rotundafolia varigated, nymphoides sp. Taiwan, Slavinia minima, Dwarf Water lettuce
•6 neon tetras, 2 male Endlers, 4 pygmy cory, several cherry shrimp, some pond snails and 2 red onion nerite snails.

AirstoND 01-29-2013 02:20 AM

1) Nerites & Otos
2) Try reducing photoperiod for 6-8hrs.

T5HO lights that are only 12" substrate is probably way too close for these plants without additional CO2, raise them another 6inches or lower photoperiod.

daylily 01-29-2013 02:37 AM

I did get 2 nerites a couple weeks ago. I've heard Otos won't do well in a new tank, so held off on them.

So you think this is some form of algae?

sjb1987 01-29-2013 02:42 AM

I added 15 ottos to my tank that was only 3 weeks old... That was a couple weeks ago...I would think it would be fine as long as your tank is cycled

daylily 01-29-2013 04:05 AM

When I first set up tank, I was doing 10 hours a day.

10 days ago approx. I went to 8 hours.

AirstoND 02-02-2013 03:19 AM


Originally Posted by daylily (Post 2382706)
I did get 2 nerites a couple weeks ago. I've heard Otos won't do well in a new tank, so held off on them.

So you think this is some form of algae?


\ I had a before and after nerites post of my 10 gallon when it was first cycling. I had diatoms and algea on my plants and apple snail. My nerites ate (cleaned) the algea right off the apple/mystery snail 2!

puopg 02-02-2013 03:21 AM

I know, I had the same issue. "OMG it doesn't wipe off, this isn't diatoms. These people on TPT don't understand this is different". It's diatoms. Give it time

daylily 02-03-2013 10:57 AM

I am using some window screen to cut back the amount of light, and cut back the hours. I got a timer so that will help.

I did notice that my 5 gallon betta tank, a Fluval Spec V, does not have this issue at all. Same water, same care as far as water changes, same fertilizers, but different light. The stock light is LED and not nearly as bright. I usually leave those lights on 12 hours. Have seen zero algae. Plants rarely loose leaves.

I am hoping time, the two nerites and cutting back the light will bring the tank back to green and thriving.

Having no luck finding Otos in the area.

smiller 02-03-2013 12:33 PM

I had an issue with what I assume was diatoms on a few on my leaves in my 8 month old tank. Some of it would wipe off and some wouldn't. I added a few otos......wiped clean in less than 48 hours. It was nowhere nearly as bad as your pics BTW but your setup is only a couple of months old.

J.mccollum 02-03-2013 04:05 PM

I also had the same problem. Put 3 otos to work and they cleaned it up nicely. I was also a fairly new tank (2months old, maybe less) I just did the drip accumulation and all was fine..

daylily 02-12-2013 01:11 AM

Just wanted to get back to everyone and thank them for the suggestion of Otos. I was able to locate some Friday and brought 4 home. This morning, Monday, the over all "cast" to the plants in the tank is no longer brown - it is green. I have to search and search for the Otos when the lights are on - but at night, if I look in with a flashlight, they are all sitting on plant leaves. I thought 2 or 3 would be best for my tank size, but have read they die easily when put in a newer tank - so I got 4. So far, all are alive!

I bought some Omega One Veggie Rounds to feed them after they eat all the algae. I already have blanched veggies in the freezer for my nerite snails and cherry shrimp, so I am set there.

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