Diatoms in a mature tank?
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Old 08-29-2012, 04:00 AM   #1
RainSong
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Default 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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Old 08-29-2012, 04:17 AM   #2
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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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Old 08-29-2012, 04:23 AM   #3
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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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Old 08-29-2012, 03:05 PM   #4
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Can someone please confirm if what I have looks like diatoms?

Thanks!
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Old 08-29-2012, 03:29 PM   #5
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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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Old 08-29-2012, 04:12 PM   #6
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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.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...hlight=diatoms
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:48 PM   #7
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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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Old 08-31-2012, 01:21 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:26 AM   #9
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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).
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