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Old 06-21-2011, 02:27 AM   #1
aquagrl
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Tank "dust" resting on plants


Seems like all my low tech tanks have had this problem...Newly planted tank looks beautiful - then after about a week - a dust like substance starts to rest and settle on my plants....usually happens after the first water change. It's not algae, but it is brown...will co2 help ( I have never done it) or should I just keep doing partial water changes?? What do I use to get this stuff off of my plants!!?? I don't know what I am doing wrong...I've seen "neglected" low tech tanks that don't appear to have this problem. Hmmm.
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:31 AM   #2
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Sounds like what you're talking about is diatoms, very common when tanks are first set up and it will go away over time as the tank gets established. Otos also really like to eat it so if it bothers you, a few otos will help take care of it
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Old 06-21-2011, 02:33 AM   #3
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Is it diatoms? It usually happens in newly set-up tanks and seems to be a part of the cycle. Otos love diatoms.

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Old 06-21-2011, 02:50 AM   #4
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Diatoms...is that brown hair algae? I didn't think it was algae because I can easily brush it off and it's gone...but then the particles will just float around and find something else to settle on!! I know the brown algae that I usually get is a bit more slimey and takes a little more work to get off....but this could be the begining stages. I have been looking for ottos in my LFS and can't seem to find them!! As soon as the battery to my camera is done charging, I will upload a pic of my tank!! Thanks for the replies!! So you think it will eventually go away? My tank was already cycled with fish...I just added the plants.

Last edited by aquagrl; 06-21-2011 at 02:53 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:09 AM   #5
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Here's a pic from my 2 yr old cell phone (sorry for the poor quality) and blue glare...it's the camera, not my tank light!! You can't even see the detail or all of my plants with this pic - I will be updating with my actual camera soon!!

Plants:
Riccia on driftwood
Cyprus Helferi
Creeping Jenny
Hornwort
Crypto Wendtii red
Pennywort
Bacopa
Dwarf Sag
Italian Val
Aponogeton Crispus
Hygrophila Stricta
Ancharis
Anubias Frazeri
Tiger lotus
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:42 AM   #6
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Sounds like diatoms to me too. They're not as stubborn to remove manually like other algaes. Definitely get some otos, or a bristlenose pleco, or some snails, because if you allow it to collect too thick it can start to starve your plants of light and nutrients. I've had things go from beautiful for months, to nearly dead in a couple of days if i don't keep the leaves clean.
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:55 AM   #7
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Just use an airline tubing to suck it out manually during water change or create a whirlpool and use a very fine net to capture it.
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:03 AM   #8
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Just get some otos and shrimp. I get dust that settles on plants whenever I muck around and dig stuff up but it's gone after a few hours because i have hoards of shrimp and some perpetually hungry otos to clear it away.
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:15 AM   #9
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Just another thought - In a 8-month-old low-tech tank (25g) I had a huge mass of moss recently. Several times a week i would take a chopstick and bat it around a bit, and huge amounts of brown "stuff" would float off of it. I had an AC70 for many months beforehand, so total flow was not an issue. I recently both trimmed out most of the moss and added a mass of polyfil on top of the two AC sponges i'd had.

Now, there's very little brown gunk that i can bat off of leaves, and the polyfil is incredibly gunked up.

Based on my experience, thin-leaved plants collect garbage, and finer mech filtration catches it. If you don't want to trim, consider adding fine-mesh mechanical filtration to whatever you've got.
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:11 PM   #10
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Consider yourself lucky you do not have to deal with brown diatoms in a nano tank like I do. I cannot add anything to remedy the situation. I tried snails, they go AWOL never to be found again after a few days, no shrimp because the betta will chase them around till they commit suicide leaping out of the tank and no other fish because said betta would get into a fight with it.. not to mention the tank it too small at 3 g for another fish.
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Old 06-21-2011, 04:11 PM   #11
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no, diatoms are not brown hair algae, they look just like what you are describing, brownish "dust" that is easily removed. Otos and shrimp love to eat it, or you can manually remove it, and as the tank matures, it should go away on its own.
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Old 06-21-2011, 06:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrisinator View Post
Ninja'd by Karackle.
Thats funny!
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