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Old 08-24-2012, 07:03 PM   #1
sjb1987
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Another diatom thread


I set up a brand new experimenting 40b over a month ago..i used a canister filter that was used on my main tank tank for a while so it was well established..the substrate i used was safe-t-sorb from tractor supply...ive had major diatoms about the whole period it has been set up and still goin strong... i set up another 40b using a well established canister filter from my main tank...i decided to use black blasting sand on this one.. it has been set up for almost 3 weeks..i moved plants that had diatoms on it to this tank with the blasting sand....the diatoms hasnt hardly grew any..

looked up the msds on safe-t-sorb it has almost 10% silica
black diamond blasting sand less than 1%

i understand that diatoms feed off of silica to replenish the silica that they are made of and that they also feed off of phosphates and nitrates..

ive been dosing ei in the tank with the blasting sand..still no signs of it growing.. also both tanks have the same lighting which is fairly high which is probably driving the diatoms even more in the tank with the safe-t-sorb

How long can i expect to have diatoms in a tank with a substrate thats high in silica...will the diatoms use up all the silica or would it be constantly feeding the diatoms?
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:00 PM   #2
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The diatoms will eventually use up the silica. How long is hard to say, but it's normally somewhere around 1-3 months. You can add otos to help clean them up. They love diatoms.
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:32 PM   #3
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diatoms are a wonderful micro organism. definitely part of the food chain

also very good at handling intestinal parasites
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:15 PM   #4
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Lol... I dnt know if the Ottos could keep up... These are like mutant diatoms... I'll have to wait it out... I keep my co2 levels to high in these tanks... Maybe I'll learn some patience haha
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:32 PM   #5
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Co2 will not prevent diatoms.
Its a photosynthetic bacteria.. ur just giving it food.
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Old 08-25-2012, 04:16 PM   #6
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not keeping my co2 levels high because of the diatoms..i have other plants in there that im messing around with(r.mini butterfly)
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:21 PM   #7
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Yeah gad ... I didn't know that Safe t Sorb had so much silica.

I'm just finally getting over my very heavy diatom outbreak. It's been about 3 months. Started shortly after I changed from plastic plants to live ones. I can't add Oto's, snails or any of the normal clean up crew because my Bluegills will eat them. So I did a lot of rubbing and cleaning .. what a major pain.

Finally after a couple months (yeah I'm slow ), I realized I could take a plant or 2 out and put it in my 10 gal tank and the Ramshorn and pond snails would clean them for me. Worked great .. usually had it clean in about 24 hrs and I'm talking a LOT of diatoms on it. I got slack on rubbing them. Then I'd swap out plants. That Ramshorn sure seems to love diatoms. It only took a few minutes before he was all over it. The Oto's in the tank never touched it. Maybe because they were just floating on top. They did clean my rocks though. Only problem is/was can't really take out my Amazon sword to let them clean it .. maybe should say I don't want to. And of course my substrate only gets cleaned when I vacuum it.

I may wait a while before I change my substrate. I'd like to enjoy a non-brown looking tank for a little while. But at least I do have some help cleaning the plants. I'll definitely need more Ramshorns before I switch to the STS since I only got one .. he must have been a hitchhiker.
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