Advice regarding balance changes to fight diatoms and other algae - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-28-2020, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
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Angry Advice regarding balance changes to fight diatoms and other algae

So I have a 20 long Iíve had for a year. Quick specs, itís co2 planted tank with 8 hours of light a day. I fertilize mon/wed/fri. I live off well water which is perfect except one thing, it had lots of silicates. I try to combat this with phoís guard and otos, but it outcompetes these things. I run a skimmer as well as a fluval c3 with the default sponge media and phosguard. I do weekly 50 percent water changes and daily dose excel.

Hereís what Iím thinking of doing, adding frogbit, but leaving light intensity the same. Reducing co2 output, and reducing ferts to twice weekly. Adding tannins to further reduce light travel.
From there, Iím conflicted on the phosguard, it reduces silicates, but it also causes phosphate deficiency which brings on hair and some green spot algae. Nasty circle of hell!

Should I continue the phosguard or switch to purigen, or just forget chem filter and add more bio media?

Also, any advice? Itís killing all my plants and it sucks. Iím debating using an algaecide to get a handle on it but I donít wanna hurt my fish.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-28-2020, 06:42 AM
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i would put water in a bucket with a water pump connected to a filter with phos guard. This should reduce thesilicates levels dramatically. Then use this water in your nest water change. Remove the PHosguard from the tank and fertilize the tank. This will prevent a phosphate deficiency in your tank. Algae loves nutrientdeficiencies. When no nutrient deficiencies are present in the tank algae doesn't do well.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-29-2020, 07:30 PM
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Sound like my water. Ick.

So I was running 11 tanks all planted for a few years. All different setups. About half went through a MASSIVE diatom outbreak that lasted no less than 4 months and all resolved differently. I give 8 weeks for removal and natural balance before intervention. 3 resolved slowly with just a continuation of that. 2 required removing some cheap substrate I'd tried (I removed entirely one and capped the other with a sand due to plant mass). 1 I tried everything, I removed and replaced substrate, added and removed plant mass, tried products, changed lighting, added co2 and removed, changed a huge array of circulation and filtration techniques.... I still have diatom disaster tank now for a bit over 5 years others have been slowly torn down as a downsized die to personal constraints.

Diatom disaster tank after almost 3 years..... I bought some hefty totes and moved out the fish and threw away everything. Decor, plants, substrate, filter media, all of it.... scrubbed the tank and sat it on the patio next to my totes of fish for a couple months. Weather changed and I brought it in set everything up same filters with new media, all new plants from existing tanks, all new substrate though a large portion of the same as before just unused, seeded my cycle and added fish from the totes over the next couple weeks. Honestly not much changed, biggest change was adding laterite powder to my substrate (I sometimes do sometimes don't it wasn't new concept for me here) and a shorter siesta on lights. Also while I was down I went to one brand of ferts for all tanks though that shouldn't matter as I mix and dose dry ferts anyway I just wanted to order from one place instead of two. NOTHING. not a single dream of a diatom and I'm a week shy of 9 months running now. Instead I run a fine line with BHA on this tank lol can't neglect canister maintenance a week or delay water change day or it pokes up somewhere lol but I'll take the occasional h202 in a syringe treatment over diatoms for eternity any day especially when I know I was the slacker lol.

Have no idea of that's at all helpful but it's a short version of my story and I know I tried everything and having 30 years in the hobby I'd never seen anything like it and I was at a total loss lol.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-07-2020, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Diatom disaster indeed! Wow sounds like hell haha. I’ve learned to just live with it until I have a different source of water haha.
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