Eggshells elevating Silicates, causing Diatoms? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Eggshells elevating Silicates, causing Diatoms?

Set up a 125 planted tank about 6 weeks ago using RO water. I have crushed coral in bags in the sump and added some eggshells in another bag to bring the GH and KH up. My question is, I have been experiencing a great deal of diatom algae and I know this is part of the process and somewhat normal.. However I think it is a bit excessive and seems to be dragging on a bit longer than what I would expect. So I am wondering if the eggshells could be adding silicates to the tank, feeding the diatoms? Gravel is baked clay. Will this still go away soon or should I pull the eggshells and stick to equilibrium for GH? I have the eggshells so would rather go the homemade/free route if possible. Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 07:18 PM
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Wow! RO water for a 125 has to be pretty expensive. Why the need for RO in the first place? Is your water that bad?
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Kubla View Post
Wow! RO water for a 125 has to be pretty expensive. Why the need for RO in the first place? Is your water that bad?
Some people have RO systems installed in their house for drinking, cooking etc. Iíve got one. Wouldnít use anything else in aquariums. No need for dechlor and despite what some city water describes as safe for for human consumption levels of noxious compounds I just as soon not drink/eat the stuff nor put it in my aquariums. One of best investments I ever made especially in aquariums. Algae/diatoms went away, plants and fish flourished like never before.

Not every municipality is blessed with glacier fed/mountain spring water. Here in mid KS almost nobody drinks city water and I certainly donít use it in my aquarium. Back in 80ís they even warned people not swim in or eat fish caught in certain rivers because of all farm runoff and industrial dumping. It got better with tighter EPA regulations but I still wonít drink the stuff.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 01:46 PM
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Tfasano: Is there any way you could share photos of your tank so we can get a better idea of exactly what you're dealing with?

What are your water parameters?

In my experience, I've always found it easier (and cheaper overall) to use a remineralizing agent of some sort. I use nothing but R/O in all of my tanks and tend to stick with products you can buy from most aquarium retailers.

What's your lighting situation?

Kubla: Nah, not expensive at all. At least not as expensive as some think. Costs me maybe ~US$50 per year to replace my filters and I produce thousands of gallons of water more than most hobbyists. For the average RO/DI setup, I think most people are able to make their filters last a couple years (despite what retailers suggest). Ends up being worth it for most who buy them.

I have decent municipal water here but it's a nightmare trying to deal with all the chloramines it takes to make Ohio River water safe for human consumption. And when there's a cyanobacteria bloom? Hooo boy, not a chance I'm putting that in my tanks because it stinks even after treatment.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 01:55 PM
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I thought there was a lot more expense involved than that. Makes sense, I should probably look at it for my house and cut down on some of the bottled water.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 03:07 PM
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It's even cheaper if you're just looking for drinking water options that don't remove 100% of dissolved solids from water. (I prefer store brand water pitchers for that sorta thing, though, since not everything needs to be removed from drinking water)

But it really is cheap after the initial investment of hardware. Even for someone just keeping a few gallons of water? I'd highly recommend it. Maybe not if you don't have the cash burning a hole in your pocket but maybe save change for it or something. Lots of solid options out there in the range of $100-$300.

My only real noticeable expense is remineralizer for sensitive types of shrimp. Probably spend twice what I do on filters.

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I thought there was a lot more expense involved than that. Makes sense, I should probably look at it for my house and cut down on some of the bottled water.
--

Didn't mean to hijack the thread, though. Hope you'll consider sharing more info, OP!


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 03:46 PM
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Short anser is yes. How did you put the shells in your tank?

Hard boiled eggs peeled means shells still have undesirable things. After peeling, I place my shells in the microwave for 2 minutes... (dont worry, they wont burn). Let them cool......I do this for my tanks, and my exotic bird (that eats crushed shell daily). Also look into cuddlebone- I used to collect it on the beach, boil quickly and add in.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 02:19 AM
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Quote:
Set up a 125 planted tank about 6 weeks ago using RO water. I have crushed coral in bags in the sump and added some eggshells in another bag to bring the GH and KH up.
Egg shells and coral are mostly calcium. They don't have silicates and don't have much if any magnesium. Plant and fish do best with a mix of calcium and magnesium. A good GH booster will have a mix of calcium and magnesium and you would get better plant growth. Your algae problem might be a result of a magnesium calcium imbalance.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 01:02 PM
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Egg shells and coral are mostly calcium. They don't have silicates and don't have much if any magnesium. Plant and fish do best with a mix of calcium and magnesium. A good GH booster will have a mix of calcium and magnesium and you would get better plant growth. Your algae problem might be a result of a magnesium calcium imbalance.

...if the crushed coral has coraline algae remnants, it has some magnesium..


Research good news for coralline algae, but not necessarily for reefs

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The discovery that these algae produce dolomite, which is 50% magnesium instead of calcium and chemically very stable, was in itself an exciting discovery. Dolomite is most familiar to people as the mineral that gives the Dolomite Alps of Italy their name: dolomitized fossil coral reefs dominate the alps.

Starting small, keeping it simple..(?)
250 gallon stock tank, "pond"
20 gallon H CBS Shrimp tank

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