Something is still wrong with my tanks chemistry/biology - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Something is still wrong with my tanks chemistry/biology

Haven't posted for a while. I have almost 18 months experience now. I've been through giving all my plants away (constant algae problems) to eventually and slowly re-adding plants again. This time with low lights and no dosing. I have finally acheive a mostly balanced working planted community tank.

It has been doing better and better the last several months. I's just that I can't seem to get rid of the brown diatoms. They grow slow enough that I just have the equivalent of about 2 square inches total scattered about on the glass each few days. I don't really care too much because it just takes a minute to remove. The trouble is that an equal amount distributes over my plants as well. Their growth rate has been slowing down the last few months, but it surely doesn't help the plants. As months pass the leaves look a little worse, and a little worse.

What can I do to stop the persistant and nasty brown diatoms?
I'm pulling my hair out!

I thought it was supposed to be a "stage" that tanks go through.

I have slowly increased my lighting from 1.5 wpg 10 hrs/day to a combination of 1.5 wpg 6 hrs/day, and 3 wpg 4 hrs/day.

Nitrate - <10 (actually about 8 or 9)
Nitrite - 0
Ammonia - <.1 (might be 0 - could be my eyes - I use all ap tests
CO2 - 20 to 35 (still having a little trouble getting it dialed in
pH - 6.6 - 7.0
phos - 2
kH - 3.5
eco-complete (18 mths old)
2 x 30% wc/week with stored heated/aerated water

Michael
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 10:16 PM
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diatoms are usually caused by excess silicates. Usually they go away after a few weeks in a new tank as the silicates from seals, gravel, etc go down. Some people have tapwater with a lot of silicates in it, but it might be caused if you have the contaminated eco-complete in your tank. I remember reading that some folks got a bad batch of eco that had excess silicates among other things going on with it. Maybe try using one of the sponges or media that absorbs silicates and check out your local water report.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-27-2006, 10:17 PM
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use a UV sterilizer for three days. I had a bad batch of eco, but it was bad because it had minerals that caused a high PO4, but I didn't have diatoms.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-28-2006, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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cbennett - That could be. Never did check for silicates - have checked just about everything but! Hate to buy the test for this one time, although I looked last week at my tank spreadsheet and I have $4300 in this 50g (hard to believe I know!), so what's another test I guess!

fresh_newby - It won't help i'm sorry to say. I have been running a 3X TurboTwist 9w UV since I set up the tank. Run it 24/7 and I change bulbs on time.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-30-2006, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
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I just wanted to ressurrect this thread one more time to see if anyone has any ideas about the brown diatoms? Below is a pic of an annubius leaf after about 3 weeks accumulation of the brown. I do rub off what I can every few days.



This is a pic of the tank taken this afternoon. Still don't have aquascaping down very good but at least everything is healthy and alive.






vvv
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-30-2006, 04:38 AM
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I dunno how much this advice is worth but I know that both ghost shrimp and otos will absolutely go to town on brown algae.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-30-2006, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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fome - your advice is worth alot! Just taking the time out to answer a post here is a good thing in itself. Especially if one is in need of expert help - there are many here who are knowledgeabal members and will share when so inclined. But advice from a well intentioned thoughtful person is what this site is all about.

I will definately look into the ghosts and ottos. Might need to make a little room first lol!

Thanks again.

Michael
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-31-2006, 05:30 PM
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otos and most catfish LOVE to eat diatoms, so if you can, try getting a couple of them. They should keep things under control under the levels of silicates go down on their own.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 10-31-2006, 07:44 PM
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Ditto on the oto cats. Mine love the brown stuff!
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-01-2006, 12:13 AM
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Otos might try to eat the Discus's slime coat, I just bought 10 otos today and they have been harassing some of my other fish.
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