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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My tank has been going through Algae cycles, and most of the brown algae in the moss has gone away, especially after I let them sit in hydrogen peroxide after my last rescape. My two Anubias on the other hand are suffering BIG time from Diatom issues.

I'm using 2 DIY CO2 bottles (heavy on the yeast too), full ferts right now (Seachem's Aquavitro line), 2 13 Watt CFL on 6.5/7ish hours a day, and Eco Complete, 10 gallon Aqueon with Aquaclear 30.

When I do weekly water changes, I rub most of it off of them, and I've even tried putting them into the shade of some of the moss trees, but nothing seems to help. My Anubias Nana Petite is beautiful and lush too, but the diatoms are CRAZY. Is there anything I can do to help the problem? I know it seems to be a new tank problem, but the plant was hard to find and it's getting excessive scrubbing off the leaves a ton.

Would getting Nerites help? Or even Ottos for that matter? Tank has been running, according to my old journal, since April 1st, and it had a Koi inhabitant for the last 2 weeks. It is fully cycled, with pH at 7.6, 6.7 kH and 11 GH, I have a heater but it isn't plugged in as the room it's in sits at 65-68 degrees, and the tank is always between 68-70 (perfect for Tigers).

I was planning on getting Nerites anyway, but could the tank handle Ottos at this point or is it not established enough? If so how many Ottos would be good for the tank? I've never had Ottos before, my only Algae eaters have been big ones (CAEs, Rainbow Sharks), are they sensitive?

Would dosing the tank with hydrogen peroxide instead of spot treating help? The tank has no livestock in it atm, not even a snail.
 

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Diatoms are a natural part of a new tank's cycle. Diatoms mean that you are almost at the end of cycling your tank. When I first cycled my first tank, a 10 gallon with 36 watts of light (about 90 PAR) and flourish excel, my Anubias got "diatommed" the most. It's only natural because they are slow growers.

With time, the diatoms will disappear. I wouldn't add any fish until you are absolutely certain that no more ammonia or nitrite spikes are going to occur. Best of luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Diatoms are a natural part of a new tank's cycle. Diatoms mean that you are almost at the end of cycling your tank. When I first cycled my first tank, a 10 gallon with 36 watts of light (about 90 PAR) and flourish excel, my Anubias got "diatommed" the most. It's only natural because they are slow growers.

With time, the diatoms will disappear. I wouldn't add any fish until you are absolutely certain that no more ammonia or nitrite spikes are going to occur. Best of luck :)
I haven't had any ammonia or nitrite spikes for the last 2.5 weeks (or so), and Koi that was in there showed no stress, but yeah I was hoping it was nearing the end of Diatoms, so ugly!
 

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The newest tank I have running is over 4 years old and diatoms always appear. If you have silicates in your water source, they will reappear. I've only found 4 weapons over the years: Nerites, ramshorns, Purigen and now Seachem phosgard. Phosgard has alumina in it and it's the one thing that will bind silica in solution. Depending on the levels of silicates in your water source, Phosgard may work for you, but if your tank is small and the silicates not off the chart, I'd add a handful of nerites.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The newest tank I have running is over 4 years old and diatoms always appear. If you have silicates in your water source, they will reappear. I've only found 4 weapons over the years: Nerites, ramshorns, Purigen and now Seachem phosgard. Phosgard has alumina in it and it's the one thing that will bind silica in solution. Depending on the levels of silicates in your water source, Phosgard may work for you, but if your tank is small and the silicates not off the chart, I'd add a handful of nerites.
I did notice the Purigen helped the amount go down, I do have room for the Phosgard. I'll definitely have to give that a shot, and of course throw in some nerites too. Thanks for the tip on the Phosgard! I always see it but never knew what to use it for.
 

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You're very welcome. Honestly, in the case of diatoms, I think the combination of weekly water changes and just making some notes on how old the phosgard is, should do the trick. The hard part is being disciplined enough to make notes on things like that. Like lots of things, once the phosgard is spent I think it becomes a little tougher to get back "ahead of the curve" so to speak, so that a couple of water changes within a week may be needed as well.
 

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The newest tank I have running is over 4 years old and diatoms always appear. If you have silicates in your water source, they will reappear. I've only found 4 weapons over the years: Nerites, ramshorns, Purigen and now Seachem phosgard. Phosgard has alumina in it and it's the one thing that will bind silica in solution. Depending on the levels of silicates in your water source, Phosgard may work for you, but if your tank is small and the silicates not off the chart, I'd add a handful of nerites.
+1 Bushkill, damn diatoms! my tap water has 9ppm silicates I could never get rid of them even in tanks that were 4-5 years old. You forgot weapon number 5 Reverse osmosis water!
 

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+1 Bushkill, damn diatoms! my tap water has 9ppm silicates I could never get rid of them even in tanks that were 4-5 years old. You forgot weapon number 5 Reverse osmosis water!
Heck, RO water's the "ultimate cure". But if your silcates are "up there", you really have to keep up with back-flushing and changing membranes. I breed angels in about 80% of 900 gallons of water. Even in summer, my water supply tops out at 50 degrees, and no, it's not city water pressure. In a nutshell, RO just isn't in the cards in my case. I tried about 15 years ago. In January I got 1:10 RO/waste right out of the box, and it took an hour to produce that 1.

But if your needs aren't great, there are places to buy RO water. Honestly, if I was only at a 40G or 50G, I'd go this route. The cost may seem great but all in all, it may be a break-even scenario.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Heck, RO water's the "ultimate cure". But if your silcates are "up there", you really have to keep up with back-flushing and changing membranes. I breed angels in about 80% of 900 gallons of water. Even in summer, my water supply tops out at 50 degrees, and no, it's not city water pressure. In a nutshell, RO just isn't in the cards in my case. I tried about 15 years ago. In January I got 1:10 RO/waste right out of the box, and it took an hour to produce that 1.

But if your needs aren't great, there are places to buy RO water. Honestly, if I was only at a 40G or 50G, I'd go this route. The cost may seem great but all in all, it may be a break-even scenario.
I've been tempted too. My LFS sells it for .39 cents a gallon (you bring own container). And for a ten gallon tank that only will be getting probably 2 gallon water changes and top offs here and there, .78 cents a water change ain't bad. And with the lid I get pretty much NO evaporation :hihi:

But at the same time my tap water parameters are so gosh darn close to Tiger parameters, it's like meh if Diatoms are the only problem I'll just fix it as it comes lol. The moss has been fighting it off, but I think it's mostly because it's been growing pretty quick. I put one of the Anubias in the "shade" and it's diatoms have gone down dramatically too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have to say, these guys have been working pretty gosh darn hard. I do think part of it is I didn't do a water change this week and I think my water probably does have silicates (but my big tank has none and gets 50-65% water changes every week too), but two were on this Anubias today, and it looks SO much better. They cleaned off quite a bit of it before they moved on...



Those leaves were so completely and totally covered you would've thought it was a anubias nana "brown" petite. One was on the regular nana when I turned on the lights to take the picture. Pretty happy with them already! Makes me want to pick up more.
 

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Just a word of caution on picking up more: There's a balance to be struck with everything. It really doesn't take anywhere near as many as you think to keep diatoms in check. If you keep up with water changes, and just keep an eye on the nerites' progress, you should be able to get a feel for how many, if any more you need. In other words, yeah, you could throw a few dozen in there and they'll have everything looking downright sparkling. But they'll get hungry soon, and they've turned all those diatoms into........something else.
 

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You can probably have green spot algae. I thought that I was having heavy diatoms but I was actually having green spot algae. If your diatoms are turning dark geen, that can be a very good indication that they are spot algae. Green spot algae can thrive all over your plants and substrate but if you dose a little more phosphate, they will tremble :icon_lol:
 

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Heck, RO water's the "ultimate cure". But if your silcates are "up there", you really have to keep up with back-flushing and changing membranes. I breed angels in about 80% of 900 gallons of water. Even in summer, my water supply tops out at 50 degrees, and no, it's not city water pressure. In a nutshell, RO just isn't in the cards in my case. I tried about 15 years ago. In January I got 1:10 RO/waste right out of the box, and it took an hour to produce that 1.

But if your needs aren't great, there are places to buy RO water. Honestly, if I was only at a 40G or 50G, I'd go this route. The cost may seem great but all in all, it may be a break-even scenario.
darn 1:10 ratio that's insane. I get about a 1:4 ratio at my house, I only use around 40 gallons of RO a week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
koi and goldfish produce a lot of waste btw...
I have a lot of full grown koi and comets, most are close to 7-8 years old, I know how much waste a Koi can create. I wanted to expand the capacity of my BB anyway, and the pond wasn't ready for him, so I figured what a better way to help out the tank then put him in.

It's diatoms, I have GSA on the back wall, but these leaves were covered in Diatoms. I did never think to up my phosphate dosing for the GSA, I want the backwall to have some for the shrimplets, but I have to run a mag float on the other walls every 5-6 days, and I even dialed back my lighting on the tank. I think a lot of it is probably everything balancing out. I definitely will start to bring up the phosphate dosing though.

I'll probably end up doing R.O. topoffs for the shrimp, but being it's a 10 gallon tank and the R.O. water at my LFS is only .39 cents a gallon, it would take a long time for me to get to the point that getting an R.O. unit would be cost effective. If I were to do the whole tank it would only cost me $3.90... which ain't bad at all, but at the same time my big tank has no diatoms so I do wonder if it is just my tank being new that I'm getting it.

I don't know it is tempting to get more Nerites but at the same time if I wanted too I could just take them out of my 40 and put them in temporarily, but they are doing an absolutely awesome job. I do 50% water changes every week (sometimes twice a week). I do notice that now that my moss has finally taken off the algae is starting to decrease as well.
 
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