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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody,

I'm trying to get rid of diatoms in my 5G planted high-tech tank.
I've measured Phosphate=2.5 and Silicate=4.5 in the tank. What would be the best way to get rid of the diatoms? I've read that they are mostly caused by silicate and phosphates. Should I use Seachem PhosGuard and/or Purigen to lower those levels? If yes, what is the right way to use them.

Also, I'm following PPS Pro dosing system (Our PPS-Pro Fertilizer Pack ? Just Mix & Dose | Planted Tank Blog). Would PhosGuard and Purigen somehow affect the fertilizing? Please suggest.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks,
Ruben
 

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If you have only recently setup the tank then diatoms are only a passing phase, and shall disappear. Just wait it out patiently - do nothing except follow routines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If you have only recently setup the tank then diatoms are only a passing phase, and shall disappear. Just wait it out patiently - do nothing except follow routines.
The tank is about 3 months old. How long should it take for them to disappear? So far they are expanding rapidly over the glass and leaves. I guess eventually it will affect the health of the leaves since they would block the light coming on them.

Should i continue dosing the PPS Pro?
 

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I always find the best thing to do with diatoms is to remove them manually, thoroughly. Over and Over until they are gone. FWIW
 

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Do you have any fish in the tank? Ottos would love your tank as they prefer diatoms over other algae.

Continue with your routines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I always find the best thing to do with diatoms is to remove them manually, thoroughly. Over and Over until they are gone. FWIW
Do you have any fish in the tank? Ottos would love your tank as they prefer diatoms over other algae.

Continue with your routines.
My Pleco Mega Clown died few days ago. Not sure what was the reason.. I will get one oto to fight with the diatoms.

Meanwhile, I still would want to use the PhosGuard and Purigen. Cant find proper documentation for them. Any of you have experience with them?
 

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My Pleco Mega Clown died few days ago. Not sure what was the reason.. I will get one oto to fight with the diatoms.

Meanwhile, I still would want to use the PhosGuard and Purigen. Cant find proper documentation for them. Any of you have experience with them?
Otos are schooling you need at least 4 of them
 

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Otos are schooling you need at least 4 of them
How many can i put in the 5G tank? I've also have a beta male there.

If you have only recently setup the tank then diatoms are only a passing phase, and shall disappear. Just wait it out patiently - do nothing except follow routines.
Could you explain what exactly cause diatoms to disappear? My understanding was that as long as there are silicate and phosphate in the water they will thrive.
 

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Its more silicates than the phosphate which causes the diatom bloom. Diatoms are microscopic and not visible to the eye - what you see are colonies of diatoms. The diatoms multiply rapidly when a lot of nutrients along with silicates are present - which is the case in a newly setup tank - but these blooms are followed by busts as the level of silicates and nutrients tend to reduce with time. Diatoms never go away really but become low enough not to be perceptible when the silicates tend to taper off as the newly hydrated substrate settles down; and the nutrient levels reduce as the plants start to grow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Its more silicates than the phosphate which causes the diatom bloom. Diatoms are microscopic and not visible to the eye - what you see are colonies of diatoms. The diatoms multiply rapidly when a lot of nutrients along with silicates are present - which is the case in a newly setup tank - but these blooms are followed by busts as the level of silicates and nutrients tend to reduce with time. Diatoms never go away really but become low enough not to be perceptible when the silicates tend to taper off as the newly hydrated substrate settles down; and the nutrient levels reduce as the plants start to grow.
Oh, so the main source of silicates is from the substrate? I thought it is also present in the tap water.
 

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Silicates are in all water unless its been distilled. The fresh substrate adds a lot initially but gradually tapers down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Silicates are in all water unless its been distilled. The fresh substrate adds a lot initially but gradually tapers down.
I want to try my luck with one of the seachem solutions, either the PhosGuard or Purigen to get rid of the silicate. Cant find prober descriptions in the net. The bag of purigen is marked for 100G tank. I've got a tiny 5G tank, can i still use it in my canister filter or I should only the 1/20th part of the provided Purigen bag?
 

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I use Purigen and I really like it. Just put the whole bag in your canister. The Purigen bag will not turn brown for a very long time with a 5 gallon tank. I get green diatoms but not brown so I don't really know if the Purigen will take care of your diatoms. What Purigen does do is to take out many of the dissolved particles. It will make your water crystal clear and you will never have a pond smell. There are internet concerns as to whether purigen also absorbs fertilizers. I use fertilizers, my plants grow more, but I still have some algae. Try it!
 

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I agree that your tank is too small for otos, so might I suggest amano shrimp? They did a great job curing my 10gal of the Diatom Plague. It's easy enough cleaning diatoms off rocks and glass, but I had the worst time getting it off my plants - especially the slower growing ones. I've heard some people say they won't touch algae, but I added three amanos and they picked every single leaf clean of diatoms in just a few days. It was pretty awesome!
 

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I always find the best thing to do with diatoms is to remove them manually, thoroughly. Over and Over until they are gone. FWIW
I agree. Just reduce lighting so they don't multiply like crazy anymore and manually remove as much as you can bear every day. Eventually they will not return. It sucks but eventually they won't return. My tank had pretty bad diatoms during months 2-3 and now they're totally gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks everybody for comments. I have some update on the brown diatoms issue. Misteriously the brown diatom growth stopped!!! I didn't use purigen, nor I reduced the lighting. It might be a coincidence, but i was out for 10 days so was not dosing fertilizers (am following PPS Pro schedule), though plant growth rate was high over last two weeks.

On the bad side i see a green algae/diatoms boom in the tank. It looks like a green dust over the walls. Thinking to use purigen to get rid of those. Any thoughts?


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