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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been doing some reading about diatoms because I have an issue with them growing in my tank. Now from what I've read diatoms typically happen in a new tank. I've had my tank for almost a year now but two months ago I rescaped it with new flourite substrate and new fish. I also changed the filter at that time (but kept the media). My plants and wood were the same, except I've added more plants.

I'm assuming that my tank is classified as "new" so this is to be expected but I'm wondering if there if a way to keep it under control. Last week I removed my anubias (as they seemed like the hardest hit) and dunked them in a very weak bleach solution, which did the trick, but it's coming back. From what I can tell it's also growing on my crypts, substrate and driftwood.

This week I've switched out my old t8 for a Finnex Planted + and I currently have it running from 8 to 8 with a period of 2 hours in the middle where the light is off. I have osmocote tabs in my substrate and I dose API co2 booster when I can remember and API leaf zone (chelated iron) weekly.

Aside from weekly 25% water changes and scrubbing the glass, do you folks have any suggestions or recommendations on how I should go about keeping this under control?

As always advice is very appreciated!
 

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That is a lot of changes made to the tank, so yeah, from a biological stand point, the tank is 'new'. I swapped out my substrate in my 10 gallon over 5 weeks and I had to deal with a hint of diatoms on the glass.

You can up the water changes for now to a couple times a week. It's only temporary to get rid of the excess nutrients out of the water and let the plants settle in. I'd also play around with your photo period. Cut it down to 7 hours and see what happens. Some people are having problems with algae blooms with the Finnex lights. If the worst thing you get is diatoms, you're good.

Other than cleaning off plants that need it, the diatoms will go away eventually. As a extra layer of getting rid of excess nutrients, you can rinse out your filter pads once a week if you have them. Since you did change so much, don't clean the filter too much, you don't want cycle problems. If the pads are on the cleaner side, leave them be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you! I'll be sure to give that a try.

As the diatoms age they get harder to clean off, I think, so what you recommend for the substrate? It's starting to look like rust. I've heard that Nerite snails are good with diatoms? Would they be beneficial?
 

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I would leave your substrate alone unless you want to change it. Not allowing the substrate to mature means a longer establishing time for the tank.

Flourite is a pain in the butt. I have it in my tanks as well. Even though I spent what felt like hours rinsing it, it still produces dust. Doing regular surface vacuuming will get rid of the dust. It may take a few vac sessions over a couple of weeks, but it does go away.

People like otocinclus for diatom clean up. I've never had luck with them, so I don't bother. Nerites are awesome if you can find them. They will leave eggs on your glass which depending on how clean you like your tank to look, this may or may not bother you, but they're easily wiped from the glass and vacuumed.
 

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I would try increasing the siesta period to 3 or 4 hrs.The last tank I had a diatom outbreak in cleared up after I introduced some ramshorns.I saw them leaving tracks through it at first,then one day it was all gone.Whether that was from the ramshorns or from the diatoms completing their cycle,I can't say.
 
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