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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I'm starting to see a thin spattering of diatoms on the glass of my 40b. (which has been set up a year)
Test strip (I know they are unreliable) shows zero nitrites, high (as pink as the chart goes) nitrates. I've been away a lot lately and have only been turning on the tank lights about 30% of the time the last two weeks - I don't know if that has anything to do with diatoms.
So, what is my best recourse? Some of my reading says do water changes, some say don't. Some say excessively low nitrates are a cause - obviously not in my case. I'd like to get a grip on it before it becomes a real problem. What do you suggest?
Thanks!
 

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First, I would suggest placing your lights on a timer. It makes the photoperiod easier to control and thats better for the tank.

If nitrates are high I would definitely do a large water change. BTW what ppm is high on your test strips? With a planted tank 10-20ppm works.

When it comes to diatoms, IMO, I would just let them go and clean them off when you find it unsightly until the tank finds equilibrium. They will correct themselves in time but I think the key is to create a tank full of healthy, happy plants intead of trying to battle against algae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
now I feel guilty! I haven't tested this tank in so long - ppm on the test strips (for nitrates) goes from 0 - 40 = safe, 60 - 200 = unsafe. My strip looked to be 160. Water change tomorrow! I'll do smaller, more frequent changes - I don't want to shock the tank & inhabitants.
I usually am very good about a light schedule, but a timer is a good idea - I'll look into thet at work tomorrow...
 

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160ppm? Whoa...I would do a 50% wc at least......the smaller more frequent water changes will remove less and less nitrates each time since you're diluting the water.

Just try to match your parameters.

I've been battling bga and other algaes in my 29g and I needed to do a major cleaning so I removed the inhabitants to a holding bucket, performed a ~60% wc and let the tank clear up for an hour or so before placing them back in. The mongoose loach (only fish) is doing really well, he's out more now than prior to the wc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yea, I was embarrassed to post that! I'll do a 40-50% water change tomorrow, and another 25% a few days after that. It's just about bedtime for me now (gotta get up early for work!)
This will give me a chance to freshen up my scape, too...
 
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