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Old 10-09-2012, 03:19 AM   #1
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Brown Diatom??

When we first put up our 125 gallon saltwater tank almost three months ago we started getting brown diatom. We got a clean-up crew of twelve crabs, two chocolate chip star fish & a cleaner shrimp to help get rid of the diatom. It was all over the back glass (which is black & very noticeable) & all over the sand bed! After putting the small clean-up crew in it, most of it went away. Then yesterday I noticed its back & getting horrible! Is there anything I can do to help it go away or just leave it & let it work it's course?

Also, now we have other fish, corals & live rock we threw the chocolate chip star fish in the sump to clean up the diatom in that so they don't kill anything in the 125.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:27 AM   #2
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Can you provide a pic? Are you sure they're diatoms? If they are; best to leave them be. They will go away once they consume all the silicates in your tank. Usually takes 1-2 weeks tops.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:59 PM   #3
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Here are the pictures..
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:00 PM   #4
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A friend of mine said it was diatom but didn't say weather to leave it or not. Just seems like its getting worse again.
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:22 PM   #5
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Just let it be. It will eventually go away once the silica is used up
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:22 PM   #6
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I have the same issue. Any idea how long it usually takes to go away? It looks horrible.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:35 PM   #7
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I used some airline to vacuum it all up. Along with weekly 10% - 20% water changes it soon disappeared.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:57 PM   #8
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Mine lasted for about a month.... yeah, looks disgusting, but everyone goes through it. What really helped clear up the remnants in my tank were astrea snails. They don't do much for the sand bed, but they will scour the glass & rock. For the sand bed, whenever I did pwc's, I just lightly skimmed a gravel-vac across the surface of the sand and sucked up a bit at a time..... don't try to do it all at once.
And don't worry if it occasionally comes back.... even many-year old tanks can have outbreaks. Sand stirrers can bring up fresh silicates, and it will have to run it's course again.
And just to be sure.... you are using RODI water, right?? if not, you can continually feed diatoms with tap water.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:13 PM   #9
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A conch will help clean the sand bed. Just get one per 2 sq feet of tank bottom though.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:14 PM   #10
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Also nasarius snails will also do the trick for your substrate. I would also suggest upping your CUC.
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