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Old 01-29-2012, 05:29 PM   #1
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Dreaded Diatoms

Ok, So my tank is aproxamately 6 months running and I have been fighting diatoms. A lot of diatoms! I was told that it may be due to high phosphates so, as recomended, I started using distilled water for my water changes. It seems as though the diatoms have not reduced in the slightest bit. I then read that they will run their natural course and eventually run out of "food" and disappear. My question is how long does this process take? I understand parameters have a lot to do with it along with feeding. I have a 55 gallon tank along with a 25 gallon sump for a total of roughly 80 gallons minus the displacement of rock and sand. Ammonia reads 0, Nitrites 0 and Nitrates <5. Its been a long hard battle to get the Nitrates this low but its been really stable at 5 or less for about 2 months. My protein skimmer has been performing great in my opinion and the skimmate is dumped once a week on fridays. I do 2 water changes a week (tuesdays and fridays), 5 gallons at a time for a total of 10 gallons a week. I don't know what else to add to my schedule or what to do differently. Oh, and i feed a small ammount every night. I have 2 ocellaris clowns, one coral beauty angel, 2 blue damsels (I know, I know...) along with one green emerald crab, one decorator crab, 3 blue leg hermits, and 2 turbo snails. My lights consist of a single 48" fixture containing 2 actinic, and 2 10,000k bulbs along with blue moonlight led's. Total wattage is 260w. Bulbs are very new.
Sorry this is getting long, but I need advice!
Thanks in advance!!!
oh, and I keep my temperature around 78 F
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:33 PM   #2
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Usually diatoms burn out but there must be something fueling them. Have you tried cutting back on the lights and feeding them every other day when the lights first come on. Also some sands have silicates in them and they will contribute to diatoms.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:50 PM   #3
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Yea silicate is more likely the problem than phosphates.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:56 PM   #4
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I've also heard some glass can leach silicate. Did you make your sump or add baffles?
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:31 PM   #5
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No, my sump is made of a 30 gallon aquarium I had laying around. I haven't yet added baffles so its just performing as a place to house my equipment and add water volume to the system as a whole. The sand is Fiji white sand so its not something like play sand from home depot. I've also heard silicates could also be found in most salt mixes. Is that the case with instant ocean?
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:11 AM   #6
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I've always used instant ocean or reef crystals and never really had a problem with diatoms. Except of course a brief bloom on new tanks, only lasting a week or two.
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:58 AM   #7
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Im going on about a month and a half fighting these darn diatoms!
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Old 01-31-2012, 08:05 AM   #8
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you could possibly try adding livestock that eats diatoms I'm not sure about turbo snails but troschus love the stuff. im new to reef tanks but my 10 gallon nano was slowly being caked In brown diatoms, I went and bought 3 of those snails the next day my tank was almost completely clean. could have been a coincidence of course but I don't think so
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