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Old 06-19-2006, 03:01 PM   #1
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I hate diatoms !!!!

My 29G setup in early May is LOADED with brown diatoms. I know it's "normal" and I know that otos like to eat diatoms but I'm not really looking to add otos to the tank.

Since the tank bottomless and I have some glass beads on the bottom you can imagine how gross it looks ! I can get the diatoms off the walls, obviously, but I can't really clean each glass bead off (ok, I CAN - its not impossible - but I'm not THAT driven yet !).

I'm planning on planting the tank in 1-2 weeks and have 1.5wpg. Will adding the plants help eliminate the diatoms ?

How long can I expect the diatoms to last ?

Its soooooooooooooooooooooooooo UGLY !
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2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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Old 06-19-2006, 03:05 PM   #2
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Plants won't make a difference. All you can do is wait. It took about 3 weeks for my 29 to completely clear.
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Old 06-19-2006, 03:06 PM   #3
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Try using a Turkey Baster to get most of it up. It could last a few weeks to a couple months, really hard to tell how long it will last. Mine lasted almost 4 weeks in my 29G.
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Old 06-19-2006, 04:50 PM   #4
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Turkey baster ! Interesting idea - hadn't thought of that. Of course the fish will think I'm trying to feed them with it ..... should be an interesting experience LOL

Does anyone know what causes the diatoms ? ie: what is their "mission in life" (ie: do they occur in nature ? is it just an artifact of a closed environment ?). And do they multiply (meaning that if you reduce an initial population that you'll reduce the amt you get going foward - or will they just continue to grow to use up whatever nutrient is it they live on)

Its too bad diatoms are microscopic - they're actually very pretty under an electron microscope.
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2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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Old 06-19-2006, 04:52 PM   #5
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They feed on the silicates in your aquarium. Once the silicates are gone they die off. I have never seen a new setup that didn't get them in some degree.
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Old 06-19-2006, 06:24 PM   #6
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Thanks Rich - I'm hoping since I don't have gravel or sand as a substrate that I have low silicates so this ugliness will be gone fast ! But .... with my luck .... I probably have high silicates in my tap water - goodness knows its hard as a rock !

I'm dreading seeing my plants covered with the stuff .... oh well .... patience patience patience .... by the time my tank is really established it may actually be something I'll learn !
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2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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Old 06-23-2006, 05:51 PM   #7
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you can try and suck it out with a gravel siphon, you can wait and let it break down, or you could get some kinda fish that will eat it, I know what your going through though,m I hate diatoms myself
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Old 06-23-2006, 08:06 PM   #8
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The turkey baster and gravel cleaner didn't work But I did get two really cute otos today - I hadn't intended on having otos, in fact earlier today I turned around half way through a trip to an LFS to get them. Later ended up at another store and they had three .... I felt it was an omen LOL.
The little guys are being drip acclimated right now. I figure if MTS is striking as bad as I think it is that there will be plenty of diatoms in my future to keep them happy and well fed. (and yes, I do intend on giving them fresh veggies so that they have a varied diet)
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2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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Old 06-24-2006, 09:00 AM   #9
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i have a 75 gal that is a month old and had diatoms very badly. i put in 5 ottos and over night my tank was spotless. i know you dont want to add fish to fix a problem but i could not wait for them to go away on there own. the ottos make quick work of diatoms i am very happy, and they actually were a good addition to my tank.
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Old 06-24-2006, 01:22 PM   #10
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My two haven't started eating yet but I'll agree - they really are cute and fun to watch.
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35G barebottom: 2 boesemani rainbowfish, 4 congo tetras, Low light plants (1.5wpg) attached to or planted in my own handmade ceramics - Anubia v Nana, Anubia v Barteri, Red Rubin Sword
2.5G - Spot (beautiful betta - Soft pink with red spots on his fins. Java Moss.
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