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Old 06-10-2006, 10:42 PM   #1
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Mature tank getting algae

I have been getting quite a bad build up of algae lately and nothing is different. The tank has been up for quite awhile and the cichlids seem to be fine besides the ugly brownish algae lightly on the lower glass and all over the decorations.

I have recently started a saltwater tank so all tanks will be receiving RO/DI water so I hope this will stop it. However I figured I would ask if someone could think of why it might be happening?
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Old 06-10-2006, 11:07 PM   #2
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How long has the tank been set up?
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Old 06-11-2006, 12:00 AM   #3
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Hey Alvarez! It's nice to see you posting on the freshie forum for a change. It's been quite a while since I've seen you around.

Does the algae wipe off easily? If I remember correctly, the tank has been up since around the end of September early October, right?
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Old 06-11-2006, 12:03 AM   #4
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thats about when mine was setup and its got algea also, the weird thing is the 10 gallon next to it has crystal clear water all the time
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Old 06-11-2006, 03:23 AM   #5
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Hey fishyfanatic!! Yes the tank was switched to a cichlid tank about september... It was danio/rainbow shark tank before that.

The algae for the most part is just on the lower glass and wipes off easily. I would bet using all RO/DI water should help out greatly. However I just wanna check up and see what you guys think about it, and what I might do to help get it back to crystall clear.
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Old 06-11-2006, 03:09 PM   #6
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i could be wrong, but i don't believe ro/di water is good for freshies????? My aunt who has been keeping saltwater for years told me not to use the ro/di unit on my freshwater fish. she might be mistaken.....BUT i would def. wait until someone else chimes in before you start using it in the FW tanks.
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Old 06-11-2006, 04:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jennymit21
i could be wrong, but i don't believe ro/di water is good for freshies????? My aunt who has been keeping saltwater for years told me not to use the ro/di unit on my freshwater fish. she might be mistaken.....BUT i would def. wait until someone else chimes in before you start using it in the FW tanks.
Thats odd I don't know why someone would tell you that. RO/DI water is just filtered water that has been cleansed of its harmful chemicals. Most people say they think ALL aquariums should use RO water but people have been keeping tanks for years without them so they won't argue to much.

RO/DI water should be the best possible water you could give either fresh or saltwater. The only difference would be the salinity for sw of course.
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Old 06-11-2006, 09:12 PM   #8
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You should not use RO/DI water exclusively for a freshwater tank. Yes, RO/DI does remove any harmful chemicals, but it also removes everything else, including other compounds that fish need to maintain the proper water and electrolyte balance. If you drank pure RO/DI water in large enough quantities, it would make you very sick since it would essentially dilute your electrolyte levels dangerously low. The reason it's OK for saltwater tanks is that the salt mix adds the necessary ions back in; using RO/DI to start with assures that all you have are "good" ions from the salt mix. You can use some RO/DI in a freshwater tank, but usually the only reason to do so is if your tap water is very hard and has too high of a pH for the fish you wish to keep. Since hard water has by definition an abundance of various ions, diluting it somewhat with RO/DI is OK.

It sounds like you have diatoms in your tank, which usually appear within a couple of weeks after setup, but there's no reason they can't show up later. Some algae eaters, like otocinclus, will eat them, but if you have cichlids, those little otos might become dinner.... Usually diatoms will go away on their own, so waiting might be the best option. Wiping them off seems to make it last longer.
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Old 06-11-2006, 10:12 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by newfound77951
You should not use RO/DI water exclusively for a freshwater tank. Yes, RO/DI does remove any harmful chemicals, but it also removes everything else, including other compounds that fish need to maintain the proper water and electrolyte balance. If you drank pure RO/DI water in large enough quantities, it would make you very sick since it would essentially dilute your electrolyte levels dangerously low. The reason it's OK for saltwater tanks is that the salt mix adds the necessary ions back in; using RO/DI to start with assures that all you have are "good" ions from the salt mix. You can use some RO/DI in a freshwater tank, but usually the only reason to do so is if your tap water is very hard and has too high of a pH for the fish you wish to keep. Since hard water has by definition an abundance of various ions, diluting it somewhat with RO/DI is OK.

It sounds like you have diatoms in your tank, which usually appear within a couple of weeks after setup, but there's no reason they can't show up later. Some algae eaters, like otocinclus, will eat them, but if you have cichlids, those little otos might become dinner.... Usually diatoms will go away on their own, so waiting might be the best option. Wiping them off seems to make it last longer.
Thats odd... Why do people and websites recommend RO units for freshwater and saltwater then? Also Is this true with only RO/DI or RO units with out the DI stage? This will make things easier as I will only have to run enough water per month for my SW tank and not enough for my 2 fw tanks and my sw tank. The Python makes things easy enough as it.
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Old 06-11-2006, 10:30 PM   #10
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Why do people and websites recommend RO units for freshwater and saltwater then?
Don't know.....there are a lot of folks out there that don't know as much as you'd think, and it is true that you can use RO/DI in certain applications in FW, so that could easily get turned into "all" applications when passed from person to person (like playing telephone when you were a kid). I still wouldn't do it.

RO (reverse osmosis) and DI (deionizer) are two different ways to achieve essentially the same end result. The idea behind running both is that the second one will get any ions or chemicals that the first one missed. So just running the water through the RO won't change much from running it through both.
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