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Old 10-04-2013, 09:59 PM   #1
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Diatoms!!! The bane of my existence!!!!

I still can't figure out how to get rid of diatoms in my reef. I literally have to scrub the glass every single day or it gets out of control.

I'm using the cheap Chinese LEDs, hung about 13 inches above the tank (45g bowfront). I run them about 10 hrs/day. Blues on for 1 hr, both on for a good 8 or 9, and then just blues again for an hour, then off.

Water chemistry tests out 0 for the ammonia no2/no3. PH has always been low 7.8-7.9. I've tested for phosphates a couple times and they're trace.. very minimal.

I've tried:
Using chaeto to outcompete for phosphates
turning on only the blue or white lights at a time (they have reds in them and I was told the reds are notorious for algae)
cutting back on light period (5-6 hours total)
water changes. Lots of them. huge ones and small ones.
Lots of snails/lettuce nudibranch for cleaning up.
2 powerheads in it currently. Plenty of flow.
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Old 10-04-2013, 11:47 PM   #2
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You don't get rid of diatoms.... they have to run their natural course. They are ugly & annoying, but almost every new tank gets them, and chaeto will do nothing for them because they don't feed off of phosphates & nitrates like other nuisance algae..... They feed off of excess silicates contained within new systems, and once those are depleted, the diatoms will eventually disappear on their own. Just like everything else with reef keeping, patience is the key.
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:40 AM   #3
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So I just gotta keep scrubbing the glass and wait it out huh?
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Old 10-05-2013, 01:19 AM   #4
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And you are sure it is diatoms on your glass? You will always need to clean your glass. I have to daily off of algae growth.
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Old 10-05-2013, 02:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sniperhank View Post
And you are sure it is diatoms on your glass? You will always need to clean your glass. I have to daily off of algae growth.
Well, with the lights on it just looks like brown algae accumulating on the glass, especially in the back.

You have to continuously clean it forever?? Is that normal?
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Old 10-05-2013, 06:30 PM   #6
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Diatoms will burn out once the silicates are consumed.
In terms of algae on the glass, yes it will always try to grow there. Some tanks can go awhile without a mag float or a scraper taken to it while others might need it daily at times.
I do my tank really every other day. There is also the monthly scraping of coralline algae growth off the front glass with an old credit card.
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Old 10-06-2013, 01:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Diatoms will burn out once the silicates are consumed.
In terms of algae on the glass, yes it will always try to grow there. Some tanks can go awhile without a mag float or a scraper taken to it while others might need it daily at times.
I do my tank really every other day. There is also the monthly scraping of coralline algae growth off the front glass with an old credit card.
Ok. It just looks really gross where it's in the back and I can't get at it.
I have the magnet scraper and a brush with a pad... but there are just some creases and stuff behind rocks/frag rack/etc that I can't get to
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Old 10-06-2013, 01:55 PM   #8
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Is the brown powdery looking stuff on the glass diatoms? I thought diatoms were the brown crumby looking stuff down on the sand. Could it be both?
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Old 10-06-2013, 02:00 PM   #9
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This is why I painted the back glass of my tank. I used to scrub the whole way around and had a ton I couldn't get but could still see. Painted the back, fish and corals pop more, and don't see the algae growth besides the coralline.
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