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Old 11-02-2004, 07:56 PM   #1
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I think I have diatoms?

My 29 gal is about 3 weeks into its cycle, and I have brown stuff (which I think is diatoms from what I read) on the glass, rocks, plastic plants etc...) More shows up every day.

Fish: 5 zebra danios and 2 micky mouse platties.

My water parameters are:
pH : 7.0
Ammonia: 0.25
Nitrites and Nitrates: 0

I've had the light on a timer for about 10 hours a day, and the diatoms seem to be forming where the light is strongest. (and not under my rock arch where there is shadow)

I've been fairly careful not to overfeed (have only been feeding once a day) The platties seem to be eating some of it off the glass which is good. So my question is, should I just leave it be? Should I cut back the light?
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Old 11-02-2004, 08:07 PM   #2
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Brown Algae - Diatoms has nothing to do with your lighting. It's caused by extra nutrients in your water.

From my experience, brown algae will normally show up in a new set up and will not disappear until your water conditions stablize.

By keeping up on your necessary water changes, not over feeding and your vacumming of your gravel, it will eventually go away by itself.
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Old 11-02-2004, 08:09 PM   #3
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You might consider a fish that will eat the brown algae, and other types of algae, like a rubberlip or a bristlenose, or a crew of otocinculs cats, but don't do anything until the tank is stable and established - don't add more fish while you are cycling.

Sometimes with lower lighting levels diatoms are a problem (mine tend not to go away in my low light African tank, but are long gone in other tanks) but often they just go away after a while, like Fawn says.
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Old 11-02-2004, 09:00 PM   #4
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Am I correct in saying that I should not be doing any water changes while my tank is cycling unless one of my parameters (ammonia, or nitrite) becomes high? Only after the nitrite spike has come and gone and I am building up nitrates should I be performing water changes to dilute the nitrate level.

Yes?
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Old 11-03-2004, 05:52 AM   #5
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I agree 100% with Tank Girl and you...first i had the exact same problem with my 29 gal when i set it up. I got 3 otto cats and they cleared it up in a few days..but wait until the tank is done with your cycle before adding them (i know waiting is hard, but try to hold out).
Second, i agree with you that you should not do a water change unless nessasary.
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Old 11-03-2004, 10:00 AM   #6
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Thanks, I can hold out.
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Old 11-03-2004, 12:23 PM   #7
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Right. Water changes to protect the fish and help them survive the cycle, but otherwise don't clean your filter, disturb your gravel too much, or otherwise perform any "maintenance" on the tank - just the water changes.
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Old 11-03-2004, 01:59 PM   #8
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I find it strange that after 3 weeks, there's still some ammonia, and not nitrItes...
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Old 11-03-2004, 09:13 PM   #9
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That would be the case if every week you were to take the tank apart and "clean" it to be rid of the algae, so essentially starting the cycle over every week.
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Old 11-03-2004, 10:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore
I find it strange that after 3 weeks, there's still some ammonia, and not nitrItes...
I originally started out with only 5 zebra danios in the 29 gallon. I added the 2 platties after 2 weeks because the zebra were not creating enough waste fast enough....it would have taken forever to cycle this thing. A week after geting the platties in there, I started to read some ammonia. I still haven't gone higher than 0.25 yet. In this case, I think I was overly cautious with the number of fish I needed to cycle the tank.

I have done no cleaning so far. I have added 2 gallons due to evaporative losses.
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