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Old 06-25-2012, 08:22 PM   #1
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Some Advice Please

First of all, this is my first post although I have browsed here and there around the forums as it has great advice to follow.

Now for the advice I seek. First off, I have a Magnum 350 Canister Filter. How can I go about cycling my tank using my canister filter to speed up the IN FISH cycling? I currently have the Carbon media inside the canister, but should I just take that out and put bio media in there instead?

And also, I'm noticing some brown algae starting on the glass and plants. What is the best way to get rid of it or to keep it from coming back?
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Old 06-26-2012, 08:56 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Importcrew View Post
First of all, this is my first post although I have browsed here and there around the forums as it has great advice to follow.

Now for the advice I seek. First off, I have a Magnum 350 Canister Filter. How can I go about cycling my tank using my canister filter to speed up the IN FISH cycling? I currently have the Carbon media inside the canister, but should I just take that out and put bio media in there instead?

And also, I'm noticing some brown algae starting on the glass and plants. What is the best way to get rid of it or to keep it from coming back?
Whether or not you replace the carbon with additional biofilter media is completely up to you. Carbon or no carbon is one of the subjects openly debated among fishkeepers.

I don't think that replacing the carbon with additional media will speed up the cycle though. It is my understanding that when initially cycling the limiting factor in the bacterial colonies' growth is reproduction rate, not available media space. Replacing the carbon with biofilter media will, however, increase your biofiltration capacity long-term while sacrificing chemical filtration -- so again, the choice is yours.

The best way to get rid of brown algae (diatoms) is to simply wipe it off the surfaces. It is also relatively easy to remove from the substrate by using a gravel vacuum. Brown algae often grows in newly cycling tanks and often disappears completely on its own once the cycle is more stable and mature. Even if it doesn't disappear, while unsightly, it poses no health risk to any of your tank's inhabitants.

Good luck!
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Old 06-26-2012, 09:43 AM   #3
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^ Agree.

I know a lot of people are against "bacteria in a bottle", but I've used it on every tank I've cycled and seen ammonia/nitrites drop to zero in a couple weeks max (usually a little faster than that).

Just get one of those tank magnets or a scrub brush for the diatoms. We had some issues with tank positioning as well - if it's in direct sunlight next to a window you may see more of it.
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:28 PM   #4
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I had to do a water change in which I completely scrubbed all the plants and glass of the diatoms. The tank is kind of next to a window, but it doesn't get much sunlight from it as my blinds are always down and the window is of my porch.

Everything looks nice and beautiful at the moment, and to me that gives me piece of mind. I do plan on adding a couple plecos to the tank once the cycling is pretty much completed. But for now everything seems good. Thanks for the advice from both of you. Much appreciated.
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Old 06-27-2012, 04:10 PM   #5
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I had to do a water change in which I completely scrubbed all the plants and glass of the diatoms. The tank is kind of next to a window, but it doesn't get much sunlight from it as my blinds are always down and the window is of my porch.

Everything looks nice and beautiful at the moment, and to me that gives me piece of mind. I do plan on adding a couple plecos to the tank once the cycling is pretty much completed. But for now everything seems good. Thanks for the advice from both of you. Much appreciated.
For the record, brown algae (diatoms), actually forms in low light rather than too much light -- though too much light does contribute to growths of other types of algae, so I'm not suggesting increasing the light to get rid of the brown algae.

If you were planning on stocking a pleco anyway, plecos can help, but if you were getting the pleco just for algae control, in my personal opinion I wouldn't. Plecos will add to the bioload of the tank (and some of them get very big) and brown algae is very easily taken care of by you. It doesn't adhere strongly to surfaces and is easily wiped off or gravel vacuumed.

But again, brown algae is very common in cycling tanks, and in many cases disappears altogether completely on its own once the thank matures.

Best!
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:35 PM   #6
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I know part of the reason of the diatoms is because of the light. Its still the stock light I got when I bought my tank from somebody. I could have easily replaced the bulb with something that would be more efficient, however, I thought it was in my best interest to buy a new hood all together. I think what I will buy next when I have the opportunity will be a timer. (which reminds me...I do have one). Currently, I have the light on around 12 hours a day or a bit longer. I get up in the morning, feed the fish, turn the lights on, then head to work. By the time I get home, I feed them once again, do what I have to do around the house (ie-take a shower), and then turn the light off (which happens to be around 5-6pm while I turn it on around 5 am).

Sometimes I get home later and sometimes sooner. But a timer would give me that one more bit of something else I need not worry about.

As for the Plecos. I have been planning on getting one or two. Not solely for algae control. Lol.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:27 PM   #7
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I actually disagree with the idea that diatoms only form with low light situations. I have never had diatom issues with low light tanks. However, when I switched 2 established tanks from low light (T8 & cheap LEDs) to high light (T5HO's), both established tanks had diatom outbreaks. They do eventually burn themselves out in a few months. If they don't, then an excess of silicates may have to be considered. I would just give your tank some time to mature & not be overly concerned even though they are quite unsightly.
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:18 PM   #8
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Definitely doesn't look pretty. But I ended up scrubbing everything down (all decor, plants, and glass) and everything is well at the moment. I recently bought a new light (Marineland Double Bright LED) which I should receive by Tuesday. I'm gonna end up using that one once I get it. Plus the starter on my hood is kind of rigged. When I turn the switch to on, the light doesn't always come on. So I'd have to move the starter around until it triggers the connection and turns the light on.

But everything in the tank seems to be going smoothly so far. A few days ago (Monday) I did a 50% water change and I've been checking my parameters which everything seems fine.

Ammonia:0
Nitrite:0
Nitrate: 40-80 (hard to distinguish between the two colors on the color chart with the API master test kit)
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