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Old 11-06-2006, 09:13 PM   #1
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Diatom situation getting out of control

I've posted in a couple of threads about my diatom infestation (yes, it has progressed further than just an ugly annoyance) and have spent quite a bit of time reading other posts in an attempt to find out what to do to eliminate it. There appears to be a lot of information that I've seen enough times to take as universal truths: high levels of silicates and/or phosphates lead to diatoms, otos eat them, etc. However, there is very little information that I can find about how to eliminate them, other than to wait. Well, I've been waiting for about 5 months and they still stubbornly continue to exist, as if they don't know they are not supposed to.

What I'd like to find out is what to test my water for, how to test it (because the LFS didn't have a phosphate or silicate test kit), and how to make an adjustment based on the test results that will eliminate the problem. Is there a filter or a medium that will help remove the offending substance and reduce the diatoms. I've also tried reading about diatom filters, which I know don't filter out diatoms, but seem to have some potential benefit in removing more potential bad substances from the water.

Seriously, this diatom thing is getting old. I'm having to remove everything from my tank on a monthly basis to phsyically clean the diatoms off. I'd very much appreciate any advice from those of you who made your diatoms go away by some other method than time.

Thanks,

Alan
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:05 PM   #2
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Hmm. Do you use well water? Do a google search for your city's water report. Most are available online. Give it a good once over to see if you can find silicates or phosphates. (really only useful if you use city water supply) You can also occasionally find a county wide report, which might give you a better inclination on your well water quality. How long are your lights on a day? And how is your water flow?

Diatoms almost always go away, but I have heard of them sticking around, mainly in sw tanks though.

HTH
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:12 PM   #3
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well you can get a whole gang of otos or snails to eat it LOL



i have had good luck with THIS it removes both Phosphates and Silicates, i used it in my hob filter before, just put it inside, where the carbon goes.
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:46 PM   #4
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My new tank was covered in diatoms. Lasted for a few months til I'd had enough. Otos cleaned it in a day.
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Old 11-06-2006, 11:11 PM   #5
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The water report for my city doesn't indicate a level for silicates or phosphates, but it seems to be a summary report that only includes the nastier things that are tested for. My light (a fluorescent) is on for 12 hours a day on a timer, and does get some indirect sunlight from a window in the room. My water flow is not particularly strong...I guess it could stand to be stronger. I got a replacement HOB filter system a few months ago, but it proved to be too strong and the fish seemed to be fighting it so I switched back to the original HOB. Interestingly, I do add aquarium salt to my system at the prescribed 1/2 teaspoon per gallon. Not sure if this might be working to prolong the agony, given the comment below about sw tanks...

The filter additive to absorb phosphates and silicates in interesting. If the problem is silicates coming from some source, then adding that stuff to the carbon in the filter could be what I've been looking for.

Thanks for the great input...anyone else have any ideas?

Alan
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Old 11-07-2006, 09:09 PM   #6
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Give the Phosphate removers a try. I have heard of them helping with diatoms as well.

Low flow can help diatoms grow, so try adding a powerhead maybe to the tank? A small one directed at the sand bed (but not too close as to stir it up!)

I wouldn't worry about the aquarium salt. Totally different than marine salt. Aquarium is darn near useless though, so you may want to consider ditching it for that reason.

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Old 11-08-2006, 12:42 AM   #7
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Forget the oto's, a BN pleco will clean up the diatoms and any algae in no time. I have a 29 that has been established for a couple years. It became overgrown with diatoms when I moved the BN to the 55 to clean out the algae. I picked up another BN for the 29, and it's been clean ever since.
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