Diatoms gaining - confused

lee3

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Oct 13, 2014
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Our tank has been running for 6 weeks, we've had diatoms for probably 4wks, but they have been accelerating rapidly the past week.

Tank details - 130L, pressurized CO2, pH controller - pH 6.8, KH 4.
Lights - 2x 50 PAR LEDs.
Ferts - Seachem NPK/flourish until this week, have started EI daily (2ppm NO3, 0.3ppm PO4, 2ppm K daily)

The plants are growing very rapidly. Gradually diatoms are coating more and more leaves, the youngest are still relatively free, but older ones being coated at an earlier stage it seems.

I'm pretty confused about which direction to go.
I've read a million different peoples stories, and fixes, and all seem different?

There is a very small amt of green algae on the glass in one area, none on plants at all. Only brown diatoms on plants.


I tried to get some otos last weekend, but couldn't - I think I can source a couple this weekend. That is plan B.
Plan A is to increase water changes to 50% twice weekly, and try and debride as much of this stuff as possible.

Any other ideas?
Lee
 

Gerryd

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Sep 23, 2007
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Hi Lee,

I have found that ottos work wonders indeed, esp at first when the tank is newer. That said, I have found diatoms to be much less (if at all) of an issue once the tank is mature and plants are growing well.

Extra water changes will never hurt for sure...what substrate and/or hardscape do you use?

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Hi Lee,

I have found that ottos work wonders indeed, esp at first when the tank is newer. That said, I have found diatoms to be much less (if at all) of an issue once the tank is mature and plants are growing well.

Extra water changes will never hurt for sure...what substrate and/or hardscape do you use?
 

Melissa Morrison

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Feb 12, 2015
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I second Gerry's advice of adding Ottos. Those little guys are serious diatom eaters. Also, Nerite Snails will help too especially if the diatoms start to invade your substrate/rocks/decorations. The good thing about Nertie Snails is that they don't breed in fresh water (well, they will lay eggs, but they won't hatch). Also, I found out the hard way that some substrates (like pool filter sand, for example) encourage diatom growth... it was something about the silica in the sand. Anyway, I had diatoms for months and months and months after switching over to pool filter sand. Big mistake! The problem went away after I switched to eco-complete for my substrate.
 
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Dennis Singh

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May 5, 2013
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Second and thirding ottos and nerites for diatoms, but what is the source


Like above, I got serious diatoms when using pool filter sand as well, anything that has silicates will do this