Aquarium Decoration (Rocks, Plants and Substrates) • DIATOMS

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DIATOMS

Postby Fishy_Cichlid » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:13 am

I have been recently witnessing a growth of Diatoms in my 80G. This I attribute mainly since I started keeping my lights on for a much longer period of time. I have been doing some reading on it and would like the forum members to confirm & advice.

"........ Diatoms are unsightly, they reduce the oxygen content in the tank and can be a nuisance (how i do not understand) ......."
"...... Diatoms arent all that bad - they reduce the Nitrate & Phosphate content of the water ....."

1. How effective are Diatoms in reducing Nitrates ?
2. Are they more effective than the Green Algae?
3. Any idea in terms of ppm reduced ?


I have also read in some post somewhere, I cant recall, that Diatom bloom is usually followed by a growth of Green Algae"
5. Is this correct ?

I dont mind some Green Algae in my tank but incase it doesent happen that way, I certainly would like to brush off the Diatoms during my next WC and reduce the hours of lighting.

Thanks
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Postby newforestrob » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:18 am

I thing you need to increase the hours of lighting,what type of lights are you running and for how long?
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Postby Fishy_Cichlid » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:48 am

Earlier I used to run the lights (2 Nos. T5, 30W each; but usually only 1 is ON) around 5-6 Hrs & never had any Diatoms, but now I put them on for over 14-16 Hrs.
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Postby Mike_G » Thu Feb 16, 2012 3:02 pm

I've got what I think are diatoms (looks like brown algae?) in my 37G right now and my nitrate did appear to drop- my last test showed only 20ppm after 2 weeks of no water changes, whereas it used to run 30-40ppm after a week.
I'm going to re-test just to make sure as I've heard the nitrate test can be a bit finicky
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Postby 13razorbackfan » Thu Feb 16, 2012 5:36 pm

I currently have diatoms in my 30g grow out tank...it has been set up for a few months now. I do weekly gravel vac to suck most of them out. The green is starting to take hold but currently it is 50/50 green algae to diatoms.

I am hoping that within the next month or two the green will completely take over and out compete the diatoms for nutrients. In my experience the green will out compete the brown(diatoms) for nutrients once the green takes a strong hold.

I just try and keep everything consistent. My lights stay on the same amount of time(8hrs) per day, I feed generally the same amount to my fish, and do roughly the same amount of water changes per week.

Keeping things consistent allows the right amount of algae to grow to soak up those nutrients. When lighting and fish load change is when you can run into some problems with die off and diatoms can start to come back until the adjustment has leveled off. At least in my experience.

I like to suck up the diatoms with my gravel vac...or the ones I can get to anyways.
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Postby DJRansome » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:41 pm

I have never heard they are beneficial. Just unsightly IMO. I wipe them off until they go away on their own.
125G Aulonocara, Malawi Haps, Vics (trial), S Polli
75G Demasoni, Labs, Cyno hara, Met estherae, S Multipunctata
75G Calvus, Caudopunctatus, Cyp Kerenge, S Petricola
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Postby 13razorbackfan » Thu Feb 16, 2012 9:03 pm

DJRansome wrote:I have never heard they are beneficial. Just unsightly IMO. I wipe them off until they go away on their own.
Yeah...that is what I do as well. I am thinking about changing over to PFS in my growout tank to match my main tank. The PFS will eliminate the diatoms on the substrate as the fish constantly dig around and it is much harder to take hold.

I am so much happier with PFS than I ever imagined. I have had sand before but never PFS and glad I made the change.
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