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Algae Issues

Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:51 pm

I had a moderate brown diatom bloom in my tank recently.

Info: 46 gallon, 36 inches, saulosi species tank. 9F, 1M. Water parameters ammonia 0 ppm nitrite 0 ppm nitrate 10 ppm or less. pH 8.0. Temp 78 F. Do 30% water changes twice a week. Have robust filtration: AquaClear 70 and Eheim Classic Canister 2213.

I think I caused the diatom bloom by having the light on too long (it's an office tank and they wanted the light on during business hours, so it was on 9 hours a day) I've cut it back to 6 hours a day. On Friday I pulled all the rocks out of the tank and scrubbed them in hot water (no soap or chemicals) until most of the visible algae was gone. I also wiped down the tank surfaces with a clean towel so there was no more algae present. Then I left the lights off all weekend. It looks like the diatoms may be creeping back! WHY? What can I do? Water is good quality, lighting is good...the bulb isn't even a year old so I don't think it needs to be changed.

If it were any other tank I would get a couple nerite snails, but I've heard that they don't last long in a mbuna tank because even if the fish don't eat them, they knock them off the glass and nerites have trouble righting themselves.

Would a powerhead to create more water movement help? UV Sterilizer? I know a little algae is pretty harmless but it's an office tank so it has to look pristine.

Re: Algae Issues

Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:03 pm

Diatoms and algae are 2 different things. Diatoms are usually associated with new tanks, but I had a problem with a 12 year old setup. BNPs do a good job of getting rid of diatoms and algae. Just make sure that they are getting enough to eat.

Re: Algae Issues

Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:02 pm

mambee wrote:Diatoms and algae are 2 different things. Diatoms are usually associated with new tanks, but I had a problem with a 12 year old setup. BNPs do a good job of getting rid of diatoms and algae. Just make sure that they are getting enough to eat.


I know they're different, but I just find it easier to call it all "algae" for discussion's sake. This tank has been set up for 4 months. I guess that's still considered a new setup? Should I wait a couple months and see if the problem resolves on its own? Will a BN Pleco do ok with saulosi or will they bully it? And what do they eat besides algae/diatoms? Algae/kelp wafers?

Re: Algae Issues

Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:28 pm

I'd wait yes. I don't find BN eat much algae other than what is on the glass...which is not the case for diatoms IME.

Re: Algae Issues

Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:44 pm

DJRansome wrote:I'd wait yes. I don't find BN eat much algae other than what is on the glass...which is not the case for diatoms IME.


Yeah, there are one or two minor spots on the glass but I can easily clean those with a towel. It's mainly on the rocks and THAT is impossible because I have to take them out and scrub them and even then I still feel like I haven't gotten it all!

Re: Algae Issues

Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:21 am

Get yourself a pleco, snails will mess up your tank and if you can afford one a
24 w UV Sterilizer Like a Green machine model.

Re: Algae Issues

Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:29 am

UV only solves green water, not algae growing on rocks or glass.
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