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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know if this is the right section for this topic, but didn't know where else to put it. I have a 75 gallon tank with an aquaclear 110 (w/sponge, zeo-carb and biomax) and an eheim 2217 (mech, course foam pad, substrat pro bio media, polishing pad and carbon pad). The tank has pool filter sand and is stocked with 1 juvenile blue acara, 2 juvenile bolivian rams, 1 white skirt tetra, 2 black widow tetras, and a nerite snail. I have 4 more bolivian rams and a juvenile severum to add eventually, but don't want to add until I have everything under control in the tank. I had a huge nitrite spike 2 weeks ago, which I think was caused by the fact that my tank was finally cycling and I had also lost a fish that morning, but didn't find it until later on in the day. The tank is now at ammonia 0-0.25, nitrites 0, nitrates 5. I am having a huge problem with diatoms in the tank. I keep scrubbing them off the glass and cleaning the decor because it is out of control and frankly unattractive (this tank is in the living room). They won't stop coming back and I can't seem to figure out why. I know they thrive in lower lighting, but my tank has LED lights on from 7:30 AM to 10:30 PM. Also, not from the water or substrate because all of my other tanks don't have any diatoms. Someone said it could be caused from zeolites which I believe is in the zeo-carb I use in the aquaclear. My only question would be why now? I've had the tank running for well over 3 months now. Does anyone have any advice or solutions to this?
 

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You are experiencing 'new tank syndrome'. And, despite the fact that your aquarium has been up & running for three months - the "huge nitrite spike" of 2 weeks ago informs that the tank is newly established.
And yes, Your aquarium gets a 'vote' in these things as well. :roll:
So, this 75 gallon tank has no live aquatic plants in it, correct? If so, the aquarium lights are really only there for your enjoyment of the tank. The fish would probably prefer darker conditions anyway, and the lights are not needed to keep the plants alive.
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So, you've got diatoms. This is unfortunately something you may be dealing with for up to, possibly over a year.
Yep.
Turning the lights off in the aquarium for most of the day, will help to control Diatoms a bit. Those little things are growing with the silica that is available in the water of the tank. In this case your decorative rocks, and most especially the substrate are a rich source of that mineral they need. The Diatoms WILL slowly dissipate - most notably when the sand substrate grains have been (mostly) encased in bio-slime (beneficial bacteria).
NOTE: Thoroughly sifting and stirring up a sand substrate throughout the tank, can occasionally cause a minor Diatom outbreak even in well-established aquariums.
- The Zeolite is definitely providing silica to the water of your tank. Used primarily in absorbing ammonia in newly established tanks, I'm not much of a fan of leaving that media in filtration.
- Activated Carbon has been identified as a known causal agent in Hole In The Head (HITH) disease for Cichlids. Of that, I am Definitely NOT a fan! Because of that, I advocate use of Activated Carbon in filter media ONLY to remove medications from the aquarium.
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The Diatoms you are experiencing now are certainly annoying, but are natural and will eventually dissipate over time. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Auballagh said:
You are experiencing 'new tank syndrome'. And, despite the fact that your aquarium has been up & running for three months - the "huge nitrite spike" of 2 weeks ago informs that the tank is newly established.
And yes, Your aquarium gets a 'vote' in these things as well. :roll:
So, this 75 gallon tank has no live aquatic plants in it, correct? If so, the aquarium lights are really only there for your enjoyment of the tank. The fish would probably prefer darker conditions anyway, and the lights are not needed to keep the plants alive.
-
So, you've got diatoms. This is unfortunately something you may be dealing with for up to, possibly over a year.
Yep.
Turning the lights off in the aquarium for most of the day, will help to control Diatoms a bit. Those little things are growing with the silica that is available in the water of the tank. In this case your decorative rocks, and most especially the substrate are a rich source of that mineral they need. The Diatoms WILL slowly dissipate - most notably when the sand substrate grains have been (mostly) encased in bio-slime (beneficial bacteria).
NOTE: Thoroughly sifting and stirring up a sand substrate throughout the tank, can occasionally cause a minor Diatom outbreak even in well-established aquariums.
- The Zeolite is definitely providing silica to the water of your tank. Used primarily in absorbing ammonia in newly established tanks, I'm not much of a fan of leaving that media in filtration.
- Activated Carbon has been identified as a known causal agent in Hole In The Head (HITH) disease for Cichlids. Of that, I am Definitely NOT a fan! Because of that, I advocate use of Activated Carbon in filter media ONLY to remove medications from the aquarium.
-
The Diatoms you are experiencing now are certainly annoying, but are natural and will eventually dissipate over time. :)
Do you recommend anything to add to the aquaclear filter besides the sponge and biomax? There is a huge gap now. Should I double up on biomax, add some filter floss, etc.? I definitely want to remove the zeo-carb. It was only placed in the filter because I removed the carbon the filter came with to treat tank for ich (I jumped the gun and added a fish to early into quarantine). I guess i'll remove the carbon pad in my canister filter too. Don't want to risk losing any of my fish to HITH, I'm way to attached to them at this point and I would be devastated.
I just find it odd that none of my other tanks are having this issue. I had a 10 and 20 gallon tank with the same sand (from the same bag) with no issues whatsoever and they also had artificial decor. I literally bought a mass quantity of decor for all tanks so they are all the same too. The only difference between the tanks is the filter media. I would like to add a few more nerite snails to the tank, but I planned on doing that before the nitrite spike and diatoms. The little guy is thriving right now lol. I wonder if it is a combination of the zeo-carb and the nitrite spike. I did 20 gallon water changes for over a week and used a siphon to vacuum up waste, which moved around the substrate a lot. I did also notice that there is a huge accumulation of diatoms right underneath the output of the aquaclear on the left side, but not on the right where my canister filter is. I'm guessing that it is useless at this point to continue scrubbing the diatoms off everything every other day lol.
It's just frustrating because I just got 4 more bolivian rams in the mail and I have a fast growing severum that I am dying to put into the 75 gallon. I don't want to do that until everything is situated though. Plus, I'm still worried that my severum is going to go after my acara again like last time. I've been putting off moving the severum back into the 75 gallon for way too long.
 

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Okay then....
you've got a lot to unpack in that post! :)
- Aquaclear Filtration Media: I'm personally kind of skeptical about the 'Bio-Max' stuff in the mesh bag. And yes that ceramic-based stuff does look pretty good, so in the past I have just added over to existing Matrix rock media in canister filters or my sump. For my own Aquaclear filter media I've just doubled up on the media sponges and placed a foam pre-filter on the intake. It's simple, easy to maintain and works just fine for me.
- Your Severum is suspect for keeping in this community tank. You've got some really pretty easy-going Cichlids with the Blue Acara you have now and those incoming Bolivian Rams. Do you really want to place those peaceful little guys in with Senor' Budfy? And yes, by New World standards at least... Severums ARE a generally pretty peaceful species, but individual personalities can vary. And, if you have a dominant/aggressive Severum, he could really bring down the pain on those shyer Cichlid tank mates kept in there with him.
 

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Diatoms are very hard to get rid of, especially when it is fed by a huge amount of newly added rocks that contain silica feeding the them. I have the same problem you have. My beautiful white rocks are completely covered in a thick layer of brown diatoms.

I've tried less light, no light at all, more light. I thought carbon helped for a while but it's not something I want to have permanently in my tank. I've also tried phosguard. It's worked in my small tank perfectly but not on the 75 gallons, as the levels of silica are most likely off the charts in that tank. I am now trying to have a zen attitude and think nothing of it. I wipe it off the glass and lightly vacuum the substrate to keep it looking nice. I'm also trying to grow algae to compete with it. I'd rather have the rocks covered in green than brown. Plus, the cichlids will appreciate eating algae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Auballagh said:
Okay then....
you've got a lot to unpack in that post! :)
- Aquaclear Filtration Media: I'm personally kind of skeptical about the 'Bio-Max' stuff in the mesh bag. And yes that ceramic-based stuff does look pretty good, so in the past I have just added over to existing Matrix rock media in canister filters or my sump. For my own Aquaclear filter media I've just doubled up on the media sponges and placed a foam pre-filter on the intake. It's simple, easy to maintain and works just fine for me.
- Your Severum is suspect for keeping in this community tank. You've got some really pretty easy-going Cichlids with the Blue Acara you have now and those incoming Bolivian Rams. Do you really want to place those peaceful little guys in with Senor' Budfy? And yes, by New World standards at least... Severums ARE a generally pretty peaceful species, but individual personalities can vary. And, if you have a dominant/aggressive Severum, he could really bring down the pain on those shyer Cichlid tank mates kept in there with him.
So originally I had the severum in a 75 gallon by himself for a while, maybe 2-3 weeks. Then I tried adding the blue acara, which was a lot smaller than it is now. They were the only ones in the tank and I honestly think it was because he had got comfortable by himself and he got territorial. I gave it less than a day before I removed the severum and placed him in a smaller tank for now. I plan on trying again after all of the fish have been added and established and after I add more driftwood. My acara has gotten a lot more confident since then. If the severum doesn't work out, I'm not really sure what to do. He is the fish I am most attached to out of everything I own.
 

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Severums can do that. Personable and outgoing, there's some really good reasons why that New World Cichlid species is so popular in the hobby!
But as they say, "IT WAS ALL GOOD... UNTIL IT WASN'T"

https://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/vie ... 3&t=454529

The tale of the once-peaceful male Salvini in the community tank, turned 'serial killer, Mini Guapote', Trichromis salvini .... may help to inform. :?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Auballagh said:
Severums can do that. Personable and outgoing, there's some really good reasons why that New World Cichlid species is so popular in the hobby!
But as they say, "IT WAS ALL GOOD... UNTIL IT WASN'T"

https://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/vie ... 3&t=454529

The tale of the once-peaceful male Salvini in the community tank, turned 'serial killer, Mini Guapote', Trichromis salvini .... may help to inform. :?
Ugh I believe you answered another one of my posts about how I was told that a single roseline shark and 2 pearl gouramis would be a good fit for my severum lol. The girl told me that the acara would be too aggressive for the severum, which I think is hilarious looking back at it. I will have to see how it goes and I will be sure to add some more hiding spots for the smaller fish that the severum cannot get into. I have some small pvc pipes that I have previously used for quarantining my smaller fish that is way to small for the severum to squeeze into. I just don't know how to make them look for appealing lol. I hate to say it, but I would rather keep my severum in that tank than the other inhabitants if things don't work out, but I don't have an extra tank around to fit them all. If you could see the list of things that have caused me issues when I decided to start up this tank, you would be frustrated too. I had to deal with 2 brand new broken filters and 2 broken heaters, being sold tetras with mouth rot, being sold an acara with beginning stages of ich... the list keeps going. I'm starting to think I have bad luck.
 
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