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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My Mbuna tank is a few months old and has been battling diatoms for almost the whole time. It's my first time with cichlids and I don't remember ever having those in my planted tanks.

I've tried decreasing the lights and using carbon and it worked, but as soon as I turn on the lights again they reappear. And I don't like using carbon for more than a little while. I've also read it's not good for cichlids.

I'm trying to find consistent solutions on the web but it seems every source has a different way of doing it. Some say decrease the lights and others, increase it.

My substrate is Aragonite and the tank is full of PH buffering rocks, if that males a difference.

Help !
 

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What seems to always work is wait it out. It usually disappears on it's own after the first year.
 

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I dealt with diatoms for a while for a new tank a few months ago. First I tried just cleaning the glass, that didn't work. Then I did gobs of research. Ended up taking out and cleaning literally everything, including the substrate and insides of the filter boses. I also added 2 wave makers to get water movement. That seemed to basically solve the problem as I've not seen any more for a few months now. From my understanding, diatoms like standing water and struggle to plant themselves (and therfore grow) in moving water.
 

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Be careful when you clean everything. The beneficial bacteria/organisms live on surfaces as well and you can deplete your biofilter enough to create a mini cycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
AndrewR said:
I dealt with diatoms for a while for a new tank a few months ago. First I tried just cleaning the glass, that didn't work. Then I did gobs of research. Ended up taking out and cleaning literally everything, including the substrate and insides of the filter boses. I also added 2 wave makers to get water movement. That seemed to basically solve the problem as I've not seen any more for a few months now. From my understanding, diatoms like standing water and struggle to plant themselves (and therfore grow) in moving water.
I just changed my filter so the hoses are brand new and the filter is sparking clean. I do vacuum the substrate regularly, and the glass. I have a power head, a Marineland quick filter used as a venturi and the FX4 is agitating the water also. Lots of water movement.

I might take out and clean all the rocks, but 100 lbs of it is a big job, and would be stressful to the fish. I have put Phosguard in my Maxijet and in the new filter also. So far it's not helping. I'm still watching the situation, hoping it resolves by itself. I believe the rocks are leaching silicate so I guess there isn't much I can do about that...

 

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Idech said:
I believe the rocks are leaching silicate so I guess there isn't much I can do about that...
Agree silica is the cause but most likely coming from the substrate.
 

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I am also using phosguard as I have 4 ppm of phosphate in my tap water. I used recommended amount and it dropped to 2ppm so doubled amount and I have noticed massive reduction in diatoms. Haven't tested again since Sunday but maybe you need to use more phosguard if silicates or phosphates are high.
 

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It is also possible that the brown "algae" was really algae that thrives when phosphates are in the water.

Phosguard does not reduce silica, correct?
 

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Huh. I would be interested in seeing test results to confirm. Have you ever tried testing for silica?
 

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To be honest I haven't tested for silicates. With phosphates being high and I knew I would be using phosguard which also removes silicates I didn't think to test for silicates also. I maybe should of out of curiosity but could be too late now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Billy-the-fish said:
I am also using phosguard as I have 4 ppm of phosphate in my tap water. I used recommended amount and it dropped to 2ppm so doubled amount and I have noticed massive reduction in diatoms. Haven't tested again since Sunday but maybe you need to use more phosguard if silicates or phosphates are high.
Maybe I'll try that. I went with what it said on the bottle or in a video, I can't remember. It said that small quantities with frequent replacement are better than large quantities.

DJRansome if it was the aragonite, I would think I would have had problems with diatoms in my other tank, since 2/3 of the substrate came from that tank that had been running 18 months. I only added 1 new 20 lbs bag. Or 2 ? Not sure. Anyhow, my other tank never had diatoms until I switched to cichlids and added rocks.
 

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I always have diatoms on new tanks whether PFS or aragonite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
DJRansome said:
I always have diatoms on new tanks whether PFS or aragonite.
I just realized there was no aragonite in my previous tank...

What is PFS ? How long before the diatoms die down ?
 

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Pool filter sand. Straight silica. Could be 12 months...it usually does not start for the first couple of months.
 
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