Removing Diatoms

TallTree01

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Hi guys, in my 90 liter ( 62 x 37 x 37 cm ) I am having a persistent diatom growth. I scrub it off every week or so but it just grows back! I have 8 rummynose tetras, 2 flame tetras and 9 kuhli loaches in the tank, what can I do to stop the diatom growth?
I dose root tabs and seachem flourish every Sunday And change 10-20% of the water every Saturday. The lighting is on for about 10-12 hours a day but as I understand diatoms main cause is not light.
Would three otos eat my diatoms and do I have enough room for them?
 

sawickib

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Maybe try upping the amount of water you change to about 50% and add some nerite snails? They do make lots of pesky sesame seeds though and they make strange patterns on your glass with their teeth but you can scrub off that haha. The snails wont really fix the problem though, the extra water change amount may though. Is it possible you are adding to much nutrients as well?
 
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TallTree01

TallTree01

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I'm doing 1/2 - 3/4 the amount instructed on the bottle. :/
Even without dosing though there was still the same amount of problems.
Nerites aren't really an option as they're not allowed to be kept here.
 

Mamashack

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I was going to suggest nerites too - such a shame you can't get them! Is it only nerites or all snails as I've heard ramshorn snails are good too.
I'm sure I've heard that otos relish diatoms.
I've read that of phosphate and silicate levels are high, this encourages diatoms so access to these test kits might be useful apparently Seachem and Salfert have the silicate ones
Have also read that after about 6 months the diatoms start to disappear of their own accord altho they can reappear if there's some kind of upset in the tank that requires changing the maintenance routine.
Here's where I got the above info: http://badmanstropicalfish.com/articles/article85.html
 

AshleyNZ

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I've heard that leaving it for ages will help - as it goes away in it's own time, Don't know how true it is, though.
 

Byron

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I assume this is a planted tank since you are dosing fertilizers.  Are the plants healthy, growing well?  How long has this tank been set up?  Is the algae on the glass, or plant leaves, or everything?
 
This is not meant to be a silly question, but are you sure this is diatoms?  "Brown" algae is sometimes used by aquarists when referring to a form of brush algae, and that is a very different thing.  Does this brown algae come off easily with your fingers?
 
Byron.
 
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TallTree01

TallTree01

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The plants seem to be thriving, surprisingly to me :lol: . The algae is on the leaves, but mostly on the glass.
I'm fairly certain they are diatoms but I'm no algae expert.
It comes off easy when I try to manually scrub it with my finger. The problem is it keeps growing back.
 

Byron

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TallTree01 said:
The plants seem to be thriving, surprisingly to me
laugh.png
. The algae is on the leaves, but mostly on the glass.
I'm fairly certain they are diatoms but I'm no algae expert.
It comes off easy when I try to manually scrub it with my finger. The problem is it keeps growing back.
That sounds like diatoms then.  You didn't answer the question on how long the tank has been running, but I will second guess and mention that diatoms are frequent in new tanks during the first perhaps three months.  These usually disappear.  If the tank is established, then I would look for other causes, some of which have been mentioned by others in this thread.
 
I would increase the volume of your weekly water changes to half the tank.  This does impact algae growth.  You also mentioned otos initially, so I will say that yes, otos will devour diatoms, and yes you have space for three (which is minimum for otos as they are shoaling fish) provided you up your water changes and have plants (which I know you do).  Farlowella vitatta, Bristlenose pleco, and snails will also eat diatoms, to varying degrees.  Farlowella are super for this, like otos, but I wouldn't here, nor Bristlenose.  Snails would be slower and likely not sufficient to keep it under control.
 
Byron.
 
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TallTree01

TallTree01

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Thanks Byron, the tank has been set up since around march so still relatively new. I'll definitely up the waterchanges to 50% weekly then if it doesn't go away I'll get some otos.
 

Zikofski

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yea 50% wc will help, it should go away on its own strange as its only common for new setups, i.e. a new filter. so has your filter cycle been effected recently? increase in ammonia? did u disturb the substrate or add no fish recently or even a melting or plants dyeing back more than expected? a dead fish even? high silicates and high ammonia are the cause of diatoms. as i said common in new setups my newest tank has it but like i said its expected in a new setup
 
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TallTree01

TallTree01

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No spikes of anything recently Zik, everything had been running smoothly. I'm assuming my water is just high in silicates either from the substrate or the waTer. In either case there's not much I can do about it cept keep scrubbing.
 

Zikofski

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:( how oftern do you do wc? weekly or is it more or less frequen? keep on scrubbing hope it gets better soon
 
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TallTree01

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I was at the LFS today and I saw the healthiest little otos. I bought 3. I know I shouldn't have. But I did . Bye bye algae . :devil:
 

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