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Diatom Algae

Discussion in 'Algae' started by EmilyD, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. EmilyD

    EmilyD New Member

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    I have the Diatom Algae problem in my new tank. I planted it 3 weeks ago. I'm only giving 12 hours of sun per light and my water levels are great (tested yesterday). I want to get snails to combat the Algae but I don't necessarily want my aquascape to be overcome by them; which I know is inevitable. Any other suggestions? I did my 1st 20% water change and plan to do it regularly. I would love to get a Pleco but I am quite reserved about my fish choices because I don't want my aquascape destroyed. Any advice would by greatly appreciated!! :bling:
    2 Coryduras, 3 Cardinal Tetras, 4 Congo Tetras, 3 Rainbow Fish.
     

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  2. EmilyD

    EmilyD New Member

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    I forgot to mention that it is a 55 gallon tank
     
  3. randy0319

    randy0319 Aspiring Aquascaper

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    nerite snails might help, and keep up the water changes. Do you have CO2?
     
  4. EmilyD

    EmilyD New Member

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    No CO2 setup.. lots of aeration and a 350 gal/hr filter.. snails I shall try!
     
  5. GR1KTR

    GR1KTR Aspiring Aquascaper

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    It is normal to get diatom algae in the first little while after setting up a new tank. IME it takes a little while for the plants to become established, water chemistry to settle etc which can lead to diatom algae.

    In the past I have aimed to reduce the amount of diatom by lowering the hours of light over the tank to around 10hrs and introduced ottos (they love diatom!).

    Are you using any ferts? What plants? What lighting?
     
  6. EmilyD

    EmilyD New Member

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    36" deluxe fluorescent aquarium reflector. 120 volt. 38 watt. 60hz. A thick layer of fluorite red under some pea gravel.. not sure what kind of plants they are.. swords, banana plants, can you tell from my picture? I bought a multi-pack from a well rated seller. They all seem healthy and many and a lit of growth. I was running the light for about 12 hours a day but I think that may be excessive from what I've read? Fighting the damn Ich right now. I'm doing everything and one researched and learned so much yet this deal is happening. Today was the 1st day of treatment. I'm trusting the lfs a lot. I research A LOT on my own, though. I am contemplating shrimp, snails, and so on. What do you suggest? Thank you so very much for your time!!
     
  7. GR1KTR

    GR1KTR Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I can only see your profile pic.. unfortunately it is too small for me to ID plants.

    So on a 55g this is <1WPG meaning that this is a low-light setup.

    I wouldn't say that this is excessive at all. Many run their lights 12-14 hours per day. On my low light/low tech I run lights for 10 hours per day. I find that diatoms are the first algae to show up when I increase this duration, and have resigned to the fact that 10 hours will have to do. I have also added Siamese Algae Eaters, but they are not too keen on diatoms IME.

    Some suggest running lights for two periods per day, say 6 hours in the morning with a two hour break, then 4 hours at night or whatever. It is claimed that this is a major deterrent for algae also, though I have never tried.

    It sounds like something isn't right.. have you increased water changes? Perhaps a 50% WC each week may help. You may have unknowingly introduced an infected fish.. what medication are you using?
     
  8. GR1KTR

    GR1KTR Aspiring Aquascaper

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    Also - can you describe your filtration setup? How long has this tank been established? Is it possible that your filter may need some general maintenance? What water testing are you doing?
     
  9. EmilyD

    EmilyD New Member

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    The filter is a overflow. It has two sides and I have carbon filters in them (which I've removed during the Ick treatment). Only my Rainbow fish have the Ick. I've learned a big lesson; all future fish shall be quarantined for a very long time! I have not vacuumed my tank because it is heavily planted. (I added you as a friend so hopefully you can see my pictures now) I added aquarium salt the first day of treatment as I was directed by my lfs. Today is the 3rd day of the Ick treatment.
    I have read so much about Ick and treatments and so on. I honestly don't know what to do. I saw a trumpet snail on some rocks (must have ridden in on a plant?), I'm assuming any snails I have will die after the Ick treatment )-:
    I have the master water testing kit, it tests ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, and pH.
    Thank You for your help!!
    -Emily
     
  10. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    I would suggest not running your light more than 10 hours a day. Plants do not need more than that. This will help with the diatoms. They should eventually go away once things balance out. In the meantime you can use various things to eat it, shrimp, ottos, nerite snails.

    Regarding the ich. Chemical treatments are not as good as a cycle of heat. Set the temp to 86 F for 2 weeks. Do regular water changes and all should be fine. You do not need to vacuum the gravel. The heat prevents the parasite from completing its life cycle and dies instead. This is easier on all critters involved. Copper left behind from treatments can be bad for shrimp, so if you plan on having some avoid the chemical treatments. They are also stressful to fish. I cannot stress enough how effective the heat treatment is. Companies don't make money by telling you to turn up your heater, they make money by selling you chemicals, stores too, so you don't get told about this safer and easier alternative.
     
  11. EmilyD

    EmilyD New Member

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    Thank you!! Now how to I save my City that is 1/2 dead from the evil chemicals? :'(
     
  12. EmilyD

    EmilyD New Member

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    Cory... Not city
     
  13. GR1KTR

    GR1KTR Aspiring Aquascaper

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    I saw your pics EmilyD - great start! Be sure to post more pics soon!

    It is hard to tell from the photos what plants those are exactly.. they look like stem plants but I just can't tell.. sorry!
     
  14. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    water changes and activated carbon will remove any active chemicals.
     
  15. EmilyD

    EmilyD New Member

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    Thanks for the help! The LFS says the chemicals are safer for the fish than heat, I don't know what to do. The jfk is almost gone but I want it completely gone and ill be quarantining everything in the future... I still want to use heat?? 2corys 4congo Tetras 1cardinal tetra 1 albino bristlenose and 3 rainbowfish
     
  16. EmilyD

    EmilyD New Member

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    *sorry, typing from phone " jfk" is supposed to be "ick"
     
  17. tardis

    tardis New Member

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    im with randy and Shadowmac on this one. those two are right on. i work at my local lfs as a manager of sorts and we turn as many people away from chemicals as possible. we are a specialty store and deal in exotics and rare hard to find critters and we pride ourselves on not taking advantage of someone and trying to sell them a cure all but rather offer advise and experience. many of the chemicals offered will wipe out inverts and "burn" your plants. and they are flat out not good for your fish. crank the heat up and stay on top of your water changes.
     
  18. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Moderator Staff Member

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    if given the option...and you were sick...would you rather sit outside in 90 deg heat or have chemotherapy? What sounds harder on your body?

    Chemicals like this kill via toxicity. toxic to ich... toxic to fish, the difference is the ich dies at lower levels so it doesn't poison the fish enough to kill them. It is still bad and given the choice, I choose the heat. But it is your tank.
     
  19. EmilyD

    EmilyD New Member

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    I'm doing daily water changes. The ick appears to be gone .. some of my plants are misguided and brownish at the bottoms.. it works its way up thiem.
     
  20. GR1KTR

    GR1KTR Aspiring Aquascaper

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    What water testing are you doing at the moment, Emily? Can you post some results for us?

    The plants may be brown at the bottoms due to entrenched growth that occurs at times in low-light tanks, or it could be something else. With some stem plants in particular it is important to trim them pretty regularly to keep them bushy and colourful from top to bottom. In my low light I trim hygro polysperma every 3 weeks or so to ensure that they don't get brown leaves towards the substrate. Stem plants can block out their own light, leaving too little amount of light for the lower leaves.
     

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