Cleanup crew for diatoms in a 15 gallon tank? Question 

  • Thread starter

lea

Well Known Member
Messages
1,161
Reaction score
25
Points
133
Experience
4 years
Hi all

I'm having a bit of an issue with my new tank and brown algae (i assume diatoms). I had small amounts in my 10 gallon (mainly on old dying leaves which i would then remove) and after moving everything (subtrate, plants, decor, fish, filter, the works) to the new 15 gallon I've seen a mild increase with the amount developing.

I got a nice new plant (a ludwigia) to help compete for nutrients (still all reading normal, i got an instant cycle after transferring everything from the old tank it seems ), and upped water changes from 1x 25% change per week to 2x25% changes per week to help also. I am also very careful about overfeeding.

After much reading, i suspect the cause could be the new tank itself as i have read that the sillica can leech from new tank glass during the first month or so supplying diatoms with lots of the stuff to grow. If so, the info i've read suggest this will settle down in due time. I do have low light (20watt fluorescent bulb) which benefits diatom growth, but i'd rather not increase the light as then i'd probably get green algae (which i've never had a problem with and i want to keep it that way)!

Still, i'd like an algae eater for the tank to help keep on top of this. My tank is as stocked as i'd like and i rather not add any more fish (or shrimp), but i'm thinking a snail may be helpful?

Can anyone recommend a good snail to clean this up without destroying my plants? I hear trumpet and nerite snails are great, but so far locally i can only find mystery and ramshorn snails.

I've heard different opinions on mystery snails eating algae, but would go with 1 of them if anyone can let me know if they are indeed good at removing diatoms (i'm sure they'd head for the algae as my corys vac up any left over food at the bottom). I'm sure a few the ramshorn would take care of it, but i don't want a population explosion in the tank (or them eating my plants)!

Any suggestions would be great!!!
 

Jaysee

Fishlore Legend
Messages
17,320
Reaction score
249
Points
298
Experience
5 to 10 years
Diatoms are common in new tanks, and will often go away on their own. There are others who know more about snails...
 

Elodea

Well Known Member
Messages
2,413
Reaction score
51
Points
143
Experience
4 years
About the snails, nerite snails always work the best. Mine polished off all the diatoms in my tank at an incredible rate. Although it may be difficult to find them, I'm sure many websites that ship internationally carry them. Make sure to only buy the fresh/brackish water species, which include, but are not restricted to, Olive Nerite Snails, Zebra Nerite Snails, Tiger/Ruby/Tracked Nerite Snails, and Horned/Devil Nerite Snails. The first three are all variations of the species (Neritina natalensis), whilst the latter's scientific name is Clithona corona. Other species, like the sun nerite snail (similar to horned nerite) can also be found time to time.

Otherwise, mystery snails and Malaysian Trumpet Snails (MTS) are know to eat algae, although they are certainly not as effective as the nerite snail. Normally, if nerites are not accessible, leave the diatoms on their own accord. They will go through a process similar to exponential growth, where the population and amount will skyrocket, then, a lack of nutrients will slowly cause the algae to die down and go away on its own accord. Also, diatoms are a sign of inadequate lighting, so upgrading your tank lights can benefit both the tank (by getting rid of the algae) and the plants simultaneously.
 
  • Thread starter

lea

Well Known Member
Messages
1,161
Reaction score
25
Points
133
Experience
4 years
Thanks for the great input. I might leave it for a few weeks to see if the growth peaks and then goes away of its own accord, but if not i might increase the light a bit (however my plants are all low light variety and grow well so far, plus the tank is in our baby's room and i don't want anything too bright ).

If it persists i'll seek out the nerite snails (assuming i can get them into Australia!) rather than upping the bioload with other less effective snails. The pics i've seen online are beautiful, esp the zebra and horned nerites, and they don't get anywhere near as big as the mystery snails either.

Thanks again!
 
Toggle Sidebar

New Threads

Similar Threads

Aquarium Calculator

Aquarium Photo Contests

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media





Top Bottom