Diatom Bloom aka Brown Algae need advice please

Tpane27

Member
My tank has been fully cycled for years. All the parameters are good. Stocking is good. I have been battling the brown algae or diatom bloom and it is winning. I clean everything that has it and do 50% WC weekly. I have the black caribsea eco complete subtrate. The bloom comes back within days and I am not sure what else to do. I have read its not harmful but its just ugly. please help!
 

Darthmoli

Member
Hello! Diatoms need silicate to grow, more exactly, silicon dioxide, since they construct their box-like cell walls from this substance. If you use tap water with high levels of silicate in your tank, diatoms have sufficient material to reproduce in a new tank. Or if you use some aquarium gravel that is made of silicate you will get these. I dont think caribsea eco complete has silicate in it so I doubt its your substrate. Could be your water if you are using tap water or some decorations or fake plants are usually silicate. Replacing them with live plants can help reduce diatom growth. Any algae eater would also make short work of diatoms. Amano shrimp or snails are good choices if you are short on space. You could also get filter media that specifically reduces your silicates but note they usually also reduce your phosphates which could be problematic if you ahve live plants already.
 

Donthemon

Member
Agree with above. I added phosguard and it helped for sure. I don’t have many live plants so not sure about that aspect
 
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Tpane27

Member
Donthemon said:
Agree with above. I added phosguard and it helped for sure. I don’t have many live plants so it sure about that aspect
I have live plants but at this point I would like to use it. If you dont mind me asking, what size tank do you have and how much phosguard did you add?
 
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Tpane27

Member
Darthmoli said:
Hello! Diatoms need silicate to grow, more exactly, silicon dioxide, since they construct their box-like cell walls from this substance. If you use tap water with high levels of silicate in your tank, diatoms have sufficient material to reproduce in a new tank. Or if you use some aquarium gravel that is made of silicate you will get these. I dont think caribsea eco complete has silicate in it so I doubt its your substrate. Could be your water if you are using tap water or some decorations or fake plants are usually silicate. Replacing them with live plants can help reduce diatom growth. Any algae eater would also make short work of diatoms. Amano shrimp or snails are good choices if you are short on space. You could also get filter media that specifically reduces your silicates but note they usually also reduce your phosphates which could be problematic if you ahve live plants already.
What are your experiences with phosguard?
 

Donthemon

Member
Tpane27 said:
I have live plants but at this point I would like to use it. If you dont mind me asking, what size tank do you have and how much phosguard did you add?
I have a 75 gallon and I added 100 ml in a mesh bag to my canister filter
 

Darthmoli

Member
Its best if we identify why you are getting silicates in your aquarium but if you want to use phosguard it definitely works and works well. you can always readd more phosphates to your water with a fert like seachem phoshorus but once your water goes through filter its gonna eat it up.

If you have live plants I wouldnt recommend using phosguard. Probably easier to get some Nerite snails or Ramshorn snails and let them go ham. Or a couple Amano shrimp and let them go ham while you attempt to figure out what is causing the silicates.

Has this always been happening since you first set up your tank? or is this a new development? If new when did it start? What changed around that time or slightly before? New fish food? new fish? New Media? Decorations? Heater? Did you move? Did you add a water softener to your house?
 
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Tpane27

Member
Darthmoli said:
Its best if we identify why you are getting silicates in your aquarium but if you want to use phosguard it definitely works and works well. you can always readd more phosphates to your water with a fert like seachem phoshorus but once your water goes through filter its gonna eat it up.

If you have live plants I wouldnt recommend using phosguard. Probably easier to get some Nerite snails or Ramshorn snails and let them go ham. Or a couple Amano shrimp and let them go ham while you attempt to figure out what is causing the silicates.

Has this always been happening since you first set up your tank? or is this a new development? If new when did it start? What changed around that time or slightly before? New fish food? new fish? New Media? Decorations? Heater? Did you move? Did you add a water softener to your house?
This started becoming a problem about a year ago. We moved into a new house in October and yes we have a water softener. Fish food has stayed the same and I have always used a heater. I have african dwarf frogs too and they might eat the snails and shrimp.
 
  • Thread Starter

Tpane27

Member
Donthemon said:
I have a 75 gallon and I added 100 ml in a mesh bag to my canister filter
What would you recommend for a 30 gallon? How long did it take til you noticed a difference?
 
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