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How do I get this to go away? Question

  1. zinnaerris

    zinnaerris Valued Member Member

    For the last coupleish weeks I have had this brown algea stuff showing up on my decor.
    Ammonia and nitrites are 0 and nitrates is at 10. Temp is 76.
    It all started a fewish weeks ago when our tap water all of a sudden had a huge ammount if nitrates in it. Was finally able to get that corrected(bought a water conditioner that detoxifies nitrates as well as ammnia and nitrites) but the tank had roughly 25 to 30ish nitrates for about 4 days... Thats when all of this stuff started showing up...
    It might just be a coincidence because all i can find is diatoms love silicates that new stuff in tanks will release wich is why new tanks always get them from all the new stuff all at once.
    Since it started we've done 50% water changes once a week and take the decor out and rub the stuff off in the old tank water.
    Now it's so so much worse. My fake tree stump is almost 3 times as bad as it was last week.
    We have an LED hood. We normally have the blue lights on for about 5 minutes before we turn on the white lights and keep the blue on with the white and then shut off the white and after 5 minutes or so shut off the blue.
    During the week the lights are on between 5:30am and 7am and in the evenin's 5pm to 9pm. On the weekends they stay on between 8 to 10 hours a day.
    The blue LEDs lights just went out a week ago so its just the white LEDs now.
    Anyone have any suggestions?

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  2. M

    Mamajin Fishlore VIP Member

    Diatoms are normal for a newly set up tank. It can take anywhere between 3 months to a year for it to go away on its own. If the tank is a well established tank and it suddenly appeared out of nowhere, check your tap water for phosphates.
     


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  3. OP
    OP
    zinnaerris

    zinnaerris Valued Member Member

    I've read that api makes a product that removes phosphates and silicates... Does it really make a huge difference?

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  4. M

    Mamajin Fishlore VIP Member

    It's a balancing act with water chemistry. If you take away too much phosphate you end up with other types of algae. The only things that work for me are two all natural products by Dr Tim called Waste Away and Re-Fresh. (You use one over a period of time, then followed by the other.)

    Is it a new tank, or a well established tank (more than a year old)?
     


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  5. OP
    OP
    zinnaerris

    zinnaerris Valued Member Member

    The tank has been set up for 3 months now.

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  6. e

    evan47 Valued Member Member

    you could try putting some ottos in the tank. they are lively little fish with a big appetite for brown diatoms.
    great fun to watch as they zip around the glass and also clean the brown stuff off leaves and ornaments too.
     
  7. ricmcc

    ricmcc Well Known Member Member

    I think that silicates are also an important food source food them, so the API product that you mention sounds worth looking into---on the other hand, given that most of my tanks are unplanted african cichlid tanks, I often think that I am the only person on earth who actually likes them, feeling that they give a tank a more finished look (plus some of my mbuna eat it).
    Or, the above could be a good rationalization to excuse my general laziness:)---rick
     
  8. M

    Mamajin Fishlore VIP Member


    Id just wait it out and stay on top of weekly tank maintenance. When you rub the diatoms off with your fingers, be sure you do so outside of the tank (ie; remove ornaments and clean them off in a bucket of old tank water). Rubbing diatoms off inside the tank from ornaments only allows the diatoms to settle elsewhere in the tank.

    Once your tank stabilizes and you have a more mature nitrogen cycle, the diatoms should go away. ALso check to ensure your fish are getting a long enough photo period. Diatoms thrive in low lighting conditions. In order to have a healthy circadian rhythm make sure the tank has the proper photo period. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circadian_rhythm#Importance_in_animals
     
  9. OP
    OP
    zinnaerris

    zinnaerris Valued Member Member

    During the week nobody is home for roughly 12 hours. I think we will keep the lights on all day while we are gone until we can afford to get a timer.
    Thank you so much for all of the information.

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  10. OP
    OP
    zinnaerris

    zinnaerris Valued Member Member

    So i noticed yesterday its getting much much worse very very quickly. I have really tall fake plants they float at the top of the water.. The petals on the top part of the plant is completely covered in this stuff.
    Will it throw off my tanks balance if i do a water change a couple days after i do one to scrub my plants clean? I have been cleaning off the plants in the old water i suck out but it comes back even faster. I have a new toithbrush never used and i plan on putting clean conditioned water in a bucket and clean the plants in that.
    I dont mind a little bit because i agree it adds a little something to the tank but this is really bad.

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  11. M

    Mamajin Fishlore VIP Member

    Water changes are always a good thing and should never throw off the balance of the tank. As long as you aren't rinsing the filter media in untreated tap water, it'll be just fine.

    Hopefully you will be able to get a timer soon... some algae thrive in low lighting, and some thrive with too much lighting. A timer is a must to help keep things balanced. But keep in mind that it will take some time before the Diatoms completely go away.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    zinnaerris

    zinnaerris Valued Member Member

    We live in a time where people expect instand results. Lol im ok with battling it for a while. I get paid friday so i should be abke to afford to get a time this weekend. Is there one that you would recommend?
    I have to clean the filter this weekend as well but i am very careful with the sponge. Don't want to kill all my hard work with getting the bacteria in there.

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  13. OP
    OP
    zinnaerris

    zinnaerris Valued Member Member

    Actually I just had an idea... Can I scrub the flake decor with rrgular tap water and then put everything in a bucket of conditioned water for a few and put it back in the tank?

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  14. jdhef

    jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    I just scrub stuff with tap water and put it right back into the tank.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    zinnaerris

    zinnaerris Valued Member Member

    Well thats fantastic! I know what I'm doing tomorrow. Lol

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  16. delta5

    delta5 Well Known Member Member

    In regards to a timer, Lowes has a cheap one, under 10 dollars, that has 2 outlets and lets you adjust on/off by 30m intervals.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    zinnaerris

    zinnaerris Valued Member Member

    Oh i never thought about home depot. I guess when I think of anything I need for my aquariums I think of a pet store of some sort. Lol

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  18. g

    guthrieb08 Valued Member Member

    I think petco has one in the reptile department that runs about $15, has a day and night outlet. can set by 30 min increments as well. i battled algae hard until i get mine on a timer. run 10 hrs a day now and my algae is almost not existent at least to the naked eye. my nerite snails and ottos do most of the work im sure.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    zinnaerris

    zinnaerris Valued Member Member

    Awesome. Thank you! I may go the cheaper route and go to home depot. As long as they all work the same I'd like to be able to afford one for both aquairums.

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  20. Mortisha

    Mortisha Valued Member Member

    I have been fighting this stuff for what seems like forever. It gets on everything! I got 6 Nerite snails and they keep my glass pristine. The best thing about Nerite snails they don't/can't breed in freshwater. The plants they can't get on I take them out and soak in bleach and water till clean then fill bucket back up with clean water add Prime and soak some more. I do the clean water and Prime 2x. I used to do the toothbrush method but that became a pain cause I have to do this at least once a month.