I got rid of my brown algae/diatoms!

Discussion in 'Algae' started by CindiL, Jul 6, 2015.

  1. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    Well, 95% of it anyways at this point.
    I was SO tired of it. I adjusted my light type and my light duration but it didn't help. I would remove the plants I could and clean it off. It would be back within a few days. then I finally read this article here on Fishlore:


    And thought, hmm, what the heck, I will get a phosphate test. My phosphates were high, I don't remember the exact number anymore but I have read you can start getting brown algae as low as .25 ot .50. I tested my tap water which was pretty high with them too so everytime I did a water change I was introducting more phosphates/silicates into my water. Diatoms cannot live without silicates.

    Going on this theory of removing phosphates and silicates I bought Seachems Phosguard which removes both phosphates and silicates and cleaned all my plants one more time. I started seeing the numbers drop within a few days and combined R/O into my water. My phosphate reading is now .05. My current R/O water has 0 though I have read you can't count on R/O for this because the silicates are small enough to get by the membrane after a short amount of time.

    Unfortunately you can't re-charge the phosguard but its worth it to me to keep buying it to have a beautiful tank again.

  2. Dom90 Fishlore VIP Member

    Glad to hear you got through this hurdle!

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum

  3. hampalong Well Known Member Member

    Phosphates may be in the water supply, but they're also another end product of protein breakdown by bacterial action. In an ordinary tank (one without "removers"), they are around a tenth of what the nitrates are, and are also, usually, diluted by water changes.

  4. Dom90 Fishlore VIP Member

    I've heard phosphates are also present in fish waste.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  5. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    If I didn't have them in my source water it probably wouldn't have been so much of an issue as I could've removed them with water changes.
  6. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    Thanks for the info CindiL.
    I'm sure this will help other members who have struggled with diatoms.
  7. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    I re-tested my tap water, it has a 1.10 phosphate reading.
    My R/O has 0 currently so I'll stick with that for awhile.
  8. AlyeskaGirl Fishlore VIP Member

    I would like to make something clear here. Phosphates can be zero in a non-planted tank, but it is a Macronutrient for plants and should not be removed if you have a planted tank.
  9. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    Not quite true :)
    Yes, plants need trace amounts of phosphates like what you get in Flourish comprehensive. Too much phosphates only make the algae over grow. I have about 30 plants and they all look fantastic now that the algae is off of them.
  10. AlyeskaGirl Fishlore VIP Member

    Phosphates do not cause algae. It is a myth. Diatoms isn't an algae.

    I dose KH2PO4 to maintain 3-5 ppm in my hightech tank. :)
  11. CindiL Fishlore Legend Member

    Perhaps in a high tech tank you can get away with that but not in a low tech tank like mine. Perhaps the two eco-systems cannot be compared? :;dk

    I have read article after article about algae using not only high levels of phosphates but also nitrates. It is not a myth that phosphates will encourage algae growth. Now in your tank with fast growing plants like high tech aquariums have, it is probable they will out compete with the algae.

    So for now anyways, the phosphate reducing materials have in fact stopped my diatom issue (I know diatoms are not technically identical to algae but everyone refers to them that way). They are a photosynthesizing single cell plant like form though. I didn't have an issue with other algae, in fact a little green algae wouldn't even bother me. I know diatoms cannot live without silica. The Phosguard also removes silicates. Which plays the larger role? I don't know ...I'm just happy they're gone.
  12. Lucy Moderator Moderator Member

    Last edited: Jul 26, 2015