Is Diatom-coated Christmas Java Moss Salvageable? Question

Discussion in 'Algae' started by Bikebookbread, Apr 6, 2019.

  1. BikebookbreadValued MemberMember

    First of all, I know what diatoms are.

    I have a low-tech Fluval Spec III tank for my betta. I understand new tank cycling (my tank is cycled), do API water testing at a minimum, once a week. I use ferts (NylocG Thrive), and Seachem Excel.

    Tank has a chunk of Fluval Mopani wood with 3 Anubias Nana Petite and Christmas moss. Crypt Wendtii is growing in the Fluval Fluorite Black. Couple of root tabs by the crypt. I keep one betta and two nerites.

    I've sorta controlled the diatoms on the crypt and anubias, but the Christmas moss, which used to be this gorgeous -- almost as tall as the waterline. It was lush and fast growing plant. Now it's coated with diatoms. There are a few shoots of new growth, but pretty sad.

    But most important, is the moss salvageable? I've tried rinsing it in aquarium water and patting it gently with paper towels... any other ideas? Or just take it out and replace with something else? (I've thought about breaking up Marimo Moss Balls (It've seen it done very beautiful and effectively.

    Sorry for the darkness of the second picture... it was for a "picture of your tank in the dark" challenge on Instagram.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019
  2. Zigi ZigWell Known MemberMember

    Try to clean your tank best is possible remove and trim all the infected leaves if you have to trim plant all down to roots is ok because longest the roots are healthy in couple weeks you will have new leaves .. Start using filtered water your tap water is most likely full with silicates some point when diatoms eats all silicates in water they have nothing left to do other than eat your nitrates witch your plants need to survive diatoms algae doesn’t care whether your aquarium has freshwater or saltwater – if your aquarium has a good source of the above nutrients then you are basically laying out a welcome mat for it as diatoms cover plants leaves there not able perform photosynthetic energy from light and die..

    Again If your tap water contains silicates start using filtered water, the key is also control your Nitrates between 5-10 not more it means regular water changes, You do that you will be able to control algae..

  3. BikebookbreadValued MemberMember

    THanks. Great detailed answer. Weird thing: my second betta tank (Fluval Spec V) went through a very short diatom stage - maybe a week or two. I did a bit of trimming and that was it. Then again, it was very heavily planted.

    Nitrates have always been between 0 and 5. I'll try to boost that number.

  4. Zigi ZigWell Known MemberMember

    Do you use Tap water
    If your Nitrates was always low there could be possible diatom using it as nutrition.. Do you use Tap water
  5. BikebookbreadValued MemberMember

    ZigiZig, I've always used tap water, and then conditioned it with Prime.

    And yes, Nitrates have always been low - between 0 and 5

    Would using water through a fridge water purifier be sufficient?
  6. BikebookbreadValued MemberMember

    ...and still wondering how to clean the moss, or if I should trash it and start over...
  7. Zigi ZigWell Known MemberMember

    Not sure what you mean by fridge water purifier but I would say no it has to be Reverse osmosis design for aquariums there is multiple types and stage you can get as for example some aquarist prefer harder water they would use 3 stage filter as me I use 5 stages because I want my water to be completely pure so yes there will be sufficient deference plus you will not need prime anymore .. I think you can rinse moss in water not in chlorine water of course
  8. BikebookbreadValued MemberMember

    Does anyone have an answer to my original question about the Christmas moss?
    1. Should I keep it as is, do what I can to take care of the diatoms?
    2. Try to clean it -- and if so -- is there a technique?
    3. Should I dump it and start over?
    Thank you.
  9. GiulWell Known MemberMember

    Yes you can salvage the Christmas moss, I would put it in a separate container and then treat it with 3% hydrogen peroxide. Just put a little bit in a syringe and then spray it directly on the moss. Then remove it from the container and put it back in the tank. Brown diatoms are common for new tanks, if you would like some algae cleaners then I would reccomend a couple Amano shrimp or just treat it with a little H2O2. Try doing 1/2 the moss one day and the other half the next. Dose thrive on the 3rd day and that’ll help it bounce back.

    I did this when I had black beard algae (which is much worse) and it helped a lot!
  10. BikebookbreadValued MemberMember

    Thank you! I had to deal with BBA in my other tank. I did peroxide soaks, and then just ended up cutting off leaves... and then pulling whole plants. I was so so so so sad. Now I'm hyper vigilant.

    I just wasn't sure how to get rid of the diatoms from moss.
  11. GiulWell Known MemberMember

    Same concept, some people will do 1ml of 3% per 10 gallons if you would like to treat directly in the tank, however I prefer to remove it. You can also kinda squish it around in the second container as the diatoms will kinda “wash” off. It sucks to lose plants, I almost lost an entire species of plants to BBA but using this method saved my tank. The brown diatoms aren’t as hard to get rid of. You can also use Seachem Excel for the same method, I used the Excel for the plants that I left inside the tank. Just make sure you spot treat the moss directly (put the solution directly on the moss in the second container or use a syringe to apply the chemical directly on the moss). This guarentees the best results
  12. BikebookbreadValued MemberMember

    I followed your instructions and am pleased. The moss has turned a much darker shade than the lush green it was before the diatom bloom, but I think I washed most of it off.

    Before and after pics:

    Change isn't radical, but it is better. believe me. The peroxide wash water was deep brown. Did it three times with Prime'd water in between and after. If it is healthy i'm sure it will start putting on those pretty lime green buds. It grows fast when it is healthy.

    Thanks again everyone.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2019