Phosguard In Planted Tank? Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by BettyRocker13, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. BettyRocker13

    BettyRocker13New MemberMember

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    I'll cut right to it. I have a diatom problem. Regular Water changes, Gravel vac and removing diatoms by hand are hardly putting a dent in it. I got phosguard after a little research and reading LOTS of reviews. Upon opening the 100ml bag I realize it will not fit in my HOB filter. (1.5 yr established 5 gal tank with Cascade 20) I asked some questions in a planted tank fb page and thus far the responses are suggesting the phosguard is useless and will kill my plants prompting an even worse algae bloom.

    I honestly don't know the root cause of the diatoms. I want to hear your experience with phosguard in planted tanks. I'm fed up with the diatoms and open to any suggestions that will end this diatom war. I just want a nice low tech planted tank

    The photo is relatively recent although that betta has passed and I currently have a cleaning crew of 6 ghost shrimp going to town in there
     

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  2. kallililly1973

    kallililly1973Fishlore VIPMember

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    Add an otocinclis or a nerite snail and your diatoms will be gone forever!
     
  3. Rye3434

    Rye3434Valued MemberMember

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    I've used phosguard to get rid of diatoms before.
     
  4. OP
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    BettyRocker13

    BettyRocker13New MemberMember

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    My tank is too small for otos. I wasn't opposed to them by any means until I found out they're happiest in bigger tanks with a group of at least 3. I had a few snails but they didn't put a dent in the diatoms either.

    Rye3434 did you have any negative side effects from phosguard in a planted tank?
     
  5. GlennO

    GlennOValued MemberMember

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    Have you tested the phosphate levels in your tap and tank water? I would want to know what levels I had before I decided to use a product like that. Also if your tap water doesn't contain any significant levels you can control it in your tank with water changes and/or reduced feeding. Btw an absence of phosphate can actually lead to algae growth at the expense of plant growth. Plants need phosphate.
     
  6. OP
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    BettyRocker13

    BettyRocker13New MemberMember

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    I don't currently have phosphate test kit. Right now I only have the API 5 in 1 strips, ammonia test kit, pH and high range pH test kits. I do a weekly dose of API Leaf zone and have Seachem Flourish tabs in the substrate. The flourish tabs package says it's .17% available phosphate.

    Which phosphate test kit would you recommend? I've read that increasing tank turnover rate helps too, I'm currently at 4x. Aqadvisor & Filter discription online said it was proper gph for my tank size
     
  7. GlennO

    GlennOValued MemberMember

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    4x sounds about right but you can’t over filter. My phosphate test kit is an Aussie brand (Aquasonic) I’ve never tried the API one but it should be fine along with any other major brand. Most algae problems are caused by nutrient imbalance relative to CO2 and light levels. If your tank is low tech planted and low light intensity and not on more than 8 hrs per day and you generally keep nitrates between 10-20ppm like most of us then phosphates are best kept at around 1-2ppm.
     
  8. jdhef

    jdhefModeratorModerator Member

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    Diatoms are not a true algae, but instead are silicon based. They thrive in new tanks due to the silicates in the silicon leeching into the water. Once the silicon stops leeching silicates, the food source will dry up and the diatoms will go away. Many people think that one way to get rid of diatoms is to limit light, like you would do with green algae, but diatoms actually thrive with less light. So you may want to leave your light on for a longer amount of time. But your pretty much just going to have to wait it out, or get a fish that like eating diatoms.
     
  9. Rye3434

    Rye3434Valued MemberMember

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    I didn't notice any side effects. I used it because it said it could remove silicates, which as jdhef says, are one of the main causes of diatoms.
     
  10. GlennO

    GlennOValued MemberMember

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    There shouldn't be an excess of silicates in a tank that has been established for 1.5 yrs. I guess it's possible if it's coming from the substrate or if there is silicic acid in the tap water.
     
  11. OP
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    BettyRocker13

    BettyRocker13New MemberMember

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    I rent and am on well water. I don't know much about Wells but I do know this one has not been properly maintained and is likely in rough shape.

    On a seemingly unrelated note I have one of those gravity fed water dishes for my dog and always have to wipe rust colored residue out if it once it's empty. Because we live in the land of red clay I just thought it was clay sediment. Now I'm wondering if possibly that's also diatoms :emoji_thinking:

    So phosguard will not hurt my plants as someone else mentioned elsewhere?
     
  12. GlennO

    GlennOValued MemberMember

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    If you extract all phosphates your plants will not be healthy in the long term. Phosphate removers are typically used in marine setups or sometimes in fish only freshwater tanks. You need to determine what’s causing your algae or diatom issues and I would start by running tests on your tank and source water.
     
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