Question on Seachem Phosguard

brookem

So I've been dealing with a diatom problem for a little longer than I anticipated and I watched this video saying that phosguard works great with this issue. But I'm just not sure If i'd be eligible to use it? Does this product only work well with canister filters (I'm a beginner and I have literally no idea how canister filters work I kinda just assumed the guy in the video planned on placing his phosguard in a canister filter) or can I place it in my HOB filter too?
 

MacZ

Diatoms are connected to silica, not to phosphates. Very popular misconception.
Do you even know your phosphate and silica levels? What else have you tried?

Also, if your tank is running less than a year and/or not very densely planted diatoms are completely normal and won't go away by just removing something from the water. In case of a new-ish tank they usually go away by themselves.
 

brookem

No I don’t own a test to measure those things i’m a huge beginner. I kinda just watched a video of a man saying that phosguard works great for eliminating diatoms and I was wondering if I should give it a try. But yes I only started my tank in April and it’s not heavily stocked with plants. I haven’t really tried any other methods, I’d hate to spend money on something I don’t know is gonna work. The only thing that had helped it a little is seachem flourish but I didn’t even buy that product for the use of getting rid of diatoms.
 

MacZ

No I don’t own a test to measure those things i’m a huge beginner. I kinda just watched a video of a man saying that phosguard works great for eliminating diatoms and I was wondering if I should give it a try.
Then this video is a disguised advertisement. I wouldn't give it too much attention. Whenever aquarium youtubers recommend a certain product as a fix in this fashion you can ignore it.

But yes I only started my tank in April and it’s not heavily stocked with plants. I haven’t really tried any other methods, I’d hate to spend money on something I don’t know is gonna work.
Then my recommendation is: Get more plants and otherwise let the tank just do its thing. Usually the diatom-phase happens between the first and eighths months of a new tank.
Fast growing plants are best for your purpose.

The only thing that had helped it a little is seachem flourish but I didn’t even buy that product for the use of getting rid of diatoms.
Yeah, means you gave your plants a push so they can better outcompete the algae. But that's all. That stuff is nothing but a micronutrient fertilizer. Do not change the dosage before you get more plants.
 

brookem

This helped me A LOT, thank you so much!
 

SparkyJones

Yes as MacZ said, I get Diatom blooms from set up at some point in the first 6 months, and I get them when I have a drastic shift in bioload. Like raising fry in a growout and having like 100 1" fish, then moving them, to a bigger tank and moving in like 2x 4" fish, there's a big shift in everything when something that drastic happens, decay bacteria dies off, nitrifying bacteria dies off, diatoms make a run for it and die off also as it all adjusts and down sizes for the new bioload that is much smaller than it was.

From my experience, do your regular water changes to keep nitrates low and the water "fresh" for your fish, and the diatoms will do their thing, reach maximum for the resource they are exploiting, and then die off and stabilize to normal numbers and the tank will clear up. Just don't get too crazy, wipe off the front glass, or plants if you like flip over hard surfaces if you like and in time it will all balance out and the water will go really clear again. Getting crazy and washing everything all the time trying to fight it, will just feed the diatoms new material and they won't get to max population, and make it last longer it will never hit the critical mass where the die off occurs as they exhaust the resource that made them bloom.

Diatoms reproduce every 15 minutes, 96x a day. So in a days time, and starting just one, it is going to be like 50,000 or so diatoms, (just guessing, don't maths me!) and by a month into the millions upon millions upon millions and ready to collapse because it's a tank and not a lake or an ocean, Fighting them won't work, but they will reproduce themselves to a point where they exhaust the resource they are exploiting and then it's a very minimal colony down in the substrate you'll never see unless you make a drastic change again and it needs to re-balance. Diatoms become Diatomaceous Earth, The silica fossils of dead diatoms. all very natural for diatoms to balance out water anywhere on the planet. I think I read diatoms are responsible for like 60% of all the oxygen produced annually on this planet.
 

brookem

Oh my god! Thank you so much for that diatoms lesson! That was beyond helpful!! I learn something new everyday on this website I love it
 

SparkyJones

Oh my god! Thank you so much for that diatoms lesson! That was beyond helpful!! I learn something new everyday on this website I love it
Glad you found it useful. :)

People sell things to fix anything and everything, and a lot of the time, they don't need a fix and will fix itself given the right treatment and a little patience. Diatoms are one of those things. Do what you feel you have to to keep it nice for the fish and viewing but accept it won't be perfect for a few weeks to a month or so, and try to be minimally invasive with cleaning. The diatoms cloud the water but don't hurt the fish at all, and in time they will keep multiplying, exhaust the resource they are exploiting to bloom, and then die off and the water will go clear again, and there will be a fine silt settled into your substrate of diatomaceous earth that won't hurt anything either if it were left there, where the silica has been locked up in the fossils of the dead diatoms instead of microparticles in your water chemistry. It's got to balance out is all, and you don't need Phosguard or Diatomaway or other whatever products people swear to, just not stress it, and a little patience is all it takes.

I'd suspect any benefit from any product to clear diatoms, was probably coincidental and a natural die off, and totally unrelated to the use of any product or "fix".

Most everything can be solved by keeping nitrates low, the waste from building up in an aquarium, and the right temperatures for the animals being kept... and of course patience. The one thing I learned with fish keeping most important of all... Patience. hahahaha. Best of luck to you!
 

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