Diatoms Problems

Discussion in 'Algae' started by Voo, 14 Dec 2008.

  1. Voo

    Voo Member

    Messages:
    185
    Location:
    Lincs
    Hi Guys,

    Ever since changing my substrate to Ada Amazonia at the start of September this year i have been battling with Diatoms, so i thought i'd ask for your opinions as it's becoming too much now.

    My poor pogostemon helfri is covered in it at the end of each week, and the substrate amongst it. Cleaning it is a pain as the plants aren't the easiest to clean - it's a fully planted tank.

    My tank stats are:
    76L
    Lighting:3x 24w T5 12 hrs a day.
    Substrate: Ada Amazonia
    Filter: Tetratec EX700, 2 foams removed, purigen added
    600l/h powerhead for extra movement

    Dosing EI. NPK and Trace 3x a week on alternate days.
    34.4g kno3 in 500ml, 15ml
    9.6g po4 in 500ml, 20ml
    6g trace in 500ml, 10ml

    PO4 was meant to be dosed at 15ml each time, but i started getting green spot algae. That went, but it's come back again even with 20ml 3x a week.

    CO2 is pressurised, running around 2-3 bps (too fast to be counting!!). Diffused through a rinox 1000 into the filter inlet.

    So far i've tried:

    Minimising the light - it used to be 4x 24w, using a siesta. The 3x 24W i've taken off a 52l tank which had no problems with algae with the same light period.

    Add the powerhead to increase the flow.

    Upped the CO2, although more just seems to build up in the filter. I've never fully understood this Gh/Kh thing, but the water in this area is very hard.

    For the first few months i did small water changes every other day. I dont have time to be doing this now, although i recently started to try adding ammonia remover incase it's due to this.

    Increased the 50% water changes to 75% each week.

    Does anyone have anything else i could try?
     
  2. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

    Messages:
    6,492
    Location:
    newark notts.
    i dont know much about diatoms, but i would question the 3 x 24 hot5 12 hours per day. that's an awful lot of light for a long time. 10 hours max. im running 2 for 6 hours on start of a new tank for about 6 weeks. slowly up it to about 8 hours.
     
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Umm..yeah, 75 watts T5 over a 20gallon tank with an immature substrate usually equals diatoms... :wideyed: I'd disable two of those tubes for now. You might find that your GSA goes away as well.

    Cheers,
     
  4. Voo

    Voo Member

    Messages:
    185
    Location:
    Lincs
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    The filter was matured before i put in the Amazonia, and being as the light has been on a smaller tank without any problems i thought it'd be ok on this one.

    I'll knock out the lights now and let you know how it goes.

    Thanks again :)
     
  5. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Bacterial maturation in the substrate has nothing to do with the bacterial population in the filter. These are two completely different locations and colonies. This also shows that you cannot compare two tanks. What work OK in one tank does not necessarily translate to another because they are different environments. After this tank matures, and if flow, dosing and CO2 are adequate you'll be able to turn up the lights. :D

    Cheers,
     
  6. Voo

    Voo Member

    Messages:
    185
    Location:
    Lincs
    Thanks Ceg,

    I've already dropped the lighting levels and can't wait to see what effect this has had at the end of the week.
    How long should i be waiting for the substrate to mature? It's been over 2 months already. Will i just need to wait a month or so then turn more lights on and see if the diatoms reappear?

    I assume it's ok to continue dosing the same level of ferts / CO2 with the reduced lighting?
     
  7. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Well you're not far away thankfully. Another month or so ought to be fine but then I wouldn't just launch photon torpedoes at the tank. Just add one more tube and tweak the CO2 up a little and see how it goes. Leave the dosing alone for now as it won't hurt anything but get a toothbrush and get the algae outta there as much as you can. Multiple water changes is well advised. It's not clear to me what's happening with your CO2 configuration I don't understand your setup. Are you sending the gas through your filter in lieu of using a diffuser? GH/KH of the tank water has no bearing so I'm a bit confused by that sentence. This needs to be resolved prior to powering up the warp engines. Stay on impulse power for now...

    Cheers,
     
  8. Voo

    Voo Member

    Messages:
    185
    Location:
    Lincs
    I have my diffuser situated below the filter inlet, so all the bubbles get drawn into the filter. I'd hope most dissolves into the water, but there's always a buildup inside the filter.
     
  9. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
    dont forget that otos love diatoms :)

    Sam
     
  10. Voo

    Voo Member

    Messages:
    185
    Location:
    Lincs
    Just to follow up on this, i've reduced by lighting to 1x24W all this week and it's made a huge difference. I havent cleaned it out yet, but there's nowhere near as much diatoms, so my ottos must have been feasting before it disappears :)
     
  11. Themuleous

    Themuleous Member

    Messages:
    4,126
    Location:
    Aston, Oxfordshire
  12. Voo

    Voo Member

    Messages:
    185
    Location:
    Lincs
    Hi Guys,

    Really not sure what's going wrong with this tank, but it's still suffering from diatoms.
    The lighting was turned down to 1x24w for over a month. After that i turned 2 tubes on, but after a week im back with diatoms. Been battling with this since i posted the original thread.

    I've just recently upgraded the filter to a fluval 405 to have a bit more flow and placed the co2 diffuser below the outlet to see if that helps, but i'm wondering what else could be wrong?
     
  13. Voo

    Voo Member

    Messages:
    185
    Location:
    Lincs
    Anyone? :(
     
  14. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,953
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Voo, you need to remove that second light mate. You have the solution in hand. Immediately as you turned on the second lamp the diatoms came back right? Well, the tank isn't ready for that tube yet. Did you tweak the CO2 when you added the second tube?

    Cheers,
     

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