Filamentous diatoms - please help, on brink of giving up

IamAHill

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12 Jun 2020
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A few of you may have seen my Aquascaper 600 tank - well recently I have been having real trouble with what I believe is filamentous diatoms. This image is from last week and I have been doing regular water changes nearly every other day and clearing out so much algae it takes nearly 2 hours. Some of it has meant that I have had to pull out a lot of plants and more recently more and more plants have begun to fail.

So far I have lost the myriophillum guyana in the middle - the bottoms of the stems turn white and die. I also tried to move the hairgrass at the back (regular hairgras rather than dwarf) to the back right and that died off in a matter of days.

Details of the tank are

Aquascaper 600 with Twinstar SM and Oase Biomaster 250. I am injectng Co2 with a diffuser and my drop checker is going to a lime green through the day and on a night I run an air pump at night for surface agitation and the drop checker goes blue. All of this is set up on timers so has been consistent for a few weeks.

My light is on these settings

20 % - 2pm
50% - 3pm
100% - 4pm
100% - 9pm
50% - 10pm
0% - 11pm

I am a bit confused on fertilisers - I have been doing a lot of water changes and not sure how much to add. I am using Tropica Premium Fertiliser (without added Nitrates). I think this could be part of the issue. I dont think I am using enough - I have been adding 2 pumps after each water change but I am going to increase this from tonight.

My tap water could also be an issue, I have 20-30ppm nitrate out of the tap and I have been told it is high in phosphate. Is this something to be concerned about?

The other issue I have been having is that as some of the plants have grown in others have failed which I did not realise the Ranunculus on the right took over a lot of Montecarlo which I did not know had perished under it - all of this was cleaned out but then I have had the issues with the myriophillum and hair grass.

I've recieved some new 1-2-grow pots of Rotala Bonsai and H'ra and some Marsilea Hirsuta I am hoping fresh plants might help too.

Please can someone help, I just need some simple advice on how to get through this. Because of the level of time I have to put into the tank so far and how vigourous I have to be with the algae removal I have not put fish in yet which is really frustrating and I am on the brink of giving up the planted route and going to a simple community set up.


UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_ea9.jpg
 

Onoma1

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There are people on the forum who will are more experienced than me, however, if it was my tank. I would do the following:

Keep the light on for a constant period without the ramp (until you balance the tank).
Reduce the light period to six hours.
Introduce a clean up crew (Amano Shrimp, Otocinclus (minimum 6) or siamese algae eater) and
Nerite snails. NB after they clean the algae they will need feeding. Consider introducing Neocaridina Shrimp, however, they hate large water changes.
Recognise that you won't be able to grow everything in your water...even if they are marked easy.
Put in more rapidly growing stems to increase the biomass
Think about introducing floating plants (if you do this you can increase the light duration). See the threads on the duckweed index and the aerial advantage.
Don't give up. We have all experienced algae problems at one time of another.
Short term follow the advice on this video:

 

hogan53

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Hi
This would be my plan of action!
Reduce the lighting period to 6 hours 60% for the full duration.
Reduce the Co2 to attain a green colour in the drop checker....try and keep the Co2 as stable as possible through the 24 hour period.
Don't run the air pump at night....for the time being.
Have some surface agitation for good gas exchange.
Remove as much algae as possible.
Clean the filter.
Purchase some fast-growing stem plants, use these as an extra filtration tool, these should be left on the surface.
Add NPK....plus some Magnesium Sulphate/Epsom salts.
Tropica Premium Fertiliser is a weekly micro fertilizer add after water changes.

Hope you get on the right path....this will take a few weeks!
hoggie
 

rebel

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I would dose with hydrogen peroxide and watch the algae die. It will give you quick satisfaction. In the 21st century, dopamine is king.

TBH filamentous diatoms is the weakest of the algaes. You need to practice asserting dominance over the weak ones first.

I think you've done very well so far! Keep at it.
 

PARAGUAY

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My own experience is all the additives ie liquid carbon h y.peroxide work inthe short term but in a CO2 set up flow is the key so as well as the excellent advice given a small powerhead or two maybe with a bit of trial and error can achieve this
 

Siege

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A few thoughts -

20 % - 2pm
50% - 3pm
100% - 4pm
100% - 9pm
50% - 10pm
0% - 11pm


Looking at the settings your light is on all night as it is Rampling up to 20%.

As others have said a reduced lighting period, something like this.

15.45 - 0%
16.00 - 60%
22.00 - 60%
22.15 - 0%

Slowly turn the intensity and duration up.

Big regular water changes. Shrimp should be added after 2 weeks of set up. They will help also.

Make sure your CO2 is light green at start of photo period.

Turn the air stone off.

Add more fast growing stems.

Your filter is a little underpowered for the AS600, so you are compensating by using a big wavemaker. I’d be inclined to lose the wave maker. You may find it it just damaging the plants. Instead change the filters prefilter to the courser orange sponges and go inline on the co2.

Add more ferts. Change to the green Tropica one if you like that brand.

So basically plants are not doing that well as they are being blasted by light for 24 hours, very fluctuating co2 and just to give them a final kick they are being blasted by a wave maker. Algae is able to get its foot in the door.

Just a few thoughts to start you off!
 

Fiske

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100% light is way too much for a newish tank. I think I run 60% for ~5 hours (+a couple of hours ramp up and down, 8 hours total) on my Carpet Deathmatch, that one is close to 5 months running.

Earlier I used an Oase 600 on that tank, and found it lacking flow wise (lots of tall crypts), a 250 is meh. I wouldn't use an inline diffuser on that. Instead of the wavemaker maybe try a small powerhead, I like AquaClear, they are cheap, fairly silent and very adjustable. They also have attachments for directing flow, if you want to have more surface movement at night. I use a 20 on my AS600. Ideally you should have the water in the tank going around in a gyre.
But adjust the light intensity first.
And yeah, wc's, ferts and shrimp. ;)
 

Frontosa

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Woke up yesterday morning, noticed I have the same thing starting... Today it's even worse and I just spent 2 hours algae fishing... not my kind of jazz. Just read this thread and made some changes as per the advice given:
- Switched to 60% light from 11:30-18:30
- Co2 switches on at 07:30 until 19:30 (inline diffusor)
- The cleanup crew consists of 5 Oto's and 5 Amano's
- Skimmer is on full throttle for the current

Some details on my tank are found here

Hope for you as for me this is going to work out...
 

zozo

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Or don't worry and wait it out, depending on how long you plan to keep this tank up and running...

I once did wait for it and it took about 6 months to go away and that's about 3 or 4 years ago. The tank is still running and never seen it back again. 😘
 

IamAHill

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Hi all thanks so much for all of this really good advice that I know I can take action from :)

I have 15 Amano Shrimp in there as a clean up crew so far. My water is quite hard so not sure its great for Ottos unfortunately but I am planning to get some snails.

I will sort out the light to go to 60% - I missed out one step on the list so it is off until the first ramp up period at the moment. I'm going to order some money wort tonight to get a fast growing plant in there.

It was going really well until this happened I am pretty sure my route causes are the die off of plants as they got out competed by others and a lack of ferts. Seem to be going about 2 days at the moment without it being totally out of control so I think thats probably my bench mark at the moment.

Thanks again Andy
 

hogan53

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The subject of using fast-growing stem plants as part of a filtering aid has cropped up a few times recently.
This idea as been around for a long time, therefore not new....it has benefits, especially for a new set - up.

Remember this is not an implement for cycling a fresh start aquarium...it is a procedure for improving water quality and to help combat algae!

1. Improves water quality.
2. Reduces excess light.
3. Reduces diatoms.
4. Reduces nitrate.
5. Helps reduce algae out-breaks.
6. Indicator of a Nitrate shortage.
7. Oxygenates the water column.
8. Increases beneficial bacteria.

Using fast-growing stem plants as a floating plant filtering aid has always worked well for me!
Although every aquarium is different the application is the same.

The stem plant is stripped of the lower half of the leaves, this is to encourage aerial root growth which in turn draws up excess nutrients from the water column.
The leaves that you have removed are probably emersed leaves, therefore they will be replaced with new leaves and aerial roots as it adapts to surface/underwater life.

Below is an example of Hygrophila sp Difformis with some of the lower leaves removed to encourage aerial root growth.
1598599390968.png


On the surface.
1598599430787.png

There are a number of fast-growing stem plants that can be used for this purpose, below are some of those I've used in the past.
Hygrophila polysperma
Hygrophila difformis
Ludwigia palustris
Ludwigia repens
Limnophila sessiliflora
Rotala rotundifolia
Ceratopteris thalictroides
Heteranthera zosterifolia

hoggie :thumbup:
 

tiger15

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Limiting nutrients normally don't work as it will starve off plants as much as algae, and unhealthy plants will invite even more algae.

Since you have shrimp, you cannot dose Excel or peroxide which is a quick way to combat algae in the short term. Constraint from using chemical weapon, you have to rely on biological weapon--algae eaters. Besides Amano shrimp, what other algae eaters do you have? Ottos, bristlenose pleco, molly and snails will all help, but you need to starve them to some extent so they will be eager to eat the algae.
It may be worth to try Hornwort which is said to secret an allelopathic agent to suppress algae, but won't harm shrimp.

https://www.fishkeepingworld.com/hornwort/

You said you have brown filamentous diatom. Filamentous algae is normally green, and diatom is normally soft and slimy covering plants and exposed surfaces, not filamentous. So I don't know what exactly you have.
 

hogan53

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A close up picture of the said algae would be ideal.
There is a lot of nutrients in this aquarium.... going by the length of the trailing roots of the frogbit.
 

IamAHill

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Thanks again - this is a close up of it.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_eab.jpg



Just come home tonight and its the worst its ever been - pretty sure I have lost my Myriophyllum Mattogrossense which was previously growing like an absolute weed. 4-6 inches a week... For reference this was the tank at 4 weeks... If I keep loosing plants at this rate, there wont be any plants to beat the algae...

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_ea2.jpg


I might try using my nitrate filter - given the bank holiday I should be able to get a big change done each day.
 

Frontosa

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How's it going today? Did the water changes work out a bit? In my tank i removed a lot, it's not coming back as fast as it used to do.
 

Alex Papp

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Thanks again - this is a close up of it.

View attachment 153473


Just come home tonight and its the worst its ever been - pretty sure I have lost my Myriophyllum Mattogrossense which was previously growing like an absolute weed. 4-6 inches a week... For reference this was the tank at 4 weeks... If I keep loosing plants at this rate, there wont be any plants to beat the algae...

View attachment 153474

I might try using my nitrate filter - given the bank holiday I should be able to get a big change done each day.
Hi,
I had the same problem. You can see on my first thread I made. My miriophylum died too. By the time the tank was healthy enough, everytime I replaced it it was out competed. :((
The only way out for me was lots... LOTS of amanos and reducing the lighting to 6 hrs. And after that I never increased the lighting , even when the problem had gone.
Finally, purigen will take silicates out of the water. Diatoms like silicates. Its annoying that only me and a few other people seem to get diatoms this bad. But good luck. Keep on water changing! I agree with all that @Siege and everyone else said. This is just some additional advice.
 

IamAHill

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Messages
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Location
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IMG_0933.jpg


IMG_0934.jpg


So just between work and family I've not been able to do a water change since Sunday, thats right 3 days for this monstrosity to grow. I've included a close up of it so you can see what I am dealing with. The way it goes in the current is actually quite beautiful... If anyone thinks its a different type of algae please let me know.

On Sunday I did a bit gutting of the tank, took out all the Mirophillum and added in some new plants I got a total of 8 pots in a combination of

- Hygrophila Siamensis 53b
- Limnophila Sesslilflora
- Nymphoides sp.Taiwain
- Didiplis Diandra

I've seen good growth on most plants and the Limnophila and Nymphoides are pearling like mad tonight. I dont think the Hygrophila Siamensis has fully kicked in yet as I have seen this in action before.

I have so far never been able to get rid of all visible traces as the carpeting plants start to uproot if I try to remove it too much so I have been hoping to get it to reduce down. I was thinking of maybe burying the carpet in a thin layer of soil, with the intention of it smothering the algae but the plants growing through the soil? Is this a really stupid idea or is it worth a try?

The Ranunculus recovers really well after I remove the algae so think it will survive well, I have a couple of H.Araguia plants that again when uncovered are doing well, I cant keep on top of my Hydrocotyle but it keeps coming back from the root as I trim it so fingers crossed. The Rotala Hra I added has been innundated so thats going to have to come out. I am going to try and get some more fast growing plants to replace this at the weekend.

I didnt initially cut my light as suggested - I was hoping that with water changes and fast growing plants it would be enough but I have adjusted all my timers now so lets see how it goes because lots of water changes alone has not done much so far... Will try and get some purigen at the weekend and not against getting more Amanos - I cleared out the shop last time though so waiting for more to come in haha!

Thanks agian for all the help and encouragement. It might just be that this isnt going to work out but not giving up yet - at the very least I think a rescape is likely once this is under control.

I just want to get to the point where I can have fish haha!
 

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