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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here are 2 of the three newest additions to the new tank. But guess what - I took these just in time because the BROWN STUFF HAS ARRIVED. It is starting to cover most of the rocks and the side glass has patches. Snails - PLEASE go to work. How long do the diatoms stick around for anyway? (Someone please say 1 day....:rolleyes:
 

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1 day.... feel better? ;)










ok, now on a more serious note, could be anywhere from a week to a month or more . all depends on water quality, nutrients, phosphates, and silicates in the water :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok Jay - Thanks (a lot!). Actually - I'll probably regret saying this but it is exciting to see the brown stuff come. I also noticed green hairlike tufts starting on the side glass as well. THere are a couple of pretty hairy rocks that came in from an established tank (the now demolished nano) so I am hoping they seeded the cycle and will speed up the whole algae growing process.

Hopefully Phosphate is low since I used RO water and IO salt - but I will test anyway just to be sure...... in the mean time - I know I know - brown today - and browner tomorrow for sure!
 

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With diatoms you need to be concerned about the 'silicate' levels, since diatoms need silica to build their skeletons. If your water is only RO, and not RO/DI it's not going to help much... it's the DeIonization process that removes silicates from the water.
I was using plain RO water from a vending machine but my diatom problem never got better... I finally just purchased enough cleaners so that it doesn't become a problem and moved back to tap water (we have really clean muni water)...
Now the only drawback is that I 'need' to keep feeding the diatoms so that the cleaners have something to eat. :D
Hopefully I'll have enough fundage to get an RO/DI unit here in the near future so I can finally get rid of these diatoms after 5 months... I'll just have to supplement the herbivore's diet with some algae pellets when that time comes.
Phosphates on the other hand are what feed hair algae, and those are tough to contain because you add them each time you feed your fish. I have 3 Mexican Turbo snails, 6 Scarlet Hermits, and a Lawnmower Blenny that take care of that problem pretty well though.
HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is there a way to "test" for silicates? I do use RO water from a vending machine. I dont' think it is DI.......but I was looking at an RO/DI unit at Home Depot that we are thinking about getting. We actually have really clean city water here but I know we have copper pipes in our house so I fear using tap water EVER near my tank...... I am figuring my 'bloom' to be part of the cycle process since the tank is only 2 weeks old....but you have a point about the filter - I'm going to look into it.
 

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Reefer Addict said:
With diatoms you need to be concerned about the 'silicate' levels, since diatoms need silica to build their skeletons.
Very true, and using RO from a store and running it through a cheapo DI column (Aquarium Systems makes one for about $20) will remove whatever phosphate and silicate the DI is capable of taking out.

more from Reefer Addict...
Phosphates on the other hand are what feed hair algae, and those are tough to contain because you add them each time you feed your fish...
The part about phosphates being a result of feeding is true, but ALL organisms that use chlorophylls and/or accessory pigments to make carbohydrates need phosphate as a source of both energy storage (cyclic amp and adp-atp conversion) and as part of their synthesis of cellular organelles and misc other cellular respirations. Phosphate is one of the 3 necessary parts needed to drive aquarium algal growths (Nitrates, Phosphates, Sunlight).

Many algae are capable of absorbing and storing phosphate above and beyond their actual needs (called luxury consumption) to use during periods when phosphate may be depleted in their immediate environment. These are conjucated forms of inorganic orthophosphate that are stored as granules (polyphosphate) in the cytoplasm of the algal cell. When conditions become such that phosphate is limited, these polyphosphate granules are broken down by phosphatases (both acid and alkaline) and the cell begins to secrete some of these same enzymes into the surrounding environment to release any stored forms of phosphate in the substrate or other local media (some algae live in symbiotic relationships with certain bacteria that liberate phosphates from the substrate when it is available as well.) This is yet another reason to siphon out as much of the nuisance algae as is possible at the end of the photoperiod in order to remove both the nuisance alga itself and whatever nutrients have been stored and/or converted into biomass.

ylmaya: There are much better RO/DI units than what you will find at HD or Lowes, etc for much better prices. Check Aqua FX aquarium water filters, as well as www.airwaterice.com. Salifert did make at one time a good silicate test kit, but I have not seen nor used one in quite some time, just take it as a given that most areas will have at least some removable silicate in their fresh water supplies, especially those areas where the water supply is from major rivers.

Good post Reef Addict, especially about the silicates and the phosphate content of feedings, but phosphates drive ALL algal blooms AND the growth of macroalgae and the few vascular (true) plants that exist in marine environments.

jm$0.02w
 
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