Long term diatom issues

Jaag

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Hey everyone,

I am in need of some help here. I have been battling, what I believe to be, diatoms for close to three months now.

I have recently checked my silicate level which was close to zero. I could not say exactly as it was a Salifert color comparing test. You understand these are not extremely accurate.

I am not sure the phosphate levels as the Hanna Checker is on the way.

I recently added some chemipure elite, have a skimmer, growing cheato very well and I run carbon. I have not done a water change recently as it seems they make it worse. This has brought me to the conclusion that I need to change my ro/di unit filter and resin. Prior to doing so the TDS was reading zero. Now with the new resin and filters, still zero.

I have three fish in the tank and feed twice a day but feed what they eat so there isn’t much extra food in the tank. I am not dosing anything but All-For-Reef. I dose this around twice a week.

I also attached my light period.

Any help and experience would be appreciated. I am over a brownish sand bed.

IMG_3350.jpeg IMG_3351.jpeg IMG_3352.jpeg IMG_3353.png
 

slingfox

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That looks more like dinos to me but difficult to tell from the pictures. Best way to properly identify is to look at a sample under a microscope (cheap one from Amazon is fine).
 
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Jaag

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Looks like dinos. Need phosphate and nitrate numbers? Does the algae disappear at night?
I don’t have phosphate numbers as in waiting for the Hanna Checker. Phosphate was done with an API test and I can’t tell but seemed close to zero when u tried to color match. It does not completely disappear but substantially decreases with the lights out.

That looks more like dinos to me but difficult to tell from the pictures. Best way to properly identify is to look at a sample under a microscope (cheap one from Amazon is fine).
I will check it out. Would this one work?

IMG_3356.png
 

Miami Reef

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I don’t have phosphate numbers as in waiting for the Hanna Checker. Phosphate was done with an API test and I can’t tell but seemed close to zero when u tried to color match. It does not completely disappear but substantially decreases with the lights out.


I will check it out. Would this one work?

IMG_3356.png
Get this one: https://a.co/d/bAHeZPU

I’ve had that microscope for almost 3 years. It helped me so much throughout the entire time.
 

Reefer911

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I’m waiting to hear the significance of the discoloration disappearing at night as I have the same problem, although not as bad. My sand bed looks just about completely clean at night
 
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Jaag

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1st off.., 3 months is not even close to "long term"
Next, diatoms like silicates, silicates mostly come through rodi
What would be considered long term in this case?
I agree they do. I did some what discuss that in the original post.
 

Lavey29

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I’m waiting to hear the significance of the discoloration disappearing at night as I have the same problem, although not as bad. My sand bed looks just about completely clean at night
Some dinos go into the water column at night so UV can be beneficial here. Other dinos just sink into the sand though so UV does not help. I think turkey basting the sand daily can help minimize the dino problem but not a total solution of course.

Now diatoms can disappear at night to but diatoms are essentially harmless to the tank and once their silicate supply runs out they go away. Also various cleaners munch them too as you probably already know.
 

DanTheReefer

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Ryan at BRS had a great presentation regarding experiments they did on beating the uglies. If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, at 21:00 he talks about how copepods take out diatoms and the copepod producers like Algae Barn culture diatoms to feed the pods. At 23:20 he shows results specifically on diatoms.

 
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Jaag

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Ryan at BRS had a great presentation regarding experiments they did on beating the uglies. If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, at 21:00 he talks about how copepods take out diatoms and the copepod producers like Algae Barn culture diatoms to feed the pods. At 23:20 he shows results specifically on diatoms.


I will check it out thank you for the help there.

Some dinos go into the water column at night so UV can be beneficial here. Other dinos just sink into the sand though so UV does not help. I think turkey basting the sand daily can help minimize the dino problem but not a total solution of course.

Now diatoms can disappear at night to but diatoms are essentially harmless to the tank and once their silicate supply runs out they go away. Also various cleaners munch them too as you probably already know.

It’s been a tough go. I have had many tanks and this one has been the toughest for me. I think I must be consistently putting something back into the water to allow them to continue. I am really hoping the new filters/resin in my rodi unit will do the trick. I’ve added all the advised CUC to help but have not seen a huge dent. I need to more consistently dose copepods but that gets pricey.

I’m trying to get my hands on a microscope so I can see exactly what they are.
 
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Jaag

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@Miami Reef

I read this in an other post about the same issue I am having that you replied to: “Diatoms cannot grow without silica. If they are growing, they are getting silica. Some sands might leach it out, and the diatoms will grow until they deplete the source.”

This has me thinking maybe it the sand I added when I transitioned my old tank to this one. The one question I have is, would it take a little time for this to happen? I don’t remember the exact time frame but maybe a month or so?

If it is the sand, what would happen if I siphoned the sand out I have and put new sand in? What sand would you suggest?
 

EeyoreIsMySpiritAnimal

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1st off.., 3 months is not even close to "long term"
Next, diatoms like silicates, silicates mostly come through rodi
.... and new sand from a new tank.
When I upgraded, I used all old rock from my previous build but new sand and had diatoms for a little over 3 months.

Just be patient...
 

EeyoreIsMySpiritAnimal

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@Miami Reef

I read this in an other post about the same issue I am having that you replied to: “Diatoms cannot grow without silica. If they are growing, they are getting silica. Some sands might leach it out, and the diatoms will grow until they deplete the source.”

This has me thinking maybe it the sand I added when I transitioned my old tank to this one. The one question I have is, would it take a little time for this to happen? I don’t remember the exact time frame but maybe a month or so?

If it is the sand, what would happen if I siphoned the sand out I have and put new sand in? What sand would you suggest?
Don't replace the sand... You'll be starting back at square one.
 

Lavey29

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I will check it out thank you for the help there.



It’s been a tough go. I have had many tanks and this one has been the toughest for me. I think I must be consistently putting something back into the water to allow them to continue. I am really hoping the new filters/resin in my rodi unit will do the trick. I’ve added all the advised CUC to help but have not seen a huge dent. I need to more consistently dose copepods but that gets pricey.

I’m trying to get my hands on a microscope so I can see exactly what they are.
I don't think you have diatoms but I used to see silica in my RODI during ICP tests. I switched to a silica buster DI resin filter and now my RODI shows 0 silica. You need to get quality test kits like Hanna and test regularly then make adjustments as needed for stability. I would be siphoning that sand daily into a sock along with doing weekly water changes.
 
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Jaag

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I don't think you have diatoms but I used to see silica in my RODI during ICP tests. I switched to a silica buster DI resin filter and now my RODI shows 0 silica. You need to get quality test kits like Hanna and test regularly then make adjustments as needed for stability. I would be siphoning that sand daily into a sock along with doing weekly water changes.
The reason I haven’t been doing consistent water changes is because I felt like it made the problem worse. I have siphoned out the sand multiple times but it comes back.

I have only one time siphoned the sand and put the old water back in. Is that what you mean by siphoning it into a sock?
 

Lavey29

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The reason I haven’t been doing consistent water changes is because I felt like it made the problem worse. I have siphoned out the sand multiple times but it comes back.

I have only one time siphoned the sand and put the old water back in. Is that what you mean by siphoning it into a sock?
Yea between water changes siphon the sand into a sock in the sump but don't remove water. I would cut lights to 6 hours with blue and uv only no whites and dose PNS probio which is a natural heterotrophic bacteria that eliminates organic waste.
 

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I don’t have phosphate numbers as in waiting for the Hanna Checker. Phosphate was done with an API test and I can’t tell but seemed close to zero when u tried to color match. It does not completely disappear but substantially decreases with the lights out.


I will check it out. Would this one work?

IMG_3356.png
No it will not. I spent $250 on a Swift triocular and I don't see how spending less would cut it. Some say the $100 amscope will work. The good news is that I don't see bubbles. The strain of collia I had could not be beat. Hopefully you have ostreo as that cam be beat with an oversized UV with low flow. You need to raise your nutrients immediately and you may as well start looking for a used UV. I saw a 20 watt aqua ultraviolet on here recently for $200 which would work for you. I have 57w on a 130g display at 300gph flow.

 

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