Troubleshooting Diatoms..please help.
So i have been fighting diatoms for the last 2 months. I have re planted with faster growing plants, i have changed lighting, and i have changed feeding sched. Lets assume i haven't done a thing yet and please suggest what to check first and i will try to figure it out.
ammonia - 0ppm
nitrite - 0ppm
nitrate - 20ppm (2 days from weekly w/c)
phosphates - 0
i did not check the ph but it should be around 6.8ish as i run co2 daily (on the light timer)
2 t5ho bulbs (5000k and 6500k) run together for about 6 - 6.5 hrs a day
20 gal tall
8 phantom tetras
2 german blue rams
plants: Italian Val, Madagascar lace, Ozelot Sword, Moneywort, Bacopa, Crypt Parva, and Crypt Spiralis
2 HOB filters one is the aquaclear 20 gal filter the other is the aqueon quite flow 10
i have 2 root tabs (one under madagascar lace one under ozelot sword)
feed them once per day, spektrum new life pellets, usually gone in under 30 seconds
let me know where you would check first, thank you!!!!
Silicates in your tap water??
is there a way for me to test that? guy at the LFS also suggested going R/O...thoughts or comments?
before going R/O i am trying one other thing. I have been told that i may have too low Co2 and should start my Co2 before i start my lights. Now my Co2 will come on an hour and a half before my lights, thus making an even shorter period in which the lights are on but Co2 is not at optimum levels.
I'm going with Boredomb on this one
A unique feature of diatom cells is that they are enclosed within a cell wall made of hydrated silicon dioxide which is chemically inert. This make testing challenging.
Is there a source of Silicates in the aquarium(Silica sand, etc)?
Is there Silicates in the source water?
Generally Diatom are self limiting as the silicon dioxide is used up so I would look for the silicate source
With the exception of calcium sands and the like, almost all sands are silica sands. I wonder if the degree to which the sand is washed has an impact on diatoms.
My guess is it has to do with the dust. Just a guess.
To answer your question yes there are test that you can use to test for silicates in your water. However I don't know at what level of silicates it take for diatoms to thrive just know they will as long as the source is there. After doing a quick search here is one test kit. : Aquarium Water Testing: Salifert Silicate Test Kit
Lamotte Silica test but it ain't cheap
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