Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
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outpost 04-30-2010 08:58 PM

My tank has been cycling for 30 days and I am noticing a good amount of diatoms. That's what they are called in the SW world anyway. Its brown algae on my rock and on my glass in some spots. My water is still cloudy. I've been doing 30% water changes for about two weeks every day. Sometimes I take a day off though. I have a danio and a redtail shark and two ghost shrimp. I was wondering if it would be ok to add some sort of clean up crew.

Meenu 04-30-2010 09:04 PM

Hello :)

I would not add any more fish while your tank is cycling. Diatoms are normal in a cycling tank, and eventually go away on their own.

Hope that helps.

(My tank is completely overrun with them right now. It wipes away easily, but I just leave it - I figure that in the end they'll be gone anyway.)

stevealas 05-01-2010 12:13 AM

How large is your tank? I think 30% water changes daily is excessive unless your water chemistry is really poor. Do you know your readings (ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, etc)?

I replaced my 55 gallon tank about 5 weeks ago with a 135 gallon tank. As expected, I started to get a lot of brown algae. I bought 3 otocinclus catfish. Each is only 1 inch long. In 4 days, these 3 little guys cleaned off my glass and 1 large plant. They've started on some decorations and rocks. They are absolutely amazing. Do your homework before buying any, as they can be somewhat sensitive.

The algae should disappear, anyway. But these guys are so awesome, I want them in the tank even after the algae is gone. They can be feed with cucumber and zuchini slices.


iamntbatman 05-01-2010 04:40 AM

Agreed with Meenu; this type of algae is common in a cycling tank. I also don't think 30% daily water changes are excessive in a tank that's cycling with fish in it.

Meenu 05-01-2010 06:46 AM

I think your water changes are good too. Cycling a tank with fish exposes them to ammonia and nitrites, which can burn their gills and cause organ damage. Daily water changes with Prime water conditioner, which detoxifies ammonia and nitrites for 24 hours at a time, keeps the fish safer. It may make the cycling process a little longer, but in the end your fish will be healthier.

I don't recommend adding any fish to a cycling tank because it exposes more fish to being poisoned. Otos should only go into a tank that is "aged" - they are really sensitive, and belong in a tank that has been cycled for at least 6 months.


outpost 05-01-2010 11:34 AM

thanks. I was just checking. In a reef tank you usually add a clean up crew when you get a diatom bloom. I will leave it be and get some more plants. As far as my water chemistry, I don't know what it is but will go to the fish store to get it tested today. Thanks guys.

Meenu 05-01-2010 11:37 AM

API's freshwater master test kit is a good one if you want to get your own, which I would recommend. Water parameters aren't as complicated in FW as SW, but they are still important. And when you are doing your water changes, conditioning water with Prime is the way to go IMO. If you don't have any, pick up some of that too if you can. :)

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