Diatoms or something else?

Discussion in 'Algae' started by aquascape1987, 20 Jan 2020.

  1. aquascape1987

    aquascape1987 Member

    6 Nov 2014
    C5BBEBF6-1EE7-431A-90D7-8E2186CD544B.jpeg B0302D1A-91B6-46AA-A251-2EAE9383BAF9.jpeg 2207120D-F9C8-44EC-AB41-20CDA158616B.jpeg 2207120D-F9C8-44EC-AB41-20CDA158616B.jpeg 4738C195-66A1-4C01-A4B7-FCA549759EA5.jpeg 00C721A5-F3FC-4C01-9BBB-BF45E670E5E3.jpeg 67F0E32D-B312-4CB2-A723-FB1C872AED6D.jpeg 6ACA5F2F-D8D8-4DEA-8306-EDF646EAC8B0.jpeg 2207120D-F9C8-44EC-AB41-20CDA158616B.jpeg B0302D1A-91B6-46AA-A251-2EAE9383BAF9.jpeg C5BBEBF6-1EE7-431A-90D7-8E2186CD544B.jpeg

    I’ve had my scape up and running since July last year, and all was going great until September when I had an invasion of a brown fuzzy substance all over my HC Cuba carpet, and also in and amongst pretty much all plants in my tank. I was advised on here it was diatoms, and to just ride it out, increase water changes and maintenance until it cleared, but eventually I gave up and completely switched the lights off for 2 months. Everything died apart from my Anubias.

    I cleared out and replaced most of the Tropica substrate and then replanted on 12 December and things were ok for a couple of weeks, until low and behold the same invasion returned, with a vengeance as you can see in the pictures.

    This stuff is literally taking over the entire tank!

    My question is, from the pictures, can anyone confirm if this actually is diatoms or something else?

    And really, just looking for any advice to get past this?
    Last edited: 20 Jan 2020
  2. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

    7 Apr 2008
    nr Bath
    Hi all,
    It looks like the <"filamentous diatom Fragilaria (Synedra)">.

    cheers Darrel
  3. Iain Sutherland

    Iain Sutherland Forum Moderator Staff Member

    7 Jul 2011
    As Darrel has said above, increased maintenance and amano shrimp will nail it a very short space of time. If left It will either overrun the tank and ultimately kill your plants or burn itself out.
    I had this back here
    It's a simple short term effort fix

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
    dw1305 likes this.
  4. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Super Moderator Staff Member

    5 Nov 2011
    I think it also thrives on high organics. I suspect fresh substrate is sometimes a cause, particularly ADA AS; it's why a plantless cycle is often recommended. And why regular filter maintenance, and water changes usually help. Good surface movement to introduce more O2, and reducing the photon bombardment at start up would perhaps be a good idea as well.

    Another way I tackle it is to pack the filter with decent media to help deal with any ammonia spikes. Either way keep feeding your plants and like Iain mentions introduce a clean up crew asap. In the meantime you can manually remove it by vacuuming or syphoning.
    dw1305 likes this.
  5. aquascape1987

    aquascape1987 Member

    6 Nov 2014
    Thanks for replies guys. I have a clean up crew of approx 15 Amanos and 5 ottos, as well as 4 Siamese algae eaters added this weekend.

    The Amanos are rarely visible. They always seem to be hiding in and amongst the mid ground plants. Not sure exactly what they are doing but they certainly don’t seem to be cleaning up algae. When I do see them they look in a dormant state. Could this be a sign of Inavtivity due to CO2 being high

    The ottos definitely keep the glass clear though.

    In terms of removal, I’m finding this impossible from the HC Cuba without destroying it/sucking it up. Anyone any tips on how to do this without sucking up the carpet ?
  6. Matt @ ScapeEasy

    Matt @ ScapeEasy Member

    17 Aug 2018
    You could try using a toothbrush to "twisle" the algae off (like you might use a fork with pasta).
  7. Patrick Crowley

    Patrick Crowley Member

    25 Sep 2017
    West Midlands, UK
    I’ve been suffering the same:


    There are some tips in there on removal.

    I found a toothbrush pulled up the newly planted Cuba, no matter how careful I was.

    What worked for be was the twizzle technique that Matt described above, but using a closed tweezers. This combined with reducing the light worked for me

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited: 22 Jan 2020
    Matt @ ScapeEasy likes this.

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