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  1. #1

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    Question Amazon Sword - Iron Deficiency, Diatoms, or something else?


    0 Not allowed!
    So I've noticed over the past few days that my Swords have been getting these brown patches on them. I originally attributed them to a possible iron deficiency and started dosing the tank with an Iron supplement when I started doing my weekly water changes. I also added another 80watts of light (a 6500K 40Watt lamp and a 3100K 40Watt Plant lamp) in addition to the original 56 Watt Coralife dual T-5 plant/6700K lamp since I finally had the cash to buy more light.

    Anyway, since a picture's worth a few grand in words, I'll just post up a pick and see what it looks like to you folks. Thanks!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2

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    0 Not allowed!
    Diatoms. I wipe it off my plants everyday! Finally is beginning to slow down some since adding a phosphate/silicate remover to the filter.

  3. #3

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    0 Not allowed!
    Erg, I'd like not to add anything to my filter to help knock 'em out. I've read that increasing the amount of light in the tank will slow or stop the Diatoms. However I'm not sure how much more light I can give my tank, I'm already running the lights for 10 hours at a stretch and I have a something like 2.4 Watt/Gal. at this point combined. Should I start putting even more plants into this aquarium or change the lower color temps to 6000K+ lamps to boost the lumens? Heck, should I go to feeding every 3 days as opposed to every other day? (Should I go look in the Algae forums? ... probably) Thanks Lady!


    Edit: Or I can just "wait it out" as is suggested in the Algae primer and see what happens....
    Last edited by W_Oz; 07-21-2008 at 09:55 AM.

  4. #4

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    0 Not allowed!
    6700K bulbs are the lights you should use for maximum photosynthesis. If you run your lights 12 hours instead of 10, that will help with your diatom problem. How large is your aquarium by the way, and when was it established?

    Dave
    When a finger points to the moon, the imbecile looks at the finger.

    Omnia mutantur nihil interit.

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  5. #5

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    0 Not allowed!
    Are ottos an option for your tank? They are great at eating algae (especially brown algae like you have) and won't bother plants.
    Aquarist since 1995
    Biologist and Published Author in Multiple Aquarium Magazines
    Owner: Aquarium Maintenance Company
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  6. #6

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    0 Not allowed!
    Hello W Oz,

    I have the same problem. Same as Lady Hobbs, I wipe them off the plants regularly... I also decreased the feeding (though not to once every three days!) and I am keeping the lights on for 13-14 hrs. It seems like it is helping. I hear that the sooner you fix the problem, the better, because otherwise the diatoms become well established and then it is much harder to get rid of them....

  7. #7

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    0 Not allowed!
    I've been adding plants to a new tank and have these damn diatoms, too.

    I increased the natural light by leaving the blinds on the window across the room open more. I also picked up a small school of oto's over the weekend (they are neat fish, imho).

    So far, these two steps have helped, fwiw.
    -- nw
    125 fw community planted: 4 cory, 6 kuhli loach, 3 guppy, 1 gourami, 1 betta, 6 angel, 4 oto cats, 1 albino pleco, 3 yo-yo, 8 danio, 1 ghost knife

  8. #8

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    0 Not allowed!
    It's a 55gal tank that finished cycling up around 2 weeks ago. Right now for cleaning duties there are three very eager SAE's (or Siamese Flying Fox Algae Shark minnows as my LFS named them) who've been on duty since just before the tank finished cycling and a Rubber nose plec who seems mostly interested in hanging around on the rear glass of the tank most of the time. The SAEs are interesting, I watch them graze over the diatom patches all day long and they never seem to make a dent in them, weird.

    I don't know that Oto cats will be an option at this point, between everyone else that's in the tank it's pretty much full and there's the "King of the Tank" Spotted Pim that will do predatory what cat fish do when there's a small enough fish in the tank.

    Anywho, I'll set my timer for a 12 hour on cycle and head down to the old hardware store/LFS to pick up a couple more bulbs of the appropriate colorage. Wiping the leaves of the plants is a little more challenging than I'd thought it would be and I'll need to find my algae scraper (I haven't used it in years lol) to help clear up the glass.

    Thanks for the input

  9. #9

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    mini-update:

    I observed, for the first time mind you, "Bubs" the rubbernose Plec foraging on these diatom coated surfaces and (s)he's making great strides to get the tank clean again. Which is awesome because the SAE's don't really seem to be able to make a dent in the diatom colonies. lol

    On another note, one of my swords is sending up a rather obnoxious flower/runner that's branching every 5" or so with 5 "nodes" on it so far. The thing just keeps getting longer (practically by the hour) and the nodes are budding off onto their own to form... I don't know what lol. Crazy.

  10. #10

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    0 Not allowed!
    It's how they spread, Oz. They have daughter plants that spring from those nodes. If you don't want a tank full of sword plants, cut off the runner close as you can to the base of the plant with really sharp scissors.

    Dave
    When a finger points to the moon, the imbecile looks at the finger.

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