Brown/Hair Algea

Discussion in 'Algae' started by david, Jul 3, 2004.

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  1. david

    david Peppermint Shrimp

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    O.K. guys my silicate test came and my silicate is below 0.2.
    I didn't run a low scale test as this uses up six tests all at once and I believe I can safely say that I don't think I have a silicate problem?
    So what the hell is this stuff?
     
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  3. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Time to post a pic David. :)
    I think they would help at this point...
     
  4. david

    david Peppermint Shrimp

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    I have been doing a 6 gal water change every week
    I can see the hair algae starting to fade but this stuff comes every day!
     
  5. JohnO

    JohnO Moderator

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    David,

    Is this stuff still disappearing at night and reappearing the next day?

    Is like powder, does it come off in a cloud when disturbed?

    John
     
  6. david

    david Peppermint Shrimp

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    Yes and yes John,
    I still comes every day and disappears at night in the morning when the tank light first comes on the sand is white I wish it stayed that way. and if you disturb it the only way to get it out is to vacuum it because it is so fine.
    I would like to thank everybody for helping me out this place and the people here are really awsome thank you all
     
  7. JohnO

    JohnO Moderator

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    David

    It seems that Diatoms are just like any other algae and need food ( Nitrate, Phosphate) and also light to remain alive, except they also have an unusual relationship with Silicate. From what I have read they take Silicate from the water and build a small capsule ( frustule ) for themselves. Diatoms need this frusule to survive, so the common concesus is if you remove the Silicate from the water the Diatom cannot continue to live.

    Here's the probem, once the Diatoms bloom, and you can actually see them, they have already built their frustules for themselves and have bound up all the Silicate they need, so when you actually do a water test for Silicates the level seems low. In fact it would be interesting to suck up a large quantity of Diatoms and do another Silicate test. :)

    So my opinion would be to continue with the monitoring of Phosphate, Nitrate etc, and certainly of syphoning out the Diatoms. I would also stop doing water changes for a month ( unless one of the major parameters goes stupid ), reduce or break up your lighting cycle for a few weeks.

    John
     
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  9. david

    david Peppermint Shrimp

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    Thank you John!
    That sounds like sound advise and I'm going to put that plan in motion and see how it goes ( It's nice to have a plan of some sort again) ;D Do you think that if I tested in the morning for silicates before I could see the brown that I would get a high reading of silicates? Is this a daily process that the diatom goes through is so wouldn't it make sense that I could suck the silicate out with early morning water changes? <---just thinking to much....?
     
  10. fletch

    fletch Kole Tang

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  11. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Yeah fletch, JohnO did recommend one of those a while back.
    At this point, I think it's worth a try.
     
  12. JohnO

    JohnO Moderator

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    [quote author=DAVID MASON link=board=General;num=1088882581;start=45#46 date=08/02/04 at 12:14:39]    Do you think that if I tested in the morning for silicates before I could see the brown that I would get a high reading of silicates? Is this a daily process that the diatom goes through is so wouldn't it make sense that I could suck the silicate out with early morning water changes?   <---just thinking to much....?[/quote]

    David,

    I think the brown colour you are seeing is the Diatom photosynthesizing ( feeding ) which starts when the lights are first turned on, once the light is off they use that food. This makes sense as ( for example ) the sand would be white first thing in the morning and then as the Diatoms photosynthesize throughout the day the sand gets browner.

    Interesting thing is most of what I have read suggests that you should actually increase the intensity of your lighting to rid the tank of Diatoms. The reason that works is that it will encourage the growth of green algae which will simply overgrow the Diatoms. A dangerous business indeed :)

    There is also a suggestion that the problem is actually the ratio of Phosphate to Silicate. More Phos than Sil and you reduce Diatoms, but encourage green algae. More Sil than Phos and you encourage Diatoms but not green algae.

    So, I wouldn't mess around with the lighting just yet and certainly would not try to increase the Phosphate levels.

    I think there a just 2 things you can do :)

    1. Nothing! Which would be my suggestion as I think they will go away eventually anyway

    2. Get a Diatom filter and mechanically remove them.

    John :)