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  1. #1
    Senior Member drummer89's Avatar
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    Cyano or Diatoms? Help!

    I have been fighting this brown dust stuff all over my tank for awhile now. It recently started to get worse! It covers everything that light touches, and it can be easily removed with the wave of a hand, but it grows back in several hours! It makes the tank look really dirty, and I don't know how to get it to go away! My first guess is that it might be my Nitrate levels. Nitrates are at 30ppm, and I'm trying to get them down! The only other thing it may be are Phosphates which are at .2 mg/l and I'm running a phosban reactor with phosban to bring down those levels as well. Silicates are at 0, because I'm using R/O water, and I'm not sure what else could be contributing tothe problem. Is it Nitrates or Phosphates?
    I have some blurry pics of the brown stuff...

  2. #2
    Senior Member drummer89's Avatar
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    Here they are





  3. #3
    Senior Member Carolpol's Avatar
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    Diatoms and the best way that they can be destroyed is increased skimming and stop using iodine supplements.
    They thrive in nutrient rich environements.
    Carol
    Can we fit one more tank? :P
    Dont mind my spelling mistakes I've got an excuse...I'M FRENCH!

  4. #4
    Senior Member badmedicine's Avatar
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    Welcome to my nightmare!
    This is how my tank started to crash. My plan is to do water changes with reallly good water (passed through UV,phosban,carbon and dosed with Erythromycin) to eradicate this problem.

    I will let you know how I did in a couple of days.
    I have a lot of Patients

  5. #5
    Senior Member drummer89's Avatar
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    I have a prizm skimmer. Could this be the problem? How much should it be skimming out of a 50 gal tank? It has a dial on the intake to increase/decrease water flow, but if it is too high, the collecting cup overflows with water. Should the skimmate be dark? Should it be thick? How do I know which setting to leave it on?

  6. #6
    Moderator Krugar's Avatar
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    The prizm is under powered for a 50G tank. That's likely part of the issue. The company's pretty optimistic on rating them.

    Anyway your skimmate should be the colour of deciently steeped tea. Ideally the tube in the middle (where it bubbles) should remain reasonably clear, but if the top part develops some junk between cleanings it's not the end of the world.

    If the entire tube is getting a brown leathery coating of gunk, you're too dry.

    That's how I've always tuned my skimmer anyway. Tuning a skimmer can be a bit of an art & everyone has a slightly different opinion though.

    Cheers!
    There is nothing so permanent as a temporary measure.

  7. #7
    Senior Member drummer89's Avatar
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    I can't afford a new skimmer right now! What kind of skimmer do I need for a 50 gallon FOWLR tank? I want a skimmer that will keep the diatoms at bay and hopefully keep the nitrate levels down.
    What is a good skimmer for not too much money? Are Super Skimmers worth buying?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bram's Avatar
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    I have a prism too on my 60, but the greatist skimmer on the market, i hear mixed reviews but it seems to do the trick for me.
    id RO water Change and reduce putting anything nutrient rich into the tank
    Who says Dogs are the only creature that's happy to see you?

    Pics --> http://aquariacanada.com/PhotoPost/s...r=1248&cat=500

  9. #9
    Senior Member kennyfish's Avatar
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    That rock looks pretty fresh. How long have you been running?

  10. #10
    Senior Member badmedicine's Avatar
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    Drummer:
    I forgot to ask... why are your nitrates 30ppm? It sounds like a bad question but it is probably the source of your problem. Maybe we should solve that problem first.

    If your tank is established then maybe either your bioload is too high or your have decaying materials in your tank. Water changes and more water changes will keep your tank balanced (providing you have good water) until the material fully decomposes (and therefore eliminate the decaying/nitrate element).
    Too much decomposing food or a recent death? How about a recent gravel upset or rockslide (like I had) has caused nitrates to be released.

    Try to fix the cause is and THEN deal with the signs and symptoms. My PRIZM works on my 90 gallon because I don't have an algae problem in that tank. (My problem is with my 180 gallon).

    My last thought is..... Any sunlight touching your tank? Sunlight may cause algae.
    I have a lot of Patients

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