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Discussion Starter · #81 ·
yo- Han how is the sand holding up? Anything you would do different? Your lucky you did not get diatoms
Why do you think I'm lucky? Everything tank gets diatoms! Especially where I live, because there are loads of silicate in my tap water. Just add some Otocinclus or shrimps and they're gone!

The sand is doing fine, why?
 

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Guesss I missed that part about the diatoms Johan. Diatoms drive me crazy in only one of 5 tanks that I have. Its always problem in my 55, not in a 15, 29, 40,75, or a 40.

Sand- isn't sand basically silicates?

I asked these questions to try and solve & learn. Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #83 · (Edited)
Sand is mainly silicon dioxide, which is a non soluble version of silicon, so not useable by diatoms. Compare it with kitchen salt: sodium chloride (Na+ Cl-). This chloride is something totally different than chlorine, or bleach etc.
The problem with diatoms is that they are poorly understand, mainly because there are thousands of different species and we treat them as one thing. Some like light, some love shade. I always find a high correlation with silicate but this might be different for your species. The bioculture in your filter is most likely to play a role as well for exemple.
Perhaps you've a different species than I usually encounter. But most (if not all) are loved by Otocinclus and most other algae eaters. The easiest option IMO, but I've had great success with filtering silicate out of the water as well. But this can't be done in a planted tank because it will remove PO4 as well. You can filter your water before a water change for 24-48 hour with anti silicate if you want to test it;) good luck!
 

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I use a lot of sand. I find diatoms fade and only really come back if things get a bit out of kilter. While the silicon seems important it doesn't seem to be the main ingredient in controlling them. Not that I know what the main ingredient is!
 

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Discussion Starter · #85 ·
Silicon is an element 'Si'. Silicate is an anion, for example orthosilicate SiO4(4-) (but there are many others) which always needs a cation (a positive ion, to make a solid substance, in water known as a salt) Sand is SiO2, which is not water soluble and not useable for diatoms as far as I know. It is one of the most abundant molecules on earth, because it is what makes sand and a lot of rocks. So otherwise diatoms would've taken over the world;)
I think the biggest reason why a matured tank usually doesn't suffer from diatoms is because matured plants can absorb silicate from the water. In fact, they need it to strengthen their stems. So with a lot of bioload, plants use it faster than diatoms can. Aquaticz, perhaps your 55 got less plants, or they don't grow as fast?
 

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Thx Johan- My plants are NOT growing well in this tank. However they grow great in 4 other tanks! I switched up my dosing about 2 weeks ago. I have a velvet algae on many leaves. GSA showed up on glass also, so I up the dosing to a higher level of EI ,Doing WC & keeping Eheim pro 3 filter clean.

Question Johan - what is an anti silicate and what would use too test?
 

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Discussion Starter · #87 ·
Some brands do produce silicate tests. Usually in the reef department. Most anti phosphate media for in your filter remove silicate as well. Some are more selective at silicates but remove phosphate as well. If you can't find anti silicate, use anti phosphate grains.
 

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Discussion Starter · #88 ·
Growth seemed to slow down after switching to all LED, but now everything is growing fine again!



 

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Looks like a newly setup tank.

I like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #90 ·
Almost one year old now!
 

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Discussion Starter · #91 · (Edited)
Made some new pictures without the outflows and dropchecker:







 

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beautiful! I love the leaf shape contrasts on the left island, perhaps consider adding more leaf variety/color to the right island as well? great job! It was very fun reading through your journal :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #97 ·
Awesome, Johan.

How is the cabinet coming along?
It's finished now, I'll post a photo soon. Not very active on this forum lately (whats up with this ridiculous 10 letter and symbol and number password). Will rescape the tank soon to enter IAPLC with a serious scape!
 

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Discussion Starter · #98 ·
Here a photo made with my phone:



Need to do something about the humidity in the hood, but I'm very happy with the result, although it was way more work than I expected, haha!
 

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Discussion Starter · #99 ·
Here a better quality photo:



And the last photo from this scape:



I'll rescape it in the next few weeks. I got a global idea of the hardscape, only need to think about plants. And off course, make time to do it (guess it will take at least 2 days).

 
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