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Old 02-26-2021, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Arizona
6,129 posts, read 7,936,046 times
Reputation: 8272

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So I am a freshwater aquarist for almost 50 years now. Admittedly, a lot of the knowledge I have of the technical aspects of the hobby harken back to the 80s and 90s so I may be a bit behind the times, even though I've been keeping fish pretty much continuously since I was a kid.

I have a 120 gal freshwater aquarium setup that I've kept running successfully for close to 20 years (not with the same fish of course). For the first time in I don't know how long, I find myself having to battle an ich outbreak. So far it has only infected my beloved clown loaches (no surprise there, they are very susceptible). I've been following a regimen of water changes and medication for 3 days now and hopefully I've slowed things down enough that there has been no spread so far, and today the loaches started feeding again so I'm hopeful.

This brings me to my question. I have a tried-and-true Diatom XL filter that I have not used in years. I'd like to use to try and help filter out the ich parasites (yes, it can do that). But Vortex Innerspace, the manufacturer of Diatom filters, went out of business last year. As a result, parts have pretty much sold out everywhere. My problem may be the bag inside the filter. I haven't taken it out yet, but after sitting unused for a long time it is likely dried out and will fall apart.

Since parts are not available any more, I'm wondering if anyone is familiar with any modern DE filters or similar alternatives on the market?
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Old 03-12-2021, 12:32 PM
 
Location: wla area
158 posts, read 153,850 times
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Try what is called an algae scrubber (not a scraper). They grow algae in the filter on purpose, which filters the water naturally, and there is one brand made just for freshwater.
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Old 03-17-2021, 09:33 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
18,812 posts, read 32,248,860 times
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I don't know about diatom filters. But, I run a UV filter in my tank 24/7. It will help kill bacteria, etc., as well as algae.

I used to have a discus who was really prone to ich. Adding aquarium salt (the medicinal type, not for marine tanks) really helped control the ich. The ich medicines work well, but it's a pain having to remove the filter, etc.

Is it a planted tank? I don't think adding salt is a good idea if the tank is planted - would have to check on that.
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Old 03-26-2021, 12:17 PM
 
Location: wla area
158 posts, read 153,850 times
Reputation: 121
If ick is still present, a UV will work great, and you can take it out when done.
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Old 04-26-2021, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Arizona
6,129 posts, read 7,936,046 times
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Thanks, I already have a UV sterilizer. I'm sure it helped.

The ich ran its course, I treated the tank, did daily water changes, all the usual steps. Ultimately I lost 2 clown loaches and one survived. None of the other fish ever showed any symptoms. Looks like the days of my Diatom filter are over, but that's OK.

In the weeks since the ich outbreak resolved, I did lose 2 swordtails and 2 mollies, including the mother molly of two broods of babies, but all the fry are doing well (except for a few that I suspect became delicacies). I do seem to be having an issue with elevated pH levels. I suspect that is the culprit as my other levels (hardness, ammonia, nitrates and nitrites are spot on ). Probably from the source, as I have the same problem with the pool and out tap water does check in at a high level. I don't want to use chemicals so I recently but some driftwood in to try to stabilize the pH naturally.
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Old 04-26-2021, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Arizona
6,129 posts, read 7,936,046 times
Reputation: 8272
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMoreSnowForMe View Post
I don't know about diatom filters. But, I run a UV filter in my tank 24/7. It will help kill bacteria, etc., as well as algae.

I used to have a discus who was really prone to ich. Adding aquarium salt (the medicinal type, not for marine tanks) really helped control the ich. The ich medicines work well, but it's a pain having to remove the filter, etc.

Is it a planted tank? I don't think adding salt is a good idea if the tank is planted - would have to check on that.
You know, I've used aquarium salt for many years and always had a lot of success. We moved recently and I had fallen out of practice with that. When the ich started, I resumed. Should always remember to stick to the basics!

I am moving toward a planted tank at this time (actually for the past month or so). So far, there doesn't seem to be a problem, most of the plants seem to be doing quite well. I replaced my old fluorescent light with an LED strip light a while ago and had not been using the actinic mode to keep algae down. Once I started turning that on during the day, the plants really took off.

I tried discus years ago. Never had any luck there. Beautiful fish though.
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