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Old 02-18-2004, 08:28 AM   #1
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Algae.

My tank had brown stuff on the sand and glass wall of the tank, I think it should be algae, I on my lights 12 hours a day, and my NO3 is rather high, I'm trying hard to reduce the NO3, but it just keeps on going down and up again. So I would like to ask if I take out the sand to wash with fresh water, does it actually kill the algae on top of it? Or it will still be there? I really can't get a conch here at singapore. Any other sand algae eater recommand?
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Old 02-18-2004, 11:17 AM   #2
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Washing the sand may lessen the symptom temporarily but it will not cure the problem. I would not suggest you wash the sand though. You will end up destroying a fair amount of your biological filter in the process.

What kinds of snails do you have now and what is available in your area?

Your profile does not list the general set up of your tank or inhabitants. If you could update that or list it here that would help. Tank size, water source, filtration, animals, feedings, chem and other maintenance will help narrow down a cause and possible remedy.

When it comes to diatoms, silicates will primarily be the cause and are usually introduced by using tap water. NO3 is often from overfeeing, overstocking or inadequate filtration.

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Old 02-18-2004, 11:19 AM   #3
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Sounds like diatoms to me. How old is the tank and how deep is the sand bed.

Never remove your DSB and certainly dont wash it. This would crash your tank immediately. My suggestion is to reduce your lighting back to 8-9 hours a day, cut back to the minimum feeding required, and increase the circulation in your tank. These are all things that, when ignored, will allow Diatoms to thrive. (or any algae for that matter.) NO3 and PO4 are both "food" for algae...these come from several different sources including the food you feed. Combine that with an excess of light and a shallow sand bed and you have a recipe for an algae problem.

HTH

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Old 02-19-2004, 06:23 AM   #4
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My sand bed is 3 inch deep, between 7cm to 8 cm, I have what they call it a turbo snail, but it doesn't look like a turbo snail when I check the picture at liveaquaria.com, its those common snail, with a cone shaped shell. I wonder if there is any crabs or shrimp etc... can help me clear up the sand bed algae. I saw a crab at my LFS display tank, it dig sand pretty smoothly, and seems to eat algae on the sand. I think i would do a water changes tomorrow, and feed less food, I feed my fishes two meals a day, one flakes and one frozen, maybe I would feed them once a day. But they look hungry though, .
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Old 02-19-2004, 04:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mansiz
My sand bed is 3 inch deep, between 7cm to 8 cm, I have what they call it a turbo snail, but it doesn't look like a turbo snail when I check the picture at liveaquaria.com, its those common snail, with a cone shaped shell.
Sounds like an Astaea snail. Either you have mentioned will not really bother with the substrate though. If you are unable to get a fighting conch, the only other alternative would be cerith snails but I am not sure they will help that much with diatom algae. They will help with the sand bed in general though, so would a few nassarius snails.

Quote:
I wonder if there is any crabs or shrimp etc... can help me clear up the sand bed algae. I saw a crab at my LFS display tank, it dig sand pretty smoothly, and seems to eat algae on the sand.
I would not rely on a crab to do the job. By the sounds of it, the one you are talking about is a common hermit (orange?) and not something you want in your tank. Very destructive. 8O

Quote:
I think i would do a water changes tomorrow, and feed less food, I feed my fishes two meals a day, one flakes and one frozen, maybe I would feed them once a day. But they look hungry though, .
They'll get over it You can easily cut down to once a day or even every second day without much concern (just guilt) about fish health. Cut back the flake foods to only once or twice a week but ensure any herbavors have daily grazing food like nori.

I would also suggest using a good quality PO4 granulated sponge to help remove excess PO4 and silicates. Those will be your primary problem at this point. You may need to replace it a few times over a weeks period though.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 02-19-2004, 10:43 PM   #6
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I started to run an activated carbon yesterday, and I find out that many of the diatoms disappeared, is it the activated carbon helping me with the job? Or is it that the diatoms only appear after few hours of lighting?
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Old 02-20-2004, 01:35 AM   #7
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The carbon will definately help lower DOC and remove a few other impurities that will fuel algaes but it will not remove the main problem. Only specifically designed granulated aluminum based products will remove PO4 or silicate. If anything, carbon will leach PO4 depending on the quality but even the best products of carbon do to some degree.

The algae will subside a bit when the light is off or reduced but it will come back as soon as the light is brought back to full strength. As long as what fuels the algae remains, lessening or altering lighting has little effect on diatoms.

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