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Old 01-08-2006, 08:23 PM   #1
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Cleaning live sand

Ok, I have a FOWLR tank (only a few small pieces of rock though) What can I do to keep my livesand clean looking? The tank is kind of a showpiece in my room and when theres nasty dirty looking sand, it just doesnt have the desired effect. It is a fairly fine 1-3mm sand. I have 2 nassarius snails right now (tank is 45 gal). The guy at the LFS recommended some sort of sand-sifting fish like a lawnmower blenny, but Im wondering if I should just try getting more inverts, or maybe both?
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Old 01-08-2006, 08:29 PM   #2
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The lawnmower blenny isn't a sandsifter. Ware the LFS advice.

What does the dirty sand look like? How long has thew tank been set up? What fish do you have in the tank? What do you use for water?
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Old 01-08-2006, 08:43 PM   #3
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brownish stuff all over the place ill try to get a picture later, tank has been set up 2 months now, and I have a juvi percula and damsel and a yellow tang. I use tap water through a filter thing i bought at the store, Ive done tests on my town's water for my koi pond before and we actually have pretty clean stuff as far as chlorine and heavy metals go

**sorry demodiki, by "dirty sand" i meant brown algae... I just realized I did a terrible job writing that thread
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Old 01-08-2006, 08:43 PM   #4
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YEs, please tell us about your tank setup. You might just be going through a phase or there might be a problem that needs to be tracked to it's source and eliminated.

You need more snails too.

What else is in it? What are you using for filtration?
What are you using for water flow?
How deep is the sand bed.
How many pounds of LR do you have and are you going to add more?
What does the water test show for pH, Ammonia, NO2, NO3, PO4?
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Old 01-08-2006, 08:52 PM   #5
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filter is a 10 gallon tank i converted into a wet/dry kinda thing with a small refugium. I have a prefilter/syphon that runs to the filter and bio balls, which drain into about 5 gallons of water with some macro-algae and then I have a rio 1700 pushing it back up to the tank. I also have a hanging Whisper filter with the bio bags (attempt at aerating more). only about 2 pounds of live-rock. Sand coating is about inch and half to 2 inches.

I have the saltwater master test kit from aquarium pharm. and pH is 8.2, Ammonia nitrites are below .25 ppm and nitrates are below 5.0 ppm
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Old 01-09-2006, 12:09 AM   #6
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Ammonia nitrites are below .25 ppm and nitrates are below 5.0 ppm
They should all be ZERO. Start doing a 20% water change and do one daily till your levels for ammonia and nitrate are zero.
You are probably adding nitrates with the bio-ball wet/dry set up as well as the Whisper filter with bio bags. The macro algae is getting some of it but not enough.

Do you have any other powerheads running?
Have you tested your water fro PO4?

Read some of the old threads about algae control.

Your tank is still maturing and the brown algae is a part of that. You need to check for phosphates in your water and get rid of them. RO/Di water for water changes would be best.

What and how often are you feeding? Lots of frozen and flake foods will contain PO4 and that could part of the problem too.
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Old 01-09-2006, 01:58 AM   #7
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I dont know anything about my PO4, i'll pick up a test kit or something tomorrow, I retested my amonia and nitrates and they appear to be zero (kinda hard to be exact with the colors). Im feeding flake, frozen brine and dried seaweed. twice a day

If I find that I have a phosphate issue what would you recommend for "getting rid of" it?

And no I do not have any other powerheads running, would you suggest I get another? if so, what for?

Also, my refugium is not exactly "up and running" yet... the macro-algae I have in there is just stuff the guy at the LFS gave me, I just started the whole refugium thing about 2 days ago. The real growth and such hasnt started yet, and im sure it will help when that all comes along.
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Old 01-09-2006, 03:15 PM   #8
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Kinda new here but I think feeding twice a day is a bad thing from what I have read on other posts
Advisors can correct me if I am wrong here.
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Old 01-09-2006, 03:22 PM   #9
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Yep, feeding too much. I sometimes feed every 2 or 3 days. But of course, my tank is more mature.

Phosphates are most likely in your tap water. RO/DI water is best to use. At least RO water (available in most larger grocery stores). 'Course you can make your own RO/DI water. Look up "diatoms". That's most likely what you've got in a new tank - in addition to the overfeeding.
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Old 01-09-2006, 10:10 PM   #10
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I just tested my phosphates and there are at about .5ppm so that is probably part of the problem. Other than some of the chemicals i read about on the forum what is a good way to deal with phosphates? Ill start cutting back on my feeding tomorrow and I added some more narssisus snails. Did a 20% change with R/O water I bought from the store and I bought 20 more gallons of the stuff to have ready for later (I kinda cleaned them out)

hopefully ill get this under control soon...
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