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Old 08-29-2013, 12:04 AM   #1
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Playground sand

Okay, so I made a rookie mistake about six months ago when setting up my saltwater (FOWLR) tank. All measurable are at 0 and salinity 0.25. Temp 79. Lights (quad t-5's with moonlights) on about 7 hours a day and feed twice a week. Five fish total about 5-7 inches. Two canister filters (one cleaned per week) with a five foot, four inch diameter DIY protein skimmer. 160 lbs of live rock, 150 gallon aquarium. So when starting the tank, I put in a mixture of crushed coral, live sand, and playground sand. I have had diatom, red slime issues from the get-go. From what I've read, the playground sand was a big mistake. My question is, should I remove all of the sand/substrate from my tank? If so, can I add new substrate afterward and what are the recommendations on that?
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:21 AM   #2
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Play sand isn't a huge mistake. A lot of folks use it as their substrate. I would think the CC would be the worst culprit of the lot.

As for the red slime, are you sure it's because of the substrate? Could you be over feeding?

If you want to remove all of the sand, you can definitely do that using a hose/siphon.

You can definitely add new sand to your tank. I'm personally a fan of aragonite live sand. Since your rock is already cured, you can pretty much use whatever sand you want.
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Old 08-29-2013, 01:30 AM   #3
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I am in agreement that the red slime is probably not the cause of the substrate. What are your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels? High nitrates will be a major factor in the growth of cyanobacteria. Also, how big of a tank is this?

Play sand generally isn't recommended for salt water tanks due to the possible impurities in the sand itself. Instead pool filter sand would be a much better choice. However as Aquarick said aragonite sand substrate is generally the way to go since it will help maintain pH in the water.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:17 AM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. I don't think I over feed, but it is possible. Didn't think about the crushed coral being the problem at all. So that's another reason for me to remove all the substrate in there. Hate to do it, but tired if looking at the mess instead of a nice tank. I'll try feeding lees first for a couple weeks, and if that does not work, out it goes. Fun, fun.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:46 AM   #5
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how much and how often are you feeding?
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Old 08-29-2013, 04:57 PM   #6
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Maybe not enough water flow. When I had red slime, I added another powerhead and it died off
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:09 PM   #7
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I thought aragonite was a form of crushed coral.


http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aragonite
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:28 PM   #8
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I feed twice a week. Silverside for my lionfish and raw oyster for the rest (miniatus grouper, lunare wrasse, Niger trigger, and striped puffer). I took about 15 lbs of sand covered in slime this afternoon and adjusted the flow. Hopefully that'll help.
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