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Old 02-10-2004, 08:44 AM   #1
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Sand orange algae?

My sand surface have some orangy dirt on top, I know it should be algae, (due to my high NO3), are this kind of algae good? If its bad, how do I remove it? Besides throwing away the sand, is there any other way? Like maybe there are something that eats this?
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Old 02-10-2004, 10:21 AM   #2
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Sounds like diatoms... a unicellular or colonial algae with silicified skeletons. When they die you will see their bodies all over and they normally look like a brown or orange dust on the sand and rocks.

A fighting conch will eat diatoms, but I would suggest trying to fix the NO3 problem first. How old is the tank? What kind of water do you use (RO? tap?) Have you tested for phosphates?
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Old 02-10-2004, 06:31 PM   #3
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I'm using tap water, but I did condition the tap water, the tap water specs are NO3, NO2, NH3 all zero, but I did'nt test for PO4, I think I would buy a PO4 tester. But if there really is PO4 in the tap water, I also can't do anything, I don't have an RO or DI unit, and my country don't have those machines to buy small amount of RO water. But if I'm not wrong, my country are using RO units to purified water, using all water again (from toilet bowls, from drains), all to usable drinking water. But I'm afraid they do have PO4 when going through the pipes in our house.
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Old 02-10-2004, 09:13 PM   #4
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I forgot to mention that silicates in the water could also be a problem in addition to the phosphate. If you do have either and RO water isn't an option, you might look into some phosphate/silicate sponge. It will pull both out of your water, but it's more of a bandaid than a remedy... since your water (if it is the problem) will just be putting both (PO4 and silicates) back in the water.

Both fighting conchs and queen conchs will eat diatoms. Queen conchs get HUGE though (12 inches or so), so I wouldn't recommend one unless you have a large tank.
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Old 02-10-2004, 09:46 PM   #5
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Yep...she is right on the money. If you cant fix it, feed it to some fighting conchs. Most say one conch per 2sqft of sand bed. I find that to be on the low side from my experience though.

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Old 02-11-2004, 08:20 AM   #6
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My country don't have fighting conch stock available, they don't even seems to have it at all, I think they won't have it forever unless I get it online. Is there others that eat that? How about snail? Or maybe other algae consuming fishes?
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Old 02-11-2004, 10:26 AM   #7
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If you can find a place that ships internationally, you should be able to find them online. There may be other things out there that eat diatoms, but conchs (which are a type of snail) are the only thing I personally know of that will.
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Old 02-11-2004, 11:09 AM   #8
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Your only other option, which I strongly discourage, would be sand sifters. They are fish and inverts that sift the sand for the in fauna that lives in the DSB. While they are great for keeping your sand perfect, they quickly deplete the life from your DSB.

I would suggest water changes and more circulation on the sand.

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