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Old 05-10-2005, 10:00 PM   #1
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Brown Algae - Diatoms? (photo)

Well, I seem to be over the little spike of nitrites and ammonia after adding 40 pounds of LR (replacing the bio-balls with LR over time).

In the last couple of days, though, I've had this odd burst of brownish algae mostly in the front of the tank and particularly on the substrate. I do see it in other places, though...

It seems to be heaviest in the front nearest where the newest rock has been sitting for the last week.

Am I looking at diatoms or something else? How do I deal with it? It doesn't seem to just "blow" off easily - but if I pick up a piece of the substrate and rub it with my thumb it definitely comes out.

Any input would be appreciated.

Yes, I have added some new lights and they might have been running a bit more the last few days than they would normally... but I'm trying to get that back on a good schedule.

Thanks!
- Aaron
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:03 PM   #2
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I could be diatoms. I believe they should burn themselves out over time. But, if your cycle is over, then adding a clean up crew may help.
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:10 PM   #3
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Okey doke. I've done about five 20ish gallon water changes (90 gallon tank) in the last week as I was riding out the introduction of the live rock. This is springing up toward the end of the water changes. The water was RO/DI/microfilter/carbon filter water in every case, so I don't think I introduced phosphates or much of anything else.

My nitrates are through the roof - but they have been and it's why I'm slowly removing the bio-balls. Does this change your diagnosis any?

Thanks!
- Aaron
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:17 PM   #4
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Also need to mention that this is a two year old tank and not the end of a cycle on a new tank.

- Aaron
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:35 PM   #5
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Oh, ok. Well, even a spike can cause an outbreak. Doesn't really change my thoughts on it. I think time will be your friend. Maybe not introducing the inverts til the nitrates are brought down is a good idea. I've had my tank go through a mini cycle with the addition of new live rock and had a break out on diatoms. Didn't last long though. I think you are on the right track with the water changes.
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:43 PM   #6
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I agree with Fluff do some water changes and that may solve the problem if its on your sand you can always vaccum out the layer. Otherwise a good cleaning crew would be very helpful.
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Old 05-10-2005, 11:01 PM   #7
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Well, I was just thrilled to find out that my nitrates tonight are almost half (by the color chart) from last night... and I've not changed water for two nights now. So that tells me things are trending in the right direction. I've not even begun removing the bio-balls yet, so I'd say the new LR looks to be picking up the slack.

Also, nitrites and ammonia tonight remain at zero levels.

So I'm pretty happy at the moment.

I'll do another water change in the next day or so and maybe vacuum that stuff.

Thanks for the input!
- Aaron
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Old 05-10-2005, 11:03 PM   #8
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just make sure to check ammonia and other levels too.
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Old 05-10-2005, 11:12 PM   #9
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I've been checking nitrites and ammonia once or twice a day for the last week since the new rock was added. I "spiked" (up one notch on the color charts from my previous zero levels) on ammonia and nitrites for about three days. By the weekend they had returned to zero and remain there tonight.

I'm continuing to watch everything like a hawk until I'm certain things are on a normal track...

- Aaron
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