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Old 07-25-2003, 10:54 PM   #1
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Brown stuff on sand

I've got this brown junk developing on my sand. I assume it's algae, and the people at the LFS say that I run my lights too much. I keep them on about 6-8 hours a day. Typically it's closer to 6. This stuff doesn't have any visible mass to it, it's just turning my white sand brown.

Is there something I could do to get rid of it? I have a tiger tail sea cucumber, but he's way too slow to get it all. I was thinking more along the lines of a diamond sifter goby. However, I've been told that a 42 hex tank doesn't have enough surface area on the sand to sustain a diamond sifter goby.

Any suggestions on what to do to get rid of this junk?
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92-gallon corner tank, 100lbs of LR, 140lbs of sand, 250watt 10,000K MH, 110watts of actinic PCs, Mag 7 return, custom refugium, AquaC EV180 w/ Mag 5

Female lyretail anthias, eyelash blenny, tomato clown, saddleback clown, firefish goby, 2 sand-sifting stars
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Old 07-26-2003, 02:42 AM   #2
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get yourself a cleaner crew or something... like snails, crabs.. they eat those stuff.. if you're using tap water to fill your tank, then the silicates in tap water are feeding the growth of the diatoms..
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Old 07-26-2003, 05:21 AM   #3
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Re: Brown stuff on sand

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauge
Is there something I could do to get rid of it? I have a tiger tail sea cucumber, but he's way too slow to get it all.
While your tank re-cycles, there should be no inverts in the tank of anykind, especially a cucumber. That is just asking for disaster. The many changes you have made recently will have basically put you back to square one. The diatom bloom you are experiencing is sufficient proof of that.

If you continue in the direction you have been of late, you will never have a sucsessful SW tank. It must be done slowly and with patience. Rushing through and skipping steps will accomplish nothing.

Again, I ask that you return all the animals that you have and start from scratch. Read this article on cycling and follow it as closley as possible.

After 4-6 weeks once the NH4 and NO2 are undetectable and the NO3 are beginning to lower, then it may be possible to add some snails and such to aid with leftover algaes. Moving forward slowly and possible adding a fish in about 2 months.

I hope you consider this carefully!

Cheers
Steve
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Old 07-26-2003, 02:24 PM   #4
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I left my tank alone for about a week. I was on the verge of taking all my inverts back and just leaving it, but my nitrites went down. Last night I got a water test done and here were the results...

Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: (too low to show up on the scale, but probably not quite 0)
PH: 8.2

*shrug* I thought that meant the inverts could stay. Either way, I'm not real fond of snails in my tank. Would the diamond sifter goby do the job? They're funny fish.
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92-gallon corner tank, 100lbs of LR, 140lbs of sand, 250watt 10,000K MH, 110watts of actinic PCs, Mag 7 return, custom refugium, AquaC EV180 w/ Mag 5

Female lyretail anthias, eyelash blenny, tomato clown, saddleback clown, firefish goby, 2 sand-sifting stars
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Old 07-26-2003, 02:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I'm not real fond of snails in my tank. Would the diamond sifter goby do the job? They're funny fish.
Once the tank is stable and properly prepared, snails will be your best defence againsts most types of algae as well as detritus control.

The advice of your LFS is correct. I would not risk a goby in such a small tank. They rely mainly on the fauna in the sand bed for food and a 42 gal tall tank could not hope to support it. The chances of the goby accepting prepared foods should not be counted upon and would most likely not happen anyway.

Cheers
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Old 07-27-2003, 01:30 AM   #6
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Thanks a bunch, Steve.

No goby, gotcha. I've got a bumblebee snail at the moment (which I got on accident... cool story written below). What kind of snails do you recommend? Turbo snails, I'm assuming?

The junk on the glass concerns me far less than the algae on the sand. Do you recommend anything else for getting rid of the algae on the sand? I'm posting a picture below of the algae growth on my sand after two days of not being stirred up. I'd be willing to put snails in my tank (even though I'm not too keen on them) or change my lighting procedures or whatever to stop having this junk develop. I can get rid of it by simply stirring up the sand a bit, but that gets old real quick.


Bumblebee Snail Story: So I have a couple blue leg reef hermits that are in shells I don't like much. I've always liked bumblebee snail shells, and they were about the right size. I asked a guy at a LFS if he could hook me up with a couple shells cuz they had a ton. He looked through and found a couple and handed them to me free of charge. So, I drove home and started putting the UV sterilizer I had just bought on my tank. My wife goes out and runs some errands for about 45 minutes later. Then she comes barging in the door all hysterical about one of the shells had a snail in it. It had been in the cup holder in my truck in 100+ degree weather for over an hour with no water. I plopped him in my tank without any acclimation, and he's been alive and well in my tank ever since. He must be one tough cookie.
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Female lyretail anthias, eyelash blenny, tomato clown, saddleback clown, firefish goby, 2 sand-sifting stars
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Old 07-27-2003, 01:19 PM   #7
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The only thing I recommend at this point is more time. The recent changes in the tank will have initiated a new cycle and these algaes are a normal result. Diatoms will in most cases burn themselves out as their fuel source is depleted (mainly silicates). Keep in mind that RO water will still usually contain some small amounts of silicate especially in the warmer summer months.

Once the water levels are safe (I think you've stiil got some wating to do) then a mix of snails like the following would be fine.

Nassarius great for detritus and the sand bed.
Nerite especially good at film algaes..
Cerith cleans both the glass and the sand bed..
Bumblebees cleans up the uneaten food bits as well as detritus... (As you said, looks cool too).
Margarita another excellent algae eater..

Keep in mind the bumblebee is primarily a carionavor and will not help with the algae issues. Although is your case you've got a tough little guy 8)

Cheers
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Old 07-27-2003, 01:26 PM   #8
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Anyone have a picture of a Bumblebee Snail?
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Old 07-27-2003, 01:46 PM   #9
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Cheers
Steve
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Old 07-27-2003, 07:47 PM   #10
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These are cool looking snails. I'm trying to get all of my blue leg reef hermits into those shells.
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Female lyretail anthias, eyelash blenny, tomato clown, saddleback clown, firefish goby, 2 sand-sifting stars
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