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Old 12-06-2004, 02:44 PM   #1
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Came back from an extended weekend and there is now rust!

Hi,
A few weeks ago, I cobbled together a 20 gallon saltwater aquarium from bits and bobs I found at home. Into the 20 gallon mix was added about 7 lbs of live rock, 10 or so pounds of bass rock and about a 5 inch deep play sand bed. Circulation is provided by a AC150 with media and a second power head. (I will be getting a bigger, 2nd one soon.) I seeded the tank with a dead freshwater fish that had met an untimely end in my son's 55 gallon Freshwater. On returning home from the weekend -- other than the live rock there are no inhabitants in the tank bigger than a pencil stub -- I came in to find the whole front of the tank, the base rock, the sand in front, and much of the live rock covered in a rust coloured looking algae looking something. I haven't run many tests but ammonia barely registers and salinity is correct. What should I do? Clean it up? Let it run its course? Fool around with circulation and or lighting? All advice appreciated. It ain't pretty. But as the only fish added was already dead I am not too bothered. Jeff
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Old 12-06-2004, 03:44 PM   #2
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It's probably diatoms algae. It's very common when setting up a new tank. Most of the time the diatom blooms will burn itself out.
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Old 12-06-2004, 03:53 PM   #3
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Klam is right diatoms are extremely common when setting up a new tank. If the problem does not go away you would want to look at some factors: What type of water are you using tap, ro, rodi and so on also how much you feed and how many times daily and things of that nature which would be dumping phosphates into the water but until than let the diatoms run there course and will dissapear soon.
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Old 12-06-2004, 03:59 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick responses.
In Fresh Water Fish Keeping I have had diatomaceous alage before but never so dramatic as is the case here.
I am with you and hope that it will naturally burn itself out.
At the moment, as the tank has no live inhabitants other than live rock, I have not been feeding. I have however been cycling the tank -- feeding the live rock -- with a small dead fresh water fish. Water has been Toronto tap. Jeff
The whole goal of this tank so far has been slowly, slowly. I just want to see how things evolve.
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Old 12-07-2004, 02:33 AM   #5
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if you have silica in your water that oculd be causing diatoms, as they build their shells out of silica. just a suggestion.
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Old 12-07-2004, 07:58 AM   #6
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Silicate, not silica. I guarantee you have massive amounts of silica in your tank and it's causing you no problems. As for the algae, it should burn itself out. Check your nitrate tho'. I feel fortunate, I never had a diatom outbreak with either of my tanks.
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Old 12-07-2004, 02:43 PM   #7
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check this out...

http://advancedaquarist.com/issues/jan2003/feature.htm
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Old 12-08-2004, 11:03 AM   #8
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Thanks.
I will check that out.
Just as predicted, the diatomaceous algae seems to be burning itself. In it's place, has come a big of green algae though. This tank will be very mature by the time I set a live fish in it! Jeff
May head out and buy another powerhead and some more base rock today so that I can see about spreading the beneficial bacteria around.
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Old 12-10-2004, 01:33 PM   #9
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Back after another couple of days and have noticed more of the diatomaceous algae in addition to its replacement with some green algae. There may even be some filament algae too. More interestingly, creepy-crawlies are crawling out of the rock. It even looks as if the bass rock is being seeded.
This is fun. Jeff
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Old 12-10-2004, 01:35 PM   #10
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Just one more question, if there are no vertebrates in the tank, do I need to feed the live rock.
I have been adding about a shrimp a week in order to cycle the tank and it seems to be taking to this well. Jeff
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