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Old 05-23-2008, 12:06 AM   #1
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coloring on substrate

Per advice from my LFS i got live substrate over sand. I have had the aquarium up since mothers day. When i looked at my tank i noticed a reddish brown coloring all over the substrate. what is it? what do i do to get rid of it? should i have used the substrate with shells etc or pure sand?
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:51 AM   #2
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Looks like diatoms to me. It has nothing to do with substrate choice - all tanks go through this stage either during the tail end of the cycle or just after. How are you cycling the tank, and what are your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels?

After your tank cycles, a good cleanup crew of snails will have fun munching on the diatoms, and even without snails it will eventually burn itself out.
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:57 AM   #3
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im at the tail end of the cycle i believe. i never really had an ammonia spike, has been low since the beginning and still is low but not 0. I just experienced a nitrite spike and it is on the decline. i did a traditional fish cycle. Ended up losing 2 damsels on the nitrite spike. I wish i knew about this forum earlier. Right now i have 2 clowns and 3 damsels left.
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:08 AM   #4
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How big of tank are we talking about? What kind of biological filtration (pounds of live rock? type of filter?) are you working with? I'm guessing you started with a fair amount of cured live rock to avoid a huge ammonia spike with that amount of fish. If I read your post right, you started the cycle with 7 fish in your tank? If you received this advice from a LFS, I would seriously consider finding another LFS.

If you have anything less than a 55g, I'd get some fish out of there. Seems like starting up even a 55g tank with 5 fish right off the bat is going to be an exercise in frustration for you (and the fish!) as the tank battles to deal with the bioload.

Welcome to AquariumAdvice, and keep reading and asking questions!
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:21 AM   #5
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i have like 10-15lbs of live rock 70lb live substrate and a 55 gallon tank
im using a fluval 305 canister filter and a protein skimmer
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Old 05-23-2008, 12:00 PM   #6
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I usually like to suggest 1.5 lbs per gallon of LR. That will provide enough Space for the biological filtration that you need. It looks like diatoms to me also. I know when I had my 55 I just used 1.5 - 2 lbs of LR and a skimmer for filtration.
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Old 05-23-2008, 03:23 PM   #7
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If ammonia is reading anything other than ZERO your cycle is not complete, and there should not be any fish in the tank. You proably want to return the damsels to the lfs anyway as they have a nasty reputation for bullying other fish (very territorial). If you can return the clowns and add a lot more rock (1˝-2 pounds per gallon capacity) that would be ideal. Let the tank complete the cycle then add livestock.

Read the articles on this forum and keep asking questions. For new tanks there are the inevitable questions that will be asked whenever you ask for help. It will save time if you can answer as many as possible in your original post. Posting asking for advice on equipment you are about to buy is also a good way to save money in the long term. The folks here can steer you away from bad advice received elsewhere. Also post your stocking intentions before buying a new fish to make sure you don't have compatiblity or size problems down the road.
Here's my standard list of questions:
please post the following info:
SG:
Temp:
pH:
Ammonia:
Nitrate:
Nitrite:
Calcium:
Alkalinity:
Tank Size:
Fish:
Inverts:
Other Corals:
Lighting:
Filtration:

Do you add any chemicals to the tank? (ie. Buffers or Supplements)
What do you feed the tank? (Frozen, Flake or Pellet)
What kind of Salt Mix do you use? Do you let it sit for 24hrs with a powerhead and heater to airate and mix fully?
Do you use RO/DI water? How do you Top Off evaporated water?

Oh and ......


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