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Old 05-20-2006, 12:16 PM   #1
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foam/brown algae/salt problem

I recently purchased some more live rock for my aquarium totallin 20lbs. I bought 8lbs from a different LFS and I think it was uncured but he said it was cured. I didn't know it at the time being a newbie ut the rocks had plenty of brown algae on them.
Now the brown algae is spreading to some of my other rocks, sand, and walls. I also got this little foamy bubbles at the top of the water.. what does this mean?

I also seem to be losing salt!.. I can't figure this out.. water is evaporating,.. so my SG should increase.. but instead it's staying the same and even going down.. I washed my hydrometer with hot water to make sure there is nothing stuck on it, same results..

could changing filter media/adding more filter out some of the salt so that it goes down? I'm really puzzled here.

could the salt be depositing on the rocks/sand and separating out of the water?.. I'm using Instant Ocean.
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Old 05-20-2006, 01:27 PM   #2
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first for the salt....did you just poor the salt in the tank? if so, it wont mix properly, so you have to mix it outside the tank for at least 24 hours. and for the rock...did you just put that in the tank without doing anything to it? if its got lots of brown stuff on it, i think thats the die off, and you need to get that off before you put it in your tank...you need to put it in salt water in a seperate tub or something for a while to get rid of all of the die off, but i'm not sure how long that takes. and do you have a skimmer?
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Old 05-20-2006, 01:28 PM   #3
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What hydrometer are you using?

Thos floating arm hydrometers are WAY off. I had the red sea one and when it would read 1.022-1.025 is was closer to 1.030 in reality.
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Old 05-20-2006, 01:39 PM   #4
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I got the arm one .. Red Sea exactly...
What do you use to check it accurately?

I didn't take any brown off the new rocks.. it would be very hard..

and I premix the salt before I put it in..

I'm gonna try a water change, maybe that will take out some of the nutrients the brown algae is feeding on.
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Old 05-20-2006, 01:43 PM   #5
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I use a refractometer.

You can remove the rock and give it a good scrub.

Are you still cycling? What is your setup?
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Old 05-20-2006, 01:48 PM   #6
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Beware adding uncured liverock to an established tank. It will often cause a slight ammonia spike as some of the life dies off. And you don't know what goodies are hiding in that liverock either.

Answering Marc's questions will help us too.
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Old 05-20-2006, 02:20 PM   #7
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It's a 30G with a fluval 204 filter and Aquaclear 30 powerhead. No skimmer yet, I didn't think I'd need it so fast.. everything was going very well before I put those rocks in. I've had it up for more than 4 weeks now and never got a cycle, the levels have been zero for everything the entire time. ( and they're still zero. I check every day)

I keep SG at 1.023 and PH has been stable at 8.2 for the past 2 weeks. I have a clown and lawnmower blenny inside, they're both pretty happy and the blenny is trying to clean the stuff off those new rocks.

I'm doing a 20% water change now and I'll scrub the rock that is the most brown.. it's pretty much all covered on one side.

Will a skimmer stop the spread of this nasty brown stuff?.. or is it a good idea to let it grow until it runs out of stuff to eat ?
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Old 05-20-2006, 02:27 PM   #8
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Protien skimmers are very beneficial for fish only systems like yours, and if your going to do reef it is a must IMO.

Everything looks like its checking out.

But I see you dont have any sort of cleaning crew. That is what I would do first.

Also do you plan on adding more LR later on?
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Old 05-20-2006, 03:11 PM   #9
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Yes I plan on adding more LR soon.. Money is the issue..

What is recommended for a cleaning crew?

And also, does everybody here recommend a refractometer? I can't get away with just the arm type? It costs a lot so I want to make sure I need it before I go out and buy it.

I got the electronic PH meter which was kind of a waste(don't want this to become the same).. only thing it's good for is matching the PH, but it's hardly ever accurate.. requires calibrating all the time because it gets dirty and it's almost impossible to clean it since the probe is all the way inside.
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Old 05-20-2006, 03:22 PM   #10
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I got the MarineDepot refractometer for $50, works great. Best money I have spent next to my skimmer and light.

Id get about 8 turbo snails to start out. What substrate are you using? If sand you can get some nassarius snails as well.
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