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Old 09-26-2012, 02:01 AM   #1
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New growth

Hi- my tank is a couple weeks old now and i am starting to see some good growth in the sand and on the live rocks. However, I am still not 100% positive at what I am looking at. Over the last day, the brown growth has become heavier on the rock. I attached a pic of the front of the rock (which has gotten much darker) and the back of the rock which is more the color it started out as. I also attached a pic of the growth on the sand. Is this all normal?
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:03 AM   #2
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They are diatoms, an algae that feeds off of silicates. Usually appears when a cycle is ending or poor water quality. Pretty harmless, just looks unappealing. It will eventually starve itself and "disappear." It took about a week for them to disappear in my tank. Plus that is a treat for your CUC. My crabs & snails devoured that stuff so fast!
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:04 AM   #3
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PS- all my levels are normal. pH is 8.4, ammonia is a tad up at .25 but the nitrates are 0. Nitrates are 5ppm. I have been adding Stability new tank stabilizer over the last week, but with all this growth I am going to hold off on doing it any more.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:06 AM   #4
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And yes, the tank is still cying. I think the water quality is OK, all R/O water ad the levels above are pretty good for a newer tank. I honestly think I still have a couple weeks to go for the tank to cycle completely.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:09 AM   #5
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Yes, but the diatoms are feeding off of silicates in the water (maybe from water source of sand), at least that's what I read a while ago. I know that when you get hair algae your parameters will read 0 nitrate and 0 phosphate making you believe water quality isn't the issue, but the hair algae is consuming those nutrients making them 0, so that's why they grow. Almost everyone gets diatoms, even experts, it's just part of the cycle kind of. And what is stability new tank stabilizer?
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:11 AM   #6
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Why would you need more time for your tank to cycle. How long has it been cycling? If there is 0 ammonia and 0 nitrite, and you saw these levels rise and fall and convert into nitrate, I'd say your cycle is already done! When did you add your CUC btw? 5 ppm is ideal. You could add a fish or even corals if you're tank is set up for that, because the parameters seem to be doing fine.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:26 AM   #7
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CUC? Not sure what that is. The Stability is a bio-filter establisher and introduces both aerobic and anaerobic bacteria along with facultative bacteria. Its only been up for 2 weeks total, so it seems kind of short to me. But maybe it's doing great!? Ive got a couple clowns and a couple damsels in there now to help and they seem to be doing good.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:28 AM   #8
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The levels really havent spiked up at all either. They have all stayed pretty normal.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:17 PM   #9
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CUC stands for clean up crew..at least on this forum . Did you have a cycle though? I mean did the ammonia raise above 3 ppm? Like 4 or 5? Then did the nitrites get high and the nitrates get high later? If you haven't been testing before, then who knows how your cycle turned out. Anyway it seems like you are finished or being near completion. Reefcleaners.org is the cheapest online store I have found for CUC. Many lfs sell their hermits for $1.50, these guys sell them for only $0.40! (you have to pay something extreme like 30 dollars shipping for some of the animals if you don't spend over 175. If you do buy from them, I'd say just get the snails, etc. that aren't marked with a * and get the rest at your lfs.
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