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Old 04-22-2010, 06:21 PM   #1
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New tank questions?

Hello all, new to Aquarium Advice. I'm starting up a 38 gallon tank, and i'm preffering a reef tank. The tank is up and running with about 10lbs of live rock, 1 Koralia #2 powerhead and CC as my substrate. I've had the rock in the tank for about 2 weeks now and last night I noticed some diatom on the rockwork. I'm leaving for FL on 4/23 and i'll return on 5/1. If I put the lights on a timer at around 8 hours at a time, what should I expect when I get home ?? Should I put a small CUC in the tank before I leave to help fight the diatoms, or leave it and hope my tank doesn't have a outbreak ?? Thanks

This is my 2nd SW tank, the first was about 6 years ago and I don't remember having the diatoms in my tank. I'm sure I had them, just forgot how I got rid of them !!
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:49 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA! I would definately put some kind of CUC in there. 2 or 3 turbo snails and if you have sand substrate I would put a couple of nassarius snails in there. oh, and how about some pics of you new tank!
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:55 PM   #3
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I knew the pic request would come. I'm at work now so I can't get any pictures now. Maybe I can squeeze them in before I head to the airport tomorrow. I'm sure i'll have time to hit up the LFS before I go. I use the crushed coral as my substrate. I know the sand is better, I just like the appearance of the CC.
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Old 04-22-2010, 06:57 PM   #4
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Don't worry about the diatoms. They are standard in a new tank, and they will burn themselves out sooner than later. They feed of silicates, so as long as you are using RO/DI water, they will disappear fairly quickly.

If i were you, i would wait to put anything in the tank UNTIL you come back from FL. There's no need to buy a CUC just for the diatoms, since they will go away on their own. I know they are an ugly part of a new tank, but don't fret.

Also, CC will become a nitrate factory down the road since its rigid shapes and sizes allow for detritus to fall between the pieces. These are the areas were your clean up crew can't get to, and where it's hard to reach with a python hose(or any hose for that matter) to clean up. I would definitely recommend a sand substrate, but if your set on having CC.. just be sure to do regular maintenance on it. There is definitely nothing wrong with it as long as you keep up with the cleaning involved. Just need to dig a little deeper to get all the crud out.

Pictures would definitely be nice, but i'm sure we can wait until you get back from FL. No rush dude!
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:01 PM   #5
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Zero, I just noticed the diatoms last night. When I left for work the rocks were purplish/normal looking color with coroline on them. When I got home you could definantely tell the diatoms attacked.

The 10lbs or rock in the tank was just to kinda start cycling my tank. My LFS owner gave me some beneficial bacteria out of his sump. He told me that I wouldn't have to cycle my tank now that I put that in there ?? I don't feel comforatable putting stock in the tank without knowing if its going to cycle or not.

BTW I'll be adding 20lbs or so of LR when I get back !!!
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:06 PM   #6
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Sounds like you know what you want to do, so that's definitely a great start. Also, there's nothing wrong with being sure before adding stock since SW stock is pretty darn expensive. Just to be sure, i would test the water when you get back from FL and see if there is any rise in ammonia or nitrites. If there is, then your tank will probably be in its cycle already. If not.. then it may be cycled. As long as that rock was live when you put it in. We'll just have to see what happens.

Also, like i said, don't worry about the diatoms. If you really really dislike the look of them, they are pretty much like powder, so you can take a turkey baster and blow them off the rocks. You could also point a powerhead on the rocks and that should do i good job of keeping the diatoms off them for good.
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:10 PM   #7
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Cool, i'll check the water when I get back. Only plan on adding 2 percula (true percs) clowns and a purple pseudochromis after those 2. I rushed my last tank but still had pretty good results for my first tank.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:27 PM   #8
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So i'm back from vacation. Brown algea everywhere in the tank !! All on rocks, powerhead, CC, you name it and its on there. Just realized my heater went out on me sometime while I was gone. The temp when I checked was 67 degrees. I'm assuming the LR is still ok ?? I added another 25lbs of LR today along with a new heater. I just stirred up the algea and kept the lights on the same 6 hour cycle. The algea moved off any surface with just a light press of the finger. If it helps the algea was a rusty brown color ??

I had my LFS owner check my water conditions and everthing was fine. No ammonia and phosphates were really good. He didn't check nitrites and nitrates because those two previous test came back perfect.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:33 PM   #9
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The algae you are experiencing is diatoms. They will go away on their own as long as you are using RO/DI water. They feed off silicates.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:42 PM   #10
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Well I used about 25 gallons worth of RO water. But the last 13 gallons or so were tap water. But been using RO water since for top offs and such.
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