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Old 06-16-2003, 02:52 PM   #1
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Sand is a mess

Hi everyone,
The newbie is back. I set up my tank about 3 months ago, it is a 125 gal, 100lbs of LR 120lbs of regular sand and 60 lbs agra alive sand. I have a few corals in there, about 6 scarlet red leg hermits about 25 blue leg, 2 turbo snails, 15 caribbean snails 2 peppermint shrimp, 1 fire, and 1 coral banded. The top layer of sand keeps getting allege growth. sometimes red some green all different colors really only in low water flow areas, the LFS said just to suck off the top layer when I do a water change and I have done that twice already but I am not sure if that is the best thing to be doing. plus it just comes back. can anyone give me a better idea for a cleaning crew. Something that will stay in the sand and work it all the time. Or is it fine and I should just keep taking the top layer off with a water change. It just looks messy but it doesn't seem to bother anything.
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Old 06-16-2003, 04:10 PM   #2
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Horseshoe crabs are good at sifting the sand. They dig up the top layer and turn it over all the time. Also you could try some star fish, they dig up sand also.

Or, since you know its low flow, buy a powerhead and aim it at that area. If the water is moving it'll be less likely to grow algae.

-Dan
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Old 06-16-2003, 05:25 PM   #3
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great thanks I will try the horseshoe crabs I have 3 powerheads and I am cycling about 15 times an hour if I point them in that area it just blows the sand all around. The LFS says starfish need a well established tank do you think it is to soon to add them or will I be ok.
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Old 06-16-2003, 06:38 PM   #4
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Horseshoe crabs are good at sifting the sand. They dig up the top layer and turn it over all the time
Horseshoe crabs are not the way to go. They will indeed, stir up your sandbed. They will also eat all the good things that live in the sand that help your tank.
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Old 06-17-2003, 11:54 AM   #5
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Hey Hara the LFS said the same thing, what else do you think I could do?
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Old 06-17-2003, 11:59 AM   #6
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Cyano grows in low flow areas so maybe get two powerheads and have them blowing at the bed on either sides of the tank?
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Old 06-17-2003, 12:18 PM   #7
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Cyano grows everywhere once it takes a good hold. (Ask me about it sometime.)
Once it is well established it is simply work. Keep it vacuumed up, lower the nutrient level in the water with ro water changes, good protein skimmer and most
important....time. I have tried the no light theory, it helps with hair algae, but not cyano, I have had it grow in the nozzle of the powerhead, on rocks under the water flow...

I bought some micro hermits, they seemed to like the stuff, but my tank is so
big that they barely make a dent.
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Old 06-17-2003, 01:03 PM   #8
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Cyano grows everywhere once it takes a good hold. (Ask me about it sometime.)

I will also atest to that. It is really a matter of where the Cyano wants to grow. The water flow theory is just that, a theory. It is a double edge sword. You will see it crop up in many different areas of the tank. Mine seemed to love the high flow areas, as well as the low flow areas. I believe in the lower the nutrients and the RO water method. It works. I recently went through a major battle and it is still going on in very small quantities after 30 gals of water changed and a complete tear down and brushing of all rocks. Man what a pain in the @$$ . I have to say now though, the PO4 is down to .3 which is way down from 1.5 or so...The nitrates are barely readable at .2 and I am thoroughly pleased in the finished result of all the cleaning.. The Cyano and Hair algea is gross..I had about 4 inches of the muck in the bottom of a 5 gal bucket when I was done... The fish seem happier now that they have a clean home...
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Old 06-17-2003, 02:18 PM   #9
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I actually got some red slime remover from my LFS yest to address the Cyano in my tank. It looked like it did the trick, this morning i didnt see any of that stuff anywhere. And for the horseshoe crab, i got one, he hasnt done anything more than stir up the sand. The Cyano kept coming back. I'm keeping him couse he is kinda a kool. A bit of a conversation piece.
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Old 06-17-2003, 02:34 PM   #10
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You cannot "see" the damage the horseshoe crab does, what he does is deplete the tiny creatures living in your sandbed. The red slime remover is just a "quick cure" that does not address the problems that cause the red slime, in fact, it can exascerbate them by killing the good bacteria in your rocks and sandbed.

I had two horseshoe crabs, until I was doing a midnight tank watch with the flashlight and could no longer see life down there.
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