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Old 09-21-2005, 11:49 PM   #1
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Snow in Tank??

Hello - I'm a rank beginner with aquariums, so I appreciate the expert advice. My setup is a Nanocube 24G with 24lbs of liverock and 24lbs of livesand - currently have 3 fish (and about 6 snails): Tomato Clown, Foxface Rabbitfish, and a Damsel. My problem is that after letting the tank cycle for about a month, I started noticing some white "dots" in the tank. After doing a 25% partial water change, it was still there, and it was in the filter when I took it out and cleaned it. When you look in the tank normally, some of it is swirling around, but it gets bad anytime you agitate water near the bottom. The best way I can describe it is that it looks like those decoration water toys you shake up and it looks like snow. At this point, I'm not sure how to rid myself of it - any help would be greatly appreciated!


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Old 09-22-2005, 12:11 AM   #2
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maybe you have REALLY hard water and your salt mix precipitates out of solution? just a guess. What does your SG read? Do you get alot of fluctuations in your SG? What about dissolved calcium levels? If those get really high you would get some to precipitate out. Add anything new to the tank? Maybe your sand is really fine and gets stirred up easily? These are all the questions I can think of.

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Old 09-22-2005, 04:44 PM   #3
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You might want to take to your LFS a water sample and let them test it for you if you don't already have some tests. Specifically you need to test for ALK and calcium. Have you been dosing any additives? If you have, then this might be the problem, if not then like scottm said you might have really hard water.
Are you using RO/DI water to fill and top off your tank?
Well let us know more of your water parameters to better understand your situation.
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Old 09-22-2005, 04:47 PM   #4
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Sounds like detritus and other live rock particles in your water. My water always has some element of this. You could try adding a filter sock or more mechanical filtration.... or just do like I do and look past it! I thought there was something wrong with mine initially too. No such luck, just normal dust

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Old 09-22-2005, 10:00 PM   #5
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Are these stuck to the walls and rocks? If so it is probably a good thing and shows life in the tanks as your pods population may be growing.

Do all the above though is you are not already testing.

I would be concerned about the fox face in a 24g tank though as they can get large and are recomended for a 70g or larger tank. Even the tomato clown is pushing the size limit.



The other two inhabitants are OK, but may be a territorial problem if you did want to add a third fish assuming the foxface goes back to the LFS.

Check out this link for some fish that might be more suited for a set up like yours:


Keep in mind though that 3-4 is probably your max. More hermits and snails and shrimp are a good idea though and with your lighting once the tank is established (6months or so) you can play with the idea of an anenome and corals.

I know it is tough starting out, but you came to a good place.


Tank: 90 Gal SW Reef in the making

See my info for setup and inhabitant details:
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Old 09-28-2005, 11:23 PM   #6
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Hey guys..sorry for the delay in response - I have been on business and wasn't able to login till now. Anyways, thanks so much for all your help. It does seem to be mainly in the rocks and on the bottom. Anything that agitates the live rock or bottom of the tank (i.e. glass magnet, fish moving quickly from a rock, siphoning) makes it look really bad till it settles..like I said, they're just white particles, so it looks like snow in the tank for a while. I tested a couple weeks ago for amonium, nitrates, nitrites, etc. and all looked well - didn't do anything with calcium (no additives added). So just for peace of mind, do you all feel that this is not a danger to the fish? Honestly, I was told regular tap water would work fine so that is what I've been using to fill and top off.

I'm hoping the foxface rabbitfish does ok in this tank for awhile..it's definitely my favorite fish of the bunch. I did notice the other day a couple small brown marks on its one side..they don't seem to be open wounds, but almost look as if it hit something or possibly was bit by another fish. The tomato clown can be pretty agressive, but for the most part they all seem to now get along. I introduced the clown to the tank first, then the rabbitfish a couple weeks later, then the damsel a few weeks later. I thought the damsel was going to be clown dinner for awhile, but it was way too quick in escaping so I guess the clown just figured it wasn't worth the effort

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