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Old 04-25-2018, 07:17 AM   #1
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Question New hobbiest need some help

Hey, I am only 2 months in on owning a saltwater aquarium and need a little help. I have a 55 gallon and I used dry reef rock and live sand with dr Tim's bacteria to start my tank. My parameters r good but my rock is getting brown spots that r spreading fast. I showed pic to my local aquarium guy and he said if I cant rub it off with my finger it is probably the start of coralline algea. Well it is not coming off so wanted to get someone else's thoughts. He said it would turn from brown to purple and had me dosing with calcium now. Pic attached Thanks
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Old 04-25-2018, 07:56 AM   #2
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Sounds like diatoms possibly. I donít see a pic. There is 100% no need to be dosing calcium as nothing is really using it. My #1 rule in sw is if you arenít testing for it do not dose it into your tank. You can do much more harm than good this way.
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Old 04-25-2018, 08:11 AM   #3
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Hey, I am only 2 months in on owning a saltwater aquarium and need a little help. I have a 55 gallon and I used dry reef rock and live sand with dr Tim's bacteria to start my tank. My parameters r good but my rock is getting brown spots that r spreading fast. I showed pic to my local aquarium guy and he said if I cant rub it off with my finger it is probably the start of coralline algea. Well it is not coming off so wanted to get someone else's thoughts. He said it would turn from brown to purple and had me dosing with calcium now. Pic attached Thanks
I'm always leary of the actual knowledge of the fish baggers in aquarium shops. Stop using the calcium. Make sure to find a sea salt that doesn't contain silicates. Brown algae are single celled creatures that have coatings made of silicone dioxide. You need to do at least monthly water changes to keep the nitrates down. Also get some filter media that absorbs phosphate and silicates. I'm only familiar with PhosGaurd, but there are probably other brands. Increase the lighting in your tank. And this is going to sound weird, but get yourself a dropper from the drug store that measures mL's (cc) and a small bottle of Vodka...yes the same vodka used in alcoholic drinks. Add .6 ml (just over 1/2 ml or cc) to the aquarium everyday. Within 48 hours it will begin to drop the nitrates and phophates. Do all of these things and the brown algae growth will drop. Especially get the phosphate/silicate removing media. It would also help if you can get ahold of reverse osmosis water or distilled water to do your water changes. If you have a problem being around alcohol, perhaps you can get someone else to do the daily vodka treatment for you. It only turns out to be a few drops each day...won't get fish drunk. Lol
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Old 04-25-2018, 08:40 AM   #4
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Diatoms IMO. They should clear all on their own .
I agree not to dose anything you can't measure .
Read about carbon dosing before you just dump anything in your tank.
Vodka and vinegar are most commonly used but the start up time [time to grow the bacteria that consume nitrates can take weeks ,not a couple days] ..I dose vinegar to my reef daily .
For PO4 removal most do fine with water changes and GFO in a reactor..
Acceptable PO4 is much lower in marine then fresh..You are looking for .03-.1 depending on what you keep.
To test accurately I recommend a Hanna PO4 colorimeter...
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Old 04-25-2018, 09:38 AM   #5
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One other thing I forgot to mention about water changes it to remove your water buy placing the vacuum part of your water siphoning hose over any fish waste or uneaten food you see in the tank to remove it. With sand as a substrate, try to vacuum about 3/4 of an inch over the debris to avoid picking up sand. You can wiggle the wand over stubborn debris to make it float high enough to get it with the sand.
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Old 04-25-2018, 10:44 AM   #6
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I was told it's not diatoms if it could not rub off. I couldn't get it off with finger or tooth brush. I think pic is attached now. Thanks
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Old 04-25-2018, 10:52 AM   #7
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Diatoms 99%
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Old 04-25-2018, 01:07 PM   #8
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I was told it's not diatoms if it could not rub off. I couldn't get it off with finger or tooth brush. I think pic is attached now. Thanks
Getting diatoms which some people refer to as brown algae is the most common problem when establishing a new saltwater aquariums. They feed on nitrates, but their #1 nutrients are silicates. Make sure from now on that you buy aquarium salt that is low or even better devoid of silicates. I'm not going to give you a 5 page solution on Diatom natural control. I'm a retired Chemist that has no problem using products that can help with problems. One example is made by API Algae control for salt water algicide. There are also mediums you can put in your filter to absorb the phosphate and silicates. One brand I'm familiar with that will remove both is called PhosGaurd, but they're may be other brands. The algicides are so extremely much quicker and I know it won't harm fish, invertebrates, coral, worms, or your biological cycle. There will soon be an antichemical person blasting my use of laboratory tested products, but the algicides work fast and they're safe.
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