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Old 12-07-2014, 07:03 PM   #1
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Red on sand

Hey everyone! I have a tank that is currently just sitting there not cycled or anything. I have a few plants and rocks. I wanted to work on aquascaping before getting fish. I've noticed that the sand and some of the rocks have been xoated with something that looks like rust. Any ideas? Me and the person at the LFS thought Cyanobacteria, and I got a treatment for it. Any other ideas though?

Also, what exactly is Cyanobacteria, and what happens if it's in your tank?

Thanks!
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:38 PM   #2
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Can you post a photo of the problematic growth? Maybe it's
Diatoms? If it's cyanobacteria, it also goes by the name of blue green algae or BGA. There are many articles, threads here, and YouTube videos that will do it much more justice than me explaining it.

Here's a couple:
http://www.fishlore.com/aquariummaga...nobacteria.htm

http://www.malawicichlidhomepage.com...thromycin.html

What's more important before your start any treatments is to properly ID the culprit. So I'd post a photo to make sure.
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:50 PM   #3
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Thanks! Did not realize that BGA and cyanobacteria were the same. Don't think this is it then.

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Could be diatoms then? What do you think?
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:54 PM   #4
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Cyanobacteria is a bacteria that has photosynthetic abilities. They are some of the oldest known strains of bacteria. Personally I'm going with diatoms because of silica sand.

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Old 12-07-2014, 11:57 PM   #5
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Ok. How do I treat diatoms?
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Old 12-08-2014, 12:03 AM   #6
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Ok. How do I treat diatoms?
Turn off the lights. The picture looks more brown than red to me, but cyanobacteria is possible for sure. You said the tank was not cycled, so I'm assuming the sand is new and whatnot. If it's red I'm leaning toward the cyanobacteria.

Diatoms need light to live, or they go away on their own in a few months.
Cyanobacteria isn't as simple.

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Old 12-08-2014, 12:06 AM   #7
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Ok. But I can't just leave the lights off for a few months. I have plants in there, won't they die without light?
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:56 AM   #8
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Ok. But I can't just leave the lights off for a few months. I have plants in there, won't they die without light?
Reduce your photo window and split it up into smaller chunks with a few hours in between the chunks. I have 3 on, 3 off, 4 on for 7 hours total per day.

You could start by turning the lights off for 2-3 days and then returning to your lighting schedule.

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Old 12-08-2014, 11:24 AM   #9
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Alright. Lights won't be going on for the next few days. Then I'll reduce the photoperiod. Thanks for your help, I'll keep you posted!
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Old 12-08-2014, 01:17 PM   #10
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Alright. Lights won't be going on for the next few days. Then I'll reduce the photoperiod. Thanks for your help, I'll keep you posted!
Yeah, simple steps first. Since you have no fish in the tank so your situation is easy if you have to use antibiotic treatments.

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