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Old 10-04-2003, 05:13 PM   #1
shin00bi
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Sand is turning brown at an incredible rate! >:O


Hey guys, interestingly enough my sand is turning brownish green at an incredible rate. I have a 220 watt PC which probably aids in algae growing, but most people I know with the same lights, dont have this problem. I am expanding my cleaning crew soon, yet by the looks of the rate the sand is changing color, it would take a godly number of hermit crabs to sift all that sand. I would say within 8 hours 80% of the sand exposed to light turns brown. I am pretty sure its not overfeeding so will an extra 20 scarlet crabs or nassarius snails solve this problem? I already have 12 blue legged ones maybe not doing their jobs, so anyone who can shed some light on this problem or has a suggestion will be much appreciated. and can have some online beer.

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Old 10-04-2003, 05:34 PM   #2
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It is Diatoms and high nitrate levels are usualy the cause.
As a tank matures they usaully go away
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Old 10-04-2003, 06:20 PM   #3
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Actually I don't think it's high nitrates that cause it, it excess silicates, It will balance out of time as the free silica is utilized. Are you using treated tap water for making SW and replacing evaporative loss? This is a common cause in severe or long term diatom blooms
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Old 10-04-2003, 06:56 PM   #4
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Actually the death of a Diatom is the cause of excess silica.

These algae of the group Bacillariophyta are microscopic cells coposed of overlapping half shells of sillica. These are the diatoms, Which are planktonic and benthic algae that spend their lives floating in the ocean or in the sediments Their sillica shells called frustules are remarably geometric in shap,
These algae proliferate in aquariums with high nitrate levels.

FYI
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Old 10-04-2003, 07:32 PM   #5
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Interesting, I know that diatoms form there geometric skeletons from silica, but it's always been my unnderstanding that they thrive in the presense of silicic(sp) acid. Thats why tap water can be so problematic. Once the available form is used up the diatoms decline. One would think that as large number perish it would feed newer generations, creating more of an ongoing problem. Silica it's self as in silica sand, glass etc will not cause an never ending diatom bloom, its a specific form they can utilize, and my chem knowledge is minimal at best.
Seriously I am not arguing, just relating what I think I know, but I have a hard time making the leap to high nitrates as a cause. I have seen to many swim tanks with killer nitrate levels that had no visible diatoms.
Again I may be wrong, it happens alot, but if you have any links or reference materiel please share.
I can see where an initial diatom bloom might be appearing about the same time as the nitrate start increasing in a new tank, but its a short lived bloom that may or may not coincide with continued elavated nitrates. Any thoughts?
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Old 10-04-2003, 08:02 PM   #6
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Your points are correct and well worded.
My information is not incorrect at all either.
If we took your post and mine put them into a blender with a dash of phosphates I believe we would create Diatom heaven...
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Old 10-04-2003, 08:26 PM   #7
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I have never heard the hi nitrate relation in all the years I have been in the hobby.
Since getting the most accurate info out there for everyone to benefit from is the point of the forum, I was interested in sources. Would you mind terribly if I move this thread into the think tank, I feel it's worth more exploration and I would like to add it to the archives
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Old 10-04-2003, 10:44 PM   #8
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Well, not strictly just nitrates, but any nitrogen and phosphorus source will do --ammonia is an even better resource.
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Old 10-04-2003, 10:47 PM   #9
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Read paragragh "Silicon and aquarium husbandry"
http://www.animalnetwork.com/fish2/a...eb/features/1/
I think this explains both of our points clearly
Don't laugh but I even got some usefull Info. from the book
"saltwater aquariums for dummys" LOL
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Old 10-04-2003, 11:46 PM   #10
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one of the reasons diatoms subside over time is the fact that the sponges start growing. they are better at silica uptake than the diatoms.

Tom- am i remembering right?

shin00b-how long has the tank been set up again? could it be cyano? is it like a slime covering the substrate? if it is diatoms then just wait out the bloom. they are usually pretty quick. if it is cyano, then maybe increas the water flow and increase the skimming.

hth,

G~
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Old 10-04-2003, 11:53 PM   #11
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Mafia man no problem, like I said making the best info available is the goal.
Horge and Geoff thanks for jumpin in, anyone please submit links or sites, I really want a well represented view to archive, this is a common issue
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Old 10-05-2003, 07:08 AM   #12
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We forgot one thing!

Shin00bi: stir the sand, clean the glass wait a day or three
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Old 10-05-2003, 07:55 AM   #13
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I think Nitrates have something to do with it wheres Tom when we need him?
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Old 10-05-2003, 10:24 AM   #14
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thats why i like trt, people are nice even when there are two different opinions!
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Old 10-05-2003, 12:18 PM   #15
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Diatoms are phytoplankton and like any phyto they do need nutrients such as nitrates. Diatoms are most likely always going to be present in your aquarium just in smaller numbers. In my opinion the best way to get rid of the blanket of dead diatoms on the bottom is to siphon them out , so they don't release the silicates back into the water and find the sources of any influx of silicates into your aquarium and limit those.
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