Brown stuff on sand tanks is a year old

Discussion in 'Algae (including nuisance algae and bacteria)' started by tigastt, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. tigastt

    tigastt Well-Known Member

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    I am starting to give up on my 40G Breeder. I've had the reef tank for 1 year, the only thing I changed is my salt. Went to Fritz. I am having problem with this brown stuff on my sand and some dusting on my rocks that I blow out every time now, even my frag racks has dustings. I don't know why I'm having this problem.. It's been 5 weeks... I have tried everything. 30% water change every week, siphoning the sand, adding BRS GFO high capacity, slime remover, 3 days no lights no feeding, brushing all rocks. Adding Purigen and Chemipure Elite on my sump. What else can I try ? :( I'm also running a refugium. My skimmer is set to almost max and have a big bottle to actually catch the water it will spill out. Yes I bought 5 mexican huge snails, they do the job at night, but when the light comes on the brown stuff comes back and those dusting on the rock ..


    TDS on my 4 stage RODI = ZERO
    Temp - 74-77
    ATO is with BRS Kalkwasser
    and
    Auto dose of Mg and Ca

    Here are my tank parameters.
    Phosphates - 0.25-0.50 ppm
    Nitrates - 2-5 ppm
    Ammonia - 0
    PH - 8.2
    ALk - 11
    Calc - 410ppm
    Mag - 1300 ppm

    All from Salifert test kits

    I'll try to take a picture this afternoon when I go home.

    Please help
     
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  2. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    What you are describing sounds like diatoms. Diatoms are caused by having silicates in the water. How old are the filters in the RODI unit? If I remember correctly, silicates will not show up on a TDS meter in RODI water.
     
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  3. tigastt

    tigastt Well-Known Member

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    2 month old, It's a new RODI system. I moved from 3 stage to 4 stage. Gave my 3 stage to a friend
    Okay, I guess I will need to buy silicate tester, now if that is present what do I do ?
     
  4. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    You need to find where the silicates are coming from. it could be that they are leaching from your rock and/or sand from when you first set it up. This is the source of most silicates in a new tank. It would be a little odd for it to show up on a year old tank from them.
    It's also possible that you have silicates coming in with the salt mix. Silicate contamination in salts is uncommon but not completely unheard of.

    If what you have really are diatoms, as soon as you find and eliminate the source of the silicates they will go away on their own as soon as they consume all of the silicates in the tank.
     
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  5. tigastt

    tigastt Well-Known Member

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    I will test for silicates on my RODI, I have a question.. Sorry if I ask a lot, how will I know if the rock or sand is leaching ?
     
  6. Brew12

    Brew12 Electrical Gru R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Great question. Most people know it is happening because they start getting diatoms! :D

    Unfortunately, I really don't know another way to test to verify if they are the source.
     
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  7. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad

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    If you have some gfo , put it in a bag on the return pump. If you have a reactor use that. It'll pull silicates.
    Although you are already running a binder. Sooo.


    Grab a pic when you can, pretty much spitballing without an Id.
    Could easily just be a need for more snails for brown slime algae.
     
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  8. Mark Waltermire

    Mark Waltermire Member

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    If you could post some photos it would be helpful. You also said that you're running high capacity GFO, but you said your phosphates are .25-.5ppm. That's a large range of difference between those 2 numbers, and most people shoot for phosphate being around .02ppm. The phosphate won't cause diatoms, but it does show that either your GFO is already consumed or that you need to invest in a reactor. GFO is very ineffective just being placed in a sump. The GFO can act to bind the silicates.
     
  9. tigastt

    tigastt Well-Known Member

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    I will post photos, I am running a single brs reactor and at the same time a bag in the sump. I will take photos of the tank and whole setup as well as the silicates test results when I get home
     
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  10. tigastt

    tigastt Well-Known Member

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    Here is the video of tank and sand problem and brs reactor with brs HCGFO, also sump with small bag of HCGFO as well.

    Silicates are both 0 on rodi and tank water using seachem test



    Pictures also attached. You can see the frag rack with brown particles.

    20171030_174747.jpg

    20171030_174747.jpg

    20171030_174158.jpg

    20171030_174044.jpg
     
  11. tigastt

    tigastt Well-Known Member

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    @Brew12 , @saltyfilmfolks , @Mark Waltermire
    I posted the video and pictures, any suggestions, help is greatly appreciated. This is video today, yesterday I did a water change. sorry for SPS bleaching that's another story
     
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  12. Mark Waltermire

    Mark Waltermire Member

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    I would say that they appear to be diatoms, but I would let someone else who is more experienced chime in. The way I removed diatoms in my tank was to run the normally with all the lights for about 2 weeks and then they disappeared. I did no water changes during that time and I think that's important.
     
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  13. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad

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    Honestly it looks pretty normal. Id get a bunch more snails in there. That's about it. That'll pass. You could try some microbacter 7. Its bacteria and think it has a bit of a carbon source , so don't use too much. It'll just boost your bio filter.

    Are you cleaning the sand?

    Sweet tank too.
     
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  14. tommyhere

    tommyhere Well-Known Member

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    Sum people have great success with no diatoms and some live with them. There is nothing more effective at getting rid of diatoms like phosguard it will stripped the water of all silicates! And your tank will be squeaky clean but, (yes there is a but). Corals hate it so bad! They can die or not open for months. Wene running heavy on phosguard, take your time upping dose. Your really aming to rid your tank of them.
    What I did is I used it until I felt they were under control and then started running heavy on rowaphos. Now a days I only have to clean my tank once every 2 weeks. I use to battle every day keeping the tank clean. My secret's lol
     
  15. tommyhere

    tommyhere Well-Known Member

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    O just watched your video are your rocks from the ocean?
     
  16. tommyhere

    tommyhere Well-Known Member

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    There super white?
     
  17. tigastt

    tigastt Well-Known Member

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    you ran the lights 24/7 for 2 weeks ??

    Microbacter7 ? I've seen this on my LFS, I'll read more about it. Yes always siphoning the sand during WC
    Thanks I hope to make it sweeter :(

    Phosguard from Seachem ? I used the Purigen but didn't work, I'll give the Phosguard a try though, but wouldn't the BRS HCGFO is enough ? Just need to up the dose ? If all else fails I'll try the rowaphos

    Oh no, I brushed/cleaned the rocks, because they had hair algae on them, see picture I attached below, this was my old rock work.
    Also, some of the white rocks came from the sump because I re-did my rock work too, and re-placed my powerheads because I though at first the brown stuff are dead spots

    20170928_194400.jpg
     
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  18. keddre

    keddre Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I embraced it on the rocks and let my snails and hermits tackle the sand. Either way, it's a nice tank
     
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  19. tommyhere

    tommyhere Well-Known Member

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    Yes phosguard works so much better it will pull out your phosphate first and then attack the silicate as it states. Buy a big container of it, I keep the big tub of it, but don't need it any more because it has gotten me to a control area where I can just use rowaphos.
     
  20. tommyhere

    tommyhere Well-Known Member

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    Phosguard is so strong they don't even state using an reactor. Just put it n a high flow area in a bag
     
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