Entering the "Ugly Phase" Need some advice!

kalebos

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Since completely my first cycle, my 30 gallon tank has been up and running for 3 weeks now. I've put in 1 clownfish, 2 nassarius snails, 6 zoa frags, a xenia frag, as well as an Acan. Everything has looked fantastic as far as I can tell and my water chemistry is great. I am noticing a growing presence of diatoms now. I wouldn't consider it an outbreak yet but I looks like its heading that way. I have a deep sandbed that I did not rinse out unfortunately. From what I hear this will definitely provide the diatoms silicates for a good while. I know this is to be expected, but I just wanted some advice going forward.

Assuming this outbreak lasts a few months is it okay to add fish and coral during that time? Also, can you guys recommend some good algae eating snails for me? I don't think I will be putting in any hermit crabs to avoid snail casualties. I am planning on adding a tailspot blenny soon but it's availability seems quite limited in my area so I have no idea when I'll be able to add him to the tank. Lastly, do I just ride out the diatoms or is there something I can proactively do to speed up the process?
 
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Brooke24

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Since completely my first cycle, my 30 gallon tank has been up and running for 3 weeks now. I've put in 1 clownfish, 2 nassarius snails, 6 zoa frags, a xenia frag, as well as an Acan. Everything has looked fantastic as far as I can tell and my water chemistry is great. I am noticing a growing presence of diatoms now. I wouldn't consider it an outbreak yet but I looks like its heading that way. I have a deep sandbed that I did not rinse out unfortunately. From what I hear this will definitely provide the diatoms silicates for a good while. I know this is to be expect, but I just wanted some advice going forward.

Assuming this outbreak lasts a few months is it okay to add fish and coral during that time? Also, can you guys recommend some good algae eating snails for me? I don't think I will be putting in any hermit crabs to avoid snail casualties. I am planning on adding a tailspot blenny soon but it's availability seems quite limited in my area so I have no idea when I'll be able to add him to the tank. Lastly, do I just ride out the diatoms or is there something I can proactively do to speed up the process?
Nassarius snails are good for the sand bed. Can you post some pictures?
 
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kalebos

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Nassarius snails are good for the sand bed. Can you post some pictures?
IMG-4517 (1).JPG IMG-4516 (1).JPG
 
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kalebos

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You didn’t give a lot of info about your tank but I think you may be going a little fast. We all get impatient but in this hobby patience is a virtue.
Three weeks seems a little early to be dropping all that coral.
Agree with post above. You should wait I would say at least a couple months before adding coral to give tank a little time to stabilize
I'm sure you guys are right. I honestly did not plan to add this many coral. I just got caught up in the excitement of browsing coral. So I assume you would suggest not adding more fish or coral. Any suggestions on what to do from here on out? Just sit and wait? Also here is a better picture. I assumed these were diatoms but I'm not sure. I'm a noob. It is a little hairy in some spots but I squirted the stuff with a baster and they blew off and pretty much disintegrated.

IMG-4519.jpg IMG-4520.jpg
 

Brooke24

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For future reference. What would be more useful information to give out since you said I didn't give out much info.
Water params is a big one. It’s the beginning stages of a new tank, which is also why people wait to add coral (wait for more stable params.) if I were you, I would wait it out. It is normal and happens to a lot of tanks.
 
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drtodd

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For future reference. What would be more useful information to give out since you said I didn't give out much info.
That does look like a diatom bloom. It will usually go away on its own. Don’t add anything until its completely gone. Cut your lighting time back if not completely off for a few days. If it gets really stupid consider uv. As far as info that is important giving all water parameters is very useful. Not sure how many times I’ve heard water is perfect and it really isn’t. At the stage you are at I would probably only had 1-2 fish in there. When you see a good accumulation of coralline algae it is safe to add a cheap coral or two. Just go slow!!!!!
 

Marina 34217

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It is easy to get caught up in the excitement and rush things.
Dosing Microbacter 7, as suggested above, will help with the uglies. I would wait before adding anything else that increases your bio load. Just dose bacteria and wait for your system to catch up with your current bio load.
 

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I'm sure you guys are right. I honestly did not plan to add this many coral. I just got caught up in the excitement of browsing coral. So I assume you would suggest not adding more fish or coral. Any suggestions on what to do from here on out? Just sit and wait? Also here is a better picture. I assumed these were diatoms but I'm not sure. I'm a noob. It is a little hairy in some spots but I squirted the stuff with a baster and they blew off and pretty much disintegrated.

IMG-4519.jpg IMG-4520.jpg
Wait 30 days and reevaluate.
 
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kalebos

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It is easy to get caught up in the excitement and rush things.
Dosing Microbacter 7, as suggested above, will help with the uglies. I would wait before adding anything else that increases your bio load. Just dose bacteria and wait for your system to catch up with your current bio load.
I would try using MicroBacter7 or some sort to try to compete with the Dino. Some fight conch snails work to move the sand bed.
Just got some Microbacter7. Do you have a suggestion about how often I should dose my tank in its current condition? There are instructions on the bottle of course but it seems like a lot of people don't follow them.
 

drtodd

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I’m not familiar with that product but if it’s like others it’s just a dose of bacteria that will supplement what’s already there. If that’s the case then pretty safe. Once again just go slow give small amounts until you are confident its a safe product.
 
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Like everyone said, just give it time. I know how it is when you're new, I couldnt wait either, and there are ways to start up an insta tank if you start with mature live rock, but you started fresh with dry rock (which is great that you wont get pests but takes more time) so just chill for the moment and wait a couple months before adding much besides a few snails.
 

Marina 34217

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Just got some Microbacter7. Do you have a suggestion about how often I should dose my tank in its current condition? There are instructions on the bottle of course but it seems like a lot of people don't follow them.
On the bottle it gives directions for “Medium to High Nutrient systems...”. I recommend following those instructions for daily dosing for two weeks. Adding bacteria like MB7 will provide organisms to compete with your ugly microorganisms. It may not eradicate the problem, but it will help and it cannot hurt your tank.
 

davidcalgary29

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I'd add some red macroalgae. Many species of halymenia are gorgeous and will add flow, movement, and colour to your tank while it's maturing. They're also pretty great nutrient exporters -- a win-win situation!

I'd avoid the astraea snail unless you don't have an alternative. Mine kept falling off my aquascape and it was a hassle turning them over all the time. The banded trochus snail has been a wonderful addition to my builds. I do have one Hallowe'en hermit crab, and it's left them alone.
 

Mywifeisgunnakillme

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if the problem algae isn't too bad, get some easy corals in there like mushrooms, xenia, leathers, zoo, even some LPS... You can always swap them out for different corals later, but the nutrient intake and diversity (bacteria) that comes on the coral themselves will help mature the tank more quickly IMO. Try dosing live phyto and pods too.... add a (hang on?) refugium with modest macro... The nice thing about hang on refugiums is that if problem algae does grow, it may be in there and who cares? it's easy to remove their and the refugium becomes an algae scrubber of sorts.

That's how i beat a bad case of dinos last september....
 

Ippyroy

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Diatoms are easy to deal with. Time is the number one way to get rid of them. Make sure you are doing consistent water changes. 10 - 20% weekly and this will help. I would also recommend vacuuming at least half of the sand bed each time you do a water change. The water changes will also help keep your parameters stable. After the diatoms is the fun ugly stages. GHA and dinos. Just keep up with your water changes and keep a healthy diverse CUC in your tank. A good mix of snails. I love my urchin. I am planning on a second one after it warms up.
 
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