Black crap on my sand!

Discussion in 'Algae' started by Nonfamous, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    I'll se if I can shoot a picture. Cameras took a beating in the Bamahas so don't count on it.

    My sand bed looks like crap. When I left there was a little bit of brownish stuff there. Figured it was normal stuff. Came back and not most of my sand is covered with a black/dark grey YUCK. Its not hard and doesn't feel slimey to me. It breaks off in clumps keeping clean sand on the underside. I don't think its cyano, but I could be wrong. Any ideas what kind of stuff this could be?
     
    Nonfamous, Jul 20, 2012
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  2. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    Best I can do with the crappy Kodak.

    [​IMG]
     
    Nonfamous, Jul 20, 2012
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  3. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    No ideas huh? Well I cleaned it up the best I could and put a filter sock on. I'll let it run for a few days and see what I get. At this rate I'm going to have to put in some new sand.
     
    Nonfamous, Jul 21, 2012
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  4. Nonfamous

    little_fish Moderator

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    looks like a brown cyano, i would just get back on your regular water change schedule and hope it clears up
     
    little_fish, Jul 21, 2012
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  5. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    Well here is what I did.

    I used a net and a scoop and cleaned out as much as I could get. Its not slimy like Cyano though I guess there are different kinds and this could be different that previous ones. Probably removed about .5 lbs of sand with it.

    Added 12 more Nass snails.

    Removed a dead turbo that I found. Not sure why he died but I think he likely starved sadly.

    Did a 15% WC.

    Added back a filter sock for a while and cranked up the skimmer.

    So far so good. Actually, the sand is looking better than it has in a while.
     
    Nonfamous, Jul 22, 2012
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  6. Nonfamous

    little_fish Moderator

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    Sounds like a good move!
     
    little_fish, Jul 22, 2012
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  7. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    Well I'm coming back to this since I still haven't solved any problems.

    I went out of town for 4 days leaving the tank to fend for its self. I fed a large meal before I left and again as soon as I walked in the door. The tank was nasty to say the least. Glass was covered in slime. Easy to clean off but as bad as I have ever seen it.

    I tested Phosphates and Nitrates. 0.0 and less than 5.0 respectively.

    What bothered me most was the sand again. It was covered in the "black" stuff shown in the picture above. This time when I disturbed it it seemed like a sheet and broke into large pieces. I got a sifter and scooped some of it out. In normal room light this stuff isn't black. Its green. Its not slimy feeling and breaks up easily with no sign of a root structure.

    Any ideas what it is an how ti rid my tank of it?
     
    Nonfamous, Aug 6, 2012
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  8. Nonfamous

    little_fish Moderator

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    Im not really sure, I had something similar to that in my tank, it never got very out of hand like you have in your photo though. I just sucked it out with each water change.
     
    little_fish, Aug 6, 2012
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  9. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    I've been trying to physically remove it, but I'm losing so much sand by doing that I'll soon have a bare bottom if I keep it up. Normally I do WC by removing water from the sump and not the DT. Lately though I have been try to suck up this stuff. Its a real pain for me to do a WC from the DT. My pumps just arent rated for that kind of lift. Guess I need bigger pumps!

    It would be nice if there was a solution to this issue. I know I would be happier!
     
    Nonfamous, Aug 6, 2012
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  10. Nonfamous

    little_fish Moderator

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    I hear ya, i feel bad I dont have a better answer for you.

    The only thing i can think of is that if its only growing on the sand bed, maybe you should remove all the sand and let it run bare bottom for a few months to kill it off and then put back in the sand.
     
    little_fish, Aug 6, 2012
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  11. Nonfamous

    d2mini VIP Member

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    How long has that sand been in your tank?
    Do you have sand sifting clean up crew like nassarius snails, stars, etc? How many?
    Do you feed heavy?
    What kind of flow do you have in the tank?

    I would guess (and its really just a guess), that you have excess nutrients in the sand that are surfacing. Might be helpful to start vacuuming small sections at time. You don't want to release that stuff into the water column in large quantities or you will kick off a cycle.
     
    d2mini, Aug 6, 2012
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  12. Nonfamous

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    LOL, you said the "F word" to him. You are asking for it now! :rofl:
     
    Bifferwine, Aug 6, 2012
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  13. Nonfamous

    d2mini VIP Member

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    I guess I missed something in another thread. :dunno: :)
     
    d2mini, Aug 6, 2012
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  14. Nonfamous

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Bifferwine, Aug 6, 2012
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  15. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    Lol.... Flow. I'll leave it be. I can be nice.

    I'm running 1 x 1050 and 2 x 750 power heads us the return pump, corrected, at 612 gph. I have good flow.

    Sand is right at 1 year old. Pink Fiji 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep. I have been agitating the top 1/2 inch or so for a few weeks. No change in parameters. Not clearing up either. I have about 20 nass snails 11 turbins and 1 giant turbo. No stars. I did have a sand sifter but retuned it so it wouldn't starve.

    Lightly feed frozen once daily. Rods is the food mixed with Sally's. Bio load is what I call borderline heavy. 10 fish in a calculated 114 gallons of water. Skim constantly. Run phosban 24/7, carbon and filter socks every other week or so.

    RODI since startup. 47 in, 4 RO, 0 DI. Seachem salt.
     
    Nonfamous, Aug 6, 2012
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  16. Nonfamous

    NaCIfishman

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    this looks exactly like the stuff i have growing. its a fairly new tank and and i just got rid of the diatoms about two weeks ago... now i have this crap :frustrat:

    i have a couple of nassas and a rabitfish that pick at it but it doesn't help much. this weekend i aimed the returns down toward the sand and that helped quite a bit..
     
    NaCIfishman, Aug 9, 2012
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  17. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    Contrary to my personal experience, I have redirected flow in my tank. I have a Koralia 1400 mounted stage right, up front facing stage left pointing down as far as it will go. I also have, stage right rear, a Koralia 750 pointed stage left blowing across the rocks. On stage left I have a Koralia 750 centered facing stage right aimed slightly to the top.
    (Draw it out, you will understand!)
    Not only has my issue NOT cleared up, it has gotten WORSE. My snails do nothing except break through it when its feeding time. All parameters look good. Ka is a little low, but no one feels this has anything to do with the problem.

    Any other suggestions before I start scooping out my sand?
     
    Nonfamous, Aug 12, 2012
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  18. Nonfamous

    Kelz88 Got Reef?

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    perhaps ask wetwebmedia?
     
    Kelz88, Aug 13, 2012
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  19. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    I've been poking around wetweb and honestly, I'm not getting much out of it. In the visual ID section there is nothing that even remotely looks like what I have. I read a lot of the algae section and one series of posts goes so far as to say that this black gunk means the tank is healthy! I am at a complete loss as to what to do.

    I tested everything again today. All parameters are spot on except the pH, which is 8.0, and my KH, which is 5.5. I no longer test for Phosphates since there is no reliable test for them. I just run phosban 24/7 just in case. (I know that a pH or 8.0 is quite acceptable)

    I'm thinking a sand sifting star may be my last option to clear this up. Only problem is that there are none in any of my local stores.
     
    Nonfamous, Aug 13, 2012
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  20. Nonfamous

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Send your pictures and story to WWM in an email. They will send you a personalized response. They have always been my go-to suggestion for people if their questions are stumping everyone.
     
    Bifferwine, Aug 13, 2012
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