Black crap on my sand!

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

  1. Nonfamous

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    I'm sorry to hear that the blackout didn't help :(

    Anyone you can send a sample to?

    In the mean time, sounds like maybe its time to start scooping out the sand....
     
    FishyReef, Aug 28, 2012
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  2. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    I stared sucking out some as I do water changes. It's going to take a while to clear it out to the point of putting new sand in. I did scoop some into a plastic container and am going to leave it on the bottom. Next WC I'm going to put a lid on it and tank it, hopefully undisturbed, to the LFS. I'm hoping the owners wife will be able to give me an idea. She was a chemist at the Atlanta aquarium.
     
    Nonfamous, Aug 29, 2012
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  3. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    It was driving me crazy!! I snuck out earlier and went to the LFS. what was determined was that I have an algae that obviously does not feed on Phosphates. It has a root structure and if left undisturbed starts to gain in height and depth. When left alone it becomes very green.

    Solution? Since my nitrates are zero, I'm going to try to add a good chunk of Macro algae in the sump. If there is no improvement, I will try planting some type of macro in the DT. Maybe bottle brush? Not sure at this point. After that I may try a chemical removal method. That's a long way off though.

    The main concern with water quality at this point is with the Mg and dKH. Both are very low even with dosing and frequent water changes. It's unclear if these two issues are in any way related. I'm going to research past threads on salts and see which is higher in these two areas. I'm almost out of mix so it would be a good time to make a change.
     
    Nonfamous, Sep 5, 2012
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    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Interesting - I wonder if the algae has been feeding on Mg and dKH? If so, that could explain why it keeps growing, especially if you've been dosing. With a root structure, it doesn't sound like a form of cyano to me. Was LFS owner's wife able to give you a name for it?

    Which salt have you been using up to this point?
     
    FishyReef, Sep 5, 2012
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  5. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    She kept a sample and is going to see what she can find. She is 100% sure it's not cyano.
     
    Nonfamous, Sep 5, 2012
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  6. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    Sorry, didn't see your salt question at first. Currently I'm using Seachem. This is my first bucket of it and its nearly empty. I was using IO Reef and regular IO before that. Come to think of it, I didn't have this issue with the regular IO salt. That was 6 months ago and a LOT has changed in my tank since then. I'm wondering if something can feed off of Mg? This would account for its low level and the subsequent drop in my dKH. I don't think this is the case though.

    I'll post it if she comes up with an answer.
     
    Nonfamous, Sep 6, 2012
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    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Seachem is a pretty good mix. But maybe its worth switching back to the IO to see what happens with your levels? Maybe you could buy just a bag to test it out rather than committing with a whole bucket.
     
    FishyReef, Sep 6, 2012
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    Nonfamous

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    She called. No full ID yet but she feels its actually a type of hair algae that either hasn't or is being prevented from, reaching maturity in my tank. YIKES! My whole sand bed is covered with this stuff! I scooped out a bunch today and will go after more tomorrow while doing a water change. I sure want this stuff gone. Looks like it will be a long battle.
     
    Nonfamous, Sep 6, 2012
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    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Do you have any turbo snails? My turbos were masters of eating hair algae.
     
    FishyReef, Sep 6, 2012
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    Nonfamous

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    I have a giant turbo. He never gets on the sand. Even if I dump him on it ge goes right back to the glass or rock. Maybe thats why I haven't seen any on the rocks? I used to have 3 other turbos but I think the starved. :(
     
    Nonfamous, Sep 6, 2012
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    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    I think it'd be unlikely that turbos would help on the sand. As you've noticed, they need something hard (rock or glass) to hold on to.
     
    Bifferwine, Sep 6, 2012
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  12. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    Just a quick note, she is going to let some of this stuff grow in a QT tank she has. Maybe she can come up with a good answer and cure.

    I moved everything off of the exposed sand bed today. I took a net and scooped out everything I could get the net on. Let the water run through a sock for a few hours to clear and did a standard WC.

    One patch of Zoas are a little pissed and my Green stripped mushrooms are real pissed. I haven't seen them ever look this bad actually. Hopefully they will adjust to the slightly different spot they are in. I moved my blue shrooms up to a little ledge I had and they seem to love it. Really inflated and BIG.
     
    Nonfamous, Sep 7, 2012
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    Northstar24 The Tang Herder

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    Sorry that I'm so late to this party, but I would also suggest sending some photos to John over at ReefCleaners.org. I had a NASTY dino's outbreak and he helped me through it and spent tons of time answering questions before I spent a single cent buying things from him. He is the only place I use for CUC now
     
    Northstar24, Sep 7, 2012
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    Nonfamous

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    Already contacted them about 2 months ago. The general suggestion was a Sand Sifting Star and some more snails. I added the snails but skipped the SSS. Not much in the way of a change with the snails.

    I've punted around the idea of a SSS again over the last couple weeks. Still not sold on the idea. My tank is only a year old and I really don't want it competing for food with my Dragonette. I know, they eat trash, but I'm worried about my little fish.
     
    Nonfamous, Sep 8, 2012
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  15. Nonfamous

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    Honestly, I would give the sand sifting star a shot at this point. Your tank isn't super small, and if I were you, I'd be exploring all my options!
     
    Bifferwine, Sep 8, 2012
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  16. Nonfamous

    yote Ceritfied Mantis Hunter Moderator

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    Something else you might think about trying is a sea hare.
     
    yote, Sep 9, 2012
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  17. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    I went back to the LFS today. Picked up a SSS and as suggested, a Sea Hare. What an ugly critter! Actually, I'm "renting" the Sea Hare. Once it does its job, maybe in a week or so, I'm going to take it back for store credit. The owner is a real cool guy and really is trying to help me out with this problem.

    Both are drip acclimating right now. I'll post up progress over the next week or so.
     
    Nonfamous, Sep 16, 2012
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    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Look forward to hearing how these guys work for you! There is a sea hare in my local club that members use as needed and then pass along to the next person - I have no idea how long its been around but it just keeps making its way through the club!
     
    FishyReef, Sep 17, 2012
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  19. Nonfamous

    Nonfamous

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    Posting update here.

    Sea Hare is doing okay I guess. Its still alive and roaming around in the tank. Not as gentle as I read they were. been knocking down lots of stuff. Corals, rocks, turbo snails...... What little algae was on the rocks, it cleaned off. The corners of the tank are clean. Not that there was that much to clean up, but its clean. It has NOT been going after the stuff on the sand.

    I'm giving it till Sunday to show me its interested in the sand or its going back. I really don't want to kill it by starving it to death. Its such a neat critter, I hate to do it any harm.

    The SSS is in the sand. I've seen it a few times so I guess it acclimated well. As I posted in the other thread, I had to break up the gunk on the surface so it could actually get into the sand. I rapidly approaching wits end. Not real sure where I go from here.
     
    Nonfamous, Sep 19, 2012
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  20. Nonfamous

    Ted Living one day at a time

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    Hmm Just recently got back on the forum. I had the same thing in my 48 gallon corner pent. Almost two years ago. I scooped, trashed, messed with, beat my head on the wall etc. Did black outs yada yada yada...sound familiar? I dont have a sump on this tank so I installed a HOB fuge. put Cheato in it and prayed. Ran the fuge light 18 hours a day. Apart from scooping the worst parts every few days didnt do much else. Even cut back on my then religious weekly water changes. Around two months later it was gone. I have no idea what fixed it. Was it the Cheato? Was it less water changes? Did it run its course? No idea but it was gone and never came back. Funny thing is the tank was around 8 to 9 months old when it started. If I read your posts right seems about the same age. Hope this helps....
     
    Ted, Sep 19, 2012
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