Nitrate spike and now grey dust like material all over

Discussion in 'New to Reefing' started by sandman, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. sandman

    sandman

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    I had a big nitrate spike about a week and half ago where they were off the chart. Flow was bad in my tank and green algae was forming. Since I have fixed the water flow, done 3 water changes between 10-20 gallons each. The nitrates have come down some but are still present, I have fed less to the fish and the green algae is going away except now I'm getting a lot of grey dust looking build up. This seems to be a lot more on the live rock and almost seems like it is turning from dust into hair.
    My question is what is this dust/hair stuff?
     
    sandman, Sep 27, 2011
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  2. sandman

    wontonflip I failed Kobayashi Maru

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    Does it look like snot? It could also just be cyano.
     
    wontonflip, Sep 27, 2011
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  3. sandman

    sen5241b

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    The 'grey dust' is actually detritus. It can really build up in and on the sand. Good flow and floss can help take it out. Snails and smaller creatures will eat and take more nutrients out of it so that it does not feed algae. Use a turkey baster to blast it off the rock almost everyday then with good flow, most of the detritus will go into your sump/fuge and get filtered out by the floss and carbon.


    You can also stir the stuff up big time and then do a 33% or 50% water change and, in theory, half will get taken out. You may find however there is no perfect way to get rid of all the detritus that builds up in the sand.
     
    sen5241b, Sep 27, 2011
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  4. sandman

    sandman

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    I have increased the flow and every day I use the Baster to blow it off the rocks an it just comes right back. There is also grim algae film on glass that I clean everyday and the next day it is back again. What is causing this?
     
    sandman, Sep 27, 2011
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  5. sandman

    sandman

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    Looks more like dust layered up. Also appears to be growing into a hair like material
     
    sandman, Sep 27, 2011
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  6. sandman

    Luckydog1371usmc

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    I'm having the same problem sandman, I traded a feller out of his 70 gallon tank that came included with live rock and fish and the thing was NASTY! Got it home and set up and noticed the flame queen had died, did a test of the water and the nitrate and phosphate levels were off the charts. He had nothing in the tank as far as maintenance is concerned, so the first things I bought was three turbo snails, around eight hermit crabs, a lawn mower blenny, and a diamond goby. He had a big long black goby with white spots on it, sort of looks like an eel, and it moves a lot of sand, just mainly sticks to one side of the tank. I'm going to try the turkey blaster trick and stir the hell out of it for the next water change. Last night I changed 45 gallon of water and the phosphates came down just a little and the nitrates are still off the chart. I wasn't sure if this was because of that dust or not, regardless the dust is a terrible sight and needs to come out of the tank. Its going to take some time but the tank is beautiful and will really look nice when I finally get it right.
     
    Luckydog1371usmc, Oct 25, 2014
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  7. sandman

    ReeferRob

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    One thing I've learned with buying a used tank is to get rid of the sand when you move it. You don't know how that person took care of the tank. Live rock and sand are HUGE nutrient sinks and with soak up nitrates and phosphates, then release them when you take them out of the water column. We've been battling this very issue with the wife's tank now for 6 months.
     
    ReeferRob, Oct 25, 2014
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