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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello... I have a 29 biocube with apx 30lbs live sand, 25lbs live rock, then tank has been up and running for about 3 weeks, have been keeping up on Chem reg. all seems to be good there, there is 14 hermits, 2 peppermint shrimp, a frag of zoas and some blue Xenia in the tank now, the brown algae has almost comp overtaken everything, my white live sand is brown, even the crab shells!! What can I do to fix this?? I've read to cut back the light times, but with the zoas and Xenia I wasn't sure if less than 12 hrs a day was going to be enough light? This stuff is nasty and growing out of control!! Please help!!
 

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Your tank is still new and is going through its cycle. Sounds to me like Diatoms and will clear up as the paramiters start to level out. Be patient, this is normal. I must say though, that is a lot of crabs for just starting up the tank a few weeks ago. In detail, what are your levels at?
3 you should be concerned with right now are. and should be at 0 or as close to 0 as possible. Will be zero as the nitrification's cycle completes and the bacteria starts to establish.
Ammonia
Nitrate
Nitrite

4 more you will want to start to keep an eye on.
Phosphate
PH
Alk
Cal
 

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You shouldn't have anything in your tank, it hasn't even cycled yet. Need a pic of the brown algae but i'm assuming diatoms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well the reason for the crabs is I took my water to preuss in Lansing and they tested and the levels were... Ph 8.2 ammonia and nitrite both 0, nitrate 2ppm, phosphate .1, kh 7, calcium 450, salinity 1.025, I guess I should mention the live rock came from a 5 year old established tank, I've been told that's why it cycled so fast? I got seachem fusion to help raise kh, the 2 part series and have yet to use the calcium, and phosphate to level out phosphate levels
 

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It is very possible that your tank has already cycled. Do you have your own test kits? If not, I would recommend getting some and test your own water. Though, Preuss is known to be a reputable LFS. I would only use an LFS for back up testing to confirm your own tests. If your tank has indeed cycled then a water change should be in works, say 15-20%. Keep a close eye on the Ammonia and Nitrite levels for another week and if there is still no signs of them, you should be good to add a fish. Take this time to start testing your own water and get a feel for the husbandry requirements, start doing at a minimum of bi weekly water changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have my own test kit, it's only the API reef master test kit, no phosphate calcium or kh test, I am going to order those soon, I put the pepper mints and frag of zoas in on thurs I believe and they seem to be doing great, the zoas look nice and bright, I don't know how to upload full size pics from the app but here's the zoas, forgot to ask what they are, anyone know?
 

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that is good. API is fine for starting out as it is not expensive but, I would only use it for Ammonia and Nitrite. I would get the new Salifer or Red Sea for Nitrate, Alk and Cal, Mag (if your going for corals). Hanna checkers Phosphate checker ppb (better than ppm). IMO.
As for the zoas, I am not sure, almost looks like there are two different colored zoas in that mix.
 

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Diatoms. Minimize your photopeirod and maintain water change schedule and it will pass.
+1 and you can start running GFO as most people need to anyway and it will help with all that, if your cleaning the glass more than once every few days your phosphates are too high.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
There is a red with almost purple and green with a purplish blue, idk why pics won't upload full size from the app??? And I am running phosguard I believe it's called to lower phosphates, haven't tested since I put it in the tank but it was only at .1 so I don't think it's too bad? I'm new to all this I been reading a ton just haven't fig all the bits an pieces yet, how often should I be testing the water? How often on water changes?
 

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wc

i usually average 10% weekly. However since I went to biopellets I do 10% monthly mainly because the parmaters are perfect with Kalk, mag, calc, and alk dosing and they are big tanks. In your case 10% will suffice.
 

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You can easily lower your photoperiod. The corals you have will be fine with much less light, I run mine about 9 hours a day and have all sps, yours are softies and you can easily go less than 9 hours.
 

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As everyone said it sounds like Diatoms. Diatoms feed largely on silicates which can be introduced into the tank 1000 ways. Once the Silicates have all been consumed by the Diatoms they will slowly start to starve and die out. It's all speculating on where the silicates came from.

Common places silicates are often introduced into aquariums
  • Tap water
  • Low Grade Salts
  • New equipment that hasn't been thoroughly rinsed can leach silicates into the water. Often this is part of new tank syndrome.
  • Using old rock that has been in another tank for sometime. Often when Diatoms return unexpectedly in a established system its from silicates that have been trap in the sand bed or live rock getting disturbed then leaching back into the water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just checked my levels with the API reefer kit... 8.2 ph, 0 for ammonia nitrites and nitrates, the brown algae/ diatoms are getting terrible! I cut my lights back to 9 hrs a day and lowered my temps from 81 down to about 78, anything else to do? Or is this just a waiting game? Tank looks awful :(
 

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Just signs of a new tank and will take a while for it to clear up. Nothing you can really do except keep your glass clean and keep up on your husbandry.
 
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