Substrate Going Black

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by Pads, 3 Nov 2009.

  1. Pads

    Pads

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    Hi guys, I've had my system running now for about 6 weeks, I added reggies into the DT and virtually since I've had it one section has been progressively turning black. I can see that there's life in the sand but I'm thinking that the blackness can't be good. I haven't tested the water as I don't know what to test.
    Any suggestions. Here are some pics

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  3. Johan van Aardt

    Johan van Aardt I love marines [R.I.P.]

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    That does seem weird never seen that happen before. Try and move the sand around would be my guess
     
  4. JD167

    JD167

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    It's a rather deep SB you have there. Could just be part of the cycle??
     
  5. Apollo

    Apollo

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    Pads,

    IMO the black areas signal an anearobic buildup ( anoxic) due to increase of sulphur dioxide. Not a good thing to have.
    Normally , one does not want to disturb these black patches for fear that they will release the sulphur ( as Hydrogen Sulfide) which not only smells really bad , but can also poison the water.

    In your case ( and if you do not have livestock) , I would suggest that you move the sand around a bit in order to aerate the sand bed and rid it of sulphut build up

    How deep is your sand bed and how much flow and oxygenation is there in the tank ? ( Can't see clearly from the pics)
     
  6. Pads

    Pads Thread Starter

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    In that portion of the tank the SB is 6cm on the other side of the tank like 1cm, with the flow my sand has been moved around. This side may have lower flow though. Unfortunately I do have live stock, 2 clowns, 1 cleaner wrasse and a picasso trigger. Flow may be a little low but the SB is quite shallow. It is quite fine though so there might be a lack of oxygenation. I don't really wanna wipe out everything.
     
  7. Pads

    Pads Thread Starter

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    Flow is 22 times tank volume right now.
     
  8. Apollo

    Apollo

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    Pads,

    It could be that your substrate is too fine and that in turn is trapping some detritus which just end up rotting away. IMO this will not get any better. You can try to siphon off some of it , but it will come right back again in a week or so.

    Once again IMO the only cure for this would be to remove the sand bed and replace with a slightly coarser grained substrate .

    Let's see though if the more experienced members here have something else to add .
     
  9. Sentari

    Sentari

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    Pads i would personally decrease the substrate to 3cm. The reason i'm saying tha is because the sand is being compacted. I would then siphon off when you do water changes and you should be okay.
     
  10. Slummies

    Slummies

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    your tank is going to blow up mate. rescue livestock!
     
  11. Pads

    Pads Thread Starter

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    I don't feed much at all and I'm not seeing much debris on the sand surface. I think increasing my flow will help in that regard to keep debris in suspension.
    I'm really not keen on using coarser sand. There's a catch 22, too coarse will trap detritus, too fine then no oxygenation. :banghead:

    Not a bad idea, I was kind liking the look of a deep bed. But you may well be right on the sand compacting. It is quite fine. I'll siphon a bit off and see where get to.

    Not quite what I wanted to hear but I'll get busy removing some substrate and get a few water changes under way.
     
  12. Sentari

    Sentari

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    Pads if you want i stay close to you. You're welcome to come chuck your livestock in my tank for awhile till you happy with everythinng.

    Everything should be okay. What size are your clowns?
     
  13. Slummies

    Slummies

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    i hear this happens in our DSB at times.. scary hey
     
  14. Sentari

    Sentari

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    Yep it does.

    What i did was put water in before putting the sand in so that it doesnt compact :) this is usually the main cause of this happening.
     
  15. Pads

    Pads Thread Starter

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    Hey Deon, Thanks for the offer. Will you PM my your cell no. I'll ring you tonight.
    Shot ;)
     
  16. Sentari

    Sentari

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    No problem bud! Always willing to help out.

    What clowns are they and how big are they? Just want to make sure they wont fight with mine. I have 2 ocellais small. Also dont want to confuse them. Mine are paired pretty well. But they arent agro...
     
  17. Pads

    Pads Thread Starter

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    Eish... My are false percs. 4cm and 6cm, I'd also say they're paired up well. The little one was a little feisty toward a chromis I had. Otherwise well behaved. I'm worried they'll upset yours. Maybe with new surroundings they'll fall into line.
     
  18. Sentari

    Sentari

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    oh well lets see what happens. I have 4 chromis and they all calm... You never know they might just give yours a klap into place :) Let me know.
     
  19. Pads

    Pads Thread Starter

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    4 on 1 are better odds than 1 on 1, I agree! :27:
     
  20. danimal

    danimal

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    my DSB has started to also go black at the bottom, I was told though that it is a good thing and a sign of the maturing process... is it a case of it being good when covered by 15cms, and not so good when at shallower levels?
     
  21. Hermanus

    Hermanus

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    I think in the DSB it is not that a big problem because you will never disturb the substrate in a way that it will release the bad gases, but in the DT with water movement or a power head falling of water changes ext, there is a risk that that bad gases can be released when the substrate is disturbed.

    In the DSB the black part must just be on the bottom and it is a sign that the dsb is thick enough and that there is no oxygen, you don't need it to turn black if there is no black it will be better I think(risk wise) but if it is @ the bottom shouldn't make any trouble

    Just my 2C, I say again this can be wrong and needs more closer mybe from someone with more experians! :)
     
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