Substrate possibly causing GHA problem

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by Fishie, 14 Jul 2013.

  1. Fishie

    Fishie

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    Hi all,

    I have very fine substrate, tank been running for a year. GHA has become a problem - the substrate has changed colour and looks red / grey / green - any advise please ? Is this a normal mature issue or the possible cause of GHA - Nitrates and Phosphates under control after dosing with No3Po4-X, but would like to get rid of the root cause.

    Any advise would be great ! Thanks.

    image.jpg
     
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  3. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Is the tank standing in the sun?
    That fine gravel shouldn't cause hair algae and looks rather clean from the pic. What filtration are you running?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 15 Jul 2013
  4. Fred d

    Fred d

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    You running t5's bud ... how old are the tubes ... how long the on for per day
     
  5. Fred d

    Fred d

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    When t5 globes get older they could cause the issues you're having
     
  6. Fishie

    Fishie Thread Starter

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    The tank is run on a skimmer and DSB, lighting is 2T 5's, blue and actinic and LED (Cree 3w) So I am guessing it looks normal ?
     
  7. Fishie

    Fishie Thread Starter

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    T 5's are 10 months old ATI
     
  8. ccwilke

    ccwilke Majestic Pets Solutions Sponsor

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    10 months is at the end off it's life span start changing them
     
  9. Fishie

    Fishie Thread Starter

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    The sand issue - with all the lovely colours ? Look normal or could it be a nitrate and phosphate source ?
     
  10. 459b

    459b Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Ati should be fine after 10 months
     
  11. Evo R

    Evo R

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    Looks like cyano and maybe diatoms. Something might be leachimg phosfates back into the system.

    Did you change anything receantly? When was the last water change ect?? did you test the RO water tds reading?How often do you test your parms and with what? as some test kits give wrong readings when they are past their expiry date.
     
  12. Handy

    Handy

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    Are you using play sand?
     
  13. Fishie

    Fishie Thread Starter

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    Hi, not playsand - fine crushed coral.

    Water changes once a week, 25l for 300l system. Testing with Red Sea - all test kits are valid. No idea what it is thought cyno and dyatoms would occur on top of the sand not beneath it. RO is from reputable LFS - never tested it for TDS.

    I am seriously considering a substrate change though, whatever is causing the nitrate and phosphate needs to be taken care of, I don't want it 'just managed' through a bomb or phosphate removers - will end in a seriously long fight.

    Please guys any ideas will be appreciated.
     
  14. Fishie

    Fishie Thread Starter

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    Further consideration on lighting - if the T5's and LED's are ok - the light has to pass through a glass cover, this might be an issue ?

    Would never have thought lighting would cause the sand discoloration, any thoughts ?
     
  15. Fishie

    Fishie Thread Starter

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    Another pic of the sand issue.

    image.jpg
     
  16. the fish

    the fish

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    no that should not be an issue if it is passing through a glass cover. but it is not good as some light actually reflects off the glass and cant penetrate it. maybe get a sandsifting starfish or goby to clean the substrate. might be a good start.
     
  17. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Those colors normally show up in the DSB. Do you have any sand sifters (snails, fish or star fish) on your tank? It could be as simple as not enough clean up crew.
    Another question. What flow do you have in your tank and how big is your tank?
     
  18. Fishie

    Fishie Thread Starter

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    I have 2 sand sifting starfish, 6 blue legged hermits, no sand sifting goby - last blue spotted jawfish committed suicide through a glass cover and plastic netting blocking openings ? Go figure. Any other burrowing critter recommendations for me ?
     
  19. Fishie

    Fishie Thread Starter

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    Tank is approx 300l taking live rock etc into account - flow is 2 x 6000l / hr excluding return.
     
  20. pkc

    pkc

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    When I used T5s and then T2s, I tried several experiments with three different brands over two years to see how long they would last.
    For mine in use for 12 hours a day, they lasted just under 4 months at high quality out put and went down hill from there to useless at 8 months.
    They were still on and appeared great, but the phospha coatings that give the lighting its quality, were seriously heat damaged by then.
    One of the guys had all the lighting testing equip that I used!
    My opinion of resistance lighting now that we have quality leds is they belong in the rubbish!
    You see the dark mass coming through your sand and branching out to two streams just to the right of the centre of your photo, that’s hydrogen sulphide, that and other elements are causing your problems.
    There is no such thing as a useful substrate in your aquarium or any where organic matter can get to it over the long term and sometimes the short term as well, that is if it is any deeper then 15 millimetres.
    A fine substrate is far worse then a large grain substrate, fine grain substrates will become anoxic far stronger and more detrimental to your aquarium then the larger grain substrates.
    If there is brown on top of your substrate, that is diatom algae, if there is green it is standard algae if it is red-maroon then is cyano bacteria, all very normal from them using available silica and nutrients.
     
    Last edited: 15 Jul 2013
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