White chalky substance forming on live rock

Discussion in 'New Members' started by Dorry_, 11 Sep 2010.

  1. Dorry_

    Dorry_

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    Hi Guys, Please help!

    I have just noticed a white chalky substance growing on the live rock and base rock in my newly setup tank. It is a 130 liter tank and has been going now for just 3 weeks. Still in the cycling process. The live rock had lots of purple growth and even a few fan worms growing all over. Suddenly (it appeared within a few hours) we notice a pure white chalky growth/film on the live rock and even on the base rock. The tank is not milky. The temp is 26 degrees and the Ammonia levels were 0.5 after 1 week and are now 0.1 after 3 weeks. The SG is 1.025. The PH is 8.3. Is this chalky substance normal during the cycling process.
    What to do?:(
     
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  3. vatso

    vatso

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    please post a picture
     
  4. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    have you changed anything like lights or any other equipment? did you does anything in the water?
     
  5. Nemos Janitor

    Nemos Janitor

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    Without a pic i would guess.

    1) LR is green or red calcareous rock from Kenya. the calcareous algae is dying off leaving the white calcium.

    2) Diatoms is forming and white bacteria is encrusting the rock.

    To confirm a pic is necessary.
     
  6. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    This is quite normal with "uncured" (or nor properly cured...) live rock, and is indicative of something dead and decaying inside the rock - most likely either a sponge or a rock-boring bivalve. As long as you don't have a high bio load and/or sensitive life-forms (fish, corals...) in the tank, you can just ignore it, as the white "dust" will go away after a few weeks once nature has taken it's course. IMHO this is actually a good thing if one is patient, as the decaying animal if feeding the growing number of filtration bacteria in your system. The dead/decaying animal could (most likely is) be adding toxins to the water, though, and a large (+50%) water change might be needed once the decay has been completed and the white "powder" has disappeared.

    If you are in more of a hurry to introduce livestock (which is NOT a good thing), I would suggest that you remove the rock and probe the area where the most "powder" is forming - just use a strong screw driver to scrape/drill into the rock. The area actively decaying will usually be black, and will stink quite badly. Ream out the decaying bio-mass, using the screwdriver, rinse the rock in salt water, and then return it to the tank. Try to use gloves when doing this, to protect yourself from some rather serious toxins which could be present, especially if the cause is a dead sponge.

    Hennie
     
  7. Dorry_

    Dorry_ Thread Starter

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    Thanx for your quick response. The white substance are less now and has changed the live rock to a very dark green algae. Even the live sand have dark green algae on it now. I will upload a photo asap.
     
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