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  1. #1
    Senior Member AfishIonado's Avatar
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    End of cycle brown sand? Diatoms

    So I have a new SW tank at the end of its cycle and I've noticed brown algea growing on my live rock and sand... How do I get rid of it? Cleaner shrimp or snails or water change or what? Or will it go away on its own?


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  2. #2
    Senior Member TL1000RSquid's Avatar
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    Some snails and a couple hermits will do a pretty good job cleaning it up.



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    Senior Member xDetroitMetalx's Avatar
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    Clean up crew (CUC) you can get a great deal off Reefcleaners.org
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  4. #4
    wocka wocka wocka! Fozzybear's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if its just true for FW but normally once the tank is cycled the brown algae stops growing. I do frequently clean the glass in my tanks so I'm not sure if it goes away on its own, or if my CuC gets to it or if I take it off myself, but from my perspective it just goes away a few weeks after the tank establishes.
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  5. #5
    Moderator greech's Avatar
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    Brown algae on the sand are in fact diatoms and the only thing that I know of that will clean them up are florida fighting conchs and tigertail seacucumbers. Neither should be added however, until ammonia and nitrites are gone and nitrates are minimal (<20 ppm). These animals do not tolerate poor water quality. Even if your tank water meets these conditions, the diatoms will disappear on their own as fast as they cam as they require mainly silica as a food source to build their shells. Silica is higher in new tanks with new sand, new plastic from equipment and the glass of the tank itself. However, if you are using RO/DI with a low TDS, silica concentrations should dissipate fairly quickly and the diatoms will fade away. Some foods contain silicates but not in concentrations to sustain a diatom bloom, IME.
    SG = 1.024-6; Alkalinity 8.3-9.3 dKH; Calcium 420; Magnesium 1300; Temp = 76 to 80; pH = 7.9-8.3. Alkalinity and calcium are dependent on Mg.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member AfishIonado's Avatar
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    So I should let it run it's course? It will end when I'm fully cycled?


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  7. #7
    Senior Member TL1000RSquid's Avatar
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    If your not prepared to start stocking the tank, leaving it is fine but they'll stick around a bit even after its cycled.



  8. #8
    Moderator greech's Avatar
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    While the presence of ditoms usually ties to the end of a cycle they are both somewhat independent of each other. The degree and duration of the diatom bloom is almost exclusively related to the amount of silica in your system. However, even though they are classified as a photosynthetic algae, they do require certain somewhat tolerable environmental conditions to survive (hence why they are often referenced as a good indicator that the cycle is coming to an end). If diatoms persist well after the nitrogen cycle is complete, you should be looking for sources of silica getting into your system. Certain dry rocks and tap water are the two most likely sources to consider.
    SG = 1.024-6; Alkalinity 8.3-9.3 dKH; Calcium 420; Magnesium 1300; Temp = 76 to 80; pH = 7.9-8.3. Alkalinity and calcium are dependent on Mg.

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    pretty much what fozzybear said. On the basis of my vast experience (1 sw tank now nearing 3 months from start) wait until you start to get green algae. You'll think you're back in freshwaterland but let it be for a week or so. Then add some turbo snails. I got 2 but it depends on the size of your tank; these guys cleaned out the green so fast I worried they would then starve but they are still bulldozing right along. You will notice after this that the diatoms are also gone and the question of whether they went away on their own or got vacuumed up by the turbos will be a moot point.



  10. #10
    Senior Member AfishIonado's Avatar
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    Awesome guys thank you, I will wait to add a cuc but sine it's a new tank and all if I wait til it's fully cycled can I add an urchin? Or will that have to wait


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