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marine water problem

Discussion in 'Marine Aquarium Advice' started by cheryl539, May 5, 2012.


  1. cheryl539

    cheryl539 PetForums Newbie

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    hi, i have had my marine tank up and running for almost a year with no problems but over the last 3-4 weeks i have been having a problem with a brown residue on my substrate and when it is disturbed it goes through the water and settles onto the rocks, has anyone any suggestions to what it could be
     
  2. VixenFox

    VixenFox PetForums Junior

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    sounds like a bacteria issue, do some water checks, check your parameters
     
  3. HenryJordan

    HenryJordan PetForums Junior

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    Your tank water might get infected from Algae & bacteria attack. There are some chemicals available in the market that can help you to clean your tank safely.
     
  4. Quinzell

    Quinzell PetForums VIP

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    This sounds like it could be diatoms.

    How old are the lights in your tank? When bulbs get old, the colour spectrum changes and this can enourage some types of nuisance algae to grow. I would suggest changing your bulbs and/or minimising your light cycle.

    Diatoms can also be the result of excess nutrients in the tank, so its worth thinking about how much you are feeding the fish; do you have sufficient clean up crew?

    Also, do you use RO (reverse osmosis) water or treated tap water? Tap water is often high in chemicals, phosphates and all sorts of other things and although there are treatments out there to bind chloramines, etc, its really still not ideal to be using tap water. If you are though, I would recommend using something like Seachem's Prime which is a superior treatment.

    There have also been some salt mixes that have been known to cause problems like this so it might be worth doing a bit of research on the salt that you are using to see if there are any known problems associated with it.
     
  5. alina11

    alina11 PetForums Newbie

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    There is a disbalance in water features. test the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate composition for the water. This gives the growth of brown and algae growth.
     
  6. Fishyfins

    Fishyfins PetForums Member

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    As LouiseH correctly said, the brown material are diatoms, a type of algae.

    The growth of diatoms is facilitated by 2 things - light and nutrient availability.

    How long are you lighting the tank for daily? The optimum photo-period for most aquariums is about 6-8 hours. fish do not "need" light, and in fish only tanks, its there only so you can see them. Corals do require light, but most commonly available soft corals can live quite happily in 6-8 hours of light, though some hard corals may need more. If you are lighting for longer than this, then it may be causing the excessive algal growth.
    Also, check the age of the bulbs. Again, as LouiseH pointed out, bulbs undergo a small spectrum shift over their lifespan. When new, they are made to promote growth of higher organisms such as plants and corals, but the gasses inside degrade over time, and usually somewhere between 6 and 9 months down the line, the spectrum shifts to one that favours algal growth over corals and plants. The change is imperceptible to humans, and the bulb still emits light, its just not the right wavelength of light. If your bulbs are more than 9 months old, i would recommend changing them.

    As for the nutrients in the water, check your ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels. Fish waste and broken down food in the water acts as a great fertilizer for algae. This will show as high levels of one or more of these in the tank. If this is the case, then the tank is either overstocked, you are overfeeding, or there are issues with the filter.
     
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