Help Sand is turning a yellow brown color

occlown426

Member
I don't know what is growing on my sand! The sand is turning like a yellowish amber color in many places. I have 3 hermits who won't hardly touch the sand, a brittle star which does the same thing. I just added 6 nassarius snails because I thought they will help. Will they? Is there an animal which will scower the surface and eat this ****, whatever it is? I'm afraid this is bad and I need to fix it FAST!! Also are my hermits going to attack the nassarius for their shell? The nassarius are way to small for the hermits now. Please help asap!!!
 

agsansoo

Member
Any pictures of your sand ?
 
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occlown426

Member
I tried to upload some but my picture file size was too large. After taking the pics to my LFS, I was told it was brown algae and every new tank gets it. I was also told eventually it will die off and I will be ok and I didn't need to do anything. I talked to the owner of the LFS and an employee who is very knowledgable in saltwater. I hope that they are right because it's covering everything in my tank and I hope it doesn't kill anything.
 

agsansoo

Member
Yes it's normal in a new tank ... Next is the GHA (green hair algae) !
 

offminded

Member
hmmm...this sounds like what is in my tank...let me shoot some pictures...hopefully they'll turn out...

this was the best I could do...is this what yours looks like? will it eventually go away? will it harm live rock? I am so nervouse about this problem...
 

sgould

Member
Not in the least harmful, just unsightly. It will subside on its own with time, but it will drive you nuts for a while first. Stiring the substrate a bit will help the appearance. Look into sand sifting cleaners too...nassarius snails, for instance.
 

Oil_Fan

Member
I also had them. Diatoms all over my base rock, live sand and then the glass itself. I slowed down my feedings and eventually they went away. Now I have some hair algae but a couple of my snails seems to be enjoying eating it.
 

offminded

Member
I was told to feed my guys twice a day...should I just feed once? when would be best? in the morning or evening? I am going to get my snails and crabs this week so it should help...

does lighting have anything to do with it?
 

Oil_Fan

Member
Sunlight will speed them up. I can't speak on how often you should be feeding as I don't know what you have for fish and such. To give you an idea on what I changed, I went from feeding once a day to every other day. And I also cut the amount the amount I was feeding them down to about half.

Another thing you can do is use PhosGuard to remove the phosphates in the water that the diatoms need to survive.
 

offminded

Member
did that change help?

well...I have 3 chromis and 2 ocellaris clowns...I should probably keep my blinds closed as opposed to letting in the light? I have the lights on for about 10 - 12 hours a day...both actinic bulbs and 10kk...what are your thoughts?
 

Oil_Fan

Member
I have a chromis plus a clown fish. I had more of each but a recent cold spell dropped the temperature in the tank and I lost some (I have since added another heater). As I said, I feed them every other day. That's what my LFS told me to do. They said a hungry fish is a happy fish...not sure on that one but they're doing fine. I feed them flakes one day and then shrimp brine 2 days later.

I also added some macro algae which will also soak up phosphates. And even with 2 hours of sunlight hitting the tank, the diatoms went away and haven't come back. I don't use the Phosguard anymore either. The only thing with the macro algae is my emerald crabs love the stuff. I've probably lost 1/3 of it to them.

And don't be surprised after the diatoms go away, you start to get green hair algae. That's what I got recently but my astrea (sp?) snails much it up.
 

offminded

Member
I will get them on that feeding schedule since it seems to work for you...thanks. where did you add your macro algae? in your sump?

I am unsure as to the impact of sunlight? should I allow sunlight in or should I try and keep it out?

thanks for all of your help!
 

Oil_Fan

Member
I put the macro algae in the main tank. That would be why I have very happy emerald crabs. They love the stuff. I'm going to have to find another spot for some, maybe a refugium or something. If you don't have any crabs, then it can go into the main tank and it'll add some color to the tank. Just kinda bury some into the live sand you have to kinda anchor it.

As for the sunlight, I initially blocked sunlight as best I could until the diatoms stop appearing. But I think what really did the trick is to reduce the amount of food going into the tank and then the addition of the macro algae.
 

offminded

Member
that sounds like a great idea...crabs and snails and macro algae...woo hoo!!!
 

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