Siphoning Sand

Kohlt22

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Does anyone have any tips on cleaning white sand? I removed much deco's and plants so I can thoroughly clean my aquarium (the 75 gal) I have about 4 inches of sand all over, but on the top of the substrate in the center of my aquarium the sand has a yellow residue. I can't siphon it off without sucking up the sand with it. Would it be possible to just physically remove that portion, clean it and then place it back in?
 

Seth15

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You can simply siphon the surface of the sand, just don't leave the siphon on the sand too long otherwise it will suck away the sand.

The yellow residue may be diatom algae growing on the surface of the sand (a picture would help confirm this) just try moving it around and see if it goes away.
 
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Kohlt22

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Seth15 said:
You can simply siphon the surface of the sand, just don't leave the siphon on the sand too long otherwise it will suck away the sand.

The yellow residue may be diatom algae growing on the surface of the sand (a picture would help confirm this) just try moving it around and see if it goes away.
Apologies for the late response, I've been so busy. But I will post as picture soon as I can, but yes I am able to stir it up but I can't catch it quick enough as it drops.
 

Seth15

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Kohlt22 said:
Apologies for the late response, I've been so busy. But I will post as picture soon as I can, but yes I am able to stir it up but I can't catch it quick enough as it drops.
No worries. A picture may help us know exactly what you're dealing with.
 
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Kohlt22

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Seth15 said:
No worries. A picture may help us know exactly what you're dealing with.
Well, I couldn't get my camera (stupid LG) to focus good enough but when I did you couldn't even see the difference in colors on the sand. I circled spots on the picture that are almost identical in color to the residue on my sand. This aquarium is fw btw.
Capture%2B_2018-05-19-23-27-21.jpg
 

Seth15

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Kohlt22 said:
Well, I couldn't get my camera (stupid LG) to focus good enough but when I did you couldn't even see the difference in colors on the sand. I circled spots on the picture that are almost identical in color to the residue on my sand. This aquarium is fw btw. View attachment 439544
I can't really see very well in the picture (sorry) but I suspect it will be diatom algae. Is the residue a brownish/yellow color on the surface of the sand?
 
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Kohlt22

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Seth15 said:
I can't really see very well in the picture (sorry) but I suspect it will be diatom algae. Is the residue a brownish/yellow color on the surface of the sand?
Apologies for the poor quality, but my new phone takes horrid pictures. But yes, it is a brown/yellow color. I am going to attempt to remove it all tonight
 

Seth15

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Kohlt22 said:
Apologies for the poor quality, but my new phone takes horrid pictures. But yes, it is a brown/yellow color. I am going to attempt to remove it all tonight
It sounds like diatom algae, if you sift around the sand it should get rid of it.
 
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Kohlt22

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Seth15 said:
It sounds like diatom algae, if you sift around the sand it should get rid of it.
Worked pretty hard on it and did manage to remove a large chunk of it. Not all, but it is a start. Is there a way to prevent this from happening? I do fairly large water changes every week but I will do a better job cleaning the substrate for sure from now on.
 
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