Strange brown deposits and air pumps !

Nimbus_uk

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HI All,

been lurking for a while now, sucking up as much info as I can but I've got a problem that's got me stumped..

I bought a 2nd hand Juwel trigon 190 tank (50gal, corner tank), a couple of months back, and it came with sand, and already working filter media.

Set the tank up, went thro the nitrate cycle for a few weeks, then added a few fish. initially 5 zebra danios.

They seemed to survive ok, but gradually over the weeks a few died...
Kept monitoring the nitrate/nitrite/amonia levels, and all looked ok, so I got a few more zebras, and five little neon tetras.

I think the neons must have been dodgy, because three quite rapidly died, as did most of the zebras over the next few weeks.

I'm now left with 2 zebras and 2 neons who have been hanging in there for about a month now, and seem happy...

I now think I'm ready to reintroduce some more fish in the new year, but before I do that I want to make sure I have everything right, as I don't want any more 'casualties'..

I have a couple of questions about things i've seen in my tank since I've had it that I've not seen anywhere else,

firstly , the pump has a small pipe off the outflow, with a sort of basket on the top.
I've identified this as a juwel 'air diffuser', 



but I'm not sure what I'm meant to do with it..

If I dip it under the water, everything is nice and quiet, and you can see water being pumped thro the system..

If I put the end of the pipe out of the water, I get lots of bubbles in the tank, and its noisy as anything !!

Is it ok for the fish, it seems pretty lively !

Which should I be doing ?

Second,  when I had the tank 'fully' ( well all 12 fish ) stocked, a couple had white spot, so I gave them some white spot treatment..(interpet antiwhite spot from lfs). The water went blue then cleared after a day, but unfortunately I didnt take the filter media out..
I suspect that this killed the cycle ? And might be why so many fish died ? but also..

Ever since then I've been getting a build up of brown 'dirt' on the tank floor and artificial plants.
Does anyone know what it is ?

Is it from the white spot treatment, or ? I didnt seem to get it in the weeks before the treatment..
It washes off the fake plants, which I do when I do a water change, but reappears after a few days and gradually gets worse..

well, hope you guys can help me out, been having a great time reading all the advice on the board, its certainly a great resource

cheers,
Toby
 

Jmarcus

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What do you mean by normal readings? 0 ammonia 0 nitrites .5 nitrates or more. If this is the case your tank should be cycled. I would try adding three are four fish at a time at about two week intervals, keep an eye on ammonia, and nitrites, 25 percent or more water changes every seven to ten days. As for the "dirt" maybe algae, this is not bad but is not very appealing to the eye, but can be controlled by algae eating fish or live plants.
 
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Nimbus_uk

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Jmarcus said:
What do you mean by normal readings? 0 ammonia 0 nitrites .5 nitrates or more. If this is the case your tank should be cycled. I would try adding three are four fish at a time at about two week intervals, keep an eye on ammonia, and nitrites, 25 percent or more water changes every seven to ten days. As for the "dirt" maybe algae,  this is not bad but is not very appealing to the eye, but can be controlled by algae eating fish or live plants.
re measured last night and my readings are;
0ppm ammonia
0ppm Nitrites
20ppm Nitrates

which I think is ok ? the tank was set up at the end of October, and I left it a fortnight before adding any fish, and also monitored the levels..
I also used the filter the previous owner had left in, so figured that would get it started ok..

The brown stuff is weird tho, its almost like its 'in the water' and is forming on the rocks and fake plants.. Maybe it is algae ?

Do you think I now have the pump correctly setup, with lots of bubbles streaming into the tank ?
Or will this not really make much iof a difference ?

fish seem happy at the moment tho, which is the main thing
 

Butterfly

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That brown stuff is diatoms it is not harmful and otocinclus simply adore eating it. Do you stir your sand or have snails that keep the sand loose? Sand can build up pockets of anearobic gas if not loosened or stirred occasionally.
Carol
 
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Nimbus_uk

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Butterfly said:
That brown stuff is diatoms it is not harmful and otocinclus simply adore eating it. Do you stir your sand or have snails that keep the sand loose? Sand can build up pockets of anearobic gas if not loosened or stirred occasionally.
Carol
Ahh, so its from the sand then !!

I haven't got any snails, as I was worried about them taking over, are otocinclus a type of snail ?

Yes, I've been giving the sand a good poke every time I change the water, well, in fact a major poke, as I've been taking the rocks and plants out to wash the brown stuff off them !

Is there any other way to reduce the brown ? Other than getting snails ? It does look pretty dirty..
 

Butterfly

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Please stop washing your rocks, when you take them out and wash them you are destroying beneficial bacteria that you need in your tank. Diatoms usually show up some time after the cycle is finished in a new tank, it's not caused by the sand, I just threw that in there because the sand does need to be "poked" once in awhile.
Otocinclus are little 2 inch algae eaters. After your tank is a couple of more weeks old about three would be good additions to your tank. Check out otocinclus catfish .
Maylasian Trumpet Snails are great for sand tanks. I have three tanks with sand substrates and I have them in all three tanks. Usually snails won't over populate unless you over feed your fish, they can be a good barometer as to whether your over feeding or not . This type of snail burys itself in the sand and comes out mostly at night, this is how they keep the sand loose. But no you don't have to have snails you can continue to poke the sand.
Carol
 
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Nimbus_uk

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Butterfly said:
Please stop washing your rocks, when you take them out and wash them you are destroying beneficial bacteria that you need in your tank. Diatoms usually show up some time after the cycle is finished in a new tank, it's not caused by the sand, I just threw that in there because the sand does need to be "poked" once in awhile.
Otocinclus are little 2 inch algae eaters. After your tank is a couple of more weeks old about three would be good additions to your tank. Check out otocinclus catfish .
Maylasian Trumpet Snails are great for sand tanks. I have three tanks with sand substrates and I have them in all three tanks. Usually snails won't over populate unless you over feed your fish, they can be a good barometer as to whether your over feeding or not . This type of snail burys itself in the sand and comes out mostly at night, this is how they keep the sand loose. But no you don't have to have snails you can continue to poke the sand.
Carol
Thanks Carol

had a search on 'diatoms' and I understand now
Just have to sit the brown 'rust' phase out :-\ until it all goes clear again.

Advice taken on washing the rocks, they won't be coming out again

Be visiting my lfs in the new year for some snails and see if they have any Otocinclus or something similiar

thanks again
 

Butterfly

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The snails have to be Malaysian Trumpet snails If your LFS doesn't have them you could check an aquarium club near you or maybe somebody could share some with you :0
What part of the world do you live in? If you click on the member map at the top and then pin your country, then your country flag will show up under your name. It helps when we recommend meds as some meds are different from country to country.
Carol
 

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