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Brown Diatom?
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modemfox
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Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Location: Panama City Florida

PostPosted: 2005.04.19(Tue)17:30    Post subject: Brown Diatom? Reply with quote

I was told that since my tank was new I would get it but in the course of about 3 days it has completely covered my live and dead rock and about 25% of my sand. Will it run its course or is there a way to get rid of it?
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The Old Salt
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Joined: 01 Apr 2003
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: 2005.04.19(Tue)22:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

By sand, do you mean oolitic aragonite live sand, or silica sand like you'd get at the beach or the hardware store?

If aragonite, it will eventually go away in a few months if your tapwater doesn't have too much phosphate and silica in it.. If you are using silica sand, it will never go away because you have graciously provided it with all the silica it could ever need to grow.

You can try using a phosphate/silicate remover to get rid of it a little faster.
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KDodds
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Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Location: Suffern, NY

PostPosted: 2005.04.19(Tue)22:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not true. Diatoms are not a problem in tanks with silica sand any mroe than they are in tanks with aragonite sand. The silica in the sand is not bio-available and does not dissipate out into the water column. Think of it this way. Glass is just silica sand. If silica were dissolved into solution in salt water simply on contact, we'd be having some real problems with our glass tanks, wouldn't we? Wink Oh, this is coming from someone with a 3" silica DSB in their 180 for the last 3
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KDodds
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Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Location: Suffern, NY

PostPosted: 2005.04.19(Tue)22:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and to answer the original question. Leave it be, it will subside. Congratulations, that's your first lesson in the all important SW tool, PATIENCE. Wink
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modemfox
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Joined: 07 Feb 2005
Location: Panama City Florida

PostPosted: 2005.04.19(Tue)22:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

it is sand out of a reef aquarium where I work. I work for a pet store called panhandle pet supply. I work the fish section but am new to saltwater tanks. So I got some donations to learn with. One was this sand that actually is like a course rock. But it doesn't look like argonite. It was out of one of the SW tanks at work. All the tanks there have brown algae and green algae and coraline algae. I didn't get this stuff from the sand though, it started on my live rock and then spred to my dead rock and only a few small places on the sand, mainly where the shrimp pellets land for the crabs I have. But is deffinately algae not leftover shrimp pellet. Its not bad on the sand but is spreading to my glass and is really bad on my live and dead rock.
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The Old Salt
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Joined: 01 Apr 2003
Location: Alabama

PostPosted: 2005.04.19(Tue)23:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

KDodds wrote:
Not true. Diatoms are not a problem in tanks with silica sand any mroe than they are in tanks with aragonite sand. The silica in the sand is not bio-available and does not dissipate out into the water column. Think of it this way. Glass is just silica sand. If silica were dissolved into solution in salt water simply on contact, we'd be having some real problems with our glass tanks, wouldn't we? Wink Oh, this is coming from someone with a 3" silica DSB in their 180 for the last 3
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KDodds
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Joined: 05 Apr 2005
Location: Suffern, NY

PostPosted: 2005.04.20(Wed)6:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pushing large volumes of water through a sand filter is significantly different than having a layer of sand in the tank. Still, while I have not done it, I find it difficult to believe since silica sand does not degrade at that level in pool filters. Open a pool filter at the end of the year, or weigh your own (dry) sand before and after a year of use.

Your original statement is, point blank, wrong. A silica sand bed does NOT contribute to diatom problems. Which you seem to have tried to correct in your response with some pseudo-scientific garbage. I would suggest you contact the marine chemist, Randy Holmes-Farley, a far greater and more knowledgable resource than yourself, and ask him about silica and silica sands. What you think you see is not always what IS. What "organisms" would you be referring to that are "using" this silicate and sequestering it away from diatoms? What organisms are preventing flow? Do you realize that a DSB that does not get flow through can not perform the functions for which it is intended and will eventually become "impacted" as bacterial waste cements the grains?

Public aquaria, many of them, are not always the best source for this type of information. Be that as it may, if you must ask at a public aquaria, ask a better one that does a good deal of research, like Waikiki. I would suggest that any really interested go on over to RC and ask RHF about the "silica (non)problem". Oh, and ask him why he DOSES or has DOSED (don't know if he's still doing it) silica while you're at it.
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The Old Salt
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PostPosted: 2005.04.20(Wed)12:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

*yawn*

Waikiki is one of the primary aquariums I contacted, since I knew they used a setup similar to mine. Guess what? They have diatoms out the wazoo and there's nothing they can do about it.

"Retarded" is not the same as "arrested." It sure would be nice if you stopped to think about what you were arguing against before launching your next attack. There is bacterial waste, as you mentioned, and this is what keeps the DSB sand from feeding diatoms. Thanks for agreeing even though you didn't intend to. A shallow sand bed is a very different environment, and it releases bioavailable silicon into the main water column much more readily for reasons I could explain, but you'd just call it pseudo-scientific garbage again.

Organisms? Forams are very prevalent in the sand, and they gobble up silicon like crazy. These are just one example, but it's plain enough now that posting an extensive list would be a wasted effort; you just can't accept defeat, and I see no reason to bother.
The fact remains that diatoms require the presence of silicon to grow and multiply, and if one provides a ready source of it, one should not complain about the growth and multiplication of diatoms. One main reason we see them so much in new tanks is that new tanks have plently of this and other free nutrients in them which haven't yet been bound. Once it's bound, the diatoms fade. What more can I say? I give up.
I used to be an advisor on this board, but got demoted for letting myself get dragged into stupid pissing contests like this one. I won't play your little reindeer game anymore. If you want to count that as some sort of victory, oh mighty webwarrior, then hey, enjoy.
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aurther_dent2001
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Joined: 11 Apr 2004
Location: NJ

PostPosted: 2005.04.20(Wed)15:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to correct the terms being used.
Its "silicate" that encourages algae, not silicon. Glass is Silicon Dioxide and is neutral as far as algae is concerned. Silica sand has a lot of silicates and should "theoretically" be very bad as far as algae is concerned, though I have never used it. "Silicon" is neutral and no organisms consume it.
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KDodds
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PostPosted: 2005.04.20(Wed)15:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps, your "pissing contests" caused your demotion because you offered erroneous information, as you have here, as well as "went on the attack" whenever you were contradicted. It seems to me, reading your posts, that this would be the reason, a reason you obviously can not accept, more than actually debating a topic, which you also seem incapable of doing.

With that said... have you asked RHF yet? Have you spoken to Rob Toonen at Waikiki about his sand bed studies that included beds of varying depths and consistencies? Have you ever USED a fluidized bed? With silica? No really? I can't see that you have since diatoms are NOT a plague and QUICKLY dissipate once bio-available silicon is used up. Have you ever considered the extreme caustic nature of chlorine in sand filters in pool applications? Have you considered at all why our pools are not silica soup? I've no idea what your "set up" that is perpetually infested with diatoms, but I would suggest that you look along a different line of reasoning before "blaming" silica sand alone. If it doesn't do it in all tanks, it's not the main culprit, even if it could be the main source. More likely, you're using a silica rich salt mix and doing regular water changes and may even have high silica tap water.

You're completely wrong on DSBs. Your post displays your severe lack of knowledge of even how they work. A DSB that is impacted with bacterial waste is a NON-FUNCTIONING DSB. Read what I said instead of flying off the handle because someone is capable of offering accurate information where you are not. A DSB that is "shelled off" in bacterial waste is an impacted DSB. The cemented grains do not allow passage of water as readily as uncemented grains, etc. Be that as it may, it has NOTHING to do with silica solubility in SW. Hence, bacterial films are not, necessarily, solubility inhibiting any more than they are in an aragonite DSB. I'm not agreeing with you at all, whether or not teh sand bed is impacted does not increase or decrease available silica.

A shallow sand bed is not much different at all except that there is less depth for anoxic areas to form.

I'll have to ask Dr. Ron on the foraminaferans, but I am under the impression that they do not consume/bind silica, but rather Ca.

What more can you say? Geez, well, for one, you can admit that diatoms are not a problem in a tank with silica sand and I would invite any who doubt that statement to post a request on Reef Central, where you can obtain a much wider selection of experiences, asking for the experiences of those, such as myself, who are using silica sand.

I've got it in 4 of 6 tanks. In not a single one of them, DSB or SSB, have I EVER had "diatom problems" beyond the initial bloom. NOR have I ever heard of anyone with a silica bed complain about ongoing diatom infestation.

Accept defeat? From a troll? Who has no clue what he's talking about? LOL, hardly. I would, instead, direct the curious to actually pose the question themselves on other boards. RC is great for that type of thing since there are so many users. In fact, you can ask in Dr. Ron's forum, but it's doubtful you'll get a reply from him of any substance since I think he's equally as sick of this sand bed mythinformation.
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