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Aurie 03-11-2013 01:00 AM

Rust stains on sand...
Ok so this is exactly what it sounds like. I thought maybe this was diatoms but when I went back over to the tank it's much redder than I thought. this is only on the sand, which is pool filter sand. I used the same sand in my 20 and 5 gallon tanks out of the same bag and no red spots have occured. The only thing I put in there were root tabs. I'm sure the brand was API because I bought them at petco. I've used them in my 29 but that has black sand so I've never noticed this before. Maybe it's the iron in the tabs? Some of the spots aren't where I put the tabs though. There's no metal decorations in the tank at all. I notice here and there 1 red speck of sand about every inch covering the tank.

Here are some pictures. Sorry they're cell phone pictures.

I know I put a root tab beside this plant

On right side of tank wall

If one of my rocks is to blame, here's a picture of them. The first is a fossil. Not sure the rock type.

This one I've seen online as "Texas Holey Rock" .. Both of these purchased on the same day at the same store. The holey rock has a shell hiding down in one of the holes. Not sure if this is a marine rock

Maybe this will clear up on it's own? I have 11 rasboras in the tank at the moment and it's 90% complete on it's cycle. It's seeded with an established Eheim 2215 filter.

fish monger 03-11-2013 01:59 PM

Your first photo made me think it might be from tannins leaching out of the driftwood; however, the red shows up away from the driftwood also. What are you feeding the fish ?

Aurie 03-11-2013 02:32 PM

Hikari mini pellets mostly. These don't just show up in a spot shape. I've seen them show up in a line where light and shadow meet under a piece of driftwood. And this isn't brown its red. I am hoping its algae or the root tabs. I am using a 2x39w coralife ho fixture with dwarf water lettuce to reduce light. 1 color ax and 1 6700 bulb.

Oh I am the 3rd owner of this tank. The guy before me was freshwater but I know the first guy was salt due to coraline algae etching on the versa top. Its the only mention of rust sand I can find is in salt aquariums b:t this tank is like 4+ years old and the guy before me had it for like 2 of those so if its something left over from salt water I'll be mad. I scrubbed this tank with vinegar and razor when I first bought it.

The driftwood was boiled for 2 weeks in the tank with the heaters on max at 100+ degree water changed every day

fish monger 03-11-2013 03:23 PM

Try just rubbing it away for a while and see what happens. It kind of sounds like a red algae, although I've heard of strange things like bad smell and cloudy water occurring with the API root tabs.

Aurie 03-11-2013 03:40 PM

The water smells fine. Not Like Cyrano or anything. Wednesday is my water change day. Might up it to tonight if I have time. Tomorrow definitely. I am all excited because this tank is finally showing nitrates! I didn't want to break everything down :(
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Boredomb 03-11-2013 03:41 PM

Just a thought but how far down did you push the root tabs into the sand? It could be the root tabs breaking down and showing up if they are close to the surface of the sand.
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Aurie 03-11-2013 03:55 PM

down to the glass bottom but its too inches of pool filter sand
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Boredomb 03-11-2013 04:38 PM

Hmmm well that should be deep enough not to be a problem. I would try to siphon the sand in those areas the next time you do a water change and see if it is just the surface or if it goes deeper. Just be careful not to disturb the API root tabs as they can make a mess once they are in the substrate.
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Aurie 03-11-2013 05:27 PM

It is just in the surface. I over turned the tip .5in of sand and its not there. Just mixed it in. I did that in the light shadow line by driftwood and it hasn't returned. Just popped up in new spots
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Boredomb 03-11-2013 07:18 PM

That's weird ....I dunno....
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