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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I put this on another post, but I messed up. Thinking no one would see it.
I clean my aquarium once a week. For some reason there seems to be A LOT of brown stuff ...algae ?? or maybe fish waste ?? on the bottom of the sand, mainly in the back of the tank. What could this be ? Also some of the silk plants have a little of this stuff on them too. Nothing on the tank itself. :???: It's very baffling. And it's driving me cRaZY !!!:shock:

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Fish waste. Considering your relatively small fish load, your fish must crap a lot:shock:.... the really light coloured sand just shows it up easily. Darker sand hides more. You might be over feeding but it is hard to say that what you see as a lot may really just normal.

Here's a quick shot of my tank bottom and it has been almost a week without cleaning and my cleanings are not very thorough... 1 Betta, 12 cherry barbs, 9 emerald catfish and assorted snails. I couldn't tell if there was crap or not as that is the mottled colour of the play sand I used.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks !!!

Thanks JDM !!!! I use play sand, maybe I will toss in and mix some darker sand. !! It doesn't really look like pOOp though, I surly have that too !!! The tons of little curly things are on the same side of the tank. At least they all go to that side to use the restroom ! :)
 

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It could be diatoms. Does it look like brown dust and wipe off easily?
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The tons of little curly things are on the same side of the tank. At least they all go to that side to use the restroom ! :)
So siphon it out???
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I do a lot of siphoning poop and everything.And I know what the pOOp looks like. And I do clean the tank once maybe twice a week. This stuff looks like some type of algae. And I was just wondering if others were having anything like this if they were using sand.
 

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I looked a lot closer at my sand and I see the poop, but I don't see what you are describing. I also don't have anything hanging out on the plants either... I guess if it were just fish crap it likely wouldn't also be on the plants.

Jeff.
 

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Sounds like diatoms to me too. Can you post a few pictures?
 

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A photo would help. I am thinking this may be detritus or mulm as we call it. This is the brown sludge that one sees in canister filters, clogging the pads. It occurs in filter tubes too. And it can settle on the substrate.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Byron, I do believe that's what it is !!! I may not just have been cleaning as much as I should. Thanks to yall for yall's answers !
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
pictures

Here are a few pics. in some places the sand seems normal. But in front you can see the difference. And the plants on the left are suspossed to be green and outlined with a little purple. But they also get dirty quick even when I take them out and scrub them.
 

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How long do you keep your lights on? Cutting back on the light may help.
 
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Agree, what I see in the photos is algae. Do you have live plants, or just artificial?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
no live plants. I have been to scared to try them. Here are a few pics after I cleaned. I took the big log out and all the fake plants and scrubbed them. Also changed 50 % of the water. As I sucked the water out, I moved the sand around and every thing looks nice. I'm new to keeping aquariums, I have 2 more and dont have this problem. But, now that jeaninel mentioned the light thing, I think that mite be it. I turn them on at about 8:30 AM to 8 pm. Is this too long ? What is a good number I should be doin ? I guess I need a timer ? Thank yall again for your help. I LOVE this board !!!! I'm really learning LOADS of stuff about keepin my little buddies healthy and happy !:-D
 

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duuudeeee exact same problem i was having. it seems to creep out of the sand around the edges an get all up on yo glass right? i didnt really do anything diff. fed a lil less at feeding time. got a timer for my lights so they stay on 9 hrs. and its died back hardcore. still there. making my sand look poop filled but its not attacking my sides anymore. i do 40% water changes every sunday for me. dial back the small things an maybe big changes will come!
 

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What I do with my pool filter sand is:

When it's time for the water change, I unplug my heater/filter and start kicking up the sand. I pick it up with my hand and crush it and grind it .. It's obviously not going to break the sand but what it does is scrub the junk off each piece. (I only do this when my sand looks really dirty) .. the sand is then dropped back in it's spot and I go onto another spot. The sand then gets churned (bottom to top) while this process is going on so if anything is buried, its then surfaced. I then start up my gravel vac and do the normal cleaning in the first area because the "stuff" settles by then. I can do this because it's not a natural plant tank with soil. I kick stuff up all the time before vacumming because IMO it allows me to suck up more stuff. Refill then replug and let the filter suck up any little bits I missed.
 

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The light period needed really depends on a bunch of factors but with no plants there is nothing to take up the nutrients in the water, plants sort of out compete the algae and the light is only for you to see the fish and for the fish to see regular "daylight". Using just regular lights, plants might not thrive though. If you went to a bulb with a 6,000kelvin to 7,000kelvin light temperature or warmth, you could put some plants in.

I use 14 hours and see no algae... but I have a ton of plants.

Jeff.
 

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With no plants in the tank I would cut the light back to 7-8 hours.
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I used to have tanks with no plants, and each one was different as far as "light time" was concerned. One tank would be no more than five hours and some others could go as long as 8. With plants in my tanks now, they can go from 8 to 12 depending on the lighting and plant stocking. Hope this helps. It is really just cut back and see when the algae stops growing.
 
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