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New Tank Issue (weird slime stuff?)

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Goonter View Drop Down
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    Posted: July 02 2010 at 8:12pm
Hey i finally got my 15g tank set up and running, it has been going for about a week and a half and i just noticed today that it has a lot of this snot looking stuff. I have no clue what it is or what to do about it. I have a heater keep it at about 74 degrees, i haven't kept the light on (i am wondering if this is one reason, if it is making it so other things other than algae can use the nutrients). Also I am uncertain if i have enough flow in the tank, i  know i probably need more, but i have a aquaclear 70 on this tank and that is it for now. (also one thing i am wondering if it is due to lack of oxygen?) I tested the tank yesterday, the ammonia is at 2 ppm, nitrite 0, nitrate 0. I don't know what is going on. Here are a few pics, for what good it really does.Any idea or advice would be grand!


Edited by Goonter - July 03 2010 at 12:04am
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downhill_biker View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote downhill_biker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 02 2010 at 9:30pm
Honestly, I dont even worry about anything the tank does for a few months. You wont have any consistency, all of what you are experiencing is normal. Don't freak out, just let the tank do what it is going to do for a couple months before you start adding stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kiltboy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 02 2010 at 9:47pm
I agree with downhill, give your tank sometime to balance out.

Your temp is pretty warm, but if there is no life in your tank yet then its not a big deal. Ideally your temp should be 76-78

*** pic didn't show up the first time i looked***

What is the black stuff on the sand? Gravel?

Edited by Kiltboy - July 02 2010 at 9:48pm
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Goonter View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goonter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 03 2010 at 12:08am
Sorry typo, it was 74 not 84. The black stuff on the sand is black sand. I got the Carib sea indo-pacific sand. This isn't my first tank, so I realize it won't balance or cycle for approximately 3 weeks. I just have never seen all that slime stuff and it is making me nervous. So you guys recommend just ignoring it and waiting it out?

Thanks for your help!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 03 2010 at 8:33am
<Edit>You are right. The quick answer to the problem is to turn on the lights and add some Macroalgae to eat the Nitrogen compounds that are polluting and killing the tank.<Edit>

What is all this crazy talk about there being no life in the tank.Clown

Of course there is life in it. Even a newly setup reef tank is a living entity with all sorts of bacteria, fungus, mold (not snot LOL) and algae. This is life! We can see LR in this tank. The LR possibly carried in some larger bugs like Copepods and maybe even some Amphipods. Big smile

Historically in this hobby, the problems of a newly set up reef tank are mostly caused by a lack of understanding of biology. This is what the "affordable reef aquarium" thread linked below attempts to change. It is trying to educate hobbyists about how to utilize the 4 components of life to create a working reef aquarium without delay. My attempt in creating and continually pointing to that thread, is to help hobbyists see how to avoid the "pollution cycle" which kills life in the tank.

Okay, so this requires a shift in perspective. Hobbyists need to continue making this change in the way they look at a new setup. Hobbyists need to let go of the historical ways of looking at the start up and functioning of a marine aquarium. This means changing the way we treat the tank. This means treating the tank like it is alive right from the start. If it is treated like it is alive, we will do things differently and our little part of the ocean will do much better from the start.

You can add more of a variety of life. You can provide the conditions needed by that life. This is the key to having a fully functional Reef Aquarium in a few days, rather than 4-8 weeks. This means you have some control over the environment. Rather than "ignore it and wait it out" you can enable the tank to look good almost immediately. Instead of saying, "I have no clue what it is" the hobbyist can know what it is and how to deal with it. Of course you knew that is why this club, the Wasatch Marine Aquarium Society was created. We were six strangers that got together in 1995 to learn from each other how to do a better marine aquarium. I hope that we have made a difference.

This slime is a fungus and/or mold. It is the life that lives on the nutrients that are created as bacteria break down the pollution from the LR in this tank. The way to avoid it or even speed up it's development and disappearance is to add more life to the tank. Add things that will eat the nutrients before they can further pollute the tank. of the four live components we can definitely see LR in this tank.
Was LS added to this new tank?
Was LW added to this new tank?
Was Macroalgae added to this new tank?
Has light been added to this tank?
Has a small cleanup crew (mostly snails) been added to this tank?

These are the questions that, if answered affirmatively, will help you gain control and speed in getting this tank up and running and looking good. Smile

The Ammonia level is pollution. Of course the Nitrite and Nitrate levels are zero. That's the way the N cycle goes. Notice that I am calling it the "Pollution Cycle" Smile. That's what it is, pollution. Right away this pollution is killing some of the useful life in the tank. That killing needs to stop. Get rid of the Ammonia ASAP.

Algae eats ammonia. To stop Ammonia, and the subsequent Nitrite and Nitrate from killing, get some Macroalgae in there immediately and turn on all the lights so the algae can grow and eliminate(eat) that pollution.


Edited by Mark Peterson - July 03 2010 at 8:59am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goonter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 03 2010 at 9:22am
Thanks mark! That was what my next tactic was going to be to try. I assumed that it was due to lack of light/algae growth. In fact I turned the light on yesterday just to test it out. As for he check list, I added live rock and sand, but no live water. So this stuff is a fungus? Do you think it's safe to add snails with that high of ammonia?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2010 at 8:51am
No not now. Wait until the algae has had a chance to work.

Following the procedure I outlined here and wrote in more detail in the "affordable reef" thread would have avoided this problem altogether and you would already have a fully functioning reef aquarium with fish, coral and cleanup crew. Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote downhill_biker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2010 at 2:30pm
Mark, I dont think anyone mentioned there being no life in the tank. Trust me, we know there is life in the tank, and we probably know a lot more than you might think...Wink Your info is good, as always.

I would recommend you letting the tank do what it is going to do, leave it alone for a while, and as Mark said you should add some macro algae, although I don't really agree that you should strive for a fully functional reef in 3-4 days. Yes, people have done this, but I absolutely do not think this is the best method. Take your time, this is not something to rush into.
Make sure you post your best pictures every month in our POTM forum.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2010 at 8:47am
Well I thought I saw a couple comments about there being no life in the tank yet,
meaning of course that there are no fish or coral. Embarrassed And you are right that I need to give credit for what is already known. Thanks. I was just trying to dramatically present the concept that LR and LS are living organisms as important as fish and coral and that when this concept is used, it keeps us from accepting the downside effects of the Nitrogen Cycle. It helps us to deal with the pollution so that it doesn't even hit the radar. It has taken a lot of years for the hobby to come around to this attitude and understanding.

You are right. I need to recognize that hobbyists are smarter today than they were 10 years ago.Embarrassed Clap
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drivr08 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 11 2010 at 8:00pm
one of my tanks is doing the same thing i turned the lights down and uped the overturn of the water got a bigger return pump....lol....it seems to be working
loving life as a english teacher kids are what the world is made of
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 12 2010 at 5:41pm
I would guess that increasing water movement did the trick by stirring it up. My opinion about why increased lighting helps is that it captures nutrients before they can be used by the slime mold/fungus. 
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