hawiian black sand issues

VWguy

New member
Hey guys and galls, i have a green hair algae issue. My tank is about 1 yr old and for the past couple monthes ive been fighting gha. My lfs told me that the hawiian black sand i have has a lot of iron and obsorbs of phosphates until it cant anymore and starts leaching back into the system causing the obvious algae problems. They told me the only way to fix this is remove the sand and replace it with white sand. I just want to know if anyone else has had this issue or heard of this. Im would like to just go with a bb tank if im going to pull all my sand out anyway. Also I have a pistol shrimp and goby that im worried might not like a bb tank too much. Any info you have is much appriciated. Thanks, Cody
 

tkeracer619

Premium Member
Do you use GFO?

What are your tank parameters and what are you using to measure them?

What is your source water and what tds does it measure?

Tell us about your tank, its livestock, how much of what you feed, and post some pics.

Algae can really be a pain but I do not believe you have to remove the sand.
 

VWguy

New member
Sorry i didnt include more info. I know better than that after all the threads i've read. So heres some more info about the tank. 90G with 20g sump. Coralife t5HO fixture. I use sock filters 24/7. No skimmer. I don't run gfo only carbon in a two little fishes reactor.

I make my own RO/DI. Just replaced my filters and membrane so 0 ppm at the moment

nitrates-0
phos-.25
Dkh-9
calcium-480
Sg-1.025

I have 2 clown, 2 chromis, foxface, bird wrasse, blue and gold damsel, pink spotted goby, coral banded shrimp, pistol shrimp, sea hare(an attempt at getting rid of the algea), 8 turbos, 15 or so hermits.

I feed New Life Spectrum pellets, New Era flakes, and Ocean Nutrition mysis once a day. I run the 10k for 8 hrs and actinics for 10 hrs.

I will get some pics up soon.

Thanks, Cody
 

tkeracer619

Premium Member
Cody, I think your problems stem from excess nutrients. Phosphates in a reef tank should be kept below .03ppm. At .25ppm + t5ho lighting your tank is going to grow pest algae.

I would start by adding a small amount of GFO. It may take a while to make a dent because by now the rock and sand is loaded. Phosphates do not dissolve in water easily so while you have .25 phosphate in the water the concentration in the rock is likely much higher.

I would also suggest adding a skimmer if you can. Anything that will remove DOCs. Increasing your water changes will help with most things but is rather ineffective against po4.
 

trzabka

New member
following this ive had a hell of a algae problem with carib seas hawaii black sand. not hair algae but bryopsis
 

sponger0

New member
My first bet is you are using an API test kit for phopshates. If you are, thats an insanely inaccurate reading
 

VWguy

New member
Haha yes i use api and i do know that basically tells me nothing. Honestly i havent tested for phophates in weeks until last night when tkeracer asked because that test could say 0 and i could still have tons of phosphate, we all know that.
 

sponger0

New member
You could have tons, it could be unreadable. It could be a few things.

Get a hanna checker, run a reactor, and water changes weekly. In time it will go away
 

VWguy

New member
Then it started covering the sand. I started siphoning the sand bed at this point, i know i should of been doing that from the begining but i didnt know until i researched it.

 

sponger0

New member
Its just giving it somewhere to grow. It doesnt mean its leaching from the sand. If that was the case, my old tank should have had phosphates leaching from the back glass cause it was just a big furball. But glass doesnt leach phosphates
 

VWguy

New member
So at this point i became really discouraged with the tank. I basically gave up for a month because the algae growth was just rediculous


 

sponger0

New member
Manual removal, water changes, run a phosphate reactor. Thats how you get rid of it.

A hanna checker to monitor the level of phosphates in the tank.

A skimmer might be benefical

Also an algae scrubber in the sump
 

VWguy

New member
Then i said NO!! I love this tank.and love sitting and staring at it. But not with all this algae. So i spent my 6 hrs on sunday with a tooth brush cleaning every rock

 

trzabka

New member
Its just giving it somewhere to grow. It doesnt mean its leaching from the sand. If that was the case, my old tank should have had phosphates leaching from the back glass cause it was just a big furball. But glass doesnt leach phosphates
I think your right about glass not leaching Phosphates but pretty sure you wrong about live rock and sand not leaching phosphates. Live rock can sometimes be saturated with phosphates and it will eventually leach into the water Colum and as you remove the phosphates from the water Colum the phosphates equalize out into the water until eventually they are gone, but this can take some time. I know some base rock will out read the Hanna checker because of the extreme amount of phosphates. So with that being said wouldn't it make sense that the so called live sand can still be loaded with phosphates if the manufacture/ Reefer doesn't properly remove them before bagging it and calling it live sand and eventually dumping it into a tank.
 

sponger0

New member
Well its gonna take a few months possibly to get rid of it completely. Just keep at it and youll get it. But just need to get the nutrients or phosphates out of the tank completely
 

neuro

the cat did it
good job. my guess is that you'll have to keep doing that every other week w/large water changes until things get better.

are you feeding all brands at the same time? and how often in how many doses? my algae problems take flight when i feed more than what they can handle in 1 minute, more than once a day.

Some ppl are in the no-skimmer camp, but I can honestly say without it, my algae problems would have been much more severe.

good luck
 

sponger0

New member
I think your right about glass not leaching Phosphates but pretty sure you wrong about live rock and sand not leaching phosphates. Live rock can sometimes be saturated with phosphates and it will eventually leach into the water Colum and as you remove the phosphates from the water Colum the phosphates equalize out into the water until eventually they are gone, but this can take some time. I know some base rock will out read the Hanna checker because of the extreme amount of phosphates. So with that being said wouldn't it make sense that the so called live sand can still be loaded with phosphates if the manufacture/ Reefer doesn't properly remove them before bagging it and calling it live sand and eventually dumping it into a tank.

You should go back and read what I wrote before you analyze. I said "it doesnt mean its the sand"

Yes it can be leached out of rock sand. Also even i it continues to leach out after a reactor is pulling it out of the water, if there is more leaching out it will come. But with regular test with a hanna checker it can give you a good idea if its still leaching or if its getting pulled out of the water. Also with using a hanna checker and testing the water every few days, it will let you know when the phosphate media is getting used up and time to change it.
 

VWguy

New member
I have read a lot of good stuff about algae scrubbers and i think this is my next move. Does anyone think i should go ahead and pull the sand and replace it? I only put 60lbs of sand in to start with so im not working with too much. Could it be 'full' after only a year or so like my lfs is suggesting. They said its a pointless endevour to even try to get rid of the algea without replacing the substrate first. Thanks everyone who has replied so far, i appriciate the help very much
 
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