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Author Topic: Black substance in sand.  (Read 3120 times)
19Gav89
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« on: March 17, 2009, 09:05:11 AM »

read about it somwhere but cant remember what it was, anyone know what it is? happy
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maura
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« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2009, 09:38:28 AM »

I think we need more details to give you an answer Gav.
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"Middle age...a time of life when everything was predictable and yet somehow you failed to see any of it coming."  Richard Russo, That Old Cape Magic
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« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2009, 10:02:29 AM »

Has the sand been in the tank for a while--or is it a black substance in a bag of sand you wish to add to the tank.

If it is a black looking substance in an established substrate the guesses would be first algae, and second mulm. 

If it is a fresh bag of sand yet to be added it could be a number of choices.  None of them by default bad.  Depending of course on a better description of what you are looking at and the situation.
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19Gav89
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2009, 10:32:59 AM »

sands been in the tank roughly 4 months, it has developed slowly just faint traces then it began to show up more

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maura
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2009, 10:51:12 AM »

My bet is mulm, or a combo of mulm and algae.

Vaccuum the substrate thoroughly and as best you can, a small area at a time.  Beware of stirring too much gunk up into the water at once, it can make it harder on your fish.
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"Middle age...a time of life when everything was predictable and yet somehow you failed to see any of it coming."  Richard Russo, That Old Cape Magic
19Gav89
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« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2009, 10:54:36 AM »

What is mulm and what are its effects on the tank?  confused
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Sully
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2009, 11:20:47 AM »

fish crap.  organic waste.  fish food that has moved into the substrate.  Good vacs of the sand and a little algae scraping action on the glass ought to solve our problem. 

The vacs will help keep the sand from compacting and forming layers like you see that are conducive to creating the problem you have.  The other option, it is nothing more than hiding the problem, is to bring the sand level to just below the top of the black plastic at the base of the tank.  If you can't see it--it must not be an issue.

Too much stuff in the substrate can result in pH crashes as a result of kH reduction.

If it is Decaying organic matter it is fertile ground for bacteria and parasites that are usually not a problem for fish.  But when they get a great source of food (like that in your substrate) they can multiply quickly and create some health problems.

Vacuum the substrate and you should be good.  And obviously watch how much food you are giving the fish.  Sometimes the problem is the result of nothing more than overfeeding.
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19Gav89
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« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2009, 03:56:14 AM »

ok cheers  happy, i'll go get the dyson out now and give it a good vacuum.
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