Sand bed algeas

Hi everyone , I hope someone can help me. My new waterbox penn 6225 was started with new live sand about a month ago. The rock and everything else came from my old tank and half the rock is new. The old rock had some sea lettuce which I was fine with as it would soak up excess nutrients so I thought.

The issue is at fist I had the ugly phase which seemed much lighter than normal. I cleaned the sand and everything looks great. But about 3 weeks later I still had some rusty look on the sand and the lettuce was growing. But now it seemed algea was going off the diatom. I have tried the last 2 week to syphon the sand but it comes back more.

Any ideas what to do. I would let it play out but I do not want it turning into a carpet and mess. I have been trying to clean like a mad man because the tank is beautiful. But this sand issue I can not seem to shake.

I have a funeral but algea has been scarce to find. Clean algea that is. So I could bump that up some.

Nitrates are 1 with nyos test kit and p04 is .06 with Hannah. I am changing socks and filter floss every 3 days. They literally turn brown and fill up.

Quick question, are you using RODI water in your tank?

The reason I ask is because at one time I was using tap water which typically is high in silicates. I had tons of sponges and dirty sand/glass all the time because of this.

If that is not a problem maybe try a few sand sifting snails like conches

Funny you say that because I have always made rodi and the last 2 years I thought either the water was high here with silicate or the rodi was not removing it. All my research has said silicate are the issue. I also use filter floss pads which I have read can give silicate. I am not sure I really understand it still but I am starting to believe its the rodi water. What can I add to filter it out. Another carbon chamber?

I don’t have any advice based on experience, but I found some good info, here is the link:

I would ride it out. It will pass.


Yeah I made some adjustment to flow and added alityle more light. Gonna wait a bit and see if it goes down.

Quick update. I held off a water change for a week because I noticed it was fueling the fire so to speak. Still things appear worse. I’m def in the middle of the ugly phase qnd not sure if I keep fighting or is there something I should do.

This weekend I will try to syphon the sand , remove some sea lettuce and perform a water change. I change socks and filter floss every 3 days but they are brown I think from diatoms. As suggested I do believe I have a high concentration of silicate in my water. Just do not know for sure.

Any help or advice would be great. I plan to keep fighting, cleaning and waiting.

Also yes I know one reason is more rock. I decided last min to cure or soak my rock a bit before adding it to avoid possible worse issues. It’s been curing 3 weeks now and I will ad it in March. The rest of the rock came from a 2 yr old tank which is why the ugly phase took longer to appear I think.

Order an ICP test- it includes silicon.

I agree with the ICP test and to ride this one out. If you wanted to try something…

Double check anything you are adding into the tank (water, food, supplements). You could change one of those items with an alternative (distilled water, different food, etc) and watch what happens over the next few weeks.

Thanks for the response. I have heard mixed reviews about the icp tests and was told if getting one to get the triton.

Also do people put distilled water like a at a grocery store.

I used to use distilled in my ATO for my nano before I got an RODI unit. Seemed to work just fine.

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Might give it a try as I think the cold weather affected my rodi. Before snow 0 tds …after it was at 4tds. Going to switch out the filters and try it again this week

not only the cold, but also the salt and brine put on road surfaces cycling back into the water.

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Hello to All. I just a beginner but, did you mention having the lights on? If so, sometimes extended dark periods can help reduce some algae growth. Good luck and Happy Reefing.


Welcome @WaterOasis!


Thank you. Looking forward to upping my reefer knowledge😎

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