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Thread: Seachem matrix turns bright pink, what's wrong with my tank??? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-01-2013 10:02 PM
driftwoodhunter Oh, and before any of you think my water is muck, here's a pic I took of the water in a white cup. As you can see the water has only a light tinge - normal tank water color, I think. I still am amazed water that looks like this, turned my stocking so pink! lol

DarkCobra, if you hadn't done the substrate dyeing experiment and hadn't taken the time to read my thread, I would still be in the dark! Amazing (scratches head - lol)
02-01-2013 07:02 PM
driftwoodhunter Well, I kinda hope these are the only fry I get from the Columbian Tetras - lol. It was not planned and as much as I like them, I didn't want them in ALL my tanks One day I just happened to look behind my Mattenfilter in the 125, and there they were. Now my Celebes Rainbows are another matter. Once I get my 55 & 90 set up and move the Columbians out of the 40B, the 40B will be just for the Celebes - which are crammed in a 29 with Tiger and Rosy Barbs. The barbs never bother anyone and ignore the Celebes, but the 29 used to for the Celebes only. The barbs were put there "temporarily", but temporarily doesn't seem to work for me. I think the Celebes would like more swimming room (hence them to the 40B) and my barbs will stay in the 29. I only have eight Celebes, but they are so darned expensive now (more than tripling in price since I got mine) that I'm going to make the 40B as spawning friendly as I can. I think I will call it the Celebes Love Shack - lol.
02-01-2013 05:39 PM
DarkCobra Temperature has a big effect on maturation rates. Even if two tanks are unheated, one will often be a few degrees warmer due to lights, heat from powerheads, etc. Worth checking into, but it doesn't seem to be the only factor. Guppy fry almost always mature faster in my 46G fed once daily, which is my largest and runs about 77F average on its own; than any other tank deliberately set up for fast maturation, heated to 82F, and with feedings three times per day. Strange that tank size, scavenged food, and perhaps other unknown factors, seem to overwhelm more direct influences. For a tiny fry, even a 10G is a vast space.

And as for fish learning, it's all cool until one decides to start eating live plants... and others start mimicking it too! I had that happen, fortunately just once, and had to get rid of a few fish to shut it down.

Aquariums are always an adventure. If you do end up changing the substrate and later find that fry mature faster, let me know.
01-31-2013 10:15 PM
driftwoodhunter The water does have a noticeable tone to it - but I can't say it's pink! Whereas the cup is bright arctic white, the water has a faint vanilla tint. Probably just because tomorrow is water change day - haha.

It seems strange that color so vivid would show up absorbed into a nylon stocking, but not be visible in the tank. Mind you, 40 gallons is different than a plastic cup. I wonder if it does effect the fish somehow? These Columbian Tetra fry developed much, much slower than the ones that I left in the tank they hatched in. They are about 3 months behind, size-wise. I chalked that up to the difference in available food and tank size. The flake-only that I fed the 40B fry when young vs. a whole 125 tank's worth of who-knows-what's in there. Also the difference in having 6' to swim in vs. 40". Jeez, every time I think about them I start panicking about getting their bigger tanks set up!

And how about Nature vs. Nurture? The fry in the 125 readily eat bloodworms and peas, spinach and other veggies - they've seen all the adult tetras in the tank do so and learned from them. The fry in the 40B, raised by themselves, only would eat flake until a few weeks ago. Now they eat peas, but won't touch other veggies or bloodworms - they ignore them like they don't recognize them as food yet. I thought that was interesting...
01-31-2013 09:58 PM
driftwoodhunter I'll have to put some water in a white plastic cup and see...I've thought for a long time now that the 40B just doesn't look right. It doeasn't have any driftwood, so I couldn't understand the dingy look - even though I do my scheduled water changes, etc. I thought the multi colored gravel was playing tricks on my eyes. I'm going to put some in a glass now &
01-31-2013 09:55 PM
DarkCobra Wow, that's really pink!

Can you detect any coloration in the water? Either in the tank, or in a white glass?
01-31-2013 09:21 PM
driftwoodhunter Thought you'd get a kick out of my white knee-high. Mind you, it started turning pink with 6 hrs, and was this saturated by the next day. You can see there is still some white - that's the only part that never came in contact with the water.

The second pic shows my gravel - yes, it's ugly! lol. I set this tank up before I new about the beautiful creek bed gravel locally, and I was just learning about live plants. It's a mix of equal parts Midnight FloraMax, Natural FloraMax, and ordinary pea gravel from Lowes. Set up close to 4 years ago. Once I get the new sub flooring and pine flooring down and the 55 and 90 set up, this tank is getting a remodel - lol.

01-30-2013 12:17 PM
HD Blazingwolf Clearer water?
01-30-2013 11:24 AM
Originally Posted by HD Blazingwolf View Post
So basically a hob full of cotton balls, or some cottony material would be best suited to absorb the dye. No?
Cotton pillow batting?
I'm not sure if it's really fair to call it a dye, or if removing it would serve any purpose.

CSM+B contains 2% manganese, a necessary nutrient. It's probably EDTA chelated in that source, so I don't know if plants can directly or efficiently utilize what the substrate is releasing.

Manganese is toxic if overdosed, the Wikipedia article and MSDS for manganese dioxide are rather scary to read. That's the reason I never pursued dyeing substrate at home on any useful scale, only a few small test batches to satisfy my own curiosity.

It's certainly eye-raising to see enough manganese in a tank to be detected with a mere paper towel.

But I'm not going to panic, or suggest anyone else do so either. If this was a significant issue, I'd imagine we'd have noticed a few "Flourite Black killed my fish" threads by now, right?
01-30-2013 10:43 AM
HD Blazingwolf So basically a hob full of cotton balls, or some cottony material would be best suited to absorb the dye. No?
Cotton pillow batting?
01-30-2013 10:33 AM
DarkCobra Coincidentally, I just rebuilt a tank using a fresh bag of Flourite Black. If manganese leaching occurs, I figured brand new and dusty substrate should release an initial burst. So I tried your paper towel experiment:

The characteristic purple shade is almost certainly proof of manganese. I left it in for two days, and forgot to check on it in the meantime; but if I had, I'm pretty sure it would have been a lighter shade of pink.
01-28-2013 12:01 AM
driftwoodhunter That's very interesting! I wonder if the age of it has anything to do with it. Since that's the only tank its happening in, I bet it is the FloraMax - which is only in that tank. I'll be breaking it down in a few months and I'll scrap the substrate then.

I find your dyeing experiments fascinating - thanks for sharing that...
01-27-2013 10:15 PM
DarkCobra I've never used Floramax, or heard anyone else report this problem. The reason I asked if it was black:

A few years back I experimented with dyeing substrate, using homemade concrete stains. Iron for red, manganese for black. The manganese, if highly diluted, can appear pink or purple.

I was just binding these elements to a thin outer layer. Substrate that comes colored from the manufacturer normally has it through and through. But I suspect the same elements are responsible for the colors in all substrates, regardless of whether it's made in a kiln or mined from the earth. I know that the elemental analysis for Flourite Black has much more manganese than the other colors.

It should be bound and stable. Not sure why it would start leaching out to the point of being noticed, if that is what's really happening here. I'm guessing it will stain Purigen, perhaps permanently; but being inorganic, Purigen should have no special affinity for removing it.
01-27-2013 09:34 PM
driftwoodhunter Yes it is. This tank has been set up for about 3 - 4 years. I'm going to set up a HOB with Purigen when I get home from work tonight. Did you have any trouble with this substrate?
01-27-2013 04:22 PM
DarkCobra Interesting. Is this the black Floramax by chance?
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