Black spots on pool filter sand? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 02:51 AM Thread Starter
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Black spots on pool filter sand?

My tank (29gal bow front) has been set up for a while. It's planted fairly heavily I believe, I recently got some seachem root tabs and some s.repens. it's been about 2 weeks and I am starting to see some black spots on the sand above the root tabs. I just need to know if I need to be concerned about this? I have 11 neon tetras, 5 cherry shrimp. I also dose Nilocg "Thrive" 2 pumps twice a week. And half a capfull of florish excel twice a week.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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Also, just did a water change. Might be worth mentioning that it is also making the root ends of the s. repens rotten. Anyone got any ideas?

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 04:34 PM
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 05:28 PM
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Hydrogen sulfide perhaps?
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Hydrogen sulfide perhaps?
I Don't Have Enough experience to know for sure. But with what I've read that usually comes with a smell, which I have absolutely no smell or ill effects so far. Just the black spots as of right now, I vac them and their gone for a few days. I do vacs and 30% water changes twice a week and all my parameters seem to be fine ( I use api master kit) but do not check for kh or gh so I'm not sure about that. But I am still REALLY green to all this.

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 08:04 PM
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Looks to me like your sand substrate is a fairly thin layer in most areas of the tank bottom, so even if you pressed some of your root tab ferts down to the bottom of the tank, they're still not very far down, and the root tabs while they disintegrate are leaching their dark color to the sand.
Nothing of a problem if that's the case (which I truly believe it is- cause it's happened to me - with my white PFS), so don't worry about it.
That doesn't explain the rotting plant root ends though - perhaps those plants are just not surviving very well for whatever reason.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Looks to me like your sand substrate is a fairly thin layer in most areas of the tank bottom, so even if you pressed some of your root tab ferts down to the bottom of the tank, they're still not very far down, and the root tabs while they disintegrate are leaching their dark color to the sand.
Nothing of a problem if that's the case (which I truly believe it is- cause it's happened to me - with my white PFS), so don't worry about it.
That doesn't explain the rotting plant root ends though - perhaps those plants are just not surviving very well for whatever reason.
My substrate is about 4" in the back and 2" in the front. AS to the plants rotting. It's only the plants that are closest/on top of the tabs. The tabs are all the way to the bottom, there is probably 2.5"-3" above the tab. I can believe their leeching their discoloration to the top. But I'm not getting the plant rotting tho unless it was just too much fert for them and the bottoms are rotting because of it. It's only happening to the plants that are within an inch of the tabs.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-25-2018, 03:00 AM
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The soil might be too hot right next to the root tabs, usually they recommend putting them further from the plant.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-25-2018, 03:03 AM Thread Starter
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The soil might be too hot right next to the root tabs, usually they recommend putting them further from the plant.
Makes sense, once the tabs have started deteriorating am I able to move them without causing an issue with ammonia or nitrites?

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-25-2018, 03:05 AM
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The soil might be too hot right next to the root tabs, usually they recommend putting them further from the plant.

Makes sense - that's what I think too.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-25-2018, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for your help. If it wasn't for the experience in this forum beginners like myself would be doomed

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-25-2018, 09:06 PM
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Makes sense, once the tabs have started deteriorating am I able to move them without causing an issue with ammonia or nitrites?
No, root tabs should not produce nor be the cause of ammonia or nitrites.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 11:27 PM
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Most root tabs have ammonia in them, that's what feeds the plants. If they aren't deep enough it will leach them right into the water. This is especially true of diy osmacote tabs.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 11:46 PM
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While some root tabs may have some ammonia in them, it is not of sufficient quantity overall to produce any dangerous ammonia toxicity levels in most tanks, even if it were to leach right into the water. I've used 2 or 3 different types of root tabs over many years in my planted discus tanks (discus being very sensitive to any level of ammonia), and have never experienced any ammonia test reading from root tabs.
A tank's beneficial bacteria would deal with any such ammonia produced, just as it does with other sources of ammonia production within a tank.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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Ok Good To Know Thank You All

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