Anyone know what this tar-ball is?

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry' started by rygh, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    So I have had these tar like clumps in my sand from time to time.
    One was large, about 4" around, and half inch thick.
    Consistency is very much like the tar balls you see at the beach. Firm, but not hard.
    But a bit more brownish. They grow very slowly.

    I suspect some sort of bacterial mat.

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  2. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    Hmm, never seen one of those before.

    Is it pliable? I'd be interested in seeing what it looks like under a microscope.
     
  3. DEATH BY SNU SNU

    DEATH BY SNU SNU Supporting Member

    What does it taste like, Mark? jk It looks like Cyano. I had this happen to me when I overdosed my vinegar for carbon dosing.
     
  4. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Slightly pliable, but not much.
    I do have a microscope. May take a look this weekend.
     
  5. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    You have had a solid clump like that?
    I have had Cyano, but it is usually a soft fuzzy reddish layer on the sand and rock. Never solid, and never a clump.
    But it certainly could be. I carbon dose.
     
  6. JVU

    JVU Supporting Member

    I don’t know what it is, but I’m following along since you’ve got me curious now.


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  7. Bruce Spiegelman

    Bruce Spiegelman Supporting Member

    This is how every world-ending science discovery movie starts.....

    "What is this strange clump....."
     
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  8. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Or every flesh eating monster horror movie...
    :)
     
  9. Chromis

    Chromis Supporting Member

    When I still has sand in my sump the top layer would occasionally get a 4” clump from coralline, it would resemble someone pouring a puddle of concrete on top of the sand. But it wasn’t pliable so not sure about your tarball.


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  10. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Yes, I know what you mean by that.
    This is pretty different.
    After it dried out, I cut it open. The black part shrank way down.
    So it really seems to be a bacterial biofilm that was holding the sand together. Strange.

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  11. Mr. Ugly

    Mr. Ugly Past President

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