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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Thank God for coffee!

OK, I'll start. Here's my situation.

My rocks and sand have played out and are no longer acting as a filter, they've become a nutrient sink. So it's time to replace them anyway. Other than starting the tank out again with new sand, rocks, and water, I don't need to change the basic setup. I'm still using rocks, sand, and a PM3 skimmer that's overdriven with a Iwaki 70 as the filtration. Circulation will stay the same, that keeps detritus in suspension as much as I can.
Lighting will change and hopefully with it so will the electric bill and algae. I'll be using the VHO bulbs most of the time now and the MH's only for looks.
I won't be worrying about Ca levels so much anymore, but I will maintain Alk. Buffering and Ph swings are still important.

No Deep Sand Bed! First I won't be worried about nitrates as much anymore and big rocks, skimming, and water changes will take care of that. There's no point in trying to grow any DSB critters to feed corals, that's way way overrated anyway. Plus heavy feeding actually shortens the life of DSB's. I'll use about 1 - 1 1/2" of sand mostly for looks and comfort of some animals. This won't create much anoxic or anaerobic zones and it can be cleaned easily, either stir it up and take it out with filter fluff and skimmer or vacuum.

Other than all that, it's still a tank, still maintenance - just a little easier.
 

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ROOTS...ROCKS...REGGAE
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Wow! I can't believe YOU of all people are getting rid of your reef in favor of a FO. Actually I can see it seeing that you have a real live reef in your back yard. My question is :
How do you know that the live rock has become a nutrient sink? Is there any way to tell? How does one check for this?
I know you were de-gunking :D some of the live rock in a dark container with a powerhead. It looked like a lot of detritus fell out of the rock and into the container. Would that rock still be good or do you think it was still plugged up and needs to be replaced. The reason I ask is I have some LR from my original reef tank, some almost 10 years old:eek: . It may be time to tear down the reef and set up the kiddie pool again. The tank has a persistant low level algae problem and I've tried everything. Maybe this is the next step.
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
>The tank has a persistant low level algae problem and I've tried everything.<

That and cyano are the warning signs. You saw what was going on in the tank, yuck, and I hate algae. And I hate fighting it. For us, it's just a matter of getting off our lazy rear ends and getting new rocks and sand.

>How do you know that the live rock has become a nutrient sink? Is there any way to tell? How does one check for this?<

Any calcium carbonate material, just by the very nature of it, will act as a filter. Keeping your nutrient imports at a level that bacteria and critters in the rocks and sand can keep it moving for you will work. The reality of it is that it's really hard to do. It's ability to ad/absord and also such a high ability to store so much of it before it becomes full, covers a multitude of sins. By the time you start seeing problems (algae, cyano, etc), it's full.

>I know you were de-gunking some of the live rock in a dark container with a powerhead. It looked like a lot of detritus fell out of the rock and into the container. Would that rock still be good or do you think it was still plugged up and needs to be replaced.<

Storing it in the dark, water changes, that's a old way of cleaning up rock and it works. It gives bacteria time to drive these things out of the rock. I don't think it will make it brand new again, but it will definitely clean it up a lot. That's why it was advised for so long to store "new" rocks in the dark and do just this. Now that rocks with "all this life" have become popular, people have steered away from that.

>Maybe this is the next step.<

Try putting the rock in the dark for a few months. Siphon out the detritus do big water changes on it. When you see very little detritus being produced, you're good to go again.

Bob, you know how this tank looks in the house. When it's not clean, the whole house looks dirty to me. With just fish, I can keep it sparkling! ;)
 

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Natural Reefer
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FOWLR tank

Jerel, try a calcium reactor again for the alk. and calcium, also add an auto topoff system using your spectrapure system this way you'll be able to leave the house for a vacation or two, or buy another house directly on the ocean an run an open system. :D See you next week:beer: :beer:
 

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so what you are saying is that the same way of filtering the reef will also work on the FO.

you are not adding a canister or some other kind of mechanical filtration to remove the detritus faster. i would have though you would need to add some kind of mechanical filtration to help with the increased amount of food generally given to FO tanks.

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm running 2000gph+ through the sump. There's already a baffle system in it where I can place filter fluff. That's still necessary for a reef tank too. I plan on just blasting the rocks and stirring the sand more often now, letting the fluff clean and then take it out. With a shallow sand bed, that's possible.

Plus, I don't plan on having grouper! :D
 

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Spanky said:
Plus, I don't plan on having grouper! :D
no, but Newfiemom is planning on having a lionfish and a puffer.

what part of the filtration would you scale up in order to support a FO with messy eaters. would you up the skimmer or add more LR remotely?

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Geoff said:
you are not adding a canister or some other kind of mechanical filtration to remove the detritus faster. i would have though you would need to add some kind of mechanical filtration to help with the increased amount of food generally given to FO tanks.

G~
Geoff, I don't think I was very clear before. I don't like hooking up some sort of permanent mechanical filtration. They tend to be nitrate factories. I like to throw in a wad of filter fluff (Walmart poly quilting batting), shake everything up in the tank, let the fluff filter it out, and immediately take the fluff out when the waters clear. It might take several new batches of fluff to do that. So yes, that's about the same way I would run a reef tank.

Geoff said:
no, but Newfiemom is planning on having a lionfish and a puffer.

what part of the filtration would you scale up in order to support a FO with messy eaters. would you up the skimmer or add more LR remotely?

G~
Keep in mind, realistically people use way too much rock especially when they are also using sand.
I would scale up the regular maintenance, water changes and the filter fluff thing.
I would use a becket type skimmer and over drive it, something like a Bullet3 on a Iwaki70. That's what I'm running now.

I do not like using rocks in a remote sump situation. I've found that they just act like a big wad of filter fluff, get clogged faster, and will produce nitrates. In a high flow area, they will act like a filter and trap too much detritus.
 

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thanks!!

i understood the filter wad thing. i use it, or sponges on all of my intakes. and i clean them out twice a week.

it just seemed like you would do something different if you were going to have a grouper. i just wanted clarification.

thanks again,

G~
 

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My siphon has been serving me well! Each water change I've managed to remove more and more of the super fine sand I paid so dearly for at pure-aragonite.com. I will have almost a bare bottom soon, hope to add a course thin bed to slightly cover the bottom for looks. What I do from there all depends on how things level off. Think I like simple setup, with easy water changes better, I'm more prong to keeping it cleaner that way. Not sure what will be necessary to maintain the few fish and corals I have at this point, maybe this thread will shed some light.
 
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