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Jabberwocky
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, for starters, tank stats:
55g mixed reef, sumpless, 2x 150w halides, HOB Coralife Super Skimmer, powerheads

I dosed Chemiclean in my tank as I had cyano on a lot of my corals and have been struggling with hair algae. I researched in other areas and discovered that it's my sand bed (Thanks Geoff for your Reefkeeping Made Easy thread for all the information on phosphates). It's basically saturated with crap, and until I've got it all cleaned up and removed (I'm going bare-bottom) it won't get any better. I was doing water changes to no prevail, but I was only siphoning what I could reach in front of the rocks.

So anywho, right or wrong, I used Chemiclean to help get rid of the cyano until I've got my tank cleaned up good. Problem is that my skimmer is foaming so badly that it isn't doing what it should be. It is just draining right back into the tank. I have a tapped hole with a hose going back into my tank in case of skimmer issues (to prevent overflowing all over my floor since its HOB). I have changed 30 gallons of water over the past two weeks and it still hasn't stopped doing it. Any thoughts? Having my skimmer working correctly would really go a long ways to helping me get this crap out of my tank as I work on sand cleanup.

On a side note, I haven't removed much sand yet. I've been trying to siphon it well during changes to get as much crap out before I go in and scoop it out. I'd like to minimize the amount of stuff disturbed by sand removal.

Also, since the addition of the Chemiclean, my hammer coral is NOT happy. I didn't think that stuff was supposed to affect my corals. Would it be a spike caused by cyano die-off?

Thanks,
Shane
 

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Jabberwocky
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I should add that I have a 75g overflow waiting to be set up, but I want to refinish my hardwood floors before setting it up and starting the transfer. I also have yet to build a stand and sump for it. It will be about April before it's ready.

I have read quite a bit on the "How to go Barebottom" thread, and I don't know if I can cook my rocks. Most of my rocks have a coral of some kind on them, like a few mushrooms, zoos, leathers, etc. Will this be detrimental to the set up if I don't cook them?

I guess I originally planned on trying to get close to barebottom in my 55, and trying to get me rocks to shed nutrients, phosphates, etc there before moving to the 75. Is this feasible or a bad idea?
 

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IIWY, I'd syphon about half the water out of the tank. Try to get clean water, not water out of the sand. I'd remove all the critters and put them in the clean water you removed. Including the LR. Then I'd trash the sand and the rest of the water. Then I'd put the critters and water back in the tank and fill it with new ASW. This will remove 80% of your problem. After this, I'd do larger water changes than normal, and keep the system as clean as possible. Eventually you will have "cooked" the rock with them in the tank. After all the algae problems have subsided, you can add clean sand.
 

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Jabberwocky
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
EC,

I would ultimately like to get away from sand. Do you think that your suggestion would be relatively safe for all my critters? I see where you're going with that, it just seems like a major overhaul. I'm willing to do it though as long as it's safe!

Are the rocks safe to put directly on the glass? I've been wondering this, as most people use some sort of epoxy or starboard for their bottom. Forgive my ignorance on the matter, I've just started looking into BB tanks. When you don't know, ask right?
 

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Hello all, for starters, tank stats:
55g mixed reef, sumpless, 2x 150w halides, HOB Coralife Super Skimmer, powerheads

I dosed Chemiclean in my tank as I had cyano on a lot of my corals and have been struggling with hair algae. I researched in other areas and discovered that it's my sand bed (Thanks Geoff for your Reefkeeping Made Easy thread for all the information on phosphates). It's basically saturated with crap, and until I've got it all cleaned up and removed (I'm going bare-bottom) it won't get any better. I was doing water changes to no prevail, but I was only siphoning what I could reach in front of the rocks.

So anywho, right or wrong, I used Chemiclean to help get rid of the cyano until I've got my tank cleaned up good. Problem is that my skimmer is foaming so badly that it isn't doing what it should be. It is just draining right back into the tank. I have a tapped hole with a hose going back into my tank in case of skimmer issues (to prevent overflowing all over my floor since its HOB). I have changed 30 gallons of water over the past two weeks and it still hasn't stopped doing it. Any thoughts? Having my skimmer working correctly would really go a long ways to helping me get this crap out of my tank as I work on sand cleanup.

On a side note, I haven't removed much sand yet. I've been trying to siphon it well during changes to get as much crap out before I go in and scoop it out. I'd like to minimize the amount of stuff disturbed by sand removal.

Also, since the addition of the Chemiclean, my hammer coral is NOT happy. I didn't think that stuff was supposed to affect my corals. Would it be a spike caused by cyano die-off?

Thanks,
Shane
I've been using the 65 gal coralife skimmer for 2 yrs now,and i made that same mistake,i know how frustrated that was,after about a week i finally just unpluged the darn thing,i found that any conditioners will foam it so i don't use any,i just do my weekly water changes.
 

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Jabberwocky
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've been using the 65 gal coralife skimmer for 2 yrs now,and i made that same mistake,i know how frustrated that was,after about a week i finally just unpluged the darn thing,i found that any conditioners will foam it so i don't use any,i just do my weekly water changes.
Yeah, I keep unplugging it, changing water, plugging it back in, letting it run for a few days, unplugging it, etc....

The foam is coming up into the cup so fast that it is basically just foaming back into the tank through my fail safe hose. On top of that I have a cup 2/3 full with water. The whole thing makes me nervous. I didn't overtreat the tank with the Chemiclean and should have changed enough water by now that it shouldn't be going bonkers still.

How long did yours take to act normally again? Most people I've talked to said a couple of days but I'm at 2 weeks....
 

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Yeah, I keep unplugging it, changing water, plugging it back in, letting it run for a few days, unplugging it, etc....

The foam is coming up into the cup so fast that it is basically just foaming back into the tank through my fail safe hose. On top of that I have a cup 2/3 full with water. The whole thing makes me nervous. I didn't overtreat the tank with the Chemiclean and should have changed enough water by now that it shouldn't be going bonkers still.

How long did yours take to act normally again? Most people I've talked to said a couple of days but I'm at 2 weeks....
I don't exactly remember,it took forever,i cleaned my whole skimmer out and ran alot of charcoal,the only product iv'e had success with is AlgaeFix
it dosn't foam the skimmer.it takes a while to get that chemiclean out of the water.
 

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Jabberwocky
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3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
IIWY, I'd syphon about half the water out of the tank. Try to get clean water, not water out of the sand. I'd remove all the critters and put them in the clean water you removed. Including the LR. Then I'd trash the sand and the rest of the water. Then I'd put the critters and water back in the tank and fill it with new ASW. This will remove 80% of your problem. After this, I'd do larger water changes than normal, and keep the system as clean as possible. Eventually you will have "cooked" the rock with them in the tank. After all the algae problems have subsided, you can add clean sand.
So you suggest doing it all at once instead of in sections?
 

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Jabberwocky
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3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, the constant fluctuations like that can stress things and prolong it, better to just do it once and get it over with.
Thanks Nate, it was actually the link in your sig that lead me to Geoff's thread on sand beds and phosphates. I knew that it needed cleaning good, but I had no idea that it was the cause of my troubles. It made perfect sense though once I read the thread. Thanks.
 

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Thanks Nate, it was actually the link in your sig that lead me to Geoff's thread on sand beds and phosphates. I knew that it needed cleaning good, but I had no idea that it was the cause of my troubles. It made perfect sense though once I read the thread. Thanks.
Geoff and others did a great job on that thread, I'm glad you found it. now that you know the whys and hows, it will make your reefing life much easier ;)

its a lot of reading, but well worth it :read:

let me know how the tank is after you get all that sand out :D
 

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Premium Member
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EC,

I would ultimately like to get away from sand.
If you want to go BB, now is your perfect chance.


Do you think that your suggestion would be relatively safe for all my critters?
I think it's the safest option you have. I would not mix rocks and fish in the same temporary container though. I've lost fish when rocks fell over on them in buckets. Make sure you have plenty of new salt water mixed up and ready to go, before you start.


I see where you're going with that, it just seems like a major overhaul. I'm willing to do it though as long as it's safe!
It is a major overhaul, but if done correctly, it's safe. What you're doing now is not safe. You have rot and decay in your sand that's feeding cyanobacteria growth that can quickly cover corals and kill them. You're dosing chemicals that can potentially cause all kinds of headaches. If you try to resolve your problems a little at a time, you're simply prolonging your pet's exposure to a bad situation. Every time you disturb the sand to remove a portion, you're potentially exposing your pets to harmful substances.

Are the rocks safe to put directly on the glass? I've been wondering this, as most people use some sort of epoxy or starboard for their bottom.
I always put my rocks directly on the bottom glass. I do this if I'm running a tank with sand, or BB. There's enough irregularities in LR to provide areas for water movement between the glass and rock. You do have to be very careful when positioning the rocks so that they don't slide, causing an avalanche.


Forgive my ignorance on the matter, I've just started looking into BB tanks. When you don't know, ask right?
Please, ask all the questions you need to. I'm sure everyone here would rather answer a ton of questions than have you post a thread after you did something that killed your prized fish or coral. This isn't like stamp collecting, where if you make a mistake, you just out a couple of bucks. If you make a mistake in our hobby, you're out a couple of bucks, and an animal dies.
 

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Administrator
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there are other options for BB instead of just bare glass, but as EC has said there is nothing wrong with bare glass if your rockwork structure is secure. one of the easiest glass coverings is the white cutting board material. it is HDPE. the UV resistant version is called Starboard, but the UV resistance does not seem to be needed as once thought.

if you are unable to get your skimmer to behave, then i would go ahead and get the sand out along with the Chempure and let the bacteria do its thing.

G~
 

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Jabberwocky
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3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks guys for the advice. I've had this tank for 8 years now, it has looked great for most of it's life, but it's been in a decline for awhile now. I went to attempt to get water this afternoon, but he was closed today for some reason. Headed up tomorrow afternoon.
 

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Jabberwocky
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3,182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
let me know how the tank is after you get all that sand out :D
I think I'm going to start a new thread covering the experience and how the tank does, documenting rock shed and coral responses. A good before and after photo will be there for sure!

I've rolled around going BB for awhile now. I'm excited on making it happen.:banana:

My wife isn't as sold on a tank without sand though. I would just assume let the coraline cover the bottom. :D
 

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You can always just try it for a while. If the wife really hates it, you can always put same clean sand back in it.
 
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