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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The last couple of days, this tank has been driving me crazy! Suddenly there have been micro bubbles, then this brown dust has moved in... not sure what's going on since everything has been working just fine. I posted my tank with the DAS filtration design earlier this month. I am taking my water in tomorrow for testing since I am out of my own stuff. I thought that I would post now, just in case someone has some answers or what I may need to pickup at the LFS. I was already planning on getting some phos-zorb, but what else??:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I guess I can answer this myself... detritus?? This stuff is every where and just started showing up... I only have a few fish, just seems like alot for such a short time. I'll keep researching... if anyone happens to want to answer, my stats are under "My 55 Gallon DAS Fowler Tank" in tank specs.
 

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The brown dust sounds like diatoms.
10 gallons of RO/DI water at the LFS is another good idea. Mix with your salt and do a water change the next day.
What are you currently doing for water?
How long has your tank been running?
Find out your phosphate reading. If significant, I recommend a PhosBan reactor, which is not too expensive. It needs a MaxiJet power head. (I think 600).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I use RO/DI from the LFS, always have... much cheaper for me right now and I am limitied on space for a real RO setup, but would really like to have one. This tank was transfered from a leaking tank earlier this month. I moved all biological when I did the transfer. That tank was up for two years... I have probably tried to do too much at once, though... (killing my Aptasia virus) I haven't added anything new but a few frags that I got real cheap at the LFS. No new fish, but this DAS system is baffling me, even though the manufacture was local, and I was able to get the parts and filters I needed, it seems a bit outdated as I continue to do research and read posts. I really love this hobby, despite the periodic headaches and want to be a good reefer. As soon as I get a better budget, I plan on attempting a conversion of the filtration somehow just to be able to use the water skimmer part. The protein skimmer that uses the wood stone, does not seem to work very well. I still cannot figure out where all the tiny bubbles are coming from all of a sudden. I turned the air pump off to the skimmer to see if these bubbles may be making it through the filtration part of the system. I'll find out tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I will ask them about that when I get there, my LFS is pretty good and has always had some really goods guys working for him until recently. I have noticed that the staff has changed a bit and I am not seeing the guys that I used to see on a regular basis. What is a good test to run on the RO before I use it. I also buy my salt water there, so I assume that the same problem exists with that...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I found a Pos-Ban Reactor on Live Aquaria and I have it in my basket along with the Phos-Ban media. Will my Maxi-Jet 1200 be too much for it? I know that I am controlling the flow, but just want to make sure that there won't be any issues and it is already in my tank.
 

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I think there maybe be too much flow from MJ-1200 but you can adjust it on with the valve included with the reactor. Also if you buy the water from your LFS make sure its RO/DI not only RO. You can even get TDS meter to find out how good the water from your LFS is. but the water must be in clean container otherwise it won't read right ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just returned and according to them, they sell RO/DI and use a TDS monitor and some other big words along with 16 something else and you know... it's not their fault! Anyway, I was so mad at the price gauging going on, I forgot to get my water tested. Got my water for the water change, though... I couldn't beleive that they wanted $82.99 for the reactor and $29.99 for the media... I've had other 50% over gauging issues with them and I always end up on Live Aquaria which is charging $43.99 for the reactor and $17.49 for the media... $8.99 shipping flat rate, buy as much as you want. I realize that there is overhead and a convenience factor, but common... I hope they make a lot of money on their service calls, because the store front is only getting the nieve to pay those prices! Sorry, I'll get off my soap box now.

I will stop on the way home and have my water tested since I did at least buy water from them and I will update this thread tonight.
 

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I think that I would buy my own test kits and test my own water, and not support any of their antics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
For what they were going to charge me for two items... I got the reator, media, redsea 5 in 1, ctn of charcoal and a new media bag, docking mounts for my lights, because I broke a couple of them and shipping... oh... and no attitue to go along with it! Okay, I spent $10.35 more... But until I can afford to make my own, I will have to continue to give them some change for my water, but that is it and a shame. In this economy, we should support our local small business, but when they aren't playing fair, we have to hit'em where it counts! I think these guys get in over their heads and stop being competative because they mismanaged their labor and inventories.
 

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for the pricing they probably charge alot too, but small companies that are buying in small quantitties have higher pricing from their wholesaler. Some things in my LFS are $16 that are online for $6 but let's say DrfosterSmith buys large quantity of the items, that's why they can sell it alot cheaper. I'm not agreeing with them charging over 100% of the actual cosst, but they have to make little proffit for their overhead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think I did enough LFS bashing for the day... :blob: I'll let everyone know my stats as soon as I get home, developing a spreadsheet to help me keep track as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Alrighty then!

Here are the results from today's testing:

Nitrates = 20
Nitrites = 0
Amonia = 0
PH = 7.8
Alkalinaty = 200
Phosphate = 0.25
Salinaty = 1.25

Based on this info and what is going on, I have to assume that my tank is still cycling. I had hoped that I managed to get enough biology from the original tank to avoid this. I am just going to keep changing the water out and keep on keep'en on! It was nice to see some of the usual suspects at the LFS and I spoke to them about what happened earlier and I was reassured that they would at least address the attitude... then they started throwing me discounts, ah... I'm a sucker for deals and a reef ho! So, I grabbed up some supplements and some fish food.
:thumbup:
 

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Nitrates and phosphates look high, but PH and Alk look low. If it is a rusty dust colored covering that flies off in small pieces with a wave of the hand, it may be silica algae. This could also be your protein skimmer not working efficiently. How often is it cleaned? And I mean taken apart and the tubing and propeller cleaned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The dust is dimenishing and the clarity is a whole lot better! I added some more hermits and I am getting three more pepermints to continue tackling the aptasia issue. I will be testing my water again tomorrow before adding anything and another water change on Friday. As far as the skimmer goes, it is just what the system came with, wood stone and air pump kind, not the best. I am hoping that I will come across an external skimmer for a good deal soon. I currently have my eye on the below skimmer at my favorite online shop. I have found it on E-Bay as well... Any critics?
Eshopps Hang-On Protein Skimmer PSK-75H

http://www.fosterandsmithaquatics.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+4392+19865&pcatid=19865
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I just returned from having my water tested, still waiting for the delivery of my kits... nonetheless, here are the results and it looks like things are swinging into place.

NH4 = 0
NO3 = 0
NO2 = 0
PO4 = .25 same as last week, waiting for my Phos-Ban Reactor to arrive...
PH = 8.4
Salinity = 1.025
CAL = 460
ALK = 16 (200 last week and I was told too low) Is this good? According to my research, Alkalinity levels of 3.0 to 6.0 meq/ml are recommended to keep a stable pH in a reef aquarium. Looks like this is high.

The guy who tested my water today did use a few more tools than the guy last week and seems very knowledgable... You guys tell me.

Thanks!
 

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On the Alk...my bad. I was thinking Ca numbers of 350-450 as normal. Sorry about that. That is what I get for answering while working....Alk would depend on how it is measured. 2.5-4 meq/L, 7-11 dKH, or 125-200 ppm would be fine. If it was 200ppm last week, that is fine. 16 meq/L would be high, but make sure you know what measurement it was. PH took a major swing from 7.8-8.4? Were measurements taken at the same time of day?
I had the same "dusty" appearance and cutting the lights for 24 hours, then reducing them by an hour, while also increasing flow in the tank helped a lot.
 

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I think that I would buy my own test kits and test my own water, and not support any of their antics.
not to say your lfs is bad. But they want your money and will tell you things to insure they get it. thats why this post is so nice, the people on this post dont try to get you to spend money with them. i went in to mine and said i have copepods. he gave me a list of things to buy. from this post i found out that in my fish only system copepods are not as big of an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Dominic, yeah... they do have to earn their keep and up until yesterday, I was kinda in a hard place because I was completely out of test stuff. I have eveything I need now and I have my Phos-Ban Reactor that I now need to go get a maxi-jet for because the one I had crapped out on me. I also purchased a media bag and some carbon to convert my crappy DAS skimmer box into a mecahnical filter. Since I am doing water changes every week, I figure I will be fine for now... I don't think the DAS skimmer was doing anything productive anyway!
 
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