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Started a 29 Gal tank with about 20# of rock. Tank cycled and struggled through my first dilema with much help from the members (hippo tang selection was not the smartest and lighting was subpar). Quickly became overwhelmed. Anyway, please let me start fresh (?)

Facts: 29 Gal, 15# +- Live rock, sand bottom. Almost 3 mo since initial cycling. 1 Oc Clown, 1 Bi-Color Angel, 1 Cleaner Gobi, 1 Seabae Anemone, 4 Turbo Snails (oxymoron?) 4 Tiny Hermit Crabs, 4 small groups of coral. ALL inhabitants look great and are healthy by my novice eye. ALL eat well, are bright, vibrant and active.

Was informed that my lighting was under par. Got much info from the discussion boards, probably too much for my brain to process but I'm sure thankful of the responses and am trying to catch up knowledge wise. Went to a second fish store (not the one who sold me the tank & stock). He sold me a new lighting system (Mfg: Current) with two FT65W Dual Daylight and thw FT65W Dual Antinc lights contained within a fan cooled hood (also has a neat "moonlight" feature for off hours which the fish may or not appreciate by my son thinks is really cool).

Tank, which previously looked clean & clear, has taken a turn for the worse. Much green alge(?) and tiny silver bubbles which I assume are oxygen. EVERYTING but the livestock has or is turning green....glass, rock, filter equipment, shells on the backs of the crabs, etc. Very upsetting.

I cleaned house last week including scraping the glass and vaccuming the sand along with a 30% water change but it (alge) has returned. Both lights are on approx 10 hours each day as per the store recc.

My main info related beef is that the 2 stores seem to be indirectly competing with each in that they both tell me that the info I received from the other is wrong.

At this point, I'm not sre what or who to believe.........
 

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Welcome to TRT !!! Have you tested your water and if you did post your test Ph, Alk, Ca, Salt, nitrate, nitrite, ammonia and phosphates also how often do you do water changes? Also how long has your tank been set up and when did you get the new light?
 

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Need to have some test peramiters.
 

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How often do you feed? What are your husbandry habits (how often also) what kind of equipment do you have, skimmer? Sounds like you have an over abundance of phosphates in the tank. If so this could come from overfeeding, lack of husbandry and poor filtration/skimming. The fix takes time but is very doable. If you do have phosphates, (and if you have algae you do) you wont get an accurate Phosphate reading as the Phosphate is locked up in the algae. Temp can be a contributing factor also.
Dont add "fix it" chemicals as they are nothing more than a band aid and dont fix the root of the problem. Oh, and they cost money! Good habits are the answer. Also you are pushing the limit on the amount of fish to keep in a tank that size. The bioload is fairly high, this can contribute as fish poop, algae likes poop!
What is the circulation like in the tank?

Robert
 

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i agree need to see the tank and the parameters, the lighting is not bad now, the anemone may actually need more. how much are you feeding you fish and how often?
the green alage is usally a bloom caused by not enough skimming of the tank to remove the phosphate the alage is feeding off of.
 

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not on topic, but my take is almost exactly the same, minus the algae. how do you keep the temp down. I have the same light, and my tank was 88 degrees. sorry to get off topic.
 

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Welcome to TRT!!!


I won't add to anything with out more info on water test results.

The things about going to two stores, well that kind of thing will happen. Not that one is right and one wrong, many ways to do things in this hobby, You pick what works for you and fine tune it. I will say that the advice You get here will be about the best You can get anywhere. Keep reading and asking and You will be able to fix what ever problem you have as long as You are willing to listen and take your time
 

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imo....a 29gal reef tank with 20lbs of rock should only have ONE FISH MAX

sorry brother but you cant have it all.... a small 29gal tank, a reef with coral....and 4 fish.....setting yourself for failure

with a small 29gal tank...you need to decide if:
1) you want a reef tank with coral with just 1 fish, or
2) just a FO tank and get 2-3 small fish max

ALSO...imo 10hrs of lighting is way too much.... I'd try backing off to 6hrs
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you all for the responses and your generous offerings of advice...It's what I need most!

I will try and have the water sampled later today, results have been reported as ok in the past, I realize that doesn't mean squat now since they're off, but I have been testing! Even bought home test strips.

-Tank was cycled approx 5 weeks before any creatures were added.
-Live rock estimate was probably high, 12-15# would be more accurate.
-Eheim 2213 Filter, 8 Watt M 1.5 1/h 440
-Skilter protein skimmer with Bio-Matrix polyester / carbon media filters, changed monthly.
-Water changes 1/3 volume each month.
-Salt content always between 0.22 / 0.23 on hydrometer
-Temp 79 / 80
-Feeding takes place at 7 am & 7 pm. O.S.I. flake food, no more than the fish can consume in one minute (as directed by fish store # 1). Anemone is fed one krill shrimp the size of a shirt button every other day, takes it in quickly without problem.

The tank looked great before the new lighting, clear and bright. I do understand that this did not represent the health level as I was told by fish store #2 that the anemone would not live, hence the upgrade. When I questioned the owner abut the bloom, he passed it off as normal and ok and sent me home with the aforementioned turbo's to clean it up. Not much visible change, I believe perhaps one to two thousand more may make a difference.

If I can get my aquatic act together, with the tank surfaces return to
their once clean appearance, will the green on rock & structures fade?

Thanks again folks......
 

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Saltwater Mom
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New lighting will bring on algae bloom for sure. It took a couple of weeks for my algae to stop growing but hasn't been an issue since.
 

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yellow submarine said:
imo....a 29gal reef tank with 20lbs of rock should only have ONE FISH MAX

sorry brother but you cant have it all.... a small 29gal tank, a reef with coral....and 4 fish.....setting yourself for failure

with a small 29gal tank...you need to decide if:
1) you want a reef tank with coral with just 1 fish, or
2) just a FO tank and get 2-3 small fish max

ALSO...imo 10hrs of lighting is way too much.... I'd try backing off to 6hrs
I respectfully disagree with the above statement. While I'm into understocking as much as the next one, to state that more than one fish in a 29 is too much is extreme, IMO.

I will add that the more experienced the hobbyist, the better the chances they have with success in a smaller volume.

We have an Aquapod 12 g with 4 fish: Ocellaris clown, neon goby, yellow assesor and firefish goby. No conflicts, everybody has lots of room. The clown may get cramped down the road, if so we'll remove it, but all of the other 3 won't outgrow the tank and have plenty of room.

Back to the topic at hand...

Firstly, the lighting is very good for the size of tank. The Sebae *should* do OK under it but it's likely to outgrow the tank. Please be sure to supplement the anemone with meaty foods like krill or silversides, once or twice a week.

10 hours is the "normal" photoperiod. Actinics for 10 hours, daylights for 8 of those 10. You *can* ramp that back a bit to 8 hours for actinics, 6 for daylights.

What seems to be happening is your new lighting has contributed to an algae bloom. Checking parameters is important - nitrate and phosphate levels may be telling.

Looking at your last post... I'll address a few points here:

-Tank was cycled approx 5 weeks before any creatures were added.
Good - if only everybody was this patient ;)

-Live rock estimate was probably high, 12-15# would be more accurate.
That should still be fine for the amount of livestock you have.

-Eheim 2213 Filter, 8 Watt M 1.5 1/h 440
Is this a canister filter? If so, I'd contemplate using it only to polish the water from time to time, and the rest of the time, leaving it in a closet, clean and dry. Canisters keep pH low, CO2 high, don't have the circulation/oxygenation capabilities of other filters... but the're great to use to polish your water with carbon from time to time.

-Skilter protein skimmer with Bio-Matrix polyester / carbon media filters, changed monthly.
Ah the Skilter... one of life's mysteries is why they even manufacture them anymore :( It is a good *idea* that didn't translate into application very well. No offence meant - on either filtration mechanism - there are just better, more efficient devices out there. Your LFS needs an update :(

-Water changes 1/3 volume each month.
OK this is a big one. I recommend smaller volumes of water changed, but more frequently. This keeps your parameters more stable. 10% per week is best, or 20% every other week. Particularly because you're using filtration that can lend to nitrate buildup, IMO it's important to keep up on those water changes.

Also, do you use Reverse Osmosis and/or Deionized water (RO/DI) or tap water? If you use the latter, I'd suggest changing to the former, because tap water, even if treated with decholrinator, still contains all kinds of impurities, including phosphates and yes, nitrates, coming right out of the tap. I've posted my city's water report in my shop - and I won't even drink the stuff :(

-Salt content always between 0.22 / 0.23 on hydrometer
By this I am assuming you mean specific gravity of 1.022-1.023? If so, that's just fine.

-Temp 79 / 80
A tad bit warm, but not enough to be troublesome

-Feeding takes place at 7 am & 7 pm. O.S.I. flake food, no more than the fish can consume in one minute (as directed by fish store # 1). Anemone is fed one krill shrimp the size of a shirt button every other day, takes it in quickly without problem.
AHA! Here it is! Over-feeding. How about one feeding, every OTHER day? Leave the anemone on the same schedule if it is content, but the fish are being over-fed. I'd also suggest changing up their food too - you'd get bored eating corn flakes every day - how about some frozen enriched brine, mysis, there are a bunch of different preparations out there that will make your fishes' diets more balanced.

Be careful about portions though - keep with the small portions that they eat in a minute or so - but cut the frequency. Flakes also tend to contain more phosphate than other preparations too - so that could be contributing to your issue.

For the filtration issue - my suggestion would be to replace the Skilter with either a CPR BakPak II, or an Aqua C Remora. Remove the Canister except for occasional use, and replace it with either a HOB power filter (ok perhaps the Skilter would work for that) OR some powerheads for circulation. Your live rock IS your biological filtration - all you need is a *good* skimmer and a lot of water movement. Keep the media in your existing filters changed out often, and don't leave any biological media in either one... that will cause a bacterial imbalance and your nitrates will likely climb.

Hope this helps.

Jenn
 

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I think your filter and skilter might be the problem. If you can afford it get an Aqua C remora with a Maxi Jet from www.marinedepot.com or another of our fine sponsors. Ditch the filter and skilter. Those things are just not worth it and probably the source of your phosphates that feed your algae. Also, I would go with less fish and way more clean up crew.
 

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There are probably many reasons for your problem. Most of the time, that's how it works. I agree with the others that the equipment is certainly not the best and your lighting is on for too long. Is the algae green hair algae or does your tank look pea soup? Like someone else mentioned, ditching the mechanical filter and skimmer and using a HOT fuge with lots of macro algae and better skimmer will help. I'd also increase the depth of the sand to about 4" thereby creating a DSB. Also, I think your tank is too immature for an anemone, but only time will tell. You have three fish total? You might be OK considering their overall adult length. You'd also be better off using a frozen fish food like Formula 1 or Marine Cuisine instead of flake or pellet. They are loaded with phosphates which, along with nitrates and light, fuel the algae. Lastly, be sure you're not adding nitrates and phosphates back into your tank by using tap water. RO/DI or distilled water is the way to go. Good luck!

KG
 
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