View Full Version : 7 things you couldn't sell me on a bet....discussion welcome

01/04/2009, 11:42 AM
1.. caulerpa of any species: roots into your rock, is toxic, sporulates when its photoperiod changes (white soup in your tank) and has no redeeming social uses. Cheato is much better.

2. cannister filter on a reef. Nitrate city.

3. crushed coral for a substrate. Aragonite is my choice.

4. an elephant ear mushroom (traps small fish)

5. a cucumber or sea apple: toxic and a danger to the tank if they are injured or die.

6. a ribbon eel in a reef. Expensive eater. Got 300.00 worth of fish (and they told me he'd stick to fishfood).

7. a reef-safe medication.

01/04/2009, 11:45 AM
Thats a pretty good list. I Think I have tried something on your list atleast once and never found any good result as the outcome.

01/04/2009, 11:46 AM
I can't argue with a single one of those Sk8r. You hit the nail on the head.

01/04/2009, 11:46 AM
NICE I am glad I read this... Number 2 I have been pandering..

01/04/2009, 11:47 AM
Isn't caulerpa a good tang/angel snack? It's fast growing, so I rotate some rocks through my refugium.

01/04/2009, 11:59 AM
I think number 2 is debatable. I run a canister and have no nitrate problems at all. Of course, I took out th sponges!!

01/04/2009, 12:00 PM
Yes but... here is my thing with the Canister...


B) What does that canister do for you that an easier to use filter can't? <--- and is the PITA part worth what it can do better?

01/04/2009, 12:05 PM
A LTA, I'm on my second one and this one just bleached out. Anyone for a ghost anemone?

01/04/2009, 12:08 PM
how about never get a berlin skimmer

01/04/2009, 12:10 PM
If you are using a canister filter for, say, something like GFO or GAC. It might work ok if you are very religious about cleaning it. What I believe Sk8r is referring to when he says "cannister filter on a reef. Nitrate city" he is referring to folks using them in there "conventional" state. Canister filters in my opinion, being used as actual "filtration", is not the most ideal situation. There are much better choices out there now a days.

01/04/2009, 12:11 PM
what are some better options spleify?

01/04/2009, 12:13 PM
...and no undergravel filters....

01/04/2009, 12:22 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14077401#post14077401 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by calli
what are some better options spleify?

Well, what fashion are you referring to use it in.

Media reactor? I would suggest an actual media reactor, TLF, BRS, Geo, etc. all make great options for media reactors.

Conventional filtration? I would have a drilled tank, or some type of overflow, as to get water to a sump/refugium. I personally use a filter sock on my drain lines into the sump. Then baffle, baffle, baffle, then a refugium, PACKED with chaeto and lit on a reverse cycle of my tank. Then baffle, return section where I have two Mini-Jet 606's that run my TLF Phosban reactors, one I run GFO, and the other I run GAC.

I hope this helps and/or sheds some light on a different alternative.

Again folks, these are always just MY opinion, and there are hundreds of ways people have found to run successful reefs.


01/04/2009, 12:29 PM
I would also add 8.) wet dry filter/bioballs on a reef. Why sump manufacturers package those dratted things into a sump is a puzzlement, but the first thing you need to do with a new store-bought sump is to pitch all that stuff down to the bare walls, and the second thing is to get rid of any lids it has. Store 'em for a while until you're convinced you don't need 'em, but they're no good. The one collects nitrate and the other (lids) overheats your tank.

Note that: 'on a reef'. Corals are more sensitive to nitrate, although some corals (mushrooms, zoas) are far more tolerant than, say, stony.

If a reef has 1-2 lbs per gallon of live rock, THAT serves as your principle biofilter, along with a good sandbed. I maintain two sandbeds, one shallow one in my display and one deep one in the fuge. Works really well. I don't use any filtration of any sort, outside of that. Just stock in such a fashion that your live rock handles it well, and you'll be in far less of a panic in any power-outage or pump stoppage. My reef has handled 6-7 hours of power out with no losses, not even stress.

Many reefers do use the filter bags successfully, changing them very often, and my reef would be cleaner if I did---but I also have 2 dragonets in my little 54g and need those pods and live mysis from the fuge to make many round-trips through the system. A filter bag will prevent that.

01/04/2009, 12:37 PM
I also run two different sand beds, SSB in the display, and DSB in the sump/refugium.

01/04/2009, 01:01 PM
I'll add another I know flies in the face of conventional wisdom, but---fine sand in a tank with high flow (fast-moving water). I got beautiful fine sand for my tank, and it blew, it walked, it killed stony coral, it undermined, it killed specimens, and it was in general a total pita. I replaced it with medium grade aragonite and am much happier with sand that stays where you put it.

01/04/2009, 01:02 PM
nice.. this thread is going in the right direction... good.. another one to think about ..

01/05/2009, 10:38 AM
9] bristleworm traps

01/05/2009, 10:52 AM
I hate caulerpa so much :(

01/05/2009, 10:54 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14077194#post14077194 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Sk8r

7. a reef-safe medication.

I don't know if you would consider this a medication, but what about Flatworm Exit? I've never used it but have heard good things when used properly.

01/05/2009, 10:59 AM
i have kept tiger tail cucumbers for a while now, bought one about 10 inches long, which soon split into two, power outage killed one, fished him out, other one has split into two....no problems here, great substrate cleaners and they do good at burrowing through tiny holes in rocks and cleaning them out too

01/05/2009, 11:02 AM
Hell would freeze over before I bought a UV sterlizer.

The danger of cucumbers is WAY overblown....

01/05/2009, 01:24 PM
The danger of cucumbers is somewhat overblown: ANY fleshy large invert you put into an undersized tank is a problem if it dies (bioload) and cucumbers are toxic. I don't recommend them to newbies because new tanks tend to be unstable, and they also tend to be smaller than the tanks of longtime hobbyists: economics of start-up. Bad combo for a cucumber. If you are succeeding with them, bravo and carry on. I just feel there are safer things that do a good job, like a fighting conch for a 50g and black and white brittle star for slightly smaller. When you get into nano tanks, something like a yellow watchman can usually keep the place spiff.

Re: medications. Any time you use one of the 'acceptable' reef meds (Flatworm Exit or Red Slime Remover) be aware you will suffer dieoff not only of the organism you target but also of other parts of your reef---and you need a really, really, really potent skimmer to handle the sudden impact of massive biowaste---sort of related to the cucumber item above. Having a large sudden flatworm dieoff is sort of the equivalent of tossing a decaying mackerel into your poor little tank. If the skimmer can't yank the nastiness fast enough, the water quality goes to hades in a handbasket. Ironically, your tank can die of the SUCCESS of the dose. As for meds that cure ich, by killing that parasite, no. You're better following the suggested regimen.

01/05/2009, 01:31 PM
I too am not so sure about the canister C.J. I find them very useful for water polishing, running carbon, phosphate media and being a good source of circulation for a Q or H tank. Packing one with LR and using it as a biofilter is a no, no; as is keeping a polishing filter running for weeks without a good cleaning and disinfection. Even people using a reactor to run carbon run the danger of it becoming biologically active and producing nitrates if it is not changed on a regular basis.

01/05/2009, 02:34 PM
I do agree to that stipulation, Waterkeeper. They just have to be kept clean. And I think they're a great piece of equipment to get eventually, for when you really need it. My own favorite emergency fallback (that no one has these days) is the diatom filter: if you're ever in real dire straits with a sandbed kickup, they're great, but they do stripmine the water of all pods, etc, and you can't run them repeatedly. [Back in the day where we all had crushed coral substrate and sometimes had to clean the sandbed, it was a lifesaver, and still has its moments of usefulness. There are times I tune in on an emergency, and think to myself, Oh, me, if only they had a diatom filter they could save this tank...

01/05/2009, 03:51 PM
<B>3. crushed coral for a substrate. Aragonite is my choice.</B>

I have aragonite sand and my Tunze and Vortech are blowing it everywhere. My SPS love the massive flow, but it's impossible for me to find a sweet spot that will keep the sand still. I was contemplating on using crushed coral to keep it from blowing everywhere.

Can you tell us why using crushed coral for a substrate is bad?

01/05/2009, 04:20 PM
smaller grains have far more surface area for bacteria populations

larger size of CC means less surface area, plus does not lend itself to benthic life populations

sharp edges don't encourage movement of such life

shape of CC tends to trap detritus which reduced benthic life doesn't handle sufficiently leading to nitrate problems down the road. I blame this for my system crash after 2+ years

sand looks more natural, and after time and bacteria growth, and possibly kalk drip with vinegar, will not blow around

Sugar Magnolia
01/05/2009, 04:24 PM
I've been using a canister for years. :D That being said, I clean it out every month, rinse the sponges in HOT water, and replace the sponges every other month. Great way to run media.

01/05/2009, 04:40 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14085239#post14085239 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Sk8r
I[Back in the day where we all had crushed coral substrate and sometimes had to clean the sandbed, it was a lifesaver, and still has its moments of usefulness. There are times I tune in on an emergency, and think to myself, Oh, me, if only they had a diatom filter they could save this tank...

Your dating yourself young lady.;)

You can still use a diatom filter but there are pleated media filters available that can filter down to a micron or less. The advantage there is you take them out and place them in a 1 to 3 solution of bleach and have a brand new filter.


Using a sponge filter is OK but one of the pleated filters would be better, IMO.

01/05/2009, 05:43 PM
My Seven Would Include:

- Sand sifting starfish
- Caulerpa
- Sump on my 50g (sorry that's just me)
- Crushed coral substrate
- OD'ing on sponges
- Fake coral background picture on the back of tank
- Fake corals

That's just my list. I know that I'll be crucified for the sump comment but I've run two successful tanks without them and I just don't see the reason for becoming Mario the Plumber. Again, just me... I'm sure that there are arguments that support having them and you're probably right... just not for me.

01/05/2009, 06:06 PM
A Rio return pump

01/05/2009, 10:14 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14077418#post14077418 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by spleify
...and no undergravel filters....
Tell Paul B's 35 yr old reef that..........:) tee hee

01/05/2009, 10:19 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14085986#post14085986 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Sugar Magnolia
I've been using a canister for years. :D That being said, I clean it out every month, rinse the sponges in HOT water, and replace the sponges every other month. Great way to run media.

Me too! I like mine. I would love to have a fab sump, and fuge, but I got a tank that wouldn't accomidate one. Next time, I'll get all of that, as for now though,I like my can. I am OCD about the upkeep, so I guess that is why I'm not mad at it.

01/05/2009, 10:24 PM
cool thread nice read

01/05/2009, 11:28 PM
i've had a black and pink cucumber for over 6 months now and he's a awesome addition to my tank.

01/06/2009, 10:21 AM
:) Thanks reefworm.

01/06/2009, 11:11 AM

01/06/2009, 11:16 AM
Having Waterkeeper give an answer to a post.

01/06/2009, 11:21 AM
My advice re superfine aragonite sand is to suck it out bit at a time and replace it with medium grade aragonite: I had exactly the same problem. Sand gets pasted down once it acquires a bacterial coating, but for the high flow of an sps tank, fine sand is destructive and unstable, because it STILL blows, no matter how biologically active it is.

01/06/2009, 12:29 PM
#4 is the truth!!!
Mine has cost me several decorator crabs, a mandarin and a couple shrimp. I would get rid of it, but apparently im the only sucker within 100 miles that didnt know better.
The bright side is that it looks cool when nothing expensive is hanging out of it.