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Unread 07/28/2010, 06:59 PM   #1
calziereef
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New Reefer = Lots of Questions!

Hi, I'm new to reef keeping and this forum,
i just set up my 30 gallon a couple of months ago (I had the tank for my 13th birthday) and i have so many questions to ask!! I am having problems with hair and what i believe to be slime algae (however, there is still substantial coraline algae growth) and I manged to spot the problem fairly quickly it is due to elevating nitrate levels and an undesirable level of phosphates, nitrate= 15ppm phosphates = 0.075, i am running my system at the moment with a tetratec 600l/h canister filter with bio balls, ceramic rings and some mechanical filter sponge, with 11 kg of figi premimum live rock, however my system is skimmerless and sumpless. I am wondering whether the following action would solve the nitrate and phosphate problem: removing the bioballs, adding around 6kg more of live rock (diy this time) ,adding a 7 gallon refugium with mangroves and a 4" deep sandbed, adding some phosban into the canister and adding another 1/2 inch of coral sand to the display tanks sand bed.

Next Question, i have about 1/3 the reccomended light for a reef tank (only 1 watt per 3 litres rather that 1 watt per liter) , under that light (if i added a reflector) could i keep mushrooms, finger leather, zoanthids, buttonpolyps, greenstarpolyps and a sun coral, (any other low-light corals you'd recommend?)

could i use mehylene blue to treat mouthfungus/ mouth rot?

Any help is really appreciated,
Thanks!



Last edited by calziereef; 07/28/2010 at 07:17 PM.
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Unread 07/28/2010, 09:44 PM   #2
thegrun
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Welcome to Reef Central! It sounds like you've done a fair amount of reading already. I'll take a shot at a few of your questions. You'll have better luck if you limit yourself to one or two questions per post.
Yes, removing the bioballs and ceramic rings will help (remove slowly, over a couple o weeks), I would advise using Cheato algae instead of Mangroves for nitrate export. Mangroves grow slowly, so they look okay but are not that beneficial for reducing your nitrates. Deep sand beds can be tricky to maintain, but if you do your research it will also help. I've found that a good refugium with cheato is all I need to keep nitrates and phosphates in check. You should also change your sponge filter every three days. It's nice to alternate between three, let them dry out between use. Your water flow could also be a problem, you should have a minimum of 20 water changes per hour, 40 is better.
You most likely could keep the low light corals you listed, but sun corals require frequent spot feeding, you may want to start with easier to care for corals. Good luck!


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Unread 07/29/2010, 12:03 AM   #3
Jstdv8
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Sounds like you are close to having your levels in check, perhaps slightly more frequent water changes are all that is needed to take your trates and phos down to undetectable.


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Unread 07/29/2010, 03:52 AM   #4
calziereef
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegrun View Post
You'll have better luck if you limit yourself to one or two questions per post.
sorry for asking so many q's lol
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegrun View Post
Your water flow could also be a problem, you should have a minimum of 20 water changes per hour, 40 is better.
the water turnover in the tank is 21 times per hour (that is including a 1600l/h powerhead)
Quote:
Originally Posted by thegrun View Post
You most likely could keep the low light corals you listed, but sun corals require frequent spot feeding, you may want to start with easier to care for corals. Good luck!
I'll start out with mushrooms first.
Thanks for your help!



Last edited by calziereef; 07/29/2010 at 04:46 AM.
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Unread 07/29/2010, 04:25 AM   #5
reeftanknewbie
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Welcome to RC......Never feel sorry for asking any questions on here...Everyone had to start somewhere at sometime.....


My only addition to your question about the canister filter is yes you can use it as a chemical reactor if you want. Currently I am using a fluval canister filter to run chemipure, puregan, and some GFO. I do however recommend removing the bioballs very slowly over the next month as well as your filter sponges. I don't use filter sponges in mine only because I don't feel like opening it up every few days to change them out.


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Unread 07/29/2010, 05:08 AM   #6
calziereef
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Would i need to alter the canister filter in anyway to use it as a chemical reactor, aside from taking out the filtermaterial and replacing it with phosban or some other phosphate sponge? Thanks


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Unread 07/29/2010, 09:07 AM   #7
MCary
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A couple of months is a little early to expect nitrates to be gone isn't it?


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Unread 07/29/2010, 09:53 AM   #8
calziereef
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A couple of months is a little early to expect nitrates to be gone isn't it?
Well, yes it is for the nitrates, however phosphates should really be lower at this stage, because, high phosphates is generally more of a problem than high nitrates, because to eliminate hair algae, phosphates should be undetectable.


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Unread 07/29/2010, 10:01 AM   #9
chimmike
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well then. For a 13 year old, I'm quite impressed with your grammar skills. I see adults and college students who couldn't write their way out of a box.

welcome to the hobby!


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Unread 07/29/2010, 10:04 AM   #10
calziereef
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lol



Last edited by calziereef; 07/29/2010 at 10:09 AM.
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Unread 07/29/2010, 10:08 AM   #11
calziereef
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well then. For a 13 year old, I'm quite impressed with your grammar skills. I see adults and college students who couldn't write their way out of a box.

welcome to the hobby!
lol, thanks.


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Unread 07/29/2010, 03:33 PM   #12
MCary
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Actually, your phosphates can only come from a couple sources. One, your water. This is most commonly fertilyzers that have leeched into the water supply. A RO/DI takes care of that. If your getting your water somewhere else, then check it for phosphates before you mix your salt. Just because says its pure, doesn't always mean it is, caveat emptor.

Second, phosphates elevate with some foods or overfeeding.

Removing phosphates is huge in bringing down nusance algae. Your on the right track working this problem. My best luck, besides not overfeeding and using RO/DI water is a refugium and a phosban reactor.

I'm not sure what you mean by "slime" algae. That sounds like cyano bacteria. The only way to fix that is increased flow and some time.


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Unread 07/29/2010, 03:58 PM   #13
calziereef
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Oh, i Thought Phosphate was an natural organic waste end-product like nitrates, in that case I don't know what could be causing any phosphates, because I am already using RO Water and I know for certain i'm not overfeeding Maybe the phosphates were caused in the cycling process when some die off occured on the live rock? Yes, by slime algae a do mean cyano bacteria, I am going to add some extra flow soon.


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Unread 07/29/2010, 05:30 PM   #14
mullinsd2
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RO water can still , and probably does have an elevated tds. Can you add a di to the system? Or, for the time being, purchase rodi water from the lfs or buy distilled. Did you start your tank off with cured live rock? Or did you put in some base rock and let that cycle? That could be your problem!


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Unread 07/29/2010, 06:05 PM   #15
calziereef
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I used cured rock, I think after all the brilliant advice on this page I can get phosphates and nitrates down. The first thing I plan to do is put some chaeto in the main tank, until I get my refugium set up and I'll start removing the bio balls. Any other advice is still welcome and appreciated.
Thanks.


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Unread 07/30/2010, 09:15 AM   #16
Scuba_Steve
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Test your source water. It is probable that your phosphates came from your rock though IMO.


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Unread 07/30/2010, 10:59 AM   #17
NirvanaFan
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Phosphates can also come in from the food that you are using. Do you feed any algae based foods?


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