I need a paradigm shift in aquarium management - help please!

Discussion in 'General Reef Topics' started by justonwo, Nov 28, 2015.

to remove this notice and enjoy 3reef content with less ads. 3reef membership is free.

  1. justonwo

    justonwo Fire Shrimp

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    314
    Location:
    Albany, CA
    DSC, I think maybe you are misinterpreting what I'm going for. I am not fresking out about nitrates and phosphates. I had them under control and exactly where I wanted them, but I don't like NOPOX because I think it causes adverse affects or at the very least requires that you feed every day. I want to get away from that system because it takes too much effort. So I'm looking for a different system. The only thing I've changed is to add a GFO reactor. Nothing else has changed.

    I'm not worried about nitrate and phosphate, per se. I know they used to be very high in my tank and well above levels where acros thrive. I started the NOPOx program and all that it entails. Nitrates and phosphates came down to where I wanted them but, as I described, I don't like the program with all its additives.

    So I am making changes slowly to get off this program. The only change made this far is to add a GFO. And even then I'm only using half a dose. I'll watch pH to make sure it doesn't change, but admittedly there are downsides to almost any program I've heard of.
     
  2. Click Here!

  3. Va Reef

    Va Reef Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    3,627
    Location:
    Chesapeake, Va
    I would cut back on the reef energy. Your corals don't need the food. Simple as that. All you're doing is providing unnecessary nutrients IMO.

    As dsc said, you don't want to strip it too quickly, and you still want some nitrates and phosphates (coral zooxanthellae is after all an algae) however I think by stopping feeding you won't drop it, rather just stop providing some. Think of it as having a neutral effect, you're no longer adding more, but you're also not pulling extra out.

    GFO Will take a bit to get going IME, especially at a half dose, but that is the point. Not to strip it. I do find at concentrations above .16ppm, it tends to exhaust the media more rapidly than say .02ppm.
     
  4. ivanbosk

    ivanbosk Feather Duster

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    216
    Location:
    Savannah GA
    I'd suggest a simple refugium. Stock it full of macro's and a moderate flow and let those nitrates come down. You over clean your water, your corals will suffer. I tend to run a dirty tank and the refugium keeps everything in check...
     
  5. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    19,652
    Location:
    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    KISS method. Skimmer, water changes and try to reduce the amount of nutrients you're adding to the tank. Google Berlin Method.

    Improvements take a long to notice, but it does happen. Some of my older tanks, simple and sweet. You're over thinking this. You're tanks will get there eventually, it's slow process especially when you agonize over the little stuff.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Vinnyboombatz

    Vinnyboombatz Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2010
    Messages:
    6,344
    Location:
    Dunnellon, Florida
    Keep it simple sweetheart??lol
     
    Corailline likes this.
  7. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    19,652
    Location:
    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    And smart!!! Old programmers saying. But I like the heart part. :rolleyes:
     
    Vinnyboombatz likes this.
  8. Click Here!

  9. DSC reef

    DSC reef Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    3,814
    Location:
    Cocoa, Florida
    This is what I was saying juston. Not meaning your freaking out? Just simplify things, IMO, your changing to much way to fast and your never gonna know what your improving or causing more damage....
     
    Corailline likes this.
  10. justonwo

    justonwo Fire Shrimp

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    314
    Location:
    Albany, CA
    Got it, thanks guys. I 'm sorta trying to keep it as simple as I can, but it's also hard to sort out all of the different pieces of advice. Just trying to be as hands off as I can be. The tank has slowly started to absorb more and more of my time. Sometimes I think it's taking over.

    DSC, I still don't have a good sense of what "too fast" is. I've given carbon dosing a couple of months, and that seemed like a long enough time frame to observe the results and decide if it was for me. I'm trying to keep my changes infrequent and stepwise, but maybe I'm still thinking in the wrong time frame?

    Another related set of questions, since I AM going to set up the automatic doser:

    1) Do you guys pump right out of the alk/Ca bottles or do you put your solutions in special containers? I only see the DOS containers, and those seem extremely expensive for what they are.

    2) Over what kind of time frame should alk/Ca be dosed? Is there a better time of day to do it? Should I wait a while after dosing the bicarbonate before adding calcium to minimize local precipitation?

    I did add some chaeto and a small, 6 watt light to my sump to start to absorb nutrients. I'm cutting back the Red Sea Coral Energy dosing slowly, to avoid upsetting the apple cart too much. My goal is to target no supplemental food dosing. Other than that, I really only have a small amount of pellet food going into the tank every day and some target fed mysis for my wrasse.
     
  11. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    19,652
    Location:
    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    Juston what are the Mag/Ca/Alk values.

    Do you know your consumption rate?

    You can make dosing containers from simple plastic gallon water jugs. You just need the tubing and the dosing pump.

    Ideally if your tank requires secondary to a high consumption rate you should set the dosing pump based on your tank consumption, slow and consistent.

    It's suggested that to avoid swings in chemistry (pH) dose the Ca in am when the pH value is at it's lowest and the Alk in the evening, for manual dosing.

    When I am manually dosing (which I have been since last Dec) I test, dose alk or Ca, wait 20 and dose the other. This works for me. I test at least every three days (usually daily) because I have changed tanks so many times this year.

    HTH
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2015
    DSC reef likes this.
  12. Va Reef

    Va Reef Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    3,627
    Location:
    Chesapeake, Va
    Yeah find out how much calcium alkalinity and magnesium is absorbed daily. This can be done over the course of a week or so, test at the beginning of the week, then test again at the end of the week, without dosing anything. Subtract the the two then divide by 7. This will give you an average absorption rate per day.

    Depending on which dosing supplement you use, you can dose straight from the bottle or dilute with water in clear plastic water jugs. I use 3 3 liter deer park jugs. I used tropic Marin 3 part which comes as a powder, so I mixed it myself with RO.

    As coralline said, try to do calcium spread out over the early morning hours, and the alkalinity towards the last hours of light on the tank. It's best to try to space these two out. Magnesium however, hasn't made too much different when I dose it.