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

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

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  1. DSC reef

    DSC reef Giant Squid

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    Biopellets took about 6 months to notice full results and im able to feed my tank frozen 2 times a day plus pellets and still register 0-2ppm for nitrates. I know when my tank is too clean because I loose color. Patience is key. Red sea offers a nice way to control your chemistry but you have to let it work. You got good advice here so I don't think I can add anything else except good luck and give the product you use "time" to work and let your system adapt to it before switching to another.
     
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  3. Todd_Sails

    Todd_Sails Giant Squid

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    Wow!

    You're worried about expense, and you're going to now run GFO?

    And 6 watts on chaeto will, ok, you'll be able to see the chaeto but I don't think it will thrive on 6 watts.
    I had chaeto for years- massive amounts- enough to stuff a 40b with-
    and I had at least 400W of CFL lights, on a 14 on, 10 off schedule- it worked well.
    NOw I've gotten rid of it all - now use an ATS- been about 3 months.

    OH, and I have lots of coral, and never stop feed any of it. If it's in the water column, they'll eat it if they want.
    No fancy suplements for me- no 'systems', etc.

    Good luck, good advice, just not the way I've gone about things.
    There's a dozen ways to skin a cat.
    P.S.- I really never even check my nitrates and phosphates, or Ph for that matter.
    I only check SG, Ca, Mg, Alk, and not that often

    Here's last nights FTS- with my IPhone4

    [​IMG]

    I use more of the KISS principle as Cheryl said. I do have a Jabeo dosing pump that pumps Ca, Alk, and Mg seperately- easy and cheap to set up- working well
     
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  4. justonwo

    justonwo Fire Shrimp

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    Hmm . . . GFO doesn't strike me as terribly expensive. At least not compared to Red Sea Coral Energy. Maybe a few dollars per month? Red Sea is about $35 per month.

    My calcium is around 435 ppm and alkalinity roughly 160 ppm +/- 5. I have the manual dosing rates balanced so that the numbers pretty much stay put. So my dosing rate is equivalent to the consumption rate. I don't dose anything for Mg - the water changes seem to be enough to keep it steady at 1380 ppm or so.

    By the way, the light on the chaeto is an LED. Roughly 720 lumens.
     
  5. Va Reef

    Va Reef Giant Squid

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    GFO is a bit more than a few dollars a month unless you buy a big bulk lot.

    I'd say I spend about $15 a month.
     
  6. justonwo

    justonwo Fire Shrimp

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    Got it. I stopped the Coral Energy dosing completely today. I still need to install my doser for alk/cal and the ATO, but I'm hoping this more hands off approach works as well (or better than) the Red Sea program.
     
  7. justonwo

    justonwo Fire Shrimp

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    It's been a little over a month since I stopped using NOPOx and started using the GFO and chaeto. I recently switched the GFO from half the recommended dose to the full dose, and the phosphate level 0.16 to 0.04 ppm over the course of the month. It seems to be relatively stable at this point. Feeding is an absolute bare minimum, and I've watched my fish to make sure the food is being eaten.

    The nitrates are quite high without the NOPOx, around 32 ppm the last time I checked. The chaeto seems to be growing, though the stuff closest to the light source turns brown. I have the chaeto sitting in the first chamber of my sump. If the algae closest to the light turns brown, do I need to move the light away? Or is that inevitable since some algae will always be too close to or too far from the light source? Any additional recommendations on bringing the nitrates down? A couple of my corals are starting to suffer.
     
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  9. justonwo

    justonwo Fire Shrimp

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    So I've been overlooking one of the most obvious sources of high nitrates for quite a while. This is one of the problems with inheriting equipment and then using it based on the tribal knowledge it comes with. I was always told my skimmer only has an adjustment for air flow, which struck me as odd. I disassembled it yesterday and realized the riser on the top telescopes to adjust the internal water height! What's more, I found that 20% of the pins were broken off the pinwheel impeller.

    So I've reinstalled my skimmer and adjusted the riser on the side and now it's skimming like mad. Perhaps now I can get a handle on my nitrates! I always thought my skimmate was too dark and a very small quantity. I went away for a week, for example, and came back to find the cup about 1/3 full but very, very dark. I believe the water level inside the chamber has always been too low and I've been underskimming. I have a new impeller on order, which I assume will improve the air generation and water/air contact.
     
  10. justonwo

    justonwo Fire Shrimp

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    I'm happy to report my new setup, which is pretty much totally hands off, is running very smoothly and everything seems to be happy. The GFO is doing a great job of keeping phosphates at around 0.04 ppm. I have the flow rate quite low and have only changed the GFO bed once. Nitrates are around 20 ppm and falling. The chaeto algae in my sump is growing to the point where it doubles in size in about a week. I realized about a month ago that my skimmer wasn't working properly and I've slowly been dialing it in to suck up the extra nutrients. As a result, nitrates have dropped from 36 to about 20. I believe with proper skimming, water changes, and chaeto that the nitrates will slowly fall back to lower levels.

    At that point, I'm hoping the vermetid snail population will start to die off. All of my corals are thriving and growing rapidly.
     
  11. Todd_Sails

    Todd_Sails Giant Squid

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