Akyu's 75 Gallon

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Akyu, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. Akyu

    Akyu Guest

    I have a 75 gallon glass tank that has been running for almost two years. It has a protein skimmer, and an Ecco Enheim canister filter. The Odyssea lighting is T5, four true blue actinic and four 2000k daylight on a nine hours on cycle.

    It is currently home to:

    A pair of true percula clown
    One hippa tang
    One box/cow fish
    One sail fin goby
    One Indigo Dotty back
    Several hermit crabs. turbo snails
    An Atlantic purple tipped anemone (I can't recall the exact name of it)
    One bubble coral
    Various mushrooms

    Most of the corals I had in the tank have since died, and I've been battling increasing nitrates, with about 13-15% water changes every two weeks, and a carbon filter, to help with the detritus. I've been feeding the fish frozen/live myosis/brine shrimp. The nitrates are still extremely high. About every month and a half, I take apart the protein skimmer's tower and canister filter for cleaning.

    Parameters:
    Salinity: 1.022
    Temp: 78
    PH: 8.2
    Alk: 1.7-2.0
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrate: 100(high)-20(low)
    Nitrite: .05

    It's been about two months since the last coral death. All the fish look healthy and don't exhibit any unusual behavior. I enjoy the fish, but I'd like to figure out how to maintain a reef. I'm waiting to try an 'easy' coral, until after the nitrates are under control. The tank crashing has made me nervous about adding things.

    I've attempted to add some photos, if they're not showing up, I must have done something wrong, and will get them up before the week is out.

    Over the course of a year an a half, my tank went from:
    [img width=1000 height=750]http://pics.livejournal.com/delpayne/pic/0001qb97[/img]
    [img width=1000 height=750]http://pics.livejournal.com/delpayne/pic/0001re34[/img]

    to:
    [img width=1000 height=666]http://pics.livejournal.com/delpayne/pic/0001sb73[/img]
     
  2. NiNeX

    NiNeX Guest

    What are your Mg and Ca levels at?
     
  3. Lyn

    Lyn Guest

    Has the tank ever been medicated?

    Also, I think your salinity might be a bit low for corals. Most keep it between 1.025-1.026.

    Do you check Alkalinity?
     
  4. Elite

    Elite Guest

    Increase the salinity to 1.025 - Do some aggresive water change like 25%-50% a week - Use the canister filter to run carbon (remove all other stuff in there) - Do you have a fuge?

    I would also remove the crushed coral..
     
  5. Lyn

    Lyn Guest

    Yes, what Phong says, and make sure the carbon is changed regularly. I have been told (since I don't have one) that canister filters can be nitrate factories. I used to use HOT filters on my tanks. I still do, but only to run carbon, Phosguard, and poly filter. The pads collected alot of stuff that contributed to nitrates.

    How deep is your sand/crushed coral? That is probably another source of nitrates. Sand (real sand) must be 4 inches deep to have nitrifying benefits, or be 1 inch or less for aesthetics (and not contribute much to the nitrate levels). Anything between becomes a place to trap waste and build up nitrates.

    Do you grow any macro algae? You should if you don't. Macro algae uses nitrates for food.
     
  6. Lyn

    Lyn Guest

    Another thought - you could also run a chemical absorbant if you still find you are having problems after making the suggested changes. Something like Phosban, or Phosguard, or PhosZorb, etc.

    I wish you and your tank well. Good luck. :)
     
  7. tapmorf

    tapmorf Guest

    Are you using an RODI unit (recommended) to make saltwater or are you buying sea water ?
     
  8. Akyu

    Akyu Guest

    [quote author=NiNeX link=topic=5896.msg74334#msg74334 date=1231902317]
    What are your Mg and Ca levels at?
    [/quote]

    I currently do not have the kit needed to test Mg and Ca levels. Over the weekend I'll get that information.

    [quote author=Lyn link=topic=5896.msg74336#msg74336 date=1231903259]
    Has the tank ever been medicated?

    Also, I think your salinity might be a bit low for corals. Most keep it between 1.025-1.026.

    Do you check Alkalinity?
    [/quote]

    The tank has never been medicated. I do check Alkalinity, the kit I have for that has a normal range of 1.7 to 2.8, but I'm not sure what those numbers are referring to. My tank is currently around 1.7-2.0 closer to the low end of the 'normal' range.

    [quote author=Elite link=topic=5896.msg74338#msg74338 date=1231903667]
    - Do you have a fuge?
    [/quote]

    The tank that I had wanted to use for a fuge, cracked leaking all over the place. I would like to set one up, as I've heard negative opinions about canister filters, and the idea that the filter is overloading my tank with nitrates... Right, well I'd like to set up a fuge, and not use the canister filter. For now I can't afford another tank, and I don't trust the cracked tank that I tried to seal.

    [quote author=Lyn link=topic=5896.msg74339#msg74339 date=1231903953]
    How deep is your sand/crushed coral?
    Do you grow any macro algae? You should if you don't. Macro algae uses nitrates for food.

    Another thought - you could also run a chemical absorbant if you still find you are having problems after making the suggested changes. Something like Phosban, or Phosguard, or PhosZorb, etc.
    [/quote]

    The sand/crushed coral is 4 - 4.5 inches deep.
    I'm not growing macro algae. That'll change this weekend or next.
    Thanks for the chemical absorbent suggestions, going to save that for a last resort.

    [quote author=tapmorf link=topic=5896.msg74363#msg74363 date=1231907080]
    Are you using an RODI unit (recommended) to make saltwater or are you buying sea water ?
    [/quote]

    I am not currently using an RODI unit, I've been buying RO water and mixing myself. Occasionally I've used tap water. I know there are some RODI units that can be mounted right to your sink. It is recommended to have both filters, the RO and DI, as opposed to just RO?

    Thanks for all your advice! I miss my full of life tank
     
  9. NiNeX

    NiNeX Guest

    [quote author=Akyu link=topic=5896.msg74424#msg74424 date=1231951616]
    the kit I have for that has a normal range of 1.7 to 2.8, but I'm not sure what those numbers are referring to. My tank is currently around 1.7-2.0 closer to the low end of the 'normal' range.
    [/quote]

    With those numbers your test kit is in meq/l (To convert meq/l to dKH mutiply by 2.8 ). Your alk is a bit low to me, I like to keep mine about 10-12 dKh -> 3.5-4.3 meq/l. But before you begin dosing Alk/Ca you should always know were your Mg is. So at this point with what you have, multiple water changes over the next few weeks would possibly be the best thing to bring your Alk up.

    [quote author=Akyu link=topic=5896.msg74424#msg74424 date=1231951616]
    is recommended to have both filters, the RO and DI, as opposed to just RO?
    [/quote]

    Yes, it is recommended to have both filters, the RO on its own will not get the TDS down to 0, that is where the DI comes in, the remaining chemicals will bond with the DI so that your output has a TDS of 0. DI does get used, so you should have a TDS meter to be able to test your water periodically.
     
  10. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

    Your tang will probably eat any macro algae you put in the display tank. If you want to set up a sump, I have an 20 gallon AGA tank you're welcome to have for free. You'd still need a hang on overflow and a pump, but it's likely that someone here has used ones for cheap. I think macros are really excellent for keeping nitrates in check.
     
  11. Akyu

    Akyu Guest

    [quote author=NiNeX link=topic=5896.msg74334#msg74334 date=1231902317]
    What are your Mg and Ca levels at?
    [/quote]

    I bought RedSea Testing kits for Mg and Ca. I did a 40% water change yesterday (I'm trying to keep to a schedule of doing water changes on Sundays).

    Mg: 1700
    Ca: >650ppm (Ran this test twice and never obtained the end color for the RedSea kit. Added well over the recommendation for the CA Reagent C. For a normal range it was suggested that you'd add 5 drops of reagent C. Discontinued adding drops after not achieving the end color after 12 or more drops.)

    [quote author=pixelpixi link=topic=5896.msg75321#msg75321 date=1232251026]
    Your tang will probably eat any macro algae you put in the display tank. If you want to set up a sump, I have an 20 gallon AGA tank you're welcome to have for free. You'd still need a hang on overflow and a pump, but it's likely that someone here has used ones for cheap. I think macros are really excellent for keeping nitrates in check.
    [/quote]

    Thanks for the info about the macros and Tang! I would be super grateful to get a sump set up. I have extra pumps and am sure with the tubing for the canister filter and other various containers I've accumulated, I can rig an overflow. I pretty much make my own schedule [Sundays I have less flexibility], and am able meet you anywhere at any time with a truck.
     
  12. pixelpixi

    pixelpixi Guest

    1700 mag is a little on the high side, but I doubt it will cause problems.

    Have you been supplementing calcium? That number is very high, and it's likely part of the reason why your alkalinity is low. High calcium concentrations encourage precipitation, which drives alkalinity down.

    If you're sure that those numbers are correct, slowly bring up the alkalinity and stop adding calcium until the alk and calcium are in balance again.

    How would my place (in point richmond) some evening this week work for picking up the sump?
     
  13. nanocube-guy

    nanocube-guy Guest

    cool clown.
     
  14. Akyu

    Akyu Guest

    [quote author=pixelpixi link=topic=5896.msg75722#msg75722 date=1232415936]
    How would my place (in point richmond) some evening this week work for picking up the sump?
    [/quote]

    Sounds great, Wed. or Thursday evening? Do you want to e-mail me your address?

    I have been supplementing the calcium with B-Ionic. I did not add any after yesterday's [Jan. 18th] water change (considering the possibility of it being too high). I'm going to try testing the Mg and Ca again tomorrow.

    [quote author=Nanocube-boy link=topic=5896.msg75724#msg75724 date=1232416214]
    cool clown.
    [/quote]

    Thanks half a mated pair, of true perculas.
     

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