Diver's Paradise: Take Two!

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by FeliciaLynn, Mar 23, 2014.

  1. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Good to know. I'm assuming I'll probably have quite a few microbubbles during the break in period of the skimmer.
     
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  2. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    Just read through this. Too bad with the sand bed woes of the past. On my old 140g tank I had an amazing sand bed with literally thousands of cerith snails (they bred in the tank like mad). Unfortunately an ozone overdose from a cheap ozone generator killed all the microfauna and it was impossible to keep the sand clean at that point.

    I hadn't thought of using finer sand. That's an interesting idea. I had tried heavy grain sand in the 34g Solana I was setting up just before moving to the Bay Area. I guess I thought I could siphon it out easier. Maybe I'll have to try fine sand again with the 37g I'm setting up right now.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
     
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  3. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    I would be surprised that you would get microbubbles after a downflow weir. I would have though that this would have caused the microbubbles to merge/surface. YMMV of course. I've never had a problem with micro bubbles except when a powerhead draws in air or return pump runs dry.
     
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  4. Kmooresf

    Kmooresf Supporting Member

    So bummed to hear about the tank, but I really like the new rock work!! Looking forward to seeing the new tank. If you decide to do some SPS again, come on by for some frags.
     
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  5. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    What about dropping the filter sock and keeping the sponge filter only?
    Both trap detritus and need to be cleaned often.
    You want the sponge for bubble reduction anyway.
    And a filter in front of the skimmer always seemed a bit odd to me anyway.
     
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  6. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Yeah, it seems like sand beds can be very hit or miss. I'm going to do a better job paying attention to my snail population this time around. I got like 12 ceriths and 15 nassarius today to help keep the sandbed sifted. I'm also going to look for a fighting conch since they're supposed to be awesome at turning the sandbed over.

    I was reading on NR and heard from several people that the finer sand beds trap less detritus because the grains pack so tightly that there is very little open space left. Seems reasonable to me! Of course the finer sand does have some drawbacks though. It tends to drift around a bit from the flow and if you mess with it much you kick up quite the sandstorm. I like the look of it though and hopefully it will stay cleaner.
     
  7. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    I thought the downflow weir might be enough by itself, but I figure there's no harm in adding the sponge just in case. If I don't need it then I can always take it out. Luckily sponges are cheap :) I'll get the sump all up and running and see how it looks and decide if I need the sponge. Btw, I meant to ask you, why did you recommend putting the reactor pump in with the return pump?
     
  8. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Thanks, Kris! I was pretty bummed for a while but I'm excited about setting it back up now. It looks different enough that it feels like a new tank. I'm avoiding SPS corals for now because I want a bunch of LPS and anemones, but thanks for the offer! :)
     
  9. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    The thought behind the filter sock was to catch any big detritus so it doesn't settle in the bottom of the sump. Its easier to rinse out a sock than siphon a bunch of detritus out from around all the equipment. Maybe having both is overkill, but overkill never hurt anything right? If I have to already remember to take one out and clean it, its not any extra effort really to just clean both at the same time.
     
  10. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    The sand always gets pretty gross underneath the rocks as well. I had cooked up a scheme for my 140g tank where there rocks would sit on little plastic "bare-bottom islands" kept clean with flow from the closed loop. It unfortunately didn't work as I couldn't get enough flow to keep the bottoms clean.

    I think you've got it though; keeping up with snails is the key. I just hated the cost of always adding more snails :)

    A conch is a GREAT way to help keep the sand clean; I had one in my 140g and it was an awesome creature. It would bury itself in the sand and then all of a sudden you'd see a single eyeball pop out of the sand, look around, and sure enough it would surface, vacuuming the sand.

    A tiger tail cucumber was also another great inhabitant. Dirty sand went in the front, and clean sand pellets magically appeared out the back.

    If you're running a filter sock, at least you can capture the fine sand particles from a storm easily! :)
     
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  11. bondolo

    bondolo Supporting Member

    I found in a few cases where my reactor flow would be greatly reduced by sludge that had been sucked up by it's pump. This mostly happened as a result of water changes. I hate having to change the media because it's dirty rather than consumed.
     
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  12. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Yeah, I've seen people try to elevate their rock like that and it never seems to work out unfortunately. I'm lazy about buying more snails too and they get pricey, but I learned that lesson. I'll be restocking my snails every 6 months or so, haha!

    I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for a conch locally. I considered a sand sifting cucumber, but they worry me because if they are really stressed or die, they can release a toxin that will crash your tank.
     
  13. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    That's a good point! At least hopefully the filter sock should catch a bunch of stuff so it doesn't go into the media reactor. The pump might fit in the same chamber as the return pump, but it would be a tight squeeze. I can try it out when I get it all set up.
     
  14. tygunn

    tygunn Webmaster

    I haven't checked the price of snails here. Where I came from in central Canada ceriths went for around $4/ea, and trocus around $8/ea. :)

    With my 140g tank I wasn't too worried about the cucumber nuking the tank if it died because I had 140g + 100g sump to buffer. It never did die though. In fact it did split into two cucumbers after 3 years, which was pretty neat.
     
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  15. swk

    swk Guest

    If you're looking for a reliably reef safe dwarf angel, check out the Cherub Angel. Mine has never nipped a single thing and my buddy has one and reports the same experience.

    I don't have any mech media in my sump. I find it very easy to simply siphon detritus from the skimmer area during waterchanges. Just my .02 cents

    That is some spectacular looking live rock on their website. Did you have to watch out for nasty critters or was it pretty clean?
     
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  16. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    I don't think snails are quite that much around here, but they can definitely get pricey if you need a lot. Its usually cheaper to buy them in bulk online.

    And yep, luckily with that volume of water you had leeway if something happened to the cucumber. Unfortunately in my 30 gallon, a dying cucumber would mean a crash. Its so cool you managed to keep one happy and multiplying though. They're unique, odd little critters :)
     
  17. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Everything I read said the cherubs were pretty unlikely to both anything, but there are still some that nip. They're pretty much in the same category as coral beauties from what I read. I just have 3 clams and clam mantles are incredibly tempting for angels. It just wasn't worth the risk. Plus, I'm loving the duo of flasher wrasses :)

    Good to know you can siphon out the detritus pretty easily. My big concern is that I'm cramming a bunch of equipment into a tiny sump and so it might be a bit difficult for me to siphon it out well with so little open space. Might as well catch as much detritus as I can in the sock before it dumps into the sump.

    KPA's rock is amazing! So many people on Nano-Reef have been using it lately and everyone gives it rave reviews. I got the cured live rock, which lowers the risk of having any serious hitch hikers. I haven't had any hitchhikers on mine besides one little snail. I do know someone who got the uncured rock and she managed to get two tiny mantis shrimp in her rock. Shipping is also going to make a difference in the risk of hitchhikers. I had mine sent 2-3 day priority, so any big critters would have died off during shipping most likely. They have the option to have their rock overnighted, so that would mean you'd be more likely to get live hitchhikers like crabs or shrimp etc.
     
  18. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    My skimmer arrived today! I am so excited to finally have a "real" skimmer. I've got a little Tunze 9002 on my seahorse tank, but that thing doesn't count.

    I got the SCA-301 for only $85 including shipping off of Amazon. This skimmer gets nothing but amazing reviews and is supposed to basically just be a copy of a Bubble Magus. I unboxed it and I have to say it seems like its very high quality and well made. Here it is:
    [​IMG]

    Ok, so I've never had a real skimmer before. Is there anything I need to know about setting it up and getting it broken in? Any advice would be great!
     
  19. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    The cat does not seem impressed.
    ;)
     
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  20. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    She's never impressed by anything that has to do with the aquariums. She hates them because they steal her attention. :)
     

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