I could use some help...

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Jim123, Feb 15, 2015.

  1. Jim123

    Jim123 Guest

    I think I need a consult...

    It would be nice if someone that lived in my area could maybe come over some weekend
    and look over things, see if I am using the test kits correctly, help me figure out how to do
    dosing etc.
    I don't want to do something wrong at this point and mess things up.
    I don't have any friends that are into reef aquariums.
    I would like to have some people to share this hobby with.
    I could provide bagels and coffee. : )

    I am finally starting a tank. It is running with saltwater, pumps, lighting heaters, etc.
    Algae is already poised to take over. I am not afraid...
    This is my first tank and I am not sure I am doing things right.
    No animals yet. It is currently cycling (I added 2 tbs canned tuna taken from my cat...)
    The next step is to add macro algae to the display tank and put the first group of fish into
    quarantine.

    Some of you probably remember my tank photo. Yes the stand is very sturdy.

    This is my first saltwater tank.
    I have decided I want to do something a little different.
    I may get into trouble, but I am going ahead.
    At least it should be interesting. : )

    The tank plan is as follows:
    220 gallon, no sump, no protein skimmer.
    I plan lots of slower growing (less likely to go sexual) macro algae and soft coral.
    Lots of rock and sand, now dead, eventually live.
    Lots of pods and places for them to hide.
    Lots of inverts.
    A smaller number of smaller fish.

    I know there will be problems...

    Here is a photo of my tank as it is currently and
    a copy of a spread sheet showing possible fish and how many.
    Also I will come to the next meeting to get to know people.

    Any help and comments are appreciated.

    Thanks much, Jim



    220 gallon 84"x20"x30"
    "Build My LED" lighting
    Yes there are boxes of sand supporting the rock.
    I do this for some reason...
    Yes the stand is very sturdy. It is meant to look a little edgy.

    Jims Reef.jpg


    Possible fish; (I think I can pair the fish if I start small...)

    Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 4.18.08 PM.png

    I also attach some images from online of some macro tanks,

    Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 6.02.00 PM.png



    Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 6.03.26 PM.png

    Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 6.03.00 PM.png
     
  2. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    nice stand~!
     
  3. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    Wow very unique and cool tank.

    Where do you live?
     
  4. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

    That definitely wouldn't fly in your house now, would it?
     
  5. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    It looks pretty solid. I would do that assuming the platform is carbon fiber or titanium :D
     
  6. euod

    euod Supporting Member

    I and I am sure a few others on here are inclined to drop by if you got "BUD on Tap"
     
  7. Jim123

    Jim123 Guest

    I get confused on forums... and elsewhere...
    I guess I am responding to everyone previously.

    Yes the stand is made of recycled plutonium. (Purchased on Soviet Ebay)
    Actually it is cinder blocks for the legs ( with an added beam and footing under the floor) The top cross piece is
    made of two layers of 3/4" ply and 8 (count them, 8) 2x4s on edge. The top is solidly bolted to the wall studs.
    It is more than a little belt and suspenders. I designed it to look sort of edgy, like the aquarium has just been
    set loosely set on the legs.

    I live in Mountain View near downtown.
    Pizza and beer is also possible... Although the beer would be "better" than Bud (depending on one's tastes).
    Jim
     
  8. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    Hey neighbor! I also live downtown, right off of Castro.

    The tank looks awesome. I'm jealous that you have room for a tank that size.

    The stocking list and macro algae plan seems very reasonable given the water volume. I'd be glad to donate some chaetomorpha and live rock rubble from our sump if you want help cycling.

    It's always good to find other folks in the club who are nearby. Consider this an open invite to have a beer and check out our tank some time. http://bareefers.org/forum/threads/hornberson-reef-dsa-90-gallon-mixed-reef.17765/
     
  9. wpeterson

    wpeterson Webmaster

    Also, in terms of sourcing macro algae - I'd be wary of Reefs2Go. They have low prices and a lot of macro-algae selection, but the quality of what they ship is low and often arrives with pests. I bought a bunch of different macro algae from them in our first tank and half of it was DOA.

    I've had very good luck sourcing snails and macro-algae from ReefCleaners.org.

    You also are likely to find many folks in the club willing to share/trade macro algae.
     
  10. BAYMAC

    BAYMAC Guest

    wpeterson likes this.
  11. BAYMAC

    BAYMAC Guest

  12. Enderturtle

    Enderturtle Volunteer

    I also have some Dragons Breath Red Algae and Red Grape Algae that I'll put in our DBTC section when it grows a little more.
     
  13. Jim123

    Jim123 Guest

    I thought I already answered this...
    Ugh! I am somewhat lost on forums...

    Well thank you all for your replies.

    I have seen the macro algae sources you mentioned online.
    I just placed an order with Gulf Coast Ecosystems and with Aquarium Creations (formally Aquacon)
    because they had the algae I wanted. I will let you know how it works out.

    I just started cycling the tank. 3 days only so far. Nothing is happening except green algae is rapidly
    taking over. It's hard to wait! I will be putting in the macro algae while the tank is cycling.

    Mr Peterson,
    I would love to see your tank. Thanks for the invite.
    Nice tank thread. Well done, neat tank setup.
    I also invite you to see my tank. Come over for a beer or something.
    Send me an email and we will work something out.
    It is always great to have someone that is into the same hobby to talk to.
    Looking forward to hearing from you!

    Jim Hollingsworth
    1234jimh@gmail.com
     
  14. BAYMAC

    BAYMAC Guest

  15. Jim123

    Jim123 Guest

    I will let you know how the vendors work out.
     
  16. Jim123

    Jim123 Guest

    Anyone have any experience with Macro Algae dominated tanks?

    Tank plan:
    220 gallon tank
    No sump, no skimmer
    Dead, eventually live, coral rock and sand
    Lots of macro algae
    Soft Coral
    Inverts and pods
    A few small fish
    I expect to do a lot of pruning

    The tank is currently cycling (hopefully)
    Some algae, some macro algae, some orange stuff, no fish, no inverts.

    Well it has been just 5 day since I added saltwater.
    There was green algae at the very bottom of the rocks from when I had it filled with fresh water to check for leaks.
    The green algae has now spread upward to cover most of the rocks.
    The algae is producing tons of oxygen bubbles from photosynthesis.
    I am now getting what I think (from the web) are orange patches of diatoms which are taking over the green algae.

    I have also just added some macro algae. Yesterday.
    Calupera prolifera (OK in CA except San Diego)
    Red Gracilaria
    Green Enteromorpha (Like Ulva)
    Tufted jointed algae (Calcified)

    All of the above was from Gulf Coast Ecosystem.
    I have more macro algae on order.
    I am happy with them as a vendor, very large portions.
    Calupera prolifera was in sort of poor shape, smelly, olive green and with white tufts of what I think is fungus. The tufts have branching arms. Pretty sure it is not Aptasia.

    Looks like the orange "whats it" is going to take over. I like plants, I don't like the orange stuff.
    However, maybe I just need to go through a lot of ugly to get to something beautiful eventually.

    My tank parameters are:
    Salinity: 1.026
    pH: 8.6
    Ca: 435 ppm
    Alk: 7.4 dKH low
    Mg: 1300 ppm
    Phosphate: 0 ppm
    Ammonia: 0 ppm
    Nitrates: 0 ppm
    TDS: 0 ppm Used to make the saltwater
    Lighting @ 4" deep: 360 PAR (lighting can be adjusted)
    12 240
    24 140

    The tank has been running just 5 days

    Salt mix is Neo Marine bought at Vivid Aquariums
    I mixed the dry ingredients before using

    Things I have been doing that maybe affecting things:
    I have been leaving the lights on 14hrs/day, it is hard to help wanting to see what is happening.
    I have added various things to promote cycling.
    So far 3 tbs canned tuna, 1 tbs dry cat food, 1/2 tbs fish food pellets : )

    The alkalinity is low.
    This is strange because it was also low when I tested it just after adding water for the first time
    to the tank. This was with fresh just mixed saltwater.
    It was 7.0 dKH which I adjusted to 8.9 dKH with a buffer. Now it's low again.

    So my plan is to:
    Reduce the lighting to 12 hrs/day
    Adjust alkalinity again
    Get more macro algae
    Monitor parameters
    Keep going, see what happens
    It may not cycle with all the algae...
    I won't add inverts until 4 weeks and fish until 6 weeks
    Maybe I need to seed with some live rock for coralline algae?
    I am afraid of getting pests...

    My questions would be:

    1) Has anyone done a macro algae dominated tank, what was your experience?
    2) What is the orange stuff? Will my tank cycle through it?
    3 ) Any ideas whats happening with my alkalinity?
    4) Should I get a little live rock to seed my coralline?
    5) Am I in trouble yet?

    This is my first tank.
    I don't know enough to help others much yet.
    I really do appreciate any help from people : )


    Attached are picts of my micro algae, macro algae, orange stuff.

    Green tufted algae:
    Algae7.jpg

    Green Enteromorpha (Like Ulva) with orange patches on the sand:
    Algae4.JPG

    Red Gracilaria:
    Algae2.JPG

    More orange stuff and some Calupera Prolifera (OK in CA except San Diego) :
    Algae1.JPG
     
  17. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Alkalinity can be used up by Bacteria.
    (Sortof. Technically they are producing organic acid)
    So fairly normal for that to drop. Keep an eye on it. Baking soda mixed with RODI is a cheap way to add it.
    It will suddenly stop dropping so fast also, so be careful not to just add without testing.

    The problem I have heard with using macros only for nutrient reduction is this:
    Those macros do not directly out-compete the hair algae. Hair algae can grow faster and smother everything.
    It only works well when there are herbivores that eat the hair algae but not the calciferous macros.
     
  18. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    That orange might be the start of Cyano. Keep an eye on it, and see if it gets reddish.
     
    Coral reefer likes this.
  19. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Coraline will take up Alk and Ca.
     
  20. Jim123

    Jim123 Guest

    Mark,
    Thanks for your input on the alkaline level. I have adjusted it again. We will see if it holds.
    I don't that see or expect any coralline algae yet.

    The tank is very interesting! The algae is growing fast.
    It is going through different phases with slightly different colors.
    I have some calcified algae due to arrive soon. Mermaid's Fan and Shaving Brush.
    Those should look very cool in the tank.
    With all the algae I may not be able to tell when or if the tank cycles.

    Also nice to hear from you again John.
    I will look at your tank thread to see how you are doing.

    As far as the micro algae always taking over the macro algae,
    we will see...

    Attached is a tank photo.
    You can see the change over just a couple of days.
    I like it looking like this.
    This is 10 days from initial setup.

    Jim

    2015-02-24 11.58.08.jpg
     

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