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08TRDOFFROAD's 45 Gallon Build

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08TRDOFFROAD View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 08TRDOFFROAD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 21 2011 at 9:44am
Well, the uglies have arrived, I have diatoms every where!!!!! I can't even see the back of the tank the water is so cloudy, I assume this is a consequence of starting with tap water. I plan to do several waterchanges over the next few weeks now that I have my RO system up and running, I have also been topping off with RO water the last three days. Hopefully I can get this stage of ugly cleared up quickly so I can move on to the next. Any suggestions on what I should do to help ride it out?

Here are a couple pics, all though they aren't the best....I took them early this morning before I left for work, long before my lights came on. These pics don't even do the condition of the tank justice!


I tried to take some "better" pictures last night with the lights on to show how truely bad the problem is. In the last two days, the skimmer has pulled out about two cups of dark nasty crap, which has me wondering if it is truely diatoms....



 
Any suggestions on what I can do other than water changes to replace the tap water with salt/RO water mix...?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adam Blundell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 21 2011 at 10:08am
Add a couple cups of sand or water from someone else's tank.... wait 10 days.  

Don't panic.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 08TRDOFFROAD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 21 2011 at 10:32am
I don't think this is a cycling issue, the tank has completed the initial cycle and has had fish in it for almost a month....so I guess I am confused about how adding sand or water from another tank will solve the issue....
 
Could you explain?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larhalli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 21 2011 at 10:40am
I would do what Adam says as well.  The live sand from another tank will give you the bugs and bacteria you need to help get rid of some of that ugly crap.  Also maybe cut back on your lighting a bit till the diatoms clear up.  Do you have any snails or crabs yet?  Might help.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 21 2011 at 10:51am
They are right and there is more. Please call me. It takes too long for me to type. Also look at what I have posted about setting up an affordable reef aquarium in the link below:
Reefkeeping Tips, & quick, easy setup tricks:
www.utahreefs.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=9244
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 08TRDOFFROAD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 21 2011 at 11:34am
Originally posted by larhalli larhalli wrote:

I would do what Adam says as well.  The live sand from another tank will give you the bugs and bacteria you need to help get rid of some of that ugly crap.  Also maybe cut back on your lighting a bit till the diatoms clear up.  Do you have any snails or crabs yet?  Might help.
How much can I safely cut back the lighting with fish in the tank? I have been running my lights for less than six hours the last few days. I only have five red leg hermits. There is not really anything other than a stray pellet or two in the tank to justify a larger CUC.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 21 2011 at 12:16pm
Well, I have time to write. My work website is down right now.
Actually if you add some Macroalgae and some LS from a good tank, the lights can be turned on longer and the whole thing will speed up and go away quicker. As you know the brown algae is normal.* This is all part of the process that a new tank goes through. Feel free to call me. Another new hobbyist just did and now he feels better about what to do for his tank.

* Actually it's only normal for the typical ways that hobbyists set up their tanks. But it doesn't have to be that way. The tank I recently set up did not have any trace of  diatomaceous/dinoflagellate brown algae. The difference was some LS from another tank, a few pieces of good LR from another tank, an extra large bunch of Chaetomorpha and lights on 16 hrs/day. This eliminated the dreaded "cycle" altogether. 50 SPS frags went in that tank within a month. Now, 3 months later, everything is still doing excellent.
During almost 20 years in this hobby, I've seen some amazing changes in the way we do our tanks. This is one of them. Big smile

Oh and to answer your ?'s,
Fish don't need light and if you add some Macroalgae you'll want to increase the photoperiod anyway to make the brown algae disappear quicker.
Snails eat algae so I would add about 30 snails now and no more Hermits. "Chad" here on this forum sells Snails at a ridiculously awesome price.


Edited by Mark Peterson - April 21 2011 at 12:21pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 08TRDOFFROAD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 21 2011 at 12:21pm
Originally posted by Mark Peterson Mark Peterson wrote:

Well, I have time to write. My work website is down right now.
Actually if you add some Macroalgae and some LS from a good tank, the lights can be turned on longer and the whole thing will speed up and go away quicker. As you know the brown algae is normal.* This is all part of the process that a new tank goes through. Feel free to call me. Another new hobbyist just did and now he feels better about what to do for his tank.

* Actually it's only normal for the typical ways that hobbyists set up their tanks. But it doesn't have to be that way. The tank I recently set up did not have any trace of  diatomaceous/dinoflagellate brown algae. The difference was some LS from another tank, a few pieces of good LR from another tank, an extra large bunch of Chaetomorpha and lights on 16 hrs/day. This eliminated the dreaded "cycle" altogether. 50 SPS frags went in that tank within a month. Now, 3 months later, everything is still doing excellent.
During almost 20 years in this hobby, I've seen some amazing changes in the way we do our tanks. This is one of them. Big smile
 
Thanks! I will give you a call after 4 p.m. today when I get off work.
 
My question now is, how can I add Macroalgae and keep it from over running the tank without a sump?


Edited by 08TRDOFFROAD - April 21 2011 at 12:23pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 22 2011 at 9:22am
What? overrunning the tank? Sounds like misinformation to me. Feel free to call and even come see my tanks to help clear it up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 08TRDOFFROAD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 22 2011 at 10:03am

I planned on calling yesterday, but forgot to put your number in my phone before I left work...I don't have the internet at home so I had to wait until I came back to work to get on and get it.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 22 2011 at 10:26am
the macro won't over run your tank especially if you have herbivores in the tank. Or cut and thin it out. I have a ball of chaeto in my 12 gallon tank and it hasn't ever over run the tank, and I don't even have a skimmer on mine. in fact it's given a great place for some of the smaller critters to grow to help clean the tank. There are all kind of worms and bugs in there. Someone close probably has some they would give you.
40 gal w/ 20 sump
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 08TRDOFFROAD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 22 2011 at 11:10am
This is what my skimmer has pulled out of the tank in about the last fourty eight hours...



My hand for size comparison to the collection cup.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ejcatmul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 22 2011 at 3:32pm
This may be one of many cycles your tank goes through. Using dry rock and dry sand will elongate the process. Just wait till the hair algae comes, don't get discouraged and throw in the towel just yet. I have had my set up for just over 6 months and feel like my system is just starting to mature and maintain itself. You may want to look into a media reactor and run some GAC and GFO to help with water clarity and remove phosphates before the hair algae sets in too much. It's all part of the hobby. Once you get over one hurdle there is always another in front of you. Good Luck your on the right track, all you need is time.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 08TRDOFFROAD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 23 2011 at 8:32am
The tank is finally starting to clear up! I could actually see my fish in the back corner of the tank last night. My skimmer was nearly full of the skimmate again last night, over the last 72 hours it has probably pulled 4 cups of the foulest smelling nastiness out of the tank. Now I am left with the typical thin layer of brown diatoms on the sand and parts of the rock work. But, even it seems to be receding. Hopefully that will disappear in the next few days. I am just glad to see the tank is clearing up!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 08TRDOFFROAD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 04 2011 at 9:30am

I finally got my RO/DI storage system finished up. I ended up using a 20 gal sterilite container that I picked up at Targer on sale for $7.

Here it is!
 
 
The connection through the container to the float valve I picked up from bulk reef supply
 
 
The float valve inside the container full of fresh RO/DI water


Edited by 08TRDOFFROAD - May 04 2011 at 9:34am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 08TRDOFFROAD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 04 2011 at 4:42pm
I also picked up a few frags over the last few weeks, some from the Aquarium, and some from Marine Aquatics. Here they are

Green Birdsnest


Unidentified Green Zoas....if anyone has an ID on these please chime in and let me know.



Four nice heads of Hammer Coral



Green Toadstool Leather....it hasn't really opened much since adding it to the tank...I moved it to a new location and it started to open again last night, I will wait a few more days and post better pictures of it once it is fully open.



Unidentified Ricordea Mushroom, again if anyone has an ID on this please chime in!




Pulsing Xenia...I swear I have already seen noticable growth in this frag since adding it



I think I got it all! Big Grin
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ejcatmul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2011 at 3:12am
Not sure about the name if the green zoos but it looks like bryopsis around it. I got a bunch in my system now too. Those are some sweet corals. Good job on the selection, I never know what to get when I go up there. So much to choose from.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 08TRDOFFROAD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2011 at 9:25am
Originally posted by ejcatmul ejcatmul wrote:

Not sure about the name if the green zoos but it looks like bryopsis around it. I got a bunch in my system now too. Those are some sweet corals. Good job on the selection, I never know what to get when I go up there. So much to choose from.
Yeah, it is a bit of hair algae attached around the zoa's. Since I took that picture it seems to be browning out and dying back, which is what I expected as I don't have much if any phosphates in my system ATM.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 08TRDOFFROAD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2011 at 9:27am
The Green Toadstool is looking better and better every day. For a few days I thought I had lost it. Last night it had the most polyps partially extended that I had seen since I saw it in the frag tank at the Aquarium and had them bag it up. Hopefully I will be able to get a good picture of it posted before the weekend!

Edited by 08TRDOFFROAD - May 05 2011 at 9:27am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 08TRDOFFROAD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2011 at 11:18am
Now I am trying to figure out flow. I had two koralia 4's in there which was obviously too much. I have since unplugged them and added a power sweep 212 that is 125 gph, and Mini jet 404 pump that is 108 gph. This is almost enough but not a broad enough flow pattern.

I am looking at the Koralia nano, 225 or 425's. I will add two of them. Which of the two would be the best option for my tank. The 225 gph or 425 gph times two? Jerry at Marine Aquatics seems to have the best price in town on the Koralia's...$34.99 a piece.


Edited by 08TRDOFFROAD - May 05 2011 at 11:19am
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