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Molli View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Molli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2014 at 8:07am
Originally posted by colesnwbds colesnwbds wrote:

 
Do I vacume down to the bottom glass with water changes, or just graze the surface?

I create a storm during water changes by stirring up my sand.  This doesn't work well if you place a lot of corals on your sand bottom. 





Edited by Molli - September 19 2014 at 8:07am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2014 at 8:15am
You will get mixed answers on this topic.  Mark will tell you to just skim the surface.  Molli and I both stir ours up a lot during water changes. 2-3 inches is quite a bit for a small tank.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2014 at 9:27am
It all depends. There are ways to make anything work. I've been around a long time, so I'm familiar with most of them. My advice is based on over 20 years of intense experience. I have found that detritus/crud does not easily gather if the flow is sufficient. On the reef, water moves fast and in at least two directions every six hours. There are good reasons for this. 

Unfortunately, insufficient flow is one of the main drawbacks of many hobbyist tanks. Freshwater tanks can do okay with slower flow. Reef tanks are faced with a challenge that can be overcome with either more powerheads or effective placement of even just a single powerhead.

Aquascaping is also part of the tank health equation. A tank which has swift water flow across open sand is going to do better than a tank where big rocks cover much of the sand. The Aquascaping discussion linked here and listed in the Reefkeeping Tips thread is useful information on this topic.

LS is called "Live" because it has, or is supposed to have, a plethora of mIcroscopic and mAcroscopic critters making their homes in it. In the wild, a winter storm comes through to disturb the sand and take away detritus and critters. This rejuvenates a LS bed that has been growing stagnant and choked with crud. The storm then feeds coral, inverts and small fish with bacteria and bugs. Lots of animals like to eat bacteria and bugs.

Actually, to set the record straight, I don't vacuum the sand at all. I disturb it from time to time to imitate a storm. There are two ways I disturb it. Occasionally I stir portions of the LS with my hand or a stick. At other times I poke a large syringe/turkey baster down into the LS and squirt to make a puff of detritus come up into the water column. Making a puff of invert food go up into the water is kind of fun. Smile

Why don't I vacuum the LS? Why don't I disturb the LS frequently? I like to allow the sand dwelling bugs to make their home and spawn in the LS. Spawning occurs mostly between dusk and dawn. The spawning activity sends eggs, gametes, larvae and all kinds of Zooplankton up into the water column. What better than to provide this live food for our coral and other invertebrates such as feather duster/Coco worms.

One more thing that I should say, goes along with this topic. I try to create the entire food chain in my systems. It begins with single celled algae. I have grown barrels of Nanochloropsis many times, but with advancements in the hobby, it's much easier to buy Tahitian Blend algae paste from Brine Shrimp Direct in Ogden. Algae, powered by the sun, is the basis of life on this planet. It works in our reef tanks too. It feeds the Zooplanton which in turn feeds larger and larger animals up the food chain.

Aloha  Hug


Edited by Mark Peterson - September 19 2014 at 9:58am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ksmart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2014 at 9:43am
You are getting lots of great input : ) I am just stopping by to say hello and welcome to the forum! I love my JBJ 12 gallon. I had a JBJ 24 but cracked the side. I wont say how lol but it was totally user error...

    






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote colesnwbds Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2014 at 11:41am

I'm glad I didn't get major negative responses to the amount of sand I have now.

What I'm gathering, is it's a safe bet to vacume or push around the sand a little to immitate a storm of sorts, but it might not be a great idea to go crazy with it.
Thanks for the comments/links/support and welcome.
I am also curious about Bio Spira. I've heard a lot of great things, and many people swear by it allowing them to keep a fish before the complete cycle occurs. I have read a lot about experienced reefers advising against this, but then telling stories of how they did something similiar.
Due to my patience being tested with the shipping issues I had, I'm finding it very difficult to resist just putting one fish in there for some kind of viewing pleasure.
If I keep a good maintenence schedule, regular water changes, and testing... what is y'alls opinion.advice on getting a smaller hardy fish to add a little bio load to the system, and wait for any other additions for a month or more down the road?


Edited by colesnwbds - September 19 2014 at 11:41am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 19 2014 at 12:47pm
Originally posted by colesnwbds colesnwbds wrote:

What I'm gathering, is it's a safe bet to vacume or push around the sand a little to immitate a storm of sorts, but it might not be a great idea to go crazy with it.

If I keep a good maintenence schedule, regular water changes, and testing... what is y'alls opinion.advice on getting a smaller hardy fish to add a little bio load to the system, and wait for any other additions for a month or more down the road?

Yes, you got the right idea about the storm, though vacuuming should not be done until the tank is at least six months old.

Regarding setup, cycling the tank by adding a fish and waiting for a month is an outdated and wasteful method. This method should have died long ago but it doesn't die because too many new hobbyists read about it, do it and never get any further in their understanding. Then within 2 years 80% of hobbyists get tired of the hobby and leave, never having learned the real secrets of keeping a low maintenance yet beautiful reef. I know this sounds kind of negative, but that's the way it is.

You are in luck. Both Bob Carlson and I have written here in this forum about the better way to set up a tank using as much live stuff as possible. My write up in the thread below, addresses this specifically and Bobs write up is first in my list of Reefkeeping Tips. 
Quoted here from page 1 of this thread:
Originally posted by Mark Peterson Mark Peterson wrote:

In an effort to help you and others enjoy this hobby, I created this resource thread - An Affordable Reef Aquarium and Reefkeeping Tips: http://utahreefs.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=9244

Please come visit with me at MarksReef Coral & Fish Farm in Murray. I give away free LS, LR, Macroalgae [to hobbyists setting up a new tank] 
Aloha,
Mark  Hug
808-345-1049 (pls call/text ahead)
750 E. Lakepoint Dr.(~5550 So.) #4V  Murray
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote colesnwbds Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2014 at 11:34am
This is where I'm at so far:
 
 
Talk about rock scape overload!  I know.  I will probably move the live rock I have in there which is seeding my "dead" rock, into a refugium down the road.  I have some algea and a couple corals chillin.  I got a pair of clownfish as a gift, so they are in there somewhere.
 
It's pretty soon to have livestock, but after I used some bio-spira on day one, I saw the levels shoot up and then settle down, so it is what it is. I will monitor parameters closely with frequent water changes for the next few weeks to make sure everything is healthy and happy.
 
I might have to turn this into a tank thread, but I didn't take any pictures of the build itself.
 
My question now is in regards to a protein skimmer, I got a little coralife nano intank skimmer that's sitting in the rear compartment right now.
 
I hear it takes a few days for it to start getting some product in there, but It's been a few and I don't see anything yet.  The bubbles are foaming into the collection cup, but nothing else.  Any ideas?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2014 at 4:18pm
The tank is looking very good. I like the aquascaping. Thumbs Up
Sorry I ran out of time that day you came over.

Bacteria in a bottle is relatively recent to the hobby, but I agree with its use for tank startup.  

I doubt any water changes will be required. In my experience, using well illuminated algae to clean the water of N pollution means the first water change isn't needed until about the second or third month and from then on, 10% monthly water changes do the job.

IMO, a new tank like that does not need a skimmer... at least not yet, so you will probably see very little skimmate for a while.

Have fun.
Aloha  Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote colesnwbds Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 09 2015 at 10:55am
 
I haven't killed anything yet :)
 
And my addiction continues at work with my desktop pico reef:
 
 
Thanks for all the help so far!
 
"Fishes live in the sea, as men do a-land; the great ones eat up the little ones."

— William Shakespeare
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike Savage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 10 2015 at 11:40am
Love that desktop pico!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote colesnwbds Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 10 2015 at 1:30pm
Thanks Mike.  After seeing the picture in your signature box of that dragonet, I decided to get one from Santa clause a couple weeks ago, and it's been a fun addition (not in the pico of course).  Active little fella!

Edited by colesnwbds - January 10 2015 at 1:31pm
"Fishes live in the sea, as men do a-land; the great ones eat up the little ones."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jdinchak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 10 2015 at 2:10pm
Looks good!
Reef Tour (11/4)

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Molli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 10 2015 at 2:19pm

Originally posted by colesnwbds colesnwbds wrote:

Thanks Mike.  After seeing the picture in your signature box of that dragonet, I decided to get one from Santa clause a couple weeks ago, and it's been a fun addition (not in the pico of course).  Active little fella!


What is your plan for keeping this fish from starving to death.  I'd love to have one, but there are no live pod farmers that I am aware of in the area so have avoided purchasing one for that reason.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote colesnwbds Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 10 2015 at 2:26pm

I seem to have a pretty good population of pods in my refugium that are happy. I'm just hoping that they continue to feed my display.

So far he has good color, and looks well fed. Only time will tell.
I also squirt some frozen food his direction when I feed that way, hopeing he might catch on to that process, and learn to eat frozen food. That's hit or miss right now.
"Fishes live in the sea, as men do a-land; the great ones eat up the little ones."

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