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Old 07-01-2014, 05:08 PM   #1
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10G Sump Options?

Hi All

I've had a 10g sump under my 36G bowfront for over a year now and I haven't been able to really make use of it. In the first chamber, I have a filter sock and a skimmer. In the last chamber, I have the return pump and a MJ1200 pump for a GFO reactor. The middle chamber is my problem

I've tried putting chaeto in there four times and the chaeto always ends up dying. I have a nice large 6500K light, and decent water flow. The middle chamber is about the same size as the other two combined. This last month as the chaeto slowly died out, I've been slowly seeing more cyano. I'm thinking it's because the dead material is leaking nutrient back into the tank.

My nutrient levels have always been in check, Nitrates = 0 (API and Red Sea kits) and the phosphates are about 0.05 (Hanna). I also have a light bioload, 2 small clowns, a firefish, YWG with shrimp and a CUC.

So if the Chaeto is dying cause it's starving, what do I put in the middle chamber? thanks
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:58 PM   #2
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You have several options. I'm actually experiencing the same thing. Chaeto died on me as well and my refugium has been empty for 5 months now. I'm thinking either deep sand bed or additional live rock.


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Old 07-01-2014, 06:07 PM   #3
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I would go a whole rubble rock chambers that has sponges on it. I've heard that would be a great filtration source..

People say bioballs are nitrate factories never had any problem with them


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Old 07-02-2014, 02:29 PM   #4
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I've been thinking about a DSB also, but since my nutrient levels are so low, do you think it would make a difference?

Also about the live rock, or rubble. What benefit would that have? I have about 45lbs of dry BRS rock, not sure what the is in terms of wet rock. I thought that would be enough...

Anyone try sump mud before? Miracle mud being one brand, but there are others...
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:43 PM   #5
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10G Sump Options?

The whole idea of chaeto or any nitrogen export model, is to keep nutrient loads down. With your low bio-load, that is obviously working as the chaeto has nothing to absorb. If nutrient levels are staying in check with water exchanges and your current setup, who cares about chaeto?

If it's working (low numbers for P4 and nitrates) don't attempt to fix it.


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Old 07-06-2014, 12:16 AM   #6
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If cyano is building up then you have some other issues aside from chaeto dying. Please post your current water parameter. I also have a 10 gal sump with similar set up as yours. Make sure the water flowing in the middle chamber is passing through your chaeto. Provide a very small circulating pump and direct it to the macro algae. You can add rubbles below since bb don't need light to flourish.
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Old 07-06-2014, 05:44 PM   #7
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The issue may be your lights. 6500K is a cool light and might be too blue for the algae, which likes more red light. A warmer bulb might be more conducive to the chaeto. I have 2 bulbs in my sump, a 5000K and a 2700K The 2700K grows the chaeto much better
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Old 07-07-2014, 03:56 AM   #8
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Jeff: Here's the parameters, I tested just before a 15% water change (weekly change for the last 6 weeks)
Nitrate:0.5 (Salifert)
Phosphate:0.08 (Hanna)
Ca: 400 (Red Sea)
Alk: 7.6 (Red Sea)
Mg: 1320 (Red Sea)
Salinity: 1.023 (Red Sea)
PH: 8.34 (Apex)

Ingy: Interesting. I looked around for a 6500K because I read it was better... I need to check those threads again.

Another thing that may be a factor. The aquarium is next to a large sliding (8') door, west-facing. I was thinking maybe the afternoon sunlight was the problem. But oddly enough, it's NOT the side facing the door that's getting cyano, it's the side that's facing inside the house that's usually covered. And there's really no appreciable light source there.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:45 AM   #9
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Cyrano and hair algae grow fast with white or full spectrum light and excessive exposure. Use blue and shorten white as much as possible. I agree with Ingy that macro algae loves warner light but need water circulation for effective nitrate absorption.
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