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Old 02-21-2011, 09:49 AM   #1
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Advice on my 46 gallon reef tank

Hello, iv have put all the details i can think of so if i have missed any please say and ill do my best to add them. thanks

1. Type & how long you have had it: fluval 190 (corner tank) 174L, 46(US gallon) SW Reef , 13 weeks old, 205 canister filter(not using carbon) v2 200 compact skimmer, 300w heater , 21KG LR, 2x power heads

2. Current lighting & Bulb Age: 2x T5 FMW 24w, one is brand new and the other about 6 months old.

Results after 8 days since a 10% (25L) water change with kent salt.

Nitrite: 0.2
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: below 5
Calcium: 440
Phosphate: 0.25
Alkalinity: ?
PH: 8.2-8.3
Salinity: 34

specific gravity: 1.025 ( Using a swing arm hydrometer)
Temperature: 79F

3. Liquid or strip test kits: Liquid

4. Location in tank: in a corner away from windows, radiators and any other heat source.

5. Current amount of flow: 1x 900l/h koralia, 1x 3000l/h eBay cheapy, protein skimmer and return from the canister filter.

6. Current tank dosing regimen: Up to a week ago I was using red sea NO3-PO4-x nitrate=phosphate reducer 3ml per day, also was adding 3ml per day of marine de luxe coralfood. Both were recommended be the LFS.

7. Stock: red mushroom, Pulsing Xenia, Green Star Polyps, 2 Palythoa frags, another coral that im not too sure but have added a picture any way, 1 small firefish, 1 blood shrimp, 2 true clowns(small), 1x 6 line wrasse(Small), 2 electric blue hermit crabs 4 blue leg hermit crabs, 5 snails.

Hello, I been getting a small amount of brown algae (cyano? or diatom?) on my sand bed (not under the sand just on top of the sand), itís at its worst just before I turn the light off for bed, when I get up it seems to have died off but then grows back through the day, I have stopped adding any sups or reducers in the last few weeks. I do a 10% water change every weekend(i would like to do it every 2 weeks because of cost). It doesnít seem to grow on the glass or LR. how can I rid this, my LFS said it could be silica coming out of the sand but I washed it and 13 weeks on I would of thought it would of burnt its self out by now. Picture below:

I have also move my GSP up so itís closer to the light about a week ago because it was not fully opening, now one whole arm wonít open at all, could it be something to do with me moving it? Picture below:

My xenia does not seem to pulse (or feed?) just waves about in the flow, it is getting bigger, but wont pulse, is that lack of food?

I have bought PO4, Ca, NO3, NH3/NH4, pH, KH/GH, NO2, FE test kits, what others should I get because im relying on my water changes to keep my trace elements right, I only have soft corals 6 in total and 4 fish so should I worry?

I asked my LFS what is the best way of getting coralline algae to grow and spread, they said to add 2ml of ions (raises magnesium) I started but stopped after the first dosage because I donít have a magnesium test kit, that was 3 weeks ago and the blue coralline algae seems to be dying off or stopped growing, im not too sure whatís going on but I would like more on my rock. thanks for any help. nick
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:24 AM   #2
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algae looks like diatoms, how long do you have the lights on for and how often do you feed the fish?

for the GSP its probably just a bit unhappy because it was moved, but it should be fine, ive heard of the closing for up to 2 weeks then opening back up like nothing ever happened.


xenia doesnt always pulse, if it stops it definitely doesnt mean its dying, maybe its going on a growth spurt or something.

the test kits you have sound like plenty, you are doing well in relying on pwcs to keep your trace elements on balance

dont listen to your lfs about getting coraline to grow, just let it go on its own.

also unless you have non photosynthetic corals theres no need to feed the corals, if your lighting and water params are good you should be fine
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:46 PM   #3
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My lights are on a timer for 8 hours and I feed flake food once a day ( small pinch). Thanks for your reply
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:52 PM   #4
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I only run my light between 5 and 6 hrs and feed twice a week.
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:53 PM   #5
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sounds like diatoms to me,they will go soon enough.Your xenia will pulse if you turn off the flow, its fine.if you scape off some of the coraline from your glass (if any there)it will help spread,again i shouldn't worry too much just give it a bit more time as its only 13 weeks.
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:10 PM   #6
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i always run my lighting 12 hours a day. that's about how much daylight they get out at the reefs where these corals are collected. a couple hours of actinic lighting, but 10 hours of daylight. i never had any ill effects from doing this.

i also feed daily, but do large water changes weekly. if weekly water changes are too expensive for you, maybe this isn't the hobby for you. you have to export nutrients some how. adding chemicals isn't going to do it. it must be removed.

that looks like diatoms to me, not cyano. i wouldn't worry too much about it. probably a build up of nutrients from all of the coral food you've been adding. don't bother with any of that any more. as stated, unless you have non-photosynthetic corals that rely on capturing food to live, then the corals will get everything they need from the light.

speaking of light, i don't think you have enough over your tank to keep most corals. i would want a 4 x 39 watt t-5 ho fixture over that tank at least. will a 36" fixture fit? if not, maybe you can use a single 250 watt halide with a large reflector. that should get most of the tank, depending on how high you hung it.
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:22 PM   #7
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i always run my lighting 12 hours a day. that's about how much daylight they get out at the reefs where these corals are collected. a couple hours of actinic lighting, but 10 hours of daylight. i never had any ill effects from doing this.

i also feed daily, but do large water changes weekly. if weekly water changes are too expensive for you, maybe this isn't the hobby for you. you have to export nutrients some how. adding chemicals isn't going to do it. it must be removed.

that looks like diatoms to me, not cyano. i wouldn't worry too much about it. probably a build up of nutrients from all of the coral food you've been adding. don't bother with any of that any more. as stated, unless you have non-photosynthetic corals that rely on capturing food to live, then the corals will get everything they need from the light.

speaking of light, i don't think you have enough over your tank to keep most corals. i would want a 4 x 39 watt t-5 ho fixture over that tank at least. will a 36" fixture fit? if not, maybe you can use a single 250 watt halide with a large reflector. that should get most of the tank, depending on how high you hung it.
Yeah Doug,marine fish keeping over hear is very expensive,tropic marin salt for 60g of water is £40,1kg live rock £25
but you are right water changes are needed weekly if poss,ditch the chems and buy the salt!!
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:01 AM   #8
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Hello again, continuing from the last post, keeping Marian fish is very expensive in the uk, I bought a 6 linr wrasse and I paid £35 and 4 kg of salt is around £25, Iv only been in this hobby for a short amount of time and have spent well over £1600 and Iv only got a 46 us gallon tank, the problem is it's all flown from the other side of the world, any way more to the point.... Lighting, I have emailed Hagen to see if they make a light fixture that could fit along side my fixture but just as it thought they don't!
The problem I'm having is that the lighting I have sits inside the tank and I have a lid over the top witch keeps evaporation and stops light from escaping through the top of the tank. The tank is in my living room so a HO unit would let off a glare. I have enough room along side my existing lighting unit to make my own frame and then put two more t5 lighting fixtures, I'm really not sure how To go about picking what I need, off the top of my head I'm thinking some sort of double 39w controller and then fixing them to a wooden frame??? The opening at the top of the tank is 60cm (lengh) 27cm in (width)


I bought the original t5 unit only a few weeks ago because the old one had a falt. I could not find a patent or reconditioned one so had to buy one brand new from Hagen at a Cost of £150, for that reason I don't want to go out and buy a whole new lighting system, if any one has advice on how I can get around my problem I would be very great full,

Thanks guys
Nick
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:11 AM   #9
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well, you can DIY lighting. i am getting from your post that you don't have any canopy, just a florescent fixture sitting on the glass top. you could build a wooden canopy and attach any lighting to the inside. this would stop any stray light from getting out of the tank. do they make a canopy for this tank?

they do sell retrofit kits for this purpose. i don't know what manufacturers are in your neck of the woods, so i suppose you'll have to do an internet search for something in a reasonable shipping area, or perhaps go to an electrical supply house and buy what you need there.
a high output ballast, end caps, stand offs, reflectors, wire, and lamps will all have to be purchased. the lamps will have to be purchased from an aquarium related store. they don't carry the right color temp at standard electric supply stores.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:14 AM   #10
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I run my LED 12 hours a day, my blues for 8 hours and my whites for 6 hours.
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