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Old 10-27-2005, 05:56 PM   #1
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Back to FOWLR

Okay, so maybe not back to, as I never really had a fish only setup. But after 2+ years with the current setup, and not much luck, I've decided to reduce the time I spend just trying to keep things looking decent. And that means, at least for the near future a FOWLR setup.

The current setup is a 72g BF with 85 lbs of LR and a 4" sand bed. A seaclone 100 skimmer(I know, read below) 2 seio 1500gph powerheads and a biowheel 330(no wheels or pads, only carbon) Livestock is a 1.5 inch regal tang, a bi-color angel and a false perc. I have a few mushroom corals and a few pylops.

The plan is to ditch the sand bed. The reason for this is fairly involved. shortly after initial setup of the tank, I had a cirolanid problem. The tank was treated with interceptor. All the ciro's were killed along with I'm sure a lot of other sandbed microfauna. Sand from others tanks was added and things seemed to be fine. I now have some pods although I don't think there is a huge amount. Also, when I started I didn't use RO/DI water. I'm on a well and it's loaded with silica. Even using the RO/DI I still have a littlesilica. I'm not using a booster pump and the pressure sometimes falls to below 45psi. A while back I added the seio's and this caused a bit of a sand storm and obviously diturbed the sand in a couple of spots, about the top 1.5 inches. At this time, and I contribute this to what was released from the snadbed, I lost two fish that had showed no prior issues and the corals looked horrible. I rode it out doing frequent water changes and as the sand settled things slowly went back to normal. I have since battled green hair algae, a huge outbreak, a burgandy algae and brown as well. Can't seem to get ahead of things. Anyhow, I believe the SB may be the cause of the outbreaks (constant really)
Starboard will be used on the tank bottom. The seio's will remain. I have an Aqua C remora pro with the mag 5 on it's way. I was thinking of ditching the 330 biowheel and getting a canister filter. I like the idea of it being self contained and quiet and as I'll be getting rid of the corals (already have a place for them to go) I think weekly water changes will keep nitrates under control. I don't want to do a sump because I don't like the noise and the thought of the issues that could happen if the power goes out(and that happens frequently here) and being a BF there is not much room under the tank anyway. I want to clean off the LR. It has a nice coating of brown/green algae(remnants from the hair algea outbreak) Was thinking of two ways to do this. One would be to use a nylon brush in a tub of NSW, the other would be, now don't laugh, a pressure washer. I know it would kill anything live on the rock but I bet they would be clean! So there it is, I'd love to hear your thoughts etc...

thanks,

Mike
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Old 10-30-2005, 06:53 PM   #2
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Wow, not one response?

You all must be dazzeled by my briliance???? or something else perhaps?
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Old 10-30-2005, 07:21 PM   #3
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When you set up your tank, did you use agranite sand? With the silica issues, I'm wondering if that it isn't because you used silica sand. Have a huge sandstorm wouldn't kill your fish but if the storm mixed up nasties from the sandbed then I guess that's possible. I gotta say though I've stripped my tank and moved it, mixing up everything and never lost a fish as well as having the luck of having ph's fall and creating serious sand storms. This brings me back to perhaps it was the type of sand. Going barebottom is fine if that's what you want but I don't think it's gonna totally fix your algae problems. I like the nylon brush method for cleaning your liverock.
Not sure I addressed all your questions but I wanted to add, it takes a short time for a tank to get out of wack, but needs a good amount of time to get back in good condition. Patience and perseverance is key. If the hair algae is brown then it is dying and you may be ahead of the battle at this point and just brushing it would help. Also, how old are your lights? With the tank being 2+yrs old, that could be a contributor for your algae problems as well.
It's up to you what you decide to do. I see nothing wrong with removing the sand if that's what you want. There should be plenty of bacteria living in your live rock. But, a note of caution, if you remove the sand and blast the rock, you're gonna kill all of your good bacteria and will need to recycle the tank.
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Old 11-03-2005, 09:06 AM   #4
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Yes I did use aragonite sand, Southdown. I'm pretty sure the silica issue is with the sorce water. I know "nothing good happens fast in a reef tank" unfortunatly nothing good has ever happened! the tank has been set up for two years and I've had algea of some sort or another for the entire time.let me re-phrase that I've had nusence(sp) algea non stop. I use RO/DI with a TDS between 1-3, lights are changed every 12 months(christmas present to myself) this never seems to make a difference though. My test are consistantly 0 or very, very close to that. I'll admit that the skimming should be better. The new Remora pro is humming away now, running with a Quiet one 3000@780gh although not producing anything yet. When I re-do the tank it will be setup with a Mag three and a surface skimmer box.

thanks for your reply

sure is quiet in here

VT
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Old 11-03-2005, 04:32 PM   #5
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Also how often are you feeding you tank?
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Old 11-03-2005, 07:18 PM   #6
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I only feed every 2nd or 3rd day. usually not much at all. On occasion they get a variety in one day, flake and frozen.
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