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Old 04-09-2003, 08:55 PM   #1
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My tank looks like crap

I dont like the dip sticks for testing alk &ph I can never tell results colors are to close.I need better test kits,lights are running @ 50% 1 ballast is down being repaired.po4 is ussually high.Added micro alage to try and control levels of po4.getting red alage on crushed coral &a rusty looking alage on live sand.feather duster looks like the tips are curling up.things in general just look off.the other day when I tested I had 0 ammonia 0 nitrite slight nitrate calcium around 400 high po4 ph 8.3 ish alk looked safe but who the heck can read those stupid dip sticks?.and even w/ lights @ 50 % its almost double what was on a week ago.I just bought the new lights.I got all kinds of $$$ wrapped up in this tank & i'm just not happy w/ it.
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150 gal. reef ,with small community fish ,80 gal.fw tank with ciclids and 35 gal. hospital tank with 1 sea horse
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Old 04-09-2003, 09:08 PM   #2
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gosh...been there, done that. I feel your frustration. How long has your tank been up and running? I will tell you that my phosphates ran high always..this never had an outward affect on anything that I could see. I battled it forever and until I got the refugium in the new tank, I could not get the numbers down and they stayed off of the charts. My test kits are not that great either, they are the solution type but still quite hard to read.

How much live rock do you have, and what tupe of circulation?
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Old 04-09-2003, 09:21 PM   #3
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tanks been up for a year are so first had everything in 80 gal then moved to a 150 gal. upgraded lights .no real live rock to speak of. could that do it ?I have a big wet/dry ,w/ skimmer in sump.2 fluval filters & a big oceanic filter thats drilled right in the tank.Im curing 17 lbs. of live rock in hospital tank now.Glad I put it in the hospital first ,I had a lot of die off from rock ,spiked nirtite &nitrate levels in hospital.High po4 levels give me gray whispy alge all over.when you say you changed refugium do you maen balls in wet /dry?
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Old 04-09-2003, 09:50 PM   #4
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ok a breif run down of fish only,5 clowns, 2tangs,1 bi color blennie 1 alage eater blennie, 1 flame angle , 1 watermelon wrasse, 1 flame hawk, 10 blue damsels, 3 fire shirmp, 1 banded shrimp, 4 emerald crabs, 1 yellow night watchman, 2 yasha haze gobies, 2 green gobeis, 1 yellow (citrurs) gobie, 6 star fish, 2 enginering gobies,1 scooter blennie, 2 urchins.then I have a number of corals.
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Old 04-09-2003, 09:50 PM   #5
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I am seeing alot of similarities between your problem tank and mine old 150,when it was a problem. I also had 2 fluval 404's. I think the fluvals were in direct competition with the liverock. The two "different systems" were working against each other.

In the new tank, I have about 200 lbs of liverock. 340 lbs in a DSB that is slowly becoming a live sand bed. A small skimmer and a sump/refugium. The refugium is just livesand, macroalgae and rock.When the macro started growing like crazy, the phosphates dropped. I have never had a wet/dry system. After comparing the manageability of the two tanks. I am convinced that liverock without mechanical filtration is the way to go. My freshwater background could not possibly believe it to be so, but it is. It is just hard to think of a rock as filtration
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Old 04-09-2003, 10:04 PM   #6
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If I counted correctly, there are 31 fish in there. It could also be that the bioload is just too much for the fluvals. I assume you are feeding your fish fairly regularly,(as do I) Even tho the fish are small, there is a good bit of by-product produced.

I would concentrate on getting more liverock. Or dead rock that is cheaper, but would turn live in a few months. (that is the route I took for my smaller tanks)
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Old 04-09-2003, 10:08 PM   #7
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I have a lot of lace rock for a base.Im getting heavy fog of alage on front & side glass.
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Old 04-09-2003, 10:35 PM   #8
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JMO, but, somewhat with Hara, I would say, Too much bio-load for the bio mass. The food it takes to feed the fish is probably where the PO4 comes from. That, or your water supply.
I never pay too much attention to the alk in mine because it has always been high and is naturally in my tap.
I use the AquaLabI PH & Alk test strips and mine are amazingly accurate and stands up to Hagens and Red Sea TK's. The Alk on the test strips is always above the color scheme on the bottle and the ph is easier to read in normal light.

Why not replace the rest of the CC with sand?

I thought Lace Rock was cool too at one time, you may see a thread in here somewhere, that explains how I found it for .75 a pound and bought a bunch. I soon took it out because I had a problem with buffering capability and went out and bought so far 75 to 100 lbs of LR est. I do not have problems now. I also have a 3inch SB mixed playsand and aragonite. I say no to lace rock now.

Replace the rock with LR, get rid of the crushed coral and go with 100% sand. Feed once a day and only what they will eat in 5 min. Make sure the food you feed with is as close to phosphate free as you can. Frozen brine shrimp is saturated with phosphates.....

This is all my opinion.. I hope it helps any.
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Old 04-09-2003, 10:53 PM   #9
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I use the aqualab dip strips those are the ones that I think suck.never get good alk.reading.I use ro/di water. dose w/ kalkwasser.I just liked the look of half cc and half live sand.if I thought cc was bad I would get rid of it. or is it that the sand is so much better .Ill stop brine shrimp .do not have the $$ to replace lace w/ LR maybe just pick at it overtime.and the lace rock I have now has mushrooms & some other cool things growing on it.
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Old 04-09-2003, 10:57 PM   #10
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I bought LR a little at a time...More expensive that way, but, you get what you wnat in your tank, and not what someone wants you to have. I understand the dilema. Don't know much about Kalk, as, I don't use it. my cal is 450 - 500. I do dose everyday with Oceans Blend. It contains all things neccessary for a reef tank and the parameters have not budged at all since I have been using it and things are thriving and the fish are happy. Don't know...
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