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Old 03-31-2006, 01:16 PM   #11
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Feeding is pretty minimal usually every other day if that. Use mostly frozen that I rinse with RO and no flake at all. Occasionally some pellets. Nori does not last 15 minutes as my tangs along with the other fish are voracious when I give it to them.

The pura phos lock worked great. I also used some Kent phosphate sponge in a Merlin filter.

No PH change.

PWC since sump cleaning have been 15g/week(just did another last night).
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Old 03-31-2006, 01:28 PM   #12
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With 15%-20% pwc each week I’m amazed that you have any no3. From your tank photos it looks like you have in excess of 160 lbs of lr along with a 3”-4” sand bed and your fish should not be producing that much nh3. Gorgeous tank by the way

Do you think waste could be building up in the bak pak or elsewhere? I assume you do not use bio-balls with it. Do you lightly vacuum (top 1”) the substrate when doing pwc?

I’m at a loss to why it’s not 0, especially in conjunction with the 8 gal refugium. Do you have Chaetomorpha Algae in there? Is it lighted?
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Old 03-31-2006, 01:33 PM   #13
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hey i see you have the cpr skimmer with bio material. you have plenty of LR and that bio material may be keeping your NO3 up just my opinion. i have the cpr bakpak2 reefready with no bio and my no3 is at 0

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Old 03-31-2006, 01:37 PM   #14
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Unfortunately the substrate is cc and not sand which is probably part of the problem. I hope to change it out some day, but need to build up a lot of energy to bring myself to that. All filter media has been removed form the BAK PAK when I did my sump maintenance a couple of weeks ago. I do thouroughly vacuum the visible substrate though with each PWC.

I do have bio balls in the first compartment of the sump though which were recently rinsed as well. I just was not brave enough to take them out and trust the LR alone.

Plan is to start collecting LR rumble and change out the bio balls some day.

Which probably brings me back to some sort of nitrate remover if I want to bring it down further.

BTW, thanks for the compliments on the tank. Need to get some new pics up as the heater is now in the sump and a couple more corals have found it a new home.
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Old 03-31-2006, 02:18 PM   #15
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The amount of lr you have should more then make up for the bio-ball removal. If you slowly take out 20% of bio-balls each week until fully removed any biological filtration it provided will accumulate in greater quantity within the lr. You can add the lr rubble at anytime.

I have a Magnum 350 pro with two bio-wheels spinning on the main along with the 90 lbs of base/lr in my 55 gal. Every time I get a new fish I remove one of the bio-wheels to the qt tank for bio-filtration. I have never experienced a nh3/no2 spike from doing that and I suspect that the bio-wheel probably has more bacteria on it then the submerged bio-balls in your bak pak.

As far as the CC substrate goes I feel your pain since I also had to deal with CC with my first SW tank 16 years ago. Of course back then it was considered the “norm” and we didn’t know just how much waste built up in it. Vacuuming does help greatly but unfortunately as you know it’s near impossible to get behind the rocks and clean up crews have a heck of a time digging it out of the CC.

With sand you could use worms, snails, and other creatures to keep your sand bed clean. When/if you get brave enough to replace it I would. The CC does also store some of your bacteria so keep that in mind when replacing and also replace in sections to avoid any spikes.

I helped a friend replace hers last year with the 55 gal tank fully stocked with fish/inverts. We did about a one foot section at a time each week removing lr and scooping out the CC along with a vacuum to keep the mess down and replacing with aragonite sand through a 4” PVC tube. Tank took about 12-48 hours to clear each time but her fish/inverts came through just fine.

It took a full month to replace all of it and about an hours worth of time for each foot but her 4” sand bed looks so much better and she has had 0 no3 for the last 8 months
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Old 03-31-2006, 02:36 PM   #16
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My challenge with the cc is pretty much all the tank contents will need to come out of the tank when I do change it due to the way the LR is positioned/stacked. Someday.

As for the BIO Balls they are in the sump, not the CPR, probably a couple hundred of them. I see your point and may start to slowly remove them and just test daily.
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Old 03-31-2006, 02:59 PM   #17
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I understand your concern since it’s hundreds of bio-balls and not the small amount I thought you had in the CPR. I also suspect that the bio-balls are a small part along with your CC on why you can’t easily keep your no3 low. Even with rinsing they accumulate waste pretty quickly

Bacteria builds up depending on the nh3 present and your lr will still accumulate more bacteria as you slowly remove the bio-balls since your nh3 would also slightly rise from taking out the bio-balls.

As long as you test for nh3/no2 spikes and keep the bio-balls in old tank water in case you need to replace them in an emergency you should be fine.

With that much lr I can see why you haven’t attempted replacing the CC yet. At least when you get your next tank you can use sand
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Old 04-02-2006, 11:18 PM   #18
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what you could do is in your sump create a DSB about 6 inches high that will replace the one in your tank and you can keep your cc but i did the same thing i replaced the cc with sand on my main tank did that in a day everything came out fine and now my nh3 is down to 0 along with my cpr skimmer added at the same time.

good luck!
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Old 04-03-2006, 12:24 PM   #19
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Update:

I added a bunch of uncured rubble to the sump right below the bio balls. I removed about 25% of the bio balls as well. Plan to monitor water and remove the remainder of the bio balls over the next month or so. I also purchased some Kent nitrate sponge and placed it in my reactor which hopefully will help over next few weeks

As for DSB I do have about a 3-4"DSB in my fuge compartment and probably could add to my skimmer compartment for now(until I upgrade to insump skimmer) which is probably close to 1/3 of sump. I am not convinced that I am up to the challenge of replacing cc yet though.

I think I will wait and see. Did some re-reading and a nitrate reading of 10 is not the end of the world as long as it does not go up drastically which it has not. Different sources range from 25-60 before you have a real issue. Of course none is always better. The most importan t hing is all livestock and corals seem to be doing great.

Just not sure changing substrate at this point would be worth the effort. Besides my wife has me looking at a new home tonight. If we ever move might be the time to make a change like that.
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Old 04-03-2006, 01:24 PM   #20
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afilter a 3”-4” DSB is usually considered the minimum for denitrification to occur effectively. You may want to add an inch. Is it also “live” with sand stirring critters?

I take in nh3/no2 is still 0 with the 20% reduction. If you don’t already have chemicals on hand to detoxify nh3/no2 then you also might want to pick up a bottle during this transition in case of an emergency.

I forgot to tell you that when you keep the bio-balls you take out and put in the old sw make sure you keep a ph with them so they don’t become oxygen deprived and die. Feeding a small amount of source nh3 is necessary also.

If you go a minimum of 4-6 days keeping nh3/no2 at 0 then you should be ok.

Still I’d wait at least one to two weeks between reducing the bio-balls for your lr to catch up to your bio-load. Your remaining bio-balls will also become more loaded with bacteria so once you reduce to 50% I’d recommend going slightly slower like 10%-15% to avoid any nh3 spikes.

Congrats, soon you will probably be able to do 10%-15% pwc every other week and then possibly monthly
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