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Old 11-21-2003, 06:48 PM   #1
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Semi-Plenum? Is this what happened?

Hello All... Great Site....

I have recently relocated from Atlanta to Houston and converted my 4 year old fresh water setup to SW. During its operation as a freshwater tank I placed undergravel filter plates under the substrate (2" approx) to give the "Cross Section of Life" look I wanted without the extra weight of the additional substrate, kinda spacing the gravel up a bit.. This was my first tank and I enjoyed more than incredible success... Never having any water quality, algae, or fish death issues... All with a single Magnum 350 filter (carbon) and minimal (10% every 6 months) water changes, carring approx 20in total fish length. I went ahead and used the same setup in the new SW environment, adding a wet/dry 10 gal additional filtration and a UV sterilizer. I have since learned during that I may have accidentally created a plentum type de-nitrafication system taking advantage of the anaerobic space under the undergravel plate. I did not use live sand in my new tank, originally leaning toward fish only, but have since wanted to add some inverts... All my levels test at 0, although it does run slightly low on ph and alkalinity.

And now the Question.... Should I add a couple of inches of finer live sand to my crushed coral substrate bed?

My total population is a follows:

2 striped damsels
1 marroon clown
4 small redlegged hermits
3 large turbo snails
55 lbs live rock (FIJI and covered with pink and purple coraline)

I had my water tested at the LFS recently and was told everything was A-OK.... But my 3" BiColor Angel just up and croaked, Im mystified at what might have caused his demise. Clarity is incredible, tons of microlife including hydroids, copes, amps, small macro algaes, etc... Do have a small amount of Brown algae in overflow. I am hesitant to add any inverts until I understand this death. Any suggestions?
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Old 11-21-2003, 10:47 PM   #2
steve-s
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Re: Semi-Plenum? Is this what happened?

Quote:
Originally Posted by riptide
All my levels test at 0, although it does run slightly low on ph and alkalinity.
But my 3" BiColor Angel just up and croaked, Im mystified at what might have caused his demise
These two may be somewhat related depending on what the actual numbers are. Some animals are much more sensitive than others to chem changes but with the invert life you have I don't think it will be the primary cause but may be a part of the puzzle. How long did you have the angel and were there any noticable signs of a possible ailment or odd behavour? Any odd smells from the tank?

Quote:
And now the Question.... Should I add a couple of inches of finer live sand to my crushed coral substrate bed?
Was the UGF/tank completely torn down and cleaned before the FW/SW transition?
If the UGF plate is coarse mesh, the larger CC particles will eventually surface and the sand will migrate to the bottom and could cause more problems than it would solve. Capping the spouts for the UGF and adding the sand might be an alternative. You can syphon out the CC as it rises and add additional sand to make up the difference as time goes by. The other alternative would be to remove it completely and replace the CC and UGF with just sand.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 11-22-2003, 12:37 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response.... To answer your question/s..... Yes the UGF and FW setup were completely dismantled, cleaned, packaged and shipped 1000miles during the relocation.... It was setup essentially from scratch 17 weeks ago purely as SW... The bicolor did not exhibit any signs of distress or odd behavior before his demise... Just died, and settled perfectly upright in the crack between two pieces of LR... Had to look real close for some time to finally decide he was dead, he passed away in his sleep in his favorite little cave.... He was a resident for nearly 4 weeks... Thx
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Old 11-22-2003, 02:47 AM   #4
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At 4 weeks, it may have nothing to do with your husbandry or the tank. Sadly, these types of fish are often caught using cyanide and the effects can take their toll some time after capture. It does a fair amount of internal organ damage, escpeciallly to the liver. To play safe, I would wait a few weeks on any new additions but chances are you may not see anything else negative. Just keep close tabs on the other animals. You should also make your desicion on the substrate before long as well.


I would still try to find out why your having alk/ph problems. Does the tank have a glass top or other tightly fitting lid and how is the GPH?

Cheers
Steve
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