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Old 06-04-2013, 08:35 PM   #1
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Chaeto or other good nitrate-using plants suggestions?

If I want Chaeto benefits now, I don't have a light to be able to put it in my sump now, can I just throw it in my main tank?? Tell me the pros & cons. I know it needs high flow. Or is there another good nitrate using plant I can put in my main tank? My tank is a 75 gal FOWLR. I bought it used, moved it stock & all. It's my 1st marine tank.

The sump was full of sediment that I just siphoned out & I'm hoping that will lower the nitrates. I will continue to do PWCs. And honestly, I can't tell if the Protein Skimmer is working properly. I've tried Googling, looking up vids & diagrams, wordy explanations, etc. still no answer. It has a small vortex but no bubbles. The tank has no ammonia, no NitrItes. pH is low, 7.8 but they were adding distilled water as the tank evaporated & that could've whacked out the pH. I'm hoping consistent good care will bring it up slowly as the tank didn't have any nuisance algae (just purple coralline they encouraged), it was clear, the stock is happy & this has been what the stock has been used to, don't want to change things too quickly on them. However the NitrAtes are creeping up. Phosphates are between 0-0.25, so definitely not a perfect system at the moment

Please be easy on me...
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:22 PM   #2
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I would not add any macro algae to the display. Anything with root-like appendages will become a nuisance. Chaeto will just blow all over and make a mess, bumping into corals and getting caught in power heads. Unless you make a refugium of sorts in the display. Something out of mesh, or eggcrate, but this will be quite ugly.
Implement a filter sock to catch detritus before it reaches the sump.
What is the model of the protein skimmer? If it has no bubbles, it's definitely not working. Take a picture of it perhaps. This is your problem IMO.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:08 PM   #3
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I would not add any macro algae to the display. Anything with root-like appendages will become a nuisance. Chaeto will just blow all over and make a mess, bumping into corals and getting caught in power heads. Unless you make a refugium of sorts in the display. Something out of mesh, or eggcrate, but this will be quite ugly.
Implement a filter sock to catch detritus before it reaches the sump.
What is the model of the protein skimmer? If it has no bubbles, it's definitely not working. Take a picture of it perhaps. This is your problem IMO.
Great, thanks. I'll post a pic in a bit! It's an Instant Ocean Skimmer. I will make a vid of it in action.
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Old 06-04-2013, 11:12 PM   #4
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It's much bubbley'er now than earlier today, the vortex. Does it take awhile to start working?? I took it all apart & cleaned it yesterday. Didn't feel it was urgent as the tank was clear when I showed up at the people's house when I picked up the tank Saturday. But when I saw the flow diff after I cleaned it, I was like WOW. There's not supposed to be any filter material inside anywhere in the protein skimmer, right?? I took a vid of it running, too. What do people do to attach videos?
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Old 06-05-2013, 12:24 AM   #5
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The protein skimmer is an Aquarium Systems by Instant Ocean, MP (maxi??) 1200. Looks like it can be purchased for about $25-30! HA!! In the meantime, we had great fun hand feeding the shrimp tonight & practically hand feeding the very shy Damsel.

I got video of the shrimp cleaning the damsel!! Wish I could post it!!
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:36 AM   #6
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The skimmer is FOAMING!!! YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Either something just started working right after I bumped something or it just takes a couple of days to start working??
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:24 PM   #7
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This skimmer is not a quality skimmer, as you have figured out. I would replace it as soon as you can. I would also get rid of those bioballs. they will catch detritus (uneaten fish food and fish poop) and become a source of nitrates. Also, that sponge barrier will need to be cleaned on a regular basis. I would remove it completely and just use a filter sock that i would change out every few days.
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:31 PM   #8
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This skimmer is not a quality skimmer, as you have figured out. I would replace it as soon as you can. I would also get rid of those bioballs. they will catch detritus (uneaten fish food and fish poop) and become a source of nitrates. Also, that sponge barrier will need to be cleaned on a regular basis. I would remove it completely and just use a filter sock that i would change out every few days.
Great, Thks! Where do you put the filter sock? At the top around the pipe where the water enters the sump? So remove the bio balls, the sponge & then what should I put in the sump... A light outside & plants inside? Anything else??

I have a filter pad (I think called floss??) right below the piped in water above the bio balls, would you nix that too or what?
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Old 06-05-2013, 11:56 PM   #9
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You could put more live rock down there. Some rubble at the bottom, under the algae. I would not have any filter floss at all. Just the filter sock which I would have right where water enters the sump.
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:09 PM   #10
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I have had success with a chaeto ball in the main tank. I just make a small ball of it and tie it together with a thread. Put it on a lettuce clip towards the back. It grows fine and the added benefit is my tangs like to nibble on it.
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