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Old 01-07-2012, 08:57 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmor1701d View Post
Carey, I believe I posted earlier that after installing GFO/GAC alongside my bio-pellet reactor that my cheato in the sump started disappearing. Just not enough nutrients to support it.

Between work obligations and back issues I was not performing regular maintenance (GFO/GAC changes; PWC's etc.) and I started having algae issues to the point that I added cheato back to the sump and now it's growing quickly again.

I just did my semi-annual maintenance and replaced the GFO, added new bio-pellets, did several PWC's so I expect I will start to see the cheato start to disappear again in a few weeks.

You may want to take the same route. Leave it in place for now while you add your bio-pellet reactor and watch for changes.

You no longer have a decision to make. Hopefully the decision is made for you.

I think that's what I will do. i won't be getting the bio pellet reactor until the end of the month at best and then i will just run it and see what goes on in the refugium. It says it can take up to 2 months to see any noticeable difference so I guess i will take this slow. lol

You also mentioned I think that you stopped running gfo with the biopellets, is that right? Or is it just what I've read?

Also, when the bio pellets are first started do water changes affect it at all? So I just continue my maintenance schedule as if the bio pellets arent there?

Thanks so much!
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Old 01-07-2012, 11:18 AM   #42
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The biggest thing with the bio-pellets is to direct the reactor outflow to the skimmer input. That will clear up the bacteria coming out and help prevent the white tank syndrome some people have seen. Start with half the recommended amount of pellets, wait a month and then add the rest. That also helps. Everything happens within the reactor, so water changes won't affect it.

Other than that continue with all other normal maintenance.

Due to my back problems I was unable to do any work under the tank. I was also working 14+ hour days and some work on weekends for a business project on a very tight schedule so even pwc's suffered, as did my tank.

I am now running both GFO and bio-pellets again. I'm expecting my back problems to start getting better in a few weeks due to a new procedure, so I expect to be able to keep up with my normal maintenance activities.

Keep having fun. The one thing to keep in mind is that we are by nature tinkerers. There's always a new and sometimes better way to do things in our home bit of the ocean to make it more natural. Bio-pellets is one of them. DSB were the thing 10 years ago. Last year I replaced my MH with LED's. No more fans for cooling.
I'm thinking about 'cooking' my LR now (it's 10 years old). That will give me the opportunity to buy some new LR (uncured) to re-seed the tank with some new life. I also buy new detrivores at least once a year to reseed the sand bed, etc. It never ends.
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Old 01-07-2012, 11:15 PM   #43
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If I understand correctly what I have been reading over the past few months, the refugium should be a lower flow rate to be more effective no? You have yours in the center (or so it looks). What if you just switched the pump and refugium locations and T'd off the return like I did in my FW build? That as an alternative to removing it completely... maybe worth another try to rule it out not being a viable solution? That's how I'm planning my 40g for the SW.
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:45 AM   #44
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I don't think the flow has anything to do with nutrient export. It's simply contact.
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Old 01-08-2012, 12:48 AM   #45
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Good to know then.
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Old 01-08-2012, 09:54 AM   #46
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I was wondering the same thing about the flow. I have a pretty intense flow going through the sump so was worried I was negating the potential benefits.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:04 AM   #47
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No. As long as the plant is making contact with water, it's using nutrients. Fast or slow doesn't matter. It's not like the algae is pulling nutrients out of the water so fast that it needs to be in high flow.
Some would argue that pods do better in slower flow, but I don't think there's any hard data either way yet.
I do see pods and mini brittles and things inside power heads when you open them up to service them. I don't think high flow is a problem.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:53 AM   #48
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I'll just make a quick comment on my experience with bio-pellets. Last year I had a situation similar to Cmor where I knew I would be working 10-12 hrs/day - 6 days a week for a few months and I wouldn't have time for my normal tank maintenance routines. I thought I would just run the bio-pellets in addition to the GFO and ROX carbon and that would keep any excessive nutrient problems at bay. Since I was leaving for work before the lights came on and was getting home when they were already out, I didn't really have a chance to see what was happening. Being I wasn't home when the lights were on I didn't feed the fish nearly as much as normal. What happened was, I believe, the bio-pellets made my water too clean and I lost a few big acro colonies. They went from looking beautiful 1 weekend to the next weekend being totally bleached with the "skin" literally sloughing off. I took the bio-pellet reactor offline and everything started to improve drastically.

Maybe if I was able to keep feeding the fish heavily, which is what you should be doing when running the bio-pellets, I wouldn't have had that problem, but in my situation I couldn't. Many people do have success with bio-pellets but they didn't work well, or maybe they worked too well for me.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:57 AM   #49
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Hmm good points. I already probably am overfeeding so I hope to avoid that pitfall. lol

I'm at the point that i just want to try new things and see if they can work for me. I know everyones experiences can be different but overall it seems like a good piece of equipment that might work for me. always looking for a newer and better way LOL
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:50 AM   #50
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@Larry, it could also have been the problem seen when adding to much of the bio-pellets to start a/o not feeding the outflow to the skimmer. Some folks have experienced a bacterial bloom in the DT that affected sps.

I never had that particular problem, but when I refreshed my pellets recently I only added half the package. I'll add the rest in a month.

@Carey, I have my macro sitting in my sump. I made a small box out of acrylic (with hundreds of holes) to cage my return pump's (external) intake. No problem with growing macro with the high flow through the sump.
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