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Old 07-06-2013, 12:32 AM   #21
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i will probably do 2-3 inches of live sand just for the heck of it. what is the difference between live rock and dry rock? i am aware that live rocks are usually in a large tube where people run water across them(sorry about the lack of proper jargon). i have also heard that live rock might come with hitchhikers. what are the hitchhikers people keep referring to? are we talking about live bacteria that are beneficial to the tank?

is it true that after a while, dry rock does turn into live rock? why are some rock white and some rock purple/red/or other colors? i'm assuming it has to do with the algae.
Sounds good . Live rock is..well, live. That means it has micro/macro organisms that can be beneficial or harmful (hopefully mostly beneficial). You'll find lots of hitchikers like copepods, amphipods, mini brittle stars, snails, worms, feather dusters, the list goes on. Base rock is dry, has no water, nothing living on it. You know exactly what you're getting and you're not paying for the water weight. LR is sold by the pound and since it's wet, you're paying for the water . It doesn't have to be one or another. Can be half and half or whatever percentage. Yes, some companies have huge piles of rock in the ocean that they sell, some put the rock in large bins and aquaculture the LR. Like I said a few sentences up, hitchhikers are little critters hitching a ride on your rock . Google reef hitchhikers and you can see how some look.
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Old 07-06-2013, 12:44 AM   #22
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@obscurereef, from my preliminary reading, protein skimmers come in many shapes and forms with different methodology running them. my question is how does it actually remove the waste? i know that bubbles rise and somehow they trap the waste. i still can't get my head around how the whole thing work.

in my freshwater tank experience, waste is removed through filter and/or occasional water changes and i assume that's how it works in saltwater tanks as well. or are we talking about waste other than fish poop.

there's just so much reading that i'm doing. hopefully i will get to the end of the tunnel on saltwater fish keeping
Skimmer remove waste by creating microbubbles. Organic waste attaches to the bubbles. The bubbles propel the waste to the collection cup. Also raises oxygen levels. I must warn you the skimmer "juice" smells nasty though! Waste can be fish poop, left over food, detritus, anything decomposing...waste in general. It takes that organic waste out of the water. If an aquarium is getting turned over say 8 times, you can see it would be very effective. A popular one is reef octopus. I have an aqua medic turbo flotor which works fine, but wish I researched more about other skimmers.

Yeah there is a bunch! Luckily there are helpful articles on here to get you started.

Edit: Protein skimmer & water changes are the 2 ways of removing nitrates. Water changes remove nitrates in fw like you said.
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Old 07-06-2013, 02:08 AM   #23
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also, i have seem a lot of tanks with Coraline algae, something i'm not a big fan of in terms of appearance. are they absolutely necessary for the balance of the fish tank? i really don't like the idea that they creep all over the glass

again i'm going back to my freshwater experience a little: algae is good. it usually indicates something is going on. but it can also serve as indication of too much light, excess food, excess nutrient, etc. is this similar for the Coraline algae?
I didn't like the look that much either, but I got used to it. I actually think the maroon, purple, and pink look pretty on the rocks and wall. Before I got the coralline I was sure I would scrub the back wall of the tank, but I got lazy and let it all grow. Looks like someone splashed it with paint. Using a metal scraper will get them off. They're not necessary at all. They use calcium to grow. It's an indication that your parameters are steady or at least that your tank is healthy. I've had neon pink coralline that only lasted a few days which had amazing color. Coralline is good, other algae, not so much.
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:56 AM   #24
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is there a way to get rid of the coraline algae naturally? for freshwater, there's all sort of animals that will eat pretty much all types of algae out there for lunch. is there such thing in the salty side?
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:30 AM   #25
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is there a way to get rid of the coraline algae naturally? for freshwater, there's all sort of animals that will eat pretty much all types of algae out there for lunch. is there such thing in the salty side?
Urchins eat coralline, but not very fast. Guess you'll have to get used to it
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Old 07-07-2013, 05:20 AM   #26
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Urchins eat coralline, but not very fast. Guess you'll have to get used to it
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Old 07-07-2013, 11:03 AM   #27
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Can you do a 75 gallon instead of a 55? Even a 50 gallon "breeder" tank would be better than a 55 IMO. The 55's front to back dimension make it less than ideal for a reef tank. You will have a hard time aquascaping it and your sand bed space will be limited. Most people who have 55 reefs tend to pile up all the rock against the back pane.

If you do not introduce coralline algae, you'll never see it appear. If you use all dry rock and inspect everything you put in the tank carefully, you won't have to deal with it.
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