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Old 04-01-2008, 10:18 PM   #1
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Question Temperature regulation and other questions

I am cycling my new 72 gallon tank with two dead shrimp and live rock. The lfs told me the rock was cured however the coreline is turning white and fuzzy which leads me to believe it was not fullly cured. I have about 40 more gallons in a refugium and sump in a small room behind the wall. These two tanks set on the floor of my basement (winter in Wyoming still) I have tried placing my thermometer (digital) in the main tank and the heater in the sump. I have tried putting them in the same tank. I have moved them every which way and I am chasing 75 degrees. I am all over the board. I have really good lighting metal halide X2 and blue actinic with moon lights, so I know they are influencing the temp too. My temp in the house drops to a brisk 65 at night (up stairs) and only about 68 in the day. My pump is about 700gph and I have one small powerhead. My ammonia is just starting to raise and my ph and salinity are perfect. No nitrate, or nitrite yet. My questions
1. Where should I put the thermometer and the heater to get the most level temperature control?
2. How much range can there be from day to night?
3. About the rock... I have these things, only about 10, they look like a clear hair about 2-4 inches long that are floating straight up off the rock with little tiny air bubbles stuck to them. What are they? Should I get rid of them?
4. I have micro bubbles coming out my mega flow that are making air bubbles under the edge of the rocks and almost makes the water look a little cloudy is that ok? or am I pushing to much water?
thanks for all the help.
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Old 04-01-2008, 10:59 PM   #2
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I forgot to mention that the water coming out of the tank into the sump is clear but the water coming out of the pump and into the main tank is cloudy with air so I know something is wrong with the pump flow but I can't figure out where it is.
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:58 AM   #3
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As far as the thermometer I have mine in the refuge in the equipment area. Is there any air getting into the system that you know of. It sure sounds like it`s air. Check your setup to see if you can see any air getting in the system.
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Old 04-03-2008, 07:30 AM   #4
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Ok...

You are not pushing too much water. I have the same tank and I have about 1200GPH return pump pushing water into the tank. Your overflow should be rated at 600gph (assuming it is a predrilled tank with the megaflow kit). With a sump/fuge setup you are going to see evaporation in the sump area and not the main tank. As water evaporates the water level will drop in your sump and if it drops low enough the return pump can pull air and cause your cloudy bubble water in the display. You should be topping off the sump every day with RO/DI water (FRESH WATER NOT SW).

How many heaters do you have in the tank? What is the wattage of each heater? Do not trust the "dial" or setting knob on your heaters. You may se it at 80 and end up with 85 degree water. They tend not to be very accurate. If your water isn't getting above 75 then turn your heaters up a few degrees and see what happens. Since you are cycling now is the time to figure your heaters out. You want to shoot for 78-81 degrees. A temp swing of 2-3 degrees is ok. The idea is to have a stable temp and not giant swings. My tank stays at 79 degrees pretty much all the time unless we have a really cold night and the fire goes out.

I have a multi sump system (4 different sumps) and I have heaters in 3 of them. This helps heat water in different areas of the system and not cook one tank/sump. 3 watts per gallon for your heaters and have more then one. You don't want to depend on a single heater to do the job of heating your tank. I have three as I said 150w each.

Hope that helps you some..
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by land locked View Post
The lfs told me the rock was cured however the coreline is turning white and fuzzy which leads me to believe it was not fullly cured. I have really good lighting metal halide X2 and blue actinic with moon lights, so I know they are My questions
1. Where should I put the thermometer and the heater to get the most level temperature control?
2. How much range can there be from day to night?
3. About the rock... I have these things, only about 10, they look like a clear hair about 2-4 inches long that are floating straight up off the rock with little tiny air bubbles stuck to them. What are they? Should I get rid of them?
4. I have micro bubbles coming out my mega flow that are making air bubbles under the edge of the rocks and almost makes the water look a little cloudy is that ok?
It may be possible that the the coraline is bleaching. High powered lighting can do this from my understanding is the coraline algae turning white on the top of the rocks only??

1. As long as the heater is submerged it is heating your water. Putting it in an area with a lot of flow will help to circulate the heated water througout your aquarium

2. Depends on the temperature of your house and strength and # of heaters my house stays a constant temperature usually (central air is nice) your heaters should be able to keep up with a temp drop in your house. I have my tank at 80 everytime I look at it. Now in the summer may be a different story cooling a tank is much more difficult thats why my house temperature is so crucial in the summertime.

3. Don't think you have anything to worry about a Pic might help to understand exactly what it is you are talking about. could be hair algae?

4. Is your pump running at full force. I found that restricting my pump even a little bit created bubbles in my main display.

Good luck HTH
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Old 04-04-2008, 10:43 AM   #6
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Question Thank you

Thanks for all of your help. I did everything recommended. The bubbles in the tank have gotten better, it was evaporating in the sump faster than I expected. It is dry here. However I do still have some micro bubbles in the tank coming in and my husband tells me the pump has no restriction to it. I think the hairy stuff was the beginning of hair algae but I did not wait to find out. I harvested it all. That is harder and messier than it sounds. I have stopped running the MH lights for now since I had the start of hair algae and a new crop of brown diatom on the sand. I moved the heater to the sump and the thermometer in the main tank and It has finally stablized, however I am going back to the pet store today to trade my one big 300 watt heater for two smaller ones. I am also purchasing a few more cleanup crew members. Last week I bought 4 asteria snails and 4 hermit crabs they are still alive, but I bought a peppermint shrimp and have not seen him since. In my research about diatom control it stated I need a lawnmover blenny and more of a cleanup crew so while I am at the pet store I am going to get a few more of whatever they have, (not much selection at petco, no other sw lfs). It also said I need to check for phosphorus. My kit did not include that and petco does not have one. I am ordering it online in just a minute. My questions now are: If I have diatoms, and algea growth and 0 ammonia and increasing Nitrate 20 this am, Am I done cycling? Should I do a pwc now? I have read so much about the cycling I almost don't know what to do now. Should I worry about finding that shrimp? I have looked everywhere without moving the rocks. Is there something more I need to do to get rid of the diatoms? Again thanks for all your help it is starting to look like a real fish tank. I will post pictures this weekend. You will have to see what you helped create!
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:10 AM   #7
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Sounds like you are on track with the cycle, The diatoms are just part of the new tank syndrome and will most likely go away as the tank matures. How long has your tank been up and running a cycle can usually take 4-8 weeks depending on the level of your ammonia source. Did you see an ammonia spike then nitrite than nitrate?? I would hold off a week before adding any livestock just to see if there is any ammonia that still shows up . Waiting a week or two and being patient will help your chances of success.
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Old 04-04-2008, 11:42 AM   #8
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... In my research about diatom control it stated I need a lawnmover blenny and more of a cleanup crew...
Maybe more cleanup crew, but you don't need a blenny. If you want a blenny... great. But if the only reason you're buying it is for algae control... you'll probably be disappointed. There's plenty of us with no algae issues, and no lawnmower blennies.

Algae is always an issue when starting a tank and the nutrient level is higher than normal. Keep manually removing the algae, keep your water pristine, and don't overfeed - that will go a long way to keeping the algae away.

Regarding your cycle - I didn't see any numbers for nitrIte. If your nitrites are also zero along with your ammonia, then yes... your cycle is complete. (Which I hope it is because snails/shrimp/crabs in a tank WHILE it's cycling aren't going to probably live long.) If complete, do several water changes to get those nitrAtes as low as possible... preferably undetectable. Then you can start stocking the tank.

Peppermint shrimp are fairly shy - or at least mine is. He only really comes out of his cave during feeding time and during the night. I wouldn't be too concerned if you don't see him for a few days. Check around after the lights go out and you might find him.
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:03 PM   #9
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Also, How much live rock do you have in your tank 1-2 pounds per gallon is suggested so at least about 100# Just remember that if you plan on adding more live rock later it could start another cycle if you aren't carefull to cure it well enough yourself out of your tank in another location. Just like you are cycling your tank now you will have to cycle the new live rock whether marketed as cured or uncured. Its best to get all the live Rock you need in the very beginning IMO
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Old 04-04-2008, 07:27 PM   #10
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Question Almost the last question

Reply to all: My external pump is only 700 gph but I am going to get a bigger power head. I think your right about the lights bleaching the rocks. Will I ever be able to use the MH lights I plan on having corals someday? When should I start using them again?
Yes my nitrite is 0 also. I did see a little increase in Ammonia but nothing real huge. As I look back and read what I wrote this morning I mistakenly put Nitrates are at 20, I am sorry they were at 10, with no ammonia now, PH 8.1 in the morning, higher in the evening, I read about why that happens in another thread!
I went to the pet store on the way home and purchased some 12 turbo snails (they are huge suckers) and 4 crabs ( one sally lightfoot and 3 emerald). I also got two smaller heaters. I did not read your post until I was back but I did get a lawnmover blenny (ugly things), but I may take him back now that I read what you said. And guess what I found, the shrimp, alive!!! He is shy!!
I know I do not have near enough rock, maybe 40 pounds. That is all I could get my hands on. I wanted big pieces not little chunks and that was all they had at three FS's in Denver my LFS. I do have a quarentine tank set up that I plan to cure rock in as I find it over the next couple of months. The greatest challenge with this whole thing has been my location. Not changing that thought
I mixed my saline up for a my first water change this weekend. So when I change the water should I suck the diatoms off the bottom with the gravel vacuum, or just drain water off the top?
I am on my way to a real tank! What a test of patience this has been. Thanks again for your help could not have done it with out all of you.
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