Hey all. I currently have a 90gal Salt Water tank that has been up and running with fish for about 8 months. I can't say there haven't been some trying times and some tough hurdles, but I think I almost have the hang of it now.
First a little info on what I have / what I'm doing:
Right now I'm fish only w/o live rock. I'm using some basic baserock and some artificial corals. I am not against using live rock, but i've heard some people say that if you go to live rock it really limits your ability to treat the tank with copper or other medicines.
About 7 months ago I suffered a massive ICH outbreak. Not sure what caused it, not sure how it happened, but it did. I a purple tang and a flame angel, it was very hard. At that time I treated the tank with copper medicine directly. I ran copper in the system for a good while until I had things under control. After several more weeks of sitting I began to run a new polyfilter every day or two to try and pull out all the copper I could. I still have some of the same artificial corals and rocks in the tank now as I did when I ran the copper. Currently via the copper test kit it appears to all be gone out of the system.
After cleaning the tank a few days after I run into some alge growth. It's brownish in color and it likes to turn my corals and my sand the same way. The tank only stays clean a few days after a change. I change 30-40% of the water every 2 weeks. I'm begining to suspect phosphates, but not 100% sure yet. All I know for sure is I want a pretty and nice clean tank like everyone else!
My current setup:
-90 Gallon Salt water Fish only w/ artificial corals. Drilled w/ overflow
-Trickle filter/Bio ball system (made for a 125gal tank)
filter (36 watts I believe)
-I'm using the MagDrives for powerheads, can't remember the size off hand but pleanty of movement
-Fish: Dogface Puffer, Regal Blue Tang, Foxface, Flame Angel, Luna Wrasse, Clownfish, Niger Trigger (all fish are very small still, 3" max).
-Plans in the future to move to a much bigger tank, most likely 250gal or so.
-Plans to purchase RO
system, currently using tap
So here are my questions:
1) Can I add live rock to the system now and remove the artificial coral? And if so will there be any problem with the fact I treated that tank earlier with copper?
2) What are the real advantages of doing Live Rock vs. using the artificial corals? Is this going to limit my ability to treat fish if sickness happens again?
3) How will this assist in my alge issue, or will it?
4) How many pounds of LR
should I look at? Any suggestions?
5) Is there any place to buy live rock thats better than the other. On that same note, is there a specific area the live rock comes from that would be better than the other (ie florida vs Hawii live rock)? Cost isn't that much of an obsticle.
6) Can I just add X pounds of LR
to my system without any issues directly or do I need to QT
it? Curing? Etc ...
7) Any other comments you feel like adding ... including "Hey you, you ask too many questions!"
Thanks for the advice!!!